Knife-Only Guide by arocoun

Version: 1.00 | Updated: 11/05/04 | Printable Version

 RAMBO--Arocoun's Knife Only Guide (v1.00)

 "You win battles by knowing the enemy's timing,
     and using a timing which the enemy does not expect."
         --Miyamoto Musashi (legendary master of sword fighting)

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                       "Rambo, forget about your absurd
                            hand-to-hand fighting."--Colenel Trautman

---Legal Info---

Feel free to read, distribute/share (please give credit where credit's 
due), or improve this guide.

---Basic Principles---

This game is already quite challenging.  However, if for some insane 
reason you want to make the game much harder, you can try beating it using 
only your knife as a weapon (with one exception--grenades, for the last 
boss).  Playing RAMBO in this manner is very challenging, but if you can 
tough it out, the satisfaction of overcoming such a challenge will make it 
worth your while.  And, to help you in this very difficult eneavor, I've 
made a Knife Only guide.  Let's begin with some basic principles:

Essentially, everything in RAMBO can be geometrically measured in units; 
you will understand this after a short time of playing.  John Rambo stands 
a little more than two units tall (or a little more than one, if he 
kneels), so that any enemy attack between where he stands and three units 
above that (or two, when kneeling) can harm him.  An attack with Rambo's 
combat knife has a range of one unit forward, in the column either two 
units above where he stands, or one unit above where he's kneeling.

Timing is important.  Rambo can attack with his knife about 1.5 times a 
second.  Additionally, an attack isn't immediately effective, but takes a 
fraction of a second to strike the enemy for damage.  Timing is especially 
important for enemies that fly toward Rambo.

Your combat knife is the most powerful weapon in the game, able to kill 
any non-boss enemy in one, sometimes two, strikes.  Using only your combat 
knife, though, it is best to deal with only one enemy at any one time.

Checkpoints must be used wisely in Rambo.  If--no, WHEN--you die and 
choose to "continue," you will return to the last place and situation 
where you talked to someone--your checkpoint.  During a conversation, you 
can also press START and copy the password it gives you to return to that 
checkpoint.  Although having plenty of LIFE is important throughout the 
game, it is especially important to have good health at checkpoints.

Finally, if you want to make the knife only game less difficult (and 
nobody will ever blame you for wanting so), then allowing yourself to use 
throwing knives as well as your combat knife will make things much, much 
easier.  The power of your throwing knives will increase with your level, 
so if you use them, levelling is important.

---Defeating Specific Enemies---

Tigers:  If you can, don't bother with them.  They aren't worth it.  Their 
jumping makes it difficult to determine whether to stand or kneel while 
attacking, and their speed makes timing difficult.  If you must attack, 
remember:  strike early.

Ghost Heads:  These are usually worth killing.  First, you can stand at 
ground level, stand still, wait for it to fly by, jump up, and strike it.  
This method requires precise timing.  Another meathod is to stand three 
units above ground level, and wait for the ghost head to fly by you.  This 
is easier, but requires a platform.  Try not to get hit by these (both of 
my methods of killing them are 100% safe, so long as you don't mess up); 
they cause a lot of damage.

The Big Spider:  You should only attack the big spider if you have at 
least 80 health.  A good way to get into the cave and to the spider with 
that much health without using medicine is to rescue the kid first, leave 
the cave without killing the spider, bring him home, and his home will be 
a free rest area.  To kill the spider, you should go to the left of the 
spider, stand a unit and a half in front of it, and keep striking it until 
it dies.  Doing things in this manner, you shouldn't have to use medicine.

Fish:  Don't bother with them if you don't have to.

Big Birds:  Best avoided.  If you must attack, attack low.

Teal/Blue/Orange Kicking Soldiers:  When they get close to you, they will 
attempt a jump kick.  Their kick will cancel out your knife attack, and 
will hurt you a lot.  To kill them, let them get about two units away, and 
let them try to attack.  When they try this, run a few units away, let 
them land, then turn around, and attack.  The orange ones won't kick 
unless you are almost a unit away, which is their kicking range.  Allow 
them to chase you, at a distance of about 1.5 units away from you, until 
they kick.  Then, let them land, turn, and kill.

Teal/Blue/Camoflauged/Pink/Green Shooting Soldiers:  You can avoid their 
fire by ducking.  They attack at a predictable, slow frequency, and 
killing them's a breeze.  Don't mess up, though, or they'll hurt you bad.

Big Men With Big Clubs:  Let them come to you.  They strike at regular 
intervals--strike them *just before* they are able to strike you.

Traitors at Boat:  You cannot kneel to dodge their bullets.  The best 
thing to do for them is to either lure them near the boat, stand on the 
boat (where they can't hurt you), kneel, and stab them.  You can also 
stand in the water, wait for them to fire, jump toward them over their 
bullet, and then quickly kill them.  Remember that the best thing to do is 
deal with one at a time.

Orange Guards, Rocket Launcher Guards:  You will meet the guards 
immediately after Co helps Rambo escape imprisonment.  You cannot kneel to 
dodge their bullets.  You must try hard to deal with only one of them at a 
time.  They are much like the Traitors, and shoot at regular intervals, 
but they can jump, so you can't just attack them from a higher platform in 
safety.  Try to let them shoot, jump toward them over their bullet, and 
then kill them quickly.

Grenade Throwers:  They will throw grenades at you when you are a few 
units away.  Let them throw, run away from their grenades, then run back 
and stab them.

Motorcycle Boss:  Start battle with at least 200 LIFE, preferably more--
then, don't bother with medicine.  Aim low as he comes toward you, and 
strike at him like crazy.  You will almost die, but if you do it right you 
won't.  After this battle, just run to town (two areas to the right), 
running away from any enemies.  These enemies can't be safely beaten with 
your combat knife.  At town, you can rest to make up for any damage 

Fire Tiger:  Get rid of falling spikes to left and right of S square.  The 
tiger's to the left of it; lure it over to the S square area, and then 
continue in one of the following ways.  If using throwing knifes, just go 
in with life as full as possible (preferably above 300), and throw knives 
at it like crazy 'til you win.  If using combat knife, go in with life as 
full as possible.  Keep striking in the direction of the tiger as it runs 
through you (face it as it runs through, and then turn around when it's on 
the other side).  Every time it runs through you twice, check your LIFE.  
If it's below 100, heal.  If you have no medicine when you go in, you'll 
just have to use throwing knives.

Flying Fire Ball Machine Boss:  Before you start, make sure your health is 
above 400, and ignor your LIFE for the rest of the battle.  Destroy the 
gate to get through, and stay on the groun the whole time after (no 
jumping or climbing).  Continually attack the machine.  If any pink dude 
tries to attack you while you do this, kill him of, and quickly continue 
killing the machine.  Again, stay on the ground.  Fight furiously enough, 
and you'll win with plenty of LIFE to spare.

Spike Ball:  Can't kill it while it's jumping around.  When it lands and 
stays still, destroy it with your combat knife.

Yashin (boss):  He is easy to beat with your combat knife.  Just cut boxes 
  in front of you like so:


  ...with intact boxes shown as #, stand at R, and stab at S as Yashin 

Blue Camoflauged Soldiers:  They will stand to shoot if you stand, and 
duck to shoot if you kneel.  Just treat them like you did the orange 
guards.  You can also stand on a platform two units above where they 
stand, kneel (so they shoot too low to hurt you), wait for them to come, 
and kill them.

Men With Flamethrowers:  They just walk forward, and shoot at regular 
intervals.  You can stand two units above where they stand, wait for them 
to come, kneel, and stab them in the head.

Helicopter:  Since we're already using the grenades for the boss, let's 
just use them for everyone.  Occassionally, a dude will jump in to try to 
kill you from either the left or right, the former having grenades, and 
the latter having arrows (useless).  Kill them both with grenades whenever 
you can, to cut down on the confusion that will almost certainly result 
from trying to switch around weapons.  When both men are dead, throw your 
grenades at the helicopter until you have three left; save those for the 
soldiers.  This is one of the few boss battles where you should keep an 
eye on your LIFE.  Whenever it reaches 200, heal if you can.  This is a 
tough battle, and you should feel no shame if you fail the first few 
times.  Keep trying, and you'll get it!  And remember:  ENJOY YOUR VICTORY!

---Other Tips---

--Both LIFE and medicine are precious and rare, especially fighting Knife 
Only.  Try not to loose too much of either.

--Beat every boss you can for hearts, which give you extra LIFE.  Try to 
start a battle with a boss with nearly full life.  Try not to bother 
yourself with using medicine during the fight.  Fight them wildly, and 
don't worry about your LIFE.  One of you will eventually die, and it will 
almost always be them.

--At the first mountain area (the one with falling boulders, at which you 
arrive in the process of getting to your helicopter), there is an ape to 
the right of the S square which can be easily killed for some medicine.  
Do that a lot to get lots of medicine.  You'll need it.

--Once you beat the fire ball machine, go right one area (to the area with 
the spike balls), and get into that building.  Go one room left, use the S 
square in that room, jump down to the bottom level, us the N square to the 
left, and then go left to the boss.  Don't worry too much about damage in 
traveling from the fireball machine boss to the next boss ahead--a boss 
battle is coming up, and it's going to be 100% easy and safe.  Enter the 
room to the furthest left of lower level of that room, and the boss battle 
for the keys will begin.