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    FAQ by War Doc

    Version: 1.01 | Updated: 08/28/03 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                              | S T A R   C A S T L E |
                  GAME:  STAR CASTLE
              PLATFORM:  ARCADE
                 GENRE:  ARCADE SHOOTER
               CREATOR:  CINEMATRONICS 1980
    AUTHOR OF THIS FAQ:  Kevin Butler AKA War Doc
                E-MAIL:  kevinb(at)technologist(dot)com
           FAQ VERSION:  1.01
                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1.  Legal Stuff
    2.  Version Information
    3.  Acknowledgements
    4.  Welcome
    5.  Overview
    6.  The Game
        6.1  The Controls
        6.2  The Playing Field
        6.3  Scoring
    7.  Playing the Game
    8.  Conclusion
    To find a particular chapter or subchapter do the following:
    1.  Highlight the chapter or subchapter name you wish to find.
    2.  Press CTRL-C
    3.  Press CTRL-F
    4.  Press CTRL-V
    5.  Press CTRL-F
    5.  You will arrive at the desired chapter or subchapter.
    ********************************* U N I T  I **********************************
    | 1.  LEGAL STUFF |============================================================
    This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal
    private use.  It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
    publicly without advanced permission from the author.  Use of this guide on
    any other web sit or as part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and
    a violation of copyright.  All content in this guide is Copyright 2003 by
    Kevin Butler.  Only the sites listed below have permission to publish this
    work or to display it:
    If you wish to put this guide on your site, e-mail me and ask.  Save yourself
    the headache of putting up with lawsuits and whatnot because you failed to ask
    a simple "Can I post your guide on <insert site>?".  If you wish to use info
    in this guide, please acknowledge that you have done so.
    If you see this guide on any other site then the one listed above, please
    e-mail me.  If you wish to ask questions or give input to this guide, please
    e-mail me.  Just have Star Castle as the subject so I know it isn't another
    kooky vendor trying to sell me hair gel or another XXX site telling me I have
    new friends.
    | 2.  VERSION INFORMATION |====================================================
    Version 1.0   7/27/03:  A guide is born.
    Version 1.01  8/28/03:  Fixed a couple of errors.
    | 3.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS |=======================================================
    The following are a list of people or organizations that have made this FAQ
    My wonderful family (who has had to put up with the tapping on the keyboard)
    Cinematronics for making a great arcade game
    GameFAQ's for putting up this FAQ
    | 4.  WELCOME |================================================================
    Welcome to my FAQ for Star Castle.  Since the game is just a shooter that goes
    until all your men are killed, there is no walkthrough per se.  Instead it will
    be broken up into the game itself and strategies for survival.  Input is
    appreciated along with constructive criticism.  If you wish to e-mail me
    thoughts on this FAQ, better ways of doing things, other strategies, etc., feel
    free.  Make sure you put Star Castle as the subject.  If you don't, I'm liable
    to discard the e-mail as spam.
    | 5.  OVERVIEW |===============================================================
    Star Castle was one of Cinematronics most successful games.  It was even shown
    at the beginning of the movie "Maximum Overdrive".  Cinematronics was noted for
    their vector-type of games and this one was no exception.  What was different
    was the fact of how they made this game into color.  Instead of writing out a
    lot of extra code that would bog down the machine and create more problems,
    they instead used plastic overlays.  These would be mounted on the TV screen
    and you would see the white vector lines through the different colors of the
    overlay.  They used overlays in a lot of their other games also.  The effect
    was the same as if it had been programmed in color.  In this game, your sole
    purpose is to destroy a laser cannon.  Of course, you must cut through the
    three rings of shields surrounding it.  To add to your misery, sparks will
    leave the rings to harass you.  Good luck on your mission.
    ******************************** U N I T  II **********************************
    | 6.  THE GAME |===============================================================
    Star Castle is a two-dimensional dimensional shooter.  You start the game with
    your fighter at the side.  Three, 12-sided rings emerge from the middle of the
    screen and a laser cannon appears in the middle.  Your job is to cut through
    the rings and destroy the cannon.  Each ring takes two shots to take it out.
    The first shot will make it light up and the second shot will destroy it.  If
    you happen to destroy the outside ring, then the inner rings will expand to
    create a new outer ring.  If you destroy the middle or inner rings, they won't
    regenerate unless you destroy the outer ring.  To add to your misery, sparks
    will appear on the rings.  They are released two different ways.  The first way
    is they migrate to the outer ring and go into space.  The other way is if your
    ship destroys a ring with a spark on it, the spark will be immediately
    released.  If you make an opening in all three rings, the laser cannon will
    take a shot at your ship.  The laser cannon constantly tracks your ship so you
    must keep moving.  In addition, the sparks also home in on your ship.  Your job
    is to destroy the laser cannon.
    / 6.1  The Controls /__________________________________________________________
    The controls on this game are pretty easy.  It may, though, take just a little
    bit of time to get used to them.
    -  Two buttons that rotate your spaceship right and left
    -  A fire button
    -  A thruster button
    / 6.2  The Playing Field /_____________________________________________________
    The playing field is very simple.  You have the Star Castle in the middle of
    the screen and you have your ship along the outside.  It looks like this:
        |                                                                   |
        |                  *<- SPARK                                        |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
        |                           +-----+                                 |
        |                          /       \ <- RINGS (3 OF THEM)           |
        |                         /    /\   \                               |
        |                        *    /  \   \                              |
        |                       |     \   \   |                             |
        |    YOUR SHIP          |    / /\/    |                             |
        |        |              |    \/ <-+   |                             |
        |        V              |         |   |                             |
        |        \               \   LASER    /                             |
        |        \ \              \ CANNON   /                              |
        |         ---\             \       /                                |
        |         ---/              +-----+                                 |
        |        / /                                                        |
        |        /                                                          |
        |                                                                   |
        |                                                                   |
    You control the spaceship to avoid the laser cannon shots and sparks.
    / 6.3  Scoring /_______________________________________________________________
    Scoring in this game is pretty simple:
    Outer Ring:   10 points
    Middle Ring:  20 points
    Inner Ring:   30 points
    There are a total of 720 points possible for each set of three rings.
    When you destroy the laser cannon, you get the points for rings remaining plus
    points for destroying the cannon plus an extra man as a bonus for destroying
    the cannon.
    Sparks are worth no points.
    You start with 3 fighters.
    ******************************** U N I T  III *********************************
    | 7.  PLAYING THE GAME |=======================================================
    When you start the game, your fighter will be at the side of the screen and
    then the Star Castle will appear.  Now, it's time to go to work.
    -  Remember that each ring takes two shots to destroy it.  So the best thing is
       to keep shooting until you bring the rings down to something manageable.
       You can have 4 shots on the screen at one time.
    -  Don't sit right next to the rings to destroy them or you will make yourself
       an easy target for the sparks.  One of the best ways to hit the rings is to
       use the "wrap-around" method.  If you fire your shots off the right side of
       the screen, they will reappear on the left side and if your aim is good, hit
       the rings.  This "wrap-around" is also very useful in other ways.
    -  Neither the sparks nor the laser cannon shots can wrap-around the screen.
       Use this knowledge to your advantage when you are being harassed by them.
       Just move your ship to the other side of the screen by wrapping around it.
       This way, you don't have to worry as much about the enemies either coming at
       you or shots being fired at you.
    -  Try to keep one or two of the outer rings up while you pound on the inner
       rings.  This is due to the fact that if you destroy the outer rings and you
       had most of the inner two rings destroyed, all of the rings will regenerate.
    -  The above point is made because Star Castle is a time-based, not score-based
       game.  This means, it doesn't matter what your score is, it's the time that
       determines the speed of the game.  Take too long on a Star Castle and you
       might find things going faster then you want them to.  
    -  Speaking of speed-up, as you get farther in the game, the sparks will move
       very quickly toward your fighter.  That means you can't sit in one place too
       long.  Even wrapping around the screen will only save you a couple of
       seconds of harassment.  Also, the laser cannon starts by rotating to face
       your ship.  Over time, though, it will almost instantly face your ship so
       make every shot count.
    -  Avoid the sparks if at all possible.  They yield no points and they are more
       of a waste of time to shoot.  Just avoid them unless you really need to
       destroy them.
    -  When you eliminate the middle ring, get ready to take out the laser cannon
       in three shots.  The reason for this is simple, if you can send a heavy
       volley into the inner ring and cannon, it won't have a chance to fire back
       and possibly destroy your ship.  Again, you get a free ship for each cannon
       destroyed.  The way to do this is:
       -  Line up your fighter so that your shots will hit the inner ring and
       -  Be sure not to destroy the outer ring or all your work will be for
          nothing since the rings regenerate.
       -  Fire a quick 3-4 shot volley at that area.  If you are good, you will be
          able to destroy the inner ring and the cannon with this volley.  If you
          feel real brave, you can go right up to where the outer ring is and do
          the same thing.  Remember, the sparks eventually move so fast that you
          would just be committing suicide.
    -  In theory, if you continue this cycle, you can rack up a constant supply of
       free men and go on for a long time.  The limiting factors are of course the
       game gets to such a speed that even the best player will be sorely tested.
    ********************************  U N I T  IV *********************************
    | 8.  CONCLUSION |=============================================================
    This was one of those games that just kind of snuck up on the scene.  I wasn't
    too sure what to do and I spent quite a few quarters before I finally under-
    stood the concept of this game.  As you went farther into the game, the action
    becomes more fast-paced and frantic as you have everything basically speeding
    toward you.  Nothing like the laser cannon firing 1-2 second shots at your ship
    when you are in its sights.  This game actually was fun due to that hectic pace
    plus its graphics were simple so you could concentrate on the task at hand.
    Unfortunately, it is very rare to find this machine anywhere.  However, through
    the miracle of emulation, a whole new generation is realizing what we "old"
    folks enjoyed those many years ago.  In addition, www.shockwave.com is bringing
    many of these classic games back.  Check out their site to see what ones are
    there.  I hope this guide helps you in being able to get the most amount of
    gameplay for this game.  If you do have other ideas or thoughts, please e-mail
    me and share them.  Who knows, maybe I'll start a Q&A Chapter in this guide if
    enough people ask the same questions.  Anyway, thank you again for reading this
    To see other FAQ's I have written please go to:
               ~~~  No trees were harmed in the making of this FAQ ~~~

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