FAQ by Minor Annoyance

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 05/30/12 | Printable Version

STARSHIP DEFENSE (A.K.A. Starship Patrol Europe, Starship Defender Japan)

Version 1

By Minor Annoyance


Starship Defense is a tower defense game for the DSi (download). Enemies follow 
a path around your fleet of ships which have two types of hard points to attach 
weapons that fire on enemies within there targeting field.

Your main resource is energy. It's used to buy weapons and the cost is shown in 
the this guild like this: <###>. You start with a small amount and get more 
mainly by defeating enemies. At the end of each wave you earn "interest" on the 
energy you have at the end of the wave. Because of this it is a good idea to 
spend just enough energy to defeat each wave so you'll gain more in interest. 
Remember what Einstein said: "The most powerful force in the universe is 
compound interest"

Your second resource is crystals, used to unlock advanced weapons, the cost of 
which is shown in the this guild like this: (#). You get one at the end of each 
wave and can also be used to unlock bonuses, or use SOS cards.

SOS cards are awarded at the end of successful missions. You can hold only 
three at a time and if you use an SOS and still fail the mission you get that 
SOS card back. So there's no reason not to use one if you so if your not trying 
to get a no SOS bonus then

Note: Anything more than S.O.S. cards and basic weapons are unlocked while 
playing theough them game. I don't have the information on when they're 
unlocked because I'd have to start over and delete the game data. I'm not going 
to do that yet before I know anyone else actually plays this game.


I've described the effects of each weapon and some basic strategy for them. 
I've done some experimenting so some details that aren't spelled out anywhere 
in the game are here. Also the effects of the three types of power ups are 
described. You get the basic idea just from the name of the power up but again, 
there's some more details that aren't spelled out that you'd have to notice for 
yourself it know about. Or you can read them here.


          Ghost Laser <100>
          This is your most basic weapon and like you'd expect of your most 
          basic weapon it's cheep and versatile, but not the most effective 
          option. Obviously you will need it for cloaked enemies. The Ghost 
          Laser has a narrow targeting arc so it's best placed somewhere where 
          enemies approach straight towards it, where you may be able to get 
          two shots from it. If  enemies are passing in front of it, it will 
          hit the first one and its slow recharge will cause the rest to pass 
          it by. You may have to micromanage its adjustable firing arc 
          sometimes so it hits the first enemy in a wave and then shift the 
          angle so it can catch another enemy at the end. If they're close 
          enough some enemies may even pass behind it's firing range. Also 
          useful when placed in an area where enemies have to pass by more than 
          once like in a wide "U" shaped canyon or where several of them can be 
          angled to aim at approaching enemies, like an interior corner, 
          placing them along both walls.

                    The power upgrade as an added effect in addition to doing 
                    more damage. It causes the Ghost Laser beam to shoot 
                    through enemies, allowing it to hit several of them in one 
                    shot, which can be very effective. In the right levels and 
                    placed correctly I've seen more than five weak enemies get 
                    killed in a single shot. To be effective they obviously 
                    have to approach down it's firing arc and not across.

                    A big improvement over its standard arc. Best used when 
                    enemies are passing at a distance at the widest part of the 
                    arc allowing it to fire earlier and get a second shot at 
                    the later part of the enemies path. Also can allow you to 
                    hit an enemy a second time if it makes a U turn to move 
                    along an opposite wall.

                    The most useful upgrade if multiple enemies are passing in 
                    front of it at close range. Still won't make it fast enough 
                    to hit the same enemy more than once unless they're 
                    lingering in the area anyway.

          Berserkers <120>
          Almost as inexpensive as the Ghost Laser, so you can buy them in 
          large amounts. Has splash damage and good power so it's useful 
          against swarms of weak enemies as well as stronger ones. They have to 
          be moving slowly though. Apparently these gunners haven't played 
          Missile Command and don't know you need to shoot not where the enemy 
          is, but where it is going to be, because a fast moving enemy will 
          often be on the edge of the blast radius by the time it explodes. 
          Also with its slow recharge time you may not get many shots from them 
          per wave. While they cannot target stealth enemies, they can still 
          damage them if they fire on a visible enemy and the invisible one is 
          within the blast radius, but since they're not at the center of the 
          blast they won't take as much damage. They are very short range but 
          there variable angle can still help you get extra shots on occasion. 
          It's best placed where enemies pass in front of them if for no other 
          reason than to allow the Ghost Laser to get the placement that's 
          better for them.

                    Basic damage increase so good against strong enemies, but 
                    since it also has splash damage it will increase the damage 
                    done to weak enemies at the edge of the blast radius where 
                    they might not have been killed in one hit before. This may 
                    also increase the size blast radius or it may just seem 
                    that way because of the increased damage at the edge.

                    The Berserker already has very short firing range, so 
                    doubling almost nothing is still almost nothing. The real 
                    use of this is that it increases the blast radius of the 
                    missiles. It's quite an increase actually. I've been 
                    surprised how far away weak enemies pop into a shower of 
                    energy when a Berserker targets a much closer enemy. So 
                    it's very useful for attacking swarms of weak enemies.

                    It was very slow, now it's less slow. Not much else to say. 
                    Makes them better but doesn't change your strategy.

          Gatling Gun <200>
          Fires rapid low damage shots and has a very wide firing arc, so they 
          are great for whittling down enemies with constant damage. Best 
          placed on an outside corner where it can fire on something while it 
          moves throughout it's firing arc. It's good to pair other slow firing 
          or restricted range weapons with a Gatling Gun. While your Ghost 
          Lasers or Berserkers can get a good but sometimes non-fatal hit on 
          something they likely don't have the time to get in a second hit in 
          due to thier recharge time. The Gatling Gun however is always firing 
          on something that's in range, so it's a reliable source of damage, 
          with the exception of solar flare levels. Solar Flares will shut down 
          all your Gatling Guns for a few waves, so it's best not to use them 
          at all in those levels

                    Great increase in damage, not much else to say.

                    This makes an already large firing arc huge. With this the 
                    Gatling Gun will rarely be idle.

                    Better than the power bonus from what I've seen. In the 
                    same situation I've seen speed kill more enemies than 
                    power, possibly due to overkill in the final hit on an 
                    enemy wasting damage while faster firing likely does the 
                    same damage, but nothing is lost on overkill. It's rare for 
                    the right situation to occur where it will make a 
                    difference, so don't hesitate to use power if you want to 
                    upgrade a Gatling Gun's damage output if it's available, 
                    but if you have the option like with the rotating power up, 
                    go for speed.


          Mag Ray <200> (1)
          There's an important factor to consider when using Mag Rays. Their 
          targeting beam rotates clockwise, so the direction the enemy wave is 
          moving in can determine how well the Mag Ray works. If the enemy is 
          moving in the same direction, depending on the speed, it might not 
          catch a single enemy but if it does when the it releases the enemy, 
          the Mag Ray might grab it again and hold it indefinitely. The other 
          possibility is the beam and enemy are moving towards each other, in 
          which case it is certain to catch something, but when released they 
          more in opposite directions so it will not catch the same enemy 
          twice. Although if the other enemy units don't more fast enough to 
          pass the trapped one then you'll likely trap each one once and slow 
          down the whole wave. This is best used against high strength single 
          enemies or very small groups. Holding one out of twenty enemies in a 
          wave likely won't tip the scales in your favor. You should probably 
          only place the Mag Ray where there's empty space on at least two 
          sides, otherwise the beam will spend a more than half it's time 
          scanning the interior of your ship.

                    Allows the Mag Ray to hold two enemies at the same time. 
                    While it's twice as effective, it's still doesn't make it 
                    good against swarms.

                    Simply increases range. Since the Mag Ray is installed in 
                    the interior of your ship rather than on the edge some of 
                    it's range is wasted scanning where no enemies can be. This 
                    gives you more open space to target. Range bonus is almost 
                    necessary to get the most out of your Mag Ray.

                    The scanner spins faster making it easier to catch enemies, 
                    but the range is still the critical issue with Mag Rays

          Mine Launcher <250> (2)
          The Mine Launcher drops four mines a short distance in front of it. 
          They disappear after a short time, but it takes slightly longer than 
          it takes for it to recharge, so for about three seconds you will have 
          eight mines in place. The fact that a mine hit will decloak a stealth 
          enemy allowing for conventional weapons to hit them may be it's most 
          important feature. The first enemy in the wave will plow through the 
          minefield and take most of the damage and be decloaked. Since it 
          doesn't wait for an enemy to fire you can't be sure when in a wave it 
          will fire new mines, so don't rely on mines to handle all your 
          stealth enemies. Keep in mind that the decloaking effect lasts for 
          about 8 seconds, and you can't decloak an enemy again until it's 
          cloak is fully restored. This means if an enemy gets hit with a mine 
          and decloaks and gets hit with another mine 7 seconds later it will 
          still recloak one second later. So if you want to use it to decloak 
          strong enemies to be fired on by conventional weapons you have to 
          watch your spacing of Mine Launchers and the speed of your target. 
          Against weaker enemies you can have them closer together because they 
          will likely be destroyed by the mines themselves before you benefit 
          from the decloaking effect. Remember that the Mine Launcher spreads 
          mines in a random pattern, which means not evenly. They may end up 
          all too far away or too close or some far and some close and none in 
          the middle and you're targets might slip between them. Nothing you 
          can do but have more launchers to increase your odds of having them 
          hit something.

                    With the unpredictable nature of mines I can't determine 
                    how much of an increase in damage the power upgrade gives. 
                    I just assume it works.

                    Not really much of a range increase at all. I actually 
                    throws out an extra mine increasing it from four to five. 
                    So it doesn't really cover a wider area, it just covers the 
                    area more thoroughly so there's less likelihood of there 
                    being empty space for enemies to pass through.

                    This is, in my opinion, clearly the best option for a Mine 
                    Launcher upgrade. I mentioned earlier the recharge rate 
                    causes an overlap of 3 seconds where you have double the 
                    active mines. With the Speed upgrade that increases to 7 
                    seconds, which actually leaves only two seconds when it 
                    doesn't have double mines. More mines active at the same 
                    time means more damage (like the damage upgrade) and less 
                    empty space for enemies to pass through (like the range 
                    upgrade). So this is really the best of all options.

          Starport <330> (2)
          The Starport launches three small fighters that fire small quick 
          shots similar to the Gattling Gun and follow a target for a set 
          amount of time. The fighters can follow their target outside of the 
          "firing" range of the Starbase itself. Its range is just for 
          launching fighters, they can operate outside of that range 
          afterwards. When there target is destroyed they will begin attacking 
          another nearby target. Again, this is independent of the Starbase's 
          launch range. This makes the Starbase best used against fast moving 
          enemies. While other weapons get more shots when an enemy stays in 
          it's firing arc long enough to recharge, the Starbase will do a 
          consistent amount of damage regardless of how fast or on what path 
          the enemy flies. Solar Flares will shut down all your Starports for a 
          few waves, so it's best not to use them at all in those levels.

                    Appears to be a standard damage increase.

                    As I've mentioned several times, the Starport's fighters 
                    can fly outside of the Starport's firing range, making 
                    range less important for it. The range upgrade can however 
                    be used to get a second attack against a large wave by 
                    launching earlier and having time to return and refuel and 
                    launch again against the enemies at the end of a wave. They 
                    will likely still have to be moving slowly for this to 

                    This isn't really a speed increase at all. Instead it 
                    increases the flight time of the fighters, allowing them to 
                    get in more shots before returning to base.


          Storm Gun <350> (3)
          The Storm Gun does not do a lot of damage to any individual target, 
          however it does hit so many targets at once that it adds up quickly. 
          The Storm Gun has two targeting radii. An enemy has to enter the 
          inner radius for it to fire. Afterwards the attack will continue to 
          cascade over all enemies that are within that or the second targeting 
          radius. So obviously the more open area it covers the more potential 
          targets it can hit. Solar Flares will shut down all your Storm Guns 
          for a few waves, so it's best not to use them at all in those levels.

                    Standard damage increase, and with the small individual 
                    damage there's no danger of overkill.

                    Increases both firing range and cascade damage range, and 
                    this weapon more than any other benefits from having more 
                    targets available.

                    A faster recharge rate. Doesn't really affect your strategy 
                    for using the Storm Gun.

          Gravigun <400> (3)
          Fires at an enemy (stealth included) and creates at that point a wide 
          circular field. While in that field enemies take constant damage. The 
          in game description implies it slows down enemies but the way it 
          works it seems to stall them near the center of the field and then 
          they quickly rejoin the place where they would have been on the path 
          had they not been caught. So no practical slowdown effect I can see.

                    Standard power increase.

                    Increases the firing range but also the size of the 
                    singularity it creates.

                    Fires faster. No other noticeable effect.


          Y-Bomb (2)
          Can be placed anywhere and explodes shortly after, so make sure you 
          place it ahead of your target. If an enemy escapes all your weapons 
          and you can't place anymore in it's path this may be the only option 
          left. Crystals are a limited resource so don't use it often. Although 
          if you already have all the weapons you need unlocked then there's no 
          reason not to use it. 

          E-Boost (1)
          This should be the first thing you use crystals for in any mission. 
          It will increase the energy bonus (interest) from each wave from 5% 
          to 10% then 20%. This can be a big bonus over the course of the 
          mission so the sooner you get it up the better. And if you need more 

          Power Crystals <200, 300, 400, 500>
          You don't really need to unlock every weapon on every mission so you 
          shouldn't often be short on crystals, but when going for perfect 
          missions then sometimes you can't wait. Especially if you used 
          E-Boost (which you should) because then it would be the sixth wave 
          before you unlock a science weapon. Buy getting to a 20% bonus early 
          you can earn enough extra energy to buy a power crystal to replace 
          the ones you used to get to 20%, unless you need new weapons really 
          early. Basically I'm saying use you own judgement.


I'll get to them next

This is the end of the file. You ain't got to go home, but you can't stay