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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:39 am 
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I've been reading through the manual and wow! there sure is a lot more to this game than there is to the original. I was really expecting it to be more of the same, just with new enemies and backgrounds and a better frame rate. On the one hand this has me a bit worried, since more is sometimes less, and frankly I would have been perfectly happy with another dose of the same recipe as Iron Angel of the Apocalypse. But it definitely has me very excited too. I like not quite knowing what to expect.

Going downstairs to load the disc into my FZ-1 now... (trembling with anticipation)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:36 pm 
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Had a long play session with it last night, and the game is easy enough that I've already made it through the first four stages (i.e. back to Earth).

I have to go against the majority consensus and say that this one isn't as good as the original. The main problem is that the speed is dramatically improved, but the frame rate is only marginally better. So where the original game worked as a slow-paced dungeon crawl, this one is your average first person shooter with a frame rate that can't keep up with it. I also don't dig the auto-replenishing of health and ammunition, especially as it makes the game brokenly easy. Even moving through the levels as fast as I can and never bothering to dodge or raise my barrier, the only time I even came close to death was the boss fight with General Hoss.

On the upside, the story is cool in spite of the huge plot holes, and the game really feels like an interactive movie. The way that the test pilot's fatal accident is playable, the dramatic assault in the tunnels, and the good old-fashioned escape from the spaceship before it explodes are all great mergers of gameplay with story and cinematics. I don't like that they use CG models instead of live actors, but the Full Motion Video is still darned impressive. Also, the rail shooter level, while not stunning, is a nice change of pace, and despite their simplicity the vehicular sections work really well so far.

And just like the original game, the level designs are quite beautiful. On an objective level I see this is a very mediocre game at best, but I have to admit that I find it hard to stop playing.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:13 pm 
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I've already made it up to what seems to be the final boss (man, this game is easy), the SCR commander. ...Can somebody tell me what it takes to bring this guy down? I spent nearly an hour alternating between pumping Megaplasma Gun shots into him at point blank range and retreating to recharge ammunition and shields, and he still wouldn't die. I finally concluded that this must be one of those boss fights that you're supposed to lose, and after emptying one last load of ammunition into him, allowed him to kill me. I wish I had a photo of the look on my face when the result was a "Game Over".

I've contemplated that maybe you're supposed to do something special to beat him, but the arena for that boss fight is small and completely featureless. There's nothing to do but shoot him. What am I supposed to do here? Did they simply give this guy so much HP that it takes over an hour to chip through it?

Incidentally, the cutscene between the third and final bosses is pretty awesome. That decapitation was just eerie.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:13 am 
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Never mind about the final boss; I figured it out. It's not at all something you'd expect to have to do, but once you know it the boss goes down really easily. I'm definitely going to have to write a walkthrough for this one as well. In addition to the final boss, there are some things that most players would be confused by if they didn't have access to the game's manual.

The ending was... Perhaps the word I'm looking for is incoherent? What in the world is the deal with the man and woman on the hoverbike? Are we supposed to assume that they're Tetsujin and Robbie, having returned to their human bodies through some inexplicable means?

Oh well. At least the music is cool. (And the end boss theme is awesome.)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:17 am 
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Well, at least it seems, for the most part, that you enjoyed the game. I liked both games back in the day, but admittedly, never actually beat them. Perhaps it's long overdue? Look forward to your walk through though.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:52 pm 
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Yeah, I enjoyed The Return. It really is a radical departure from the original in almost every respect, but I enjoy this sort of game too, so that's okay. The main thing is, once you figure out how to effectively use the barrier, the gameplay takes on a style different from other first person shooters. It's not the best shooter on the 3DO, but at least it's different.

It's definitely worth getting to the end of the first Iron Angel of the Apocalypse, as that game climaxes brilliantly. The finale of The Return is less rewarding, but on the other hand, getting there takes considerably less time and effort.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:45 am 
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Martin III wrote:
Yeah, I enjoyed The Return. It really is a radical departure from the original in almost every respect, but I enjoy this sort of game too, so that's okay. The main thing is, once you figure out how to effectively use the barrier, the gameplay takes on a style different from other first person shooters. It's not the best shooter on the 3DO, but at least it's different.

It's definitely worth getting to the end of the first Iron Angel of the Apocalypse, as that game climaxes brilliantly. The finale of The Return is less rewarding, but on the other hand, getting there takes considerably less time and effort.


Well, I guess that I really need to get these games again and dig in. It has been too long.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:55 pm 
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I'm looking forward to this too. I liked the Second game a good deal better than the first.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:34 pm 
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I've been making good progress on the walkthrough, so I thought I'd post a draft of what I've got so far, much as I did for my walkthrough of the original. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Iron Angel of the Apocalypse: The Return Walkthrough
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Table of Contents

1. Walkthrough Notes

2. Legal Notes

3. Guide to Combat
I. How the Game Works [C01]
II. All-Purpose Winning Strategy [C02]

4. The Walkthrough
I. Stage 1: Assimilation [S01]
A. Lunar Highway Test Run
B. Virtual Dungeon Level 1
C. Virtual Dungeon Level 2
D. Virtual Dungeon Level 3
II. Stage 2: Lunar Spaceport [S02]
A. Lobby [L21]
B. Underground Parking Lot Level 1 [L22]
C. Underground Parking Lot Level 2 [L23]
III. Stage 3: SCR Battleship [S03]
IV. Stage 4:


*******************
*******************
1.Walkthrough Notes
*******************
*******************

I've done what seems to be the world's only walkthrough for Iron Angel of the
Apocalypse, so it seems only fitting that I should do the same for the sequel.
And since the sequel is so drastically different from the first game, it seems
fitting as well that this walkthrough should do a few things different.

Here are the main differences and the reason behind them:

1.Iron Angel of the Apocalypse: The Return has much cruder combat than the
first game; the same strategy works on every enemy. As such, it would be silly
for me to give hints for each individual enemy the way I did in my previous
walkthrough. Instead, I've written a separate section on general combat.
2.Since the English release of this game is quite rare, I'm writing this as, in
part, an import guide. This means I explain a number of points which would be
obvious to anyone playing the English version of the game.
3.Names of non-boss enemies are again taken from the manual. The difference
is, this game's manual also includes names for the bosses, so I didn't have to
make them up!
4.While I keep spoilers minimal, this walkthrough is not spoiler-free. This is
because unlike the first Iron Angel of the Apocalypse, the names of the bosses
in this game include spoilers. I could have written this walkthrough without
using their names, but I prefer to be able to call bosses by name.
5.This game doesn't use a square grid for level maps, so I can't give
coordinates. Just try to follow along.

Hope that my walkthrough is of use to you! If you have suggestions on how to
improve it, please let me know. I can be contacted at the email address
flarefan [at] hotmail [dot] com. Your email's header should ideally contain
"Iron Angel of the Apocalypse: The Return".



*****************
*****************
3.Guide to Combat
*****************
*****************

***************************
I. How the Game Works [C01]
***************************

Iron Angel of the Apocalypse: The Return has all the basic functions of a first
person shooter. You turn (D-pad), shoot (A button), strafe (shoulder buttons),
and change weapons (X button). However, the game has four important
differences from other first person shooters of the time:

1.First and foremost, you can enable a shield which absorbs most damage from
attacks. This shield is activated by pressing the B button and stays active
for just a couple seconds, but there's no waiting period between uses, so by
repeatedly pressing the B button you can remain virtually invincible as long as
you have shield energy left. And contrary to what the game manual tells you,
there's no reason to not spam shields in this way, since shield energy is
drained only when it's hit by an attack. Though of course, for the sake of
your right thumb and the B button, it's best to restrict shield usage to when
there's at least an enemy around.

2.Shields and health are replenished over time. So whenever you get in
trouble, just retreat to a safe area, wait a little bit, and in just a minute
you'll be back up to full strength.

3.There are no ammunition pickups. Once you use up all the shots in a
lancher-type weapon, that's it. Beam-type weapons, on the other hand,
automatically recharge and so effectively have unlimited ammunition. The
manual states that the less charge a beam weapon has when it is fired, the less
damage it will do. I don't know if that's entirely true, but I do know that if
a beam weapon has 30 or less charge on it, its shots will do absolutely NO
DAMAGE. No, I'm not exaggerating. So don't fire your beam weapon if it has 30
or less; just let it recharge.

Also, I recommend that you don't bother using launcher-type weapons for the
most part. The need to load each round before you fire it cripples them. Beam
weapons deal damage faster, and since their ammunition is unlimited, there's no
need to bother with anything else (with one exception, which I will cover in
the walkthrough).

4.You can only carry two weapons at a time: one beam-type weapon and one
launcher-type weapon. Whenever you find a weapon, the game will ask whether
you want to take it or not. If you take it, whichever weapon of that type you
were carrying before will be lost.

Interesting differences, eh? Also, be sure to keep an eye on the Warning
Lamps, which are located on your HUD and flash whenever there's an enemy near
you. They're very useful for keeping you from taking a surprise attack.

**************************************
II. All-Purpose Winning Strategy [C02]
**************************************

Now that you know the basics of combat in Iron Angel of the Apocalypse: The
Return, here's the (not so) secret winning strategy which will work on any
enemy in the game, save a couple of the bosses. Just follow these three steps:

1.Activate your shield.
2.Charge at the enemy until you're pressing right up against him.
3.Rapidly fire your beam-type weapon until he is destroyed.

If you do this with appropriate speed, completing all three steps in less than
four seconds, your shield will block any shots the enemy manages to get off.
Beam-type weapons do more damage at close range, a la the shotgun in Doom, so
firing at point blank ensures the enemy will go down quickly (as well as making
it hard for you to miss).

If there are multiple enemies in the area, repeat this procedure for each of
them, one at a time. If there are so many enemies that you run low on weapons
charge, simply back off for a few seconds, recharge, and resume.



*****************
*****************
4.The Walkthrough
*****************
*****************

****************************
Stage 1: Assimilation [S01]
****************************

A. Lunar Highway Test Run
You complete this level when you run out of life. No, there is no branching
storyline, so stop resetting the game to try to see what happens if you make it
through to the end; you can't. Just enjoy the ride and take the opportunity to
get in a little practice, because there will be two more levels like this later
in the game, and running out of life on them means game over. The controls are
simple: use the shoulder buttons (or if you prefer, the D-pad) to move left or
right. You cannot fire or move vertically.

B. Virtual Dungeon Level 1
This is basic navigation training, so there are no enemies and no items to get.
Just advance to the end of the level and you'll get a cutscene. If you're lost
you can check the automap by pressing P, but this level is quite linear.

C. Virtual Dungeon Level 2
Basic shooting training: there are enemies (these ones are called Grunts), but
they don't attack. Just shoot them all and you'll get another cutscene.

D. Virtual Dungeon Level 3
This is basic combat training, so there are more Grunts, and these ones do
attack, though they're pretty slow and weak. If you're having trouble beating
them, refer to this walkthough's "Guide to Combat". The green walls in this
level are actually automatic doors; walk towards one and it will open. Once
you've destroyed all the Grunts, you'll get a save point. Use it; there's
never a point to not saving in this game.


*******************************
Stage 2: Lunar Spaceport [S02]
*******************************

A. Lobby [L21]
You start off face-to-face with the Grunt who shot down your transport, and
he's a lot tougher than the ones you fought in the virtual dungeon. Take him
out as quickly as possible, and don't try walking through the flames.

Go North until you reach an SCR news panel (indicated in green on your map).
Press C to view the news clip, which plays in a continuous loop, and B to exit.
Just a few steps to the southeast of this panel is an elevator, which you
should get on. Ignore all the other rooms, as they contain only enemies.

B. Underground Parking Lot Level 1 [L22]
Leave the elevator and head down the corridor. In this room you'll meet a
Watchtower. Pretty wimpy, but go ahead and destroy it before checking out the
news panel. Then take the Southwest path (the Southeast path has nothing).
You'll run into more Watchtowers and a new enemy, the fragile but elusive Air
Balls, before reaching another elevator.

C. Underground Parking Lot Level 2 [L23]
You'll be greeted by an onslaught of Air Balls. Don't worry, as they're not
tough at all, though it's best to take out each one before it notices you.
After checking out the news panel, move South, dealing with the Air Balls along
the way. When you hit a fork, go West until you reach a corner. Further West
is a path to a room with a news panel. Check it out if you want, but it's not
essential. Continue South and you'll see signs pointing to "P3" (Parking Lot
Level 3) and "P4".

The door to P3 is locked, so follow the signs to P4. An automatic door will
open up to a room with two Watchtowers who are oblivious to your presence; take
'em out before they notice you. (Or let 'em notice you if you want - they're
not tough.) Go through a corridor and you'll hit another room with two
oblivious Watchtowers. Keep heading down the linear path. You'll have to
fight just one more Watchtower, and then it's stage complete! Save your game.


******************************
Stage 3: SCR Battleship [S03]
******************************


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:49 pm 
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Nice. This is well done! thank you!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:38 pm 
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Thanks! I'm learning stuff on the way, too. For instance, I totally forgot that when Robby and Tetsujin hoverbike to the SCR Headquarters, Robby remarks "If we ever go out of this, I'd like to go hoverbiking someplace greener. That's a fact." I guess that bit of foreshadowing seals it; it indeed is supposed to be Tetsujin and Robby on the hoverbike at the end.

I've completed all of Stage 3 now, but unfortunately I've hit a snag. I'm using 4DO for writing the walkthrough, since save states are very useful for the task, and for some reason the vehicular levels are glitched in 4DO so that everything but the HUD is black. This was no problem on the first vehicular level since you have to crash on that one, but it seems the other ones have the same glitch. I'm still using 4DO version 1.3.1.0, so I tried downloading the latest version, 1.3.2.3, and it has the same problem. And yet the 4DO Wiki lists the game as having 100% compatibility... Is there some option on 4DO I can toggle to fix this?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:35 pm 
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Martin III wrote:
I've completed all of Stage 3 now, but unfortunately I've hit a snag. I'm using 4DO for writing the walkthrough, since save states are very useful for the task, and for some reason the vehicular levels are glitched in 4DO so that everything but the HUD is black. This was no problem on the first vehicular level since you have to crash on that one, but it seems the other ones have the same glitch. I'm still using 4DO version 1.3.1.0, so I tried downloading the latest version, 1.3.2.3, and it has the same problem. And yet the 4DO Wiki lists the game as having 100% compatibility... Is there some option on 4DO I can toggle to fix this?


...ideas, anyone? There aren't any invincibility codes for the game on either the 3DO Game Guru or GameFAQs, I can't find any playthroughs on Daily Motion or YouTube (which I could have playing while I play that stage so I could see where the obstacles are), and there's no telling when there'll be a version of 4DO which fixes this glitch. The only other thing I can think of is to do the walkthrough using my FZ-1, which would mean starting the game all over again as well as taking a lot longer in general due to having only one save slot at my disposal instead of 4DO's save states. Needless to say, I doubt I'll be able to summon the motivation to do that any time soon.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:13 am 
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Update... At the moment I'm in the midst of replaying Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn for the Wii, but I think I'm finally feeling up to going ahead and finishing this walkthrough the hard way. I plan to get started on it once I finish Radiant Dawn.

Before I do, though, has anyone got any solution for the glitch in 4DO? I'm ready to do the walkthrough using my FZ-1, but being able to use save states makes writing walkthroughs for mazelike games a heckuva lot easier.


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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 11:22 pm 
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Use Phoenix instead? It works fine in that, the only potential issue being that the emulator is in Russian. Viktor is aware of the problem with the game in 4do but that's the only option I know of until it's fixed.


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 11:43 pm 
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Thanks for the suggestion; I hadn't thought of that. Only trouble is... Are 4DO save states or save files compatible with Phoenix saves? Because if not, then I'll have to start the game over again anyway, and I don't want to do that without being certain that Phoenix doesn't have a similar glitch with the game.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:49 am 
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I believe the save files are, as I seem to recall moving PO'ed saves between the two. Doubtful that the save states are.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:16 am 
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Good news. Once I got back going on the walkthrough, I finished up amazingly quickly. It's now up on GameFAQs here. Hope that it's of use to anyone who's gotten stuck in the game!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:21 pm 
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Good job!

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