Can You Survive?
You are under attack. Aliens surround you on all sides. There is no way out. The fate of civilization is in your hands…
Do you have guts? Can you handle any situation regardless of mutants, fuseballs, ghosts or other assorted evil-doers? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Every game room has its own “big guns” or “in-house pros.” They are the players whose initials you see on most of the games in the arcade. If you’ve ever watched a good player, you will probably notice his strategy as well as his knack for coaxing the controls to respond in a crisis. What you don’t see are the fail-safes these video jocks turn to in situations where death seems unavoidable.
Let’s see how you respond when the pressure is on. Here are ten life and death situations. Your very existence is in peril. Can you survive?
Your Pac-Man is traveling along the bottom corridor of the maze. Suddenly, two monsters close in on you from opposite sides. Is there any means of escape, or will poor Pac-Man deflate in the clutches of Pinky and Speedy?
There is only one means of escape and it is a very rare opportunity. If one of the two monsters turns its eyes away from Pac-Man, you may then pass directly through the monster unscathed.
In Scramble, your fuel is running dangerously low. Unless you can destroy the base and get an extra ship, you are doomed. But how can you destroy a base? The canyons are too steep for a bombing run and too narrow for your lasers. Help!
You have to remember that the fighter you are commanding is expendable if you will be getting a bonus ship. To reach the base, thrust forward full speed until your ship is over the crater the base rests in. Pull down the joystick until your ship begins to move forward. Before you crash (which is inevitable once you've descended into the valley), either fire your lasers or drop a salvo of bombs. When the base is destroyed, you get a new ship.
You are on level 11 in a game of Tempest. You've expended your first Super-Zapper, and a fuseball is rushing to the outer rim and creeping toward your blaster. You know that your second Super-Zapper can destroy only one of the many aliens on the playfield. Is it all over for The Kid?
No! The second Super-Zapper is selective in respect to the alien it picks to destroy. It will annihilate the foe that poses the greatest immediate threat to your blaster. In this case, it will single out the fuseball and vaporize it.
You are engaged in battle with the twisting Qix. You gujde your marker off the border to claim some territory. Just when you are about to close the figure, you realize that, on you present course, you will collide with a spark that is rushing toward your marker's end point. Without drawing an additional line or changing you direction, what's an arcader to do?
By momentarily releasing the “Draw” button, your marker will stop and the spark will pass. But keep an eye out for the fuse. If you wait too long, the fuse will zap your “Stix” from behind.
The Eliminator base is forcing your fighter into a corner. You can't fly around the base. You know that the walls of the playfield have an elastic quality, so if you hit one, you’ll bounce off and be killed. Is there no escape?
Position your ship nose first against the border. At the same time, hit your thrust button. Within a few seconds, your fighter will cling motionless to the wall. Wait for the Eliminator base to drift away and resume attack.
In Frogger, you can’t seem to make a connection with the next row of logs and you are drifting off the screen (towards a horrible death, we might add). How do you avoid ending up in a French restaurant?
A lot of people are constantly drowning and getting hit by cars simply because it doesn’t occur to them that…Frogger can jump backwards. If you’re in trouble, go back a row and wait until the coast is clear.
You are on the middle of a ladder in Donkey Kong. Four barrels are rushing along the girder above you. You can't get up and hammer them or jump over them. The odds are that at least one barrel will roll down your ladder, killing you. You can't climb down in time. Can you do anything besides cross your fingers?
Yes! It is a little known fact that in Donkey Kong, if you place Mario's hand on the girder above him, no barrel will roll down the ladder he is standing on.* So climb up, put his hand up there, and watch the barrels roll by.
* Beware! Machines that have been “enhanced” eliminate this trick.
While playing Defender, a stray laser blast from your ship has accidentally struck a pod, unleashing a gang of swarmers. Are you finished? Is there a safe way to dispose of this nasty bunch without using a smart bomb?
Don’t run away! Swarmers do not immediately react to your presence as much as, say, a baiter does. They almost seem to have a blind spot, a place from where the player can attack before they retaliate. Remain close to the newborn swarmers and fire away. Once they reach either end of the screen, they will begin their offensive. Nail them to keep them from nailing you.
You are near the left side of the Centipede field when the spider leaps out at you. You don’t have time to get off a shot. Will moving up, down, left or right bring you to safety?
Left. Spiders cannot back-track. If one comes out of the left side, it will exit the right side and never move to the left. So if he jumps out at the left, you can move to the left of him and never be hit. If he jumps out of the right, you move to his right.
In Zaxxon, you hear that weird hum that signals a homing missile has been dispatched to vanquish you. You cannot evade it. When you fire at it and hit it, nothing happens. How do you kill that homing missile?
The homing missile merely smirks when struck by one of your blasts. You have to hit it six times to kill it. Don’t bother trying to do that with the trigger on the joystick—you can't get off six shots fast enough that way. Instead, hit your fire button like a hyperactive bongo player. The fire button has a much faster response than the trigger.