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Wave 1: Welcome to the Mayhem!

Wave 1 Goals

  • Learn basic navigation of the ship
  • Learn to read the Radar
  • Learn to shoot Landers as they abduct aliens and rescue the falling Humanoid
  • Complete the wave before Baiters attack
  • Novice level- Complete wave 1 while rescuing all 10 Humanoids
  • Advanced level- Complete wave 1 without losing a life, and rescuing all 10 Humanoids
  • Master level– Complete wave 1 by obtaining more than ?5000? points

Getting started – Detailed Overview

  • You start the game with 3 ships and 3 smart bombs. A bonus ship and smart bomb is awarded every 10,000 points scored.
  • Below is the landscape, which can be flown over or through, and above is the scanner that shows a miniaturized representation of the entire playing area of the planet you are defending.
  • You screen only represents about a quarter of the playing area and the other three quarters can be seen via the scanner at the top of the screen.
  • You can move the ship up and down using the lever, and to move forward you can use the thrust button. To fly in the opposite direction use the reverse button and then thrust.
  •  Enemies are destroyed by shooting them using the fire button, or in certain circumstances you can use a smart bomb, which destroys all enemies on the screen. You only start with 3 smart bombs so use them carefully.
  • There is also a hyperspace button that will transport you away from trouble to a different random part of the planet, however there is a 50/50 chance you will lose a life on re-entry, so only hyperspace if you have no other option.
  •  The planet has 10 “humanoids” below you on the ground that are represented by what some people have described as “stick-men”. Do not shoot them : its your job to defend them.
  • The 10 humanoids are spread out over the whole playing area and can be seen off screen via the scanner, long with the other enemies.
  • Flying forward or backwards (using thrust and / or reverse) scrolls the screen and allows you to travel to the rest of the planet in the direction of your choice.

Ship Navigation

  • Practice using the thrust and fire fingers independently.  To be successful, you will not hit the thrust everytime you fire.
  • Navigation across the planet should be slow and steady, not full blast.  Practice using precision thrusting.
  • Although hyperspace is available, proper technique will mandate you not use it during the initial phases of learning.
  • Smart bombs should be used sparringly as you learn to spar with the enemy.  Don’t worry about ending a game by losing a battle. It’s 2012 and thanks to MAME, each game doesn’t cost us a quarter!  Relax and enjoy the ride!

ENEMIES- The Lander

  • The first types of enemies that you will encounter are called “LANDERS”.
  • Shooting a Lander scores 150 points. Earlier Defender machines inform you they are worth 100, but that is a typo which was corrected in later versions of the game.
  • Important Tip: Novice players have a habit of colliding with Landers so try to avoid doing this.
  • They will also fire shots at you, so avoid those also. (Editor note, a month into learning Defender and most of my death’s come from ramming into shots on the playfield)

Lander Behavior-

  • Landers appear in batches of 5 at a time on the planet (some on screen, some off screen) and their job is to drop down to ground level, locate a humanoid (not necessarily the one closest to them)
  • Once they pick-up the humanoid up, they move vertically in a straight line to the top of the screen to form a more deadly enemy called a mutant.
  • When this happens you lose one of your humanoids as well. This is a key element of the game-play because losing all 10 Humanoids ends you in the chaos of outerspace with a bunch of buzzing angry Mutants (have you ever disturbed a wasp nest…..)

Time is of the essence 

  • There are a total of 15 Landers that appear on wave 1.
  • If you shoot the initial batch of 5 Landers, or take too long to shoot them then another 5 appear on the planet, and a total of 15 will appear on wave 1.

Alien Abduction, don’t let it happen to you

  • If you allow the Lander to abduct a humanoid and then get to the top of the screen the Lander fuses with the humanoid and turns into a more deadly enemy called a mutant, which score 150 points, but we will discuss them later
  • If you shoot a Lander carrying a humanoid before it reaches the top of the screen then the humanoid will start to fall downwards back to earth.
  • If you catch the humanoid before it reaches the bottom of the screen you will get a bonus of 500 points.
  • If you then return the humanoid to the planet by flying to the bottom of the screen then you will get another 500 points.
  • You can carry as many humanoids as you like at the same time, however if you lose a life while carrying a humanoid then you will also lose the bonus points you would have scored by landing them.
  • If you lose a ship while carrying a humanoid the humanoid does not die, and will reappear back on the ground when your next ship starts.
  • If the humanoid falls from too high a distance it will die on impact, however if you shoot a Lander that is close to the ground, and the humanoid doesn’t fall far it will be OK and you get 250 points.

Mutants Happen!

  • If you allow all 10 humanoids to die then the planet is destroyed, all Landers left on the wave turn into mutants and things can get hectic! This is frequently known as being in “Space”
  • The humanoids are restored every 5 waves so if you lose them all on wave 3 for example, you have to wait until wave 5 before you get them back.
  • If you start a wave in “space” all enemies appear on the planet at once, not 5 at a time. You will start the wave having to cope with 20 mutants! This is where the smart bombs come in handy.

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Overstaying your welcome- Baiters

  • If you take too long to clear a wave then another enemy appears, called a Baiter.
  • Baiters are faster than you and their sole purpose is to kill you. They come after you 100% and ignore everything else.
  • You can’t outrun them so either clear the wave as quickly as possible to avoid baiters or try and shoot them as quickly as they appear.
  • They are your deadliest enemy.
  • Shooting a Baiter scores 200 points.
  • If you manage to shoot a baiter and still take too long to clear the wave then another one will appear and so on until the wave is clear.
  • When the wave is clear then you score 100 points for each humanoid you have managed to protect at the end of wave 1.
  • NOTE- “Baiter fighting” strategy will be discussed in later waves, once you have the flying skills to finesse a successful battle with them.

Click HERE for instructions on the next wave

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