Super Earth Defense Force
FAQ/Walkthrough
By MHamlin

V1.00 12/21/2012

Table of Contents
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1. Intro
2. Controls
3. Basics
4. Weapons
5. Walkthrough
   a. Stage 1
   b. Stage 2
   c. Stage 3
   d. Stage 4
   e. Stage 5
   f. Stage 6
6. Cheats
7. Credits

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1. Intro
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Super E.D.F. is a side scrolling shoot 'em up released in 1992 by Jaleco for 
the arcade and later the SNES platform. It's a little different from other 
shooters of the day as it lets you customize your firepower a bit more and 
also allowed you to directly control your satellite ships, which adds more of 
a tactical element to the game. Also, you can survive getting hit more than 
once before dying, which was completely unheard of at the time. All in all 
it's a little shorter and a little easier than the more well-known shooters 
but it's entertaining nonetheless. This guide will cover all the gameplay 
elements, including weapons. A step-by-step walkthrough is little excessive 
for this kind of game but you'll find helpful tips for getting through the 
tougher parts of the game as well as for beating the bosses. Good luck!

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2. Controls
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The controls for the game can be customized in the options menu with six 
different configurations. I will cover the default configuration.

D-pad- Movement

X- Adjust speed

A- Change satellite formation

B- Fire
Y- Nothing

L- Nothing

R- Nothing

Select- Nothing

Start- Pause

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3. Basics
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E.D.F. is a little different than the average SNES shooter. Pay attention to 
the basics of the game and you'll beat it without breaking a sweat.

SHIP SPEED - Press the X button to adjust your movement speed. The arrows at 
the top of the screen indicate the speed setting you're on. I recommend 
staying at level 3 for the whole game. The other two settings don't allow you 
enough speed to dodge the trickier shots in the game, and the highest speed 
setting isn't all that fast anyway.

SHIELDS - Unlike a lot of other shooters, you won't die from taking a hit. 
Instead, you have three shields, indicated by the green markers at the top of 
the screen. You lose one each time you take a hit, and once the last one is 
gone, it's game over. You get a few seconds of invulnerability after getting 
hit (your ship catches fire during this time), so use that time wisely to get 
to a safer location on the screen. Your starting shields can be changed in 
the options menu; if your current shields are below this number, they are 
refilled when you start the next level. You have 3 continues in this game; 
each time you die you can change your weapon. 

LEVEL - Another neat aspect is the level up system. Blowing up enemy ships 
increases your experience bar, and once it gets full, you will level up. 
Increasing your level will also increase the strength of your weapons and 
allow you to use different satellite formations. Note that your level does 
drop when you die, so even if you have to use a continue, you can keep your 
level. You also get a huge "secret bonus" if you complete a stage without 
getting hit which contributes a lot to your next level up. The maximum level 
is 5; any more level-ups after that will grant you extra shields.

SATELLITES - Your ship comes equipped with two smaller ships called 
satellites. These satellites provide extra firepower and protection for you. 
The satellites are indestructible, so they can absorb enemy gunfire and even 
damage or destroy enemy ships if they touch them. Your satellites behavior is 
determined by the formation you're using; press A to cycle through different 
formations. Remember that some of them require a certain experience level 
before you can use them.

Union: The satellites are united with you, docked just under the nose of your 
ship. This ensures that your weapon is at maximum power but it doesn't do 
much else. The satellites can still block enemy fire coming from beneath your 
ship, but that's about all they can do. I don't recommend using this 
formation at all, unless you have the Photon weapon.

Rotation: The satellites rotate around your ship. This gives you the most 
protection from enemy fire while still maintaining your level of firepower. 
Note that your ship will also fire its own blaster while your satellites use 
your selected weapon.

Shadow: Unlocked at level 3, the shadow formation causes the satellites to 
mimic your movements. They play "follow the leader" essentially, perfectly 
following your every movement. You can use this formation to get your 
satellites into certain positions on the screen so you can attack without 
having to expose yourself. The boss of stage 2 is particularly vulnerable to 
this tactic.

Homing: Your satellites pair up and seek out enemies, staying on them until 
they die. This formation basically adds a homing capability to any weapon, so 
it's extremely useful because it allows you to make use of the powerful 
weapons such as Atomic and Explode. The only downside is that the satellites 
are away from your ship the whole time, leaving you exposed. When using this 
formation, you just need to hold down the fire button and then focus on 
dodging enemy fire while your satellites do all the work. Unlocked at level 
5.

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4. Weapons
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You pick which weapon you want at the beginning of every stage or after using 
a continue. The game ranks the weapons according to power, speed, and rapid 
fire but these rankings are a little inconsistent and don't give the full 
picture of the weapon's capability. Here are my recommendations:

VULCAN: Fires a spray of bullets like a shotgun that spreads out in front of 
your ship. This is a pretty basic weapon and has decent power as well as 
speed. The only downside is that the weapon behaves quite differently if 
you're using your satellites; they lose the spread effect and just shoot 
forward. You may find yourself using the Union formation more often with this 
weapon, but it works well in any other.

LASER: A powerful weapon, the laser can only shoot straight ahead, but it 
will decimate anything in your path easily. You'll find its power to be 
especially devastating on level 4 or 5. Since it can only shoot forward and 
has a low rate of fire, this weapon works best with the Homing formation.

ATOMIC: This weapon fires canisters that explode into huge blue bubbles. Not 
only is this weapon fairly powerful, but the bubbles will also erase enemy 
gunfire. This is the best all-around weapon once you get the Homing formation 
but before you reach level 5, you may want to stick with a different weapon.

HOMING: Homing is a very cool weapon which fires very quickly like a machine 
gun. Each shot homes in perfectly on the enemies, which makes this a very 
easy to use weapon. Its biggest flaw, though, is that it's really weak and 
can take forever to kill some enemies. For that reason, it's not a good idea 
to use in the later levels because a lot of the enemies will fly off the 
screen before you can kill them, causing you to miss out on experience. This 
weapon works well in any formation except for Homing (obviously).

EXPLODE: Fires big blasts of energy that explode when they hit enemies, 
causing secondary energy blasts to hit other enemies. Explode is very 
powerful, even more so than Atomic, but it can't erase enemy shots, either. 
Since it only shoots forward, this is best used with the Homing formation.

S. LASER: Technically it's a homing weapon, but what really happens is that 
your satellites turn and aim at enemies. Whereas the Homing weapon will chase 
down enemies, S. Laser can be dodged by faster enemies because the shots 
travel slowly. However, the lasers will also pass through enemies, which 
gives this weapon quite a bit of power. It works well in any formation.

GRENADE: This is a weird one. It just shoots grenades forward a short 
distance that explode. Grenade is extremely powerful but it's really short 
range kills it. The grenades also don't explode when they hit enemies, only 
when they travel the short distance. In short, the weapon is of dubious value 
and I recommend you don't use it. If you absolutely have to, use the Homing 
formation, otherwise you'll never hit anything.

PHOTON: Allows you to charge up shots and then release them for big damage. 
This is the strongest weapon in the game if you keep charging to full power 
but that also means it has a very poor rate of fire. Aim carefully with this 
one. Only use this weapon in Homing or Union. In fact, this weapon is the 
only one where Union works well because it has a unique behavior; when you 
charge up, the satellites come out in front of you and create an energy 
barrier that absorbs enemy gunfire. You can hold this charge for as long as 
you want until you're ready to fire it.

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Walkthrough
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a. Stage 1

Recommended weapon: HOMING

The first stage is fairly easy, especially with Homing. The enemies are weak 
enough such that Homing can take them out pretty easily. The only problem 
ships are the round ones that shoot lasers, as they take quite a bit more 
punishment before they die and they have a tendency to appear behind you. 
You'll likely hit level 2 during this stage, which makes dealing with them 
easier.

The mid-boss is easy to beat. He just floats around the screen lazily, 
letting you hit him for free. He will eventually shoot bullets in a circular 
pattern; just dodge in between them and finish him off.

The boss is a little harder, but not by much. Stay in between the guns on top 
and bottom of the ship so that when they fire, you'll avoid getting hit. 
After that, he'll open up and shoot a large fireball, followed by a second 
one. After you've trashed him, he'll stop using the big guns and will start 
firing a spread of bullets at you. It's tough to slip between them, so just 
fly up or down and go around them. He'll shoot the fireballs as well, so keep 
your eyes peeled. The secret bonus is pretty easy to get on this stage, so 
try to get it so that level 3 will come up faster.

b. Stage 2

Recommended weapon: HOMING or S. LASER

Either weapon is good for this stage. As long as you have something with 
homing ability, you'll be fine, as a lot of enemies come from many different 
sides. You'll probably hit level 3 at some point in this stage, which allows 
you to use the Shadow formation. This makes it easier to deal with enemies 
coming from behind you if you're not using a homing weapon. Other than that, 
it's a fairly easy stage with no mid-boss, so hopefully you can get the 
secret bonus.

The boss is a joke. He just slowly flies up and down and fires shots out the 
front. None of his attacks every go to the bottom of the screen, so you're 
perfectly safe if you stay down there. The only time you have to move is when 
he moves forward to the left side of the screen. He fires trios of bullets at 
you, so you have move out of the way and actually go up the right side of the 
screen. When he stops, just move back down and you're safe again.

The Shadow formation works really well here. When he moves to the left side 
of the screen, you can go up with Shadow formation and let your satellites 
hang around up there. When the boss goes back to the right side, he'll be in 
contact with your satellites, which deals constant damage to him. When he 
starts to blow up, he'll also start shooting crescents, but they still can't 
hit you at the bottom of the screen.

c. Stage 3

Recommended weapon: S. LASER

This stage is much longer than the previous two and quite a bit harder. The 
enemies like to come from all sides and they are considerably harder to kill, 
which makes S. Laser a great weapon for this stage. Try to destroy as many 
enemies as you can so you can reach level 4.

The mid boss isn't too difficult if you know what you're doing. He starts off 
by firing a stream of bullets which forces you to fly in a circle around him. 
After that, he fires pairs of crescents that are difficult to fly in between. 
The red orb in the center is his only weak point and his arms block a lot of 
your firepower. This I another reason S. Laser is good weapon here because 
the shots fly through his arms and hit his core easily. Just keep flying in 
circles around him and stay away from the crescents. After you do enough 
damage to him, his arms get blown off and his whole body becomes vulnerable, 
but he fires huge waves up bullets that you can't fly through. When this 
happens, just stay either right above or below him and change positions 
accordingly as he flies up and down. Break out in front of him to do damage 
when he's not firing, or if you're using S. Laser, just stay out of his way 
and let your weapon do the work.

After the mid-boss, the level is fairly tame but some of the enemies move 
pretty quickly, which makes it hard for S. Laser to hit them. Try moving 
closer so your shots don't have to travel as far, thus making it easier to 
destroy the enemy ships. You don't want to miss out on the experience!

The boss can be a little tricky. He starts down in the water and fires single 
orbs at you. When they get close, they explode in a fan pattern which forces 
you to fly around them. After doing this several times, he will fire a salvo 
of tiny missiles that also home on you. These can be difficult to dodge but 
they can be destroyed. Obviously, you'll have to move down in the bottom left 
corner to attack the boss in between his attacks, or you can just let S. 
Laser do all the work (if you haven't noticed by now, S. Laser is a great 
weapon for this level).

After dealing some damage, the boss will rise up above the water. He stops 
using the homing the missiles but now fires lasers out of his "legs" that 
rebound off the bottom of the screen. This forces you to stay in the upper 
left part of the screen, dodging the glowing orbs, but makes it much easier 
to hit him. He stops attacking and becomes invulnerable for a few seconds 
after he starts blowing up, but once he starts attacking again just keep 
shooting him until he falls.

d. Stage 4

Recommended weapon: S. LASER or ATOMIC (if you've reached level 5)

This stage is VERY difficult. There is a lot more enemy fire to deal with, 
including fast moving enemies that bombard the screen with bullets. Atomic 
works great to erase some of the gunfire but you'll need the Homing formation 
to make good use of this property. Reaching level 5 at this stage is 
difficult to do and will have required you to use a continue or two or 
cleared the first three stages with the secret bonus.

The first part of the stage lays it on heavy with lots of bullets flying 
everywhere. The smaller red enemies move quickly and fire fast-moving bullets 
in an "X" pattern. S. LASER usually won't even hit them, so the Homing 
formation is very helpful for this stage. If you don't have it yet, try using 
Rotation so that your satellites have a better chance of soaking up the 
bullets.

Once you get close to the colony in the background, things calm down a bit. 
However, you'll also fight some blue enemies that come on the screen and move 
forward very quickly while firing at you. There are several formations of 
enemies that shoot lots of bullets at you, and some will even trap you in the 
center of the screen, which almost guarantees getting hit. Again, a homing 
weapon or the Homing formation is great because it lets you concentrate of 
avoiding enemy fire. There's no mid-boss but after clearing the enemies out, 
you'll have to deal with the toughest boss yet.

The boss just flies up and down throughout the entire fight. He start by 
shooting a wide spread of purple star projectiles. They don't travel too 
quickly, so you can fly in between them. However, he also sends out 
satellites that shoot their own S. Laser at you, so avoiding everything can 
be tricky. He will also form a firing line of satellites that will all shoot 
at you, so try to destroy them quickly.

Once the boss is weakened, he gets a little easier to deal with. Now he will 
fire big crescents you have to fly around. Every few seconds he will shoot a 
volley of purples stars in lines that you can't fly through, which will force 
you to either fly up or down. If he fires a crescent as well, you need to 
move quickly to clear it because you'll still be in motion to avoid the 
purple stars. Keep up the pressure, and you'll eventually win.

e. Stage 5

Recommended weapon: ATOMIC or EXPLODE

This stage is a little bit of a breather, as it's not as hard as stage 4. You 
should be level 5 by now, so keep the Homing formation on with Atomic or 
Explode for great results. A lot of the enemies in the first part of the 
stage will die pretty quickly, thanks to the Homing formation. However, watch 
out for the small probes when they line up. They are invulnerable until while 
they line up and can't be destroyed until they try to ram you. Don't use the 
Homing formation when they are on the screen because your satellites will get 
hung up on them.

The mid boss is easy to beat with the Homing formation. Normally he fires big 
bullets spreads that are difficult to fly through, but if your satellites are 
in Homing formation, they will stay right in front of the boss, absorbing all 
the bullets. The only attacks you have to worry about are the lines of blue 
projectiles that he shoots, but you'll probably kill him before he even has a 
chance to use them.

After that, the stage is pretty tame. The blue comets are destroyed easily on 
the way down to the planet but they break into chunks, so watch out for them. 
You'll face more of the smaller enemies that fly at you and then try to ram 
into you, but these can destroyed right away. You'll also notice some green 
dots flying up from the background. Initially, they do nothing, but once they 
get close enough, they move at you quickly while shooting bullets. Also, take 
your satellites out of Homing formation when they first show up because 
they'll get hung up on them again.

The boss is all about performing precise movements repeatedly. You can't hurt 
him when he first shows up; he just tries to ram you. After that, he becomes 
a big snake-like ship and only his head in vulnerable. Keep your satellites 
in Homing formation and they won't have a problem hitting him. After that, 
the boss simply moves up and down on the screen. Each time he stops he fires 
a huge spread of blue comets that you have to fly carefully between. After 
dodging it, move to the side of the screen opposite the boss and do it again. 
The comets move pretty fast, so this fight is all about getting into a rhythm 
and dodging the same attack over and over. The Atomic weapon works really 
well here because it causes the game to slow down a little, making it easier 
to dodge the boss's attack.

f. Stage 6

Recommended weapon: ATOMIC, LASER, or EXPLODE

The last stage is definitely the hardest. You want firepower over all else 
here so use a strong weapon. In the first part of the stage, you'll fight 
beefed up versions of enemies you've fought previously. They give TONS of 
experience, so you will get one or two extra shields (you should already be 
level 5 at this point). You'll need them.

After clearing them, the screen slows down and you enter a corridor, which 
limits some of your movement. Keep the Homing formation on so that you can 
kill the enemies in the corridor quickly; the tight spacing makes it 
difficult to dodge enemy fire. Fortunately, none of the enemies are 
particularly tough. 

After getting back out in the open, you will kill a few enemies and then it's 
time for some bosses.

The first boss is HARD. He's easy to hit, but all he does is fire fast-moving 
bullet spreads over and over. It's very difficult to move between them, so it 
almost becomes a race to kill him before he kills you. He also shoots out a 
small red orb that floats on the top or bottom of the screen for several 
seconds before trying to ram you, which makes it even harder to avoid getting 
hit. But if you kill him, you'll get a bunch of experience, which should 
hopefully be enough to get an extra shield.

The next boss takes up the whole right side of the screen. You cannot use the 
Homing formation here because he shoots out a small ball that travels along 
the edge of the screen and distracts your satellites; use Rotation or Shadow 
instead. If you have the Photon weapon, Union also works well. In this fight, 
the boss just cycles through some hard-to-avoid attacks. His first one fills 
the whole screen with bullets, so stay on the lower left corner and try to 
dodge them. After that, he shoots lightning bolts that streak over and down 
to left, but they're easy to dodge. Then he will start shooting a huge fan of 
colored shots, but they have bigger gaps, so you can fly right through them. 
After that, he repeats from his first attack.

After beating him, you'll probably get another extra shield. You'll then 
start flying in reverse, so move carefully as you go back through the 
corridor. Put your satellites back in Homing formation and get ready for the 
final boss!

The boss starts out by firing globs of green... something at you. They 
explode in fans of smaller fragments that you can't fly between, so you have 
to go around each one. However, he fires them very rapidly and you'll get 
cornered quickly. Try your best to avoid them as long as you can but you'll 
probably get hit. After he loses some health, he'll start shooting pink 
projectiles at you that do the same thing except they travel a little slower 
and only break into three fragments which make them easier to dodge. You 
should be able to avoid getting hit at all. Once the boss is almost dead, 
he'll causes eyeballs to appear everywhere on the screen and then they all 
fly toward you. This is pretty much impossible to dodge so you just need to 
kill the boss before he kills you. You should be able to do it if you started 
the fight with 3 or 4 shields but anything less than that, and you'll have 
your work cut out for you. Good luck!

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6. Cheats
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These cheats are activated by pausing the game and entering the code.

INVINCIBILITY: A, B, X, Y, Right, Left, Up, Down, Left, Right
INSTANT LEVEL UP: Press L, R, and Down simultaneously on controller 2

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7. Credits
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This guide is pretty complete, but you can always contact me if you have any 
useful tips or tricks. E-mail me at cmhamlin@mchsi.com.

The only ones I can really thank are CJayC for maintaining gamefaqs.com and 
you, the reader, for reading my guide. I'll be sure to credit anyone who 
provides a submission.

==EOF==

Copyright MHamlin 2012