LOADED for PSX FAQ v1.0 by Law667@aol.com 1/15/96 Copyright 1996. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free to distribute this FAQ within the AOL/Internet community, but do not reauthor or modify the original contents. Also, do not print or publish any portion of this FAQ without consent from the author. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding this FAQ, please feel free to e-mail me at Law667@aol.com. I'll try to answer as many questions as possible. : ) TABLE OF CONTENTS 1) INTRODUCTION 2) A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GENRE 3) OVERVIEW 4) THE CHARACTERS 5) BASIC CONTROL/STRATEGY 6) THE LEVELS 7) MISSION COMPLETED 8) SECRETS 9) CONCLUSION SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION Imagine this. You're in prison. You're mentally disturbed. You're a gun- toting Cirate made of scrap metal from the neck down. No, wait. You're a pyschotic clown wannabe with a rocket launcher and an attitude. No, wait. You're a cross-dressing serial murderer armed with a flamethrower and a few cans of napalm. You're a freak on a mission. You're out to kill anything that moves. You're loaded. The folks at Gremlin and Interplay have cooked up one deranged bloodfest for you PSX owners out there. For those who thought MK3 was tame and Doom wasn't bloody enough, now you have Loaded, a game whose gore factor may be previously unequalled. Fortunately blood and guts aren't the only attraction here, as the great graphics, sound and gameplay breathe life into that dying horse of the video game market, the top-down shooter. SECTION 2: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GENRE OK, so I'm a history buff. If you're not interested in this section, skip it. But it's interesting to see how games like Loaded have evolved from their arcade-based ancestors. Back in the early 80's, when local arcades were just beginning to dump their pinball machines to make room for the video game craze, a popular game known as Berserk (also known as Frenzy) appeared. In this game, you controlled a small stick figure with a ray gun, zapping headless androids and trying to escape the maze before Evil Otto, that demented happy face, came bouncing in. It was futuristic and fun, and a sign of things to come. The next game to feature the top-down kill-'em-all approach was the classic Robotron 2084, a game regarded by today's game designers and producers as one of the best video games ever. The unique feature of Robotron was the double joystick, one for manuevering and the other for firing. As enemies swarmed at you from all sides, you ran around the screen, trying to save the innocents from becoming zombies intent on killing you. Unfortunately, because of the double joystick controls and vectorized graphics, Robotron never saw a home release. If you ever get a chance to pop a quarter into Robotron, do it. You won't be disappointed. Other game designers, influenced by the raucous experience of Robotron, began to manufacture similar games such as Gauntlet, which combined Robotron-esque gameplay with D&D type adventure. And with the leaps and bounds in technology, the visual shine of these games became more and more prominent, apparent in games like Smash TV and its sequel, Total Carnage. But one element never really changed; the game mechanics. Which brings us to the present and Interplay's Loaded. If I had to compare this CD to any other game of its genre, it would probably have to be Gauntlet, where you went from maze to maze looking for powerups and the exit to the next level. And of course, you could always see the enemies waiting for you behind the next door. Loaded, with its mature theme and old school gameplay, is a welcome relief from the mega-polygon 3D fighting game craze we're experiencing. Don't get me wrong, I love fighting games, but Loaded is perfect for those moments when you feel the urge to reduce a few hundred guards (some of whom strangely resemble robed priests) and inmates to a fine red mist. But enough rambling, let's move on. P.S.: I know I left out tons of classics such as the original Wolfenstein/PC, Metal Gear, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, etc. But how long did you want this section to be? SECTION 3: OVERVIEW The intro to this game as told in the instruction manual is pretty vague, so let's just assume that your chosen character is a homicidal maniac and take it from there: On the interplanetary prison known as RAULF, the ultra-bad warden known as Fat Ugly Boy has decided he's the baddest dude in existence. And just for kicks, he's gonna let a prisoner try to plot an escape from his prison. F.U.B. (gee, I wonder if the 'B' used to stand for something else before the censors stepped in) is just looking for a challenge, but you're fighting for your life. Escape and freedom is yours, fail and you won't even live to see Death Row. Two great things about Loaded are the graphics and the sound effects/soundtrack. Possibly the darkest game ever made, Loaded's visuals really set the mood. The dark corners and pitch-black hallways are in stark contrast to the multi-hued psychedelic lighting effects. Spray a few dozen guards and their bloodstains will decorate the filthy floor-and stay there. You can always recognize the rooms you've already visited by the stains on the ground. On the down side, it seems the frame count goes down when the enemy count goes up, but that's almost to be expected from a 2-D sprite-based game with a user-controlled zoom feature. Also, enemies sometimes blend so well into their terrain it's hard to spot them, which can be frustrating. Using the S-Video setup with this game seems to sharpen and clarify a lot of the details. If you're having problems with the visuals in this game, I suggest you pick up a S-Video cable. It may help. The sound effects are eerie, especially when you turn the music off. Sometimes all you can hear is the clicking of Butch's high heels as he stalks the hallways looking for victims. Open fire on an enemy and you'll hear a gruesomely satisfying 'splat' to accompany the mess. If it sounds gut-wrenching, it is. This game is not for the faint-hearted. The soundtrack, featuring songs from Pop Will Eat Itself, is also excellent. This is what 'techno game music' should sound like. SECTION 4: THE CHARACTERS Character design is top-notch in this game. Loaded features six deranged inmates to choose from, most of them extremely cool. All six are listed below, in order of personal preference: BUTCH Speed: Fast ¥ Armor: Average ¥ Weapon: Flamethrower ¥ Ultra Bomb: Explosive Ring Butch is quick and his weapon is probably the best in the game. It keeps enemies at bay and is great when you're surrounded by rats (did I mention I hate rats?). Be thriftful with that ammo supply or you'll be empty in no time. How does he move so fast in high heels? My personal fave. CAP'N HANDS Speed: Average ¥ Armor: Average ¥ Weapon: Flintlocks ¥ Ultra Bomb: Vortex Bomb Hands is not a cowboy. He is not a pirate. Hands is a cowboy/pirate/android hybrid, an interesting combination indeed. His six-guns are quite an arsenal and are the coolest looking weapons in the game. It is nearly impossible to run out of ammo with Hands. He's a popular choice with online gamers, and personally a very close second to Butch. MAMMA Speed: Slow ¥ Armor: Good ¥ Weapon: Plasma Gun ¥ Ultra Bomb: Ripple Grenade Another well designed character with a great weapon. Mamma can take a lot of damage, and that's great when you're cornered by a mob of flesh- eating zombies. His Ultra Bomb makes the floor around him swim, a very cool effect. I believe most people associate this game with Mamma, and he's a popular character. BOUNCA Speed: Average ¥ Armor: Average ¥ Weapon: Missiles ¥ Ultra Bomb: Frag Missiles Bounca's pretty cool, but his weapon takes a bit to reload, and by then it may be too late. With Bounca, you may find yourself using your Ultra Bombs a lot sooner than you wanted to. FWANK Speed: Slow ¥ Armor: Good ¥ Weapon: Neutron Spheres ¥ Ultra Bomb: Homing Teddies Fwank is great looking and a cool character, it's just too bad his weapon is horrible. Believe me, weaponry is everything in this game (especially in the later levels), and some characters just don't have it. If you need a challenge, try beating the game with Fwank. VOX Speed: Fast ¥ Armor: Weak ¥ Weapon: Hail Flail ¥ Ultra Bomb: Sonic Blast I'm sorry, I just can't get into Vox. Probably because she's the type of character I'd expect to see in a game like this, a hyper-bad techno-babe with lots of speed and little defense (not to mention a weak weapon). I didn't like this type of character in Streets of Rage and I don't like her now. SECTION 5: BASIC CONTROL/STRATEGY In case you haven't noticed, this isn't one of those games where you have to read a 20-page instruction manual before you can get started. Basically pop the CD in and you're set. But in case you need it, here is the basic control setup for Loaded: X = Weapon Square = Run Circle = Ultra Bomb Triangle = Toggle Map/Status window L1 = Strafe (hold the weapon in one fixed direction) L2/R2 = Zoom in/out For better strafing control, you may want to set the Strafe button to R1 instead of L1. IMO it's more natural. There are many items you'll find laying around in Loaded, and here's what they do: Yellow Key: Allows you access to any Yellow Door Red Key: Same as above but with Red Doors Blue Key: Same as above but with Blue Doors Green Key: Same as above but with Green Doors Health Box: Restores your health to 100% Ammo Box: Gives you extra rounds of ammo Skull Box: Increases your firepower (and that's a good thing!) There are also bonus goodies to be found: "Man" Box: Gives you an extra life Bomb Box: Gives you an extra Ultra Bomb Footprint Box: Makes you temporarily invisible to enemies Clock Box: Freezes all enemies temporarily 10 Bullet Box: Temporarily gives you unlimited ammo "I" Box: Makes you temporarily invincible Speed Box: Makes you temporarily faster (no, really?) There are many bonus rooms to be found in this game, many full of powerups and coins you can collect. I'm not sure what collecting coins does for you besides increase your Greed rating at the end of a level. OK, so you've started the game, you've selected a character and now you're off on a killing spree. But wait, take these tips with you and you may not become a flesh mat: ¥ When you're about to enter a big room, that's a good sign that tons of enemies are waiting for an ambush. Run into the room and and unload an Ultra Bomb to clear out and give yourself some breathing room. Also, zoom all the way out so that you can see your potential attackers. This usually will let you know when you may want to use an Ultra Bomb. ¥ The most annoying part of this game are the rats (did I mention that I hate rats?). They'll swarm all over you and their numbers are seemingly endless. Don't try to outrun the rats, rather spray them as soon as you see them. Get used do doing a 360 spin with the fire button held down to enjoy a nice rat flambe'. ¥ Don't forget to use all of your Ultra Bombs before you use a continue as you'll start with a fresh supply when you do. Any Ultra Bombs remaining when you die are not carried over to the next continue. Also, there is seemingly no limit to the number of Ultra Bombs you may carry. Although the display will show no more than five, you can have more than that. ¥ The entrances to hidden rooms usually aren't hidden at all. They'll show up on your map display, so use it to find all of the secrets. ¥ Learn the importance of strafing (shooting in a fixed direction) down narrow passageways. If you can master this technique, the enemy won't lay a finger on you. ¥ Know where the health boxes are in a level, and know how to get to them when your life is critical. Unless you're using a cheat, you need to make the most of every life in this game. If you run across a health box and you're healthy, walk around a bit killing enemies, then go back to it. ¥ Against slower enemies with no firepower, run away and make them chase you. Then, when they're all gathered together, turn around and open fire. ¥ The biggest tip is this game is probably the most obvious; avoid backtracking as much as possible in levels where enemies such as rats and zombies can regenerate. Nothing dwindles your life supply faster than wandering aimlessly down the same corridor five times looking for an exit you know isn't there. SECTION 6: THE LEVELS SPOILER WARNING!!!: Don't read this section unless you want to read detailed info on levels and secrets in this game! The first level is basically a step-by-step walkthrough, the other levels aren't nearly as detailed. LEVEL 1: MAIN PRISON LEVEL (HOLDING CELLS) OBJECTIVE: FIND EXIT TO NEXT LEVEL Immediately go southeast and get the yellow key. Now head north and open the yellow door on the east wall. The reward in this cell is a Skull Box. Then head north and enter the door on the north wall. You'll enter a huge room with lots of enemies and six smaller cells. Enter the southwesternmost cell first, get another Skull Box, then enter the cell above it and get another. If you're life is getting low, the first Health Box is in the middle cell on the east wall. A big yellow thug in the main room holds the green key. Leave the main room and head south, where you'll encounter a green door on the west wall. Waste the enemies and collect your prizes, then leave the room and go into the room to the south. This is a big room with lots more enemies. A health box is in the lower east cell, and another yellow thug holds the blue key in the main room. Leave this large room and head due north, where you'll encounter a blue door. Grab the goodies in the room then head west, where a blue door conceals another large room with six smaller cells. A health box is in the southwest cell. Clean out this area and keep heading west, where you'll hit a 'T' intersection. Head north and be sure to visit all the cells on the way. A great power-up room is on the last room on the east wall, and there's another Health Box here. At the end of the northern passage is yet another big room with lots of enemies and a massive cannon that can liquidize you with two hits. Use an Ultra Bomb here if you need to, you'll get another in this room. After cleaning out this room (or should I say dirtying up?), head down the east passage, keeping your eye on the map display. You'll notice a corridor with seemingly no entrance. Blast through the wall here to find a stash of goodies, including an Invisibilty Box. After grabbing the Invisibilty Box, run down the east corridor and into the last room on the south wall at the end of the corridor. Waste as many enemies as possible while invisible and grab the red key from the yellow thug. After leaving this room, look to your right for some more Health and Ammo. You can actually leave this level after getting the red key, but there are many other areas to be explored. Backtrack your way west, then south. Keep heading south and you'll hit more calls, and eventually another large room with another massive cannon. Clean house and head east. Down the east corridor keep your eye out for another secret passage, this time on the north wall. Blast in and search all areas on your map, then leave. Head east until you reach another large room. By now should know what to do here. Do it, then backtrack your way to the very beginning of the level. On the south wall is a small red room. Blast the yellow dude, grab your rewards and split. Remember where you picked up the first yellow key? Go there and you'll see a red door. Be prepared, this is where you'll face your toughest test yet. Unloading one or two Ultra Bombs in this room is recommended for first-timers. A much-needed Health Box is in one of the smaller rooms. Once finished, keep heading east and you'll see two more yellow guards . Blast them and exit this level. If you followed this walkthrough and killed every enemy encountered, you should have a 100% body count (Loaded!). LEVEL 2: PRISON ADMINISTRATION LEVEL OBJECTIVE: FIND THE GOVERNOR'S EMERGENCY ELEVATOR A lot like Level 1 but harder. There's a secret teleporter room at the very beginning of the level, check your map display to find it. You'll do a lot more maze searching in this level, but at least when you kill your enemies they stay dead. That will change soon. LEVEL 3: UPPER SERVICE CONDUIT OBJECTIVE: FIND MANHOLE TO THE NEXT LEVEL Oh no. The rats (did I mention that I hate rats?). They're everywhere, so get used to it. The blue trolls are slow and easy to take out, they won't provide you much trouble. The zombies, on the other hand, regenerate and can give you fits if you encounter enough of them. Try to remember what halls the zombies inhabit and visit them as infrequently as possible. LEVEL 4: LOWER SERVICE CONDUIT OBJECTIVE: FIND TELEPORT LEADING TO THE SURFACE More rats and zombies in this level, which doesn't seem nearly as long as the last one. Just keep your backtracking to a minimum and you should be okay. LEVEL 5: PRISON COURTYARD (MAIN GATE) OBJECTIVE: FIND VEHICLE AND ESCAPE Now you're outside in the prison courtyard. Guards are everywhere, and the bothersome rats have now been replaced by dogs. The sheer number of enemies in this level pose a challenge. Use your Ultra Bombs in wide- open enemy-infested areas to make the most of them. At the end of the level is where you'll first encounter the boss-type character (which I'll from now on refer to as Jet Pack guy). You'll be seeing lots of him, but don't worry. He's easy to take out, just keep circling him and avoid his fire and counterattack until he flies away. LEVEL 6: DESERT OBJECTIVE: FIND FOUR TANKS OF GAS AND REFUEL VEHICLE You've succeeded in stealing a vehicle, now you realize you're out of fuel! Your emergency landing on hostile terrain involves finding four drums of fuel and getting back to your spacecraft. Scorpions and blue dogs leap from rocky crevices to attack. Use the run-away-then-turn-and- fire tactic on these enemies. LEVEL 7: BADLANDS OBJECTIVE: FIND THE SECRET TELEPORT TO SPACE PORT This level can get confusing so I'll give you sort of a mini- walkthrough: Many power-ups are on the western border, so stick to it whenever possible. Also, don't spend time blasting the numerous rats and zombies that regenerate in this level. Just run away from them and blast them when neccessary. Head south, then east and you should encounter a cabin with the red key. Then head to the northwest to the graveyard where you'll find a red door concealing the green key. Backtrack south and you'll see a green door holding the blue key. From there, head to the village area and you'll pick up the yellow key. This key will allow you access to the castles in the middle of this level. Remember, don't try to blast everything here, just get out and get to the next level. LEVEL 8: SPACE PORT (LEVEL 1) OBJECTIVE: FIND EXIT TO NEXT LEVEL Now you're back in a labyrinth-type scenario. You should always go after the big red guards first in this level. They're great shots and have lots of firepower, so get rid of them ASAP. Jet Pack guy will rear his ugly head again at the end of this level, but by now you should know what a pushover he is. LEVEL 9: SPACE PORT (LEVEL 2) OBJECTIVE: FIND ENTRANCE TO DOCKING BAY A lot like Level 8. Remember to always waste the red guards first, they're the most dangerous. Keep your eyes peeled for secret alcoves all over this level. Tons of coins, a Time Stop Box and a Free Man Box are just a few of the bonuses you'll find if you're looking. LEVEL 10: DOCKING BAY OBJECTIVE: FIND KEY TO STEAL SPACESHIP This is a really short level. Just head up and to the right and you'll see a couple of entrances that will spew enemies as soon as you come into sight. At first their numbers seem endless and the fight seems futile, but don't give up. They'll give up lots of Health and Ammo Boxes to keep you alive until Jet Pack guy comes back for another round. As for the secret stash of goodies hidden behind the wall, I was unable to find my way to it. Perhaps unloading a few thousand rounds of ammo might do the trick, but I didn't have the patience! LEVEL 11: SCRAP YARD OBJECTIVE: FIND FOUR BOMB PARTS AND DESTROY THE LASER FENCE This one's a lot like Level 6, except the rats (oh no!) have found their way here. There are also new enemies in the form of armed robots that tote some serious firepower. Don't spaz out and run through this level like crazy. Instead, take calculated turns around corners and into wide open areas. Don't let yourself get cornered by the robots, or else they'll fry you in a second. You'll find that many powerups are located strategically here, such as Invincibilty just before you enter a large cavern. Find the four parts of the bomb and make your way to the fence. LEVEL 12: PROCESSING PLANT OBJECTIVE: FIND EXIT TO NEXT LEVEL At first you'd swear this was Level 11 all over again, but once you enter the plant, the scenery changes. The rats in this level are now attacking at an unprecedented rate, and if you're using a character with a slow reloading weapon, odds are you'll lose more then a few lives here. Also turning up in large numbers are the robots from the last level. Your objective should be to find the exit as quickly as possible - don't waste your time here. LEVEL 13: RECYCLING CENTER OBJECTIVE: FIND SECRET ACCESS CHUTE This is IMO the hardest level in the game. There are several large rooms you must enter that are chock full of armed robots. You should probably keep trying this level over and over until you've memorized where every single Health Box is, then try to finish while losing as few lives as possible. Good luck. LEVEL 14: SECURITY LEVEL OBJECTIVE: FIND ENTRANCE TO CONTROL CENTER Level 14 is a little easier than the last. It's almost as if F.U.B. is getting impatient for his showdown with you! Anyway, be careful and methodical about entering large rooms and such and you'll do fine. LEVEL 15: CONTROL CENTER OBJECTIVE: LOCATE AND EXTERMINATE F.U.B. Now you're ready for your showdown with F.U.B. Just like the last level, be careful and play it safe. This level really isn't all that hard, and F.U.B. himself is pretty much a pushover. He's a lot like Jet Pack Guy, except he's got little white missiles that follow you around. Just keep circling him and avoid his fire to put him six feet under. You'll know when you're about to meet him when you hit the teleporter. Oh yeah, and don't grab all those goodies in the room before you meet F.U.B. You may need to come back for them! SECTION 7: MISSION COMPLETED (WARNING: END SPOILER!!!) So now F.U.B. is R.I.P. and the game is over. The game cuts to a FMV scene of F.U.B. spewing blood as he hits the floor. Then his face melts away to reveal a robotic mask, which flies away saying "You'll never take me alive!" And that's it. I've got to admit, for all the hours it took me to finish this game, the extremely short ending is a disappointment. SECTION 8: SECRETS You knew they were in here. Unlimited ammo, health, et al. All the things you'd expect from a game like Loaded, so without further avail: ¥ Unlimited health: During the game, press Start to get to the Options menu. Then hold down L1 and L2 for ten seconds. Keep holding these buttons and press Right, Right, Left, Down, Down, Up, Triangle, Circle. The extra option 'HEALTH' should appear. Select it at any time to refill your life bar. ¥ Unlimited ammo: During the game, press Start to get to the Options menu. Then hold down L1 and L2 for ten seconds. Keep holding these buttons and press Down, Right, Circle, Left, Right, Circle. The extra option 'AMMO' should appear. Select it at any time to get more ammo (I believe somewhere around 32,000 rounds is the limit). ¥ Max firepower: During the game, press Start to get to the Options menu. Then hold down L1 and L2 for ten seconds. Keep holding these buttons and press Down, Right, Down, Right, Triangle. The extra option 'POWER' should appear. Select it at any time to max out your gun's firepower. Also, Loaded was originally designed to have eight to ten playable characters instead of six, and it's rumored that some of those characters are in the game as secrets. I won't mention thsee characters' names as they are only rumors as of now, but I'll keep this FAQ updated if I find them. BTW, if you haven't noticed by now, that chubby little fat guy with the mechanical legs you kept seeing in all the game mags isn't a secret character, it's F.U.B. Maybe there's a code to play as him. SECTION 9: CONCLUSION With the instant success of PlayStation, there are lots of great games to choose from and lots more on the horizon. So what qualifies as a good purchase? I'd have to say a major factor would be replay value. Does the game keep you coming back for more, or is it collecting dust in two months? Loaded has one thing in common with today's successful fighting games that works in its favor; its diversity of well-designed characters. Finish the game with Butch and you may want to try your hand at Mamma. Or Hands. Or someone else. Using different characters requires different approaches to the game, and this adds to the replay value. On the other hand, the game can get repititous in certain areas, and the ending is a real letdown. Let's face it, twenty seconds of FMV just isn't enough of a reward for someone who's just spent several hours getting through the game. When it's all said and done, you'll have to decide for yourself whether or not Loaded qualifies as a 'must-have' game. All in all, Loaded's twisted take on the top-down shooter is a good example of a well-planned marketing strategy; take a concept that has already proven itself and improve upon on it. This game is pure escapism, it grabs you in its plot and keeps you there from start to finish. Thanks to everyone in the Loaded/AOL folder for their informative posts. This FAQ would not exist without your help. As always, e-mail me with your corrections and/or suggestions and you will receive credit! Enjoy!!