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Game flow[edit]

To complete the game, the player must alternate between flying through corridors to defeat bosses posted at the ends and possibly obtain new labyrinth keys, and exploring the labyrinth to obtain new power-ups and locate more corridors to clear. In total, the game has 22 corridors to clear. The game begins by having the player fly through the entrance: Corridor 0. When the boss is defeated, the player will arrive in the center of the labyrinth, in a section known as Area 0. Area 0 and Area 1 each have one corridor to visit (Corridor 1 and Corridor 11, respectively); all the other areas have two corridors for the player to clear.

For any given area beyond 1, there are corridors n and n + 10. For example, Area 2 contains Corridor 2 and Corridor 12. Corridors numbered 11 through 20 are secondary corridors. They are always open and available to the player as soon as he or she finds it. It is also typically the easier of the two corridors. Corridors 1 through 10, on the other hand, are the primary corridors. Each is locked and usually a little more difficult, but these are also the corridors where the keys are hidden. To unlock these corridors, the player must find a hint somewhere in the area that reveals the secret to unlocking the gate. Two of the hints are found in Area 0 rather than their respective areas. Each time one of the Corridors from 1 to 20 are cleared, the entrance to that corridor is sealed and a weapon is left to collect.

The Guardian Legend is fairly non-linear. You are not required to play through the areas or corridors in a particular sequence. That being said, it is highly recommended that you attempt to follow the path through each area in numerical sequence to ensure that you are sufficiently powered up to survive each section. Advancing to a difficult area too soon can result in a quick demise. The game is complete when all of the areas have been explored, and all of the corridors have been cleared. When this occurs, the exit corridor, Corridor 21, appears for the player, opening the way to the final battle.

Labyrinth features[edit]

Blue Lander checkpoints[edit]

The Guardian Legend NES Blue Lander checkpoint.png

Throughout the game, you will find rooms that contain large Blue Landers who will speak with you. They offer to provide you with a password that will allow you to continue your game. To receive a password, you must set your special weapon selection to "NO USE" on the sub-screen, and press A button. However, you do not need to obtain a password to get the benefit of visiting these rooms. If the Guardian loses all of her health and dies in a corridor or in the labyrinth, and you choose to continue, you will continue from the last Blue Lander checkpoint that you visited. If you never visit a checkpoint, you will resume in the center of the labyrinth, where you appeared after completing Corridor 0. You will always return with all of your items and upgrades in tact.

Labyrinth blocks[edit]

Each room in the labyrinth may contain different blocks arranged throughout the room. This table presents a guide to those blocks.

Blue pyramid Yellow pyramid
The Guardian Legend NES item pyramid blue.png
Blue pyramids serve as doors throughout the labyrinth. When shot, they leave behind a small black gate. If the black gate is empty, you are free to travel through the door. If the black gate contains a symbol, you must possess the key with the corresponding symbol in order to pass through.
The Guardian Legend NES item pyramid yellow.png
Yellow pyramids are destructible objects that may be scattered throughout a room. They are destroyed with one shot, and unlike item capsules, never contain items. They will typically replace any unexplored item capsule if you leave a room and return.
Green pyramid Red pyramid
The Guardian Legend NES item pyramid green.png
A green pyramid is a door that is locked until you accomplish some task in the room. In a majority of cases, the task is usually to collect an item that is obtained by clearing a corridor, or defeating an area mini-boss. Once the item is collected, green pyramids will become breakable (either yellow to allow passage in a labyrinth room or blue to reveal the warp panels in a corridor room).
The Guardian Legend NES item pyramid red.png
A red pyramid is simply an indestructible barrier designed to keep you to one side of a path or another. There is no way to remove them, and one portion of a path that they divide typically leads to a dead-end.

Upgrades[edit]

Upgrades are available throughout the game as you search for them throughout the labyrinth or by defeating mini-bosses and bosses.

Weapon upgrades are available around NAJU. The higher the upgrade, the more powerful and useful the weapon can be, but more chip consumption, requiring Red Landers to expand the chips. Weapons can be upgraded to Level 3.

If you have 5 Shields in your inventory (including your default 1 shield), your walking speed and ship speed in the labyrinth will increase.

Red Landers not only expand your chip count, but also improves your normal gun.

Level Chip Max Notes
0 (Start) 50 Normal Gun shoots 1 row; 3 MAX bullets per screen.
1 100 Normal Gun (above 100) shoots 3 rows; spreads 0.75 block wide; 12 MAX bullets per screen.
2 150
3 200 Normal Gun (above 200) spreads 1.25 blocks wide.
4 400
5 800
6 1600
7 2400 Normal Gun (above 2050) shoots 4 rows; spreads 2.5 blocks wide; 16 MAX Bullets per screen.
8 4000 MAXIMUM Chips for Normal game.
9 6000 MAXIMUM Chips ONLY for Corridor Rush Mode.

You start the game with 8 Hit Points (8 bars on your energy gauge). You can increase this limit in two ways:

  • Collect a Blue Lander
  • Reach certain scores. You earn an extension at the following scores:
    • 30,000
    • 100,000
    • 500,000
    • 1,000,000
    • 2,000,000
    • 3,000,000
    • 4,000,000
    • 5,000,000
    • 6,000,000
    • 7,000,000
    • 8,000,000
    • 9,000,000

NOTE: Do not achieve a score above 9,999,999 or else the game will instantly softlock.

Tricks[edit]

Due to limitations of programming in the game, there are a few tips and tricks in the game:

If you have the movement speed up (5 shields), you can walk through the indestructible pyramids by moving diagonally in between. This trick can be used against yellow pyramids and item capsules as well. You can only walk horizontally.

If you have the Level 2 Fireball on Labyrinth Mode and have the movement speed up, you can create an invincible damaging forcefield by simply holding the direction that the Fireball is moving because the walk and fireball are both the same exact speed! Abuse this as much as possible before upgrading to Level 3 Fireball.

If you have the Level 3 Fireball on Corridor Mode and have the movement speed up, you can create an invincible damaging forcefield by simply holding up while shooting the Fireball because the flight and fireball are both the same exact speed! Unlike the Labyrinth trick, this is less practical because by the time the invincibility ends, you are stuck on the top of the screen left wide open for attack. Also, you get the Fireball 3 very late in the game. This move is only effective against specific bosses and/or tough situations like mini-crystal or exploding blue plants chasing you.

On shops with 3 items, there is a trick where you can buy the entire shop. To do this, hold start while collecting the item. Normally, collecting an item would make the other 2 items disappear, but if you do the trick, the 2 other items will not disappear. If you see a lander, that is recommended to retrieve first before the other items. You can get weapon upgrades much earlier than usual.