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Megablasters Title

Secret Levels

Once you've won a game what is the two things that make you go back over and over again? First, a simple and addictive gameplay. Second, hidden gadgets.

With Megablasters I was sure that I already had the one thing, but not the other. I never had any doubt that I would add a lot of secrets to the game Megablasters, but what would make these secrets special enough so that the players would take the time to play the game again and again until they've found every one of them?

In Wolfenstein 3D there was a hidden level in which you ran through a Pacman labyrinth and were hunted by the Pacman ghosts. I found this idea very appealing. Thus I figured that adding secret levels that featured enemies and graphics from a lot of different CPC games would make these hidden levels more interesting and the searching for them worthwhile.

As soon as I had this idea I already knew a number of games that I wanted to incorporate into Megablasters: Fruity Frank, Gauntlet, Sokoban and Lady Bug. For the remaining secret levels I had to go look for suitable games which had enemies and backgrounds in approximately the correct sizes for Megablasters.

Converting the gameplay of these games wasn't always easy and sometimes I had to omit a few things, but all in all I'm still happy with this idea and with the conversions of the classic games.

Some of the ideas I had unfortunately didn't make it to Megablasters. For example I wanted to include "Oh Mummy" and "Boulder Dash" as well, but I ran out of space on the disc and on Worlds to which I could have added these secret levels.

Besides these "regular" secret levels there are three special ones. The secret level in the Forest of Delusion is hidden in a very unusual spot and instead of a classic game it presents a text screen telling you an important secret on how to defend yourself against Cobron.

In the Secret World "The Castle in the Sky" there is the Super Secret level, which also features a text telling you where to find the weapon with which you can destroy Cobron.

Last but not least there is the Top Secret Level in the first encounter with Cobron. In this level you will be able to acquire the ACME bomb with which you can destroy Cobron.

These three special Secret Levels were meant expand the gameplay by adding the hints on how to win the game and extend the story board of the game by adding some more extra twists to the story.

Besides these Secret Levels there is a whole Secret World that cannot be accessed regularly by entering a World access code or by winning the regular worlds in order to advance to this world. The entrance to this Secret World was hidden somewhere in the game. You'll find more information on this on the page of the Secret World here.

Due to some thoughtlessness while programming the game, entrances to the Secret Levels could only be placed on the right or bottom border of the playing area. The top and the left border were out of range for the characters, since 1/ 1 location was the first field in the playing area and the characters couldn't move beneath this position.

So most of the entrances to the Secret Levels are hidden either in the right or bottom border of the playing area. There are two exceptions to this rule, but more on these when their time comes.

Following is a list of all the Secret Levels and how to get to them...

World: Box of Toys (Rookie World) Name: Lady Bug/ Lady Tuut
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
The Secret Level in the first world can be found in Level 5 of the world. It is hidden in the bottom right corner of the playing field (see image #1). You can enter it by walking right into the wall.

Sometimes a T-Rex or a Tank will walk/ drive into the entrance of the Secret Level when he is deflected by an obstacle or a bomb. There is no danger in that, though. The enemy won't be able to close the entrance to the Secret Level, he just uncovers it.

This first Secret Level features a for Amstrad CPC users mostly unknown game called "Lady Bug" (also known as "Lady Tuut", see image #2). I knew this game from the Atari 800 XL as well as from the C64. I always wanted to port it to the CPC, because I liked the idea, but I never had the times (besides this cameo in Megablasters).

Lady Bug Secret Level
Image #2: The Lady Bug Secret Level
The aim of this game is to collect all treasures and the level key to open the door at the bottom right corner of the screen. The snakes and crabs in the labyrinth are trying to stop you.

You cannot defend yourself with weapons (because you don't have any), but you can use the revolving doors to trap your enemies or at least prevent them from getting to you. Just wait till a crab or snake comes close to a door and then twist it to seal off a part of the labyrinth, so that you can collect the treasure undisturbed (see image #3).
Revolving Doors
Image #3: Opening a part of the labyrinth
with a revolving door

World: Village People (World #1) Name: Pac Man
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
In the second World you'll meet some old acquaintances: Shadow, Blinky, Whimsy and Pokey from Pac Man in the Pac Man Secret Level.

The entrance to this Secret Level is on the right border of Level 2. A long horizontal aisle is leading the way to the entrance (see image #1).

In the Pac Man Secret Level (see image #2) you'll have to follow a classic script of video games: Eat the pills and avoid the four ghosts roaming through the labyrinth. In contrast to the original Pac Man arcade game (or any of the various CPC ports) you cannot eat the ghosts after eating a power pill. In the Megablasters cameo when you pick up a power pill you'll get a time limited invulnerability to the ghosts (like having a shield in the regular Megablasters levels).
Pac Man Secret Level
Image #2: The Pac Man Secret Level

World: Great Plains (World #2) Name: Astro Attack
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
In the second world the entrance to the Secret Level is hidden in right border of the level (see image #1). Chances are high that a mole will uncover the entrance to this Secret Level, so most Megablasters players have found it I guess.

This time you will encounter a classic Amsoft CPC game: Astro Attack.

In Astro Attack (se image #2) you just have to destroy all the invading alien ships. You can shoot these ships with your missile cannon, but hitting them isn't this easy. Randomly appearing laser barriers will block your way as well as the way of your missiles.

Besides that, one of the Space Ships shoots back at you! So your goal is to avoid the Enemy shots and the laser barrier and to shoot the alien space ships with your missiles. That's all there is to do. Good luck!
A Space Ships shoots
Image #2: The Astro Attack Space ship
shoots at you!

World: Forest of Delusion (World #3) Name: Disillusion
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
In the Forest of Delusion you will encounter the first special Secret Level - if you can find the very well hidden entrance to this level. You might accidentally stumble over the entrance (or you use this guide to find it): it is hidden in one of the "Common Ground Twats" in Level 2 (see image #1).

When you enter this level you will face a very disillusioning message by the programmer (see image #2):

"Important Message from Odiesoft.

This secret level was stolen by the sorcerer Cobron, because in this stage you would have gained the super weapon with which you can destroy him. Without this weapon, you cannot win!

Hi guys, here is Cobron!

Even if you can get past my monsters, without this super weapon you do not stand a chance against me. It would be better for you to give up and return home. This is not a war for civilians! Ha Ha Ha Ha"
Unfortunate message
Image #2: An unfortunate message for our heroes!

World: Bog of Eternal Stench (World #4) Name: Sokoban
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
After such a disappointing message in the last Secret Level you will find a real treat for your logic thinking abilities in the Bog of Eternal Stench. In the top right corner of Level 3 (see image #1) is the entrance to the local Secret Level: Skoban.

In the Sokoban Level you don't have to defeat any monsters or collect treasures. Instead you have to tidy up the place. That is, you'll have to put all the crates in this level to the designated area on the bottom of the playing field (see image #2). But be careful, you can only push the crates, but not pull them. So if you've pushed a crate in to a corner or a dead end you won't be able to move it again. Once you've pushed a crate it will keep moving until it hits a wall or another crate. You have to think very carefully about every step you take, because one false move will end this game!

Sokoban Secret Level
Image #2: The Sokoban Secret Level
You have 160 seconds time to push all the 8 crates into the gray area. If your time runs out before you've fulfilled your goal or when you've had to wait till the time runs out, because you've pushed a crate into a dead end, the Secret Level will be over and you won't get an extra life.

World: City Lights (World #5) Name: Fruity Frank
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
The Secret Level in the fifth world is hidden in the bottom left corner of the first level (see image #1).

In this Secret Level you will find yourself in a colorful Amstrad CPC classic game and all-time-favorite of many CPC users: Fruity Frank (see image #2)!

In the Fruity Frank Secret Level you have to collect all the fruit on the screen and try to avoid the hideous plum and the stupid "nose dudes". Contrary to the original Fruity Frank game you cannot move around completely unrestricted. Due to technical reasons the grid layout of the original Megablasters levels couldn't be bypassed, thus you can only walk into every other aisle. But this drawback of course also applies to your enemies.

Fruity Frank Secret Level
Image #2: The Fruity Frank Secret Level
Anyway you'll have to dig your way through the background to get to the different fruits. To defend yourself against the plum and the "nosedude" you can drop apples that will fall down all the way to the bottom or until they hit an obstacle (see image #3). You can only drop one apple at a time, so be careful when throwing an apple that there aren't any other enemies around that could still touch you, while you try to kill one of his fellows.

But don't wast too much time on killing the "nosedudes", since every time you kill one, a new "nosedude" will come out of the hole in the center of the screen. Just try to collect all the fruits as fast as possible to leave this level.
Fruity Frank Secret Level
Image #3: Dropping apples on "nosedudes"

World: Frosty Feet (World #6) Name: Pingo
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
In the ice world "Frosty Feet" the entrance to the Secret Level is hidden in Level 2 on the top right border of the level (see image #1).

This time you will find yourself in another often-copied classic arcade game: Pingo (see image #2)

In Pingo you'll have to kill some monsters who are out to get you. You cannot shoot or fight. The only thing you can do is push ice-blocks across the screen, trying to hit your enemies with the blocks. If an ice-block hits a wall or another ice-block it will burst. So be careful: every time you miss your target, you will loose an ice-block – that is, you will have one round of ammunition less!

Pingo Secret Level
Image #2: Killing Ice-Monsters in the Pingo Secret Level
Actually the Pingo level is the only level in Megablasters (that I know of) in which you can run into a dead end! If you've wasted all your ice-blocks without killing all the ice-monsters on the screen you won't have any possibility to leave this level alive!

But that shouldn't happen too often, since killing the ice-monsters isn't very hard anyway. I think I've made this Secret Level even a little too easy to win. Well anyway, the secret levels are meant to be entertaining, not frustrating (not counting the Sokoban Level, which is a little too hard, I think).

World: Castle in the Clouds (Secret World) Name: Salvation
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
The Secret World wouldn't be complete without a Secret Level. Since you're already in the Secret World it isn't just a normal Secret Level you can discover on the bottom of Level three, it's the "Super Secret Level". (see image #1)

In this Super Secret Level you won't have to fight any enemies or collect treasures. Instead you will receive another message by the programmer, that will give you more information on the stolen Secret Level from World #3:

"Hello guys, here is Odiesoft.

Image #2: An important message from Odiesoft
I am glad to meet you, because I have made an important discovery! I have found out where Cobron keeps the Secret Level he has stolen. He hides it right beneath his filthy heart!

But be careful, not only the way into this Secret Level is dangerous! Cobron has put a spell on it and it will not be easy to gain the Super Weapon!

Now go and bring back peace and freedom to the land!"

World: Cave Mania (World #7) Name: Roland in Time
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
If you have succeeded to reach level 4 in the seventh world, you will be able to discover the entrance to the local Secret Level on the right border of the screen (image #1).

There you will encounter another classic Amsoft game: Roland in Time.

Roland in Time is probably the first game most CPC users ever had at that time. A demo of Roland in Time was distributed with any CPC 664 and 6128 as well as on the Demo Disc of the FDD-1 Disc Station for the CPC 464.

In Roland in Time you fly around from level to level in a phone booth. After exiting the phone booth you had to collect all the time gems in the level before you could leave again. Of course some guards, alien animals and guards tried to prevent you from stealing – sorry, I meant collecting – the gems.

Roland in Time
Image #2: Roland in Time Cameo in Megablasters
In the Megablasters cameo you also have to collect the gems and avoid the guards that move to and fro in this level. You cannot defend yourself by any means, so you just have to try not to get touched by the guards (which is actually possible with every guard!). After you've collected all the gems, you have to get to the phone booth to leave the level.

By the way, Roland in Time already had a cameo appearance in a different game some years before Megablasters: in Sorcery+

World: Volcano of Doom (World #8) Name: Gauntlet
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
In the Volcano of Doom world you'll find one of my most favorite games in the Secret Level: Gauntlet (image #2).

The entrance to this Secret Level is right in the first level of this world. The tricky thing of getting to it is, that you have to make sure that not all the enemies are killed before you get to the entrance of the Secret Level. Since the enemies kill each other this task isn't easily achieved. You have to stop the Water Drops and Fire Monsters from meeting one another by blocking their way with some bombs. Then you have to clear the way to the entrance by blowing away all the lava blocks on the top right square of the playing area (image #1).

In the Gauntlet Secret Level your aim is to get to the exit (top left corner of the playing area) and avoid being touched by the enemies, who come out of tents and heaps of bones.

Gauntlet Secret Level
Image #2: The Gauntlet Secret Level
You can defend yourself by throwing axes at the guards and ghosts (image #3), which will disappear once they're being hit. Unless you destroy the respective generators new monsters will appear ad infinitum. So after clearing the way of monsters the next thing you should destroy are the tents and heaps of bones.

Besides that you can collect various extra items like chests containing gold, keys, food and a potion to get an invulnerability to the enemies.

Gauntlet is a classic arcade game by Atari and has seen many imitations in the arcades, on home computers and lately especially on video game systems (search for Gauntlet legends and Gauntlet Dark Legacy on the Internet). The best CPC clones include "Druid", "Druid 2" and "Rana Rama", among the worst are "Mr. Weems and the She Vampyres" and "Ninja Massacre"
Throwing an axe
Image #3: Throwing an axe at a guard

World: Dark Castle (World #9) Name: Anarchy
Entrance to Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Secret Level
In the 9th world there are actually two Secret Levels, a regular one and the Secret Level that was stolen by Cobron. The entrance to the first is in the bottom border of Level 3 in the Dark Castle (image #1), the latter is in the Final Level of the Dark Castle (see below).

In the last regular Secret Level of Megablasters you will face a less popular game from the Amstrad CPC - though the title song was very popular, probably due to the fact, that Thriller used it in one of his parts in the Terrific Demo. Anyway the game is called Anarchy and the aim of the game is to shoot all the blue and pink colored blocks.

That doesn't sound had, but the crux with this assignment is, that you have to stand at least one field away to shoot a block. If you stand right in front of it, you cannot shoot the block.

Besides that there are some weird enemies in the labyrinth around you. They move around slowly, block your way or even kill you, when they touch you! If you shoot at these enemies they will transform into blinking crosses that you can pass by unharmed. But beware they only stay in this form for a limited amount of time.

Once you've shot all the blocks an exit will appear and you can leave this level.
Anarchy Secret Level
Image #2: In the Anarchy Secret Level

World: Dark Castle (World #9) Name: ACME Bomb
Entrance to Top Secret Level
Image #1: Entrance to the Top Secret Level
As stated above there are two Secret Levels in the 9th world. Besides the regular Secret Level there is the level that Cobron stole from the Forest of Delusion. As you probably know from the Super Secret Level at the Castle in the Clouds World, the ACME bomb without which you cannot defeat Cobron is hidden in this level.

Fortunately Cobron still has this Secret Level on him, or should I rather say in him... Cobron has the Secret Level in the inside pocket of his coat - you'll have to crawl into the coat to find the entrance to this Secret Level (see image #1). For all people with a weird fantasy: walking into the coat of Cobron isn't meant to be some sort of gay fantasy!

Cobron's evil magic has transformed the original Secret Level into a world without light an where the laws of physics are a little bent (image #2). The invisible labyrinth is constantly changing its shape, new corridors open up, others close and the items you need to collect are changing places all the time!

In the Invisible Labyrinth
Image #2: In the Invisible Labyrinth
First you need to find a torch to make some light, so that you can see at least a small part of the alternating labyrinth. But the torch item also hops around like a mad bunny. Once it has settled down in a new spot you only have little time to get to it.

Once you've picked up the torch you will at least have a little light around you, so that you can see one field in each of all four directions (image #3). Now you only have to follow the same procedure to catch the ACME bomb item and then you're ready to give Cobron a good going over!

Some hints: actually this level is rather easy to solve. The changing labyrinth is a hard nut to crack, but you don't really need to crack this nut anyway! Since the position in which the item is going to appear next is selected absolutely randomly without any reference to the current position of either player you just have to wait until the items emerges right in front of you. This works for both, the torch as well as for the ACME bomb.

I thought about making this level a little harder. Either by adding a time limit in which you'll have to find both, the torch and the bomb. And/ or by having the computer choose a new position for the item that is far away from either player. But on the other hand I didn't wanted to make the final level too frustrating for the players. Since they've come this far I thought it would be mean to unnecessarily exacerbate their way to the final victory.

The Torch provides some light
Image #3: The torch provides some light
Even though some people claim that Megablasters is too hard it was won on the first night after its release on the Odiesoft Party 1 in April 1994. It was quite a disappointment to me when everybody was rounding up around the computer where ACB and Iceman had defeated Cobron and were watching the ending sequence. Admittedly they had won the game in the easy mode.

I probably should have made the ending sequence only appear when the game was won in the hard mode and have a message telling this appear at the end of the three other difficulty levels. But then the gamers probably would have hated me! On the other hand, with Street Fighter II (on the SNES) this approach worked pretty well, as far as I can remember.

Besides that with the access codes for the individual worlds I have done the CPC gamers a great service - but somehow I have the feeling that a lot of the gamers weren't aware of the existence of the World Access Codes. In an exhaustive Internet research I have found a number of pages with the codes for invulnerability and for the Secret Music Menu, but not a single page with any of the World Access Codes. Maybe this ignorance was also the reason why the reviewer of CPC Game Reviews claimed that the game was too hard - reading the manual (supposing that the game was bought) sometimes is a good idea.

Cheat, Level Codes and hidden Music Menu

Cheat mode activated
Watch the bottom of the screen: "Cheat Mode active"
Besides all the Secret Levels and the Secret World there are still some more things to be discovered in Megablasters: A cheat mode and a hidden Music Menu!

The cheat mode is meant for these people for whom the World codes and the nine lives in the Easy Mode are not enough to succeed in their quest. But other players can also use it for example to finally find all the Secret Levels and the Secret World or to have all the time they need to admire Rex' graphics without being killed by all those colorful critters in the playing arena...

To activate the cheat mode you just have to type the characters of the name of a dear friend of mine on the Megablasters title screen (the one with the menu): “J”, “E”, “N”, “N” and “Y”. Then a small red text reading “Cheat Mode On” should appear at the bottom of the screen.

Hidden Music Menue
Hidden Music Menue
Additional to this unlimited lives cheat mode there is a hidden Music Menu in which you can enjoy the Music scores from all the 11 worlds, the start and the end sequences without having to play each world. Besides that this hidden Music Menu is the only chance for 64 kb users to listen to the ingame music – during the game their CPCs just don't have enough memory to satisfy the needs of this storage hungry two player mayhem.

To get to this secret Music Menu you'll have to type the characters “M”, “U”, “S”, “I” and “C” during the Megablasters title screen. Then you can access the different sounds by pressing the according key on the keyboard. To get back to the main menu press the “ESC” key.
World codes

You can enter almost all worlds with a special 8 character long world code. To enter one of these codes you need to go to the Options screen on the Megablasters main page and then go to the Enter Password option. There you are asked to type in any of the nine codes you'll get during the game to access the according world.

The codes for the worlds are:

There is no code for the Secret World!
There is no code for the Secret World!
World # NameCode
0Rookie WorldNo code necessary
1Village PeopleIUHIAVLX
2Great PlainsSYYMCXLC
3Forest of DelusionCHCMIILF
4Bog of eternal StenchSKRJKQWJ
5City LightsDDWIEGGG
6Frosty FeetJPXAKHXR
8Volcano of DoomAMKVQRHP
9Dark CastleFTSXEDTW
SecretThe Castle in the Clouds Not available


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last updated on Thursday, December 25. 2003 by Odiesoft

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