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    FAQ/Strategy Guide by VinnyVideo

    Version: 1.1 | Updated: 03/30/10 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    Table of Contents
    [INTRO] Introduction
    [MODES] Modes of Play
    [CONTR] Controls
    [TEAMS] Team Stats
    [SUBST] Suggested Substitutions
    [OFFPB] Offensive Playbook
    [DEFPB] Defensive Playbook
    [NOTES] FAQs and General Tips
    [REALL] Comparing with Reality
    [VERSN] Version History
    [COPYR] Copyright
    [CONTC] Contact Information
    Introduction                                                         [INTRO]
    Vinny's back with his sixth walkthrough. This time, I'm leaving the race cars
    behind and hitting the gridiron! While Madden '96 doesn't have today's graphics
    or updated rosters, it has a deep playbook and simply awesome music. Madden '96
    has lightning-fast players and more of an arcade feel than other titles in the
    Madden series. The engine and playbook will remind you of Madden '95, but the
    playbook is considerably larger. Also, despite the demise of drive summaries
    and sudden death mode, there are many new features, like Create-A-Player and
    trades. While a certain play (Far/Near HB Toss) makes it a little too easy to
    beat the computer, playing a friend is still a challenge. And with the TV
    writers on strike, it sure beats watching re-runs of some stupid reality show.
    Please note that this guide is intended mostly to highlight the strengths and
    weaknesses of each team and provide an in-depth analysis of the playbook. I'm
    not here to discuss the codes and tricks available for the game; those can be
    found elsewhere on the Madden '96 page. And before we get started, a word of
    caution: While many of these plays (or plays that are very similar) appear in
    the playbooks of today's Madden games, I don't recommend trying to use this
    guide with any games other than the Super NES version of Madden '96.
    Modes of Play                                                        [MODES]
    ***Play Now***
    Here you can play an exhibition game using the teams of your choice. You can
    select the venue, weather, and quarter length, too. Some secret codes will even
    allow you to play with all-time great teams in this mode.
    ***NFL Season Play***
    Here you can play through a 16-game season, and if you're good enough, the
    playoffs and Super Bowl.
    ---New Season---
    This starts a new season. Imagine that! You can select as many or as few games
    as you wish to play. If you have a season or playoff in progress, starting a
    new season erases the previous season's data, so be careful.
    ---New Playoffs---
    Here you can start a new playoff series. Again, this erases any data from
    previous seasons or playoffs.
    ---League Rules---
    Here you can decide quarter length, penalties (whether or not you want pass
    interference called), injuries (off or on), and whether you want the rosters to
    reflect modifications (trades and signings) you've made.
    ---League Stats---
    If you have a season in progress, this lets you check out the statistics.
    ---League Standings---
    This shows the current standings.
    ---Continue Season---
    If you have a season in progress, this is where you can go to resume it.
    ---Continue Playoffs---
    If you have playoffs in progress, you can resume them with this option.
    ***Front Office***
    ---Sign Up New Player---
    Here you can create a new player. After setting physical attributes (name,
    position, height, etc.), you run a series of drills to determine the player's
    attributes. The set of drills varies depending on your player's position. You
    might want to add some of the players (mostly Jaguars and Panthers) not
    included in the game, like WR Jimmy Smith and K Mike Hollis.
    ---Practice Event---
    Here you can practice the training drills used when creating a player. Some of
    them are pretty fun, too!
    ---Trade Players---
    This option lets you trade players between teams. Just remember that
    transactions and player creations are limited by the game's SRAM space.
    ---Reset Rosters---
    This nullifies all changes to the rosters you've made. Be careful when using
    this option!
    ---Delete Players---
    This option only lets you delete players you've created yourself. You might do
    this if you made a mistake, got a bad result in a training event, or are out of
    View all-time records for big plays and training events.
    Controls                                                             [CONTR]
    This is similar to the content found in the manual.
    Move player - Control pad any direction
    Pause game - START
    Start the power bar - B
    Stop the power bar - B (when it's near the top)
    Aim kick left/right - Control pad left/right
    Call an audible (onside kick) - A
    Line up right/left (after calling an audible) - A/B
    Return to standard kicking formation - Y
    Call for a fair catch (very important on punt returns) - SELECT 
    Control the kick receiver - Control pad any direction
    ---Before the snap---
    Set a man in motion - Control pad left or right
    Select player to control (only in multi-player games) - B or X
    Fake snap signal (HUT!) - X
    Snap the ball - B
    Select player to control - B or X
    Show blitz (move players close to the line of scrimmage) - L or R
    ---Audibles (either offense or defense)---
    Call an audible - A
    Select an audible play (after calling an audible) - Y, B, or A
    Cancel audible - X
    ---After the snap---
    Burst of speed - B
    Spin - A
    Dive/QB slide - Y
    Hurdle - X
    Lateral to closest teammate - L or R
    Control player closest to the ball - B
    Jump and raise hands - X
    Dive - Y
    Power Tackle - A
    Move the quarterback - Control Pad any direction
    Bring up passing letters - B
    Pass to receiver Y, B, A, L, or R - Y, B, A, L, or R
    Throw the ball away (receiver letters up) - SELECT
    Lateral to closest teammate (receiver letters not up) - L
    Note: The longer you hold down the pass button, the harder the throw will be. 
    Don't forget that your quarterback can run, too.
    Control receiver closest to the ball - B
    Jump and raise hands - X
    Dive - Y
    Spin - A
    Fake snap signal (HUT!) - X
    Start power bar/snap the ball - B
    Aim the kick - Control pad left/right
    Kick the ball - B
    ---Play Calling---
    Move play selection highlight - Control pad up/down
    Flip play (Only for offense, and not available for the Goal Line, Madden, or 
    Special Teams formations) - X
    Return to formation select screen from play screen - L or R
    Move highlight up/down - Control Pad up/down
    Cycle through choices - Control Pad left/right
    Select highlighted option - START
    Select highlighted option if at Pre-Game or Game Pause screen - B
    Return to previous screen - X
    These aren't exactly controls, but there are a few settings on the Pre-Game 
    Show/pause screen that affect your controls. First select "Gameplay Options." 
    You can change audibles here, but I discuss that in the Q&A section. First, you 
    can adjust the skill level (novice, intermediate, or advanced). Second, you can 
    switch the pass catch mode from automatic to manual. Normally, the computer 
    controls the receiver while the pass is in the air, but in manual mode you take 
    control of the receiver as soon you throw the ball (better for advanced 
    players). Third, you can change the play-calling mode from "direct" to "bluff." 
    This is only useful against a human opponent, though. In bluff mode, you still 
    select plays using the B button, but you can also make fake selections (before 
    or after the real selection) using the Y button. When you're finished, press A.
    Team Stats                                                           [TEAMS]
    I don't agree with all of these ratings. The Chiefs' overall rating should be 
    better than a 50, and while the Browns were overrated, the 85 is a little high.
    The Panthers were good for an expansion team, but they shouldn't have been a
    72. Also, it's hard to tell why the Saints' all-time team was so much worse
    than all the others. Some of the game's team descriptions on the Team Select
    screen contradict the ratings; the Panthers' special teams (45) aren't
    "outstanding." By the way, SPC is the Special Teams rating, if you couldn't
    figure that out.
                               Overall  QB RB WR OL DL LB DB SPC
    Arizona Cardinals             69    48 66 55 41 69 99 68 74
    Atlanta Falcons               84    64 60 67 63 78 98 64 81
    Buffalo Bills                 65    76 78 52 20 75 56 76 81
    Carolina Panthers             72    80 46 77 30 69 94 88 45
    Chicago Bears                 72    64 80 75 34 41 63 99 59
    Cincinnati Bengals            48    40 91 82 45 47 54 58 23
    Cleveland Browns              85    32 53 64 81 41 90 97 92
    Dallas Cowboys                90    96 96 72 70 75 61 99 20
    Denver Broncos                55    64 27 64 59 78 37 84 52
    Detroit Lions                 55    20 51 46 78 44 75 72 78
    Green Bay Packers             51    80 44 47 27 99 27 91 41
    Houston Oilers                45    32 20 23 74 50 86 84 67
    Indianapolis Colts            70    68 92 27 45 96 77 69 63
    Jacksonville Jaguars          37    40 59 50 34 53 48 65 63
    Kansas City Chiefs            50    40 32 48 30 72 80 65 89
    Miami Dolphins                72    88 66 99 49 47 71 51 78
    Minnesota Vikings             35    88 23 67 99 50 20 20 85
    New England Patriots          37    92 50 76 30 35 37 50 74
    New Orleans Saints            20    72 30 52 45 20 63 48 56
    New York Giants               48    48 75 46 38 53 52 58 89
    New York Jets                 32    48 73 48 41 47 39 45 70
    Oakland Raiders               29    36 51 38 38 59 23 48 99
    Philadelphia Eagles           83    72 80 48 74 84 86 79 49
    Pittsburgh Steelers           59    56 91 20 34 47 79 90 78
    St. Louis Rams                54    48 99 59 38 50 33 65 78
    San Diego Chargers            65    80 82 42 41 56 75 73 78
    San Francisco 49ers           99    99 60 81 85 72 73 87 70
    Seattle Seahawks              52    40 89 64 30 72 69 46 56
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers          77    28 67 92 63 63 98 50 74
    Washington Redskins           46    40 57 47 56 50 50 80 56
    All Madden                    99    99 99 98 96 99 99 99 99
                               Overall  QB RB WR OL DL LB DB SPC
    1975 Phoenix Cardinals         90   76 99 56 99 66 40 81 56
    1980 Atlanta Falcons           92   76 99 71 99 99 77 93 30
    1973 Buffalo Bills             92   28 99 68 67 56 42 99 63
    1985 Chicago Bears             99   68 99 76 89 66 99 99 74
    1981 Cincinnati Bengals        99   99 99 99 99 99 99 99 81
    1965 Cleveland Browns          99   44 99 64 78 47 80 99 81
    1978 Dallas Cowboys            99   99 99 81 99 99 77 99 67
    1977 Denver Broncos            99   68 99 92 99 99 99 93 52
    1962 Detroit Lions             99   48 99 82 99 99 99 99 30
    1967 Green Bay Packers         99   99 99 99 99 96 99 99 70
    1980 Houston Oilers            98   48 91 82 99 50 29 99 59
    1968 Indianapolis Colts        99   44 99 79 52 99 99 99 49
    1969 Kansas City Chiefs        99   76 99 75 99 99 99 99 81
    1972 Miami Dolphins            99   88 99 92 99 99 99 93 78
    1976 Minnesota Vikings         99   80 99 94 99 99 52 99 81
    1985 New England Patriots      99   52 99 96 99 87 99 99 99
    1979 New Orleans Saints        27   80 99 80 92 99 66 60 30
    1986 New York Giants           99   72 87 90 99 99 99 89 89
    1968 New York Jets             99   99 99 99 99 84 99 99 81
    1976 Oakland Raiders           99   88 99 99 99 93 99 99 70
    1960 Philadelphia Eagles       95   80 99 65 67 53 77 86 23
    1978 Pittsburgh Steelers       99   84 99 84 99 99 99 99 89
    1968 Los Angeles Rams          99   48 87 72 70 99 90 97 56
    1981 San Diego Chargers        91   99 99 96 99 66 40 55 52
    1984 San Francisco 49ers       99   99 99 96 99 41 92 89 67
    1978 Seattle Seahawks          98   88 99 88 67 63 63 97 38
    1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers      88   52 99 55 59 96 80 71 45
    1982 Washington Redskins       99   68 99 71 99 72 73 86 85
    EA Sports                      99   99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99
    Tiburon Gotcha                 99   99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99
    NFLPA Free Agents              99   99 99 21 99 99 99 99 75
    Suggested Substitutions                                              [SUBST]
    Note that I assume a 4-3 defense for every team other than Pittsburgh and 
    Carolina. All substitutions should be "global" substitutions unless otherwise 
    specified. I base these recommendations on player ratings in the game, not the 
    lineups used during the actual 1995 NFL season. I don't know the first names of 
    a small number of these players.
    Arizona Cardinals: The best WR depth chart is Rob Moore, Frank Sanders, Bryan 
    Reeves, Chuck Levy, Anthony Edwards, and Kevin Knox.
    Atlanta Falcons: I don't recommend make any changes to this lineup.
    Buffalo Bills: The WR depth chart is Andre Reed, Bill Brooks, Justin Armour, 
    Steve Tasker, Damon Thomas, and Russell Copeland. Replace Phil Hansen with Jim 
    Jeffcoat at DLE.
    Carolina Panthers: The WR depth chart is Mark Carrier, Don Beebe, Dwight Stone, 
    Willie Green, David Mims, and Eric Guliford. Use Shawn King (#96) as your LE in 
    Nickel and Dime. Tim McKyer should start at RCB. The real Panthers were quite a 
    bit different from the Madden '96 version.
    Chicago Bears: Rashaan Salaam should start at HB. Todd Burger should start at 
    Cincinnati Bengals: Use Harold Green at HB in Shotgun and Run & Shoot. Carl 
    Pickens is your #1 receiver. 
    Cleveland Browns: Replace Tommy Vardell with Earnest Byner at FB. Move Keenan
    McCardell up to #4 on the WR depth chart. Use T. Pupua (Pio Sagapolutele?)
    instead of Dan Footman at DRT in Nickel and Dime.
    Dallas Cowboys: Michael Irvin should be the #1 receiver. Larry Allen should 
    start at RT. Billy Davis should be TE #2.
    Denver Broncos: Glyn Milburn is your best running back, but use Rod Bernstine
    in Goal Line and Aaron Craver in Shotgun. David Wyman should start at MLB.
    Detroit Lions: The best WR depth chart is Johnnie Morton, Herman Moore, Brett 
    Perriman, Anthony Carter, Aubrey Matthews, and Kez McCorvey. Start Sean 
    Vanhorse at LCB.
    Green Bay Packers: The receiver depth chart is Antonio Freeman, Robert Brooks, 
    Mark Ingram, Anthony Morgan, Charles Jordan, and Terry Mickens.
    Houston Oilers: Use Todd McNair as your Shotgun HB. Your #1 receiver is Haywood 
    Jeffires, followed by Chris Sanders, Travis Hannah, and Derek Russell.
    Indianapolis Colts: Your WR depth chart should be Brian Stablein, Flipper 
    Anderson, Sean Dawkins, Aaron Bailey, Floyd Turner, and T. Smith. Leonard 
    Humphries should start at free safety.
    Jacksonville Jaguars: Replace Steve Beuerlein with Mark Brunell at QB. Johnnie
    Morton should be the #1 receiver, followed by Desmond Howard, Ernest Givins, 
    Shannon Baker, Charles Davenport, and Willie Jackson. The real-life version of
    the team was radically different from the one found in Madden '96, so you may 
    want to create players for this team.
    Kansas City Chiefs: The WR depth chart should be Lake Dawson, Chris Penn,
    Victor Bailey, Danan Hughes, Willie Davis, and Wesley Carroll. Swap Joe
    Phillips for Mike Pelton at DT for the Nickel and Dime. Replace George
    Jamison with Jaime Fields at LB in the Nickel.
    Miami Dolphins: Start Terry Kirby as HB. Use Andrew Greene at RG, although you
    may want to still use Chris Gray on Shotgun and Run & Shoot. Use Steve Emtman
    (!) as your DLT. You heard that right.
    Minnesota Vikings: The WR depth chart should be Cris Carter, Jake Reed, Chris
    Walsh, Cunningham, Qadry Ismail, and David Palmer. Orlando Thomas should start 
    at free safety.
    New England Patriots: The WR depth chart is Vincent Brisby, Kevin Lee, Ed 
    Ellis, Ray Crittenden, M. Henry, and Troy Brown. Use Aaron Jones instead of 
    Mike Pitts at DLE in Nickel and Dime.
    New Orleans Saints: Use a WR depth chart of Torrance Small, Quinn Early, 
    Michael Haynes, T. Johnson, Steve Rhem, and Derrell Mitchell. Wesley Walls is 
    your top tight end.
    New York Giants: The recommended WR depth chart is Chris Calloway, Mike 
    Sherrard, Thomas Lewis, Arthur Marshall, Keith Crawford, and Omar Douglas. M. 
    Davis should be the ROLB. Roderick Mullen may be better at RCB.
    New York Jets: Consider playing Bubby Brister at QB instead of Boomer Esiason, 
    especially if you like a more mobile quarterback. You may prefer Adrian Murrell
    over Ronald Moore as your HB on non-passing downs. The WR depth chart is Tyrone
    Davis, Stevie Anderson, Ryan Yarborough, Orlando Parker, Curtis Ceaser, and A. 
    Allen. Kyle Brady should be your #2 TE. James Brown should be the LT.
    Oakland Raiders: You might want to start Derrick Fenner at FB. Tim Brown is the 
    #1 receiver, and then Raghib Ismail, Montgomery, James Jett, Daryl Hobbs, and
    P. Bobo. Kevin Smith should be the #2 TE. Play Jeff Kysar at RT. Nolan Harrison 
    can replace Anthony Smith at DLE in the Goal Line formation. Start James
    Folston at LOLB.
    Philadelphia Eagles: The recommended WR depth chart is Kelvin Martin, Fred 
    Barnett, C.T. Jones, Calvin Williams, B. Ford, and J. Kearney. Start Joe
    Rudolph at LG.
    Pittsburgh Steelers: Charles Johnson is your #1 receiver, followed by Andre 
    Hastings, Ernie Mills, and Yancey Thigpen. Mark Bruener should be the tight end 
    for the Shotgun formation and the #2 tight end overall.
    St. Louis Rams: The best WR depth chart is Jermaine Ross, Jessie Hester, Chris 
    Brantley, Todd Kinchen, Isaac Bruce, and Alexander Wright.
    San Diego Chargers: You might want to use Ronnie Harmon at RB in the Shotgun 
    San Francisco 49ers: D. Moore should be your Shotgun/Run & Shoot back. The WR 
    depth chart is Jerry Rice, John Taylor, J.J. Stokes, Chris Thomas, Nate 
    Singleton, and Patrick Rowe. Bart Oates is the best center, and Rod Milstead 
    should be the RG except in Shotgun and Run & Shoot. Kevin Mitchell should be
    the MLB. C. Hicks is arguably the better LCB.
    Seattle Seahawks: The WR depth chart is Brian Blades, Ricky Proehl, Joey 
    Galloway (#84), James McKnight, Terrence Warren, and Michael Bates.
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vince Workman is a good Goal Line HB. The WR depth chart 
    consists of Lawrence Dawsey, Alvin Harper, Charles Wilson, Horace Copeland, 
    Courtney Hawkins, and Lamar Thomas. Dave Moore may be preferable as TE #2, 
    especially in Single Back. Sean Love is a better RG in Shotgun and Run & Shoot.
    Washington Redskins: The receiver depth chart should be Michael Westbrook
    (#82), Henry Ellard, Tydus Winans, Leslie Shepherd, Olanda Truitt, and Pat
    Newman. Frank Wycheck is the recommended starter at tight end. Cory Raymer
    starts at center. Darrick Brownlow starts at middle linebacker. Alan Grant may
    be preferable at LCB.
    All Madden: Use Emmitt Smith as your HB in Goal Line. Sterling Sharpe should 
    probably be your #1 receiver. Steve Wallace is your best RT. Use #63 as your LG 
    on Shotgun and Run & Shoot. Andy Harmon should be the DLT. Aeneas Williams is 
    the best RCB. Merton Hanks is preferred at FS.
    There are two substitutions you should also make. On some teams, you might want 
    to change the Nickel formation's fifth defensive back. Also, make sure that
    your wide receiver in the Goal Line formation is the receiver who has the best 
    "Hands" rating; speed isn't much of a factor on the goal line.
    Offensive Playbook                                                   [OFFPB]
    I'm going to be assuming you're playing against the computer when I write this 
    guide, since a human probably wouldn't fall for Far/Near HB Toss on every down.
    I always assume that the play is NOT flipped, but the mirror feature (press X
    on the play selection screen) is good to use from time to time, particularly on
    certain plays or against a human opponent. When I use terms like "Y receiver"
    and "A receiver," I'm referring to the buttons that correspond to the receivers
    on the non-flipped version of the play. "Y receiver" can have a different 
    meaning in real-life playbooks. Also, since you're playing an old football
    video game, I'm assuming you have some grasp of football theory, rules, and
    terminology; you know what a tight end or shotgun formation is. That said, I'm 
    still going to explain certain terms for the less football-savvy. Caution: 
    Results may vary based on offense, defense, down, hashmarks, and other factors.
    I've tried to test each play against a variety of defenses and with the plays
    both regular and flipped (press X), but there's still a chance I may have
    misjudged a few plays. Also, no play will work 100% of the time. The five-
    receiver formation was new to the NFL in 1995, so don't go looking for any
    five-receiver sets or 7-DB "quarter" defenses here. Also, the "zone blitz" was
    just coming into fashion in 1995, so there isn't much of that in this game. In
    case you didn't know, a zone blitz is where a linebacker blitzes, while a
    defensive lineman covers the short zone the linebacker normally would have
    covered. For those of you who are counting, there are 92 plays on offense (not
    counting the Madden formation) and 81 plays in the defensive playbook.
    Far/Near (9 plays)
    This formation is best for running, although it contains several passing plays.
    Note that the letter in the upper-right corner of each play indicates whether
    the play is in the "Far" or "Near" formation (there's little difference,
    though; it just means whether or not your HB is on the same side of the
    formation as the TE).
    ---HB Counter---
    This is a counter play; the running back steps in one direction to fake out the
    defense, and then he runs the opposite direction. Like most "north and south"
    run plays in this game, it's tough to get this to gain more than two or three
    yards. It works best against a Nickel and is more effective if you press X to
    mirror the play.
    ---HB Toss---
    This is the best play in the game! I recommend that you use it A LOT against a 
    computer opponent - sometimes even on third and long. It's lethal against 
    standard 4-3 schemes. However, it won't work against a Nickel defense or some 
    five-man lines, so call an audible if your opponent is using it to prevent a
    big loss. If you flip the play, it's weak against a standard 4-3 scheme. You
    could even use this play instead of kicking an extra point after a touchdown.
    ---Strg. Flood---
    Strong Flood is the only pass play in the Far/Near formation that isn't a
    screen, play action, or rollout. Most of the receivers are on the strong side,
    but your best bet is to quickly pass the ball to the Y receiver on the slant
    for 10-20 yards. If you flip the play, a quick pass to your running back (B)
    or flanker (Y) could become a touchdown. No matter what, you're most likely to
    complete your pass if you get rid of the ball very quickly.
    ---HB Inside---
    This play demonstrates the difficulty of running inside, even if you have a
    good offensive line. You can't often gain more than a yard or two on this play.
    Fortunately, you're also very unlikely to lose yardage here. However, if you
    mirror the play using the X button, you have a good chance of gaining decent
    ---FB Dive---
    Running fullbacks were a little more popular in 1995 than they are nowadays.
    Anyway, this play is considered a dive (running between the guard and center),
    but you're most likely to succeed if you run off left tackle. Flipping the
    play makes an inside run more effective. No matter what, this play can
    frequently gain three yards.
    ---PA Near---
    This passing play isn't as effective as Strong Flood. Make sure to take control
    of your quarterback quickly, or your pass will usually be deflected in the
    line. The tight end (B) should be your main option. There's not too much
    difference between the regular and flipped version of this play.
    ---Off Tackle---
    This running play takes a while to develop, but a speedy back can get a big
    gain. Aim for the hole between the right tackle and tight end. The flipped
    version of this works poorly against a normal 4-3.
    ---FB Screen---
    Ironically, it's tough to get a good gain here if you pass to the fullback. The
    intention is for the lineman to let the defenders run by, and then they can
    block for the fullback. Instead, the pass usually gets deflected by a defender
    because you can't throw a high pass. If you choose this play, look for your
    receivers (Y or A) or tight end (R) instead, or flip the play to make it easier
    for your fullback to actually catch the ball.
    It's best to stay inside the pocket on this poorly-named play. Against most
    defenses, try a fairly quick pass to either of your receivers. Against some
    non-4-3 defenses (or if you flip the play), a pass to the tight end on the
    wheel route can be very effective.
    Single Back (9)
    I don't like this form of the Single Back formation and rarely use it. The
    problem is that your only running back lines up very close to the quarterback,
    so the back can't get much momentum on running plays, and there's no fullback
    to tie up defenders. And while this formation is OK for passing, I usually
    prefer a shotgun snap on obvious passing situations.
    See what I mean about the lack of momentum? This is a low-risk, low-reward play
    that can sometimes gain three yards. There's not much to say about this meat-
    and-potatoes play.
    Pretty similar to Dive, but this is a counter. Flip this play for best results
    against a normal 4-3. This can easily gain four yards (at least when flipped),
    but there's also a chance of a loss.
    ---WR Screen---
    An interesting play. Flipping the play doesn't usually yield very good results.
    Your receiver stands still and receives the pass. Meanwhile, the left tackle
    and left guard pull to block for the receiver. This play can lose a couple of
    yards, but if you let the blockers block for you, you can make a big gain.
    While the Y receiver is the intended target, throwing to the tight end or
    halfback can also work.
    ---Toss Left---
    Pretty risky for a run play, but it can be very effective. If you hit the hole
    between the tight end and left tackle, you can gain some yards. If you're
    really daring, flip the play and run backwards and right, and then between the 
    opposition OLB and CB. This can gain (or lose) a lot of yards. Anyway, this is 
    one of the better running plays in the Single Back formation.
    ---Off Tackle---
    This play is pretty similar to Toss Left. The normal version of the play isn't
    very good. Mirror the play and you should get excellent results against a
    standard 4-3 alignment.
    ---HB Screen---
    I love this play! Throw the ball to your halfback (the B receiver) at the right
    moment and you've got an easy touchdown. The Y and A options are dangerous,
    too. This is one of the best passing plays in the game.
    ---HB Trap---
    Another inside run, but this is better than Dive. You might like this play if 
    you have a very strong, powerful running back like Jerome Bettis.
    ---Opt. Reverse---
    The reversing wide receiver here is just a ploy to distract the defense.
    Whether you flip this play or not, your halfback can get a pretty good gain.
    But watch out for the outside linebackers that can stop you for a loss.
    A pretty ordinary play-action pass play. Your Y receiver on the post is your 
    best target, but the tight end also works well. The flanker's pattern is
    usually too short to be very effective.
    Pro Form (12)
    The Pro Form formation, also known as Split Backs or other names, is very 
    similar to Far/Near. It's good for both running and passing. It's the formation
    I use most frequently.
    ---Toss Left---
    The key on this play is to avoid the outside linebacker. After that, you'll hit 
    paydirt and gain at least 15 yards! This is a very nice play. The mirrored form 
    of the play is a little less useful because it's harder to avoid the OLB and
    ---FB Counter---
    If your fullback runs well, this is a pretty good play. Wait for the blocking
    to set up, and then try to find the right hole. A skilled player can often gain
    10 yards. Players tend to run into each other in the mirrored version of this
    play, and a stacked line or inside blitz can cause problems.
    ---Deep Posts---
    A pretty ordinary passing play. I sometimes have trouble with it. Your tight
    end probably has the best chance of being open. Some players use this as an
    ---HB Trap Left---
    HB Trap Left can be effective, but it's also inconsistent. Be patient with the 
    blockers and you can get some pretty good yardage. The flipped version is
    pretty weak against a normal 4-3 scheme.
    ---Quick Outs---
    Most of the receivers head toward the sideline on this play. Try a quick pass
    to the Y receiver, but don't forget the other receivers, including the backs in
    the flats. You won't notice much difference if you flip the play.
    ---Cross Pass---
    Quick slant patterns are lethal against the computer, so try a quick pass to
    the Y receiver. The tight end and flanker are also good options.
    ---Sweep Right---
    The success of this play depends a lot on the blocking abilities of your right 
    tackle, tight end, and flanker. Dash near the sideline, and if your men make 
    their blocks, you'll be gone! If they don't block well, you can easily lose
    five yards. You can also use this play as an off-tackle, especially if you flip
    it, if you want to reduce risk (and also minimize reward).
    ---Dbl. Flares---
    Double Flares is a well-designed pass play. Your main receivers (Y and B) are 
    your halfback and fullback in the flats. Dump the ball off to one of them and 
    you should get some yards after the completion. Don't overlook the other 
    receivers, though; your WRs and TE are also viable options.
    ---Flag Left---
    Your main target here is the split end (Y), who runs a flag pattern that very 
    often throws off the secondary, leading to a very big play. Throwing to your 
    tight end and flanker reduces the risk of both interceptions and touchdowns. 
    This is a very nice play. However, it's usually less effective when flipped, 
    especially the tight end route.
    ---FB Dive---
    This is a rare play that really gives your fullback a chance to shine. Your
    halfback is the lead blocker, so this play works best if you have a halfback
    who blocks well. Look for the hole that develops, sometimes off left tackle.
    Don't bet the farm on gaining more than a couple of yards on the flipped
    version of FB Dive against the average 4-3 scheme.
    A good short passing play that should earn approximately 10 yards. Your main
    target is the Y receiver on the hook pattern. Try to get some oomph on the
    ball. The A receiver runs a very short pattern on the flipped version, which
    is tougher to use.
    ---TE Corner---
    Nothing smites the defense like a quick slant to the Y receiver. The tight end
    also runs a great route, although the A receiver's route is too short to be too
    useful. The flipped form of TE Corner is even better.
    I Form (18)
    The I-Form, as the most popular formation of the time, has the largest play 
    selection of any offensive formation in Madden '96. Oddly, there are very few 
    running plays.
    ---36 Slam At.---
    The annoying thing about this play is that the halfback will run into your 
    quarterback if you're not careful. Run left or right around him and try to find
    the best hole. The flipped version works pretty similarly.
    Your main options here are your backs in the flat. Your Y receiver (the
    halfback) runs too close to the line of scrimmage to be effective; you'll
    usually get tackled for a loss, although you can sometimes make a big play with
    good blocking. The fullback runs a much more practical pattern, although passes
    sometimes get deflected in the line. You can also try throwing to your WRs and
    TE. You might prefer the flipped version against a normal 4-3 defense.
    ---Weak Flood---
    Most of your targets are on the weak side of the line on this play. The
    fullback stays back to block, so don't try to throw to him. The flanker's route
    isn't too useful, but the Y receiver can be very dangerous on a quick slant.
    Don't overlook the tight end, too, who will be running in some real traffic.
    ---HB Draw---
    The linemen take a step backward here, which may fool the defense into thinking
    this is actually a pass. You might prefer the flipped version so you won't be
    running right at the outside linebacker. This isn't the best running play out
    there, but it's not awful.
    ---HB Screen---
    This is a normal screen pass that's great against blitzes. I wouldn't recommend
    trying to throw to anyone other than the halfback.
    ---TE Slant---
    Both backs are blocking, so you have plenty of protection from the outside
    blitz. The main option, hence its name, is a short pass to the tight end, but
    you might want to consider going deep with the split end.
    ---Toss Right---
    In Madden '96, the best plays are usually outside runs, and this is almost as
    good as Far/Near HB Toss. Keep a good distance behind your blockers, run to the
    right sideline, and then you've got only the safety to beat! The flipped
    version of this play is more like an off tackle than a sweep, thus diminishing
    both risk and reward. I like this play.
    ---HB Option---
    Here's a play that isn't for the faint of heart. You pitch out to the halfback
    in a play that's very similar to Toss Right. If you want to, you can run for
    what should be a pretty big gain. However, you can also press B to bring up the
    passer windows and throw! Aim for the tight end. I usually prefer just to run,
    though. Against a human, make sure to bring up the passer windows just to cause
    confusion. It's harder to run on the flipped version of HB Option.
    ---WR Outs---
    Both backs stay in to block, so you have a lot of time. Use your "pocket
    presence" and be patient. When a receiver gets open, let the long bomb go and
    you might just have a touchdown. This play is exciting, fun, and quite
    ---Draw Left---
    Another draw play, although this one goes to the left. Although it's a draw
    play, it functions more like a short-yardage dive. You can't usually get more
    than a gain of two.
    ---TE Curls---
    I usually throw to the tight end on the curl pattern in this play, although you 
    can also throw to the deep Y receiver. This really isn't my favorite passing 
    play, though.
    ---PA Screen---
    Here the quarterback fakes a handoff to the fullback and then throws to the 
    halfback. Your receivers and tight end aren't very useful as pass catchers
    here, as most passes to players other than the halfback get broken up in the
    line. I prefer the flipped version or HB Screen.
    ---Pitch Left---
    A good off-tackle run that usually gains about five yards. The flipped version 
    is less effective.
    ---Pitch Right---
    Very similar to Pitch Left, but this is more like a sweep. Follow your fullback 
    and find the right hole. A stacked line causes problems for this play. The 
    flipped version is less effective against a normal 4-3.
    ---Slant N Go---
    Quick slants to the split end are usually excellent, but this one is too deep
    to work as consistently as most, although it can be a very big play. The other
    routes aren't remarkable, either. I don't use this play much.
    ---Toss Left---
    This looks a lot like Toss Right to the weak side. Let the fullback take care
    of the OLB and you should get a decent gain on this off-tackle. The flipped
    version is very similar.
    ---FB Dive---
    This play is exactly what it says it is - a fullback dive. 1-5 yards is a 
    frequent outcome, but at least you won't lose any yardage.
    ---PA Streaks---
    Here's a good passing play. After the play fake you'll have a choice of three 
    streaking receivers to choose from - and one should be open. If nobody's open 
    and you're about to get sacked, press SELECT to throw the ball away.
    Shotgun (9)
    The shotgun formation is good for passing because of its "shotgun" snap - the 
    quarterback gets the ball several yards behind the line of scrimmage instead of
    from right under center. It isn't great for running, though. The Madden '96
    version of the shotgun formation has three receivers, one tight end, and one
    running back. This is one receiver more than Single Back and one less than Run
    & Shoot. A good pass-blocking line helps.
    ---HB Shov. Pass---
    This play is designed to be a shovel pass to your running back (B). Expect to 
    gain 5-10 yards against a Nickel defense with little risk. Against a 4-3, the 
    shovel pass can occasionally be deflected by a lineman. If you feel lucky or 
    your opponent is still in a 4-3 (or you see an open receiver), you can also 
    throw deep to someone else, probably your Y or A man. Overall, this is a good 
    ---All In---
    The pass patterns are pretty self-explanatory here. The A receiver tends to get 
    open very frequently, especially if your opponent isn't prepared for the 
    ---Deep Outs---
    Your main targets here are your exterior receivers (Y and A), who can make some 
    pretty big plays. This play is best if you need a lot of yards.
    This can earn a surprising amount of yardage if the defense is expecting a
    pass. If your opponents use a Nickel or Dime, you might want to just run
    through the hole left by the right guard. Against a 4-3, follow the right guard 
    as he pulls to the left, and you'll probably pick up a lot of yards.
    ---HB Toss Right---
    Outside running isn't easy in the Shotgun formation, but good blocking will 
    reward you with a big gain. This is a high-risk play that can easily gain 25 
    yards or lose five. Call an audible in the unlikely event your opponent has 
    eight men in the box.
    ---QB Waggle---
    You've got to love plays with cute names. Normally you roll out to the right
    and throw to the B or A receiver - one of whom should be open deep - but you
    might want to take off running if you have an agile quarterback. It's a bit
    harder to get a completion with the other receivers.
    ---HB Lead---
    This formation is a little different - one of your receivers lines up in the 
    backfield. This is probably the weakest running play in the Shotgun formation, 
    although it's a good choice if you like seeing people fall down.
    ---Dbl. Flares---
    Double Flares is a good choice if you're in a situation where you want to pass 
    and want a lot of short options. Again your third receiver is in the backfield.
    Look for the split end on the hook and the running back in the flat, but don't 
    forget about your other receivers.
    ---Deep Posts---
    This also has a receiver lined up next to your halfback, this time to block. 
    This is a good play for getting 10-20 yards, although a blown coverage can lead 
    to a big play. Passes to the split end get broken up a lot.
    Run-Shoot (15)
    The Run-Shoot formation is named after the Run 'n' Shoot offensive system, as 
    this was the formation that scheme usually employed. It's similar to Single 
    Back, except that it has four wide receivers and one running back instead of
    two receivers, two tight ends, and a back. As with the Shotgun formation,
    opponents will often audible into a Nickel or Dime when you line up in this
    formation, frequently double-covering your split end. For that reason, don't
    forget to use the slot receivers, who often remain uncovered or covered by a
    linebacker or safety (especially against a standard 4-3). You want good wide
    receivers and an offensive line that pass blocks well when you use the Run &
    Shoot formation. Flipping these plays won't change much.
    ---HB Dive---
    HB Dive. Hmm. I wonder what that could mean? While the Run & Shoot formation 
    should spread out the defense, the computer rarely audibles into a Nickel or 
    Dime on run plays, so this play is usually stopped after a yard or two. I don't 
    recommend this play. It does work well against a Nickel or Dime, though.
    I use this play way too much, but it's quite nice. It's a good way to get 10-20 
    yards. Your four receivers run curl patterns, while the back stays to block. I 
    usually prefer to throw to the third receiver in the slot with B. Like most 
    plays in the Run & Shoot and Shotgun formations, there's not much use in 
    flipping the play.
    ---Toss Right---
    A good running play. It's riskier than some, though. Normally you'll run off-
    tackle, although it can be used as a sweep with good blocking, especially 
    against a normal Dime defense.
    ---Double X's---
    Both pairs of receivers run crossing patterns. The receivers run too close 
    together for this play to be really effective; one defensive back can 
    essentially cover two receivers. However, if you're patient, one of your 
    receivers will get open deep for the long ball, leading to an easy touchdown.
    ---Flood Right---
    This isn't much of a flood - just three men right. The tight end and flanker
    are usually open, but if you're feeling bold try a bomb to your split end (L).
    Your best bet is the halfback in the flat, who can get some yards after the
    ---PA Pass---
    A play action pass seems a little weird in this formation, but this play is 
    reasonably good nonetheless. The Y receiver is a good way to earn 15 yards or 
    so, while the flanker and tight end offer slightly better completion 
    ---Roll Out---
    This is a medium-range passing play. If he's open, throw to the A receiver on 
    the right. Otherwise, try for the Y receiver or the safer tight end. I wouldn't 
    try to actually roll out though, as the quarterback normally just stays in the 
    pocket on this play.
    ---Counter Left---
    This running play can usually gain at least three yards. It's much more 
    effective than HB Dive, and it's much less likely to lose yardage than Toss 
    Right. Counter Left is a good general running play for Run & Shoot fans.
    ---Quick Outs---
    This play gives you a choice of distances. The Y receiver can get you about 20 
    yards, the tight end 15, and the A receiver about 10.
    ---Hook N Go---
    Three of your receivers run a "hook and go" route - they fake a hook and then 
    run downfield. This is best as a long pass, and it can be pretty effective.
    Your only medium target is the third receiver (B) on a post, which gets a good
    reward and not much risk.
    ---HB Flats---
    The halfback in the flat is a safe option, although you need a very elusive 
    runner to gain much more than five yards or so. The Y and A receivers on the 
    post patterns tend to yield more satisfying gains.
    ---Quick Posts---
    This is another Run & Shoot play where many of your receivers run similar
    routes - in this case, a quick post. You want to get rid of the ball fairly
    quickly - right before the receiver "turns." The fourth receiver runs an in
    pattern that isn't too useful.
    ---Hail Mary---
    All your receivers head deep. Use this only in desperate situations where a 
    touchdown is needed.
    Your main target is here is the halfback, who runs around the line. This play
    is pretty good and is almost like a screen pass without pulling guards. You
    might also want to look for your A and Y receivers, as well as the R receiver
    in the slot.
    ---Deep Flood---
    Don't try throwing to the halfback, since he's rarely open and passes to him
    may get intercepted or deflected in the line. Instead look for your A receiver
    on the corner pattern or the riskier L receiver on the deep out.
    Goal Line (9)
    This formation is full of plays that are useful only in short-yardage
    situations, especially near the goal line. The plays can't be flipped, for some
    reason. There are two backs, two tight ends, and a receiver, ideally the one
    with the best "hands" rating.
    ---FB Dive---
    A good play to use if you only need a yard or two. It's not particularly 
    glamorous, though.
    ---PA Pass---
    One of the four passing plays in the Goal Line formation. First look for the 
    fullback (R) in the flat. If he's not open, look for your receiver (B) or one
    of your ends: the fade route (L) or the post (A). The halfback (Y) doesn't get
    open much.
    If your receiver (B) isn't open, throw to the halfback (A) in the flat for the 
    ---FB Opt. Right---
    This play is pretty similar to FB Dive, although it's not as good and can also 
    lose yardage.
    ---QB Sneak---
    The Quarterback Sneak is a pretty low-risk play, but don't expect to gain much 
    more than a yard or two. But it's very good at getting that one yard! This play 
    works great against the Miser and Tough Man variants of the Goal Line defense
    but consistently fails against 53. You might even call an audible if three men
    are blocking your center.
    ---Rollout Left---
    Your best options here are your receiver (A) and halfback (L). All other
    options are pretty iffy. Make sure to throw a bullet pass. Normally your
    quarterback drops back quite deep on this play.
    ---HB Opt. Left---
    The goal of this play is to run around the congestion in the middle by running 
    off left tackle. This play works very well, although nothing is guaranteed 
    inside the five.
    This formation has one of your tight ends in the backfield as an additional 
    blocker. However, what you're doing is faking a handoff to the fullback and
    then using the quarterback to plunge through the line or run off right tackle.
    I don't get good results with this.
    ---Quick Outs---
    This may be the best passing play in the Goal Line formation, especially if 
    you're on the five or six yard line. Look for the receiver (B) on the post. If 
    he's not open, try the tight ends (Y and A) on the out routes on either side. 
    Both backs block.
    Madden (6)
    This formation consists mostly of some of the better plays from the I-Form, 
    sometimes with a name change or a VERY slightly different pattern. You can't 
    flip these plays for some inexplicable reason.
    ---Toss Left---
    This is the same as the Toss Left of the I-Form. Duh.
    ---Dive Middle---
    This is almost identical to the FB Dive of the I-Form.
    ---Toss Right---
    Another play ripped from the pages of the I-Form.
    ---Sideline Pass---
    This is WR Outs from the I-Form masquerading as Sideline Pass.
    This play stole TE Slant's identity.
    This is almost the same as PA Streaks from the I-Form.
    Special Teams (5)
    ---Fk. Punt Run---
    As you know, fake punts are risky. In this version, one of your blockers takes 
    the snap and plows through the line. It's hard to gain more than three or four 
    yards with this, but it's certainly worth a try on fourth and two if the 
    situation is right. Also, it almost always gains at least two yards. Because
    the computer will audible into a normal formation when you call a fake punt,
    they're most effective against a human player.
    ---Fk. Punt Pass---
    Another fake punt, but this is a pass. Look for your Y, B, and A receivers and 
    throw to whoever's open. Your B man is safest, while Y and A are best for
    longer gains. This play can be quite effective against human players, if just
    for the shock value alone.
    When it's fourth down and too far to kick, you will usually want to punt. And 
    this is the play to select when you wish to do so.
    ---Field Goal---
    This play lets you kick a field goal. What a surprise! This is also the play to
    select when you want to kick an extra point after a touchdown. Don't try to
    kick a field goal unless you're inside the opposition 30 or so, though.
    ---Fake F.G.---
    Fake field goals are very risky, so use them carefully. This is a standard 
    passing fake field goal. Your best bet is the B option. Ignore the kicking 
    meter. As with punts, computer opponents will usually call an audible when you 
    call a fake field goal.
    Defensive Playbook                                                   [DEFPB]
    I'm not going to be as verbose on the defensive plays. Instead, I'm just going 
    to give a few details about each play; you can tell a lot just from the names 
    and diagrams.
    4-3 (24)
    The 4-3 defense is the defensive set used by most teams in most situations.
    ---2 Deep---
    A very balanced defense. I use this a lot.
    ---Key HB---
    A good balanced defense that defends both the run and pass. It's best not used 
    against teams that run their fullback a lot.
    Puts a little pressure on the quarterback by blitzing an outside linebacker. 
    Running the ball will probably be easier, though.
    ---3 Deep---
    This is a little stronger against the pass - might be good on something like a 
    2nd and 11.
    Contain is designed to contain the outside run.
    Another basic 4-3 set, but this has the left end and left tackle on a stunt.
    This is the first of six unusual forms of the 4-3 named after the now-defunct 
    NFL Europe teams of the time. All of them put eight men in the box, which helps 
    stop the run. This particular permutation is a great way to stop HB Toss.
    Not too different from Galaxy.
    The middle linebackers blitz here.
    A weird zone defense that may fail against a long ball to the split end. The 
    outside linebacker blitzes. Does this play make you feel like you're in 
    This zone is one of the better of the NFL Europe plays against the pass.
    The Admiral of Claymore swore vengeance against the Dragon that slew his
    Monarch with Fire. Okay, that's stupid. This is the last of the NFL Europe
    plays, and it's Designed to put pressure on the quarterback from unusual
    ---Grizzly Zone---
    The Grizzly set places all four defensive linemen very close to one another.
    This version is designed to defend the pass.
    ---Grizzly Read---
    This is the most balanced form of the Grizzly scheme.
    ---Grizzly Attack---
    Grizzly Attack is designed to put pressure on the quarterback, with the outside
    linebackers blitzing and two linemen on a stunt.
    ---Flex 2 Deep---
    This is the normal version of the Flex form of the 4-3, which has two lineman 
    slightly further from the line of scrimmage than normal.
    ---Flex 3 Deep---
    A deep zone.
    ---Flex Bomber---
    A Flex blitz.
    ---Dbl. Talon Zone---
    No, it's not named after Malon's dad from Zelda games. The Double Talon has the 
    tackles very close to each other, and one of the outside linebackers is
    situated far to the left. This form of Double Talon is a zone defense.
    ---Dbl. Talon MZ2---
    Another variation of the Double Talon system.
    ---Dbl. Talon Stk.---
    The outside linebacker blitzes in Double Talon Strike.
    ---Cowboy Zone---
    The Cowboy system is similar to Double Talon, but the linemen and linebackers 
    are symmetrical.
    ---Cowboy HB---
    This is like Key HB, only with the Cowboy set.
    ---Cowboy SE---
    Cowboy SE double-covers the split end (usually the flanker, actually) - a good 
    way to stop a dangerous receiver.
    3-4 (21)
    In real life, only the Steelers and Panthers regularly used the 3-4 defense in 
    1995. The 3-4 has three linemen and four linebackers, whereas the 4-3 uses four 
    linemen and three linebackers. The 3-4 is similar to the 4-3 in many aspects, 
    but there are differences. The primary advantage of a 3-4 is it allows teams to 
    put more pressure on the quarterback in unpredictable ways. The disadvantage is 
    it requires specialized personnel, such as a massive nose tackle. A real team 
    may have some difficulty regularly switching between a 3-4 and a 4-3, but you 
    can do it as much as you want in a video game. Don't overlook the more 
    unconventional forms of the 3-4, like Ace and Tiger.
    ---2 Deep---
    A balanced defense.
    ---Weak Blitz---
    An outside linebacker blitzes here; nothing too wild. This is another useful 
    general-purpose 3-4 play.
    ---Safety Blitz---
    Your safety blitzes along with an outside linebacker.
    ---3 Deep---
    Three of your defensive backs are in a deep zone, while the RCB covers the
    split end (flanker on flipped plays) in man coverage.
    ---Man/Zone 2---
    Another good versatile 3-4 scheme.
    ---LB Blitz---
    Both outside linebackers blitz.
    ---Viper Zone---
    Viper is a weird 3-4 system where the linebackers are arranged in a diamond 
    shape. This is the zone version.
    ---Viper Key HB---
    This form of the Viper is better at stopping the run, especially the halfback 
    ---Viper Strike---
    An outside linebacker blitzes, along with a safety.
    ---Ace Zone---
    Ace puts eight in the box, with a down linebacker. It's almost like a 4-3 or 4-
    4. Both OLBs blitz, spelling trouble for quarterbacks.
    ---Ace Man---
    An inside linebacker blitzes with man-to-man coverage.
    ---Ace Flush---
    A favorite of wavers of the Terrible Towel: two blitzing linebackers and a 
    safety. With six men rushing, the opponents will have to get the ball off 
    ---Crimson Yard---
    Crimson is a bizarre set that stacks the right side of the offensive line. 
    However, this play is suitable for the average 1st and 10.
    ---Crimson Read---
    Crimson Read is designed to contain the run.
    ---Crimson Tide---
    I don't know if they used this at the University of Alabama, but you have five 
    rushing here.
    ---Tiger Zone---
    Tiger is another weird subset of the 3-4 that facilitates the mass blitz, with 
    the defensive linemen near the edges of the offensive line. This is the most 
    normal Tiger play.
    ---Tiger Tiger---
    Tiger, tiger, burning bright... I bet you weren't expecting poetry in this 
    guide. An outside linebacker blitzes.
    ---Tiger Hunt---
    An outside linebacker and a safety blitz.
    ---Wilkie Zone---
    In Wilkie, all three linemen line up near the center, while the linebackers 
    cover the outside. If that doesn't overwhelm the middle of the line, exotic 
    blitzes may get past the tackles. This is a zone, as you can probably guess.
    ---Wilkie Man---
    This is the man-to-man form of Wilkie.
    ---Wilkie Storm---
    Wilkie Storm is a heavy-duty blitz, including a rushing safety.
    Nickel (12)
    The Nickel defense is best used in passing situations, as there are five 
    defensive backs instead of four.
    Everyone goes deep, so use this only when your opponents are in a two-minute 
    drill and are trying to gain yards quickly. It's best against a "Hail Mary" or 
    similar play.
    ---Safety Blitz---
    Here one of your safeties, as well as a linebacker, will come rushing toward
    the quarterback. The pressure on the QB is offset by the possible hole in your
    coverage. The safety is too far away to get to the quarterback unless you 
    manually change his position so it's closer to the linebackers.
    ---Short Zone---
    This defense is designed to contain a short pass. Good on, say, a 3rd and 6.
    ---3 Deep---
    Both safeties and a cornerback cover the deep zone here, so this defends the 
    deep pass well. However, there will be a hole in the short zone.
    This play helps stop the receivers, while increasing the risk of a completion
    a tight end or back.
    ---Double FL---
    This double-teams the flanker. A good way to shut down a particularly dangerous
    receiver, although this play usually double-covers the split end.
    ---Double SE---
    Identical to Double FL, except this puts the split end (or more commonly the 
    flanker) in double coverage.
    ---Double HB---
    This play is designed to contain a dangerous receiving halfback.
    ---Pirate Zone---
    The Pirate set is a special form of the Nickel where the linebackers line up 
    near the center and tight end. This is a fairly deep zone defense.
    ---Pirate Dbl.---
    The Pirate Double play double-covers the receiver on the right - usually the 
    ---Pirate Blitz---
    Both linebackers blitz here, creating a six-man rush.
    Dime (12)
    The Dime formation is even more pass-oriented, with six defensive backs and
    just one linebacker. Since it's weak against most running plays, especially the
    inside run, the Dime should generally be reserved for prevent situations.
    ---Prevent In---
    This deep zone is designed to stop long passes down the middle.
    ---Short Zone---
    The cornerbacks and linebacker protect against the short pass, while your 
    safeties drop back to provide a last line of defense.
    ---Double SE---
    This play double-teams the receiver lined up on the right side of the offense, 
    which in reality is usually the flanker.
    ---Prevent Out---
    This deep zone stops the outside pass but may be vulnerable against passes down
    the middle or in the flat. Good in a two-minute drill.
    ---Double FL---
    This play double-teams the receiver lined up on the left side of the offense, 
    which in reality is usually the split end.
    ---CB Blitz---
    One of the cornerbacks blitzes the quarterback here, while the rest of the 
    secondary is able to fill the hole.
    The classic prevent defense. All of your defensive backs head deep to prevent 
    the big play. Because of its passive nature, you definitely don't want to use
    it except when necessary.
    ---Tight Man---
    As you might expect, this is a tight man-to-man coverage. I think it's pretty 
    ---Safety Blitz---
    A safety blitzes, with the other five defensive backs providing the other 
    ---Medium Zone---
    This medium zone is actually pretty deep, so it's best in third-and-long and 
    two-minute drill situations.
    Your defensive backs rotate in a circular manner in this play, which could 
    definitely confuse quarterbacks' views of coverage assignments. This increases 
    the chances of an interception and also a big play for the offense.
    ---Key HB---
    This is a man-to-man defense, with the linebacker staying near the line to stop
    the inside run. Could be useful against a Run 'n' Shoot.
    Goal Line (9)
    The Goal Line formation counters the offensive version of the Goal Line. This 
    should only be used near the goal line or possibly in certain obvious short-
    yardage situations.
    ---Miser Left---
    This is a general-purpose goal line defense.
    ---Miser Key FB---
    This play is designed to stop the fullback.
    ---Miser Right---
    Very similar to Miser Left.
    ---53 Ram---
    The 53 variation of the Goal Line formation is excellent against the inside 
    rushing game, especially quarterback sneaks, but it is weak against outside 
    ---53 Griffin---
    Similar to 53 Ram, but with more emphasis on stopping the outside play.
    ---53 Bearcat---
    This is a blitz.
    ---Tough Man Outs---
    The Tough Man set is somewhat stronger against the pass - especially this 
    version. Interestingly, this set was called Tough Guy in Madden '95.
    ---Tough Man HB---
    Similar to Tough Man Outs, with the defense keying the halfback.
    ---Tough Man Blitz---
    Seven men rush, while the cornerbacks guard against the fade.
    Special Teams (3)
    These plays are designed to defend against punts and field goals.
    ---Punt Return---
    Here your personnel will be blocking for your returner in an attempt to get a 
    good return.
    ---Punt Rush---
    Here your team goes all out trying to block the punt, but you won't be able to 
    get a return.
    ---FG Block---
    Use this if you know your opponent will be kicking a field goal.
    FAQs and General Tips                                                [NOTES]
    Q: What plays are the best audibles?
    A: Here are the audible selections I most frequently use.
    [Y] A run (Far/Near HB Toss)
    [B] A short pass or screen pass (Pro Form Cross Pass)
    [A] A long pass (Shotgun Deep Outs)
    [Y] A balanced defense (4-3 Key HB)
    [B] A play that covers the pass (Nickel 3 Deep)
    [A] A blitz (4-3 Grizzly Attack)
    Make sure to change your offensive audibles if you're using a hurry-up offense,
    or your defensive audibles if your opponents are in a hurry-up. You also want
    to use different defensive play selections when using a 3-4. Against a human,
    you should change your audibles periodically to keep opponents on their toes.
    In case you didn't know, you can change audibles from the "Set Audibles" option 
    on the Gameplay Options subscreen of the Pre-Game or pause screen. The most
    important thing is to select plays that work well for you as audibles.
    Q: How do I use a hurry-up offense?
    A: Hold the A button right before the play selection screen would ordinarily 
    appear. You'll bypass the play selection screen and run the play you last run,
    unless you call an audible. A no-huddle offense is useful if you need to get 
    points fast, but it can also be useful for confusing your opponents, especially
    a human player.
    Q: How do I kick an onside kick?
    A: As in real life, onside kicks are very difficult to execute properly. First
    press A to call a kickoff audible, and then press A or B to change your team's
    alignment. Press B to start the power bar, and hold left or right on the
    control pad to angle the kickoff (preferably toward the side where all your
    players are). You want to stop the power bar when it's on the way down. It
    takes a lot of practice to do this right. By the way, make sure to call a
    kickoff audible yourself if your opponents are attempting an onside kick.
    Q: Where's the Kneel Down play?
    A: There isn't one. If you need to run out the clock without risking a fumble, 
    try something like FB Dive from the Goal Line formation. Another option is to 
    select a passing play and dive backwards right after you get the snap.
    Q: Is there fatigue?
    A: No. No matter how fast a player runs, no player ever gets fatigued. Players 
    could first tire in Madden '97.
    Q: What's the best way to put pressure on the opposing quarterback?
    A: Select the middle linebacker. Charge past the center and squash the 
    quarterback! Even better, start running toward the line of scrimmage before the 
    snap to get a running start, or try lining up in the neutral zone (the referee
    thinks the line of scrimmage is at the feet of the offensive linemen).
    Q: My passes keep getting deflected by the stupid defensive linemen! How can I 
    stop that from happening?
    A: You can either drop back farther or leave the pocket. In some plays you can 
    try releasing the ball faster (or sometimes later).
    Q: Why is the computer controlling my quarterback?
    A: If you don't press any buttons after the snap, the computer takes control.
    The same goes on defense. You can usually generate better results than the
    computer, though.
    Q: How do I call a timeout?
    A: Select "Call Timeout" from the pause screen if you have one or more timeouts
    remaining. As you probably know, timeouts stop the game clock, so they're
    useful in a two-minute drill or when you're about to get a delay of game
    Q: What penalties appear in this game?
    A: Basically, you can get a delay of game penalty if you take too long to call 
    your play on offense, and on defense you can get called for offsides by moving 
    past the line of scrimmage before the snap. Pass interference appears randomly 
    and can be turned off. Other penalties can't be turned off, though. Penalties 
    other than the three mentioned here are extremely rare, like illegal procedure 
    (kicking the ball out of bounds on a kickoff).
    Q: What should I choose when I win the toss?
    A: It doesn't matter, although it's more fun to receive first. If you're 
    deciding the goal to defend, you might want to have a tailwind on the kickoff. 
    But it doesn't matter at all.
    Q: Why does the computer usually call an audible when I select a pass from the 
    Shotgun formation but rarely when I run from the Shotgun?
    A: The computer is also more likely to use a Nickel defense when you use the 
    Shotgun formation, even on first down. The computer seems to have ESP (or an 
    unauthorized video camera) and knows what play you're calling. To deal with 
    this, call an audible yourself, or just look for the receiver who's poorly 
    Q: How do you perform touchdown dances?
    A: After scoring a touchdown, hold Y, B, or A and press any direction on the
    Control Pad. Different combinations will produce different moves! Groove on,
    baby. Also try pushing different buttons (not in combination) to produce horn
    and whistle sounds.
    Q: What other tips do you have?
    * This is common sense, but if you have a good running back and a weak passing 
    game (like St. Louis), run the ball a lot. Likewise, if you pass well but can't 
    run (like Minnesota), you'll want to keep the ball in the air.
    * Hard throws take just a little longer to get off than touch passes.
    * Run straight if you want to keep going fast; zig-zags slow you down.
    * Blitzes don't just increase the chances of a sack; they also make it easier
    to deflect passes.
    * Your split end (on the left) is usually the Y receiver, while the flanker (on 
    the right) is generally assigned the A button. The B button is usually a tight 
    end or halfback, while backs or slot receivers are usually L and R. However,
    you should refer to the play diagrams for the information specific to each
    play; this isn't the case on all plays, especially if you press X to reverse
    the diagram.
    * Don't forget to check out the Instant Replay feature (found on the pause 
    menu); it's pretty cool for 1995.
    * If you're playing on an emulator, assign the Y, B, and A buttons to the X, C, 
    and V keys, respectively, to ease play-calling.
    * A controller with a turbo button may make certain training events easier.
    Q: What are the actual names of the players who don't have names in Madden '96?
    A: I was able to figure out most of them:
    ARI #26 HB    Ryan Terry
    ARI #36 FS    Tito Paul
    ATL #42 FS    Devin Bush
    BUF #34 HB    Thurman Thomas
    CAR #96 DE    Shawn King?
    CHI #90 DE    Alonzo Spellman
    CIN #80 KR-PR David Dunn
    DAL #63 G     Shane Hannah?
    GB  #88 TE    Keith Jackson
    HOU #20 HB    Rodney Thomas
    NE  #52 ILB   Ted Johnson
    NYG #30 HB    Tyrone Wheatley
    OAK #91 RE    Chester McGlockton
    PHI #42 SS    Greg Tremble?
    SD  #21 CB-PR Darrien Gordon
    SEA #84 WR-PR Joey Galloway
    WAS #82 WR    Michael Westbrook
    I think the anonymous players for the All-Madden team are just "filler" players 
    with very high ratings who don't appear with any actual teams.
    Q: What other notes do you have for the game?
    A: Just a few miscellaneous tidbits:
    * If you play using a classic team, you'll be able to play at the old team's 
    stadium (like Memorial Stadium). Unfortunately, the venues in this game are 
    pretty generic; the only distinguishing features are indoors/outdoors and 
    grass/Astroturf. Still, it's kind of neat.
    * The official name for the Gator Bowl was by then Jacksonville Municipal
    Stadium. Incidentally, this game was made about a year before it became really
    fashionable to sell stadiums' naming rights.
    * Madden '96 is based on the Madden '95 game engine, but the playbook is
    better, several features have been added, and the rosters are updated for the
    1995 season.
    * Hold START, SELECT, L, R, and A on Controller 2 while starting up your game
    to see a debug screen with all sorts of interesting hexadecimal stuff. Try it.
    It's neat.
    * You might enjoy slamming into opposing players after the whistle blows. You
    won't even get called for unnecessary roughness.
    * You can't set the weather for teams that play indoors.
    Comparing with Reality                                               [REALL]
    This is a pretty familiar section if you've read my Formula One walkthroughs. 
    This is just a brief summary of the 1995 NFL season. More in-depth information 
    can be found at NFL.com, Wikipedia.org, and assorted other Internet and print 
    The NFL expanded from 28 to 30 teams in 1995 with the addition of the 
    Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers. It was also the first season in 
    decades without a franchise in Los Angeles, as the Rams departed for St. Louis 
    and the Raiders moved back to Oakland. Several notable individual career 
    achievements occurred on the field, as Jerry Rice broke records for most career 
    receptions and receiving yards, and Dan Marino passed Fran Tarkenton in four 
    major passing categories. Also, Emmitt Smith scored 25 touchdowns, beating John 
    Riggins' 12-year-old season record. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh 
    Steelers 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX on 1/27/96 in Tempe, Arizona to win their
    fifth Super Bowl and their third in four years. The game remains the seventh
    most-watched program in American TV history and one of the better games in
    Super Bowl history.
    Version History                                                      [VERSN]
    Here's the most beloved section of my guides... the version history.
    0.2    Began guide on 1/10/08. (17 KB)
    0.25   Did very little on 1/12/08. (17 KB)
    0.4    Added most of the team stats and playbooks for Far/Near, Single Back,
    and Pro Form on 1/13/08. (28 KB)
    0.6    Expanded the playbook with I-Form and Shotgun on 1/14/08. Finished the 
    team stats. (45 KB)
    0.75   Completed the defensive playbooks on 1/15/08. (54 KB)
    0.85   Added controls and other details on 1/16/08. (65 KB)
    0.99   Fixed some player names and finished things up on 1/17/08. (74 KB)
    1.0    Made final adjustments to line breaks and such on 1/18/08.
           Submitted guide to GameFAQs.com and Neoseeker.com on 1/19/08.
    1.1    Fixed a few errors on 7/28/08. (75 KB) 
    Copyright                                                            [COPYR]
    (c) 2008-2010 Vinny Hamilton. All rights reserved.
    All trademarks mentioned in this guide are copyrights of their respective
    You can print this guide out for your personal use.
    You can download this guide to your computer for personal use.
    You can post this guide on your Web site as long as you give proper credit to
    me AND you don't change a single letter, number, or symbol (not even a tilde).
    Remember that the latest version will always be available at GameFAQs.com, but
    don't count on there being many (if any) updates.
    You can translate this guide into a foreign language and post the translation
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    If you don't comply with these guidelines, your hard drive will be reformatted
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    remainder of your life. Heed this warning.
    Contact Information                                                  [CONTC]
    If you have any questions or comments about this guide, send an e-mail to
    VHamilton002@gmail.com. Remember that not all e-mails will be read. Please
    follow these rules:
    Do include "Madden '96" in the subject line.
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    Do tell me if you want me to produce more Madden guides of this type in the 
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    Current list of VinnyVideo guides available on GameFAQs.com and Neoseeker.com:
    F1 ROC: Race of Champions FAQs/Walkthrough
    F1 ROC II: Race of Champions FAQs/Walkthrough
    SimCity 3000 Walkthrough/Strategy Guide
    Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing FAQs/Walkthrough
    Kyle Petty's No Fear Racing Strategy Guide/FAQs
    Madden '96 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQs
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    Madden '97 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQs
    Madden '98 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQs
    The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Spoiler-Free FAQs/Walkthrough
    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Spoiler-Free FAQs/Walkthrough
    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest FAQs/Walkthrough
    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess FAQs/Walkthrough
    Donkey Kong 64 FAQs/Walkthrough
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