Bionic Commando(Arcade) FAQ/Walkthrough
version 1.0.0 by schultw.andrez@sbcglobal.net

Please do not reproduce this FAQ for profit without my prior consent. If you 
write a polite e-mail to me referring to me(and this FAQ) by name, then I 
will probably say OK. But if I ignore you that means no--and I am bad about 
answering e-mail. Sorry.

================================

           OUTLINE

  1. INTRODUCTION

  2. CONTROLS

  3. STRATEGIES, ENEMIES AND POWER-UPS

  4. WALKTHROUGH

  5. CHEATS

  6. VERSIONS/CREDITS

================================

  1. INTRODUCTION

Bionic Commando is a fun little game in five levels. There's nothing terribly 
original about the plot--blow a bunch of small enemies up, both garish and 
terribly drab, with more big ones thrown in later, til you get to the very 
big enemy at the end. But your big means of transportation--an extendable 
claw that lets you jump places--is what makes this game fun despit being 
obnoxious at first.

It also has a weird regeneration system which I think ultimately works. If 
you're too close to a ledge, you fall off and are pushed back. If you're 
killed in the center of combat, you parachute in from the top. You push a 
button to land anywhere, often past tough monsters. It's a reward for 
reckless courage in a fast paced game. Or, alternatively, it allows for a 
successful gambit when your allotted time has run low.

Due to the time limits, those who would save quarters or wish to feel 
accomplished about saving the game without too many mulligans needs to learn 
fast-paced moving as well as an anticipation of when enemies are going to 
drop from the top of the screen, or at least a knowledge of how to either 
double back with your cloaw or be able to duck enemy ambushes. For all the 
shooting, you have a lot of sneaking to do, too. And while the boss fights 
may be no great improvement in difficulty on the game itself, that's not 
saying much, because there's always a risk of getting killed.

This walkthrough is for the easy difficulty. For the hard ones, it's use the 
claw more often to make a quick flee and be more wary of enemies above and 
below you.

  2. CONTROLS

You can't climb up or down. You can, however, duck while on a platform, and 
your main range of movement consists of using your grapple. Swinging around 
lets you do lots of things.

You can have one bullet at a time on the screen, which means if a strong 
enemy gets close, you can probably pop him pretty quickly, but if you fire in 
the wrong direction with a weak enemy around, his slow bullet can trap you. 
So be sure to plant and face before firing.

Here is how to operate the claw.

Throw it any direction to grab the parachute for a power-up item. You can 
throw it again to pick up the item. This is useful because you do not have to 
jump to risky places. You just have to aim.

Throw it left/right: stun enemy as long as they are not too big. The claw can 
only stun one enemy at a time.

Throw it up: connect with next level above and flip over. Note--if you are 
too close to the edge, you will fall down. You need to push the throw button, 
push up twice, or hold up, to jump onto the next ledge. Sometimes you may 
wish to push down(jump back down) or wait until you climb up, if someone is 
just above.

Throw it up/right or up/left: you have a variety of different moves here. If 
you hold the joystick up/left, then you can wait until it is a good time to 
swing.

If you throw the arm diagonally and then hold the horizontal direction, you 
will swing in that direction and then jump off at the end of your arc. 
Swinging will also stun enemies in the same manner throwing a hook at them 
will. However, you will be vulnerable to bullets and falling enemies. If you 
push off right with the rope diagonal, you can swing back and forth for a 
while. Eventually the rope will get shorter and you'll be stuck just below 
the platform you latched onto. Then you will either climb up or jump straight 
down.

hitting guy with grapple 10
shooting cage 50
regular enemy 100(1 shot, jumps down at you)
big-guy enemy 100(runs at you, takes a few shots)
suicide enemy 200
bonuses 100/300/500/5000/10000
helicopter 500
jumper machine 500
level bonus 5000 + 100 * seconds left
grey officer: 1000
big grey officer: 1000
winning the game: 1000000

Extra guys at 20000, 40000 and then every 60000. Can be adjusted to:
  --30, 50, every 70
  --20, 60
  --30, 70
Starting lives = 3 but can be adjusted to 4, 5, 7
The default level is easy but there just seem to be more and faster monsters 
on hardest.

  3. STRATEGIES, ENEMIES AND POWER-UPS

There are a few sorts of guns in the game. They all have limited ranges and 
they all seem to do about the same damage, but they have different colors.

The basic small enemies can shoot from above and jump from above. To avoid 
them, just move up as they move down. You can use your arm to jump up as they 
fire, and you do not need to crouch to take them out or fire at them. They 
can, however, crouch and fire, so watch this. On later levels, they may 
somersault from the platform below, so be sure to keep an eye below yourself.

The purple goons will run at you with bayonets. They can't shoot, but they 
take several hits. If one is too close, hit him with your claw and then kill 
him off.

Lizards bite off the end of a pipe once it has grown. This will make you 
fall, or if the pipe falls on you, it will kill you.

Suiciders can be vicious--you can't touch them, but if you can run away from 
them, preferably with a swing jump, they explode on their own.

The flamethrowers move quickly. Your best bet is often to grab up when they 
are just over you. Then blast away. Watch out--they're tall, but they can 
duck, so don't let them hang around too long.

Jumpers are rather nasty. It's not clear when they will jump down on you, and 
they can play a lot of prevent defense. Your best bet is, if one is over you, 
to swing-jump to the side, jump up and turn around. You can wait for the 
enemy to come down by walking from under him.

Helicopters stay above you, dropping bombs. You can see the bomb appear 
before it drops. Then you can move away from it. Helicopters face at you 
before diving. When helicopters appear, destroying one generally means that 
another will appear. A few quick jumps, especially when the helicopter is 
dropping a bomb, can get you above the helicopter, where you can shoot it.

The grey officers are easy. They can't crouch, and though they take a few 
hits, they are not as fast as the purple goons.

Bees can be outrun on the first level if you run far enough away.

If you just want to get through the game, you can put in a lot of quarters 
and die strategically, landing on the place you couldn't get to before.

  4. WALKTHROUGH

This walkthrough doesn't find any easter eggs and doesn't get you any extra 
parachutes. But time can be valuable around the later stages, so I took that 
into account.

Level 1:

When you land, run right and grab up at the lower branch. Then grab to the 
right. Shoot the enemy as he runs at you. Grab up at the right branch. Grab 
up right of the bees, whom you do not want to hit. Shoot the cage. If you 
can, grab diagonally to open the teacup, then grab diagonally and land before 
you hit the spike pad. Grab diagonally to jump across it--make a full swing, 
so that when you release, you land right of the pad. If you try to drop short 
of it and jump over it, you will swing into it.

Now grab straight up a few times and fire right at the cage and the guard 
sleeping behind it. At the right edge of the branch, grab diagonally up/right 
to make it to the one leaning off the edge. You may have to inch in to the 
edge, but it is not too bad.

Grab up twice, then walk right and grab right. Don't dawdle--the branches 
will break off. You should see another "Base ^" sign. Use your grabber to go 
up three times, and there is another sign. Go up the left branches three more 
times, then fall off to the right. Blast the cage and walk into level 2.

Level 2:

Make sure nobody's above you when you grab up. Then start running right. If 
the big guy blocks you out, wait for him to jump down before you grab up or 
UR. Run until you meet the cliff wall, shooting whoever is in your way. There 
should be a gun power up to grab. Do so and jump up to the 2-wide platform, 
then up to the 1-wide. Grab UL and quickly either R(to stun the guard and 
walk off the wire) or U(to avoid the voltage on the wire).

You'l have more quick ups to negotiate here. Just make sure nobody's above, 
and shoot everyone around you, and you'll make it to more platforms and 
cannons. Again you can go up the right edge, grabbing the 1-wide. Keep going 
up the right. Shoot the gun turrets in the black holes if you want. 
Eventually you'll be relocated to the center of the screen as the view 
shifts. You may not be able to grab straight up once you see a long beam 
heading right.

You need to watch out above to make sure you are not trapped between a big 
enemy and explosive kamikazes. Eventually you want to get to the wooden beams 
above, but there is no need to rush.

Once again go up the rightmost (4-wide) platform and keep jumping straight 
up. You may wish to pause to get the red gun. You can stand away from the 
cement block thrower at the top, and a couple shots will take him if you have 
the power-ups. Run right.

Level 3:

Go to the right edge of your platform. Grab UR and fire left, then grab the 
power up. Grab the left edge of the platform above, get down and fire right. 
Drop right twice, then grab up and drop right. Grab UR. Grab up so you go way 
up.

Now you may have to wait a bit here, but it is worth it. Note how the enemies 
watch the pipes grow then bite them off. You want to tackle the one just 
above, and the best place to jump up is on the right edge, but you may get 
hit by a falling pipe. So you need to move left, wait for the enemy above to 
go left(they tend to try to move above you and bite the pipe so it falls on 
you,) and then move back right, jump up, crouch and fire left to get him. Now 
you can wait for that pipe to grow, then jump UL.

The next monster, you need to jump up and fire right, just after the pipe 
reaches the left edge. So you will shoot him before he bites the pipe. Then 
grab up but don't pull yourself up. No matter how long you wait for the 
enemies to come down from their jumps, they won't until you either pull up or 
drop down. So drop down, then jump up again when it is safe. Then jump up and 
ambush the biter from behind. Two UR jumps get you to the next phase.

There's no set way to do the next part, but the main thing you need to do is 
to stay ahead of the big machines. You shoot them, and an enemy falls out and 
may somersault you. So what you need to do, for one that is above, is fake it 
into jumping one way, then you will grab diagonally the other way and fire at 
it. Also, moving diagonally several times works well. Be careful about all 
your jumps, clearing the general area before doing so, and if someone appears 
straight above, wipe him out. I found going up the left side and jumping UR 
back works well. If you can make a UR jump to hang from the yellow ceiling-
teeth and fall into the moving gondola, that works well too.

Your goal is to get to the right side of the ceiling-teeth and so either UL 
and UR, or UL and back right, works well. Do a Tarzan jump when you can for 
extra speed. If you try to climb on the ceiling teeth before the right shaft, 
you will fall down. But once you do, jump up the right side, waiting for the 
enemy above to fall down before grabbing up.

This next part is a bit tricky. You can never be sure where the jumper 
machine enemy is going to be, but if you jump up the right side (watch the 
big grab up) and see where the enemy lands, you can use the swing-and-grab or 
just a diagonal grab to move out of the way if the enemy is too far over you. 
Get up to the top when you can to blast the enemy, because then all you have 
to do is wait for the shooters below before you walk to the next part. You 
need to zap both the up/down buttons to remove the barriers as well, so shoot 
right at the top.

Now fall right and you are at the first mega-monster. Run under its raised 
foot and, at the column going up, grab up twice. Then grab UR. You may need 
to go back left to get this perfectly. Wait for any enemies about to fall to 
drop through, then swing-jump to the right.

Two more jumps up and now it is pretty easy to avoid the fist on the left. 
The one on the right is trickier. Get very close to it, and right when the 
fist gets to the top position and you can sneak through. Drop right. Avoid 
the next guy's foot and fire right at the up/down. Now from the base of the 
column in the center of the big guy, make a big swing UR and jump right. Run 
and shoot the vehicle when it appears. Wait for the other enemies to come 
down--move to the right so the vehicle jumps right, then left. Watch for the 
guys aiming down.

Now you can shoot the top officer(red boots) first if you want--he moves 
pretty predictably and never crouches to shoot. You need to shoot both to get 
to the next level. So wait under the left of the far right platform, jump up 
and blast away.

Level 4:

The first bit is not too bad. Stay on the left side of the gap of the top 
up/downs to blast them. The lower ones are no problem. Repeat this a few 
time, watching where you drop(you can make a big swing jump at the top if you 
want) until eventually you get on a slow lift going UR. Just avoid the 
helicopter's bombs, and don't worry about killing him. Sometimes, randomly, 
he is stupid enough to attack you directly, but if it doesn't happen, don't 
press it. Fortunately he telegraphs the bombs, so you can avoid them. In 
fact, his aim is bad due to the moving lift that you can just sit through 
this and make sure he doesn't dive bomb you. If a helicopter faces the 
screen, it means it is about to dive bomb you.

Jump UR for the first big jump--an enemy may be in the way, so you may need 
to wait a bit. You just need to watch for if the chopper runs down at you or 
if an enemy jumps. For either, step out of the way, blast and continue.

Run right and jump UR or U whenever you can. Make sure no helicopter above is 
in the way, and nobody is jumping from above. Also do not start a jump when a 
helicopter is about to drop a bomb above you. It's possible to kill a 
helicopter if you can duck a bomb early, jump up and fire. But another will 
replace it. However, there is a way to throw the helicopters off. Grab above 
and then pull up--but don't go to the next platform up. Instead, drop. The 
helicopters will remain a bit above the highest place you jumped and be off 
the screen, where they will not drop bombs.

Eventually there will be only one way up, a bottleneck of vehicles and 
enemies. Jump up and jump off a platform to sucker the enemies down one by 
one, then jump up some more.

Some more of this--jump up when you can, and don't try to kill everyone if 
you can run through them, because you may be low on time--you'll jump up and 
see a tan platform above. Jump UR to get onto it and then swing quickly 
right--if you have the time and firepower to ambush the soldiers, do so, but 
the best bet is to get right, and when you see the grey officers above, look 
for a way up. I found a long diagonal grab is good here, though any place you 
can get works. Just crouch and blast left and right a lot as needed and you 
will win.

Level 5:

Right, hit the enemy, jump up(no UR jump here--you swing into the barriers) 
and go right and jump up. You'll be right of a barrier now. Go right and 
swing or just drop all the way down, go right and jump up(slower but safer.) 
You need to get along the very top, and you may have to grab straight up and 
fall if you don't running jump. Blast two more flamethrowers and fall right. 
Run to the right--you're out of this area now.

Again, go up the right side. It's tough to tell where the platforms are but 
there are two plain silver ones with a silver column down the center--you can 
jump on the top of these. This is a tough place and not the worst one to 
waste a life at so you can parachute from the top, so be ready if you die. 
It's very tough to guarantee victory. But you can goad enemies into jumping 
down and then you can jump up--don't try to defeat every one. The enemies are 
more mobile than you since your claw can't reach around metal. So just look 
for a way up and then jump.

Once you do, the countdown timer starts. Again, an extra life is good to 
waste here to get to the top, since you are pressed for time and hurrying 
later may get you in more trouble.

So what is the way with the fewest obtstructions? I think going to the left 
is good here. You can flee from the main enemies and also easily duck the 
grey officer to the left. Then you can just jump up til you need to jump UR. 
At the top, you have a few more flamethrowers and regular enemies to 
negotiate. Blast the flamethrowers and wait for the regular ones to drop. You 
can then jump on a platform and fire right at the big machine. It takes a few 
hits, and then you get to move on. The game says you have one more thing to 
do.

More regular enemies will drop at you, and the only tricky one is the one 
that drops twice. Again. pass him as he jumps down. The next bit seems tricky 
but isn't. You need to pull yourself up on the left edge when the enemies are 
at the left edge, then fire away. But you have a lot of room for error here. 
At the top you have one officer to duck and shoot, then another. Wait below 
the left end of the right ledge and when the other guys are in the center, 
going right, jump up, duck and fire. They'll both go down quickly. The white-
bearded guy is functionally no different from the regular bosses.

Congratulations! You win! A quick game but very satisfying.

Well, actually, you don't quite win. You can go through a second time, with 
no extra lives, and the enemies are a lot quicker and more numerous--2 
helicopters instead of 1, etc. There will be unfairness.

  5. CHEATS

You should be able to turn the MAME cheats on or off pretty easily.

================================

  6. VERSIONS/CREDITS

1.0.0: sent to GameFAQs 10/05/2008, complete

Thanks to the usual GameFAQs gang, current and emeritus. They know who they 
are, and you should, too, because they get/got some SERIOUS writing done. 
Good people too--bloomer, falsehead, Sashanan, Masters, Retro, Snow 
Dragon/Brui5ed Ego, ZoopSoul, War Doc, Brian Sulpher, AdamL, odino, JDog, 
Lagoona, Da Hui and others I forgot. OK, even Hydrophant in his current not-
yet-banned message board incarnation. I am not part of his gang, but I want 
him to be part of mine.