FAQ/Walkthrough by Polaris

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 06/30/01 | Printable Version

Version 1.0
by Polaris

Disclaimer       A.1
Overview         A.2
Acknowledgements A.3
How to Play      B.1
Equipment        B.2
Enemies          B.3
Strategies       B.4
Bosses           B.5
Secrets & Misc.  B.6

A.1 Disclaimer
 This FAQ has been written by Chad Davidson (aka Polaris) and is current
through 6-29-01. It may only be used by GameFAQs without my consent. For all
other purposes, you must first contact me at chad_davidson@mail.utexas.edu. You
may ONLY use this FAQ for the purposes of improving your skill at Smash TV on
the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. No other purpose is condoned or
allowed. You may not edit, distribute, or take credit for this FAQ. However, if
something is incorrect, please inform me directly. All information sent to me
about this FAQ must have "FAQ: Smash TV" in the subject line or you may not
receive credit for your contribution. Typographical errors will not be changed.
By reading, implementing, or opening the information in this FAQ, you
acknowledge that you have read this disclaimer and will abide by its rules.

A.2 Overview
 Smash TV can be a very rewarding and challenging game. The short in-game intro
tells you all you need to know about the premise of the game: kill, kill, kill.
Your contestant competes for cash and prizes with nothing more than a machine
gun and the graces of rocket launchers, mortars, and assorted other goodies. If
I digress and start calling this game Population Control, please bear with me.
 This FAQ is not a walkthrough. There are only 3 levels and they are not
confusing. This guide gives strategies and tips that should hone your skills so
you can take any path and still win. Granted this is a challenging game, but
you have shown the wisdom to seek help and I have great confidence in your
skills as a game show contestant. I would say "Good luck," but you don't need
it if you're reading this.

A.3 Acknowledgements
-Beam Software wrote this game.
There are currently no other acknowledgements.

B.1 How to Play
 The controls of Smash TV are surprisingly simple but also surprisingly
difficult to master. The direction pad moves your character and the A, B, X, Y
buttons shoot in the four cardinal directions. B shoots down, A to the right, Y
to the left and X shoots up; just as if these buttons were a direction pad for
your gun. You can move in 8 directions with the direction pad (combine up with
left and the contestant will move up and left, etc.) and also shoot 8
directions (combine A with B to shoot to the bottom right of the screen, etc.).
It sounds simple but this is the most difficult part for novices.
 The best way to learn the buttons is to play easy difficulty. Just stay in a
corner and try shooting the 3 directions that enemies can reach you from. This
cuts the controls down to only a few buttons. Later I will refer to this
strategy as "Corner Turtling."
 EXAMPLE: If you are in the top left corner, you will only need to shoot down
and to the right. So you will only have to use the direction pad and the A and
B buttons. You can also shoot in the diagonal of A+B.
 After each room, try to get in a different corner so you eventually force
yourself to use all the buttons. Once you can get to Mutoid Man without using a
Continue, you probably know the controls well enough to start playing Normal.

 So, now you're pretty good. You've beaten Easy and know the controls. You're
probably wondering, "Why in the world did this guy say to play on easy? It's
just the same as normal and hard except it ends on the first level!" Well,
that's true, but didn't you feel like you had accomplished something after you
beat the game? And actually, in easy you get a little extra ammo / time for
special weapons and on hard you get a little less. It's barely noticeable, but
it's there. Anyway, that's the basics on how to play, let's get into a little
more complex stuff now.

B.2 The Equipment
 Now what kind of violent massacre game doesn't give you lots of extra bonuses
to help you kill faster? Certainly, this game has plenty of extras. Let's take
a look at them. I will describe the items like this:

  [Relative usefulness, 1-4, higher is better] [Name] ([Item appearance])
  [What it does and an assessment of why it is or is not useful]

1 Shotgun (green grenade on an orange surface)
 Sprays several short range shells in about a 120 degree arc in front of you.
It's the fastest firing weapon in the game, but the limited range makes it very
weak. It fires somewhat erratically and will not always cover right next to
you, but it will cover in front of you. Use mainly as a boss killer.

3 Three Way Shot (6 white dots on a blue surface)
 Fires as fast as your regular gun, but shoots 3 shots and they move very
quickly. 1 moves like a normal shot, and the other 2 move off at about 30
degree angles. Effective against all crowds and also against tough units if you
get close to them.

3 Missile (black and white rocket on a blue surface)
 Just like your normal gun except when it hits an object it keeps going. It
destroys tough units in one hit. Excellent for clearing crowds or eliminating

1 Mortar (yellow ball on a red surface)
 These only appear in boss rooms because they would be detrimental outside
them. It fires grenades in the air and they drop to the ground a ways away from
the contestant. These only damage objects where they land; nowhere in between
where they were launched and where they land is damaged! This doesn't really
help any unless you can't hit the boss without a special weapon. It does as
much damage as the rocket launcher but is hard to hit with, except on Mutoid
Man. It does, however, ricochet off walls so you can alter its distance a
little by shooting at the wall instead of your target. If you finish the level
with this weapon I think it turns into a rocket launcher.

3 Barrier (orange circle on a yellow surface)
 This item grants invulnerability for about 8 seconds. When the barrier turns
red, it is about to disappear. Every time you die you get one of these free.
Whenever you have one of these, you should usually shoot in the opposite
direction of your motion, and walk towards a door.

2 Cutter Blades (yellow thing on blue surface)
 Rotates around the contestant in a wide circle protecting both him and his
rolling ball if he has one. Drawbacks include not being able to wall strafe and
not protecting against bullets. It's very safe while it lasts but against metal
enemies or Mr. Shrapnels it has greatly reduced utility.

3 Crush (yellow cannon on a red surface)
 Destroys all enemies, shots, and lasers on the screen. Too bad it doesn't
destroy mines.

4 Rolling Ball (blue-gray ball on a green surface)
 A little orb rotates around the contestant and acts as a secondary gun. If he
possesses a special weapon, the orb also uses the weapon and also drains the
ammo. It is destroyed on contact with an enemy except against bullets and Mr.
Shrapnel explosions, the latter of which it will destroy. Combined with a 3-Way
shot its a like a temporary Crush item!

4 Speed Up (white boot on a green surface)
 Makes the contestant walk about a third to a half faster. Lasts on a duration
of about a minute. Probably the best upgrade you can get.

4 1-UP (face with a black hat on a green surface)
 Adds an extra life! These are worth dying for because when you come back you
will have a barrier.

2 Regular gun (not really an item, sorry)
 I just put this in here so you could compare it with the other weapons. It
shoots in a straight line and is pretty basic. You can't hurt Mutoid Man with
this. Note that it beats out the shotgun and the mortar. (Really those weapons
are better, but only for special tasks. This one is just more all-purpose)

B.3 Enemies
NOTE: This is not a complete listing!
Enemies will be listed as follows:

  <[Name]> <[Type]>

The types are:
  <stock> for enemies that spawn in large quantities and have either no attack
or a short range attack;
  <machine> for enemies that take more than one hit; and
  <attacker> for enemies that have ranged attacks such as bullets or lasers,
all attackers are assumed to be machines;
  <caterpillar> for enemies that spawn in finite groups and are typically
linked together, all caterpillars are assumed to be machines.

<Green Cyborg> <stock>
 These are the stock units of Smash TV. The charge at you with a slight
variation in direction. NOTE: In level 3, there are some sped up versions of
these that move faster than the Purple Cyborgs.

<Purple Cyborg> <stock>
 Just like the Green Cyborgs except faster. Think of them as though they have
an automatic speed upgrade.

<Mr. Shrapnel> <machine>
 He will usually circle the walls very slowly. All cutter blades that touch him
are destroyed and only do 1 damage. After a time limit he will explode into 8
shrapnel shards.

<Turret> <attacker>
 These only appear in the first level. They are occasionally on the top wall of
a room and 2 of them are also mounted on Mutoid Man's treads. They are
basically immobile tanks that take many more hits (3 missiles).

<Tank> <attacker>
 These spawn individually and will shoot several bursts of shots in many
different directions.

<Orbitters> <machine>
 Although it only takes one hit to kill these, there are about 15 tiny red
balls that orbit around a quadruple lighter colored ball. Hit the large one in
the center to disband all the others but until they explode they can still
hurt. Not much of a threat unless they get close to you, and then you had
better hope you have a shotgun!

<Laser Orb> <attacker>
 EXTREMELY DEADLY! Corner turtling is the only effective strategy against
these. They bounce off walls and shoot lasers either up-down, or left-right.
The actual kill zone on horizontal lasers is slightly higher than what is
dispayed on screen. The first time you hit one of these, it will receive
significant negative momentum and a second shot will destroy it.

<Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green Space Invaders> <stock>
 Basically like the cyborgs but they have a circular motion towards you so they
are a little harder to hit. They also have a special death animation if you
kill them without an explosive weapon.

<Standard Caterpillars> <caterpillar>
 These are green with a black center and usually come in groups of about 8
connected together. Sometimes these will be separated. Missiles are the best
weapons against these.

<Standard Caterpillar, Variation> <caterpillar>
 The only difference between this one and the standard one is the color scheme
is purple and red for the variation and they will never be banded together.

<Buffalo Bots> <stock>
 These little red robots move in slightly larger circles than the Space
Invaders and move slightly faster but spawn much faster. They are the hardest
enemies in the game. Barriers and 3-Way Shots help a lot.

<Brown Snake Man> <stock>
 Just like the Green Cyborg except when he gets close his club has a little
larger attack area.

<Purple Snake Man> <stock>
 Just like the good qualities of the Purple Cyborgs and the Brown Snake Men
combined. Still not too good, though.

<Snakes> <stock>
 These come from the mouths of statues at the tops of some screens in level 3.
They are only slight nuisances and keep you from wall strafing as effectively.

<Upgraded Caterpillars> <caterpillar>
 These come in groups of four and are purple balls. You can break these up by
shooting individual pieces away from the main body. Their momentum is much more
changed by your shots too. These can be tricky, but shouldn't be too hard.

B.4 Strategies
The heart and soul of this FAQ. I have found basically 3 strategies that work.
If you find another one, please post it on the Smasth TV message board at
GameFAQS, do not email me.

-Corner Turtling-
Overview: The easiest strategy to execute. You just stand in a corner and shoot
the 3 directions that you can be attacked from just like when you were learning
the controls (see B.1). This is probably the safest strategy, but you get the
least items.
Pros: Easy to use, relatively safe, works in most cases
Cons: Can't pick up many items, not flexible at all, harder to dodge bullets,
and of course it's less exciting :)

-Wall Strafing-
Overview: Basically, you go in a circle around the room always shooting towards
the center or right in front of you. Whenever you reach a door, you should veer
towards the center of the room and as you pass the door, go towards the corner.
This is a little hard to explain so let me draw a diagram.

|                |  Where   '''       '''    room and the square around
|  '''      '''  |         '   '''''''   '   the path is the walls and
| '   ''''''   ' |          '           '    doors of the room
>  '          '  <          '           '
>  '          '  <         '   '''''''   '
| '   ''''''   ' |          '''       '''
|  '''      '''  |         is the path you
|______^^^^______|         take around the

This is a little more difficult to execute than Corner Turtling and is a lot
less safe. However, there are only 2 creatures that prevent you from wall
strafing and those are snakes and Mr. Shrapnels (NOTE: Mr. Shrapnels are
everywhere). This is also the best strategy for switching sides of the room,
and especially swapping corners. This is mainly an auxillary tactic that you
should use in conjunction with one of the other two strategies. The only reason
you should use this one by itself is during the noveau that "I don't have to
corner turtle to survive!" One final note: it's important that you never stop
moving while using this strategy. You should continuously either be going
clockwise or counter-clockwise, depending on which direction you started with.
A variation on this strategy which is a tie in to the next strategy is to also
consider enemies as "walls." Your path around the room will constantly change
as the enemies move around, but the basic principle of circling the room
remains. This is a much safer version of wall strafing, but harder to practice
because you have to account for how much the enemies will have moved by the
time you get to them. The walls dynamically move in relation to you, so you
generally move closer and closer to the center of the room with this variation.
If you use this strategy and still can get to the walls, it is probably the
best strategy you can use.
Pros: great backup strategy that usually succeeds when the other two fail,
crosses corners and sides very well, picks up several items
Cons: very unsafe, harder to execute than corner turtling

-The Insane Maniac-
Overview: The fun strategy! I honestly think this is how Beam Software meant
for you to play the game. Here it is:
Run around the room trying to put as much distance as possible between you and
the crowd.  You really need a lot of skill to play this way, but it is highly
effective and gives you the greatest thrill. This is very similar to the
variation on wall strafing, minus the circling of the room. This strategy works
best on stock enemies, even better than corner turtling because you get all the
items you want. Whenever you see an item you want that is in the crowd's path,
try to lure the crowd away from it so you can pick it up. An extra goody to
throw in this strategy is zig-zagging while shooting one direction (usually
perpendicular to your zig-zag) so you can decimate one direction of the enemies
leaving the other 3 direction in full force. It sounds bad, but it makes an
escape route when you're pinned. The only time this strategy does not work is
on buffalo bots.
In practice, I have found that usually I will shoot perpendicular to the
direction of my motion and will make many quarter cuts. A quarter cut is
basically this: if you divide the screen into 4 quadrants like a graph, you
move along one axis until you reach another and then you move along that axis.
For those of you not mathematically inclined, this is a "cross strafe," which
is basically the inverse of a wall strafe. Instead of strafing the wall, you
strafe the center of the room; strafing in the shape of a cross. You move out
from the wall near where a door is towards the center of the room, then cut
across the room moving parallel to that door. This breaks up crowds or allows
you to move through the center of them. A lot of times you will tempt fate with
this strategy, but after you get used to it, you will find the bugs in the
cyborg's and snakemen's attacks where they don't always hit you.
If all else fails when trying to implement this strategy, just imagine your
character has rabies and play from there.
Pros: can get almost every item you want, with the fewest "strategy breakers"
Cons: most difficult to play, may seem somewhat suicidal at times

-Mix your strategies-
Some enemies are weaker against certain strategies, while some combinations of
enemies may require you to switch between two strategies. This is a basic list
of which strategy usually works well against each enemy, assuming its the only
enemy in the room. (* means definitely the best strategy against this enemy)

-Corner Turtling-
  Cyborgs & Snakemen
  Mr. Shrapnel
* Laser Orbs
  Space Invaders
  Buffalo Bots

-Wall Strafing-
  Cyborgs & Snakemen
  Laser Orbs
  Space Invaders
  Standard Caterpillars

-Insance Maniac-
  Cyborgs & Snakemen
* Mr. Shrapnel
  Space Invaders
* Standard Caterpillars
* Upgraded Caterpillars

B.5 Bosses
Mutoid Man- This is the boss of the first level, and appropriately, he is the
easiest. However, without special weapons, all you can do is destroy the
turrets on his treads. Basically just pick up all the items that appear and try
and shoot him. The safest place is from his back and to a side shooting
diagonally downward so his eye lasers can't hit you and he can't ram you
either. Whenever you get in front of or beside him, try and manipulate the
distance between you and him (ie. zig-zag) so his eye lasers will be more
innaccurate. The phases you blow up are right arm, left arm, chest, head, body,
then death. There's not too much strategy to this guy, you just have to shoot

Scarface- This is the hardest boss in the game. He shoots messes of bullets at
you and charges with zealous ferver. You have to destroy all his exterior
plates, and then get a mortar and blow up his face. Twice. Let me explain it
step by step:
Phase One: Scarface appears in the lower right corner of the room. Scramble to
the opposite corner and CONSTANTLY keep your gun on him. Each shot adds a
negative momentum to his speed. However, without the rolling ball or 3-Way
Shot, you cannot completely counteract his motion. Wall Strafing works pretty
well. When he shoots at you, there is usually a way you can dodge, but not
always when he charges. Shotgun and Mortar upgrades give you a barrier when you
pick them up, so always get them when you see them. The hardest part is getting
the mortar to hit him. You need about 2/3 the screen distance between you and
Scarface to hit him because he will charge you during the time between your
first shot and when it lands. If you hit him once, you can keep him locked in
place in a corner until you run out of ammo or he shoots you. Shooting against
the wall to shorten the distance of your mortar shells is another helpful
tactic. After about 2 or 3 lives, you should have done enough damage to make
him explode.
Phase Two: Now he's even harder. He shoots 2 fast shots from his eyes that
bounce off the walls and are difficult to dodge. Also, his exterior plates are
harder to hit due to a bug in their orientation, but there are only about 7
this time. Basically its the same strategy as above, except now he's much
faster and your shots push him back less.

Twin Corbas- Two cobra heads will shoot lasers and spinning blades at you in a
feeble attempt to kill you. They also have head swing attacks which are much
like Scarface's charge except they go in arcs around the rooms instead of
straight lines directly at you. Stay at the very bottom of the room towards the
center and you should be pretty safe. Whenever one of the heads swings at you,
move in the opposite direction and shoot at it to knock it back. Even though
you only slow them down by a tiny bit, it's usually enough to save you. When
both of them make a headswing or one swings at you and the other shoots a
laser, there's not much you can do. If luck is with you, charge the space
between the two heads and hopefully neither swinging head will hit you on the
back drop. Shotguns are the most effective weapon against this boss, but they
are also the least safe, so you should probably only use these when you get a
barrier. If you get a shotgun, get directly under or beside one of the heads
and unload all your ammo! After dealing significant potions of punishment, they
should eventually die. The next two rooms are full of enemies, though, so don't
celebrate too much when you win.

!Secret Boss! The Evil M.C.- You will meet him in the last room behind the 3rd
level. He is exactly like Mutoid Man except with different graphics. See the
advice for Mutoid Man if you are having trouble with him.

B.6 Secrets & Miscellaneous
When you collect the 5 secret "?" items, you will activate turbo mode where the
game runs about twice as fast and you get 7 continues with 8 lives each instead
of 4 continues with 5 lives each.

-Studio (Lv1) Secret Item: In the first room you are given a choice of where to
go, go down even though you will miss the bonus room. 2 rooms later, it will
tell you the only exit from the room is up. However, you can exit on the right
side of the room. When you collect all the prizes and the ? item, exit on the
right to go to Mutoid Man. The other two exits put you back in the level.
-Mechanical Arena (Lv2) Secret Item: Each time you finish a room, always go
down, and if that is not available, then go right. When you reach the bottom
right corner, the only exit will seem to be up. Again, go out the right side of
the room and when you pick up the ? item, exit on the right again.
-Temple (Lv3) Secret Item: Again, make your way to the bottom right corner and
exit on the right instead of up. When you pick up the ? item, exit on the right
yet again. In case you hadn't noticed, all three secret items were in a false
exit on the bottom right corner of the level.
-To find the 4th secret item, you need to collect 10 keys, 1 of which you
ABSOLUTELY MUST get the room after you kill Cobra Death. This will unlock the
Pleasure Dome which is the south exit from the room "You have enough keys!"
-You will receive the 5th secret item after you kill the evil M.C. If you got
all 5, then you will graduate to Turbo Mode.
-Special Trick! If you activate Turbo Mode and then reset the game, you will
play at normal speed with all the extra lives of Turbo Mode!

-Silly challenge #1: See if you can get to Mutoid Man without pressing the fire
button. That's right, all you can attack with is barriers, crushes, and cutter
-Silly challenge #2: For an easier challenge, try using only special weapons.
That means no plain gun! See how far you can get!