FAQ/Strategy Guide by Deathspork

Version: 1.5 | Updated: 02/23/01 | Printable Version

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                             For NES
                        Play Guide v1.15
                          by Deathspork

Version 1.0 released 6/13/00; initial release
Version 1.1 released 2/7/01; Fixed up the ASCII art plus added a
great new section, 'Ultimate Two-Player Battle'.
Version 1.15 released 2/23/01; Re-did sloppy formatting and fixed
some typos



-Setting the Scenario

     A. Overview
     B. Battles
     C. Side-Scrolling Sections
     D. Tactics

-Ultimate Two-Player Battle



Now that we've seen what could well be the worst text art in GameFAQs
history (:D), let's get into the guide, shall we? I picked up this
gem not long ago and have been addicted to it ever since. It's a
great game by itself but with 2 players it's excellent, and I thought
it would be a prime candidate for my first game guide. Feel free to
distribute freely, put up on your web page without my consent, print
out and make paper maché out of, whatever you want :) Just, um, don't
change anything or you'll make me cry. I don't have the instruction
booklet and neither does any instruction archive on the net, so I may
be using a few incorrect terms. If you do have the book and would
fill me in, that would be great. All material created and maintained
by me, Deathspork, I can be reached for comments questioning and
death threats at jtw030283@hotmail.com. North and South (tm) is (was)
produced by Infogrames, and distributed by Kemco-Sieka, ©1989, 1990
all rights reserved.

Setting the Scenario

Alright let's get into the game. When you start up the game (and
after waiting through the annoyingly long opening credits) we come to
the title screen, followed by a screen where you can set the scenario
you want for your "war". Most importantly, you can set the strength
for yourself and your enemy, as well as choose which side you want,
choose the year, and select random outside factors. Here is a quick
synopsis of each aspect:

Sides: Simple enough. Choose sides, set both the North and the South
to either 'player' or 'CPU'. In a 2 player game the first player will
always be the North, but when facing the CPU you can be whichever side
you want.

Strength Levels: Choose from levels 1 to 3. Determines how many
parties you start with and your overall morale. This is important
because you can make the game easy by, say, putting yourself at level
3 while your enemy is at level 1, you could challenge yourself by
putting the enemy at a higher level, or you can do as I do almost
always and make it an equal fight.

Year: Choose from 1861 to 1864. This is more of the 'difficulty
factor', if you choose 1861 the CPU won't be too hard on you, it gets
gradually more difficult, and 1864 will take a lot of practice to beat
the CPU in. However, in 2 player mode there's understandably a less
visible difference in which year you choose. Also, the game stays true
to the history books and gives you a little insight into what was
really happening in the civil war in that year, in a 2-3 paragraph
synopsis before each war.

Random Outside Forces: Choose which factors you want to affect
gameplay, between Indians, rain clouds and ships. Rain clouds are the
most noticeable factor and remain on the map at all times, moving
around every now and then and sometimes moving right over a party on
the board. When over a party, the clouds slowly take away members and
lower morale. Whether this is a good or a bad thing depends on if
it's happening to you or your enemy :) With ships in play, there will
be a "ships base", as me and my friends call it, along the eastern
seaboard. Whichever side has control of the "ships base" will get a
free party brought via ship and put onto the board at random times
throughout the war, helping out considerably. Get the ships base and
you're all set. Last but not least, uh, well, actually last and least,
we have the Indian factor. I NEVER use Indians, they're annoying and
cheap. Every once in a blue moon the Indian at the left hand side of
the screen will launch a tomahawk across the screen which will hit one
party, killing them instantaneously. It doesn't matter if it's a
combined party with 3 cannons, 9 horses and 18 foot soldiers, if the
tomahawk hits it, its dead. Cheap indeed.

Picking and choosing how to set the conditions is half the fun. Well
not really but it's at least, I'd say, 1/16 the fun. However, there is
no overall goal to the game, you simply play the scenario you create,
then it's over. Think of it sort of as a board game, in that respect.


A. Overview
The game is basically a strategy game with action sequences. The game
takes place on a map resembling the United States from Florida to about
Texas. Scattered about it are American flags and rebel flags, these
represent the "bases" (it should be obvious which side is which).
Encompassing the middle of the map is a dashed line in a sort of "C"
shape, stretching from the north's territory down to the south, this
represents the railroad system. You will start out with 2 to 5 units,
or parties, represented by small figures of soldiers. Each party starts
out with 3 horsemen, one cannon and 6 foot soldiers. Click on the
parties to check out what they have and to move them around, into one
of a set of predetermined positions decided by the CPU. Moving a party
into the same space as an enemy will enact the battle sequence, moving
to a space occupied by another of your parties will combine your
forces, and moving to an enemy base will sometimes enact the
side scrolling base sequence (usually if the base is in a strategic
position along the railroad or if it's the "ships base") Based on your
predetermined outside factors, Indians can be visible or a rain cloud
could be looming overhead.

B. Battles
Battles are the bread and butter of this game, as they are the only
way to eradicate the enemy and ultimately win the war. You have 3
separate units in your basic party, cannons, horsemen and foot
soldiers. You can control only one unit at a time. Switch between
units with 'B' and attack/fire with 'A'. How you open with your
attack is of the utmost importance, and devising a good strategy is
imperative in the later years or against a human opponent (more on
that later in the guide, though). Each unit has their own unique
control scheme, advantages and limitations.

The horsemen CAN NOT be stopped once they are set in motion so
guide them wisely. They attack fast in straight lines and are ideal
for taking out enemy cannons, but are vulnerable to foot soldiers.
The horsemen attack with swords so their attack is very short range,
you have to be touching the enemy to be effective. You can line up
your horsemen by holding back on the controller, which is good for
crossing narrow bridges.

Foot soldiers are the most versatile, and arguably most vital unit.
There can be up to 6 at one time on screen (with more coming as
reinforcements if you join parties) They stick in a tight-knit group
and fire fairly long range muskets with unlimited firepower. Ideal
for taking out anything, although when fighting another group of
foot soldiers, the battle can get quite nerve-racking and tedious,
as both sides become extremely careful not to get too close while
still trying to get the kill. Also, the men are agonizingly small
and hard to see, much less their bullets, which take up about one
pixel. Bottom line, though, they are vital, try to keep them alive.

Cannons are the toughest to get the hang of, the default party has 1
cannon but can achieve up to 3 cannons if 3 parties in perfect
condition join up. They must stick all the way to the back of the
battlefield, holding 'A' will bring up a gauge not unlike a
punting/field goal gauge from football games. The higher the gauge
when you release the button, the further the cannonball will go.
These are extremely tough to aim with accuracy and must retreat
after using a set number of cannonballs, however there is at least
one major advantage to the cannons, they can knock out bridges
crippling the enemy.

Shuffling between these units and using the right unit at the right
time is the key here, it can be tough, especially in the later
years, but stick with it and keep practicing.

C. Side-Scrolling Sections
There are 2 separate side-scrolling scenarios, taking over a train
and invading a base. It's really sad too, these were such a nice
concept, but, there's not much to say except the side-scrolling
SUCKS. These parts play like badly-coded Color Dreams games.
Horrible control, and blaringly unfair odds. Along the bottom of
the screen is a clock moving from left to right at a constant
speed, coupled with an indistinguishable sprite (looks kinda like
a shoe, honestly) representing your player. The idea is to get
from one side of the area to the other before the clock gauge
does. Let me give you an idea how bad these parts are, for one the
'B' button is for jumping while 'A' attacks, games like that have
always got on my nerves, but worse, the player gets a grand total
of 0004 knives to attack with! Ludicrous, especially considering
your enemy has a near endless supply of characters with 4 knives
apiece. The game is saved by the fact that these scenarios aren't
all that important, unless it's a heated war between two good
human opponents. However, it's still important to learn these
parts so let's look at the logistics.

When bases in strategic positions are taken over, you go into the
base scenario. Along the bottom are bombs and annoying dogs, you're
best bet is to stay on the wall as much as you possibly can. Use your
knives sparingly, and you'll still get only about halfway through
before you run out. The best thing to do is avoid the enemy soldiers,
duck or jump their knives (much harder than it sounds) and punch them
in close range when you are out of knives.

When you take over an enemy base along their railroad, you can
actually attempt to rob their train and take their supplies for your
own army. These scenarios may seem a lot harder because of the
constantly moving train and pits everywhere, but in actuality it's a
lot more patternized than the base stages. However, starting out make
sure to jump onto a ladder and climb on the train quickly or your
chance will end. Once on, you'll notice the clock is running slow so
you have more leeway here. The enemies ALWAYS pop up just before you
jump over a pit, so jump from a little way back and you should jump
right over their knife and be within punching range of them when you
land. Not foolproof, but nothing is in these badly coded sections of
the game :) Make it to the end and you get the enemy's supplies for
that turn while they get starved.

When the tables are turned and it's YOUR base or train being invaded,
you can do something about it. You also have the major advantage this
time, feel ashamed if the CPU makes it past you. Press 'up' and your
soldier shows up on the right side of the screen, your job is to stall
the incoming enemy so he runs out of time, throw knives, try and knock
him into pits, preferably onto bombs or dogs :) Warning, playing with
a friend can be hazardous to your NES controllers, as it gets
irritating. The side-scrolling is the flaming eyesore of this great
game, although I still have a great time playing them because it's so
bad, it makes you laugh.

D. Tactics
Even when you can easily destroy the enemy in battle and do back flip
ninjitsu attacks in the side-scrolling parts, you still won't stand a
chance against an experienced opponent without an overall vision. You
need a plan, that is the key factor in prolonged wars and battles.

First off, take full advantage of the railway system. The more bases
you have on the screen, the more supplies you get. Every 7 or so units
of supplies you receive, you get another party added to the board, so
manipulation of the railroad system can be your ticket to victory. Get
the key bases at the corners of the railroad, and align a party with
the surrounding enemy bases so you can pick off their train if it tries
to pass. Also, if you're playing with ships, get control of the ships
base as it is another source of extra parties.

Of course, you can do none of this with the enemy attacking you, so you
need a separate strategy for battle. A few quick tips:

*Attacking foot soldiers with horsemen is dangerous, attack from below
or from above at a sharp diagonal angle and "shave" off as much of
their party as you can, DO NOT attack head on.

*If a main bridge is blown up, there is always an alternate path across
a river or canyon. Look closely.

*Get cannons out of the way until later in the battle

*If you open with a horsemen attack, DON'T switch units unless it is
absolutely imperative

Your opening charge, as mentioned earlier in the guide, is of utmost
importance. Most players will fumble the first time they get to a
challenging battle, they'll open with horses, see that their cannons
are in trouble, attempt to move them while their horses fall into a
canyon and their foot soldiers are destroyed etc. etc. I recommend
moving your cannons as far out of the way as you can quickly as soon
as the battle begins, either to the top of the screen or the bottom.
Use one unit at a time, you will lose party members, its a fact, don't
let it get in the way of the outcome of the battle.

Other important tactics include:

*Joining parties. To solidify forces and create a "super party", join
up to 3 full parties together. One of these is almost impossible to
defeat with a normal party, although it decreases the number of
positions you can cover on the map.

*Retreating. When you've just barely won a battle and you have 2
soldiers and one horse left, GET OUT OF THERE! Out of the range enemy
attack, if possible. The best thing to do after that is join that
battered party with a full party.

Ultimate Two-Player Battle

So you are a big N&S player huh? Think you've done it all, and are
getting sick of the all too easy battles that end too quickly? Try
this: first check to make sure you have a friend. Now invite or
trick him into coming over and playing a 2P game of North and South
with you. When it begins, don't attack each other. Let your supplies
flow in steadily until you all have massively, uh, massive armies.
The limit is 9 parties per side, and you can join 3 into one. After
about a half hour when you're both ready, begin the fight. NOW your
games will last for hours on end, this is how me and my friends play
and it is excellence. The map gets quite crowded, but who cares
since battles are the best part? The only downside is sometimes you
will have no option but to battle when you're building up forces.

Frequently Asked Questions

In actuality I've never received one question about North and South,
but I'll make some up anyway :)

Q: Why isn't it letting me join parties anymore?

A: There's a limit of 3 normal-sized parties to a super-party. That's
3 cannons, 9 horsemen and 18 foot soldiers, if any connection of
parties would set any of these over that limit, then the connection
cannot be made :(

Q: The bridge just got blown up, now what!?

A: Look near the top of the screen, there's a narrow emergency passage

Q: Can I control both sides?

A: No

Q: Any cheats for the game?

A: No, but using the Konami code after the opening credits brings you
to a ridiculously elaborate sound test, with light up keyboard even.

Q: Is this how the Civil War really happened?

A: Yes, brave men took on entire enemy bases all by themselves armed
with 4 knives and a sucker punch