Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 13:37:22 PDT ______ _____ .*''*. TM | |\ / | .*'*'*'*'*'*. |_ | / _| *'*'*'*'*'*'*'*. / |/ | __________ _________ __________*'**'**'**'**'**'* / || | | / | |** ******* / || __ | |/__ _|_ _|* ******* / | | [__+--'--| |--' / | | | ******* / | | | | | / | | | ******* / /| /| | | __| | | / /| | | | +**+**+ __/ / | /_| |_| [__+--. _| |__/ /_| |_| |__--. +*+*+*+ / / | / | | | | | / | | +*+*+*+ /______/ |___/ |______|__________| |_____|___/________|_________|*++*++* _________ _____ _____ _____ _________ +++++++ ,' || | | || | ,' | +++++++ / _____ ||_ _| |_ _||_ _|/ | +++++++ | `-_ ---' | | | | | | | ,----___| +++++++ \_ `-_ | | | | | | | |-------. #++#++# `-_ `- | | | | | | | | | #+#+#+#+ `-_ \ | | | | | | | |____ | +#+#+#+#+#+#+#+#+#+# .---____=. || |__---.| '--' | | `---' | ##+##+##+##+##+##+## | /| |\ / \ | #################### |_________,' |__________| `-______-' `-_________| #################### _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _____ |_ | ||_||_ |_| | ||_ |_||| | |_ | || | | / | | _||_|| |_ | \ V |_ | |||_ |_ |_ |_||_| | / _|_|_ This FAQ (c) Nahum Reduta 1998 Metal Slug, Neo-Geo, and all other applicable trademarks are (c) SNK 1998 V 2.0 Metal Slug 2 2 Players - Side-Scrolling Action Send all questions, comments, and corrections to email@example.com (include "Metal Slug 2" in the subject) If you paid someone to get this FAQ, you got shafted! Everyone else is getting it free. Learn all the secrets, share it with your friends, but don't be a dick about it! At least take the chance to notify me if you plan on posting it on your www.what.ever. It's nice to know that so many people are enjoying one of a waning breed of games. >TABLE OF CONTENTS Title Disclaimer Table of Contents Enemies soldiers vehicles Weapons firearms vehicles Walkthrough by mission High Scoring Tips Parting Thoughts >ENEMIES Most soldiers take only one shot to kill. Certain enemies can be taken care of by different means described below: -Arabian Swordsmen (Mission 1) <> Will try to approach and attack with sword. Some will throw swords in a small arc.  You will generally be fast enough to knife them, but firearms work just as well. -Imperial Guards (Mission 1) <> Rush at you, swinging swords when in range.  Use firearms, bombs thrown low if there are too many. They take about 3-4 pistol hits. For some reason, they leave behind lots of meat (300 pt.). -Bats (look carefully for them in Mission 2) <> Either busy pestering miners, or carrying "mummy juice". Some will also hide in treasure chests.  Shoot single ones. Close attacks work well on groups. -Mummies (Mission 2) <> Pop out of sandy places or "mummy rooms." Breath attack will turn you or bystanders undead.  While ducking, close attacks or firearms work well. Bomb the vaults if you need the items behind them. Try to keep downhill of mummies as breath attack hits high. Take 10-15 pistol hits, but easy kills. -Special mummies (Mission 2) <> Whiter in appearance. Spit rolling bombs that have the same effect as a breath attack.  Take more pistol shots to kill (20-25). DON'T forget about their bombs. -Bazooka Grunts (Also appear on Mission 1's boss) <> Shoot bazooka shells at a wide variety of angles, and high or low. Will try to position themselves for clear hits. Some will parachute in. Groups of two or more will try to mix up their shots.  In earlier levels, not all parachuters will shoot at you! If they don't take a shot within two seconds of appearing, knife them! -Grenade Grunts <> Throw grenades in a small variety of arcs.  Too easy to knife. Shoot if annoyed. Later on, these grunts will also throw small rockets, roll bombs, and use knives. -Shield Grunts <> Probably the most improved enemy in MS2. Their shields absorb bullets and sometimes knife attacks and bomb blasts. They can block up or down if quick enough. Will fire three pistol shots (high) when far or draw a sword up close. They usually protect other units.  Use care when knifing; they may get the first hit. They cannot block rockets, flame shots, or shotgun blasts. Bombs have to hit them from above to kill them. -Mortar Grunts <> Fire mortar cannons from protected areas.  Use bombs or downward fire. Avoid mortars. -Sniper Grunts <> Offensive ones will run ahead and fire (high). Defensive ones hide behind obstacles, wait for a clearing of fire, and take their shot. They use single-action rifles (that means one shot per cock).  Duck shots and fire. Defensive ones can be taken out by pistols, distracted with other arms fire until you can knife them, shot with downward sprays, or bombed. Be careful when clearing the sandbags in front of them. Their shots are now free to travel as are yours. -Rocket Grunts <> Throw small rockets, usually from a sheltered position.  Rockets will travel upwards slightly when hit with weapons. If their rockets won't hit you when left alone, shoot in between rocket throws. Their rockets cannot be destroyed. -Bowling Grunts <> Roll bombs  Their rolling bombs are one of the hardest obstacles in the game. Don't allow them to roll more than one. It's hard to land safely in between them. Rolling bombs cannot be destroyed, and absorb shots while thrown. -Knife Grunts <> Actually, any weapon throwing grunt carries a knife. They will use them when up close. Some will also make a leaping attack.  Standing knifers can be beaten to the slice if you try to do so. But firearms are safer to use in their presence. Jumpers have priority in the air. Run underneath them and shoot them from behind. Standing bomb throws also hit them. If you are shooting from a crouch, knifers that try to hit you from behind will catch bullets first, leaving you safe to continue firing. -Mutants (Mission 5) <> Jump up and down from ceiling, floor, or wall, crawling on either. Ones that have turned red can kill you with a self-destruct attack.  Kill floor crawlers with low fire, careful close attacks, or bombs. Kill ceiling or wall crawlers with upward fire or bombs. If you are in the Metal Slug, shoot or shell whatever you can, but escape whenever they get too close. Most vehicles appear from Mission 3 on. The wheeled vehicles have a nasty little habit of running you over if you get too close. Obviously, vehicles take more than one hit to destroy (approximations given in pistol rounds, increasing by mission): -Minicopter (appearance in Mission 1): 25 shots <> Appears either separately or in chains, firing three bullet salvos or one at a time. Only the red leader in chains will fire.  If low enough, two or three bombs will make short work of them. Otherwise, shoot high. Destroying the red leader first not only takes out the rest of the chain (reaction), but also coughs up major bonus points (150,000 for the entire group)! -Missile Launcher (appearance in Mission 1): 30-45 shots <> It fires about four missiles, each arcing down after traveling 1/3 screen.  Shoot from a distance or while ducking up close. The missiles can be destroyed with five shots. -Motorcycle (Mission 3 only): 5 shots <> Carries a Grunt in the sidecar.  You should worry more about what the Grunt is going to do. The motorcycler doesn't do anything but drive (into your bullets). -Tall Tank: 30-40 shots <> Fires rolling shells.  BIG target. Avoid the rolling shells. Sometimes, grunts will climb on top to attack you. Many of the shorter tanks can be jumped onto. Your character will automatically jump whenever on top of a tank. You can still maneuver left/right during these hops or hold jump to hop higher. -Stout Tank (beige): 25-45 shots <> Rolls around, stops, and fires straight cannon blasts (high). When damaged, the driver pops out, launches rockets, and escapes.  Duck and fire. When it has stopped moving, you can stand right in front of it and shoot at it without getting hit. Either way, play it safe. Shoot or knife the driver. -Hydrofoil (Mission 3 only): 35 shots <> Fires two missiles at a time.  Whether the driver is alive or not, it will still fire at you. Don't stop firing until the vehicle is destroyed. The missiles take 4-5 pistol shots each. -Armored Rocket Launcher (Mission 3 only): 50-60 shots <> Fires a very slow but nimble rocket.  STAY AWAY FROM THE POINTY END! The best way to kill these is still a single bomb. The operator may jump out to knife you. -Airplane (Mission 3 only): 30 shots <> Fires a missile.  Easy to bomb (plane or missile). After firing their single missile, they fly away. -Blackhawk Helicopter (Mission 4 only): 50-60 shots <> Drops volleys of bombs or fires fast missiles.  Keep up a fire on the chopper, dodging the bombs. Throw bombs when it drops down to fire missiles. -Jeep: 25-30 shots <> Fires rockets from its bay, and tries to run you over.  Shoot from a distance. A single bomb will destroy the missile bay. -Small Tank (black/green): 30-45 shots <> Rolls around, aims, and fires 3-5 shells. Repeats  "Tease" it by making it fire in one direction and cutting around to a safer spot to get some free hits. Lowest fired shells start high then fall. Duck up close, or stay away. -Long Tank (tan) (Mission 4 only): 50-60 shots <> Fires a single "teardrop" shell.  Two words: sitting duck. (If their slow-moving shell hits you, walk away from the machine and play some other game. You don't deserve to be a tank buster.) Eri: "So what do I get to shoot them with?" >WEAPONS - Knife, SI: Actually, only the guys have this gut-busting staple. The ladies use a hatchet or a baton for close combat. Using this against enemy soldiers spares a considerable amount of ammo to use on vehicles. Shots cannot penetrate the ground or solid walls. =Firearms All firearms can be used against the enemy. Even a pistol, generously used, can destroy tanks, submarines, and airplanes. - Pistol, Standard Issue: This is one of your default weapons. Affectionately known as the "bean shooter" in some circles, this will sometimes be your only weapon against big, bad bosses (players with skills like the challenge this presents). Lucky for you, this may actually defeat a boss or two for you. You are equipped with infinite magazines, but don't have to reload them (though all characters have reload animations after twelve or more shots). All special arms are limited by a certain amount of ammunition, whether they are bullets, rockets, charges, or so on. Special arms can be fired in the same directions as the pistol (jump to fire downward). With the exception of the Laser Rifle and sometimes the Heavy Machine Gun, it doesn't seem to matter if you fire from a crouch or while standing. Firing from a crouch with these two weapons will hit crawling enemies more often. Try not to grab a weapon the minute it's available; each weapon has its strong points. The Shotgun is great against a pack of grunts, but a Heavy Machine Gun is safer to use against a widespread group of enemies. [H] Heavy Machine Gun: The most common power-up. Squeezing the trigger releases a spray of rapid fire, each bullet having roughly twice the power of pistol rounds. The [H] fires in diagonal sprays when the joystick is moved from one primary direction (up, down, left, right) to another. [R] Rocket Launcher: Fires two slightly homing rockets from its barrel. Like the bombs, you can only have two onscreen at a time. Its range is limited to a flared cone extending up to 45 degrees from the direction it was fired. Rockets are slightly less powerful than bombs. [F] Flame Shot: (improved) Fires a burst of flame roughly 2/3 screen. It has less horizontal range than it did in MS1, but looks more realistic this time around. Damage to vehicles depends on its exposure to the burst. A single, properly placed Flame Shot can take out a tank (the distance seems to be 2/3 tank length away). [L] Laser Rifle: (new) Fires a steady stream of coherent light. Aside from roughing up your hairdo, the [L] seems to be more powerful than the [H]. Unfortunately, it can only be fired in the primary directions. [S] Shotgun: Still the kickass weapon it was in MS1. Although its range is limited to 1/3 screen from the barrel tip, it packs enough heat to knock soldiers back about 100 feet, and makes short work of tanks. A single blast has the strength of 2-3 bombs. Use it sparingly. =Ordinance ]= Bomb, SI: You come equipped with 10 every Mission. Bombs are thrown at a slight arc. Upon impact with a target or after bouncing once, it explodes into a powerful plume of flame (hint: it hits high enemies with the blast). You can only throw two at a time onscreen while on foot, but can unleash your entire load while inside a vehicle. ]= Firebomb: (new) Found in Mission 2, impact with the ground creates a wall of flame about 2/3 screen. It takes off more than half the unlife out of mummies. [> Normal Shells: Turns A.P. shells into normal shells and adds 10 more. They have a slow trajectory, arching earthward after about 1/3 screen. They have the same flame plume as the regular bombs. [> A.P. Shells: (new) Turns normal shells into A.P. shells and adds 10 more. A.P. (added power?) shells travel at a faster trajectory, in a straight line while onscreen. Hence, they have a more forceful impact than normal shells. =Supplies [#] Ammo Crate: Adds ammunition to your special arm, if you're carrying one. They're worth either 150 [H] bullets, 150 [L] charges (if you ever find one), 20 rockets/shotgun shells/flame shots, or 1000 pt. [%] Ordinance Crate: Adds 10 ordinance devices to your current stock. On foot, you'll get bombs or firebombs. In vehicles, you'll get shells or missiles. [X] Gas Tank: Adds a unit of fuel to your vehicle. These three units represent the damage your vehicle can take (it won't take damage immediately after being hit, while it's flashing white). =Vehicles The other half of your weaponry. All vehicles, except the Camel Slug (which never gets hit) can take only three hits before going up to scrap heaven. Gas tanks increase the damage your vehicle can take. (A): Vulcan cannon All vehicles come equipped with a Vulcan cannon. It shoots rapid-fire shots in the direction of the cannon barrel. Having trouble pointing it where you need it? It rotates to whatever direction you're pointing the joystick (this may mean while you're moving). To fire at diagonals, tap the joystick slightly until the desired angle is reached. You can fire at two 45-degree diagonals while moving: high and forward/away, and low and forward/away. The Slug Flyer cannot shoot behind itself. (B): Jump Why not? Your vehicles outmatch any enemy vehicle for speed, ease of use, and power. Jumping can get you onto a tank's blindside, help you hit high targets, or clear some obstacles. Every vehicle except the Slug Flyer can jump (it has a quick take-off, resembling a jump). (C): Ordinance Except for the camel (BYOB), each vehicle is equipped with some kind of heavy ordinance. Cannons fire shells that have 4-5 times the power of bombs. Missiles have roughly the same effect. Down+(B): Escape/Eject Used primarily to get out of ruined vehicles (if you stay inside, your ass is fried). If you need to tag a hostage too high to reach, feel that you'll need bombs instead of cannon shells, or simply want to waste a tank with your shotgun, use the escape to do so. The escape is no longer the last-minute ditch it was in MS1 (if you couldn't avoid being hit by a stray missile, you could jump out to avoid damage to the Metal Slug). A few worthless frames of animation were added to the escape, which increase the chance that your vehicle will be hit when you don't want it to. To eject from the Slug Flyer, land it and press down+(B) Down+(C): Throw bombs Throw what bombs you need or have. The Slug Flyer needs to be landed. The Camel simply ducks while you throw bombs with down+(C). (A)+(B): Frontal Assault Don't use this unless you are simple, or are about to take that final grenade. You escape your vehicle, sending it on a crash course towards the enemy. This was only useful in Missions 4 and 5 of MS1, when there was more than one tank in the level. None of the missions have more than one vehicle, so don't bother. (Personally, this is one trick you could do without, since you can accidentally do it when you mean to fire and jump at the same time.) >WALKTHROUGH =Mission 1 -Deserts of Arabia You are sent to control a loyalist force suspected of building weapons of mass destruction. The tallest tree after the first building contains lots of fruit and three hidden POW's. To kill the camel rider, jump and pepper him with bullets. When he ducks down, he's preparing to fire a few pistol rounds. The fruit basket acts like an armor, absorbing some shots. If you can get close enough, a single knife hit will kill him also. Near the domed building, the commander will send a squad of Imperial Guards after you. Shoot them, and the wagon they bring with them. Eri: "Omigod! What about the baby?!" (Bomb blasts will send the baby flying >:D) Marco: "Don't worry, he's a tough lil' tyke." -Palaces Shoot towards the right of the red banner to release 2nd lieutenant Hyakutaro Ichimonji. This mystic POW has a cool energy bolt attack (Ha dou ken!) and a close jumping roundhouse kick. The bolts inflict at least five pistol shots of damage (gauged by Imperial Guard kills), and home in on anything you can shoot (this means structures as well; collateral damage!). They travel very fast, but have a long charge time. He'll help you until you finish the Mission or die, whichever first. -Rocket towers Shortly after finding Hyakutaro, the kiosks from the next building reveal three rocket batteries. Rescue the POW above and kill the onlooking Imperial Guards. Each of the batteries fires rockets that travel very wobbly paths. The rockets themselves take one shot to destroy. After taking about 35 bullets, each individual station will blow up, and the operators will fall to their respective deaths. -Marketplace You'll find the Camel Slug after the conversing Arabs and the cart. Eri: "What's with the camel?" Marco: "I did the best I could! HQ couldn't send out anything heavier." Tarma: "My ass; they just don't want a sunburn." } The camel comes equipped with a Vulcan. Pretty damned cool, I say. Tarma" "Whatever." However, the Camel Slug provides no cover against enemy fire. The camel itself won't take hits, but its rider will (remember the camel rider from earlier on?) (C) simply makes you throw a bomb, like normal. (A)+(B) Charging Camel. Wave bye while your camel runs away. Fio: "Where does he think he's going?" Like the Metal Slug, the Camel Slug can run over enemy soldiers (try to get the ones crawling on the ground!). Watching out for the grenade grunt, blast the wall to reveal a missile battery. Destroy it before it can fire its deadly arsenal. You'll pass by a couple of biochemical tanks, guarded by swordsmen. Don't forget the POW and the point bonus one of the swordsmen were carrying (sometimes, its a gem worth 30,000 pts). Later, you'll be assaulted by minicopters. Frustrated by repeated attempts to halt your progress, the commander will send his final weapon against you: -BOSS: Harrier VTOL (96) <> While hovering above, waves of swordsmen rush at you.  In between shots at the Harrier, take out the swordsmen before they get too close. If Hyakutaro is still with you, try to get him to take one side of the craft while you fire at the other. <> After about 100 shots, two bazooka grunts exit the top hatches and open fire. Meanwhile, the lift jets fire into overdrive. They'll try to trap you in their gauntlet of white-hot exhaust and bazooka shells.  Stay in between the jet exhausts. You will easily be tagged by afterburn or bazooka shells if you try attacking from its flank. Dodge shells by running side-to-side and jumping, keeping fire on the Harrier. (If you have less than 10 POW's, another one will walk carelessly into the firefight. For 60,000 pt., aim for the engines as much as possible. Keep firing at them until you are credited for the task (you'll see and get 10,000 pt. for the first wing and 50,000 for the second). It should take about 75 shots (the engines will catch fire by the 25th shot). For a really tactless to defeat the Harrier, simply jump and toss all the bombs you've collected during the level. The body of the plane is within jumping distance most of the time. If you throw them fast enough (get close to the plane), the bazooka grunts won't have time to come out. (This reminds me of Mission 1 of MS1, where you could simply throw all the bombs out of your tank, destroying the grounded Bomber before it could fire its main cannon.) Tasty cheese. When defeated, the Harrier crashes to the ground. At a loss, the Arabian commander surrenders. Mission 1 complete! =Mission 2 -Valley of the Pharaohs Intelligence has indicated that the enemy army is using a secret Egyptian site to house military machinery. Gear up! Use your pistol/shotgun to knock out an eye from the Sphinx (30,000 pts). Fio: "Hey, what has four legs, then two, then three?" Tarma: "Don't know... but I probably shot them all off yesterday. Hah!" If you still have the camel, give it a well-deserved rest at the riverbank. Without hitting the explosive barrel, kill the Imperial Guards that approach. Finished, you should be able to fire at the top right corner offscreen, releasing three POW's. (You need the Shotgun. Bombs and pistols won't reach them.) Fio: "What were those Imperial Guards trying to guard?" Marco: "They weren't doing a good job of it." -Excavation site You can shoot the bats near the top of the screen. Miner: "A gem for the lovely lady?" Eri: "Wow, thanks! It's so sparkly!" Marco: "You'll have to include that in your battle log." If you stand next to the first and third miners, they'll dig up some bonus items for you (the frog [500-pt.] is the best you can get) Shoot at the top right of the support tower for a POW. Waste the bats coming out of the cave with knife swipes or [S] blasts. Eri: "Did someone just scream?" I bet so. Checking up ahead, you find a mummy about to get the best of a miner. Breathe lightly. After clearing the mummies from around the first cave, walk inside and release the POW hidden inside. -Pyramid slope A small group of bats are hanging out at the top left of the screen, right after you jump onto the slope. A gem or three POW's are hidden at the top of the screen, right above the spot where the first mummy pops up (don't get hit by the second one). Get a handle on the mummy infestation. Remember that they can only attack high. Should you get a whiff of undead breath, here are some things to ponder: } You'll become a member of the undead, identifiable only by headgear (bandanna, hat, or shades). After a brief invulnerability, you'll be carrying only a pistol. No heavy arms. You still carry whatever (fire)bombs you had before, but your stiff arms will make throwing them in time very hard. Jumping is also quite a task. Get into your funny crouch to avoid another stank breath attack, which will kill you the second time. If you tire of the unlife, look for any of the flashing healing potions, which turn you back into a human instantly (no invulnerability). If you need that [F] or healing potion behind the vaults, bomb them before the items disappear. Near the end, try to get the POW's before clearing out the mummies. Otherwise, you'll leave them behind when you automatically segue to: -Cavern Maze You'll catch up with Rumi Aikawa here. She'll leave behind a single healing potion or some point bonus(es). The bats drop their undead potion when in range or when you shoot them. The eye hieroglyph before the special mummy hides a single gem. Shoot the deceased explorer to make her give up a gem (50,000 pts). Disgruntled, she'll give you the matching stick of dynamite. Haul ass! Any sandy spot is a prime spot for mummies to appear. They'll show up in packs of three most of the time. The fifth platform (the one with the single point bonus and bat) has a boulder trap right above it. Quickly run to the point bonus, then jump out of the way of the falling boulder (it will destroy part of the platform). The purple gas jets on the sixth platform have the same effect as breath attacks. Jump in just as the jet dissipates to grab the point bonus. Jogging to the left, you'll see a few platforms to jump on. From the second to the top, you can carefully jump over to the platforms on the right. The long platform holds two treasure chests. But don't stop here! Carefully jump on top of the cat statues on the right. Shoot the chest open, which holds a magic lamp (previously rubbed). If you are patient enough, a djinni will appear! Djinni: "I will grant but a single wish!" Fio: "Just one, huh? Um, I could use a little cash." Djinni: "It is done!" Wait just a moment longer, and he'll grant a wish for riches (by turning into a cloud of coins). Starting from the moment the lamp is released, count the plumes of smoke and jump after the fifth one. The coins are worth at least 10 pts, increasing in value up to 6400 pt. $$$ Keep it coming by shooting above the right statue for another magic lamp. Tarma: "I'll have what she had." On the next level path (eighth platform), the head of the hieroglyph (wall painting) holds a number of gems (10 x 100 pts, and sometimes, one for 30,000 pts). Shoot 'em out (It's easier with a pistol). If you let the mummy attack the explorer, you can destroy the new mummy for a gem (100 or 30,000 pts) -Tower of Doom You'll come across a series of ledges. Treasure and healing potions can be found here. The twin-armed Slugnoid vehicle is located on one of the higher ledges. One player should get in, while the other collects the Heavy Machine Guns in the treasure chests above. } The Slugnoid crabwalks along the platforms. Jumpjets give it a very high jump (B). The twin Vulcan fire converges at a point downscreen but can be aimed in any direction. The main cannon (C) fires downwards. (A)+(B) Swan Dive. Tarma: "Why does everything aim downward?" -BOSS: Iron Claw  <> Players caught in the arcing insides will die a shocking death. Iron Claw attacks with ball lightning, rockets, a charge attack, and an Extreme Plasma Cannon.  Shoot downward and fire your cannon/throw bombs at the same time. If you stay at the same altitude for a while, Iron Claw rears back and charges towards you (up to 2/3 screen). It won't fire weapons while doing so, giving you time to get free hits in. It's best to have a center ledge while teasing it. The lightning balls can only be dodged. Rockets can be shot. When Iron Claw primes up, jump to the side ledges to stay out of reach of the Extreme Plasma Cannon. A power-up will fall every now and then to even out the battle. When defeated, Iron Claw starts to sag, then tries for one more charge, but is unsuccessful, and falls. Mission 2 Complete! =Mission 3 -Supply Train You've managed to catch up with an enemy train headed for a night shipment to the Far East. Lucky for you, the troops are unaware of the doom you're packing. Eri: "All aboard!" } On the flatcars, all gunfire aimed downwards will strike the ground instead of the flatcar. This means that you can shoot the motorcyclers and grunts running on the ground below you. All ordinance devices behave in the same way. Once the train starts moving, bombs will bounce towards the rear of the train. -Boxcars You'll meet up with shield, grenade, mortar, and sniper grunts here. Hit the levers to lower a platform and jump to the roof. Grunts on the walls of and inside the boxcars cannot be hit, except those very close to the sides (you can knife them, but they can also knife you). Use some ingenuity when fighting the snipers. They don't pop up when bullets are flying above them (gotta give them credit, they're not that stupid). Wait them out, bomb them or keep firing while you close in and knife them. It's a little difficult to bomb the mortar grunts without putting yourself in reach of their mortars. Throw your bomb, then back off. -Livestock Cars Use close attacks to knock open the locks. Collect the pigs inside (1000 pt. each) the first one. Be aware of the shield grunt inside the second one, who's holding the POW captive. The mortar grunt can be shot through the roof, or taken out with a bomb thrown at the shield grunt. -Over the Bridge The action pans below, where hydrofoils pursue the train. The operator takes only a shot to kill, but the hydrofoil will continue to launch missiles (the missiles move just as fast as the train, gaining altitude but losing velocity) and follow the train. Keep firing until the hydrofoil smokes and finally blows up. Two more will follow. At the engine, rescue the POW. Shoot at the smokestack from below to release three POW's hidden in the smoke. From the head of the engine, you have to long jump to the flatcar of the next train. If you manage to clear more space with your jump, you'll be rewarded with 50,000 pt. Those who take the easy jump don't get anything. Eri: "Wait, can I go back and pull the whistle?" Marco: "We don't have time for that!" On the flatcars, parachuters and stout tanks greet you. Keep low and fire, then shoot the driver when he pops up. Next, two tall tanks will surround you. Concentrate fire on one (preferably the left one), jumping over the shells of both. Take care of the grunts stationed on the passenger cars. From the last one, you have a nice vantage point to bomb the grunts surrounding your Slug Flyer. Try not to eat mortar. -Air Battle Use the Slug flyer to take on the upcoming tanks, missile batteries, and airplanes. } The Slug Flyer is equipped with a Vulcan that is limited in angular range. Otherwise, it behaves just like the Vulcan's of the other vehicles. (C) launches missiles. (A)+(B) Kamikaze. Gotta give props for the ejector seat and parachute. 2P can stand on top for protection or a vantage point. Throwing bombs and escaping must be done landed. You can also ram grunts running around on the flatcars. Bazooka grunts will attack you from motorcycles while mortar grunts will do so from behind armor. Having trouble nailing the planes with missiles? Try flying just above the plane and launching your missile for a sure hit. -BOSS: Four Legger. <> The Four Legger hugs the sides of a flatcar and begins its assault. Its main weapon is a cannon that shoots flaming shells. They have a strange trajectory, climbing in an arc, then falling straight down. It also releases a group of hovering bombs (usually while someone is dodging cannon fire from above. They take 5 shots each. Four Legger uses an anti-aircraft cannon, which fires either three groups of three large shots or an interrupted spray of smaller shots. A flame-thrower is tucked away in a lower compartment.  While the Four Legger is standing, shots pass through its legs (this means you have to jump to shoot at it). Everything except the flame-thrower can be avoided by hiding underneath its legs, firing up into its crotch. Soldiers on foot should attempt this only when there are two players. The flame-thrower has a range of 2/3 screen (it's safe to stand in the black smoky portion of the flame). The anti-aircraft cannon can be evaded by standing close to Four Legger. You cannot jump over the low salvo of large bullets. And despite what you may have seen in shooter-type games, none of the shots can be neutralized by your own. If you see steam vented from its legs, move over to the left to evade crushing death. The steam vents indicate that Four-Legger is about to sit on the car, crushing anyone underneath. While sitting, those on foot can jump onto Four Legger's lower compartment, and fire from a crouch, evading everything except the hovering bombs. The Slug Flyer can evade fire by flying directly above Four Legger. When it puts away its anti-aircraft cannon, fly back to the left, because it's about to stand up again. Defeated, Four Legger loses its grip on the car, and begins to slide away from the train. Mission 3 complete! =Mission 4 -Chinese City, Downtown A platoon of enemy troops is stationed nearby. Blast the trucks to release their cargo. Be sure to collect as much of the food as you can. Once you've stuffed yourself full: } Fat-assed mayhem! (Did you know that the Chinese consider chubby babies to be of excellent health?) Along with a visible increase in weight, your weapons now cause slightly more damage. From your pistol to your rocket launcher, your weapons have a new look about them. Grunt standing in your way? Waste him with your dinner fork! Too tired to walk over to those bazooka grunts? Throw some black beauties their way (C). The bombs drop a little faster but travel farther. The only drawbacks to being so hefty are having a slower walking speed, and only being able to take the same one hit before you blow up. If you work out long enough (by running and gunning), you'll regain your former weight. Check out the "crouching" and standstill animations when you have time (Mmmm, donut). Absolutely hilarious! I like the detailed ripples caused by firing your weapons. Most of the buildings can be demolished, revealing hidden POW's and point bonuses (more food). Some of the hard to reach POW's can be reached by knocking down the building they're on or the one next to it. The parked double decker bus converts into a barricade. Be careful when picking up power-ups in the wreckage (two bullet boxes surrounding a [R], or a [R] and a single bullet box). I prefer to leave with a packed Heavy Machine Gun than with a rocket launcher. -Dry creek Right about where the monkey and fish are, there's an opening in the walkway. After jumping into it, you can find some POW's hidden underneath the left walkway. If you're obese, you may also get a diet shake (which trims off the excess instantly). Fio: "I lost 200 pounds in one second!" Hyakutaro: "Good for you!" Marco: "Welcome back!" Run over to the right, and you'll find some soldiers hiding away in a Chinese "junk". While turning it into American "junk", spend a few shots on the shield grunt that jogs across the walkway (or catch him with a bomb blast). Each ruined junk gives up a pile of food. -Not-so-dry creek A tall tank will approach, with grunts climbing over to bomb you. When you reach the oil rig type platform, a Blackhawk and a Jeep will assault you. Plug a few bullets into the Jeep then jump onto the lower platform. The Blackhawk's bombs shouldn't reach you. When the Blackhawk descends (missile launcher at the ready), jump to a higher platform and start shooting. After finishing the chopper, pick up the love letter bonus (300-pt.). The Jeep will attack with its missiles when the bay is done pointing at you. -Residential Area Sitting on a rooftop is your Metal Slug (about time it showed up). } The Metal Slug performs just like it did in MS1, with the exception of longer escape animation. (A) Vulcan (C) Main cannon (A)+(B) Frontal Assault. Maneuver your way around the parachuters, short tanks, and mortar grunts. When using A.P. shells (provided by the third POW in the area), take note that they fire at whatever angle the barrel is facing. If you can't line up a shot, move over to another area and get the angle right. If you think you're about to lose a hostage, run ahead and try to keep him onscreen. At the end of the hill, the hostages will jog back and forth, where you can tag them. In this area, you'll be fighting some mortar grunts on top of some houses, a long tank, and a short tank. Tarma: "Hehehe... It's humping the other one." Fio: "How observant..." Marco: "He always had sharp eyes." An uphill segment pits you against Jeeps and Missile Batteries. Finish them with cannon shells or bombs before they can fire on you. Eri: "Hey, try to save one of those Jeeps for me; I need a car." Tarma: "I think a motorcycle would fit you better." "You think so?" Take out the pillar of grunts ahead. You can stand on the platforms of similar pillars to get a better angle when fighting: -BOSS: Big Ass Tank At first, I thought the boss was some kind of battleship. This boss is loaded with cannons. <> The twin-barreled cannons (about 8 on the side you're fighting, 40 pistol shots each) fire teardrop shells in a variety of directions. At random times during the battle, and when all of the cannons are destroyed, the front end opens up to reveal a 3-foot cannon (cannon measurements usually refer to the diameter of the barrel; this is one freaking huge shell shooter! Check out the size of the casings!)  Only the cannons take damage during this battle. Shoot whatever guns you can aim at during the battle. If using the Metal Slug, try for the lower cannons first. They are either on level with the Metal Slug on higher ground, or within jumping distance on lower ground. Use the houses and boulders to aim for the higher guns. When fighting the 3-foot cannon, concentrate fire on the cannon portion itself. All you really have to avoid are the shells. Impressive as the explosions are, they don't do any damage. You can jump onto the explosions for a little "ride". They also propel the Metal Slug into the air; opening up A.P. shots to the cannon. Fio: "Wheee!" Marco: "Hey, quit playing around in there; those babies cost millions!" If you're on foot, stand below the cannon, firing at the yellow/black warning decal just to the side of the barrel. In the Metal Slug, try to stay a bit behind the cannon, so it has to fire at a slight angle. Jump above the shell, firing one of your own, and ride the blast for some Vulcan hits and a second cannon shell opportunity. When defeated, the tank ceases to function and smolders in the background. Mission 4 complete! =Mission 5 -New York City (?) I'm still unsure of the locale. It's obviously a city; the signs are in English, like on the taxi. I referred to this city as Russian in an earlier version, because the game seems to follow a progression of locales along Africa and Asia. Anyway, the townsfolk have been complaining about strange smells and sounds coming from the sewers. Intelligence confirms that a battalion is stationed inside, ready for an invasion. Whenever you are safe from harm, jump on top of any of the cars, firing downwards (25 shots, three rockets, or one bomb). Eventually, the car will burst in flames, sending you into the sky. A lot of the bonus items here are within jumping reach of an airborne car. Sometimes, a weapon (or point bonus) will be left in the remains of the vehicle. Can anyone say "road rage"? You'll encounter a lot of grunts and two swarms of minicopters along the street. Jump on top of parked cars/trucks to get yourself within bombing range of the minicopters. In two spots, two bazooka grunts will fire at you from behind a parked car. You can long jump over all four of their shots, jump above them and fire, or throw a bomb over their automotive barricade. At the end of the street, shoot at the fire escape of the last building for three POW's. Fire into the tree for some fruit. -Underground Railroad The street ends in a steep embankment. Don't run into the entrance right away, as a tall tank rushes out on the rails. While fighting this, watch for the grunts that try to backstab you. If you can get to the other side of the tank, shoot into the top of the arch for more POW's (It's probably easier to try this before you kill the talking grunts, and with a rocket launcher, too). Tarma: "Hey, is it just me, or did I just see a UFO?" -Subway Inside the subway system, you'll face a number of grunts and minicopters. (Bell rings) Eri: "Hey, our train is arriving." Marco: "What? We're standing right in its tracks!" Stretch out your hands. As soon as the train approaches from the right, fire immediately. If you don't, the train pushes you to the end of the screen, crushing you. Each shot pushes the train back a little bit (demonstrating the pistol's firepower!). The trains take about 100 shots before upending, so keep up a constant fire. Bombs and other firearms have the same effect (Now is a good time to tell you that with [H] or [L], you don't have to pound the button furiously. About four presses each second will keep a constant fire rushing from the gun barrel.). Each train leaves behind some kind of bonus. A stout tank encounter follows. The second of these will cover a squad of rocket throwers. Carefully throw a bomb above the tank or jump over it to take care of the grunts. Three more trains will arrive. After destroying each one, run to the right to regain any lost ground. When the second of these arrives, some grunts will attack. The ones falling from above may be killed with a well-timed bomb blast. The plume reaches above the subway car. Should a grunt come up from behind, turn around, fire, and turn back. To easily dodge grenades, let the train push you a little bit. The grenade will hit the train instead, leaving you free to continue firing. After marker zero (0), the track bends from here. But before you leave (by shooting the EXIT door open), fire at the ceiling above the bend. There are three separate spots with concealed POW's, a nice find. -Sewers Tarma: "A hidden laboratory?" Fio: "Dead scientists?" Marco: "Sounds like fun to me." The funny looking box with the arrow on it is a crank. After you find the lever, press (A) to wind it. After three turns, an item will drop down. The first is an ordinance crate. Shoot down the gate to open up the rest of the level. (The sign roughly says "Caution, mutants!") Throughout this level, mutants will attack you. They don't cause you any harm until they've turned red, at which time they try to self-destruct by your side. Crouch to fire at the ones on the floor. One or two close attacks should also work. Quick shots can kill the ones on the ceiling before they drop to the floor. If a red one is in the group you're fighting, be prepared to jump away from a self-destruction blast. Inside the next area, you'll see a crank for a [L]. The next crank gives you a [S]. Try to get it after spending all of your laser ammo. The mutants behind this gate may also crawl on the walls. These tend to stay on the walls, crawling along it until they can self-destruct. The last crank releases a [S] and a Metal Slug! Don't get too cocky now; you'll face more mutants in this area, and a few of them may get close enough to damage your tank. Use the escape early to avoid damage, wasting the closer ones with the [S] before climbing back in. A squad of tanks confronts you by the staircase. A POW carrying A.P. shells will fall before the staircase. A lone POW will be sitting at the end of the path. If you have the Metal Slug, another POW will fall from the ceiling. He'll change your shells back to Normal for your fight with: -BOSS: Nuclear Submarine <> Surfacing from the sewer slime, the sub attacks with a lot of lightning balls. They come in three kinds of waves: Single: About four to five single LB's. They can be very quick. Spray: Two, four or five LB's form an arch. It will attack with two or three of these. Homing: These red LB's rise quickly to the level of the walkway, then head in some kind of high/high/low pattern. The sub also has a thunder cannon. This shares the same compartment with the LB generator. When you see double barrels pop up, prepare for some serious thunder. It tends to use the singles first (a slow group and a fast group). Then it alternates between the other three lightning attacks.  The strategy of bombing the boss to death doesn't seem so cheesy here, since it can easily destroy your Metal Slug (the tank will feel true to its name here). Fire the Vulcan and bomb it at the same time, using shells when the bombs run out. Carefully watch the lightning attacks to judge how you should avoid them (the slowdown should help here). When defeated, the sub sinks, forcing grunts to abandon into other people's toilet water. Mission 5 complete! =Final Mission Metal Slug veterans remember the Final Mission as one long, hellish firefight. MS2 establishes a tradition, with only breaks during the segues. Tarma: "We could use that submarine again." Marco: "Can't; it got decommissioned after the war." "A shame." -Siberian Shipyard Fio: "Brrrr! It's damn near freezing out here!" Tarma: "You can huddle up next to me for some warmth, baby." Far from Moscow, the rebel army has secretly established war factories and rebel headquarters. Jump carefully from the dock. A mortar grunt assaults you from behind sandbags. Too short a jump will send you out to sea in a glacier. The next dock has a few rocket throwers, a bazooka grunt on the search tower, reinforced by sandbags (try spending some bombs here). From this second dock, you'll notice ICBM's fired from underwater silos. The best you can do is jump between them, which is safest when your head just touches the end of the last missile. A late jump sends you on top of the next missile. There are no breaks in the firing pattern of the smaller missiles. Only skills will take you further. You'll come to a mountainside. Here, watch for parachuters, snipers, and mortars. The sign with the arrow hides a single POW. Pretty sneaky, huh? -Mountain Bridge A wooden bridge and heavy winds makes for a spectacular effect. As you deal with parachuters, bowlers, grenade and rocket throwers, the bridge waves tremendously. Rockets travel up the slope of the bridge. Rolling bombs roll along the entire length of the bridge; their view can be obscured by the high segments of the bridge. Don't be surprised if you jump onto the bridge peaks and die a sudden death. The best place to throw your bombs is to the left of peaks, so they fly over and hit grunts on the other side. About halfway down is a pillar you can stand on, once you clear the grunts off of it. Grunts stationed at the end of the bridge fire mortars and roll bombs. At lower depths, bombs fall past you if you stand close to the edge. Carefully jump to the solid platform at top, advancing the screen. Clear the mortar and grenade grunts from the area, prepping for your battle with: -Midboss: Super Soldier! Marco: "What's the matter? One death isn't enough for you?" <> Fully recovered from his war wounds, Super Soldier challenges you to another showdown. But this time, he's brought reinforcements. Throughout the fight, grunts will try to bomb you. Super Soldier attacks with a chaingun, firing five bullets a salvo in six basic directions (forward, diagonally up, diagonally down). From higher ledges, he throws bombs at you (they're similar to yours, without the bounce). If you approach him, he'll swing his knife at you. SS: "Go home to your mommy!" Tarma: "Go back to your grave."  The old tactic of keeping him on the middle ledge doesn't work anymore. (In MS1, Super Soldier would do his best to avoid taking bomb blasts. From the middle ledge, you could duck his shots, throw a bomb when he approached, wait for him to jump back onto the opposing ledge, and repeat this until he kicked off.) SS: "Come on, boy!" (fires chaingun) Eri: "Hey, I'm a lady, you steroid freak!" (goes for groin shots) This time around, Super Soldier is a little more daring, willing to take a bomb blast if he can still approach you. All of his horizontal shots can be ducked. Sometimes, you can knife him once, jump away while he pulls out his own knife, knocking a few shots into him as he does so, then running away from him. Take whatever shots you can in the meanwhile. He seems to be easier to kill this time in the sense that fewer shots do him in. But by all means, don't let up in any way. SS: (taking his final bullet) "See you in Hell!" shortly interrupted by a killer whale, which makes a gory little meal out of him. Bones galore! Fio: "Did he say 'See you in whale?'" Tarma: "Who cares? He left his chaingun behind!" (picks up gun, which acts as a Heavy Machine Gun) -Dry-dock Head down the stairs and punish the slackers who thought that Super Soldier could defeat you. From here, you'll climb up a gentle ramp, confronting mortars and snipers ahead, and shield grunts below. A few shield grunts will protect mortar grunts below. They'll also protect a missile battery. A few snipers will try to ambush you from behind -Submarine factory Knock the foreman out of his post at the top of the screen. A bomb crate will fall from the control post. The submarines take damage, passing it on to grunts standing on deck. Tarma: "Um, what's with the UFO?" Fio: "Those aliens are getting away! Shoot them!" Marco: "This may explain where the rebel army is getting their technology." Shield grunts will protect a squad of bomb rollers. A small tank will descend from an elevator. After busting it, use the platform to release the hostage on the higher platform. A full rack of aliens appears on the next elevator. -Aliens <> Their pistols shoot strange atom-shaped thingies. The darker ones shoot blue particles (fast and straight) from their pistols (and foreheads when floating). The lighter ones fire yellow ones (which float around more). 4-8 shots kills an alien.  The particles take a hit each to cancel. It's best to stay low and attack hand-to-tentacle. The aliens tend to travel in packs and patterns. They like to fly around a lot. Try to find their landing spot, crouch near it, and knife each one. The next control post holds a [F], very effective against the small tanks and shield grunts ahead. The one after that holds a bomb crate. -Corridor You'll face a lot of alien packs here. Small platforms give you access to some of the prisoners on the top level, but it's easier to fight aliens on the lower platform. When the second area is clear, turn the crank to release a [L]. Frying time! Don't forget the three POW's hanging at the top of the screen after the third area. A POW is hidden on the short plank in the fourth area (shoot him out). -Outside General: "Haaaaahahahaha!" Marco: "He's still alive? I could've sworn I slashed him about ten times after he fell out of his Huey twin!" Eri: "He's been cooperating with the aliens the whole time!" General: "Smart girl, you are. I see my boys can't handle four little soldiers, even. No matter, I take care of this myself." Alien Captain: "That will be unacceptable." General: "What is this you talk about? (alien drone descends from the sky, priming its thunder cannon) No, nooo, AHHHHH!" Sure enough, the General has returned, with a fruity looking tank. Displeased with his inability to get rid of you, the aliens take matters into their own hands and blast the General with a bolt from a Battle Drone. The aliens beam aboard, taking the General in tow: -BOSS: Battle Drone <> Most of the battle will be spent sending out up to four Battle Pods after you. They fire small laser shots, and attempt to corner you with them. If successful, they'll fly into the stratosphere, engaging airplanes in dogfights.  A few bombs or 25 shots should take care of each Pod. Try to follow the same one around. If you can destroy one, you'll get a bonus or a weapon. [L] works extremely well. <> The Battle Drone has only two major attacks of its own. It may hover to the top right of the screen, and bombard you with a blanket of plasma bombs (Remember the Huey Twin bomb blanket from MS1?). Its other attack is a lightning attack, like the one used to fry the General (it will hover above the building).  Keep a constant fire when free from the Battle Pods. Use the platform to the left whenever possible. Move in between the bombs in the blanket, shooting the Drone as it passes above. Move underneath the moon in the background so you can fire at it when it returns. When the rod is exposed, it will prime up for two seconds, then fire a bolt. It can strike the ground up to 45 degrees from vertical. Tease the rod (you have to be within 20 degrees when doing so), jump away and take some shots, then repeat. When defeated, the Battle Drone crashes into the building. Mission 6 com... Marco: "Heads up! It's a mothership!" The mothership tractors the damaged Battle Drone, activates a docking mechanism, then confronts you! FINAL BOSS: Mothership <> The Mothership sends out more Battle Pods. Its main (and only) weapon is a Planet Buster, which primes for two seconds, then fires. Anything in its beam is instantly destroyed.  Throughout the fight, various grunts and tanks will join the battle. But fear not, for they are here to help you. Their attacks DO count, if you're wondering (the tanks do well against the pods). The grunts and tanks take damage from the laser beams from the Battle Pods. Try using the tanks and Shield grunts for cover. Their shields will absorb laser shots. You can also stand on top of their shields, but this isn't all that useful. The Mothership itself is just one big target. Aiming upward from anywhere on the available screen will hit some section of the ship. The Planet Buster has a width of 1 1/2 small tanks, or 1/4 screen. The soldiers are kind enough to bring in a fresh Metal Slug later in the Battle. You just have to unload it from the truck. The cannon is only effective against the Pods, and only when you're positioned on what's left of the platform to the left. Jump to shell the pods just as they appear, firing your Vulcan at the Mothership. After a long and ruthless battle, the Mothership withdraws. But it decides to prime up the Planet Buster for one more time. One of the pilots won't have that though. Pilot: "I can't fire my last missile!" In service to his general, he sacrifices himself and flies into the core of the Mothership. Lucky for you, this halts the Planet Buster! Internal explosions force the Mothership to leave without destroying the earth. It discards the Battle Drone, smoldering from war scars. Finally, it blows up, releasing its captive, the General, who is still strapped to the examination table. Grunts: "Yeah! Wooo-hoo!" But their celebration is short, as the table falls on top of the General, crushing him! Marco: "Score!" Fio: "Anyone for sandwiches?" Eri: "Alright!" Tarma: (to himself) "hehe, bouncy, bouncy,..." Final Mission complete! >HIGH SCORING TIPS My primary reason for playing Metal Slug 2 so much are the various secrets hidden in the game. Killing enemy soldiers can be fun, but finding the hidden stuff in the game is more challenging to me. My current high score stands at around 3.3 million pt., quite an increase from MS1, where I got about 1,426,950 pt. (some other guy found ways to get almost 2 million). A bit of this comes from fighting the enemy (I don't think a score based on enemy kills alone would break 1 million). The bulk of the score comes from other sources: -POW's The greatest contributors of points, rescued hostage points are also the hardest to earn. First, you have to find them. After Mission 1, there are more than 10 POW's hidden in every stage (Mission 5 is supposed to have more than 20 hostages. Less than half of the POW's in the game are visible onscreen. You have to poke around for the rest of them. The other half of the problem is staying alive to get credit for your rescues. You only get credit for POW's you rescued on your current life and mission (your rescue count resets when you die). When you complete a mission, you receive 10,000 pt. for every hostage you rescued. You receive 30,000 for finding Hyakutaro Ichimonji (the fireball guy) or Rumi Aikawa (the girl with the pack). In a one-player game, you are also given 100,000 pt. for rescuing more than ten hostages (GREAT!). In a two-player game, the player with more hostages gets the 100,000-pt. bonus (no bonus given for a tie or no rescues). If you rescued 15 POW's in a given mission, you'll receive 250,000 pt. for your effort! -Skill Bonuses Although not as plentiful as other bonuses, they still contribute a lot to your score. The skill bonuses include but may not be limited to: -destroying the red leader in minicopter chains (150,000) -destroying the engines of Mission 1's boss (10,000 and 50,000) -long jumping from train to train in Mission 3 (50,000) -Point Bonuses Watermelons, steamed buns, and bok choy may not seem like the best things to kick up your score. But all those fruits, vegetables, and animals can add up. Treasure items are a sure way to rack up points (the gemstones and golden bats of Mission 2 are valuable). Point bonuses placed in dangerous spots are worth more than usual. To round them up: 10 pt. Spoiled food, fresh eggs, single bananas, apples, magic lamps 100 pt. Most gems, banana bunch, root vegetables, bread, cats, bok choy? 300 pt. Steamed buns, meaty bones, love letter 500 pt. Frogs, chickens, briefcases, bird nest? 1000 pt. Pigs, roast chicken, canned rations, monkeys, fish, gold chests 5000 pt. Dolls 30,000 pt. Rare gems, golden bats -Collateral damage You can shoot a lot of things other than enemies in Metal Slug 2. This is more evident in the last three missions. Mission 4 is full of buildings and vehicles you can wreck. The wall along the dry creek is one long target. Houses in the suburban area can be demolished high and low. Even the boulders can be shaved (this makes the going easier). -Knife vs. Gun It's trickier to kill a grunt with a knife than with a gun. That's why you get 500 pt. for fighting hand-to-hand. Each weapon shot is only worth 100 pt. Use your combat skills whenever possible. Doing so also spares ammo for use on vehicles. >PARTING THOUGHTS =What I Would Like to See In MS3 In a few ways, Metal Slug could fare well with a little more processing power running it. It's not the slowdown that bothers me. But some of the visual magnificence can be improved on further. I would like to see some dramatic lighting effects, like a battlefield lit only by white flares, explosions that shine brightly in midday, early morning fog, stuff like that. You don't need to turn the game into 3D to do it, it works very well in 2D. The game could also benefit from the addition of a four-player mode. I like this idea a lot. Split-screened, multi-player, double Metal Slug madness! Granted, it would detract from the "one-man army" feel of the game, but I think people would like this very well. Almost no one knew the names of the characters before they saw them at the bottom of the character select screen. Concepts like character backgrounds, motivations, and storylines add so much personality to the game. There are hundreds of viable ways to introduce these into the fabric of the game without turning it into something else. I've enjoyed the storylines in games since Street Fighter II, and the endings each character had. The "war movie" feel of MS1 was very effective. The cinematic music, foreign locales, even the color scheme gave the player the sense that s/he was watching a movie instead of playing a game. Sometimes, I stopped pressing the buttons just to pay attention to the background and the music. I have to be more careful about it in MS2, or else I'll take a bullet. =Special Thanks My first acknowledgment goes out to Nazca and SNK, the former for creating such a tremendously enjoyable game, and the latter for providing a masterful sequel. We need more games like this. Secondly, to the arcade owners who decided to purchase this fine piece of video gaming, your thanks are in the change machine. You keep it coming, I keep it coming. To all who provided helpful information over the Internet, including: (by order of appearance): G. T. Komatsu, the first person to send me anything about MS2, "EX" Andy Park, who must be one of the few people with a Neo-Geo console, E. Murfonsky, who found some of the trickier secrets in the game, And finally to the brave men and women who fought and will fight the real wars, whose actions wrote the pages of history, whose adventures inspired this game, and whose diligence protects their countries, so that stupid college kids like me can ditch history class for a game of MS2. Peace forever!! Check out this month’s issue of Gamefan magazine for a review of MS2. P.S. By the way, it seems that MS2 has no ending like MS1. The scene with the pilot, and the scene with the General on the table, seem to be all the ending that we'll get.