GLADIATOR (OGOUN NO SIRO in Japan) BATTLE TIPS ((Taito)) VERSION 1.0 CHRISTOPHER LEE BOGER firstname.lastname@example.org http://darken.0catch.com/goblin/ggdomain.htm (1) Some terms I use (2) Some general tips (3) First Stage (4) Second Stage (5) Third Stage (6) Fourth Stage (7) Some factoids and gratuitous self gratification (8) Some notes about playing via emulation i.e. Mame ************************** ***(1) Some terms I use*** ************************** This game was the favorite pastime for several of us for a whole lot of years, and we've developed a whole lingo to go with it. Some of the terms are not exactly PC, and I've substituted more appropriate versions in this FAQ. Here are some terms I use to describe certain elements of the game. "Chance Stages" are the side scrolling walks you take through the castle being assaulted by all kinds of traps in between combat with the foes guarding the Treasure Place. "Rolling Pins" are cylinders made of stone which roll toward the player in chance stages during stage 2 and 3 "Hyper" or "Hyperactive" ((Spaceballs! ^_^)) Refers to a method of battle with combatants. It basically involves attacking with your weapon in one direction constantly, while rapidly moving your shield to intercept their attacks as best you can. "Freeze", "Freeze up", etc... This means an opponent in combat will stop attacking, or defending, or both. This may occur for a period of time, or the enemy may never unfreeze. This depends upon the opponent and is described in the section with them. *************************** ***(2) Some General Tips*** *************************** During chance stages, you are presented with many opportunities to increase your combat ability in upcoming fights. Learn to take advantage of these stages, and you will advance rapidly. First, you receive more points for destroying a trap (Throwing star, fireball, sword, brick, etc...) With your sword than you do for letting it bounce off your shield. Since (on most machines) you earn an extra man at every 100,000 points, this is important. Get as many points as you can and you'll have more chances to beat an elusive enemy. Second, you can create a magical barrier called the "Electric Shield" by rapidly moving the joystick up and down during chance stages. This flashing barrier of light appears before your character when the move is successful. For a few seconds, you are completely invulnerable to harm from the traps of the chance stage. This shield destroys everything it touches. You do not get ANY points for this however, and I discourage it's use in anything but the most desperate situations. You will not immediately die from being hit by an enemy's weapon or a trap. The first shot will always cause one piece of your armor to come off and roll away offscreen. If anything hits in that un-armored area, you're dead! So guard a body part that is missing it's armor well! You begin the game with the Iron Shield. This shield will flash when hit by enemy attacks or traps. As it is hit, it sustains damage. After a few hits, it will crumble a bit and offer a more narrow range of defense. After a few more hits, it crumbles into something about the size of a large beer mug, and offers very little in the way of defense. Another very good reason to destroy all the traps with your weapon. I also have never been able to conjure the Electric Shield when the Iron Shield has been reduced to it's "beer mug" state. At points during the chance stages, green bats will fly over carrying shields. These are the all-important Gold Shields. Whack them out of the bats claws with a sword shot high to send them to the floor. Then, when the Shield is below your character onscreen, press and hold down to make the Gladiator bend down and pick up the Shield. The Gold Shield takes NO damage from anything, even the most powerful opponents sword blows. It therefore will always have the most wide range of defensive area. Grab these shields for the points even when you already possess one, however. Swords are thrown at your character in the chance stages. Knock these down with sword or shield and they will land on the floor. Bend down by pressing and holding down, and the Gladiator will pick up these swords. If you can pick up four of these swords in a single chance stage, you will acquire "The Red Sword". The Red Sword is a magical effect which is attached to your weapon. While in combat with the guardians of the castle this magic comes into effect. Once you have hit your opponents shield a certain number of times, The Red Sword will discharge it's magical power. This power makes you invulnerable for a few seconds, but more importantly, replaces any armor plates you have lost up to that point. During chance stages, crystal balls will occasionally hover into view at the top of the screen. These stay onscreen for a few moments, then drift away. If you hit one of these with your weapon, it shatters and destroys everything onscreen at that moment. More importantly, it replaces any armor plates you may have lost up to that point. Don't ignore those green bats! First off, they are worth points when you whack them with your sword. Second, if they find an un-armored part of your body, they can kill you! If you still have armor over the body part they touch, they can't knock it off, but if it's un-armored, they sink in their poisonous fangs and suck your life away. When in battle, you receive points for every chunk of armor you knock off your opponent, so don't hesitate to whack off as much of your opponent's protection as you can before you finish them. ********************* ***(3) First Stage*** ********************* Chance Stage 1: There is nothing really special about this chance stage. Attempt to hit everything you can with your sword to earn more points toward extra men. You can acquire the Gold Shield in this chance stage, as well as the Red Sword. There is a crystal ball in this stage. Solon Fight 1,2: Solon is a poor fighter. He has a very easy to predict pattern which makes him fairly easy to defeat. He'll begin by swinging his sword straight at you. After a few shots, he'll start to swing high. Then a few more and he'll swing low... you get the picture. Just charge right in as soon as you approach this battle with your shield and sword both straight. Once you get within range of him, swing a shot high. Then swing a shot low, then swing a shot high, repeat. You should strip off some armor for points and kill him with just a few shots before he switches to the swing high. If not, just switch your shield high to block and keep the pattern up. You need to dance back and forth a bit to make your shots connect, but you'll soon find that you can defeat Solon on even expert setting with your eyes closed. Solon Fight 3: Solon doesn't learn much from two nasty defeats. He starts out swinging high this time, but then goes middle and low in predictable pattern. After he finishes his burst of low shots, he becomes less predictable. However, he should be long dead before this happens. Use the exact same pattern as before, but if you want to play it safe, block all his high shots and start attacking when he switches to straight shots. Irene: Irene is a much more dangerous opponent than Solon, but she still has a predictable pattern you can exploit to defeat her. There are two ways to finish off this female warrior. The first is to keep your Shield high and your Sword straight. Shortly after her shield breaks fully down, her sword will break under the strain of your stronger weapon. She is now completely helpless and you can enjoy the fun of carefully stripping her armor off chunk by chunk as she futily swings at you. You can strip her down to nothing but a bikini (that green chain mail will come off) if you place your shots carefully. Nice place to earn quite a few bonus points. The second method I recommend if you are missing either your chestplate or your codpiece when you reach the battle with Irene. She takes great delight in seeing your chest or your Purple bikini briefs, and wants nothing more to shove her sword in a sensitive portion of your anatomy. In fact, if she knocks one of these two pieces of armor off in battle, she will jump up and down and giggle (good time to stick a sword in her laughing rear if you're close enough) It's safer then to keep your sword and shield both low until her shield breaks down. Then, start shooting high to kill her. She'll most often keep aiming for your shield, and you should be relatively safe. Always be on the lookout for that rare shot she throws straight when doing this, and be prepared to let your shield slide up to cover for a few seconds before dropping back into pattern. Note: Depending upon what portion of Irene's anatomy you stuck your final sword blow, she will either fall flat to the floor or to her knees. If she falls to her knees she will turn and offer up her sword (even if you broke it ^_^) to the warrior who defeated her. This is just a matter of animation, because you can bend down and pick up her sword regardless of whether she offers it. It's no better or worse than your sword, so grab it for the points. Chance Stage 2: Just before, and just after the second crystal ball in this stage (only one will appear if you die during this chance stage or in battle against the next foe in line and have to replay this chance stage) there are sets of grey throwing stars which whizz in from the upper right portion of the screen. If you hit these with your sword, the will fall to the ground in the form of glowing whirlpools. When you walk over these whirlpools, you'll obtain bonus points. If you hit the crystal ball before walking over the whirlpools, you'll lose the bonus points. You must be close to the right side of the screen in order to hit these throwing stars with your sword, so you'll have to charge a bit. You can obtain the Gold Shield in this stage, but not enough swords are thrown to get you the Red Sword. Fire Demon: This guy can be dangerous if you don't know his secret.... He's a coward. If you rush forward rapidly with your shield straight and your sword high (block if necessary) and begin to rapidly pound on his shield, he'll freeze up. This allows you to calmly break his shield down to a crumpled useless lump. Then dance back and forth a bit to wake him up and he'll come out of his stupor and realize he's going to die if he doesn't do something. He'll unfreeze and start spitting fireballs at you again. Just block with your shield and keep swinging high. He'll eventually lean right into one of your shots. ********************** ***(4) Second Stage*** ********************** Chance Stage 1: Nothing special about this stage, there is a crystal ball, and you can acquire the Red Sword sometimes here (the more times you get hit, the more likely it is enough swords will be thrown to grant the red sword... at least that's how it seems to work to me..) Zaid fight 1: Zaid is big and slow. You can either get in close and just try to wax him, or you can stand back and match his every sword thrust with your own to break his sword. This is what I usually do, as it allows you to earn some bonus points by stripping off all his armor once his sword is broken. Zaid fight 2,3: His first defeat seems to have knocked what little brains Zaid had right out of that enormous head of his. As soon as he appears, just have your shield straight and your sword high. The big dumb brute will charge straight in and keep whacking your shield forever if you let him. Start aiming high and eventually you'll either kill him, or break his sword. If you're quick, you can also charge in quickly with your sword and shield both straight and quickly whip off a couple of high shots that will kill him before he even realizes he's in battle. If you break Zaid's sword in these fights, he will freeze up and only move his shield. This will prevent you from removing more than a couple of pieces of armor. Black Mace Giant: This foe is dangerous, especially on the higher difficulty settings. He picks his shots with care and moves his shield rapidly to intercept your cuts. He does however have a few weaknesses... If you start swinging your sword straight when he first comes out, he'll concentrate most of his shots there. This allows you to push him back a bit by hitting both his sword and shield at the same time. Match his shots as best you can (or just keep swinging straight) and break off his mace. Beware, if you miss hitting his mace a few shots, he will occasionally charge and start to swing rapidly at you for a few seconds. If he does this, hit straight as fast as you can and block with your shield until he backs off a bit. Every so often this immense enemy will raise his mace and laugh at the puny creature confronting him. A quick run up and two straight stabs will often remove his codpiece and teach him the folly of laughing at a foe in battle ^_^ Note: If you manage to knock off his codpiece and then finish him by stabbing him in that rather sensitive portion of his anatomy, he will do a little dance and land on his knees after he dies. It takes more than one mortal wound to finish this mountain of a man, so as the Gladiator walks past him, he stabs him once more to finish him off. Bend down and you can pick up his mace either before or after you finish him off. Time this carefully, or the final stab may cause him to get too far behind you to pick up the mace.... And you defiantly want that mace. It has a greater range than the sword, and is at least twice as strong. An enemy's shield will vanish in only a few shots under the assault of this powerful weapon. It also pushes your enemies farther away than the sword when it hits. Chance stage 2: You can acquire the Gold Shield in this stage, and there is a crystal ball. Near the end of this stage a rolling pin will come out. Keep your shield pressed down and walk forward as you are doing it. Whack away with your weapon low to destroy this trap. If your shield slips up for too long, or you get too far to the back of the screen, this trap will roll over you and crush you like a grape. Amazon Archer: This un-armored foe isn't that difficult to dispatch. Just charge forward blocking her arrows with your shield (there is a pattern to the first several shots you can discern, 2 high, then 2 low, then one straight) and once you get right up in her face, start whacking at her with your weapon high. The moment she moves her bow down to take a shot anywhere but high, you'll dispatch her. Just keep your shield moving and she should be no problem. ********************* ***(5) Third Stage*** ********************* Chance stage 1: You can acquire the Red Sword and the Gold Shield in this stage. If you bend down and pick up one of the swords while you are carrying the mace, you lose the mace! So if you want to keep this strong weapon, don't pick up the swords! There is a crystal ball to replenish your armor. A cute little quirk about this stage is you can quite nearly bypass it entirely. If you look in the background, you will see there are ledges running along the edge of the pathway you are on. If you time it right, you can press up and jump up onto these ledges. While you are walking on the ledges, nothing hits you. You can jump over the gaps by pressing up. You don't get the chance to get any points or any of the useful items if you do this, however. This stage also brings your first encounter with "Sonics". These traps are beams of energy of varying lengths which travel at you with a high pitched squeal. If move forward too much, or swing your sword too much, while blocking these with your shield part of the sonic will get through and remove a chunk of your armor. It's even possible for a single Sonic to finish you if you really mess up and it's long enough. Concentrate on blocking with your shield and don't swing your weapon unless absolutely necessary. Green Knight 1,2: The first two fights with the Green Knight are not that difficult. Just swing your sword high as soon as he appears and keep your shield straight. He'll obediently whack on your shield while you destroy his and eventually penetrate his guard to finish him. Occasionally, he can penetrate your guard as well, so swing fast to keep him back off you! This doesn't happen very often if you are equipped with the mace. I've also never seen a Green Knight's Axe break, so don't bother trying. Green Knight 3: This foe is a bit more dangerous. He's learned from his mistakes and swings in a random fashion at you... quickly. The preferred method to dispatch him is to keep sword and shield both straight after defeating the second Green Knight and charge the third to cut him down with two quick stabs up. If this doesn't work, you'll have to go Hyperactive and aim high to hopefully finish him off. There is an alternative, but it doesn't work every time. Just back off and randomly swing your sword and move your shield without closing into his range. Sometimes, he will become dazed by this display of swordsmanship and freeze up. When he does this, you can waltz in and dispatch him with ease. This enemy is tricky however, and will occasionally fake a freeze to lull you in close. Make sure you swing your weapon about four times before you decide he's actually frozen. Red Knight: This foe is worthy of your attention even on the lowest difficulty settings. He swings with remarkable speed, and fakes swings to make you move your shield to the wrong place before whacking you with a well place shot. I usually meet him with shield high and sword straight. This helps keep him off you until you have broken down his shield. Once his shield has broken down, switch into hyperactive and aim high. You should eventually stab him in an armpit and finish him. If you move your shield rapidly enough, his fake swings will work against him. He'll fake a swing, but discover your shield has moved to where he was going to aim. Then he fakes another swing, with the same result. This can keep him confused enough he doesn't get off too many shots while you're whacking away at him. You cannot break his mace to the best of my knowledge, and you cannot pick it up after battle. Chance stage 2: There is no crystal ball in this stage, so you're going to be missing any armor you lost along the way. You can acquire the Gold Shield in this stage, but remember to watch yourself around those sonics. At the end of this chance stage there are two more rolling pins. Agathon: There are two methods to dispatch this dangerous two-swordsman. The first is to stay back and break his sword. You cannot break swords with the mace (why, I don't know since it's so much stronger than the sword), so if you have it, you need to use the second method. The second method is to get your sword high immediately after passing the second rolling pin. Then charge like mad when Agathon appears and hit high as fast as you can. This will often finish him before he has a chance to kill you with that long extending sword of his. Alternatively, you can go into Hyperactive while aiming high to defeat him, but the odds aren't good with that long blade of his. Note: If you break his sword, try to get his helmet off before you kill him. His eyes bug out of his head in a huge way when you deal him a death blow ^_^ ********************** ***(6) Fourth Stage*** ********************** Chance stage: Short bursts of sonics come at you rapid-fire, and the background itself becomes a threat in the form of asteroids that whirl from space to hit you. Besides this, there are no beneficial items or powers of any kind in this stage, so keep your guard up! Mordred: (This is what we called him, I never saw an official name printed anywhere) The Gold Knight Mordred is deadly. He's fast, smart, and has a knack for getting under your guard. Use the same method you used to defeat the Red Knight in the previous stage. Shield high, sword straight until his shield is gone. Then go into hyperactive and whack at him high. With luck, you'll kill him. Don't waste your time trying to break his sword, it will not work. The Gold Knight will slid back to the edge of the screen when you defeat him.... but beware.... The final guardian of the Treasure Place has one dreadful power left to use. As you start to walk past him, he calls upon the dark powers and raises again as an animated skeleton. Mordred Prime: (Again, not official. It was either this or simply "The Skeleton") First off, if you're extremely lucky, you can defeat this dread foe before he has a chance to display his amazing swordsmanship on your mortal form. As you begin walking toward him, get your sword high. Keep pressing forward to charge him. Just before you get to Mordred's body, start whacking high while continuing to charge. With a rare spot o' luck on your side, you'll whack ol' bonehead right in the brainpan before he even gets his sword or shield ready for battle. If Mordred's body lands almost offscreen (half or less visible during the "Victory!" dance) this will almost never work. Likewise, if more than 3/4 of his body is visible, you've got next to no chance.... and Prime is very likely to give you a couple quick slaps and quick kill you. The perfect position is just a little over half his body visible. Once you get the timing right, you can quick kill him every time when Mordred's corpse lands in this position. Now, lets get on with the strategy for when luck doesn't fall on your side ^_^ Not surprisingly, you use the same attack pattern you used to defeat his mortal form moments ago. The problem is, Mordred Prime is even faster in undeath, more cunning, and the only blow that will bring him low is one directly to his skull. Anything else simply causes the bones to vanish, which doesn't enhamper his sword skills whatsoever! And don't think you're going to break off his unholy sword either, that's not going to happen! Once Mordred Prime collapses into a pile of bones and slimy pinkish brain matter, give him one final insult by walking over his corpse and head for the Treasure Place! Congratulations! You have proven yourself to be a true and great Warrior! So what do you do now? Well...... depending on how the game you are playing on is set up, you either put your name on the board and the game ends, or you start over at the beginning with all your equipment from the previous battles intact. The game will speed up, and some new traps will occasionally be thrown into the stages. ********************************************************* ***(7) Some factoids and gratuitous self gratification*** ********************************************************* If you've ever seen the actual arcade machine (most I've found are conversions from old Defender machines) then you might know this..... the Gladiator's name is Guirnos. If you take a look at how he prances up the stairs at the end of the first stage, then think about the name for a moment, you can guess what corruption of that name we screamed at our noble Gladiator when the button contacts were shot and not working properly :p There was a rumor (try it on your friends, it's fun!) That if you managed to stick your sword into the statue's mouth perfectly at the end of the first stage it would open up a hidden area or give you bonus points, etc. The statue I'm talking about is the gargoyle type thing at the bottom of the stairs. It was said that if you could get the Gladiator to freeze perfectly with his sword stuck in the mouth during the "Clear Score" the bonus came into effect. Want to challenge yourself a bit once you've gotten so good you can play the game with your eyes closed? Try to get the electric shield to come up in-between the last enemy of a stage and the "Clear Score". It's not as easy as it sounds! At the end of stage 2, Keep swinging your weapon high as you walk toward the wall at the end of the stage. If you freeze during the "Clear Score" with your weapon near fully extended, the Gladiator will merely tap the wall and destroy it. Then he takes a swing at the busted wall as you walk through it. Another thing you can try is to get "Full Body Separation" at the end of stage 3. Again, keep swinging your weapon high as you approach the door to stage 4. If you do it right, when the Gladiator gestures with his weapon to open the door, you'll see a full separation of his upper torso from the lower with the background showing through. Sure, it's just a graphics glitch, and not all that exciting, but once you're as good as we were you have to search for new things to challenge each other on. The most elusive weapon in the game is the "Gold Mace". The only way to acquire the Gold Mace is to have and maintain the Red Sword in Stage 2 all the way up to the Black Mace Giant. You then have to manage to kill him without losing the Red Sword's magical ability. If you manage to pull this off, and pick up the Giant's Mace, you'll acquire the legendary Gold Mace! It doesn't have any better hit ability or anything.... It's just the mace with the magical Red Sword power on it. It will change back into the standard mace when the Red Sword power is used up in battle. Again, just something to challenge each other on when you've mastered the game on max difficulty setting. There's a really simple way to determine if the machine you are playing on is an original Gladiator machine or the more common Defender conversion. If you can move forward while you hold your shield up or down, it's the real thing. The Defender joystick didn't have contacts at the 4 diagonal points to allow you to do this. The game is a bit harder without the ability to do this, but most of the patterns still work. You just have to sort of do a "stop, start" stutter step when you need to go forward and keep your shield in high or low position. Got half a day or more to spare? Try to beat my high score! I'm not sure of the actual final score, but it was in the 8 million point range. The only person who can challenge me that I know of is James English (who's high score was only a bit behind mine at last count). We had a seesaw battle for the top spot on every Gladiator machine in the Tri-State area. If you want to try it, you'd better be ready to spend over 12 hours. And I could have improved on that score quite a bit if it wasn't for the fact that the joint the machine was in was closing. I had to spend over 30 minutes killing off all my extra men on purpose to put my name on the board during that game ^_^ 8 million is approximately 22 laps through the stages. AUTHOR NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR PERMANENT DAMAGE TO JOYSTICK WRIST OR BUTTON FINGERS!!! :p ********************************************************** ***(8) Some notes about playing via emulation i.e. Mame*** ********************************************************** ((UPDATE 1/31/01.... The information below is no longer valid, but just in case someone is )) ((still running an old version of the emulator... )) Okay, if you're playing this game on Mame, there's some things you should know. First off, the game doesn't appear to be *fully* implemented yet. The Dip Switch settings don't seem to function. Therefore, you only start out with the one single man you are controlling instead of him and two extras as is usual. You also only get 1 extra man at the first 100,000 points instead of one at every 100,000 as is common. You also can't loop through the game, because it's set up to end after you beat the fourth stage. Also, at last check, sound was not yet implemented, though samples are available and I assume that this is in the works. And also note that my stance on emulation is always the same..... If you have the ROM, you'd better have or be looking for the original Cart/Machine as well. Now get out there and Gladiate! Christopher Lee Boger who has to thank James English and everybody else in the Pantry/Arcade/Laundramat crew who spent hours and hours and hours developing these strategies.