Boss Guide for Metal Storm (NES)
By Mike Jenista
mjenista@math.duke.edu
Version 1.05
August 2006


Version History
---------------
v1.00: a product I can be proud of
v1.05: corrected some bogus info pertaining to Stage 4 Boss


Table of Contents
-----------------

I. Introduction
II. Basics
III. Boss Strategies
IV. Legal Mumbo-Jumbo



I. Introduction
---------------

Metal Storm is a fun NES game with plenty of originality and challenge.  The
various levels are not so difficult, but some of the bosses can be a pain if you
can't figure out their weaknesses.  Well, if you are fed up, the good news is
that I will help you beat those bosses into frayed wires and twisted metal.

I should note that this is only for the normal game bosses.  There is a second
version that you can play after beating the normal game, and it is much harder.
See my Expert Walkthrough for Metal Storm on info to beat the Expert bosses.



II. Basics
----------
Every boss is completely beatable with only the regular weapon, but the 
Powerbeam is the best thing to take in with you.  There are exceptions because
some bosses have particular weaknesses, but you should always bet on needing the
Powerbeam (it's also the most useful weapon in each stage).

Keeping your Armor bonus all the way up to a boss is not really necessary, and
sometimes downright frustrating.  As such, I recommend using it up at any really
difficult part of a stage that you are having trouble with.  

With each boss you have a small window right at the beginning to get in a lot
of shots.  With the Powerbeam, this will really shorten the battle.



III. Boss Strategies
--------------------

NOTE: All Boss names come from Nintendo Power, Volume 22.


Stage 1 Boss: Fusion Reactor
----------------------------
This boss is totally easy.  There is a safe spot you can stand in which also is
in range of the bottom hole where the boss is vulnerable.

If you have the Powerbeam (and there is no reason you shouldn't have it), stand
below the Fusion Reactor and just to the left of the bottom hole.  You want only
a slim bit of your right side directly under the hole with the rest of the M-308
gunner to the left.  Shoot up and don't stop.

If you are in the correct spot, the purple rings will miss you on the right and
the left, while your own Powerbeam shot will hit the "eyeball" as it comes 
through the bottom hole.  Keep it up until you win.


Stage 2 Boss: Plasma Cannons
----------------------------
This boss is also not hard.  The tricky part is killing one cannon.

Immediately jump up one level and shoot the cannon while running right.  You
should kill the cannon even with the regular beam.  

Once the first cannon is dead, stay in the same level and go to the right. 
Stand near the shift from yellow platform to red platform and fire up.  When the
cannons fire, they will extend a little and take damage from your beam.  Keep
firing this way until you win.

If you don't have the Powerbeam, jump all the way up until you are under the
safe level (remember that this wraps around).  Fire at the cannon until you see
it shoot a plasma and jump to the safe area.  Keep doing this until you kill
them all.

Instead of jumping all the way through each level, you can also execute a
sophisticated maneuver.  Standing in the safe level, wait for the plasma cannon
to shoot.  As its beam goes by, jump up and reverse gravity.  You will land on
the ceiling of the next level, and you can fire away.  When the cannon is about
to shoot, jump down into the safe level again (you can switch gravity right away
or switch after you land on the safe ceiling).


Stage 3 Boss: Laser Cannon Floater
----------------------------------
This boss will be mildly difficult or easy, depending on what you are armed
with.  If you have either the Armor or Gravity weapon, use the Easy Strategy.
If you have neither of these, use the Regular Strategy.

Easy Strategy: With the Armor, simply fire up and wait for the floater to come
	down at you.  You will take a hit, but the floater will rest directly
	above you so that its protective rings are too far to hit you.  Also,
	since you are in the same quarter as the boss, it will never move.
	Keep firing up until you win.

	With the Gravity weapon, immediately reverse gravity to land on the 
	ceiling safely.  You are now in the same position, where you are safe
	from the protective rings and the boss won't move.  Fire down until you
	win.


Regular Strategy:  Fire up for a few seconds (the timing is not hard to learn);
	then as the boss comes at you, dodge the lasers to make it into the
	quarter to your right.  Now jump and take a few shots at the boss, but
	you should focus on timing your reverse gravity so that the boss will
	move into the lower right quarter (where you are) while you dodge the
	lasers.  

	Now that you have a better shot (directly down), unload on the boss 
	again until you have to move to the upper left quarter.  Keep this
	pattern up until you win.

	Remember, the worst thing you can do is move too early, thus luring the
	boss into the quarter you are MOVING TO instead of the quarter you are
	LEAVING.

NOTE: It is actually possible to accomplish the Easy Strategy even without the
	Armor or Gravity weapon.  When the fight begins, go stand below the
	boss and then inch to the right just a bit.  If you do it right, when
	the boss comes down, the two protective spinners will miss you.  You 
	are now free to shoot away.


Stage 4 Miniboss: Doom Spinner
------------------------------
After Stage 4-1, you will face a miniboss.  There are four enemies on the edge
of your cage, and they will begin to spin around the cage faster and faster,
then slow down, stop and shoot (they fire directly up, down, left, or right and
never "at you").  The key is to fire when they are slow or stopped and simply
dodge when they are going fast.

To dodge, you have to jump over one at a time.  Don't worry--they won't go fast
enough for the dodging to be hard.

Basically, as long as you only fire at the enemies while they are on the wall
or the ceiling (i.e. don't try to jump and shoot down at one), you should be 
fine.


Stage 4 Boss: Beams of Doom
---------------------------
There are two components to this boss.  The big red heart is the piece you must
kill to advance, while the two lasers will fire long beams that are lethal to
the touch.  The easiest thing to do is destroy the lasers first, then the red
heart.

With the Powerbeam, you can easily kill the two lasers.  Just be sure to attack
them AFTER they have shot their beam and watch out for the red heart.

Also, with the Shield, you can wait for the laser to shoot, then stand directly
above it and duck (which makes your shield move down through the floor).  If 
the laser doesn't move away, the shield will damage it like a laser.  Don't stay
too long because the laser will shoot at you and can't miss if you are on top
of it.

Without the Powerbeam or Shield, you will have to dodge the lasers and simply
shoot the red heart until you win.  Unless...

SUPER-EASY-BUG-STRATEGY: For some reason, if you hit the red heart with an Armor
	bonus, you destroy it in one hit.  Weird.  So if you have the Armor, 
	just ram the boss immediately for a win.


Stage 5 Boss: Transformer Defense Unit
--------------------------------------
This boss is the most difficult boss (except for Stage 4 Boss without any
special weapons).  As the screen opens, the boss will float to the right side
of the screen where he will stay.  He is invincible until he opens up, so don't
bother shooting him.

He will begin to shoot small lasers on slanted paths.  They are pretty easy to
dodge, so you can get a lot of damage in during this phase.

After some time, the boss will tranform a little and turn red.  Now he shoots
horizontal beams that will turn vertically when they get above you.  Stand at
the far left of the screen and run past or jump over these beams so that you
don't get caught with one.  When you get close, run left and repeat.  This is
the hardest form to damage the boss in because you should focus on dodging.

The boss will transform again and turn green, shooting large energy waves.
These are slow and pretty easy to dodge.  Just keep in mind that you will need
to reverse gravity to avoid some waves.  You should be able to get in a lot of
hits during this phase.

Finally, the boss will begin to switch between the three forms and fire faster
AND multiple shots at a time.  Just keep doing the same things as before and
you should be fine.  

The only difficult part is if you don't have the Powerbeam.  It will take a lot
more hits to kill the boss which means you have to dodge longer.


Stage 6 Boss: Whirling Modules
------------------------------
Most people think this is the hardest boss, but that is because they do not pay
attention.  This boss is actually very easy. 

To begin, just get the pattern down.  While standing on a block, wait for it to
rise along the wall.  Now run off the left edge and land on the one below.  You
need to keep this up during the whole fight.

Most people just shoot to the left until they kill one of the blocks, then freak
out because the pattern is disrupted and they get killed trying to do fancy
flips.  Well, it is possible to fancy flips, but here is how to beat this boss
the smart and sure way.

Take a second to notice that the blocks have a small eye that "opens" and makes
them vulnerable to your beam.  Also notice that as soon as you hit one, the eye
shuts and it is invulnerable again.  This would make the fight difficult EXCEPT
that the blocks will open their eyes one at a time and STAY OPEN.  So wait for
them all to be open, and then shoot each one once.  The best way to hit each one
is to wait until you walk off a block.  As you fall, shoot left to hit the far
block.  Then shoot up to hit the block you just left.  Finally, shoot down to
hit the block you are on as it starts to rise along the wall.

By doing this, the blocks will all have the same amount of life left during the
battle.  Eventually, you will shoot left and kill the far block, shoot up and
kill the block you jumped from, then shoot down and kill the last block to win
the battle.  

If you stay calm and get the pattern down cold, this battle is very easy.  If
you freak out, you are going to have a tough time with this one.


Stage 7 Boss: Central Computer
------------------------------
After beating all six bosses again, you will face the incredibly lame and easy
final boss.  You have only a few dozen seconds to win, but it is not a hard 
fight at all.  

A large ship comes from the right, but it will not hurt you if you touch it, so
don't sweat.  You will see some modules along its middle, so jump and shoot at
them.  Once you kill all four, you win.  

Totally. Easy.

Enjoy the really great concluding text.



IV. Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
---------------------

Copyright 2006, Mike Jenista

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