There are two different sets of four stages in the game. Each stage is divided into two parts, with a bridge present at the halfway point of every stage (with the exception of every fourth stage). You begin at the bottom of the first part of each stage, and you must advance upwards. Enemies will stream on to the screen at all times. Some enemies are positioned in particular locations and will always be encountered at the same place every time that you play. However, a majority of the soldiers you fight are simply spawned randomly on the sides or top of the screen, and can never be completely eliminated.
Once you reach the bridge, the first part of the stage is complete, and the second part follows immediately. There is no break in the action, but the environment may change slightly. As you continue to run to the top of the stage, you will eventually reach the top. The screen will stop scrolling, and the gates that lead to the next stage will open. At this point, a flood of enemies will appear, including one commander. You must survive the flood of enemies by killing as many as you can, and dodging all enemy fire. When the last soldier is destroyed or escapes, you will be granted access to the next stage beyond. There is typically a short cut scene shown before the beginning of the next stage.
As mentioned above, the enemies will never stop pouring on to the screen. No matter how many soldiers you shoot or destroy, they will never stop coming. As a result, there is very little point in remaining in any portion of any stage for a long period of time. The key to surviving each stage is to advance as quickly as you can, firing constantly in an effort to remove any obstacles that get in your way.
Lobbing grenades is a good way to clear any threats that are immediately above you. However, the action of throwing a grenade causes you to hold still momentarily. While it's not an extremely long pause, it is enough to allow enemies to get closer to you, so you must be prepared to react quickly to any changes in your vicinity.
Two situations present particularly tough challenges. One is the ending of each stage when the enemy floods the screen. The chaos that is created by this can make it difficult to identify every threat that is headed in your direction. As always, it is best to move continuously in order to avoid bullets and grenades that are locked on your current position. If possible, lob a few grenades at the opening near the top of the screen to take out several advancing soldiers at one time.
The other situation to watch out for is when you advance between two sets of caves on either side of the screen. When you reach these areas, you must watch out for the soldiers that appear from either side and advance straight across to the cave entrance on the other side. This is a change from the usual behavior that soldier display when they advance on you. Weave your way through the openings that soldiers create and advance to the top as quickly as possible.
When you reach the end of the fourth stage, you will be pitted against the final fortress, which includes four gunmen situated inside windows. You must use grenades to remove these soldiers in order to gain access to the fortress, set it on fire, and advance to your next mission and the next set of stages.
While every stage is generally the same, each stage presents a unique environment. Refer to the table below to identify each environment that you will encounter. Click on the links to the stages to be taken to the Screenmania website where you can see several examples of screens from each stage.
|Stage||First half||Second half|
|Stage 2||Trenches||Bridge and Caves|
|Stage 6||Turrets and Caves||Tranches|