Battle City: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview
Battle City is the 1985 remake of Tank Battalion, another arcade classic from Namco. Both games are nearly exactly alike, except for the fact that Battle City has drastically improved graphics and a few new features. Battle City was also one of the first games to support dual two player game play.
Battle City was subsequently ported to the Game Boy and the Japanese Famicon home gaming console. A sequel to Battle City, named Tank force, debuted in 1991.
Game Play Overview
In Battle City, players control a roving tank that can blast enemies as well as barriers. A small base situated within the bottom portion of the screen is targeted by enemy tanks. This home base must be protected by players at all times.
The game environment is made up of shrubbery, walls, bodies of water and patches of ice. Some barriers can be traveled around while others can be destroyed. However, it is not always wise to destroy barriers. Sometimes, these barriers can act as a natural barricade for players, preventing enemy tanks from attacking all at once and taking the base by force.
Brick walls make up most of the environment on each screen of Battle City. Brick walls can be broken down after they are hit with four shots. Steel walls are normally unbreakable, unless the player has three star power-ups equipped. Ice patches cause the ground to become somewhat slippery, making it harder for players to use the directional keys accurately.
Bodies of water cannot be traveled over, just around. Water cannot be destroyed. Shrubbery only poses to shroud the visibility of enemy gunfire. Players and enemy tanks can both travel through shrubbery unhindered.
There are 35 levels in Battle City, each with a different number of enemies and a completely unique layout. In addition, enemy tanks come in multiple varieties. All in all, players must defend their bases against a total of 20 tanks on each stage.
Regular enemy tanks do not have any special features, but they can and will fire upon sight. You only need to hit regular tanks once in order to destroy them. These tanks travel at around the same speed as the player tank, and they are worth 100 points each.
Armored tanks require four shots to be defeated. They also move at standard speed. Because they are much more difficult to destroy, it is best to hit them from behind or the side unless a power-up is equipped. Armored tanks are valued at 400 points.
Speed tanks are considered to be the stealthiest enemy group in Battle City. It takes two hits to destroy them, and they can also hunt down players and their home bases substantially faster than other opponents. Blow up speed tanks for 200 points a piece.
Although they do not pose much of a threat until the latter portion of the game, power tanks can send twice as many shots at players as other tanks. This also gives them the ability to destroy barriers quickly. Hit power tanks once in order to destroy them, and earn 300 points.
Power-ups are another element in Battle City that players can pick up to give them special abilities. Collecting them also gives players 500 points. In order to activate a power-up, keep your eyes peeled for flashing enemy tanks. Whenever a flashing enemy tank appears, there will be a power-up somewhere on the screen. Power-ups consist of the time power-up, the helmet power-up, the grenade power-up, the star power-up, the shovel power-up, the tank power-up and an extra life power-up.
When the time power-up is active, all enemy tanks freeze in place. This allows players to take them out without risk of being hit. The helmet power-up makes players momentarily invincible. If the grenade power-up is activated, the screen will immediately be cleared of all foes.
The star power-up is considered to be the most desirable special feature in Battle City. The player tank can be equipped with as many as three star power-ups at a time, with each new icon giving players additional powers. The first star power-up causes player tanks to shoot in rapid succession. After the second star power-up is activated, you will be given dual shooting capabilities, causing two bullets to fly out of the player tank at the same time. The third and final star power-up lets players break down steel walls that are normally unbreakable.
When players reach a score of 20K, an additional life is given.
Home base – This is the icon at the bottom of the screen that players have to guard from enemy attacks. When home base is destroyed, turn is lost.
Enemy tanks – There are four different types of enemy tanks, and all are on a mission to destroy players and their home bases.
Barriers – Barriers can prevent you from accessing certain portions of the screen or act as a temporary hindrance.
Power-ups – Pick up power-ups to give the player tank special abilities. Some power-ups allow you to be equipped with multiple powers at the same time.
How to Play Battle City
At the start of Battle City, shots from enemy tanks won’t affect you. However, this will soon wear off. Every board has a unique layout, and it is up to each individual player to figure out a strategy that will allow them to prevent opponents from making it to home base. A total of 20 enemy tanks will attack during each stage, and when they are all eliminated you can move on.
Barriers such as brick and steel walls will keep opposing tanks from taking a direct path toward you, but this can quickly change. As you and your enemies exchange fire, barriers will break down. It is important that you position your tank offensively so that you do not take hits from the side or the rear. In other words, use the directional keys to face all oncoming enemies.
Each level will include a different combination of the four enemy groups. This will make some stages more challenging than others. Know which enemies you will face in order to develop an effective plan.
The first level in Battle City includes 18 regular tanks as well as two fast tanks. Most of the stage is made up of brick walls arranged into neat columns. There will also be a few small areas made up of steel walls. Enemy tanks always come in from the top of the screen, so you will have an idea of how they will approach.
As soon as existing enemies have been destroyed, new ones will be generated and take their place. Do not let the fast tanks on this stage take you by surprise. Expect them to quickly approach you while firing simultaneously. Try shooting them from the side.
This level includes two armored tanks, four fast tanks and fourteen regular tanks. Shrubbery, brick walls and steel walls will help to prevent enemies from immediately attacking home base. Approach the armored tank with caution as they require more shots than other opponents. Take out all 20 enemies in order to move on.
Two large areas of shrubbery will make it difficult for you to see where your enemies are on this level. Try to stay out of the shrubbery when they are coming toward you. In between the 14 regular tanks, a small number of more power enemies will also attack. Players will encounter fast tanks for the first time, with four of them appearing on this stage. Two armored tanks will also attack.
Stage 4 will be a little more difficult because of the unique barrier layout. A small clearing will be present in the middle of a structure made up of brick walls. Two bodies of water on either side of the screen will also serve as a minor hindrance. Blast a hole on the far left side of the brick wall structure if you want to attack tanks coming from the top of the screen. Be warned that some tanks will travel to the right side, and they will attack home base if you allow them to make it to the bottom.
Three armored tanks, five fast tanks, two regular tanks and ten power tanks are the enemies you will face. As long as you do not destroy a large portion of the brick wall structure, they will only have two ways to get to the bottom of the board, on either side of the screen.
A number of bodies of water will help to keep opponents from getting to home base. However, these bodies of water will also limit your paths. Irregularly shaped brick and steel walls will give you some protection.
Take out the eight regular tanks, five power tanks, two armored tanks, eight armored tanks and five tanks to make it off of this level unscathed.
Even though there is a great deal of shrubbery wedged between brick and steel walls, this level is relatively easy to complete. Nine basic tanks, seven power tanks, two armored tanks and two fast tanks will generate at the top of the screen. Hide behind walls and take them out until they are all destroyed.
Level 7 is made up entirely of steel walls and shrubbery. Move around and change your position often in order to shoot down passing enemy tanks. Six power tanks, four fast tanks, three basic tanks and seven regular tanks make up the enemies on this stage.
Water proves to be both a friend and a foe on stage 8. Two rows of water with two narrow gaps in between work to control the ways that your enemies can attack. There will also be a few steel walls, and many brick walls. In order for you to destroy enemy tanks, you will need to eliminate at least a couple of areas of brick walls.
Four fast tanks, seven power tanks, seven regular tanks and two armored tanks will need to be destroyed prior to moving on.
There will be two wide paths on this level, one on the right and another on the left. A smaller, narrower path will be present between two columns of steel walls and shrubbery. Between these two columns, there will be an even smaller path that will go directly to home base. Expect enemies to travel through the shrubbery in order to get to your base.
The steel walls will work to your advantage, but the shrubbery will partially block your view. Protect home base from the seven power tanks, four fast tanks, three armored tank and six regular tanks in order to win stage 9.
Apart from the massive brick wall structure, there isn’t too much to worry about. Just above home base is a large stretch of shrubbery. You do not want to let any enemy tanks enter this area as it will be difficult to defend.
Keep the two armored tanks, twelve regular tanks, four power tanks and two fast tanks at bay by shooting small holes into the brick walls. This will help to restrict their movements.
Shrubbery encompasses the center of level 11 as well as part of the sides. Around the shrubbery are a few areas of brick walls. Take on the four power tanks, six armored tanks, five regular tanks and five fast tanks by shooting from the sides. You can position your tank behind any one of the several steel walls present.
Three separate bodies of water appear toward the middle. They will be useful for protecting home base against the eight power tanks, six armored tanks and six fast tanks on level 12. There will also be large areas of open space on the bottom portion of the screen, so be cautious.
The innermost part of level 13 is filled with shrubbery, with two small steel walls situated directly above and below. Various brick walls accented by steel walls make up the remainder of the board. This gives the eight fast tanks, four armored tanks and eight power tanks several winding paths to get to players as well as the home back. Stop them by moving into one of the corners and firing shots toward the sides of enemy tanks.
A massive skull shaped obstacle made of bricks and shrubbery sits directly in the center of the screen. Two bodies of water create two narrow paths on the right and left sides of the skull structure. Brick and steel walls give players a good hiding spot to take down the six armored tanks, ten power tanks and four fast tanks that will attempt to reach the home base.
This board has lots of shrubbery, which will make it difficult for you to tell where enemies are, or where their bullets are originating from. Eight armored tanks, two regular tanks and ten fast tanks will move through the shrubbery and down the screen. Destroy all 20 enemies on this level to proceed.
Between large and small blocks of shrubbery, level 16 contains vast open spaces. Players can choose to attack the two armored tanks, sixteen regular tanks and two fast tanks directly at the point where they generate, or they can take a defensive position behind brick and steel walls.
Three big blocks made up of steel walls will constrict the places where enemy tanks can travel. There will be fewer places for you to position the player tank, which makes this stage a little more challenging. In total, two fast tanks, eight power tanks, two armored tanks and eight basic tanks will be present.
Four interconnected steel and brick squares are arranged in a step-like pattern. Since only brick walls can be cleared, you will need to find a single area to concentrate on. This will allow you to prevent the eight fast tanks, four armored tanks, six power tanks and two regular tanks from coming in at multiple points.
Stage 19 present the first extremely difficult board that players encounter. From the layout of barriers to the types of enemies that attack, this board will require both patience as well as multiple power-ups. Pay attention to flashing tanks so that you can go directly to the active power-up.
There will be four regular banks, four power tanks, eight armored tanks and four power tanks for players to do battle with.
A winding body of water with three gaps will separate this stage into two halves. On the left side, there is home base, an area of shrubbery and brick and steel walls. On the right side of the water, the point where enemy tanks generate, barriers and another wooded area will exist. Each of the eight fast tanks, eight armored tanks, two regular tanks and two power tanks will have to pass through a gap in the water.
Try to direct opponents through one of the two upper gaps. This will help to steer them away from the shrubbery, giving players a better vantage point.
Players will have to shoot sizable areas of brick walls and travel through expanses of shrubbery in order to beat this level. Although it will be difficult for enemies to easily get to home base, they will have two different ways in which to immediately attack players.
Fight the six regular tanks, two fast tanks, four armored tanks and eight power tanks and protect home base.
Shrubbery surrounds every brick and steel wall on level 22. Additionally, home base will be extremely vulnerable from the stage of this stage. You will need every power-up available in order to successfully defeat the two power tanks, eight fast tanks, six regular tanks and four armored tanks here.
An eagle shaped obstruction made of shrubbery, steel walls and two blocks of brick walls takes up most of the middle of the screen. Enemy tanks can either choose to go straight through the shrubbery or take a path to the side. Move defensively in order to shoot down the four power tanks, ten fast tanks and six armored tanks.
Opposing forces will have no choice but to attack from the left side of the board as a huge block of steel walls takes up approximately 1/3 of the screen. It is in your best interest to avoid shooting the brick walls to the left of the screen as they will help to keep enemies from having more room to attack.
Four power tanks, four fast tanks, two armored tanks and ten basic tanks shoot at players on stage 24.
There will be ten armored tanks, eight fast tanks and two power tanks. They will travel between a series of randomly placed steel and brick walls. This is a level where you want to be very precise with your shooting.
Level 26 looks more difficult than it actually is. Stay out of the wooded areas and use the brick and steel walls to block enemy gunfire from harming you. Use strategic locations to take down the four regular tanks, six armored tanks, six fast tanks and four power tanks that will appear.
The connected rows and columns of steel walls will direct enemies through shrubbery, and the will travel mainly to the right. Be cautious about attacking the eight fast tanks, two power tanks, eight armored tanks and two regular tanks at the top as you will only have two ways to escape.
The barriers on stage 28 are arranged to take on the appearance of a house. Home base will be protected by a thick area of steel walls, but your enemies will quickly break down this protection.
A total of fifteen regular tanks, one armored tank, two fast tanks and two power tanks will enter the screen.
Six bodies of water make it hard for players to reach certain points of the board. Large wooded area will camouflage the four fast tanks, six armored tanks and ten power tanks determined to destroy players and home base. Stay away from shrubbery in order to avoid getting hit with enemy gunfire.
Consisting mainly of shrubbery, players should choose a place to position their tanks and gun down all enemies. Let the four regular tanks, four power tanks, for armored tanks and eight fast tanks do all of the work by shooting small gaps in the brick and steel walls. From there, you will know exactly where your opponents will go next.
Multiple rectangular shaped bodies of water will have the six armored tanks, three power tanks, three regular tanks and eight power tanks weaving through the screen. You can use a sniper styled strategy to defeat them all.
Your opponents will have to blast through a field of brick walls in order to get to the home base. In the meantime, collect power-ups and pick off the four fast tanks, six regular tanks, two power tanks and eight armored tanks seen here.
There will be few areas for player tanks to hide without risk of taking hits. An aggressive game plan that includes gathering power-ups works best on level 33. There are four power tanks, four regular tanks, four fast tanks and eight armored tanks on this level.
This stage contains only brick wall barriers. You will have to shoot all six armored tanks, ten fast tanks and four power tanks in order to move on.
Surprisingly level 35 is not that hard to beat. Among your enemies will be four power tanks, ten armored tanks and six fast tanks. A few brick will have to be shot before home base becomes at risk. Equip the player tank with power-ups whenever possible in order to more easily eliminate your foes.
Hints and Tips
- Make a beeline for power-ups as soon as you see a flashing enemy tank. You can also count tanks in order to anticipate when the next power-up will become available. The fourth, eleventh and eighteen enemy vehicles on each stage will flash, and one power-up will appear as soon as they enter the screen.
- Always attack from the side and move the player tank defensively. Even if you are dealing with a regular enemy tank, it is easy to lose a turn when being shot from the side or behind.
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