Defender fue el mejor videojuego de 1981. Ganó seis de los ocho premios de Playmeter, la revista especializada para la industria del entretenimiento que funciona con monedas. Y Williams Electronics siempre está sobrecargada de pedidos de esta exitosa máquina. Si bien Defender puede parecer un videojuego espacial ordinario, no se equivoque al respecto. Es uno de los juegos más complejos y notables de los arcades. Uno de los aspectos más sorprendentes de Defender son los gráficos: hay 256 combinaciones de colores diferentes que pueden aparecer en la pantalla en cualquier momento. Agregue a eso una variedad de ruidos y un gran desfile de formas y movimientos y tendrá un ejemplo brillante de posibilidades de video.
The fate of the world is at your fingertips
command a Spaceship defending innocent Humanoids from alien attack. This is a serious responsibility. If your Humanoids are captured, and carried from the Earth to alien territory, they mutate. And these Mutants become dangerous enemies of your Ship. The game is played in a series of attack waves. Once you've destroyed all the Landers in an attack, a new wave begins. Defender is the ultimate video game of skill. Steve Juraszek, a one-time national Defender champion (high score 15,963,100), states that, to be a top Defender player, you must be "very mechanically inclined," and you must have "good eyesight and quick reflexes." No tricks are involved in high scores. The secret is concen- tration and practice.
A solid understanding of Defender basics is essential to high scores. Spend your first Defender quarters experimenting, feeling out the personalities of each of the enemies and the possible movements of your Space Ship. A. Spaceship. You command this Spaceship over and under the Earth's surface. You can progress through the atmosphere at the speed you choose. You can reverse and you can instantly Hyperspace to another part of the world at will. B. Humanoids. Humanoids are peaceful while they're still human. They often walk around the Earth's surface in groups. Don't shoot them. Protect them. If allowed to mutate, you've got one big problem on your hands. Although you'll survive an inadvertent collision with a Humanoid, the Humanoid will die. C. Landers (150 points). You must destroy all the Landers on a screen to complete an attack wave. A Lander's basic objective is to grab Humanoids and carry them to the top. They'll fire at you, but you can easily avoid their fire. There are four to five Landers on a screen at most times. D. Mutants (150 points). These are formed when a Lander successfully carries a Humanoid to the top of the screen. The Lander then sucks the Humanoid into his space craft and forms a Mutant. These are dangerous. Their main objective is to kill you, and they never shoot straight, always at an angle. If a Mutant appears, muster all your energy to kill it. If the Landers carry all of your Humanoids to the top of the screen, the world explodes. This is no pretty sight, and nearly impossible to stay alive in.
Baiters (200 points]. Baiters appear near the end of the attack wave, to speed up the game. They will track you closely. They can shoot faster and move faster than you. Kill the Baiters as soon as they appear. They're fairly large targets. If too many Baiters appear, you'll probably have to use Hyperspace. Baiters disappear when you've destroyed all the Landers. F. Bombers (250 points]. Bombers are fairly passive. They travel in groups of one to three, leaving Mine Fields behind them. You cannot shoot these Mines. You must avoid them. Try to kill the Bombers before they leave Mines. G. Mother Ships (1000 points], MotherShips (a.k.a. Pods) are some of your worst enemies. They also yield high points. One Mother Ship appears on the 2nd wave, three on the 3rd, and four on the 4th. When destroyed, five to seven Swarmers are released by the Mother Ship, and must be killed. H. Swarmers (150 points], Swarmers are released from Mother Ships after the Mother Ship has been destroyed. These are no fun. They track you closely. Some people use a Smart Bomb the instant a Mother Ship has been killed. Others skillfully and cautiously kill the Swarmers one by one. I. Scanner. This Scanner displays an overview of the entire war zone. Your playing area is bracketed. Your lasers cannot kill enemies past the playing area. This Scanner should be constantly monitored. If you want a real challenge, try playing the whole game with the Scanner only. Don't look at the screen. It will help develop and test your Defender skills.
The key to strategy is staying alive. You get a new Smart Bomb and a new Ship every 10,000 points. As the game progresses, more aggressive enemies enter the playing area. To stay alive past 30,000 points, you'll need to know how to use each of the controls. The strategies below build on each other. Ifs essential to know strategy A before you can move to B, and so on. Once you get to strategy B, you're still using what you've learned in strategy A. You're simply adding to its depth. Remember: Your basic objective is to kill all the Landers on the screen to complete an attack wave. Ifs necessary to kill them fast, so that (1) they don't mutate your Humanoids and (2) Baiters don't appear. A. Beginning Strategies. There are certain basic strategies that must be developed and learned as soon as possible. All of these strategies, once learned, will continue throughout your entire game. 1. Hit the Thrust and Fire buttons together. Consider these two buttons as one button. Always hit them together and hit them as fast as you can. Develop "Defender Fingers." Don't stop doing this unless you're in an instant-death situation. Ifs important to keep moving and to keep firing. 2 . Fly low. Many top Defender players seldom fly more than two inches above the Earth's surface. Ifs important in adequately protecting the Humanoids.
Kill kidnapping Landers. Destroy the Landers when they're raising your Humanoids to the top. Don't kill your Humanoids. Once you've killed a Lander, scoop up the Humanoid and return him to the Earth for extra points. You earn 500 points for saving a Humanoid, and an extra 500 for returning the Humanoid to Earth. You also get the points for killing the Lander.
Reverse Strategy. Reverse Strategy begins on the second screen. It should be used sparingly, and only when necessary. The most advan- tageous Reverse Strategy concerns the Mutants. Mutants are dangerous and difficult to kill. They also track your every move. A good way to kill them is to move up toward a Mutant, reverse, and destroy it instantly. Your reversal will confuse the Mutant and stall him for an instant. C. Hyperspace Strategy. Hyperspace becomes necessary when the score starts building, say around 30,000 points. If you've dawdled during an attack wave, several Baiters may appear. These Baiters are faster moving and faster shooting then you are. There's no need to waste a valuable Smart Bomb on them. You might as well escape them with Hyperspace. Just beware: You have no idea where you'll end up. Be prepared to move instantly as soon as you've reappeared on the screen. Point 1 on the Radar Screen shows where you might be before Hyperspace. Point 2 shows where you might wind up safely. Point 3 shows where you might wind up — and die.
Smart Bomb Strategy. Smart Bombs are valuable. Use them for maximum point potential. You should be able to survive without the Smart Bombs until around 30,000 points, at which point you'll have six of them. Wait until several Mother Ships appear on the screen at the same time. Then Smart Bomb the whole screen for 1,000 points per Mother Ship. The only other time to use the Smart Bomb is when you have no other choice: when all kinds of enemies are on the board. Ifs always best to use the Smart Bomb smartly, for big points.