Traveling through space
Getting to know how the Star Fighter handles is an important task and should be mastered before anything else. The ability for it to stop and turn at any moment is powerful and should be taken advantage of all the time. Your ships can fly anywhere throughout space, but must always avoid collision, especially with stationary objects like asteroids and cosmo-mines. Your Star Fighter can even fly off one side of space, as it is represented on the radar, and reappear on the other side. From your point of view as a pilot, this is seamless.
Your Star Fighter starts out slow, and must reach its full speed over time. It is not the fastest object in space, however: Missiles can outrun your ship, so be especially cautious around them. Not to worry though, because your rear mounted gun fires whenever the front gun fires, so you are always able to shoot down your pursuers. Never hesitate to flee from the enemy, you are equally deadly when flying away as when you are flying towards.
Also remember that ships can't turn around as instantly as you can. They have to sweep around in wide arcs. Use this to your advantage. If a ship is approaching you from behind, but not within the range of your gun, you can quickly turn so that you fly past them and leave them behind as they scramble to turn around and catch up to you. Enemy formations will remain in hot pursuit of you until they either collide with you, or the leader of the formation is destroyed. Don't be a hot shot and try to destroy the rest of the formation before the leader if that would result in the leader killing you. Once the leader is destroyed, the formation breaks off from the chase, but they may still be a threat to you depending on how they separate.
The combat computer
The Star Fighter is equipped with a sophisticated combat computer that can alert you to several situations, through the use of sound and visuals
The combat computer is capable of providing you with five auditory alerts that let you know what's happening in the space around you, sometimes in places that you can't see yet.
|BLAST OFF!||Spoken at the start of each new stage, and each new life.|
|ALARM! ALARM!||Announces the presence of an enemy missile in your vicinity.|
|BATTLE STATIONS!||An enemy formation has left an Enemy Base and is headed for you.|
|SPY SHIP SIGHTED!||A Spy Ship has appeared in your sector of space and will report your location if you do not destroy it.|
|CONDITION RED!||You have entered the red condition, and the enemy will assault you with as many fighters and missiles as possible.|
Note: The sound that the arcade generates is not always clear. "Blast Off" typically sounds a bit more like "Lock On" or "Light Off" and "Alarm! Alarm!" sounds more to some like "Alive! Alive!".
There are four conditions that you may be in at any given moment. Each condition is displayed directly over the radar.
|Green condition||There are no enemy threats in your vicinity.|
|Yellow condition||You are in the vicinity of an Enemy Base that is aware of your presence and is launching missiles at you.|
|Red condition||You have been spotted by a Spy Ship or have remained on the stage for too long. The enemy will assail you with fighters.|
|Enemy Formation||An enemy formation has left an Enemy Base. You can see what arrangement the formation is in so you can better prepare a retaliatory strategy, and the leader's position will be visible on the radar as a red square.|
The key to completing every stage is destroying every Enemy Base on that stage. When you begin a new stage, the arrangement of the bases appears on the radar screen to the right. You have a few seconds to study it before the stage actually begins. Take a moment to formulate a strategy of what order to encounter each base in. The less time you spend flying through space, the less chance the enemy will have to stop you.
Begin to approach the nearest base in any direction. When it appears on the screen, take note right away whether it is oriented horizontally or vertically. The cores of horizontally oriented bases are only exposed from the left or right, while the cores of vertically oriented bases are exposed from the top and the bottom. Naturally, shooting the core of a base is far quicker than circling around the base and shooting all six cannon orbs. However, if in the process of trying to hit the core, you find that have already destroyed three or more orbs, and you are having trouble getting access to the core, consider shooting the remaining orbs if it would prove safer.
Armored base cores are more of a nuisance than a problem. Since your ship can stop on a dime and turn around, it's easy enough to wiggle back and forth when you're lined up for a shot on an Enemy Base core until the armor lifts up. Make sure you only go back and forth and maintain your orientation with the core. Otherwise you'll have to spend precious time lining back up again.