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Guide and Walkthrough by Sega Notebook

Version: 1.01 | Updated: 02/28/2004

                                  Guide to
                               Shadow Squadron
                                    for
                                  Sega 32X                by the Sega Notebook

*******************************************************************************

Contents

I.   Feather ships
II.  Enemy ships and structures
III. Miscellaneous tips and information
IV.  Walkthrough
V.   Revision history


===============================================================================
I. Feather ships
===============================================================================

There are two ships available for you to pilot in the game. Below are
descriptions of each.

Feather 1
---------
The Feather 1 has twin lasers, guided laser torpedoes (up to four can be fired
at one time), and the Spectral shield (a temporary force field that surrounds
the ship.) The shields and energy are replenished after each mission.


Feather 2
---------
The Feather 2 has a single laser, an energy torpedo (not guided), but no force
field. This ship has a huge energy reserve that has to last you for the entire
game. Shields are replenished after each mission by drawing from the main
energy reserve. The Feather 2 has the ability to shoot down enemy missiles.

Both ships have the same speed and shield strength (based on how many missile
hits each ship can take).


Comparison
----------
Although dual lasers would seem to be better than one, the Feather 1's
firepower is noticeably weaker than the single laser of the Feather 2. Based on
the time it takes to destroy a capital ship, and the number of hits needed to
destroy various fighters, the Feather 2's laser is undoubtedly more powerful.

The Feather 1 can shoot four guided torpedoes at a time, whereas the Feather 2
can only shoot one torpedo straight ahead, with no homing ability. This is not
a big consideration, since using the torpedoes is generally a bad idea. (See
"Miscellaneous tips and information" for more details on torpedoes.)

The Feather 1's Spectral shield ability is not much of an advantage, if at all.
Avoid using it. (See "Miscellaneous tips and information" for more details.)

The fact that the Feather 1 gets its shields and energy replenished after each
mission is undoubtedly appealing. With the Feather 2, you must budget your
reserve energy, and try not to get hit, since shields are restored by drawing
from your main energy supply. This can be difficult and frustrating.

The Feather 2 can shoot down enemy missiles, whereas the Feather 1 cannot.

The deciding factor is the ability to shoot down missiles. I cannot imagine how
anyone could survive the later missions without being able to destroy incoming
missiles. Couple that with the fact that the Feather 2's laser is stronger than
the Feather 1's lasers, and the choice is obvious: use the Feather 2.

(Furthermore, if you choose the Feather 1, you have to wait through an
annoyingly long animation after each mission while you dock with the space
station, whereas the Feather 2 simply continues on. Also, the Feather 1 has a
large "dashboard" which takes up a portion of the screen and limits your view.
In contrast, the Feather 2 cockpit allows a much larger field of vision.)


Familiarize yourself with the cockpit
-------------------------------------
The radar in the middle of the console shows where enemies are in relation to
the orientation of your ship. The top semi-circle represents the area in front
of your ship, with "straight ahead" being a line straight up from the center of
the radar screen. The radar screen only represents the flat plane your ship is
on. It does not represent the up/down dimension (relative to the
direction your ship is facing). The radar also does not show enemies that are
beyond a certain distance. You may have to visually sight some enemies if you
get too far away.

FEATHER 1
The green gauge on the left side of the console is your speed. At your normal
speed, the vertical segment of the gauge is filled. When using the afterburner,
the horizontial segment starts lighting up as well.

The blue gauge on the right represents shield energy. The red gauge on the
right represents engine/weapon energy.

FEATHER 2
The green gauge on the left side of the screen represents your speed. The blue
gauge on the right side of the screen represents your shield energy.

The red gauge across the top of the screen is your engine/weapon energy
reserves. This represents the maximum energy you have at your disposal for the
entire game.


===============================================================================
II. Enemy ships and structures
===============================================================================

All enemy ships and structures (besides fighters) are made up of distinct
"parts". When attacking, you will notice that you can destroy parts of the ship
without destroying the whole. It is very time-consuming and energy-inefficient
to destroy a ship piece by piece until it finally blows up. All ships and
structures have a weak spot. Aim for the weak spot to eliminate the target as
quickly as possible. Admittedly, you get more points for destroying a ship
piece by piece, but you also use up more energy.


Capital ships
-------------

DELMMER
Approach from the bottom. Aim for the fuselage between the wings. As you
approach, the ship will launch four missiles at you from launchers near the
wings. Take note of where they appear. Those missile launchers mark the four
corners of the weak spot. Keep firing anywhere in that area. Dodge the missiles
or shoot them down. With the Feather 2, you should be able to destroy a Delmmer
in one pass.

BALSARK
Approach from above and behind. There is a gray ridge in the middle of the
ship, in front of the two aft prongs. There is a yellow spot (engine, maybe) on
the aft side of the gray ridge. Shoot the small gray area behind (aft of) the
yellow spot. (You have to get fairly close to see the weak spot. It is NOT the
wider gray piece between the two prongs. The weak spot is in front of that.)
With the Feather 2, you should be able to destroy a Balsark in one pass.

MEDELUS
Blow up the cockpit first. The cockpit is between the two forward-swept wings.
It is a relatively small protrusion with a bright green horizontal band across
it. (Use the Object Viewer on the options menu to get a good look at a
Medelus.) Then approach from the front and aim for the thin, horizontal
rectangular area behind the cockpit. These ships shoot a LOT of missiles. At
most, you will have a few seconds to fire at the weak spot before you have to
start shooting down missiles or dodging them. You will probably have to make at
least three passes to destroy a Medelus. The biggest danger is getting
impatient. You are much better off making a large number of passes in which you
only take a few shots, rather than trying to destroy the ship as quickly as
possible. When you get too close to the ship, the missiles can take down your
shields in seconds. Approach, fire a few shots, and back off again to a safe
distance. Keep coming back and do not lose your patience.

CARVELUS
Like the Medelus, the weak spot is behind the cockpit. Be aware, though, that
the Carvelus is even more aggressive. Expect to be greeted with a staggering
number of missiles. The strategy is basically the same as for the Medelus. Make
a lot of passes and do not get impatient.

From an angle, it can be difficult to see exactly where you need to shoot, so
it is helpful to align your ship so that you approach the Carvelus head-on.
When retreating after each pass, you want to keep your ship lined up for the
next attack run. The Carvelus fires missiles in the direction you came from.
Therefore, when you need to turn your ship around, turn until you are following
the missiles. You will end up in approximately the same place as you started
from and can attack head-on again.


Structures
----------

ACCEL GATE
If you approach from the wide end of the gate, it pulls your ship in and flings
you out the other side. If you approach from the narrow end, you will simply
stop in front of it, and slide slowly to the side in the direction your ship is
pointing. The fact that you have no forward motion, but can still move up,
down, and sideways makes this a relatively easy job.

Approach from the narrow end. There are four prongs protruding from the
circular gate. Shoot the green squares where the prongs connect to the ring.
While you are stopped right next to the gate, it will fire missiles at you from
launchers on the inside surface of the ring. Choose one of the green squares to
fire at. Shoot it a few times until the missiles get close. Then re-orient your
ship and start firing at a different green square target. This way, you will
move your ship enough to dodge the missiles that were aimed at your previous
location, while you continue firing on the gate. Every time a new barrage of
missiles gets close, re-orient your ship and start firing on a different target
area. After a few repetitions, you will see some fiery, satisfying results.

GANELUZA
Approach from the front. Line yourself up with the entrance and fly through it.
Watch out for the cross beams. If you're using the Feather 2, you can shoot
down the missiles. Aim for the red spot inside. Fire repeatedly and listen to
the sounds of your laser strikes to make sure you're hitting the weak spot.
(See "Sounds of battle" below.) You should be able to destroy the Ganeluza in
one pass.

SLAVE UNITS
Each one has a red spot in the middle of the inner-facing side.
Shoot the red spot. With the Feather 2, you should be able to destroy a slave
unit before its missiles ever get near you.

G.L. CANNON
The cannon opens up when you have destroyed all the original slave units.
Shoot all six red spots on the cannon. Shoot down or dodge the missiles.


Other
-----

FIGHTERS
Fighters are not particularly intelligent or threatening early on in the game.
In later missions, they become more aggressive, but are still not very
dangerous. You will almost never be hit by their laser fire unless you try
playing chicken with them. Even then, their lasers move slowly enough that you
generally have time to dodge them. However, the fighters fire several blasts at
a time, so if you do get hit, it will likely be several hits in quick
succession, which will deplete your shields in no time. Just do not attempt to
attack them head-on after the third mission.

Somewhat more noteworthy is their propensity to ram into you. Naturally, this
drains your shield energy, and throws you off course. This is generally not a
big problem, but it does happen occasionally. If you start hearing too many
fighters swarming around you, you may want to stop and blast a few.

Fighters often try to distract you by flying in front of you and making you
chase them around (thereby wasting a lot of energy). Save them for last unless
one flies in front of you and gives you a perfect shot.

Different types of fighters have different speeds, strengths, and point values.
In terms of gameplay, the differences are not really important.

BOOSTER SHIPS
Aim for the nosecone. It is fairly small and hard to see without getting close.
Fortunately, this ship requires so few hits in general that even if you destroy
it piece by piece, it does not require much energy expenditure. Either way, you
should be able to destroy a booster ship in one pass.


===============================================================================
III. Miscellaneous tips and information
===============================================================================

Energy usage
------------
There are two types of energy: engine/weapon energy and shield energy.

Flying around requires engine/weapon energy. The more distance you travel, the
more energy you use up. Using your afterburners and firing your weapons require
additional energy. Do not overuse your afterburner. (If you're flying the
Feather 2, you should almost never use the afterburner. If you're flying the
Feather 1, conserving energy is not as critical.)

Shield energy reflects the strength of your shields. Every time you get hit by
a laser blast, a missile, or crash into an enemy fighter or capital ship, you
lose shield energy. Using the Feather 1's Spectral shield and firing the
Feather 2's torpedoes also drain shield energy.

Be aware that if you use up your engine/weapon energy, your shield energy
reserves will be transferred to your engine/weapon gauge, in which case, the
next hit will kill you.

If you're flying the Feather 2, energy becomes a scarce resource as you near
the end of the game. Therefore, it pays to conserve energy whenever possible,
particularly in the early missions.

- Do not use the afterburners except to get away from tough situations.
- Minimize the distance you travel. Destroy the ships that are close to you
  before attacking others.
- Do not fire the laser excessively when the target is not even in range.


Determining if an enemy is in range
-----------------------------------
Capital ships are in range of your laser as soon as they start firing missiles.
For fighters and Booster ships, you will have to listen for the sound of a
laser strike (see "Sounds of battle" below) to determine if they are in range.

Your targeting system often displays numbered red brackets around enemy
fighters. The fighters with lower numbers are closer to you than the ones with
higher numbers. The brackets disappear when the fighters get close enough
to see them clearly. Brackets are NOT an indicator that an enemy is out of
range. If there are no brackets around an enemy fighter, it is definitely close
enough to shoot. However, a fighter may still be in range, even if it has
brackets around it.


Sounds of battle
----------------
You will notice during the game, the distinctly different sounds your lasers
make upon hitting different surfaces. When hitting fighters, the sound effect
is a high-pitched crackle. When hitting capital ships or enemy structures, the
sound effect is a low-pitched thud sound. When hitting asteroids or other
indestructible structures, the sound effect is a metallic clanging sound.

Distinguishing between the sounds is important as it provides some clue as to
how you are shooting. The best example of when the sound really matters is when
you're trying to destroy the Ganeluza. However, when attacking any enemy,
listening for the sound of a hit can also tell you whether your aim is accurate
or whether the ship is even in range. (Firing the laser while you're still out
of range is a good way to waste energy.)


Never, ever do this
-------------------
- Play chicken with a fighter after the third mission
- Use your torpedoes
- Choose auto pilot mode for the Feather 2
- Use the Feather 1's Spectral shield
- Fly the Feather 1

PLAYING CHICKEN WITH FIGHTERS
After the third mission, the fighters become noticeably more aggressive. When
you fly directly towards one, then obviously, from the enemy's perspective,
you're not moving up, down or to either side. This makes you an easy target,
and they will fire several laser blasts at a time. This can significantly
reduce your shields in very little time. If you see a fighter coming straight
at you, alter your course a little. Their aim is generally so bad that they
cannot hit you unless you're approaching them head-on.

TORPEDOES
Torpedoes require a lot of energy and do not do a lot of damage. In the
Feather 1, you have no control over what the targeting system locks onto. It
automatically picks targets in front of you. Most of the time, the targets are
non-critical parts of ships or structures (in other words, not the weak spots).
Nor can you control how many torpedoes hit a certain target. If you fire more
than one torpedo in a volley, they will be locked onto different targets.
(The damage is spread across multiple targets instead of focused on one.) You
can do far more damage with your lasers in the same amount of time. More
importantly, you can choose exactly what you want to hit.

The Feather 2's torpedo does more damage than the Feather 1's. (Two or three
well-placed torpedoes will take out a capital ship.) However, each torpedo you
fire costs you two units of shield energy. The damage they cause is simply not
worth the energy cost. (Recall that shield energy is replenished after each
mission by drawing from your main engine/weapon energy reserves.)

AUTO PILOT
Using the auto-pilot means you have absolutely no control over where your ship
goes; you just shoot whatever happens to appear on the screen. The auto-pilot
never makes a run specifically towards the enemies' weak spots, which makes
destroying them an even longer process. I don't know if there is supposed to be
a coherent strategy or advantage in the auto-pilot's flight plan, but I
certainly do not see one. Using the auto-pilot makes the game thoroughly
tedious and boring.

SPECTRAL SHIELD
Activating the Spectral shield uses up your shield energy, and does not offer
much protection. You will still take significant damage from enemy missiles and
from crashing into enemy fighters even when the shield is activated. The amount
of shield energy you lose, relative to the benefit of using the Spectral
shield, is too high. It is not economical. The Spectral shield is basically
useless.

FEATHER 1
See the "Comparison" above in the "Feather ships" section.


===============================================================================
IV. Walkthrough
===============================================================================

Mission 1
---------
Nothing too exciting going on here. There are two Delmmer-class ships and 12
fighters. Your mission is to destroy them all. When the mission begins, there
are six fighters directly ahead of you. Destroy a few of them while you have a
good shot, but after they fly by, concentrate on the Delmmers. The fighters are
not much of a threat in this mission. If you start chasing them around, you
stand a chance of being hit by a missile or crashing into a Delmmer, so save
the fighters for last. (Honestly, the first mission is so easy, it doesn't
really matter.)


Mission 2
---------
For the second mission, you will be up against one Delmmer, two Balsarks, an
Accel gate, a Booster ship, and 17 fighters. You do not have to destroy the
fighters to complete the mission. You start mission 2 with three fighters
coming at you. Try to take them out as you head toward the Delmmer. Then dive
down below the Delmmer, and attack it from below. After that, pick a Balsark
that looks appetizing and toast it. To minimize the total distance you have to
travel, your next target should be the Accel gate. Approach the gate from the
narrow end and destroy it as described above in "Enemy structures". Somewhat
past the gate is a skittish Booster ship which warps out if you get too close,
or do not destroy it quickly enough. You do not have time to destroy the ship
piece by piece, so do not attack it from behind. Fly a safe distance off to the
side of the ship, and approach it only when you have a clear shot at the
nosecone. If the Booster ship does manage to escape, you will not earn points
for the kill, but it does not affect the rest of the mission. Once you're done
with the Booster ship, go back and destroy the remaining Balsark. The fighters
are not a threat in this mission, so you can ignore them without any
significant danger.


Mission 3
---------
In this mission, you must destroy two Medelus-class ships, four Booster ships,
and eight fighters. The battle takes place in and around an asteroid field.
The asteroids are solid objects that will damage your shields if you crash into
them, but they are not much of a concern in terms of navigating. They are
stationary, and although it looks like there are a lot of them, they pose very
little danger. You would almost have to try to hit an asteroid for it to become
dangerous.

When you start the mission, there are two Booster ships ahead of you on the
left, and two more on the right. Since these are the closest, destroy them
first. You will notice that the ships are all preparing to dock with asteroids.
For extra points, you can destroy the metal structures on the asteroids
(though doing so is not required). Afterwards, destroy the two Medelus. Save
the fighters for last.


Mission 4
---------
Now you'll face a large fleet of capital ships: four Delmmers, three Balsarks,
two Medelus, and one Carvelus. There will also be 17 fighters, though you do
not have to destroy them to complete the mission. However, the fighters start
to become a problem now. They are much more aggressive and intelligent than in
the previous three missions. They will happily play chicken with you. The
faster and more maneuverable ones will dart in front of you to distract you and
draw you away from the capital ships. Kill the fighters if you have a good
shot, otherwise, focus on the larger ships.

When you start mission 4, there is a Delmmer almost directly in front of you
(and slightly to the left). It immediately begins firing missiles. Duck below
it, and destroy it first. The sequence in which you destroy the ships does not
really matter, except that you should try to minimize your travel distance to
conserve energy. Pick a ship to attack and destroy all the other ones nearby
before flying all the way across the battle "field" to attack others. About the
best you can do is to follow a roughly U-shaped pattern going from ship to
ship.


Mission 5
---------
There are two Carvelus, one Ganeluza and 14 fighters in this mission. You do
not have to destroy the fighters. When you start, there is a Carvelus to your
right which immediately begins firing at you. Turn back around and get in front
of it. After you finish off this one, go find the other Carvelus. After those,
the Ganeluza will seem relatively easy. Fly through it, aim for the glowing red
spot, and you'll be on your way to the final mission.


Mission 6
---------
Now the enemy has a giant cannon aimed at your planet. THAT simply will not do.
This is the only mission with a time limit, and it is none too generous. You
will need to be quick. Ignore the eight fighters. The first thing you have to
do is destroy the ring of eight slave units. You start the mission outside the
ring. Use your afterburner to get inside the ring. Pick one of the closer slave
units and start firing at the red spot. When you have destroyed the first, head
for the slave unit PAST the next one.
For example, if you have just destroyed             2
#1 in the diagram to the right, start             1   3
towards #3. (If you approach #2 directly,        8     4
you will be coming in at too steep an             7   5
angle and will not get a good shot at               6
its weak spot.) You will not be able to
see when you have a good shot at #2, so you will have to estimate. Turn, and
fire at the red spot. After you destroy #2, head for number 4, and so on for
each slave unit. You have three minutes to destroy all eight slave units, so
you will need to use your afterburner in short bursts. Do not overdo it. Once
the slave units start firing missiles at you, they are in-range of your lasers.
You do not need to get any closer, and doing so means you'll have longer to
travel to get to the next slave unit. You should already be back down to normal
speed (or close to it) by the time the slave units start firing on you.

After you destroy the first ring of slave units, the Cannon releases another
group. Do not bother with the second batch. The G.L. Cannon is now vulnerable,
and you have two minutes to destroy it. Fly over, under, or between the new
slave units as they spread out. There are six red spots around the main body of
the Cannon. As you approach, it will fire a LOT of missiles at you. You will
probably not be able to shoot them all down. The time limit makes for a nasty
constraint. You cannot spend a lot of time shooting down missiles or flying
around to dodge them. However, you cannot stay in one place very long due to
the large number of missiles that will be heading your way. If you can shoot
down a few missiles and continue firing on a red spot, then do so. When the
number of missiles gets overwhelming, turn sharply and give your afterburner a
quick tap to get away from the incoming barrage. As soon as you're in the
clear, turn back and resume firing. When you have destroyed all six red spots,
watch the animation of the Cannon's destruction. The game is over.
Congratulations.


===============================================================================
V. Revision history
===============================================================================

Version 1.01 (Feb 28, 2004)  Fixed typos and made minor clarifications.
Version 1.00 (Mar 05, 2003)  Original submission


*******************************************************************************

Shadow Squadron guide by Sega Notebook 
Version 1.01  (Last updated Feb 28, 2004)

Copyright 2003  G. Quinn
This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstances except personal,
private use.

Please do not post this guide on other Web sites. The purpose of the Web is
LINKING, not duplicating information in different places.

Contact the author of this guide at seganotebook@yahoo.com

Thanks for reading.

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