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    FAQ by War Doc

    Version: 1.03 | Updated: 01/26/04 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                                 | D E F E N D E R |
                  GAME:  DEFENDER
              PLATFORM:  ARCADE
                 GENRE:  ARCADE SHOOTER
               CREATOR:  WILLIAMS Copyright 1980
    AUTHOR OF THIS FAQ:  Kevin Butler AKA War Doc
                E-MAIL:  kevinb(at)technologist(dot)com
           FAQ VERSION:  1.03
                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1.  Legal Stuff
    2.  Version Information
    3.  Acknowledgements
    4.  Welcome
    5.  Overview
    6.  The Game
        6.1  The Controls
        6.2  The Playing Fields
        6.3  Scoring
    7.  Playing the Game
    8.  Conclusion
    To find a particular chapter or subchapter do the following:
    1.  Highlight the chapter or subchapter name you wish to find.
    2.  Press CTRL-C
    3.  Press CTRL-F
    4.  Press CTRL-V
    5.  Press CTRL-F
    5.  You will arrive at the desired chapter or subchapter.
    ********************************* U N I T  I **********************************
    | 1.  LEGAL STUFF |============================================================
    This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal
    private use.  It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
    publicly without advanced permission from the author.  Use of this guide on
    any other web sit or as part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and
    a violation of copyright.  All content in this guide is Copyright 2003 by
    Kevin Butler.  Only the sites listed below have permission to publish this
    work or to display it:
    If you wish to put this guide on your site, e-mail me and ask.  Save yourself
    the headache of putting up with lawsuits and whatnot because you failed to ask
    a simple "Can I post your guide on <insert site>?".  If you wish to use info
    in this guide, please acknowledge that you have done so.
    If you see this guide on any other site then the one listed above, please
    e-mail me.  If you wish to ask questions or give input to this guide, please
    e-mail me.  Just have Defender as the subject so I know it isn't another kooky
    vendor trying to sell me hair gel or another XXX site telling me I have new
    | 2.  VERSION INFORMATION |====================================================
    Version 1.0   8/14/03:  A guide is born.
    Version 1.01  8/17/03:  Fixed TOC.
    Version 1.02  8/28/03:  Fixed a couple of errors.
    Version 1.03  1/25/04:  Fixed up a few things due to reader input.
    | 3.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS |=======================================================
    The following are a list of people or organizations that have made this FAQ
    My wonderful family (who has had to put up with the tapping on the keyboard)
    Williams for making a great arcade game
    GameFAQ's for putting up this FAQ
    jjt_defender@yahoo.com for his valuable input.
    | 4.  WELCOME |================================================================
    Welcome to my FAQ for Defender.  Since the game has you continuously playing
    through waves until all your men are killed, there is no walkthrough per se.
    Instead it will be broken up into the game itself and strategies for survival.
    Input is appreciated along with constructive criticism.  If you wish to e-mail
    me thoughts on this FAQ, better ways of doing things, other strategies, etc.,
    feel free.  Make sure you put Defender as the subject.  If you don't, I'm
    liable to discard the e-mail as spam.
    | 5.  OVERVIEW |===============================================================
    Defender was created by a company that was, up to that time, more known for its
    pinball machines then electronic arcade machines.  A couple of years
    previously, Williams attempted to enter the arcade market but the game flopped
    badly.  Defender was different.  It was the first game to feature not only the
    joystick control, but five buttons to do various things.  At first, people were
    leery of playing this game and those that did found it to be very difficult.
    It must have been the difficult nature, though, that started the wave of
    popularity for this game.  It was to become one of Williams best time sellers
    ever and established Williams as a company to be reckoned with in the video
    game world.  The premise of the game was simple:  Make sure that you keep the
    humans safe on the planets surface.  Of course, there are a lot of enemies
    around to make that job difficult.  In addition to complexity, Defender was
    also the first to feature the "wrap-around" screen.  This basically meant you
    could fly your ship either way without reaching the edge of the screen.  This
    gave the illusion of a never-ending flight.  Of course, your view was only a
    small part of this area.  Good luck at dealing with the hazardous in keeping
    the humans safe.
    ******************************** U N I T  II **********************************
    | 6.  THE GAME |===============================================================
    Defender is a two-dimensional, shooter style game.  You have at your fingers
    the most advanced fighter in the arsenal.  With its array of weapons and the
    ability to maneuver quickly, this fighter is ideal for dealing with the enemy
    threats.  In addition, you can respond quickly to any threats by quickly
    reversing your motion and taking the quickest route to deal with said threat.
    You also can fly continuously in one direction or the other to make yourself a
    harder target to hit.  Be warned, though, that if you lose all ten humans, the
    planet will explode and you will be out in space against some pretty aggressive
    enemy units.  This is definitely a game of only the fittest survive.  To think,
    you volunteered for this duty.
    / 6.1  The Controls /__________________________________________________________
    The controls on this game are pretty hard.  It will take a lot of practice to
    get used to them.  That is because you have five buttons you must keep track of
    and use at all times.
    -  A two-way joystick for moving up and down
    -  A thrust button
    -  A fire button
    -  A reverse button
    -  A smart bomb button
    -  A hyperspace button
    / 6.2  The Playing Fields /____________________________________________________
    Defender involves battling either on the planet or in space if you lose all the
    humans.  The screen itself is a never-ending world since it "wrap-around" so
    there are no edges.  You only see what is within your limited view but you can
    see everything else via your radar.  I have included an example of what the
    playing screen looks like:
        |  \___ FIGHTERS|           |  --   |                |              |
        |  \___ LEFT |- |           YOUR VIEW                |              |
        |            |- |\      /\     /\_/\   /\_         _/|              |
        |   250      |- | \/\__/  \/\_/     \_/   \/\/\___/  |              |
        |            |                                                      |
        |           SMART BOMBS                                             |
        |                 LEFT                                              |
        |           /\_____                                                 |
        |           +-----/                                                 |
        |                                                                   |
        |                            +--+                         +--+      |
        |                           /    \                       /    \     |
        |                          /      \                     /      \    |
        |                         /        \                   /        \   |
        |                        /          \                 /          \  |
        |                       /            \_______________/            \ |
        |                      /                                           \|
        |                     /                                             |
        |                    /                                              |
        |                   /                                               |
        |__________________/                                                |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
    You control your fighter through this screen.
    / 6.3  Scoring /_______________________________________________________________
    Scoring in this game is relatively simple.
    Lander :   150 points
    Mutant :   150 points
    Bomber :   250 points
    Pod    :  1000 points
    Bomber :   250 points
    Baiter :   200 points
    Swarmer:   150 points
    500 points for saving a human from a Lander.
    Bonus at the end of each wave of Humans Left X 100.
    You get a bonus ship and smart bomb every 10,000 points.
    ******************************** U N I T  III *********************************
    | 7.  PLAYING THE GAME |=======================================================
    You start the game in the middle of the screen.  You can look at your radar to
    see where the various enemies are.  Get to learn the sounds of the game because
    they are an important clue as to what is going on out of your viewing range.
    -  First of all, learn how to use the buttons with proficiency.  You don't want
       to be hunting around for the smart bomb or thrust button when you are in the
       middle of a firefight.  Practice is what will make you proficient.
    -  Learn to use your radar screen and after a while you will only look at the
       viewable area briefly to take care of business.  Each enemy has a unique
       color on the radar so you should be able to easily identify what they are.
       In addition, you will also learn how each enemy moves around.  This will
       definitely become a great benefit in the later waves.
    -  As I've already mentioned, listen to the sounds of the game.  When you hear
       a high-pitched chatter, that means a Lander has picked up a human in order
       to create a mutant.  Use your radar and look for the green shape going
       straight up; that's the lander.  Try to get over there as quickly as
       possible.  Just shoot the Lander, not the human it has taken.  When you hear
       what sound like something being put together, that means a Lander has become
       a Mutant.
    -  Once you shoot the Lander, your job isn't over yet.  If the height is too
       great, the human will fall and die on impact.  Fortunately, your fighter is
       equipped for such emergencies.  All you have to do is fly over the human and
       your fighter will pick them up.  Anytime you scrape against the ground, you
       will set the human down.  Some players continuously ride around with a human
       like this to prevent the planet from exploding.
    -  The planet will only explode when all ten humans are dead.  They you will
       have to go through five waves of nothing but mutants and the other regular
       enemies until you are back to a planet again.  Mutants are very dangerous to
       deal with because they not only tend to swarm, they also fire a lot of shots
       toward your fighter.  Of course, real good players just shoot all the humans
       so they can have the challenge of going through these "mutant" waves.
    -  If you take too long on a wave, a saucer shaped enemy called a Briter will
       appear.  The Briter is much quicker then your fighter and it has the
       tendency to fire pretty accurate shots.  Try to clear waves as fast as
    -  Use your smart bombs only when your viewing area is crowded with enemies.  A
       lot of players like to get all the Pods into their viewing screen then touch
       off the smart bomb.  A quick way to get a few thousand points.  Another use
       is to break open the pods so that Swarmers are all over then touch off the
       smart bomb.  Again, more points.
    -  Speaking of Swarmers, they can outrun your fighter.  One of the tactics to
       "throw" them off is to reverse quickly a couple of times.  This disorients
       briefly and may even give you a chance to pick off a few of them.
    -  Use hyperspace only when you are in a totally desperate situation (like
       getting swarmed by Mutants or Swarmers).  More times then not, the hyper-
       space will put you somewhere else but destroy your fighter in the process.
    -  Watch out for the bombers.  Although they travel slowly, they have a bad
       habit of leaving strings of bombs.  If you are not paying attention, you may
       become another statistic if you attempt to fly through them.
    -  You can fly through and under the terrain.  Use this to your advantage when
       maneuvering around.
    -  Since you "wrap-around" the screen, this gives you a little more maneuvering
       room.  However, keep looking at your radar because the enemy that disappears
       off the left side will show up on the right side.  Also, shots do not wrap
       around the edge.
    -  Since you get a free fighter and smart bomb at 10,000 points, that should be
       your constant goal.  As the waves get higher, though, things move a lot
       faster making even getting 10,000 points a challenge.
    jjt_defender@yahoo.com states:
    -  The most free fighters you can have is 255 displayed and smart bombs are at
       254.  If you roll over these two value, you will end up with only the
       fighter you are using and no smart bombs in the inventory.
    -  The highest score you can have is 999,999.  After that, it will roll over to
       0 again.  You don't get any more ships or smartbombs after one million
       points until you get to a certain WAVE depending on the gamming setup.  You
       will then you start getting fighters and smart bombs again.
    ********************************  U N I T  IV *********************************
    | 8.  CONCLUSION |=============================================================
    I remember when I first played this game.  It was very frustrating because of
    all the buttons one had to learn about.  It wasn't enough just to have an idea
    of where they were, you had to instinctively be able to use them without even
    thinking.  This was part of the mystique of this game, hard enough to keep you
    interested but not so hard as to make you give up.  Replayability was great
    because the same things didn't happen twice even though the basic premise of
    the game remained the same.  One could spend a lot of quarters just to get
    comfortable with this game and a lot more to at least get a degree of
    proficiency.  Williams definitely did a good job on this video game.  Un-
    fortunately, it is very rare to find this machine anywhere.  However, through
    the miracle of emulation, a whole new generation is realizing what we "old"
    folks enjoyed those many years ago.  In addition, www.shockwave.com is bringing
    many of these classic games back.  Check out their site to see what ones are
    there.  I hope this guide helps you in being able to get the most amount of
    gameplay for this game.  If you do have other ideas or thoughts, please e-mail
    me and share them.  Who knows, maybe I'll start a Q&A Chapter in this guide if
    enough people ask the same questions.  Anyway, thank you again for reading this
    To see other FAQ's I have written please go to:
               ~~~  No trees were harmed in the making of this FAQ ~~~