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Defender II


Posted: 25 Jul, 2019 22:59
Last Edit: 29 Jul, 2019 12:35
Official Topic Post for discussion about
Created 25 Jul, 2019 22:59 by

1. Defender II (USA).nes
Defender II (U) [!].nes
Defender II (1988-07)(Hal America)(US).nes
V14- RA Checksum: 3ce9dffcb21c2c46244f2321a9e5b349
V15+ RA Checksum: e36bc14876da0e25c4ee2bba193002c4
ROM Checksum: d6e43c366c73c2ad7dac0e632b3d8943
CRC32 Checksum: C0B2AA1F

Game Manual

Posted: 26 Jul, 2019 02:09
Added leaderboards

Mode A/Mode B, P1/P2

Submits at game over or if you reach 990000 points.

Posted: 26 Jul, 2019 06:21
Last Edit: 01 Aug, 2019 11:08
Planning a small set.

As a light fan of Defender, I tried this game today. It's not a good port.

[What's good]

- The movement and shooting and camera feel great.
- The enemy movement is ok.
- Isn't too buggy.
- SFX are fine.

[Reasons this game feels incomplete]

- Is this really even "Defender"? The only consequence for letting all the resident you are defending die/get abducted is less bonus points at the end of each stage. They respawn regardless.
- You are rewarded more for rescuing residents than protecting them. (bad design)
- The game has no depth. No end (255 looping), no story, and as far as I can tell the difficulty peaks rather quickly. Basically it's a survival marathon for chasing points.
- There is no way to regenerate bombs.
- The portal is almost worthless and you can be warped on top of an enemy.
- It's very difficult to know when a resident is abducted. The audio cue can be suppressed by other sfx, and the scanner is black and white.
- Music is odd. Minor key for beating a stage? Punchout music at the start?
- When you rescue, the residents just disappear. You don't get to return them to the ground like you should.

Like I said, planning a small set. Will give it some variety, and not force you too need to play so long that you'll hate the game.

[Plan so far]

- Finish n stage; for mode A and B.
- Finish n stages without dying for mode A and B.
- Finish n stages without killing or letting men be abducted.
- Get an extra life.
- Shoot n bullets out of the sky in one game.
- Shoot down enemies for n of stages without missing.
- Preventing the capture of residents on n of stages in one game.
- Rescue n residents out of the sky in one game.
- Clear n enemies at once with a bomb.
- Clear n stage in n time.
- Rescue 8 residents on one stage.

More details about this game

As far as I can tell there are 4 difficulty levels. On Game A you start at 0 and it increases until you reach level 3 (not visible to the player). On B you start at 1 and it increases until you reach 3. That means once you reach stage 4 on A (3 on B) the game isn't going to ever get harder.

It is possible there are two other changes on game B, it shows in the memory, but I can't see any difference in gameplay.

There are unused higher difficulties (5-7). They are harder, but Gal Mutants, bug out and stop chasing. At difficulty 8 the game locks up entirely.

[Difficulty (0-4) Decides]

- Number of normal enemies to spawn in (increases a bit with each difficulty level)
- Number of bullets shot by enemies. Max number of on screen bullets is 4 regardless.
- Enemy bullet speed.
- Non-normal enemies spawns, how quickly and how often.
- It might affect enemy aggressiveness, but it's I'm not certain.


Beyond what is written about difficulty the stages (waves) are irrelevant. The game counts 1 to 9, A to Z and then starts to go through all the other game symbols on the sheet. After 255 stages it goes to 0, but like I said it's not connected to anything.

There is actually one difference. The bonus multiplier for residents that were not picked:
Wave 1: 200
Wave 2: 300
Wave 3: 400
Wave 7: 800
Wave 8: 900
Wave 9: 900
It caps at 900.

[The game's allowed at once limits]

2 laser beams
10 Lander / Mutants (the green aliens that capture and transform)
1 Baiters (ufo)
2 Dynamos (purple diamond)
2 Pods (bobbing spinner)
2 Yllabian Space Guppies or perhaps Firebombers (little blue ships that come two at once) (It's unclear which is the right name, but the other ship type isn't in the game but is in the manual)
2 Phred (square shaped with a mouth)
1 Resident
4 Enemy bullets

[Extra Life]

An extra life is gained at 20k points.

[Points Awarded]

0: Resident (shooting them), Enemy Bullets
200: Landers, Pods, Dynamos
300: Mutants, Space Guppies, Phreds
400: Baiter
1000/1500 (randomly 1000 or 1500): Resident (rescue)
The multiplayer bonus of remaining residents between stages

Posted: 28 Jul, 2019 18:49
Last Edit: 28 Jul, 2019 19:42
I know (almost) no one cares about this game or all these details, but I want to give it a good set regardless.

If you have an input on the set or set balance I'd love to hear it.

Plan 2.0
Newbie (2) - Clear wave 1
Hunter (5) - Clear wave 5
Protector (10) - Clear wave A (Wave 10)
Defender (50) - Clear wave K (Wave 20)
Safety First (25) - Clear 10 waves without dying
Max Bonus (5) - Prevent capture of residents during one wave
Full Bonus (10) - Prevent capture on wave 8 or higher
Top Prevention (10) - Prevent capture 3 waves in a row
Another Ship! (10) - Get an extra ship
Eagle Eye (10) - Shoot 100 enemy bullets out of the sky in one game
Sharpshooter (10) - Clear 5 waves in a row without missing a shot
Caretaker (25) - Prevent death of any residents on 6 waves in a row
Aerial Rescue (2) - Rescue a resident who is being abducted
Blast em! (5) - Destroy 6 enemies at once with a bomb
Sonic Pilot (10) - Clear a wave in less than 30 seconds without bombs
Search and Rescue (5) - Rescue 8 residents during one wave
Rescue Ranger (25) - Rescue 40 residents in one game
Master Baiter Hunter (10) - Kill 20 baiters (ufo) in one game

Finishing n stages without abduction / without letting any residents die (out of order) isn't currently possible due to toolset limitations.

I've left out game A/B specific challenges because I've found it to be mostly irrelevant.

Posted: 28 Jul, 2019 19:15
Planning a small set.
Posts a plan which could be for a long RPG.

Respect for putting so much attention to detail for such relative small Game, wish other Games like this would get similar treatment, respect!

Posted: 28 Jul, 2019 21:30
Very detail plan and nice choice ! Another classic on RA!

Posted: 29 Jul, 2019 01:24
Last Edit: 29 Jul, 2019 03:43
The set is up. I made two other additions and a few balance/name changes. Message me for balance feedback (both scoring and difficulty balance) if you play it!

The set is designed for one player (intentionally), but will give you no problems if you play with a second player.

Posted: 29 Jul, 2019 22:24
I'm focused on set balance... I've added a few easy mode versions of some of the existing achievements, reduced difficulty of some others a little and will keep playing it and looking for feedback until the set balance and difficulty curve feel really good.

Posted: 01 Aug, 2019 11:08
I've added two new leaderboards. The first is "True Defender Hi-Score" which submits when a resident dies. It should be considered the definitive leaderboard for this game because it demands tactical play, situational awareness and forces high risk, aggressive and yet precise play; none of which is mandatory in the standard leaderboard.

It also compliments practicing for .

The second new leaderboard only work in Game B (to reduce pop-up overload), and that's "Sharpshooter Hi-Score". It submits as soon as you miss a shot; you can hit bullets, aliens or residents.

It also compliments practicing for .


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