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Gyruss, the great NES butcherization of the great arcade classic, or so I'm told, not that I mind bosses and 'phaser' super-shots...
For 30 extra ships, enter (quickly or the screen will change) A, B, >, <, >, <, v, v, ^, ^ at the title screen.
Kirby's first appearance outside the GameBoy, it is also worth noting that the actual Kirby's Adventure cartridge includes extra hardware enhancing the NES' graphics capabilities further than any other game I know of. It also makes full use of the 5th NES sound channel, generally reserved for sound effect samples, in regular stage music.
The HAL team responsible for Kirby has a penchant for placing doors in nooks and crannies that don't look explicitly door-like. If you see an oddly colored patch of background, an odd arch, circle or moon, or even a funny little 1-block-high/wide seemingly dead-end passage, try entering as you would a door.
If you encounter a spot where there's an obvious door/switch/power-up protected by a barrier or switch which obviously requires a power which is not obviously available nearby, more often than not there will be a pair of enemies nearby, in relatively close proximity to one another, which will give you the required power if you swallow them together and simply let the roulette settle without pressing any buttons.
If a door stays gold after you exit a stage, even if you've cleared the stage, it means there's still a button left to find. You won't get 100% completion unless you can track down every star button, so don't give up on gold-door stages unless you absolutely must.
Whether they lead to a switch or simply a power up or shortcut, most puzzles in the game will provide some nearby hint as to what you need to do to pass.
If you spot a rare UFO enemy, be sure to either eat it or dodge it completely. UFOs are the only enemies which, after being destroyed by any means, won't respawn until you re-enter their stage. And in case you haven't tried it, UFO power is pretty awesome.
The original, and the only one of the series to keep score. Characters originating here have cameos in a great many CAPCOM titles.
- Cut Man
- Elec Man
- Elec Man again, this time blasting the junk-blocks to get at the odd-looking Magnet Beam (platform maker) item behind them
- Ice Man
- Fire Man
- Bomb Man
- Guts Man
An alternate easy order starts with Bomb Man. You won't have to double Elec Man's stage, but you won't have great equipment for navigating Guts Man's tricky level.
I don't remember much of any of the Wily stages. Dodge quickly, nigh expertly, and hit the Rock Monster's eye with your Elec beam, beat the previously mentioned bosses with the weapon of the boss listed before them, use Elec again on the clone, I don't remember what on the bubble-boss of the aquatic stage, and fire on anything Wily appears in. Send me more detail and I'll post it here, with credit, at least until I work things out for my self.
Mega Man 2
Don't be fooled! All you weenies who've beaten the 'normal' difficulty mode have only beaten a very dumbed-down version Capcom included expressly for the American market. The 'difficult' mode is the real version, and the only version on the Japanese cartridge. The following strategies, however, work for both:
- Metal Man (use his own weapon on him next time you see him)
- Flash Man
- Quick Man (knock down to half life with normal cannon first)
- Bubble Man
- Heat Man
- Wood Man (full Heat charge shot is a 1-hit kill in easy mode)
- Air Man
- Crash Man (or was it Clash Man?)
Having been a weenie myself and only beaten the game once as of writing this, I remember little of the castle. What little knowledge I remember, I shall post:
Stage 1- Dragon: Heat shot does damage, I beleive, but I find it easier to simply rapid-plasma while dodging the dragon's own fireballs on the skimpy and slippery three blocks of footing provided.
Stage 2(?)- Guts Dozer: Jump on front, rapid fire into face. Mail me if you have a better strategy.
Stage 3(?)- Attacking Room: Practice your dodging on MM1 or MM3's rock monster, use Metal Blades to hit the newly formed robots wherever they appear.
Stage 4(?)- Flash Balls and Crash Walls: This one I definitely need a better strategy for. Stock up on lives and say goodbye to your E-tanks. Use one run at the boss to kill all the walls with Crash Bombs, then die because you're too low on ammo to continue. Refill Crash with the tellys (flying tin cans with eyes), return to the boss room which now has no crash walls (assuming you didn't have to continue) and nail the red flashing balls with Crash Bombs as fast as you can (you'll need the Items to reach all the walls/balls).
Stage 5(?)- Boss Room: see above. For Wily's contraption, use normal cannon, jump and shoot rapidly, and mail me any better strategies.
Final Wily: Dodge the acid drops (very painful) in the level, and watch one of the most unique Wily poses I've seen yet. Equip Bubble Lead and dump as much on the alien as you can. Yes, that dead-easy to dodge figure-eight with the occasional plasma shot is it's only attack pattern, so feel free to laugh while you're at it.
Mega Man 3
Ah, yes. Mega Man 3. The only game in the series to have more effective button combinations on the second controller than on the first... Here are a few of them:
^ slows animation and causes a control delay in moving. Not useful.
^+A completely stops animation. Not great in gameplay, but has its uses (see below).
> grants super jump. Oddly enough, the lower you are, the higher you seem to jump with this. Hold while falling into a pit and you can jump out of it and through the top of the screen without losing a life (but it does stop the stage music). Stay in a pit long enough while holding and, if you don't simply die (happens occasionally), your life bar will drop to zero and, although your normal cannon no longer works, you'll be invincible until you gain life or die in a pit/on spikes.
And of course, what guide would this be without a boss order? There are actually two 'boss loops' in this game (at least in my reccommended order), as opposed to the usual one:
- Top Man
- Shadow Man
- Spark Man
- Magnet Man
- Hard Man
- Gemini Man
- Needle Man
- Snake Man
But wait, there's more! Now you get to fight all of MM2's bosses, for kicks (as in not for weapons, points, or anything else), without the weaponry you're used to using on them, in their original Japanese 'difficult mode' patterns! Joy! General strategy: when in doubt, use Shadow Blades. Spend a few lives learning the boss patterns and what weapons work. Remember that your E-tanks continue with you, unlike in MM2. Beat Needle Man's stage last, if you can, as it is your only reliable source of E-tanks (they continue with you, but that doesn't meen you won't be needing to simply use them!). If my memory serves me right, here's where you find everyone:
- Needle stage: Air Man, Crash Man
- Spark stage: Metal Man, Quick Man
- Gemini stage: Flash Man, Bubble Man
- Shadow stage: Wood Man, Heat Man
- Get rid of Break Man (the red Joe impersonating the red guy who's been annoying you thus far) in the same way you dealt with said red robot in the normal boss levels.
And then there's the castle and it's bosses:
Stage 1- Turtle Machine: use Shadow Blades on the turtles to damage the machine.
Stage 2- Rock Monster, again: Keep to the middle of the screen, jump when the monster says jump, slide when the monster says slide (and listen carefully, it doesn't talk particularly loud). Direct (^/v) Hard Knuckles to its eye.
Stage 3- Clones: Mercifully weak against the normal cannon, stick to the middle or top so you can reach all levels easily, find the clone that takes damage after each teleport and button-mash.
Stage 4- Boss Room: Waltz through using the abovely listed weapon loops.
Stage 5- Walker: Use the power-ups to fill Hard Knuckle to max, because 4 shots of it take out the swirly-thing cannon, and it can be easily directed upwards at Wiley's dome for significant damage.
Stage 6- Gamma: Why they give you life capsules here is beyond me. Get the 1up and the E-tank if you so wish, and walk through the door (gee, hard level). Use Rush Coil to jump to the platforms screen-right and use more Hard Knuckle, or one of a few other weapons that work (alas, I don't think your normal cannon does anything) to kill the New Shotman mk. 2 sitting atop Gamma's frame. When Wiley takes control, resume your position on the platforms if you've lost it, jump to the highest platform and proceed with the unexpected: Top Spin into Wiley's dome. If you time it correctly, you'll have a 1-hit kill on the final boss. Cheap, yes. Would you like otherwise? Just sit back and watch the most beautiful ending in NES Mega Man history...
Had enough yet? Just a few more tips:
- Remember the second controller 2 trick listed above? Use it to freeze sprite processing at critical moments, like beam-downs and beam-ups, or most notably card-clearance at the end of the first part of the ending. Is not ProtoMan's theme cool?
- Special buy-one-get-one-free equipment offer! Beat a boss whos weapon would appear to the left of a Rush adaptor on the weapons screen, select said bosses weapon, and press >. You now have a Rush item equipped, but with no power. Collect weapon capsules to use the item, and if you have any energy in it at the end of the level, it will be added to your official weapon selection!
Mega Man 4
There are two hidden items in the game (for those who don't already know), wire and baloon. Here are their locations:
In Pharoh Man's stage, jump over the pit you're supposed to fall into at the beginning of the level, continue right through more sand, and there it is. You'll be beamed forward to the continue point.
In Dive Man's stage, in the second part of the level, after the continue point, fall down the pit that spikes aren't completely blocking. Dodge the spikes on the pit's sides (not too hard) and get the adaptor. You will, unfortunately, be beamed back to the continue point.
Here's the order to try the first 8 bosses in:
Toad Man: Slide under him when he jumps, fire regular shots the rest of the time. Try and charge and he'll use his rain missile (OUCH!).
Bright Man: The level's harder than the boss. Make it past all the pits and black outs, use the rain missile whenever he isn't flashing.
Pharoah Man: Only boss the freeze/flash works on. Avoid him until he's in a desirable position, then use the weapon, stand in front of (or behind) him and fire like there's no tomorrow. If he un-freezes, there may not be.
Ring Man: Once you're through the stage (used well, the chargable Pharoah Shot works well on the hippos, whose missiles will give you power-ups, and the ring-eyes who are killed in one charged hit, when un-shielded), charge the Pharaoh Shot, let it hit Ring Man when he jumps over you, release the shot towards him for a double-whammie.
Dust Man: Get through the stage (Occasionally difficult, when you get to the end of the press section, run in to the last wall of destroyable blocks, fire like mad, and run (or slide) out. Repeat until a sufficient gap is made, then run through.) and fire a ring at Dust Man whenever he isn't using his vaccum. Each shot should hit twice.
Skull Man: Simple. Use the dust cannon on him when he's not shielded.
Dive Man: Get through the level (if you can freeze the whales before they finish beaming down, it's a nice effect) and let the skull shield hit Dive Man. A few hits should take him out.
Ground Man: The Pharoah shot is great for blocking falling rocks. Use the dive missile whenever Ground Man is above ground, run and jump like an assylum escapee when he isn't. You should make it through.
To play as suitless Samus (from mid-game) use the password JUSTIN BAILEY in the top row, and try different combinations in the bottom row. As I recall, an empty bottom line (nothing entered), a line of entered spaces, and a line of entered dashes ('-') all have different effects. Try other combinations too. The worst you can do is be forced to use the reset button.
Learn item locations. Unlike in the SNES version, Samus can only use one beam at a time, and every area has a different selection of weaponry.
Bombs are strong, harmless (to you) and unlimited. Use them!
If an enemy flashes with a regular hit but just won't blow up, use a missile. If an enemy clinks with a regular hit, it's indestructable.
If the only way forward is, or even seems practically impossible to travel, it's probably not the only way forward. Look around the area. Fire at random walls and ceilings. You've probably just overlooked the required power-up. Remember: you shouldn't find any dead-end rooms with no special items!
Super Mario Bros.
If playing for points, hit every block you can reach in the level while staying under the time limit. You'll be surprised how many points you can suck out of the underground levels this way.
Continuous enemy swarms (Bullet Bills, Cheep-Cheeps) can be annoying, but if you're good, they can also provide an inexhaustable point supply.
Every underground level has a warp point. Just stay at the top of the screen and run right.
The currency of Mushroom Land has inflated drastically in recent years. Now, it's easy to find upwards of 300 coins in a single level (SMW). Back when SMB was made, coins were a big thing. Only after playing for a while does one realize how few coins there are in the game. This means that every coin you see is worth collecting.
(the Legend of)
Having played to the end of the game, I now know the locations of all the items. They are as follows (sorry, I don't remember the exact dungeon rooms):
Wood (brown) Sword: Cave on the screen you start on.
Metal (white) Sword: Cave at the top of the northern waterfall. You must have at least 5 hearts to get this sword.
Magic Sword: Down the stairs under one of the graves (push upwards) in the upper-left screen of the graveyard (I think it's the middle row, second from right). You must have about 12 hearts to be worthy of this all-powerful weapon.
Blue Letter (for potions): The cave at the top of the stairs, left of the money-making game tree.
Power Bracelet: Under an armos statue mid-way up Death Mountain (upper-left statue in the group).
Big Shield: Overworld shops. Harder to reach shops sell it for 130, easier to find shops sell it for 160.
Wood (brown) Arrows: Just 80 rupees at your local neighborhood shop.
Keys: If yer too lilly livered to earn 'em in dungeons, jus' pay the storekeepers 100 rupees.
Food/Bait: 60(?) rupees at a specialty shop (like the one under the armos statue at the upper-left corner of the level 4 lake).
Blue Ring: 250 big ones at the same type of store that sells enemy bait.
Blue Candle: 68 rupees at a cheap store.
Bombs: Fight enemies for 'em or buy 'em at shops (I don't remember the price, I've never had to buy bombs anyway).
Potions: I know of at least three old ladies that sell potions in overworld caves (one helpful location is on the gray armos screen right by level 6, bomb the wall two tiles to the left of the farthest right staircase). Blue potion is 48(?) rupees, red is 62.
Wood (brown) Boomerang: defeat all the red Goria (boomerang idiots) in one of the rooms in level 1.
Bow: In level 1's treasure room.
Blue (magic) Boomerang: Defeat all blue Goria in a room of level 2.
Raft: Level 3's treasure room.
Ladder: Level 4's treasure room.
Whistle (recorder, ocarena, whatever): Level 5's treasure room.
Magic Wand (Rod): Level 6's treasure room.
Red Candle: Level 7's treasure room.
Book (Flame Spell): Level 8's treasure room (early on in the dungeon!).
Magic Key (Lion Key): Level 8's 2nd treasure room (accessed from the hidden room in the farr upper-left of the map, blast upwards from the room below to enter).
Red Ring: One level 9 treasure room.
Silver Arrows: Another level 9 treasure room.
Hint: Pols Voices (the rabbit guys) are weak against arrows, not flute. In all other Zelda games, they're weak to music, but in the original LoZ, they can be defeated most easily by firing a single arrow through a large crowd of 'em.
Hint: If you can hit a Dodongo (orange rhino) with a bomb on the outside, they'll be stunned, and one sword hit kills them (for more bombs).
Hint: Ghoma (eyeball crab) is weak against arrows, not magic rod. One arrow kills an orange Ghoma where the fire rod won't even damage, just make sure the eye's open.
Hint: If it is at all possible for you to have a certain item in the game, the game expects you to have it (example: level 3 where the orange Darknuts (shield knights) are nearly impossible without the white sword).
Hint: Never cross a LikeLike (orange upside-down pudding cake). If at all possible, hit them from a distance until dead. It is not at all fun to be stuck in a room with two orange and six blue Wizrobes (teleporting magic guys) and no magic shield.
Hint: Contact with a candle flame hurts (both you and monsters).
Hint: Contact with an exploding bomb doesn't hurt (but it does serious damage to almost all enemies).