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Pteri Ptactics


by cyanna_of_settamoor

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TYRANNIA - You know the weapons. You've seen the enemies. You've flown right up that giant Grarrl's left nostril and lived to tell the tale.

But can you leave with 1000 NP in your pocket?

Deep in the heart of Tyrannia, thousands of Pteris make their fight up the canyon with evil Pterodactyls and Grarrls doing everything in their power to stop them. What is a poor green Pteri to do? Shoot them down of course.

Such is the basic idea behind Pterattack, a game that is simple enough to learn but difficult to master. Over time I’ve discovered a fairly straightforward strategy that seems to work really well for me. Hopefully my tips can help improve your final score as well as your NP intake.

By now, you probably have an idea of the basic game play. You know your enemies. You know how to get your weapons. You use the arrow keys to move and the space bar to fire. That’s all easy enough to understand. You can also press two arrow keys at the same time. Depending on the two you choose, you can move the Pteri diagonally, which is helpful when getting out of tight spots or diving for that weapon upgrade that you need.

Speaking of weapons let’s go into detail about that now. In this game you have four different basic weapons. All of these weapons can be upgraded to more powerful levels as you collect the various colored orbs that sometimes appear when you successfully destroy an enemy.

Red: These orbs will upgrade your default weapon. This weapon fires a powerful laser straight ahead of you. If you get a red orb while carrying another weapon you will have your default weapon from the beginning if the game once more.

Cy’s Review: I personally do not care for the red weapons. The highest upgrade requires more orbs then some of the other weapons. The shot is very powerful but it is only good for hitting what is directly in front of you and the shots are fairly slow in between.

Green: These orbs will create a “spreader” weapon that will not only shoot in front of you but also off to the sides in a variety of angles

Cy’s Review: Although I find the spreader to have a slightly more defensive edge then the red weapons, I still do not advise working to upgrade this to its highest level. You really can do a lot better on the defense.

Red and White: Collect these orbs to fire white sticks that will move back and forth across the screen.

Cy’s Review: In my opinion this is the second best weapon in the game because of the broad range it covers. Right away you will see a difference because at its lowest setting, it will knock out those first orange enemies with a single hit while your default weapon requires two. Like the “spreader” you can hit targets at an angle as opposed to dead on. However it does not require such precise aim. It takes fewer orbs to bring this weapon to full power and the offensive punch doesn’t hit as hard. Defensively it is superb because it covers a VERY wide horizontal range, which is essential to create some breathing room if you need to move from side to side. But once you get into the harder levels, you may find that you are just not firing those shots fast enough. But overall, the red and white weapons will serve you well.

Blue: Collecting the blue orbs will have you firing orbs at the enemy that increase in size and number with each upgrade. After three upgrades, the orbs will turn into waves.

Cy’s Review: This is the weapon you really should try to get in the game. Not only is it as powerful as the red weapons but the last few upgrades provide a nice shield from those Pterodactyls. The highest setting is designed is so that a direct on hit will cause more damage then a glancing blow to the side, but don’t let that discourage you. The Pteri also fires these weapons fairly quickly so you are more likely to get that second shot in. This weapon is a pain to start off with because the first blue orb gives you a weapon that is as weak as the default. So you will need multiple shots to take down the easiest enemies for some time. But the final weapon is well worth your efforts.

For more detailed information about the weapons and enemies of Pterattack, please refer to “Pterattack Guide to Weapons and Enemies” by goku763, which appeared in Neopian Times issue #98

Now for the strategy.

If you have never played this game before, start on Easy. It will take a lot longer to complete a level however the Pterodactyls move very slowly at first. This way you can get a feel for how the game works. If you have more experience and can make it a few levels before dying, then move on to Medium or even Hard.

1.) Patience, young grasshopper. No matter what difficulty you go for, remember that it is better to let that enemy fly by then to risk putting your Pteri into a dangerous situation. It takes patience but there are many enemies out there and you only have a max of four lives. That flock of Pterodactyls heading your way looks tempting but can you really shoot them all down? What about those really fast ones? You can let as many as you like fly by. It has no effect on your score at all. None. Zip. Zilch. So get that “must shoot down everything on the screen” mentality and *defenestrate it. In the early stages where you have more control and more time to react, it's better to play more on the careful side.

2.) For the most part, stick to one weapon. Sometimes in the first level I’ll grab a red/white orb because that will take down the easy enemies with one hit. You can only get upgrades by destroying the enemies so starting off with a weapon that will take them down quicker is alright. But as soon as I see those blue orbs, I go after those. Once you have that first orb for your weapon of choice, stick with it and don’t pick up any other orbs of a different color or else you will start on that weapon’s lowest setting.

3.) Be a jack of all-trades. I already mentioned that my personal weapons of choice are the blue orbs. But what if I go through three levels and I still haven’t seen a single blue orb? It’s happened to me before. It’ll certainly happen to you. If at this point, you’ve been relying on your second favorite weapon to carry you this far, you may as well finish the game with it. By the third level, you will face Pterodactyls that move much faster then others (and at this point all enemies are moving faster then they did when you started) and they are only going to require more hits. So abandoning your second-choice weapon for your first choice at the lowest setting may not be the wisest thing to do.

4.) Keep away from the back. Stay relatively near the center of the playing area for as long as you are comfortable. Those Grarrls that appear from behind can do some damage and could result in losing more then one life. Make sue that you have the space to see them coming. Don’t forget that it is okay to dodge Pterodactyls when you need to. But as you get better at the game, you will find that your enemies will move much faster then your reaction time can handle. Once that happens…

5.) Forget rule 4. At this point in the game the panic is starting to set in. Those Pterodactyls are coming down faster then you can shoot. And to make matters worse, you have new enemies flying out of the sides. Moving around could only get you into more trouble so the time has come to abandon your skills and rely a little on luck. This is probably the craziest part of my strategy. But it really boosted my score from a point where I thought I couldn’t fight anymore.

Take the Pteri and tuck him into the bottommost left or right corner. Be careful not to get to close to the edge or else you will lose a life. Once you are in position, hold the space bar and just fire round after round. Two varieties of Pterodactyls fly in from the corners of the upper half of the playing area, light green from the right and light blue from the left. From your corner, you’ll be able to shoot one of those colors easily especially if you have been collecting the blue orbs. Because these light green and blue enemies tend to come one right after another for quite a bit of time, you can really rack up a steady stream of points. If you are confident enough, you can switch corners if you current one has turned dull. Staying in a corner will also keep you out of harm’s way when the enemies start to fly in from the sides. However there are still Grarrls to worry about. I’ve found that by staying in a corner, most Grarrls will miss me completely. Occasionally I will get bitten but depending on the level and difficulty, the Grarrls will move so fast that by the time I’ve been hit and I’ve had my few seconds of invincibility, the Grarrl will be gone.

Luck will only take you so far of course. At some point your game will come to an end. But hopefully once that happens you’ll have 1000 Neopoints waiting for you at the end.

6.) Practice. I know that sounds very cliché and dull and it’s what everyone else says. But it works. I got addicted to this game and I played it often. All that practicing has paid off.

Keep in mind that this is my personal method. This is by no means the only way to play Pterattack. It works well for me so I’m hoping that it will work just as well for interested readers who are looking to get more points out of the game. However to make it on to the high scores list and get a trophy, you are going to have to find a way to play that you feel most comfortable doing.

Good luck and may you never get stuck in a Grarrl's left nostril. ;D

~Cyanna

*defenestrate

v. To throw out of a window.

 
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