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| BALLOON FIGHT FAQ |
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v1.0
Written by Snow Dragon (C) 2002. All rights reserved.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
=================
I. Intro and Notes
II. Basic Concept
III. In-Game Strategies
  a) 1 & 2-Player Modes
   1) Main Objective
   2) Obstacles and Hindrances
   3) Bonus Stages
   4) General Strategies
   5) Adjustments for 2-Player Mode
  b) Balloon Trip
IV. Credits and Copyrights


INTRO AND NOTES
===============
Hey there, welcome to this FAQ/walkthrough for the first-gen NES game 
"Balloon Fight." In it, you're a man with two balloons tied to the belt 
loop on his hind end, and it's up to you to pop as many enemy balloons 
as you can. This game, even though it is the same age as me, still 
lives on as a classic; it's even been reincarnated into Super Smash 
Bros Melee as the alternate theme music for the Ice Climbers' stage.

Before we get into the meat of the walkthrough, here are a few things 
you might be interested in looking at:

** 1-Player and 2-Player modes each have the same basic gist. A few
   things about 2-Player mode will be listed at the end of the 1-Player
   mode guide since the two modes' levels are the same.

** Balloon Trip is essentially an endless strategy mode, so that
   particular section will contain exactly that - strategies for
   surviving the long float to rank 1.

** If you need to contact me about this FAQ or any of the other
   documents I have posted on the Internet, you can e-mail me at
   <eubanks1084@hotmail.com>. That's the place to reach me if you have
   any questions, suggestions, complaints, or requests. Just make sure
   that you put whatever it is you want answered in the subject line or
   I won't give it a second look. I do answer all the mail that I look
   at, so whatever it is, send it. THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS, ONLY
   STUPID PEOPLE.

** Have fun playing Balloon Fight!


BASIC CONCEPT
=============
Here you are in Balloon Fight, you're this little man in a comfortable 
little jumpsuit, and what you are doing is attempting to pop the 
balloons of others who fly like there's no one else in the sky. You 
have two balloons, represented by these two small circles:

  O O (2)

Got it? Good! Now you must stay afloat by repeatedly tapping the A 
button and get high enough above your enemies to stomp on them and pop 
their balloons. But get this! If they stay on the ground too long, they 
can pump their balloons back up and come at you harder and stronger. To 
do away with an enemy whose balloon is popped, touch him before he can 
air up his balloon again. Here are a few point values for such:

Pop a bubble: 500
Pop a pink balloon: 500
Touch a pink balloonless man on the ground: 750
Touch a pink balloonless man in midair: 1000
Pop a green balloon: 750
Touch a green balloonless man on the ground: 1000
Touch a green balloonless man in midair: 1500
Pop a beige balloon: 1000
Touch a beige balloonless man on the ground: 1500
Touch a beige balloonless man in midair: 2000

Remember the two balloons from above? You start out with two, but if 
someone touches you from above, you only have one balloon:

  O (1)

With one balloon, your control over your pilot becomes far more 
scattershot and it is tougher to stay aloft. There is no way to recover 
this balloon save that you complete the level you are in. When both 
balloons are popped, you fall to your death and lose a life. You are 
awarded three of these lives from the start.

However, you can easily die in ways more violent than that of having 
your two balloons popped. There are other things impeding your 
progress. One of these is water, and the orange fish therein. If you 
dip too far into the water, you will drown. I would say that your 
balloons should keep you on the surface of the water, but it won't 
matter much. You never want to gravitate around water too long, lest 
you face the wrath of the ... ORANGE FISH! Hang around a body of water 
too long and this fish can reach up and eat you whole, much in the 
fashion of Boss Bass from SMB3. No matter your balloon supply, becoming 
a meal for the fish results in instant death. The only way to escape 
the fish's maw is through rapid arm flailing and impeccable timing.

Still, the forces of nature are against you in ways you probably 
wouldn't think of until you saw them in this game. The clouds in the 
background, while seemingly innocent, appear to be housing large stores 
of electricity. And occasionally, one of these clouds will fire off 
with a small spark. Touch this, and after a slight buzz, your face will 
eat serious dirt (or water).

Considering this, you're now ready to face the dangers that lie within 
the game of Balloon Fight. Right? You're ready? Oh, good, for a second 
there I was worried.


1 & 2-PLAYER MODES
==================

-----------------
1) Main Objective
-----------------
Basically, the primary goal in all phases, as partially discussed in 
the Basic Concept section, is to stomp on the heads of opposing 
balloonists and then get them while they're down. While in real life 
that's not thought of as fair play, consider that any game where you 
float in the air with balloons tied to your butt is hardly real life.

Anyway, you are the Red Balloon Fighter. You have two balloons strapped 
to you, while everybody else has only one. Pop theirs by getting at 
them from above, then touch them from above as they parachute down or 
lie helpless on the ground waiting to re-inflate their balloons. When 
you pop everyone's balloons within a phase, you go on to the next one. 
Capiche? We all cool? Good.

---------------------------
2) Obstacles and Hindrances
---------------------------
Herewith is a list of the many adverse creatures and phenomena in the 
game.

BALLOONMEN
Balloonmen come in three different colors: pink, green, and beige. Each 
color has its own distinct traits.
  Pink balloonmen do not have very good control over themselves when 
airborne and are slow to refill their air supplies. If you can get 
above them, then there's a pretty good chance that they're down for the 
count.
  Green balloonmen have slightly better control over their balloons, 
but are not much harder to defeat than the pinks.
  Beiges are the most difficult to deal with. They move seamlessly 
through the air and are good at avoiding most obstacles save for 
Flippers (which we'll cover in a second). Beige AI is smarter than the 
other two, and you'll frequently find yourself under a beige balloonist 
if you're not careful.
  If a balloonist is allowed to refill his balloon, he will become the 
next strongest color (i.e. pink will become green, green will become 
beige). Beige is the highest color.
  Every time a computer balloonist drowns, a bubble floats up from the 
bottom of the screen. Pop it for 500 easy points.

ORANGE FISH
Usually at the bottom of the screen there is a pond. Falling in this 
pond to a certain depth results in instant death, no matter how many 
balloons you have. It's not safe to linger a few inches above the water 
either though, because an orange fish lurks there, and if you stay 
floating on top of the water too long, he'll reach up and eat you. This 
holds true for both 1 & 2-player and Balloon Trip modes.

LIGHTNING
Clouds inhabit the background of every stage. If you take a while on a 
level, one may flash and emit lightning that can bounce around a level. 
It bounces off surfaces and, if it hits you, will zap both of your 
balloons to Helium Heaven and send you to your grave as well. The only 
thing to do about it is swerve around it until it goes away.

FLIPPER
In more advanced stages of the game, you'll see this object that spins 
around and sends you and your opponents flying around. Use this to your 
advantage - make yourself fall down on top of your enemy balloonmen or 
get away from one that won't leave you alone. The computer opponents 
often can't work their way well around this, so pop their balloons in 
the ensuing chaos.

---------------
3) Bonus Stages
---------------
In a bonus stage, you have the opportunity to earn as much as 39,000 
points in one round. Balloons will come up out of tubes, and you have 
to propel yourself around as fast as possible to get as many as you 
can. The first bonus stage only has balloons worth 300 points, but it 
soon progresses to 500 and then 700 points (the highest value). Popping 
twenty balloons - a tall task indeed - nets you a 25,000-point bonus. 
You'll enter a bonus level every three or four stages, so you have 
plenty of opportunities to do this.

---------------------
4) General Strategies
---------------------
+ At the beginning of every stage, find a way to kill as many people as
  possible as fast as possible. They have to pump up before a match;
  you don't. The more you can get out of your way, the easier things
  will be.

+ If you can't get somebody before they pump their balloon up, then
  just go to the top of the screen and wait on them to come under you.

+ Don't go near the water for any reason. You don't have to, so don't.

+ Don't pop a bubble unless you have plenty of leeway. Even though you
  get 500 points, concentrating on a bubble leaves you open to poppage.

+ Within a level, it's best to go after beige men first, then green,
  then pink. That way, it gets easier as you move on.

+ Don't try to use the Flipper to your advantage. You may end up flying
  into something you don't particularly want to.

+ Enemies can be eaten by the Orange Fish as well. It's a bit difficult
  to lure them down near you, but if you can accomplish that, you might
  want to try getting your foes eaten for an easier kill.

+ If too many balloonmen linger above you, stay on the ground and wait
  for them to decrease altitude or get in an easy-to-pop group.

+ Remember that you can cross from one side of the screen to the other
  in one simple movement. It's like a circle in a way, but ... a flat
  ... screen ... yeah. Anyway, going through the right side puts you on
  the left and vice versa. Yeah.

+ If you play on an emulator, save at least after every bonus stage, or
  every stage if you're that way.

+ You get more points for getting someone while they're parachuting
  than after they land on the ground.

+ If a balloon is popped, there's no way to get it back unless you lose
  a life.

+ And you can't get extra lives! Ha!

+ There's no point in covering solutions for separate levels - after a
  time, they start to repeat themselves endlessly, and it's the same
  stuff over and over. You should be able to accustom yourself to it.

--------------------------------
5) Adjustments for 2-Player Mode
--------------------------------
Two-player mode can be handled in one of two ways: you can cooperate 
and make a great team, or make it into cutthroat competition. I warn 
you, the latter may turn you into a killing machine of unfathomable 
proportions. There are certain perks that 2-player balloon popping has 
over solo flight.

+ Bonus stage points are divided between players. Whoever pops a
  balloon gets the points for it. In this regard, it makes it nearly
  impossible to go for the perfect bonus.

+ You can pop each other's balloons. If you're working together, don't!
  If you have agendas against each other and want to let off steam,
  then heck, it's a great way to rehabilitate yourselves.

+ I guess whoever has the highest score when both players have spent
  all their lives wins. I wouldn't know, I don't often play it with
  others because of my love for popping balloons alone.

BALLOON TRIP
============
Balloon Trip is simply a way to let off steam. It's a ride that lasts 
as long as you can avoid getting electrocuted or eaten. The object: you 
start at Rank 50, and must avoid floating electric shocks and the 
ubiquitous Orange Fish. As you gain points and float ever farther, your 
rank will rise, but the electricity becomes more abundant and balloons 
don't pop up as much.

At first, the electricity remains stationary, but within a few screens 
it will start floating arbitrarily about, and you have to change 
altitude constantly to keep up. Throughout the whole trip is one saving 
grace: the bubble. It's not here to give you points; it'll temporarily 
freeze forward movement (the screen constantly scrolls to the left). 
While the screen is stopped, you have to continue to maintain your 
upward mobility. Never stop tapping the A button.

Points will increase by increments of ten while you are afloat. Popping 
a balloon will quickly increase your score by 300 points. As long as 
you stay alive, you'll be gaining points. Starting at 1000 points, 
you'll go up one rank for every 500 points you earn. After you attain 
first rank, there's not much else to do in Balloon Trip unless you want 
to keep trying to break your own record. Anyway, the high scores are 
erased after you turn the game off. Balloon Trip is definitely my 
favorite mode in the game. Theoretically, if you were good enough, you 
could make the score top out - but would you want to play that long?


CREDITS AND COPYRIGHTS
======================
Ah, already to the end of this FAQ? Well, it was a short one, and it's 
good for a quick submission, and if I'm not careful, I find myself 
addicted to the game, so I went for it. There's just a few legal issues 
that I attach to the end of all my guides, and they are as follows:
  Don't copy this document word-for-word and stick it on your site at 
your discretion. Plagiarism is one of the stupidest crimes an idiot can 
commit, and since anything published in tangible form is copyrighted, 
you'd be an idiot to copy this and claim it as your own.
  If you want to use this on your website, ask me for permission first. 
I'm usually a pretty understanding guy - ask me nicely and I say yes. 
Just don't change any of the text. I've written it the way I want it, 
the way I think it should be written, and it's not your place to mess 
with that. The text has to be unmodified, totally the same as I had it, 
in the transition from GameFAQs (where I post all my guides) to yours. 
You may add pictures as a visual aid if you feel so inclined.
  Like you would anyway, but don't sell this for money. If someone 
wants it, distribute it freely to them. All you need is enough printer 
ink for roughly six pages, and they can have it for free. Distribution 
of copyrighted material for monetary gain is illegal anyway, I think.
  If you do use this, don't link directly to the .txt document. That's 
not the way GameFAQs works anyway. There's even a thing telling you why 
at the bottom of every page on that site.
  And now for my obligatory thank-you's:

** My mom and dad who let me use their computer for this kind of stuff.

** Bagel Bites and Dr Pepper. They make great sustenance for extended
   writing.

** Any site that posts this document. My permission is required on most
   sites before doing such.

** All who have helped my writing talent blossom thus far.

This version of this FAQ (1.0) is (C) May 19, 2002 by Snow Dragon. The 
latest version of it can always be found at GameFAQs.

Have a good day, and have fun playing Balloon Fight!