_ __ __ ___ ___ ____ __ _ / \ / \ / \ | _ \ | _ \ | __| | \ | | / /\ \/ /\ \ / /\ \ | | \ \ | | \ \ | |__ | \ | | | | | | | | | |__| | | | | | | | | | | | | \ \ | | | | | | | | | __ | | | | | | | | | | __| | | \ \ | | | | | | | | | | | | | |_/ / | |_/ / | |__ | | \ \| | |_| |__| |_| |_| |_| |____/ |____/ |____| |_| \___| _ ____ ____ / / / __ \ / \ /_/ / / \ \ ( /\ ) \ \__/ | \ \/ / \___ | / __ \ __ / / / / \ \ \ \_/ / \ \__/ / \___/ \____/ =============================================================================== Table of Contents =============================================================================== [INTRO] Introduction [MODES] Modes of Play [CONTR] Controls [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] =============================================================================== "Desperado! Why don't you come to your senses?" I haven't been riding fences for so long, but I am now officially obsessed with writing walkthroughs. This is number seven! And now that I've mentioned the lyrics to an Eagles (and later Clint Black) song without paying royalties, the RIAA will come and shoot me with a crossbow. Oh well. Ouch. In reality, I should be spending Internet bandwidth and my hard disk space on better things. And that's why I'm about to begin my strategy guide for Madden NFL '98, a fine title that was one of the last games released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Madden '98 was the last Madden game released for the Super NES. The game's engine and playbook are virtually identical to Madden '97's, and EA Sports didn't really develop anything new for the game. However, that's not an awful thing, because Madden '97 was a very fun and quite realistic game. By the way, I don't know of any cheat codes for the Super NES version of Madden '98, so don't look for any in this guide. =============================================================================== 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, quarter length, and difficulty level, as well as whether you want the games to have endurance (fatigue) and injuries. It's also possible to play a best-of-three or best-of-five series (like the first round of the baseball playoffs). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***Season*** Here you can play through a 16-game season, and if you're good enough, the playoffs and Super Bowl. The first time you select this option, you'll have to start a new season, but next time you'll be able to continue your existing season. If you have a season or playoff in progress, starting a new season erases the previous season's data, so be careful. ---Weekly Schedule--- This is where you go to play a game. Just press B to check or un-check the game you want to play, and press START. If you've selected a team using "Season Team," that team's game will automatically be checked. However, you can play as many games as you want to, or none at all. ---League Rules--- Here you can decide whether to have a salary cap, a trade deadline, and injuries. You can also change the difficulty level (Rookie, Pro, or Madden) and quarter length here. ---Team Schedule--- This lets you view each team's schedule. Press B on the highlighted team to see that team's schedule, or scroll through using left or right on the Control Pad. ---League Standings--- This shows the current standings. ---Team Rankings--- This ranks all teams by their records. ---Season Stats--- This lets you check out the statistics. ---Injury Report--- This lets you view the injury list for the team of your choice. ---Season Team--- Here you can select the team you want to control during the season. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***Playoffs*** Here you can start a new playoff series, which erases any existing season or playoff data. You can also use this option to resume an existing playoff. The three options on the Playoffs screen - Playoff Rules, Injury Report, and Playoff Schedule - work exactly like their Season Mode counterparts. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***Super Bowl*** This lets you replay any Super Bowl from 1988 to 1996 (and 1997, which is the same as 1996). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***NFL Records*** View all-time records for big plays and Scouting Combine events. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***Front Office*** The Front Office menu contains many options for changing teams' rosters and other related tasks. ---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 not included in the game, or even yourself! ---Practice Event--- Here you can practice the training drills used when creating a player. Some of them are pretty fun, too! Keep in mind that turbo controllers help on some of the events. ---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 - and the space on each team's salary cap. Also, you can only trade players of the same position, and you can't trade two players for one. ---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 memory. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***Configure Controllers*** This lets you change the controller configuration, but I see little need to do so (unless one of your controller's buttons is broken!) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***Credits*** This boring feature is pretty self-explanatory. =============================================================================== Controls [CONTR] =============================================================================== This section is based on my Madden '96 guide, which was based on the manual for Madden '96. ---General--- Move player - Control pad any direction Pause game - START ---Special Teams--- 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--- (Offense) Set a man in motion - Control pad left or right Select player to control (only in multi-player mode or in a Manual Offense) - L or R (or X) Fake snap signal (HUT!) - X Snap the ball - B (Defense) Select player to control - B or X Show blitz (move players closer to the line of scrimmage; you can press it multiple times to change the player combinations) - 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--- (Offense) Rushing Burst of speed - B Spin - A Dive/QB slide - Y Hurdle - X Lateral to closest teammate - L or R (Defense) Control player closest to the ball - B Jump and raise hands - X Dive - Y ---Passing--- 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 Throw to a default receiver - X 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. ---Rushing--- Control receiver closest to the ball - B Jump and raise hands - X Dive - Y Spin - A ---Punting/Kicking--- Fake snap signal (HUT!) - X Start power bar/snap the ball - B Stop the power bar - B Aim the kick - Control pad left/right ---Play Calling--- Move play selection highlight - Control pad up/down Flip play (Only for offense, and not available for the Goal Line or Special Teams formations) - X Return to formation select screen from play screen - L or R ---Menus--- 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 Switch between home and visiting teams on Team Select screen - B Return to previous screen - A View help 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 "Game Play Options." You can change audibles here, but I discuss that in the Q&A section. First, 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). Secondly, 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. Third, you can Set Offense Control. This isn't a bad thing for advanced players, but beginners should always use the default Automatic mode. In Manual Mode, you can control any of the so-called "skill positions" - not just the quarterback. Use the L and R buttons to cycle through your players before the snap. On running plays it's best to select the running back, although it's also fun to block for a back using your fullback or tight end - or even the quarterback! On passing plays, you definitely want to control the quarterback, although you can press B while the ball is in the air to take control of the receiver. If you're controlling a receiver, press B to bring up the receiving windows and B again to call for a pass. Manual Offense Control is a lot of fun and is a superb addition to an otherwise less-than-innovative game. One more option here is totally useless: Passing Mode. Passing Mode determines whether five receiver letters are shown or one. Five (the default) is highly recommended, as the alternative is cumbersome. =============================================================================== Suggested Substitutions [SUBST] =============================================================================== Note that I assume a 4-3 defense for every team other than Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh. 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 1997 NFL season. I don't know the first names of a very small number of these players. I don't include the suggested substitutions for the EA Sports or THQ Inc. teams or the classic teams. You may also want to manually make changes to the WR in the Goal Line formation (use the player with the best Hands rating) and the third cornerback and third safety in the Nickel and Dime formations. Also, I highly recommend that you adopt some form of player rotation (as discussed in the FAQs section). Arizona Cardinals: Play LeShon Johnson at HB in Goal Line, Shotgun, and Single Back. Stevie Anderson should be the #4 receiver. Use James Dexter at RT except in pass-oriented formations. Start Aaron Graham at center. Eric Swann is highly recommended at DRT. Use Wesley Leasy at RLB. Use Eric Hill at MLB. Atlanta Falcons: Bert Emanuel is the #1 WR. Todd Kinchen should be #4 on the WR depth chart. Definitely start Jessie Tuggle at MLB and Mike Croel at RLB. Baltimore Ravens: Randy Baldwin should play FB. Ray Ethridge should be the #4 WR. Wally Williams should start at center. Tony Siragusa should be the DRT. Ray Lewis is definitely the best MLB. Jamie Sharper is the best LLB. Donny Brady should be the LCB. Buffalo Bills: Jason Bratton is the best overall FB. Quinn Early is the #1 receiver. Glenn Parker should be the RT. Ted Washington should be the DRT and 3-4 NT. Chris Spielman should replace Damien Covington at ILB #1. Sam Rogers is probably the best ROLB overall. Eric Smedley should start at SS. Carolina Panthers: Anthony Johnson should start at HB. The recommended WR depth chart is Michael Bates, Muhsin Muhammad, Rae Carruth, Raghib Ismail, Ernie Mills, and Dwight Stone. Brandon Hayes should play RT. Greg Kragen should be the DLT but probably not the 3-4 NT. Sam Mills should be the MLB/ILB #1, and Michael Barrow should be ILB #2. Lamar Lathon should be the ROLB. Chicago Bears: Erik Kramer should start at quarterback. Jim Flanigan should start at DRT. Chris Zorich should be the DRE. Bryan Cox should be the MLB. Tony Peterson is the recommended RLB. Cincinnati Bengals: Eric Bieniemy (mispelled Bienemy in the game) should be the Shotgun/Single Back HB. Kevin Jordan should be the #5 WR. Use Rod E. Jones as the Goal Line LG. Use Dan Wilkinson as the DRT and 3-4 NT. Steve Tovar is the best ILB, while the other two ILBs have identical stats (although Tom Tumulty was the LILB in real life). Bracy Walker should start at SS. Dallas Cowboys: Macey Brooks (Rookie WR, #19) should be WR #5. David LaFleur should be the #1 TE. Randall Godfrey should be the RLB. Denver Broncos: Anthony Lynn should be the FB. Patrick Jeffers should be WR #3. Michael Dean Perry should be the DRT. Allen Aldridge is the best MLB. Bill Romanowski should be the RLB. Detroit Lions: Luther Elliss should be the DRT. Reggie Brown should be the MLB. George Jamison should be the RLB. Green Bay Packers: Use Edgar Bennett as the Shotgun/Single Back HB. Robert Brooks should be the #1 WR. Don Beebe should be the #3 WR. Gilbert Brown should be the DRT. George Koonce should be the MLB. Wayne Simmons should start at RLB. Indianapolis Colts: Zack Crockett is the best FB except in passing situations. Sean Dawkins is the #1 receiver. Tarik Glenn (Rookie T, #75) is best at LT. Dan Footman should be the DLE. Elijah Alexander should be the MLB. Steve Grant should be the RLB. Jacksonville Jaguars: Willie Jackson should be the #2 WR. Pete Mitchell should be the first on the TE depth chart and Damon Jones should be #2. Rich Tylski should be the LG. Dave Widell should be the center. John Jurkovic should be the DLT. Clyde Simmons should be the DRE. Eddie Robinson should be the RLB. The three MLBs are all pretty equal. Kansas City Chiefs: Marcus Allen should start at HB. Kevin Lockett (Rookie WR, #89) should be WR #3. Derrick Walker should be TE #1 and Ted Popson TE #2. Steve Wallace should be the LT. Dan Williams should be the DRE. Use John Browning as the 3-4 NT. Tracy Simien is the recommended ILB, and Terry Wooden should be ILB #2. Derrick Thomas should be the ROLB. Tennessee Oilers: Use Ronnie Harmon as the Single Back/Shotgun HB. Mel Gray should be your #4 WR, and Sheddrick Wilson should be #5. Irv Eatman should be the RT. Gary Walker should be the DRT. Barron Wortham should be the MLB. Joe Bowden should be the RLB. Miami Dolphins: Yatil Green should be the #3 receiver. Tim Bowens should start at DRT. Zach Thomas should be the MLB. O.J. Brigance should be the RLB. Calvin Jackson is the best RCB. Shawn Wooden is the best FS. Minnesota Vikings: Some may prefer Randall Cunningham at QB. Use Leroy Hoard as your Goal Line HB. Use Moe Williams as your FB. Tony Bland should be the #5 receiver. Andrew Glover should be TE #1, and Andrew Jordan TE #2. John Randle should be the DRT. Duane Clemons should be the DRE. Use Dixon Edwards at RLB. New England Patriots: Keith Byars should be the FB. Vincent Brisby should be the #2 WR. Use Mike D. Jones at DLE and Henry Thomas at DLT. Ted Johnson is the recommended MLB. Use Monty Brown at RLB. Michael McGruder should be your RCB. Start Larry Whigham at SS. New Orleans Saints: Nick Savoie should be TE #2. Daryl Hobbs should be WR #1. Terry Guess should be WR #2. Lee Deramus should be WR #4. Ed King should be your Goal Line RG. Wayne Martin should be the DRT. Winfred Tubbs should be the MLB. Mark Fields should be the RLB. New York Giants: Keith Elias should be the FB. Ike Hilliard should be WR #2. Aaron Pierce should be TE #1. Roman Oben should be the RT. Lance Smith should be the LG. Adam Schreiber should be the C. Use Keith Hamilton as the DRT. Doug Colman should be the MLB. Corey Miller is the best RLB. Maurice Douglass is the recommended FS. New York Jets: Richie Anderson is the best FB. Jeff Graham should be the #1 WR. Ronnie Dixon should be the DRT. Use Pepper Johnson at MLB. Marvin Jones should be the RLB. Ray Mickens should be the LCB. S. Rosga is the best FS. Oakland Raiders: Desmond Howard should be your #2 receiver. Use Robert Jenkins at RT (not a bright spot for the Raiders!). Use Adam Treu as your RG in Goal Line and possibly other formations. Chester McGlockton should be your DRT. Use Rob Fredrickson at LLB and Greg Biekert at MLB. Larry Brown should be the LCB. Philadelphia Eagles: Russell Copeland should be the #2 receiver. Luther Broughton (Rookie TE, #49) should be the #2 TE. Mike Zandofsky should be the LG. Andy Harmon should play DLT. Greg Jefferson should be the DLE. James Willis should be the MLB. William Thomas should be the RLB. Pittsburgh Steelers: Yancey Thigpen should be the #2 WR. Israel Raybon should be the NT. Levon Kirkland should be ILB2. Definitely start Greg Lloyd at RLB. J.B. Brown should be the RCB. St. Louis Rams: Jermaine Ross should be the #4 receiver, and J.T. Thomas should be #5. Billy Milner should be the RT. D'Marco Farr should be the DRT. Robert Jones should play MLB. Roman Phifer is your starter at RLB. San Diego Chargers: The top two quarterbacks are very evenly matched. Terrell Fletcher should be your #1 HB except in the Shotgun and Single Back formations. Aaron Craver is the recommended FB. Charlie Jones should be your #3 receiver. Crittenden should be your #4 receiver. Joe Cocozzo should be your center. Junior Seau should be your MLB. Patrick Sapp should be the starter at RLB. San Francisco 49ers: Frank Pollack is the recommended LT. Bryant Young should play DRT. Ken Norton should be the MLB. Seattle Seahawks: Warren Moon should start at QB. Mike Pritchard should be WR #2. James McKnight should be WR #4. Eric Goines should be WR #5. Itula Mili should be TE #1. Howard Ballard should be the LT. Cortez Kennedy should be the DRT. Matt LaBounty should be the DRE. Dean Wells should be the MLB. Winston Moss should be the RLB. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Reidel Anthony should be WR #1. Karl Williams should be WR #3. Warren Sapp should be the DRT. Hardy Nickerson should be the MLB. Derrick Brooks should be the RLB. Washington Redskins: Jeff Hostetler is the best QB. William Bell should start at FB. Leslie Shepherd should be WR #3. D. Mays should be WR #4. Sean Gilbert should be your DLT. Marvcus Patton should be your MLB. K. Truluck is recommended at RLB. Brian Walker is the best SS. All Madden: Start Emmitt Smith at HB but use Terrell Davis in Single Back and Shotgun. Terry Allen is the best FB. My recommended WR depth chart is Jerry Rice, Isaac Bruce, Tony Martin, Irving Fryar, WR6 (#83), and Antonio Freeman. T2 (#65) is the best RT. Bryant Young should be the DRT. Sam Mills should be your MLB. Lamar Lathon should start at RLB. NFLPA Free Agents: Leonard Russell is the best HB, but use Amp Lee in Shotgun and Single Back. The WR depth chart should be Bill Brooks, Mark Carrier, Freddie Solomon, Mark Seay, Danan Hughes, and Alexander Wright. Johnny Mitchell should be the #2 TE. Use Jamie Brown at LT. Use Don Davey at DRT. Use Jeff Herrod at MLB. Use Ricky Reynolds at RCB. Darren Carrington should be your FS. Use Michael Stewart at SS. =============================================================================== Offensive Playbook [OFFPB] =============================================================================== I'm going to be assuming you're playing against the computer when I write this guide. I always assume that each 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. I also assume you're using the "Normal" subset of each formation. Changing the set can be desirable but will also change the way the play works. 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, set, and other factors. I've tried to test each play against a variety of defenses, but there's still a chance I may have misjudged a few plays. Also, no play will work 100% of the time. For those of you who are counting, there are 109 plays on offense and 77 plays in the defensive playbook. Lastly, 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 '98. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Far (Normal, 3WR, 2TE, TE Motion) (12 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Far formation has two running backs lined up close to each other, with the halfback on the weak side ("far" from the tight end). The "H-Back" set, which appeared in Madden '97, can't be selected any more in the Far formation. ---FB Dive--- This play is good in short-yardage situations, but it's also good as a general- purpose running play. It usually gains about four yards. ---HB Flat--- Your main target on this useful passing play is the halfback (B) in the flat, who often goes uncovered. This can become a touchdown. If the halfback isn't open, look for the split end (Y) on the in route or the hooking flanker (A). ---FB Opt. Dive--- Not very different from FB Dive, although this is a run off left guard. ---HB Dive--- You need a fast halfback to succeed with this slightly awkward play. The halfback takes a pitch and then runs up the middle. Call an audible if eight men are in the box. ---Weak Flood--- This play "floods" the weak side of the line with a trio of receiving options. Don't throw to the fullback (A), or you'll usually lose a lot of yards. Passes to the halfback (B) usually get deflected in the line. The tight end (R) is a pretty safe option, but your best bets are probably your wide receivers (Y and L). ---HB Off Tackle--- This is the second-best play in the game! You may wish to use it as the audible assigned to the Y button. Just watch your blockers and turn when appropriate. This play can gain anywhere between five and 50 yards - and it's very often toward the higher end of that scale, although every once in a while you'll be tackled in the backfield. ---FB Screen--- Your main option here is (obviously) the fullback. A fast fullback can make a touchdown, but most fullbacks will have to settle for about five yards. But don't ignore your wideouts here. Passes to the Y receiver are usually deflected in the line, but the A receiver is a very good option. ---Flood Zone--- Try a soft pass to the L receiver or a harder throw to the A receiver. Don't bother throwing to the halfback (B), because he often catches passes intended for the flanker by accident. Try throwing to the fullback (Y) if the opponents are in a deep zone. The halfback is primarily a blocker. ---WR Screen--- Here you throw to your flanker (A) while your linemen pull to block for the receiver. This can be effective against the blitz, but your receiver often gets tackled for a big loss in tight man coverage. I often prefer to pass to the split end (Y) or tight end (B) on the post patterns. Your backs are blockers. ---Quick Fade--- There are four options here: the receivers (Y, L) on short fade routes, the tight end (A) on an in route, and the halfback (B) in the flat. The halfback is probably your best option, as you'll almost always get a completion for at least five yards, and good blocking can lead to a very big play. No matter who you throw to, you'll be happiest if you get the ball off fairly quickly. ---HB Trap--- This play looks a little like HB Dive. It usually ends up gaining about five yards, but you'll sometimes be stopped for no gain. ---Deep Curls--- Both backs stay in to block, so you should have plenty of time. Throw deep to one of your receivers (Y, A) if one is open. Otherwise, look for the tight end on the shorter pattern. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Near (Normal, 3WR, 2TE, TE Motion) (12 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As with the Far formation, the fullback lines up right behind the quarterback. However, the halfback is on the side closer to the tight end. ---FB Dive--- This play is very similar to the Far version of FB Dive. You may have difficulty if the opponents have eight men in the box. ---FB Flat--- The split end (Y) runs in and the tight end (R) runs an out, but the most dangerous option is the flanker (A) on the streak. The halfback blocks, but the fullback (B) is sometimes available in the flat. ---HB Delay--- Before getting the snap, your halfback freezes to confuse the defense. Run up the hole that develops in the middle of the line and you should get six or seven yards. If there are eight men in the box, call an audible. ---Post Stop--- Your main options here are the receivers (Y and A) on short posts. The tight end (B) can also work, while the backs function solely as blockers. ---HB Counter--- Here the halfback takes one step in the opposite direction before taking the pitch to confuse the defense. This is a high-risk, high-reward rushing play. If you find the hole that develops up the middle of the line, you can often gain a dozen yards. Because you take the ball so deep in the backfield, it's also possible to lose yards. ---Deep Post--- Very similar to Post Stop, but the receivers run deeper routes, and the tight end runs out instead of in. Also, the backs are protecting against the inside blitz instead of the outside blitz. ---FB Circle--- The fullback (B) runs a circle route that's not very useful. However, your receivers (Y and A) and tight end (R) can get open if you're patient. I find that this play is of the all-or-nothing variety; it can gain big yardage against some defenses but fails miserably against others. ---HB Inside--- This play is pretty similar to HB Counter, but a little less effective. It doesn't lose yardage as often, though. ---PA Near--- This passing play isn't for the faint of heart. Your main targets are the receivers downfield, but you can look for the tight end (B) if you need something safer. Your halfback (L) takes a while to get open but is a good receiver of last resort. The fullback blocks. ---TE Screen--- Your linemen pull out on this play to block for the tight end (B), the intended recipient of the pass. You can also throw deep to one of your wide outs (Y or A). This play is very effective if you have an agile RG and RT and a speedy TE. It's a pretty easy and reliable way to earn 5-10 yards. ---HB Toss--- What a great play this was in Madden '96! However, the players are a bit slower now, so this is best used as a sweep. This high-risk play usually gains 50 or loses six. ---Roll Out--- This play is pretty useful if you have a mobile quarterback. If no one's open, try scrambling for the first down. Look for the halfback (Y) in the flat, the tight end (B), or your flanker (A). The split end (L) runs an out. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Single Back (Normal, 3 WR, TE Motion, 4 WR) (18 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The default set of Single Back formation has two wide receivers, two tight ends, and a running back. ---HB Dive--- This was one of the most useless plays in Madden '96, but it's now a good basic rushing play. Run behind your left tackle and left guard to pick up an easy five yards. ---Square In--- This would be a pretty play to watch from the upper deck. Your receivers (Y and A) head in, while your tight ends (B and R) run out patterns. The tight end is probably the most dependable option. ---HB Dive (2)--- Just like the other HB Dive play from the Single Back formation: follow your right guard and right tackle to pick up four or five yards. You could try running up the middle or even off tackle if the opponents are using an unconventional defensive alignment. ---Quick Slant--- Your main option is your split end (Y) on the quick slant. The flanker (A) also runs a slant, while the second tight end's (B) slant usually encounters too much congestion to be useful. Also consider trying a quick pass to your #1 tight end (R) on the streak pattern. ---TE Quick Out--- Both tight ends (Y and B) run outs, which are fairly reliable short patterns. You can also go for the home run with your receivers (A and L) on streaks. I like this play a lot and sometimes use it as my A-button audible. ---WR Screen--- This play is intended to be a screen pass to your flanker (A), but I get better results by throwing to the streaking split end (Y) or tight end (B). If you go with the screen pass, release the ball as soon as possible and try running to the outside of cornerback. ---Drag Right--- If you like the West Coast Offense, you'll like this play. I don't have much luck with any of the receivers except for the flanker (A) on the streak, who usually draws single (or no) coverage. You can also try the split end (Y). ---Circle Pass--- Your L receiver should get open pretty quickly. Throw a touch pass to him for the score! The flanker (A) is another good choice. The halfback (B) can often get a lot of yards after completion, while the tight ends (Y and R) are slightly less useful. This play receives an official VinnyVideo Seal of Quality. ---HB Screen--- A screen pass intended for the halfback. Don't get rid of the ball too quickly. Let the blockers block and you might just wind up in the end zone. There are other receiving options here, but I wouldn't pay much attention to them. This play works well as an audible. ---Slot Reverse--- Here your quarterback hands off to the halfback, who then hands off to your slot receiver. It's best to use the 3-receiver set when you select this play, or else you'll be handing off to a lumbering tight end who won't be able to pick up as much yardage. Also, set the receiver in motion by pressing Right just before you snap the ball. You want him to be where the tight end is in the 2-TE set. This way you can get the ball off more quickly than you could if he were in the slot. Don't press any buttons or move the control pad until the receiver has the ball, unless you want to use this play as a conventional halfback draw/fake reverse. No matter what, this play is very effective. ---Flea Flicker--- The riskiest play in the playbook! This play begins as Slot Reverse does, but at the end the receiver pitches out to the quarterback. If your wide receivers (Y and A) aren't open deep, try throwing to the safer tight end (B). It's usually easiest to not press any buttons and allow the computer to control the entire play. Also, this play occasionally doesn't work right and becomes an ordinary running play or reverse. As with Slot Reverse, it makes sense to use the 3-WR set with this play. ---HB Toss--- This is a standard run up the middle, except there's a slot receiver faking a reverse. You can usually gain 5-8 yards with this nice play. ---Slot Screen--- This is a screen pass to the slot receiver. If you use a 3-WR or 4-WR set, you can try using this more as a conventional pass to the slot man. Also try throwing to the streaking wide receivers (Y and L) or the tight end down the middle. ---HB Counter--- This counter play is almost like a delay. There are two ways you can run this. You can run up the middle, following your blockers. Get past the line of scrimmage and you should get about 10 yards. Alternatively, you can run off right tackle and go for the home run. The latter is usually more effective, but it also depends on the defensive set your opposition is using. ---Break-Out--- This is what smart prisoners do. The wide receivers (Y and A) run a deep out pattern that frequently results in a touchdown. You can also throw to one of your tight ends (B and R) for a shorter gain. This play works well against most defenses. ---Quick Fade--- Your main options are the tight ends (Y and A) on short fade patterns, while the wide outs (L and R) run in patterns. The halfback (B) isn't too useful. This play isn't much good on first down, but it can work if the opponents are sitting back in a deep zone. ---Post In--- Your best target on this play is the split end (Y), who fakes an out and runs a deep post. Other options are the tight end (B), flanker (A), and slot receiver/ second tight end (L). The back blocks. ---In + Out--- I'd probably look first for the flanker (A) on the out pattern and the streaking slot receiver/TE #2 (Y). You can also try the tight end (B), while the split end (L) runs a less useful route. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Pro Form (Normal, 3WR, 2TE, TE Motion, H-Back) (15 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Pro Form formation, alternatively known as Split Backs or other names, is similar to the Far and Near formations. It's good for both running and passing. It's the formation I use most frequently. ---FB Sweep--- Most outside running plays are geared toward speedy backs, and most fullbacks aren't fast. However, this play is very effective, especially against standard 4-3 sets. Follow your blockers and you can easily gain 25 or more yards. ---Comeback--- A good all-purpose passing play. The halfback (Y) in the flat is almost like a sweep. Other options are the tight end (B) on the post, the flanker (A) on the hook, and the split end (L) on the deep in route. ---HB Off Tackle--- I think this is the best running play in the game. This is always my Y audible. This play simply shreds standard 4-3 sets. If there are eight men in the box, you may want to call an audible or run closer to the center of the line. I've gotten many a touchdown with this play. ---HB Toss--- This isn't a very good play. It usually ends up losing about five yards. However, you can occasionally make a big play if you can reach the sideline and turn. ---HB Toss Pass--- This play is almost identical to HB Toss, but this is MUCH better. For one thing, you have a good chance of earning decent yardage on the ground and a far lower chance of being stopped in the backfield. Better yet, you have the option of pressing B to bring up the receiver windows and throw a pass! If you throw to the Y receiver, he'll probably be open and will usually score a touchdown. Another nice thing about halfback passes is that they keep human players guessing. If you're playing the computer, bring up the passing windows as soon as your halfback gets the ball so the receiver can get downfield. Against a human, you may want to wait until it looks like you're running. ---HB Counter--- The quarterback spins before delivering the handoff here. This isn't a good play for beginners, but an experienced player can get a decent gain. You'll have to guide your halfback through a barrage of defenders, and it's often hard to tell exactly what gap you should run through. It's easiest and safest to run up the middle, but if you want to increase your chances of a big play, you can try running between right guard, who pulls to the left, and the left tackle (as shown on the play diagram) ---FB Inside Run--- This play isn't very well designed; you usually end up running into the quarterback and losing all your momentum! I don't recommend using this play, although you can get four yards with it if you're lucky. ---Curls--- Your main options are your wide receivers (Y and A), who run curl patterns, which are similar to hooks. The halfback (B) in the flat is also effective, while the tight end (R) doesn't get open very much. ---FB Dive--- This play is pretty self-explanatory: a fullback run up the middle. However, you can often gain six or seven yards with it if you have good blocking. It's also effective in short-yardage situations. ---Quick Out--- This play is designed to facilitate very quick passes to the WRs, who run short out patterns. The tight end is also a viable option. This is a pretty good play. ---HB Middle--- Look for the split end (Y) on the corner route, the tight end (A) on the out, and the streaking flanker (L). The halfback (B) on the deep curl gets open less frequently. ---FB Screen--- A typical screen pass to the fullback. Make sure not to release the ball too soon. Also consider throwing to the Y receiver on the deep post, the streaking A receiver, or the tight end (R) on the post pattern. ---Cross Pass--- Both backs protect the quarterback here. The most effective target is the tight end (B). Passes to the split end (Y) on the slant are good against a Nickel and weak against standard 4-3 schemes. The A receiver runs a post pattern. This really isn't my favorite play in the Pro Form, but it's not terrible. ---Circle Pass--- Your main target is the streaking split end (Y). If he's tightly covered, look for the A receiver on the out, the tight end (R) on the post, and the halfback (B) in the flat. ---All Streaks--- This is a Hail Mary pass, with the fullback staying in to block. You can use this play to get a big gain in a desperate situation, but feel free to use it any time you like, because there's a good chance someone will get open against a standard 4-3 scheme. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I Form (Normal, 3WR, 2TE, Broken, H-Back) (15 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The fullback lines up between the quarterback and halfback here, producing an "I" shape. There's no TE Motion set, though. ---Belly Weak--- In this play, the fullback runs up the "belly" (middle) of the offensive line. Even with eight men in the box, you can get a decent gain - three or four yards. You can gain even more against a normal 4-3. ---FB Hook--- The fullback (B) runs into the line, blocks, and then runs a hook pattern. However, your other options are much more useful, from the split end (Y) and tight end (R) to the halfback (L) in the flat. The flanker (A) runs a medium in route that works pretty well against double coverage. ---Belly Strong--- This is the same as Belly Weak, except that the fullback runs between the right guard and right tackle (instead of the left). You'll get similar results. ---HB Wham--- This is another run up the middle, except this one goes to the halfback. Watch out for the defensive right tackle and right end and you're good for five or six yards. ---Square-In--- Your main target should be the split end (Y) on the deep in route. If he's double-covered, try the flanker on the hook (A) or the tight end (B) on the short out. The tight end is very effective against deep zones. Both backs block, so you should have plenty of time. ---HB Draw--- Draw plays are a little unusual for the I-Form, but this play is moderately effective. It should gain 5-7 yards. ---Power Weak--- This play is a run off left tackle and should gain at least four yards. A few good blocks can produce a touchdown. More rebellious players can try running up the middle against certain defenses. ---Out-N-Ups--- Both receivers (Y and A) fake quick outs and then streak downfield. If both are tightly covered, your tight end (R) or halfback (B) should be wide open. ---HB Strong--- HB Strong looks a little like Power Weak, but this play is a sweep instead of an off-tackle. You'll occasionally suffer a big loss (five or six yards), but this risk is offset by the fairly high probability of making a very big play. You can try turning to either the right or left of the cornerback. ---HB Toss--- This play is pretty similar to HB Strong. ---Quick Slant--- Everyone except the fullback runs a slant pattern here. You can usually get a satisfactory result by throwing quickly to any of your receivers, but be more patient before throwing to the halfback. ---HB Counter--- Like most counter plays in Madden '98, the back takes the pitch deep in the backfield, so there's a chance of sustaining a big loss. Another problem is that it's tricky to run between the left guard and pulling right guard without bumping into your quarterback. Still, this play generally works pretty well. ---Post Corner--- Your receivers (Y and A) fake a post and run a corner pattern, while the backs (L and B) are available in the flat. Try the tight end (R) against deep zones. If you're throwing to the WRs, release the ball a little after they begin to cut inside for the post. ---FB Streak--- Here's what a West Coast Offense looks like. Everyone runs a pretty short pattern. Your halfback blocks. Your receivers and tight end will usually be able to catch the ball, although passes are sometimes deflected in the line. This isn't a horrible play, but I prefer throwing deeper in Madden '98. It is pretty effective against deep zones, though. ---TE Out-N-Up--- This is another West Coast-style play, but this is more practical. The split end runs a streak, while the tight end and flanker cross. Both backs are blockers, so you may have enough time to throw deep to one of your receivers. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Shotgun (Normal, 4WR, 2 Back, Gun, 5 WR) (15 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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. A good pass- blocking line helps. The Madden '98 version of the shotgun formation normally has three receivers, one tight end, and one running back. ---HB Draw--- On a draw play, the linemen take a step backwards before blocking for the run to make the defense think you're passing. You can frequently get 10 yards with this play, even against a 4-3. It usually works better against a Nickel than a Dime, since you're running up the middle. A fast back also helps. ---HB Draw PA--- This play action is supposed to trick the opponents into thinking this is a draw play. Your exterior receivers (Y and A) run deep posts. The tight end runs an in route that gathers too much traffic against non-Dime defenses. Don't overlook the slot receiver (R) on the curl. The back serves as a blocker. ---HB Trap--- The key to success on this play is to run between your right tackle and the defensive left end. If you succeed, you can earn five or six yards. If you don't do it right, the end will tackle you for a loss of several yards. Against a few defensive sets, a massive hole will open in the middle and you'll be able to run for a big gain. However, HB Draw is generally more effective and less risky. ---HB Qck Toss--- The key to success on this outside rushing play is to patiently follow the pulling right guard. Don't get ahead of him! Once he's made his block, go for the score. This play usually works pretty well. ---HB Shovel--- This pass is intended as a shovel pass to your halfback (Y) - a relatively safe and easy way to gain seven yards or so. Your tight end (B) and flanker (A) run a crossing pattern. Both the split end (L) and slot receiver (R) run streaks, and there's a decent chance one will be open downfield if you're willing to take the chance on the long bomb. ---HB Off Tackle--- This play is usually run off left guard. Anyway, it's a pretty decent way to earn about five yards from the Shotgun. ---Quick Hitch--- This is what people do at shady Vegas wedding chapels. All four receivers (Y, B, A, and R) go deep, while the back stays back to block. Your wide men (Y and A) have a good chance of making a very big play. This play is very dangerous against unsuspecting computer opponents who aren't in deep zones. ---Curl Drag--- Your best option is the split end (Y) on the slant, who can make a surprisingly big play. The tight end (B) runs a deep curl, while the flanker (A) and slot receiver (R) run corner patterns. Not a bad play. ---Quick Slant--- Your slot receiver (Y) and tight end (A) are on quick slants, and your wide receivers (L and R) head downfield on streaks. The halfback (B) sneaks through the middle and can beat a passive defense. ---Post--- The main threats are the split end (Y) and slot receiver (B) on posts. If he's open, go for the flanker (A) downfield for the touchdown. Throw to the tight end (R) if you want something safer. ---Post Corner--- The Y receiver runs a post fake/corner route, the slot receiver (R) runs a conventional post, the flanker (L) runs a medium in route, the tight end (A) runs a short out, and the halfback (B) is dangerous down the middle on a streak. ---Post Flag--- Both the split end (Y) and slot receiver (B) run post routes, but they eventually cross if given enough time. The tight end (R) runs a post down the middle, and the flanker (A) is the home-run option. The halfback (L) sneaks into the flat and is often overlooked by the defense. ---QB Waggle--- The quarterback rolls out to the right on this play. Your best bet is the flanker (A) on the out route. Your other receivers (Y, B, and L) run post patterns, and the back blocks. Because the flanker route is consistent and is strong against deep zones (and can get out of bounds easily), this play is good in a two-minute drill. ---Flag--- If you want to gain yards in a short and safe way, throw to either wide out (L or R), who run short hook patterns, as soon as you take the snap. The tight end (A) and slot receiver (Y) run deep corners, and the halfback streaks through the line. This is a good play to use as an audible. ---Double X's--- All four receivers run fairly short crossing patterns. Someone should get open. The halfback (B) in the flat is your safest option. This play has some trouble with short zones from the Nickel and Dime, but you can still get a completion if you're patient. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Goal Line (Normal, Wide) (15 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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. On the play-calling screen, the B-button play is always a pass and the Y and A plays are always runs. ---HB Dive--- The halfback runs up the middle, with the fullback lead blocking. What more can you say? Nonetheless, it's a pretty effective play in Goal Line. ---Cross--- Your second tight end (Y) runs a curl pattern, and your tight end (B) and receiver (A) cross on slant routes. Both backs guard against the inside blitz. The tight end should be your first option. It's very tough to pass with any of the plays in the Goal Line formation. I usually get the best results by keeping the ball on the ground. ---HB Dive (2)--- The same as the other HB Dive, except this is to the strong side. ---FB Smash--- A pitchout to the fullback, who runs off left tackle. This play is awkward and ineffective, especially if you don't have a quick fullback. The pulling left tackle doesn't help this poor play. ---Flat In--- Both tight ends (Y and A) run in routes. However, your best options are the fullback (B) in the flat and the receiver (L) in the corner. ---FB Dive--- The fullback runs up the middle. A very good way to gain two yards. ---HB Power--- The halfback takes the pitch and runs off left tackle. Watch your blockers to avoid getting slammed by a lineman. ---Pwr Slant--- The RG and C pull to the left in a strange way here, usually causing a sack. The tight end (B) and wide receiver (A) cross, while the second tight end runs an out pattern. Look for the tight end in the corner. ---HB Power (2)--- The strong-side version of the HB Power play, discussed earlier. It usually fails if there are eight (instead of seven) men on the line of scrimmage (the 80 or 81 defensive set). ---HB Counter--- The counter move might fool the defense, but I prefer to just run straight up the middle with HB Dive. ---Play Action--- Everyone runs slant patterns on this play. The receiver (A) is your main option, but you can also try your tight ends (L and B) or halfback (Y). ---HB Sweep--- This is the best running play in the Goal Line formation, with the possible exception of the HB Dives. However, I should warn you that because this is a sweep, there is a chance (about 15%) that you'll be tackled in the backfield for a loss. It's a sure touchdown the other 85% of the time. ---QB Rollout--- A bad play. This is supposed to be a quarterback sweep, but you'll usually get squashed in the backfield for a big loss. You'd need a former Falcons quarterback who will go unnamed here for this play to work. ---Out--- The last of the five passing plays in the Goal Line formation. This is designed to be a rollout to the left. Your best odds are with the Y tight end on the out. You can also try the tight end (B) on the end or the slanting receiver (A). ---QB Sneak--- The ultimate in short yardage. It will consistently gain 0.5-2 yards. The chance of losing yardage is practically nil, and the odds of gaining more than two yards aren't much higher. Use this on the 1. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Special Teams (7 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This formation contains special teams plays (like Punt) and miscellaneous plays (like Kneel Down). Worthless note: You can't "mirror" these plays. ---Fk. Punt Run--- This play looks like a punt... but it isn't! Your running back takes the snap directly and runs through the line. It's good at getting a couple of yards, but it can't get much more, so it's best on 4th and 1 and similar situations. ---Fk. Punt Pass--- This is the passing version of the fake punt. Your best bets are the receivers (Y and A) on the outside, but the end (B) is also an option. Be careful, because the punter isn't the most accurate passer in the world. If you're an advanced player, you might want to press B while the pass is in the air to take control of the receiver. ---Punt--- 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. I wonder if anyone noticed that the exact same description appears in my Madden '96 guide. ---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.--- This play isn't really a field goal! The passing routes are the same as the Fake Punt Pass. There's no Fake F.G. Run play, although you can take off running if you want to. Just remember that the kicker can't throw as well as your regular quarterback. ---QB Kneel--- Use this play when you need to run out the clock without risking a fumble. I still don't fully understand why they always line up in the funny V-formation on kneel downs. ---Stop Clock--- This play is designed to stop the clock quickly, but at the cost of a down. It can be useful in two-minute drill situations, but in Madden '98 it's easiest just to get a play off instead, especially if you use a hurry-up offense. =============================================================================== 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 (21 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The 4-3 defense is the defensive set used by most teams in most situations. ---Read Right--- In John Madden Football '93, "read" plays were designed to contain the run, "attack" plays were blitzes, and "cover" referred to zone defenses. It's no different in Madden '98; Read Right is a balanced defense that's slightly oriented toward stopping the run. ---Man Left--- This balanced man-to-man scheme includes a stunt on the left side of the defensive line. ---Corner Blitz--- The right cornerback blitzes here. The left linebacker also blitzes, while the defensive end covers the short zone. This play is vulnerable to the long ball to the flanker, so you may want to control a safety and play him deep. ---43 Crash--- The cornerbacks and a safety cover a fairly deep zone, while both the LLB and MLB blitz. ---SS Blitz--- Your strong safety blitzes here. This increases the chance of a sack while leaving a possible weakness in coverage that can be exploited for a big gain. A long ball could be trouble. ---Cheat Left--- All of your linemen rush toward the left side of the defensive line. The idea is to block the left tackle and allow the blitzing RLB to come around for a sack. It'll take some time for this to happen, though, especially if you don't have a fast linebacker. I recommend that you control the RLB if you want a sack. The receivers and tight end will be matched up in single coverage. ---Jam Middle--- Both outside linebackers blitz, while the linemen rush toward the middle of the line. This play is good at stopping the inside run but is weaker against sweeps. ---Cheat Right--- The same as Cheat Left, only to the right. Consider taking control of the LLB. Even if you don't get the quarterback, you might be able to tip his pass. ---Outlaw--- Not very different from Outlaw, but this is slightly more effective at stopping the run. ---Cover 3--- Almost identical to 43 Crash. ---Man Zone 2--- The cornerbacks tightly cover the cornerbacks, while the safeties patrol a deeper zone. This play is slightly more pass-oriented than the previous plays in the 4-3 formation. ---Cover 2--- The RCB's main job here is to jam the split end, while the rest of the secondary is in zone coverage. ---Tuf Bronco--- I've always liked this play's name, despite its sub-par spelling. Your DRT and DRE are on a stunt, and the RLB blitzes. Again, you might want control the RLB. ---Jet Blitz--- Basically a strong-side version of Tuf Bronco. ---Short Zone--- This play is exactly what it says it is - a short zone. You could control a safety to help protect against deeper passes. ---Pinch--- The RLB blitzes, while the safeties will be ready to stop off-tackle runs. ---Outside Loop--- Both outside linebackers blitz inside, but they're too far away from the quarterback to make a sack unless you control one of them. ---SS Fire--- A safety blitz. ---Monster--- The last three plays in the 4-3 formation put eight men in the box to help stop the run. Six men rush, making life uncomfortable for quarterbacks. ---Stallion--- As with Monster, this play is almost like a 4-4. This is a very good way to contain the outside rushing game, although you'll have to look out for streaking receivers. ---Inside Out--- Your linebacker and safety both blitz. It won't be easy to run up the middle. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3-4 (21 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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. The only teams that regularly used the 3-4 in 1997 were the Steelers, Chiefs, Bengals, Panthers, and Bills. ---523 Tough--- The 523 is a special form of 3-4 where a safety is "in the box" to help stop the run. Also, the outside linebackers line up right next to the linemen. The linebackers cover the short zones, while the cornerbacks and other safety patrol the deep zones. ---523 Angle--- The outside linebackers blitz, while the linemen rush at an angle. ---Wildcat Fire--- Another form of the 523 set. A linebacker and safety are blitzing. ---533 In--- Yikes! An eight-man rush. All four linebackers and the safety are blitzing. The only disadvantage is this forces the cornerbacks and other safeties to play rather passively. ---533 Out--- As with 533 In, there are eight men in the box, and all of them are rushing the quarterback. The only difference is that they're blitzing at different angles. ---533 Split--- Very similar to 533 In and 533 Out. ---Zone Blitz--- Both inside linebackers and the ROLB blitz, while the DRE covers the short zone. This is what a zone blitz looks like. ---Jam Middle--- Seven men, including all four linebackers, rush here, so the quarterback won't have much time. However, a quick pass could turn into a touchdown if the opponents deliver a crunching block or two. This play should crush the inside run. ---Man Zone 1--- No one blitzes here. With all the linebackers in coverage, it's going to be tough to find someone open, especially in the short zones. ---Jet Blitz--- The DLE and NT stunt, while the LLB blitzes. Essentially a 3-4 version of Tuf Bronco. ---Weak Storm--- Both right-side linebackers blitz, along with the RCB. Manually control the RCB if you want to reach the quarterback and not just jam the split end. The other defensive backs take the deep zone. ---Strong Bndt--- Both left-side linebackers and the safety blitz. I think the abbreviation is supposed to be Strong Bandit. ---Prevent--- This form of the Prevent isn't nearly as passive as the varieties found in the Dime formation. The defensive backs play a deep zone, while the linebackers stuff the short middle zone. A pass in the flat could be trouble, though. ---Safety Fire--- Both outside linebackers and a safety blitz. I suggest controlling the safety and moving him a little closer to the line. ---Short Double--- Short Double is very strong against the run, but it could have trouble with the long ball up the middle. ---Short Zone--- This play is designed to defend against short passes, especially to the flats. ---Man Left--- Your DLE and NT are on a stunt, but this is just basic man coverage. ---Man Zone 2--- Very similar to Man Zone 1, although the linemen rush at a different angle. ---Man Right--- This is standard man coverage. ---Wide Zone--- This play is designed to clog up the short zones. Good against two-tight end sets. ---Inside Heat--- I like this play. Both inside linebackers blitz, and the split end should be double-covered. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nickel (9 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Nickel defense is best used in passing situations, as there are five defensive backs instead of four. ---Crash Man--- This is a good man coverage form of the Nickel, with each defensive back covering a receiver and the safety playing center field. One outside linebacker blitzes. This is a good way to defend formations with three or four receivers. ---Crash Man 2--- This is basically a mirror image of Crash Man. It might also remind you of Cheat Right from the 4-3. ---Double Gold--- Both linebackers blitz here. A draw play could earn a pretty big gain, though. ---3 Deep--- The cornerbacks and a safety play deep, with everyone else playing a shorter zone. This is probably the most normal form of the Nickel. ---2 Deep--- I think this play's diagram was accidentally mirrored by the game designers. The RLB and SS both blitz. ---Double Out--- A man-to-man version of the Nickel that works best against multi-receiver formations. ---Exchange--- Weird. In the 50 set, a defensive tackle plays linebacker, and one of your linebackers switches places with your nickel back. This isn't a bad play, especially if you have agile linemen, but it's very strange. Here the defenders seem to rotate counter-clockwise. ---50 Sky--- A zone version of the 50 that's pretty good against the pass. ---50 Man--- Five men are rushing the quarterback on this more aggressive form of the 50. The unconventional alignment can certainly confuse the offense. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dime (12 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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. ---Short Zone--- A pyramid-shaped short zone defense. The DRE and DRT stunt. ---Double Blitz--- The free safety and linebacker blitz. ---Double SE--- The opposing team's split end will face double coverage. A good way to shut down a particularly dangerous receiver. ---Dbl Flanker--- This double-teams the opponent's flanker. The defensive tackles stunt. ---3 Deep--- Three defensive backs play deep, while the rest control shorter zones. ---Prevent 1--- All six defensive backs head deep here to protect against the bomb. Prevent defenses are best against the Hail Mary pass. Because of its passive nature, don't get carried away with using this play. ---Prevent 2--- Very similar to Prevent 1. ---Black + Tan--- One of your defensive backs blitzes here, and the slot receiver is double- teamed. This is usually a weird thing to do, because the slot receiver is most often not at the top of the depth chart. ---2 Man Free--- As with Black + Tan, your sixth defensive back blitzes, but here the safeties play deeper instead of double-covering the slot receiver. ---General--- The cornerbacks play deep, and the tackles stunt. This is a general-purpose Dime play. ---Double Tight--- This play is supposed to double-cover the tight end. However, that's a fairly strange way to use a Dime defense. ---4 Deep--- A whopping four defensive backs are in deep zones. This should only be used when expecting a long pass. It's pretty much a prevent defense. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Goal Line (9 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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. ---Read Left--- This is very good at stopping passes to the left flat. ---Zone Man--- This is good against the goal line pass. ---Read Right--- Similar to Read Left, this stops passes thrown to the right side of the backfield and sweep right plays. ---Attack Mid--- An aggressive bull rush. ---Attack Left--- Similar to Attack Mid, but everyone rushes toward the left. It may remind you of the 4-3 Cheat Left. ---Attack Right--- The same as Attack Left, only to the right. ---81 Blaze--- The last three plays in the Goal Line formation have eight men on the line instead of seven. The linebackers rush aggressively. ---80 Zone--- You won't have any success running against this play, although a fade route could score. ---80 Str Crash--- 80 Straight Crash is an aggressive blitz, including a safety. A pass up the middle to the tight end will score if it's not deflected, though. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Special Teams (5 plays) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ These plays are designed to defend against punts and field goals. ---Punt Rush--- Use this play to increase your chances of blocking a punt. You'll probably have to call for a fair catch, though. ---Fake Punt--- Use this play if you think the opponents might be planning on attempting a fake punt. ---Punt Return--- This play is designed to maximize your chances of making a big play on the punt return. You probably won't be able to block the punt, though. Because punt blocks are extremely rare, this is probably better than Punt Rush. ---FG Block--- This is the play you'll normally use when the opponents are kicking a field goal. ---FG Cover--- This is a less aggressive version of FG Block. Use this if you're not sure whether the opponents will kick a field goal or go for the first down. It's most useful near the goal line. =============================================================================== FAQs and General Tips [NOTES] =============================================================================== Q: What plays are the best audibles? A: Here are the audible selections I most frequently use. Offense [Y] A run (Far HB Off Tackle) [B] A short pass or screen pass (Single Back HB Screen) [A] A long pass (Single Back TE Quick Outs) Defense [Y] A balanced defense (4-3 Read Right or 3-4 Man Left) [B] A play that covers the pass (Nickel 3 Deep) [A] A blitz (4-3 43 Crash or 3-4 Wildcat Fire) 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. 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 Game Play Options subscreen of the Pre-Game or pause screen. Most importantly, select plays as audibles that work well for you. 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: How should I manage fatigue? A: If endurance is turned on, players will tire the more they play. The lower the player's fatigue rating, the slower and less effective he will be. The best way to keep players fresh is by spreading the ball around to many different players. Don't throw to the same receiver over and over again, and (more importantly) don't hand off to the same back 40 times in a game. There isn't a "Spell HB" set like in newer games, but you can set up a back rotation system using the Substitutions menu. For example, start fictitious back Andy A. at HB in the Near, I-Form, and Goal Line formations, use Bobby B. in Far and Pro Form, and install Chris C. (a fictional back with a high Hands rating) in Single Back and Shotgun. You might want to rotate players at some of your other positions, as well. If players are exhausted after a long drive, you can call a timeout to set all energy ratings to 100. 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 penalty. They also recover all players' energy levels to 100, so timeouts are useful during long drives. 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 encroachment by moving past the line of scrimmage before the snap. These can't be turned off, though. Other penalties, such as pass interference and facemasking, appear randomly and can be turned off on the Game Play Options menu. There are a few more penalties that are very 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: 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, along with a "POW!" sound effect. Q: What other tips do you have? A: Here are some tips not found elsewhere in the guide: * This is common sense, but if you have a good running back and a weak passing game (like Pittsburgh), run the ball a lot. Likewise, if you pass well but can't run (like Miami), you'll want to keep the ball in the air. * Hard throws take just a little longer to get off than touch passes. * When you get hit, keep pressing Up on the control pad to try to break the tackle and get an extra yard or two. * 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. * Remember you can move your defenders a little past the line of scrimmage before the snap, making it easier to sack the opposing quarterback. * Don't get into a play-calling rut, especially against a human opponent. Madden '98 has a massive playbook loaded with well-designed plays. * If you're just starting out, stick with simple plays like FB Dive. Wait until you're more advanced before trying advanced plays like Flea Flicker. * 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 most often 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. * 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 other notes do you have for the game? A: A few little tidbits: * The Tennessee Oilers, who had just moved from Houston, are known as the Memphis Oilers in this game. They were called the Tennessee Oilers in real life. Also, the game places them alphabetically on team lists where the Houston Oilers would have been. * You might enjoy slamming into opposing players after the whistle blows. You won't even get called for unnecessary roughness for doing so. * You can't set the weather for teams that play indoors. * Every once in a while, defenders will commit a horse-collar tackle (now prohibited). * Notice how Pat Summerall is the kicker for the All-Madden team. * The uniforms of the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Madden '98 don't look the way they did during the real 1997 season. * When you first go to Trade Players on the Front Office menu, the default teams involved are Dallas and Pittsburgh. Those were the Super Bowl teams from two Super Bowls ago. They meant to use Green Bay and New England, the Super Bowl XXXI teams. Q: Are all football players Catholics? A: No, but players will sometimes make the sign of the cross after scoring a touchdown. Other times players will participate in some goofy dancing after touchdowns. The celebrations shown is random. Q: Do quarterbacks always have a sore arm in practice? A: No, but very frequently if you watch the John Madden/Pat Summerall pre-game commentary screen. I don't think it affects your quarterback's performance, though. Q: Why don't you include a player ratings section? A: I included that section in my Madden '96 guide and will include it in my upcoming Madden '97 guide, but in this game a harder-to-quantify bar graph system is used. Q: On the Team Select screen, some teams are marked as being "hot" or "cold." What does that mean? A: I am not totally sure, but all of the "hot" teams were doing well at the end of the 1996 season, and all of the "cold" teams were playing poorly. I think the "hot" teams were on the way up and "cold" teams were on the way down, and this might have some influence on Season Mode. Q: A few players in Madden '98 have generic names such as ROOKIE FB. What are the players' actual names? A: Here they are. This took a lot of work! BAL #39 FB Steve Lee BAL #58 LLB Peter Boulware BAL #20 FS Kim Herring DAL #45 FB Nicky Sualua DAL #19 WR Macey Brooks DAL #91 DE Antonio Anderson DAL #58 RLB Dexter Coakley DEN #67 G Dan Neil DEN #74 DT Trevor Pryce DEN #40 SS Cory Gilliard DET #51 MLB Matt Russell DET #32 CB Kevin Abrams DET #30 CB Bryant Westbrook GB #68 G Ross Verba IND #67 T Tarik Glenn IND #75 T Adam Meadows KC #89 WR Kevin Lockett NYG #76 DT Matt Keneley NYG #51 MLB Ryan Phillips NYG # 9 P Brad Maynard PHI #49 TE Luther Broughton STL #76 T Orlando Pace STL #27 CB Dexter McCleon SD #88 TE Freddie Jones SF #14 QB Jim Druckenmiller SEA #72 T Walter Jones SEA #26 CB Shawn Springs TB #30 HB Warrick Dunn TB #63 C Frank Middleton WAS #98 DE Kenard Lang WAS #51 LB Greg Jones Anonymous players on the All-Madden team are just "filler" players that are duplicates of other All-Madden players. No players on classic teams have real names. =============================================================================== Comparing with Reality [REALL] =============================================================================== This is simply a brief summary of the 1997 NFL season. More in-depth information can be found at NFL.com, Wikipedia.org, and assorted other Internet and print sources. The Houston Oilers departed for Memphis and played before very sparse crowds. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Tennessee Oilers in the NFL's 10,000th game ever. Packers QB Brett Favre and Lions RB Barry Sanders split the NFL MVP Award for the first time in 37 years. The Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl champions just two years ago, failed to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1990. The Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers 34-21 in Super Bowl XXXII at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. This was the Broncos' first Super Bowl win and one of the greatest Super Bowls ever. =============================================================================== Version History [VERSN] =============================================================================== I know the truth; you really read my guides just so you can read the version history. 0.1 Began guide on 1/18/08 after concluding my Madden '96 guide. Completed Near playbook. (10 KB) 0.3 Completed Far/Single Back playbook on 1/19/08. (28 KB) 0.4 The USB flash drive I use to store my files broke, so I wasn't able to do very much, although I did work on the Shotgun and Special Teams plays. (1/20/08) (28 + 3 KB) 0.6 I recovered my Madden '98.TXT file from my dying flash drive, so I was able to get back going again. I also replaced my 32MB drive with a newer 2GB model. Completed the offense playbook except for Goal Line, began defensive playbook, and added lots of new content. (1/21/08) (57 KB) 0.8 The defensive playbook is almost finished. Completed Suggested Subsitutions on 1/22/08. (69 KB) 0.9 Finished up the playbooks and other stuff on 1/23/08. Incidentally, this is the eighth anniversary of the Jaguars' 33-14 loss to Tennessee in the 1999 AFC Championship. Oh well. (83 KB) 1.0 Tweaked the guide and checked spelling and such on 1/24/08. (82 KB) Submitted guide to GameFAQs.com and Neoseeker.com on 1/25/08. 1.1 Corrected a few mistakes. (4/3/08-3/4/09) (83 KB) =============================================================================== Copyright [COPYR] =============================================================================== (c) 2008-2010 Vinny Hamilton. All rights reserved. All trademarks mentioned in this guide are copyrights of their respective holders. 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 on your Web site if you ask for permission first. You can't post this guide on your Web site and say you wrote the guide yourself. You can't post this guide on Web sites that contain (or have links to sites that contain) sexually explicit images of nude humans (that is, pornography). You can't post this guide on your Web site if you're going to change anything in this guide that took me so many hours to write. If you don't comply with these guidelines, your hard drive will be reformatted (permanently erased) inexplicably and you will suffer from constipation for the 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 '98" in the subject line. Do send polite suggestions about ways to make this walkthrough better. Do tell me about any errors or omissions you find. Do ask any questions you have about Madden '98 gameplay. I will answer them eventually if you follow all of these guidelines. Do tell me if you want me to produce more Madden guides of this type in the future. Do make a reasonable effort to use decent spelling, grammar, usage, punctuation, and capitalization so I can understand what you're saying. Do use patience. I check my messages rather sporadically. Do not send spam, pornography, chain letters, "flaming," or anything that contains profanity or vulgarity. Again, violation of this rule will result in permanent constipation. =============================================================================== 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 NFL '96 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQs Madden NFL '98 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQs =============================================================================== Proposed future guides: Madden NFL '97 (SNES) Strategy Guide/FAQs The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Spoiler-Free FAQs/Walkthrough Donkey Kong 64 FAQs/Walkthrough The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest FAQs/Walkthrough The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess FAQs/Walkthrough Madden NFL 2007 (GBA) Strategy Guide/FAQs The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time FAQs/Walkthrough For L.A.