Document Title: [DefenderStrategy.html (html file)]
When you get your last official guy before 1,000,000, every time you score, you'll get an extra man.
The trick we used was to win 100+ ships between 990,000 and 1,000,000, thus fooling the game based on where score rolls over rather than where ships roll over. The version where you win 100+ ships has been tested, the version where you win 256+ ships never was because:
a. For every point scored in Defender from 990,000 to 999,975 you will win one extra ship and smart bomb.
b. If you suicide on something, including a shot but not including hyperspace (because dying from hyperspace awards no points), you will lose one ship, but also gain one (net effect on ships is zero) plus one smart bomb.
c. For winning n ships in Defender from 990,000 to 999,975, including suicides, you will have to wait n x 10,000 points after passing 1M before the game's accounting balances and it awards ships properly at 10,000 point intervals again.
TESTED (VERIFIED TO WORK):
d. The score returns to zero every 1 million, meaning that if you had won 100 ships the machine would have to wait 1 million points to begin awarding ships again. However, since 1 million is equivalent to zero it awards them immediately at 1,010,000.
UNTESTED (PROBABLY WORKS):
d. Being an 8-bit game, 255 ships is the maximum recognized. 256 ships/smart bombs is treated as zero. If you win exactly 256 ships during this period the machine will think you have won none and thus begin awarding ships immediately at 1,010,000.
In either case, you get to keep your surplus ships and bombs and can have super long turns where you bomb 2 to 3 times per wave to get out of dangerous situations.
Defender Tricks :
1. There are reverse lines for swarmers and mutants. If this line is between you and the type of enemy in question, they will travel the opposite direction around the planet to get you. (I.e. they won't cross this line to get to you.) If a mutant, say, is following you and you cross the mutant reverse line (to the left of the Big Mountain) it will suddenly reverse direction and go around the other way. The same is true for the swarmer reverse line (located approximately where your ship starts each wave). This doesn't affect swarmers that you are following behind. If you're on one side of the line and a pod is on the other and you shoot it open the swarmers will fly away from you and you can get in behind them immediately. The best use of these lines is where there are lots of swarmers and/or mutants that you don't want to hassle with. You stay near the line in question and go back and forth over it to keep the enemy in question on the other side of the planet. Especially useful in space and waves that get really hairy.
2. You can freeze a Defender machine by picking up all ten humans (on any wave, but Wave 1 is your greatest chance at success), stopping all forward motion of your ship, quieting the screen down (i.e. having no enemies moving around on it) and setting all the humans straight down quickly. This seems to work better were the terrain is very close to the bottom of the screen. Every thing will freeze, but you can still move your ship up and down. Thrusting will break the spell, so to speak. If you do pick a spot with shallow terrain, some humans will go thru the bottom of the screen and appear suspended in mid-air near the top. This trick is good during marathon games when you've reached Wave 256 and need a breather.