R O L L I N G T H U N D E R Written by endresults (firstname.lastname@example.org) This document is copyrighted (c) 2004 by endresults. If you would like to use any of the content in this FAQ, ask my permission at email@example.com. Now, on with the FAQ. VERSION HISTORY 2/27/04 - V1.1: Fixed a few spelling errors and a cheat. 2/25/04 - V1.0: Initial FAQ. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. ABOUT THIS FAQ 2. STORY 3. CONTROLS 4. BASICS 4a. Choosing an Area. 4b. Starting a Game 4c. Levels 4d. Ammunition 4e. Health 4f. Time 4g. Points 4h. Continues 5. ENEMIES 5a. Maskers 5b. Panthers 5c. Flamers 5d. Breakers 5e. Laser Cannons 5f. Bats 6. TACTICS TO REMEMBER 6a. Doors 6b. Turning and Shooting 6c. Leading Shots 6d. Conserving Ammunition 6e. Hiding 7. AREA GUIDE 7a. Story 1 Area 1 7b. Story 1 Area 2 7c. Story 1 Area 3 7d. Story 1 Area 4 7e. Story 1 Area 5 7f. Story 2 Area 6 7g. Story 2 Area 7 7h. Story 2 Area 8 7i. Story 2 Area 9 7j. Story 2 Area 10 8. CHEATS/TRICKS 9. ANYTHING I MISSED? 10. THANKS ============================================================================= 1. About This FAQ ============================================================================= Rolling Thunder is a side-scrolling shooter released in 1986 by Namco. Side- scrolling shooters were hardly rare during this period in arcade history, but Rolling Thunder stands out even today as one of the best arcade games of the era because of its visual style, excellent background music and samples, and the game's simple drop-in-a-quarter-and-go gameplay. The visual and audio aspects of the Rolling Thunder hold up well almost 20 years later. The game bleeds style, with graphics that are obviously inspired by 70's and 80's manga. The main character, Albatross, has a very distinctive, lanky look about him, and all of his movements are beautifully animated. The soundtrack of this game is absolutely extraordinary for the time, and helps create the experience of playing through a comic book. One of the greatest aspects of Rolling Thunder is its sheer difficulty. This game is no picnic, and not many people are able to say they have beaten this game, as the later levels can be mind-bendingly hard. Beating Rolling Thunder takes a lot of nerves, patience, and precision. Depending on the version of Rolling Thunder cabinet you play on, you have only a limited amount of continues to work with, or may not even be able to continue at all. All that being said, Rolling Thunder CAN be beaten with just one quarter. Even today, it is something to brag about, and it will feel good if you can do it. The whole point of this FAQ is to not only help you beat the game, but to beat the game in as few lives as possible. Maybe even with one life. No cheating or glitching, no save/load states if you use an emulator... just good ol' fashioned skill and patience. ============================================================================= 2. Story ============================================================================= (Taken from the Rolling Thunder Arcade Operator's Manual) "Rolling Thunder is a one or two player (alternating) game where the player controls the player whose code name is Albatross. The Story takes place in 1960 in New York City where the elusive Maboo, leader of the secret society Geldra, is plotting to conquer the world. Rolling Thunder is the undercover arm of a secret police organization. The female agent, Leila, was sent on special assignment into Geldra's underground headquarters. Her mission was to expose the treacherous conspiracy, but she was captured. Agent Albatross is the only man on the Rolling Thunder force who can possibly save Leila and complete the mission." ============================================================================= 3. Controls ============================================================================= Jump: Jump Button Shoot: Shoot Button Crouch: Down Crouching Shot: Down + Shoot Button High Jump/Change Floors Up: Up + Jump Button Change Floors Down: Down + Jump Button while behind railing Entering Doors: Up while standing in front of door Moving Between Background/Foreground: Up or Down in front of doorway ============================================================================= 4. Basics ============================================================================= -------------------- 4a. Choosing an Area -------------------- When you drop a quarter in, you will most likely see a screen that allows you to select an area from the first story to start from. A very nice touch, but I rarely use it. If there is an area you have trouble with, it's a good idea to practice up on it by using this neat little area select feature. ------------------- 4b. Starting a Game ------------------- When you begin a new game, you will notice your health and ammo indicators, along with your score and player count (which should be set at 3 men) on the top. It is pretty self-explanatory, but it needs to be mentioned that whenever you die or start a new game, you start out with 50 handgun bullets. In some areas, this puts you in a very tight spot, because you never want to run out of ammunition, as you will soon see. Also, the health bar is a bit misleading... ---------- 4c. Levels ---------- Rolling Thunder is a side-scrolling shooter with a few quirks. Every area has floors or levels you can jump up to or down from a la Shinobi, but some levels also contain background corridors that you can walk into to avoid enemies or obstacles, or simply to reach an ammo closet. In many areas, you will find yourself leaping between floor levels to take out enemies, who are a danger of leaping up or down to attack you as you walk under or above them. It adds a little bit of depth over the usual tired shooters of the 80's. -------------- 4d. Ammunition -------------- All areas will contain at least two ammo closets that you can enter to gain some bullets for your handgun or machine gun. Doors marked "BULLETS" will add to your handgun ammo count while doors marked "ARMS" will equip you with a machine gun and bullets, or add to your ammo count if you already have one. Ammo closets don't give you a set amount of ammunition. Some ammo closets may give you 20 bullets, while others may give you 50. It isn't random, but it is worth noting that later in the game, as the amount of enemies increases, the amount of ammo in ammo closets may decrease, forcing you to make each shot count. At the end of each area, if your remaining ammo is under 50 bullets, it will be replenished to 50 at the start of the next area. If you run out of ammunition, you aren't completely helpless, but as close to it as you can possibly get. Your ammo indicator will show 1 bullet remaining, but when you fire your weapon, you will find that the bullet fires at the walking speed of Albatross. You will also be limited to having one bullet on the screen at once, so you will have to get up close and personal with enemies if you want to survive with the "slug pistol." ---------- 4e. Health ---------- In the bottom-middle of the screen is your health, or life indicator. You will notice that when it is full, it shows a long bar with eight green blocks in it. This is very misleading, and is there either to fill up the bottom of the screen to make it look good, or to fool new players into thinking they can recklessly fly into firefights and take a few bullets in the process without dying. In actuality, your health bar is actually TWO units or four blocks each. Being hit by a bullet or grenade, falling into a pit or an area without a floor, getting hit by a laser cannon, or running out of time will kill you instantly. Running into an enemy or the explosion of a grenade will cost you one half of your life bar, and running into one again will kill you. Your life bar is replenished at the end of each area. As you can see, this game is very unforgiving of mistakes. -------- 4f. Time -------- Depending on the dip switch settings of the arcade cabinet, you will have either 120 or 150 seconds to negotiate each area. If you die during an area, the time resets to the default area time, even if you start at a mid-level checkpoint. The recommended setting is 120 seconds according to the Rolling Thunder Arcade Operator's Manual, but I have yet to see a cabinet not set at 150 seconds. 150 seconds to complete some areas is a tall order as is, and it is recommended that you set your cabinet to 150 seconds if possible. After the completion of an area, your remaining time is converted into points at a rate or 120 points for each second remaining on the timer. ---------- 4g. Points ---------- This game really isn't about the points, but I suppose it's worth noting that you can gain extra men at 70,000 and 200,000 points or at 100,000 and 300,000 points depending on the cabinet settings. There is also a high score list, and if you continue a game, the score doesn't reset, so you can add on to your high score if you want. Here is the full list of point information. |--------------------------------| | Enemy/Time | Points | |----------------------|---------| |Common Masker | 300 | |Goggled Masker | 400 | |Ninja Masker | 700 | |Bat | 800 | |Breaker | 300 | |Flamer Remains |800 each | |Panther | 500 | |Remaining Time |120/sec | |--------------------------------| ------------- 4h. Continues ------------- Unlike a lot of games that allow continues, Rolling Thunder will only let you continue a game a maximum of six times. The cabinet has a setting that allows you to set the max continues to three, but I've never seen it done. If you want to beat the game, you will have to get good at it, rather than having a lot of quarters at your disposal. ============================================================================= 5. Enemies ============================================================================= ----------- 5a. Maskers ----------- Maskers are the most prevalent enemy in Rolling Thunder. They look human, and wear colorful outfits, that presumably signify rank, but also serve to alert the player of what attacks should be expected from them. In this guide, the maskers will be separated and described by hood color. They come in three varieties, and each variety has several different flavors. Some can attack only by punching while others carry a gun just like Albatross. Some can even lob grenades. Even still, the maskers who carry weapons will sometimes stand and shoot while others prefer to crouch and fire, making you jump to avoid the bullet and leaving you vulnerable to subsequent attacks by them or other enemies. The maskers who crouch and shoot are the most dangerous, and should be quickly eliminated before they are allowed to fire. Common Maskers: Common maskers wear a simple hood and this is the first enemy you encounter when you start a new game. They attack by either punching, shooting, or by lobbing grenades at you. All common maskers take only one shot to put down. Goggled Maskers: Goggled maskers are a little sturdier than your common masker, and take two shots to kill, but still follow the same attack patterns as common maskers. These maskers can punch, shoot, and some can even throw grenades, but they are still only marginally harder than common maskers to kill since they are momentarily stunned after being shot once, leaving them open to a follow-up shot. Ninja Maskers: Ninja Maskers begin to appear at the end of the second area and show up on and off throughout the rest of the game. When Albatross happens by a stealth masker's position, they appear out of nowhere and attempt an ambush attack. Most ninja maskers are relatively simple to kill, but a few white ninja maskers near the end of the game take an amazing four shots to kill. Be wary in places where stealth maskers show up, and you shouldn't have any problems, save for a few tricky positions that will be covered later. ------------ 5b. Panthers ------------ Panthers are big, black cats that show up in various places throughout the game. They are very easy to kill, taking only one well placed crouching shot. These enemies are only tricky in numbers and in ambush situations where they leap onto the screen from above. Occasionally, panthers will crouch and growl at you, and a crouching shot will miss them. ----------- 5c. Flamers ----------- Flamers are humanoid shaped creatures that leap up from lava pits and bounce around the screen. Flamers are especially tricky, mostly because they show up in situations where you are doing platform jumping. One shot will take down a flamer, but after it is hit, it will break up into four separate fireballs which will then fly up in an upward direction and off the screen. It is important to know when flamers will appear and to take them down before they get close. If you miss a shot at them and they leap right by you they will bounce right back in Albatross' direction. Where on the screen you kill a flamer is just as important as IF you kill it. ------------ 5d. Breakers ------------ These can be one of the most annoying enemies in the entire game. They are short impish looking creatures and are quick when attacking, which means you need to hit them quickly with a low shot before they have the chance to attack. Once they close in on Albatross, they leap at you, leaving you with one chance to shoot them with a high shot before they hit you. While they technically only do half damage, letting them get close enough to hit you usually means death, as they are very fast and will usually hit you twice before you have the chance to recover. It is very important to lead your shots in areas that Breakers populate. ----------------- 5e. Laser Cannons ----------------- Laser cannons are mounted to ceiling structures and shoot towards the ground at regular intervals. Being hit by one is just like getting shot, which means instant death. They start appearing in the second story of the game, and can make some situations rather difficult. While they don't pose much, if any, of a challenge on their own, sometimes enemies will attack just as you reach or have passed a laser cannon, making backtracking difficult, and forcing you to leap forward if shot at. Also, laser cannons sometimes show up grouped closely together, forcing you to memorize their firing pattern and carefully pass through each one. -------- 5f. Bats -------- Bats show up in a few areas in the game, and are supremely annoying. They are huge, and while they only take one shot to kill, they can be hard to hit. Once a bat spots Albatross, it will fly back and forth on the screen a few times and then swoop down to attack, where it can then be shot by a standing shot. Bats are only truly dangerous in situations where you trigger more than two bats at a time, when a bat appears near the bottom of the screen, or when you miss your chance to attack the bat and take a hit. ============================================================================= 6. Tactics to Remember ============================================================================= To be successful at Rolling Thunder, there are a few techniques and tactics to remember before you get started. Some of these are pretty intuitive, but some need to be practiced before they become second nature. I won't go in- depth for every section of every area in the game, so it's important to use them all the time, except for hiding. --------- 6a. Doors --------- You will encounter a lot of doors throughout the game, and more often than not, an enemy will exit a door when you approach it. It is ALWAYS recommended stop for a second by a door you haven't seen an enemy already exit. Once you start doing this regularly, it will become second nature. Using this tactic will not only keep you from being surrounded, it will also save ammo, as you won't need to shoot wildly from left to right to take down a few enemies. Remember: You want enemies to approach from the right side ONLY. ------------------------ 6b. Turning and Shooting ------------------------ There is an odd and sometimes frustrating quirk with this game that has to do with the design of the joystick. It can only register one directional input at once, so if you are ducking from and shot fired by an enemy on the right side of the screen and enemy approaches from the left side of screen, if you try to turn and shoot at the enemy, Albatross will stand up and turn before shooting. You can see how this situation can cost you a life, but it can be avoided. While you can't normally change directions while ducking without standing up, you CAN do it if you're shooting at the time. Try it while quickly firing with the handgun or while firing with the machine gun. This is an extremely important tactic, but can be hard to master without standing up into the path of a bullet a few times. Remember: Ducking, turning and shooting is bad. Shooting and turning while still shooting is good. ----------------- 6c. Leading Shots ----------------- The enemies in Rolling Thunder can approach and react quickly once they appear on screen. Some maskers can fire their weapon a split second after you see them, putting you in a difficult position. This can be counteracted by "leading" your bullets across the screen. Simply fire your weapon, and walk to the right. Any enemy that appears on screen will be hit by the bullet. For instance, at the very beginning of the second area, you will be approached by a few common maskers, one of them being a white masker that will crouch and shoot after he appears on screen. If you crouch and shoot a few times before you trigger the maskers and walk to the right, than both of them will be killed before they get a chance to attack, saving you from dodging shots. Remember: Beating this game requires you to avoid situations where an enemy has the chance to attack when possible. ------------------------- 6d. Conserving Ammunition ------------------------- While ammunition is plentiful in the beginning of the game, you may find yourself short on ammo later on in the game if you go crazy with the shoot button. A great tactic to use is to remember how many shots an enemy takes to die, and then crouching and firing that many shots, with a fraction of a second pause between each shot. With the machine gun, remember to tap-tap-tap the button instead of holding it down. There are a few situations where you will use automatic fire, but in most situations, if you hold down the shoot button, one bullet will hit an enemy and the subsequent bullet will be so close behind the first one that it will pass right through the enemy. There are many situations where hoards of enemies will appear on screen, and by using just enough bullets to eliminate the enemies, you will save yourself from having to use the dreaded slug pistol. After awhile, your simple addition skills should be perfect, and lightning quick, too. Remember: You DO NOT want to run out of normal ammunition. Ever. ---------- 6e. Hiding ---------- It is possible to walk into a door and stay there (by holding up on the joystick) to avoid enemies, who will then walk right by the door. You shouldn't ever have to use this tactic. Hiding eats away precious time and you should be able to kill anything that comes your way, anyway. Remember to forget to hide: You're an agent in a secret organization, and you have a gun. ============================================================================= 7. Area Guide ============================================================================= This guide will focus primarily on areas that are tricky or tips that I have picked up over the years. Don't worry about being left hanging during any difficult parts, but this isn't going to cover how to defeat every single enemy you run in to. ------------------ 7a. Story 1 Area 1 ------------------ You begin the game in what looks to be a dilapidated apartment complex (with ammo closets) and you will be greeted almost right away by purple common maskers and yellow goggled maskers. You'll soon come across a bullet closet (x50) and an arms closet (x100...cha-ching!). Continue on until you reach the set of stairs and leap or walk down. Beware of the gray masker hanging out on a ledge opposite the stairs. Shoot your way through until you reach some stacked tires. After killing everything you see, quickly leap into one of the tires and duck. Kill a blue masker popping up and down shooting at you and continue. From here until the end of the area, simply move forward and wait for the enemies to come to you when appropriate. There is one purple masker who figured out how to throw grenades and a few gun-toting maskers, but this shouldn't be difficult. Head on to the door at the end. Area 1 complete! ------------------ 7b. Story 1 Area 2 ------------------ You'll quickly be approached by maskers at the start of this area, one of which will be a white masker who will shoot low at you. Lead your shots and kill him before he has the chance and move forward till you meet a gray masker standing in front of an arms closet chucking grenades down to the floor, walk by him, and see two more grays tossing grenades. Jump up and kill them off, and jump over to the platform where the arms closet is (x80) and jump back to the other platform. to collect the bullets if you want them (x20). You'll soon reach a huge stack of boxes guarded by loads of purple and gray maskers. Kill them off and proceed until you see an arrow pointing upwards. High jump on the boxes a few times until you reach a platform. Kill off the maskers on the platform opposite the gap and jump across. This section is a long of stretch of stairways and landings guarded by maskers. A good pseudo-trick to use here is to use the railings to jump down a level when you can, thus saving time and avoiding maskers. When you reach the bottom proceed to the right slowly. There are four ninja maskers who will appear right by the exit as you near it. Kill them and exit. Area 2 complete! ------------------ 7c. Story 1 Area 3 ------------------ This area starts out in a cave, and you'll meet the breakers for the first time. Be sure not to let them get close enough for them to execute their leaping attack. Say hello, enter the ammo closet (x30) and proceed. Just ahead is another ammo closet with arms (x80). Yet another ammo closet farther up containing even more machine gun ammo (x80). Just ahead of the ammo closet you will meet another new enemy, the panther. They are pretty simple to defeat, so just crouch and shoot away and move forward to yet another ammo closet with handgun bullets (x30) and get ready to shoot. Up ahead are more panthers and three are prowling around in a cage in the background. You can walk in and shoot them, or wait for them to jump out. Don't try to walk past them. After this start leading your shots with the machine gun, as there will be several dangerous shooting and grenade tossing maskers between you and the exit. Kill them off and move on. Easy as pie. Area 3 complete! ------------------ 7d. Story 1 Area 4 ------------------ Still in a cave setting, and you will meet two more new enemies in this area. This is also the first level where time is an important factor. Don't try to rush through it. Just be quick and careful and you should do fine. Plow through the maskers in the beginning of this area and enter the ammo closet for some handgun bullets (x30) and proceed up the steps and say hello to the bats. You can kill the first one from on top of the highest step. Drop down and meet two more bats. They will fly from the left side to the right side of the screen two or three times and then drop down to attack. Just stay standing up and shoot them down. Kill another pair of bats and a few maskers and enter the ammo closet for machine gun ammo (x40) and then get the bullets (x30) from an ammo closet just in front of it. Just ahead you will meet up with the ugliest maskers in the game, the green goggled maskers, and drop down a series of ledges. Three ninja maskers will appear after you drop down to the third ledge, just get as far out of their way as you can and shoot them down, and kill one more ninja masker when you reach the bottom. At the top of the second step just ahead, will be two more ninja maskers. Walk up near the top step or jump onto it and back down to the first step to trigger them, and then kill them and move on to kill yet another ninja masker and proceed to an ammo closet for some handgun bullets (x30). Kill yet another ninja masker on the top of the ledge just ahead and down to meet some more panthers. One panther will try to pounce on you from the top of some steps. Step back, shoot him, and climb up. Get ready to meet the flamers and do a little platform jumping here. As soon as you land on the first platform, two flamers will appear, but only one will be dangerous. Shoot it, and proceed to the ledge. Kill another ninja masker up to his same old tricks, and get ready for a little more platform jumping. On the second platform, shoot down a flamer, and quickly duck and shoot another one when you reach the sixth platform. On the ninth platform, shoot one more flamer, who will often get caught up between the right edge of the screen and the steps, and jump to the steps and kill two more flamers and quickly walk forward to the goal. This is a tough area because of the time constraints and tricky enemies, but with practice you should be able to make it with a few seconds to spare. Area 4 complete! ------------------ 7e. Story 1 Area 5 ------------------ As you have seen from the cutscene between areas, Leila isn't doing too well. Time to step it up in area 5, which can be pretty tough. Time shouldn't be a factor here, but don't dawdle too long. As soon as you start off, you'll notice this area looks vaguely like area 1 in design, but there is a gated area along the first floor which you can enter to pick ammo or to avoid enemies in the foreground. Be sure to watch out when you are walking along the upper level for enemies on the bottom in the background area, as they can still jump up to the second level and knock off half of your health. Also, the maskers move a lot faster starting in this area until the rest of the game. Walk forward and you will see two ammo closets with handgun ammo. The one on the first level in the background area has 30 bullets, while the one on top has 20. I usually jump up to the top level, and move close enough to the maskers on the bottom to get them to jump up, then kill them off, pick up the ammo on top, then jump down to the bottom and hit the other ammo closet. In the second gated area, move into the background and move into the ammo closet for some machine gun bullets (x80), exit to the foreground, and approach a stack of boxes. There will be a green masker on the bottom trying to shoot you, but hits nothing but box. If no maskers jump over to try to attack you, jump up onto the first box, kill any enemies you can, and then jump onto the top box. A few more maskers will appear. You will need to jump over the green masker, turn, shoot him, duck to avoid bullets from an orange masker on your right and then finish off the maskers and move on. Up ahead is an ammo closet with handgun bullets (x30). Move up a bit and you will approach an area with two boxes stacked up to block your path on the bottom level and a second level ledge. Quickly jump to the second level to avoid grenades thrown by a gray masker, wait for the maskers to move away, then drop down and kill them, walk into the ammo closet for some handgun bullets (x20) and jump up to the second level and kill the maskers. Walk forward until you reach the boxes, drop down, and move forward to a short open area with a few doors with boxes by them. Get as close you can to the edge of the box, wait for the masker to exit the door, shoot him, and move on. Repeat this until you reach two stacked boxes, jump up to the second level, and get ready to do some serious shooting. On the bottom level will be loads of maskers of all types. Wait a few seconds for a few ninja maskers to move away and one will stick around the boxes under you, jump off the ledge in such a way that you just barely clear the edge of the ledge, quickly turn and kill the stealth ninja on your left, and turn and fire while still crouching at the maskers that will be quickly approaching on your right. Don't worry about wasting ammo here, just fire until everything melts into the ground. Some may get a shot off, and it is possible for two bullets to come at you from both a standing shot and a crouching shot. If this happens, high jump, and do your best to get a few shots off when you land. When you make it past that firefight, proceed to walk to the exit. Congratulations, story 1 and area 5 complete! ------------------ 7f. Story 2 Area 6 ------------------ I bet you thought you were near the end of the game when you walked by the huge monitor that Maboo & Friends hang out around in the attract screen and cutscenes, eh? Sorry, only halfway there. Story 2's levels are designed very similarly to story 1's, but have quite a few extra enemies and some different architectural designs. As you start area 6, you'll notice that there is a new background area, and later on, you'll encounter a few more surprises. When you start off, kill of some maskers, jump up to the top level, watch out for maskers jumping up from below, and enter the ammo closet for 30 handgun bullets. You can walk forward for a bit to avoid the maskers below, then drop down near the entrance to the background area of the first level, enter, and grab 30 more handgun bullets, exit to foreground, and kill any maskers around. Proceed to another ammo closet and get the machine gun (x40). Jump up to the second level, drop down off the ledge, and you'll come to an area with two doors on the bottom level, and five doors sticking out of the wall near the top of the screen(?!?). Watch out for maskers jumping down from above, kill them, and continue on. Jump up to the second level, kill a lot of maskers and enter yet another ammo closet for 50 handgun rounds. Jump all the way down the stairs and over the gray masker on the second step. Continue on and you'll encounter a new obstacle to contend with: the laser cannon. While it doesn't look difficult to get through, when you get close to the beat, some maskers will appear. Kill them, and continue on. There will be more laser cannons near some stacked tires. Kill all the maskers before you attempt to jump through them, then when you are between the first and second lasers, a blue masker will appear and pop up to shoot at you from inside the tires. You can either jump over his bullets and return fire from between the beams, or jump over his bullet and through the laser cannon into a tire and kill him from there. More maskers at the next laser cannon. Kill them when they approach. Jump over tire, through the laser cannon, and over a green masker. Kill everyone and continue to the sandbag area. This area can be tricky since enemies are behind the sandbags, and you can see their heads pop up from the low points. Watch out for them and continue to the highest point of the sandbags where you will be ambushed by breakers and maskers. Jump back, but not to the low point of the bags where you can be attacked by the maskers behind them, and kill them off and continue. Once over the high point of the sandbags, with the exit in sight, three more maskers will jump up from the sandbags. Carefully kill them off and exit. Time can be an issue on this level, but if you are moving at a brisk pace, you should have at least 10 seconds to spare by the end of the area. Also, it's worth noting that if you die at anytime during the sandbag or tire area, you will start at a mid level checkpoint near the top of the stairs. If you don't backtrack and get more ammo, you will be in serious danger or running out of ammunition near the exit. Not good. Area 6 complete! ------------------ 7g. Story 2 Area 7 ------------------ Remember way back in story 1 area 2 when a white masker was waiting for you at the start of the area? Well, not anymore. Two are waiting this time. Kill them off and continue. On the platform with the machine gun ammo closet, two gray maskers will be dropping grenades as usual, but they will be closer together, forcing you to hurry through before you get hit. Same as last time, wait for the maskers on the lower platform to jump down, kill them, jump up and kill the grenade maskers, jump to the higher platform and kill the other two, and step into the ammo closet for 80 machine gun bullets. Jump back over to the other ammo closet for 20 handgun bullets, and proceed to the boxes. Bats populate this area now, as well as maskers. Kill the maskers while the bats are swooping overhead, and kill the bats when they attack. Jump up to the platform, kill the maskers on the platform to the right, and jump across. Kill some maskers, jump down over the railing to the landing below, and to the next set of stairs. Three breakers will attack as soon as you reach the foot of the steps. Quickly kill them and continue down the stairs. Lots of maskers near the bottom here, as well as some ninja maskers Wait for an opportunity to jump over them from the bottom of the steps (don't worry, you can't be hit when you are on the steps by an enemy on the landing), and quickly shoot them. Don't jump out too far though, as a ninja masker will appear near the door on the right. More maskers further on, including a white ninja masker, keep going down to the bottom while remembering to take the pseudo-shortcut by jumping down over railings. When you reach the bottom, three more breakers will appear, kill them and the ninja maskers who appear near the exit and continue through. Area 7 complete! ------------------ 7h. Story 2 Area 8 ------------------ Back to the underground cave for round two against the breakers and flamers here. Time is a huge factor in this level and you will need to practice often to become fast enough to make it through without timing out. This is probably the hardest area in the game, because not only do you have to move quickly, but you need to do some platform jumping while dealing with enemies, which isn't always a guarantee, even if you're doing it right. Move forward through the breakers and maskers to an ammo closet with 30 handgun bullets in it, and then ahead to another ammo closet for a machine gun with 40 bullets. Move ahead to one of the trickiest areas in the entire game, at the staggered red barrels. Here, there will be a few maskers and a breaker, but the big problem is the green masker who will throw grenades over the barrels at you. There is nothing you can really do if he starts throwing grenades. You can't dodge them by ducking on the barrels or jump over them between grenades since he throws them so quick. What you want to do here is jump on to the top barrel BEFORE he starts throwing the grenades. If you miss your chance, which you likely will the first few tries, backtrack to the ammo closet, and then proceed back to the barrels. The enemies on the other side of the barrel will reset, and the breakers and maskers that appear before you reach the barrel will as well. Try again. Once on top of the barrel, quickly jump straight up to avoid the grenade. The masker will stop throwing grenades, and you can wait for a moment for the enemies to spread out and to kill a blue masker that will appear from the left. Drop down, clean up, and proceed. It's important to note that if you want a good chance of beating this area without running out of time, you need to negotiate that part on the first try. Once over the stump, you will be ambushed by bats who will streak straight for you. Kill them and any maskers and can continue to the ammo closet for 40 machine gun bullets. Continue to the top of the barrels and kill a masker who approaches, jump over, and watch for a goggled masker tossing grenades. Proceed to some steps, and stop and duck on the second step. A panther will try to ambush you, and then jump right over you. Avoid another panther ambush and enter another ammo closet for 30 handgun bullets. Drop down and kill the panthers and you'll come to a tricky area where you will need to enter the background area to get around a foreground obstacle, but there are quite a few panthers and a few maskers who may head back there as well. You can either try to move back and forth between the background entrances and wait for and opening to sneak in and kill the panthers or use this nice little trick. Jump back up to the second level before the gated area and jump off the ledge towards the right. This will cause the panthers to jump up, giving you time to walk inside and move over a little so you can duck (pushing down after you enter the background area causes you to exit back out) and kill the panthers before they recover. Once past the obstacle, pop out into the foreground and quickly kill the maskers there. Lead your shots here as there will be some dangerous maskers from here to a set of steps. Jump up and quickly jump down so that you land just to the right of the door, kill the masker, and repeat this on the next drop. This time though, there will be an orange masker who will shoot at you from behind a barrel on the right. A masker will also walk out the door you just landed by as well, which puts you in a tricky spot. It's very easy to panic and try to kill the masker who exits the door, causing you to stand up into the path of a bullet here. Instead, you can shoot once to the right as soon as you land, or face left as soon as you land, duck, kill the masker who exits, and then take care of the orange masker. After that, jump across the gap and onto the bridge. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you're planning on beating this area in one life, it is important that you have at least 40 seconds remaining on the timer before you reach the bridge area. Even with 40 seconds left, you're still going to need to be quick, and know exactly what to in the last part of this area to make it. After you jump the barrel, walk past the door a bit to trigger a flamer, quickly kill him, and walk forward to trigger a bat near the bottom of the screen. You CAN jump down immediately if you don't hesitate and kill the bat before it starts flying around, and if you're short on time, that's the recommended course of action. Otherwise, wait a second for it to fly to the left, jump down, and kill it. Jump to the next pillar. Move to the right of the pillar to trigger another bat. Wait for it to fly to the left, jump up the steps, and shoot it. Now, kill the maskers who come out the doors, and get ready to run and jump. There will be three pillars with a door on each one, but what you're going to do is jump through them before maskers have a chance to exit the doors and attack. On the ledge before you reach this area, don't move too far to the right when killing the last masker, or you may end up triggering a masker to exit the door on the first ledge. Jump, jump, jump, and then jump onto a narrow pillar and up onto another ledge with a bunch of doors and an ammo closet. Don't worry too much if maskers who were on the pillars shot at you after exiting the doors, since Albatross should just be able to outrun them and leap onto the last pillar to avoid the bullets. If you're trying to get through this area on the first life, avoid the ammo closet. Stay standing up and shoot the two flamers and maskers. Try to get through this part and onto the next ledge as quickly as possible to shave off a second or two. When onto the next ledge, stay on the top and kill one more flamer, and one more will appear on the bottom. It CAN hit you, so be careful and navigate to the rightmost point of the ledge and quickly kill one more flamer. If you're lucky, you may even be able to hit the flamer who's hanging around on the bottom. Jump to the first narrow pillar and quickly shoot down two flamers. Jump to the next pillar. On this pillar, you're going to need to lead a shot and jump to the pillar that is a bit wider than the rest. You need to make this shot because a flamer will appear on screen as you are jumping and land on that pillar. It may take a few tries to get the timing right, but if you make it, then jump onto the next pillar and onto the ledge and exit. Whew! If you had 40 seconds left at the start of the bridge area, you should be able to exit with 3-5 seconds left consistently when you get the timing of everything right. Congratulations, you've just beat arguably the hardest area in the game. Area 8 complete! ------------------ 7i. Story 2 Area 9 ------------------ Area 9 is unlike anything you've seen in the game as of yet, but after having completed area 8, you should be ready for anything. Begin by jumping up to the top railing, moving forward and killing a few flamers and masker. Move through a laser cannon and up to a ledge, and drop down to another ledge. Watch out for the next drop, as there are some ninja maskers waiting here. Drop down and kill a ninja masker that appears on your left, and then drop down to your left and kill a ninja masker on your right. Enter ammo closet for 30 handgun rounds, and drop off the ledge. Kill a yellow ninja masker, and move close to the laser cannons until another ninja masker appears on the side of the cannons, kill it, and then move through the first laser cannon and back to where you were. Kill the other ninja masker and go through another laser cannon until you reach some steps with a laser cannon on top and a small gap for you to fit through. There are a few shooting maskers after you pass through here that will shoot when you land. Either duck into the door, or shoot a few times and jump. Enter the ammo closet for 40 machine gun rounds. Continue to some steps with two laser cannons next to each other. Jump onto the first step when it is safe, and through the second one just before the first one fires. You'll come upon an area with a bunch of shooting maskers on the bottom. Drop down and kill them, or dodge some laser cannons on top, and move through to another set of ledges. Drop down to your right, then left, right, and then jump down to the left side of the next platform where a white ninja masker will appear. Kill him and drop off to your left to an ammo closet for 50 handgun rounds. Now jump to the small platform to your right, and then to the next one, and drop or jump off to your right. Kill the white ninja masker that appears, and drop off to your left. Another ninja masker should appear and drop toe platform below. Jump down and kill him, then move through the laser cannons to the edge of a platform where yet another ninja masker will appear. Jump down and kill him, and move forward and kill some white maskers and a flamer. Next up is two laser cannons right next to each other firing in an awkward sequence. Memorize the pattern and move through. Drop down and kill some maskers. Then jump up to an area where three ninja maskers and some bats will appear. Drop down as quickly as possible to avoid the bats, and either stun the maskers and make a mad dash for the exit, or kill the bats and maskers and exit. Time really isn't a factor in this area, and the real difficulty lies in the fact that if you die near the end, you start back at the beginning. Area 9 complete! ------------------- 7j. Story 2 Area 10 ------------------- Here we are at the last area! It's a doozy, so get ready to plow through anything that gets in your way. Start out by killing the breakers and maskers and move to the background to an ammo closet for 30 handgun rounds. Jump up to the top level, and to the end of the platform. Jump down past the red box when the breaker moves, and kill the maskers that converge from all sides. Move to the top platform and continue on past the red box and drop down and into the background for 80 machine gun rounds. Use them sparingly; you're going to need them. Exit back out and continue on to the cluster of red boxes. Just like last time, kill any enemies that jump over, kill the blue masker on the first box, and jump down behind the green masker when you have an opportunity and clean up. There is one more shooting masker to worry about, but it really isn't much harder. Move on to another ammo closet for 30 handgun rounds. Just pass the ammo closet is a bunch of breakers and maskers, so lead your shots. Jump up to the top platform before the green masker starts throwing grenades, drop down to the right when the coast is clear, and enter an ammo closet for 50 handgun rounds. Jump up and move forward past the obstacle on the bottom, and drop down again. Move past the doors and boxes to another ammo closet for 20 handgun rounds, jump up to the platform, and get ready to shoot. Drop down when the blue masker moves off to the right, and when you shoot, stay STANDING. The breakers will attack before a crouching shot will hit them so just kill them and start leading your shots through the monitor area. A little farther up, you will be ambushed by three panthers. Kill them and climb the stairs. Drop down when you have a chance, and stay standing and firing to kill the breakers and ninja maskers that appear. Next is another set of stairs where a bunch of ninja maskers will appear. The first few are easy enough to kill, but a few near the top will lollygag around the top without moving. To fix this, high jump to trigger them to move towards you and quickly kill them or simply jump up and try to shoot them off the stairs. When you make it over, you will see the evil, soon to be dead Maboo, and Leila in shackles in the background. Kill any white maskers down there, but don't hit Maboo. When they are all gone, Move to the far left against the wall and fire your handgun as fast as you possibly can. If you're doing it right, Maboo will fall before he gets to you. That's it! You don't want to fight Maboo any other way than this. He must be part bull, because all he will do is charge you for the whole battle. It's really quite ridiculous. Time is a definite factor in this area, but the boss battle is over so quick, all you need is 5 seconds left when you drop from the platform to kill Maboo. Game complete! Hopefully this guide will get you moving in the direction to beating this game in just one quarter. Women will throw themselves at you, guys will respect you, and everybody will worship you. ============================================================================= 8. CHEATS/TRICKS ============================================================================= I was initially reluctant to add this section to the FAQ, since the whole FAQ is focused around beating the game legitimately in as few lives as possible, but after thinking about it for awhile, I think it's fun to try them out after you've beaten the game into submission. So, here you go...Enjoy! -------------- 8a. Extra Ammo -------------- This trick can be useful in early areas, but not so much in later ones because of time constraints. It involves visiting an ammo closet, walking forward enough so that the game "forgets" that you've visited the ammo closet previously, and then walking back and grabbing some more ammo. This works on certain areas better than others, but the whole gist of this trick is to take advantage of ammo closets containing machine gun bullets in areas where you aren't severely limited by time. You can rack up a TON (at least 800 bullets) of machine gun ammo using this trick. More coming soon! ======================================================================= 9. Anything I Missed? ======================================================================= If there is anything I missed or misspelled, or am just playing wrong about, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will correct it and give you credit for it in the thanks section. ======================================================================= 10. Thanks ======================================================================= Mom and Pops: For...you know.... The great group of people on the GameFAQS FAQ Contributors board.