Completed all 49 levels in hard mode with 5 lives remaining (score 4877).
I put two maxed-out anti-aircraft guns right in the middle. Very convenient how the planes always fly over that same spot every time.
Blizzard towers can roughly double the effectiveness of all other units in the area - including anti-aircraft guns. (Except they have no effect against the pink guys, who are immune.) I put one blizzard tower near each entrance, and one in the middle right next to the anti-aircraft guns.
I don't bother with the final upgrade from pellet tower 5 to sniper tower. Yeah, the sniper has more damage, but fires less than half as often. I don't think it's worth the price. For max damage, I prefer the dart cannons which become ICBM towers. If they hit a cluster of targets they can damage multiple targets - very useful when you're being inundated there at the end. By endgame I had about twelve of these maxed out, placed towards the middle of the board (but they've got huge range).
If you can survive the air assault in level 48 - great. You don't need the anti-aircraft any more. Sell it off (yes, really, I know it cost an arm and a leg, but it's useless now) and buy as many ICBM's as you can.
Against the final two bosses, I don't think there's any way you could have enough firepower to kill them as they through the maze in one pass. Unless you keep moving the walls around a little bit to keep them going in circles indefinitely. It's a bit tedious, but it works. I did this on one of the earlier levels too for the red (fast) bosses, though that one only required a couple repetitions.
If anyone manages to kill off the two green bosses - the planes - at level 42, I'd like to hear how. Even in normal mode they seem unstoppable. From the high scores, it seems a couple people did manage it in hard mode. Hunh.
I don't bother with the final upgrade from pellet tower 5 to sniper tower. Yeah, the sniper has more damage, but fires less than half as often. I don't think it's worth the price. For max damage....
These things have upgrades?!?!? All I did was setup a really tight zig-zaging guantlet, until I ran out of places to put stuff... Near the end, I had tons of money to buy stuff and no place to put them...
I cant decide on what towers to use up front. I think I ll go with those dart towers coupled with freeze towers, follow this up with some squirts and then use some cheap pellets. Will post a screen shot later.
Eric, you are an evil bastard. That game sucked up about 25 hours of my life and screwed up my sleep!
Jim, I was fully prepared to let the boss flyers go by, but I kept losing near the end and I kept needing a slightly different strategy. On my last round, those two died while flying over!
I think the important notes are to use the squirt guns maxed out. In that last leap of 290 coin, you get a lot more bang for the buck and you get better range.
If you are gonna use the darts, again, go all the way - the best bang for the buck is at the end.
Same for the cooling tower. In fact, when I put one of those in, I jack it up to full blast right away.
Almost everything on the right hand of the screen I put in on the last level or two. At the very end I just had the two big boss things winding their way through. So I just kept updating all of the pellet guns on the right so that I wouldn't take anything else offline.
Holy **** ! What the hell is this ? What a mixture ! You are the Boss here.
Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Ah, it turns out that yes, in normal mode it is possible to down the green bosses of level 42. I still can't do it in hard mode though. Those things are just too tough.
Here's a screen shot just before the end of my last normal-mode game:
Final score on that game was 5768, all 20 lives remaining.
And this is from my last game in hard mode:
Final score was 5253, 17 lives remaining.
I keep using the same basic layout, but I vary where I put some of the units. In that last game I didn't use squirt guns at all - worked surprisingly well. ICBMs are better against ground units, and anti-aircraft is better against planes. The squirt guns have an annoying tendency to keep firing at ground units when there are planes flying overhead, which is generally not what I want.
Originally posted by Eric Pascarello: I was so close to beating normal without loosing any lifes. I have not tried the fun levels yet.
Wow. I just did it. Wasn't trying to do it. I just wanted to see what would happen if I mainly used the really expensive squirt guns, with a few freeze towers.
Joined: Jan 30, 2000
I'm not sure if it's gotten harder, but it is different - more varied. The new towers are fun, but ultimately I seem to get better value out of my usual combination of darts, anti-sircraft, and freeze towers. The new creeps are a pain, the way they keep slipping through diagonal gaps. I experimented with several alternate layouts, but none seemed to work as well as the thin diagonal passages I'd used previously. The new creeps just forced me to develop the backfield earlier than I had previously. I.e. assume they will get through some cracks, but have enough additional layers in place that there's still time to kill them off before they reach their goals.
The reason it not necessarily harder, in my opinion, is because they no longer have those flying bosses at level 42. Which is kind of disappointing because I did eventually figure out how to kill them in hard mode in the earlier version of the game. But given that they no longer enter in nice even lines, maybe it's just as well the air bosses were removed. Killing them in hard mode was only possible with very careful positioning - and if the air boss came in at a random position, as seems the norm now, I think it would be very chancy whether the AA guns were in the right position or not. Replacing the air bosses with a squadron is fairer, as we get an averaging-out of the random effects of entry position. Ultimately the total anti-air power necessary to defeat the squadron at level 49 is about the same as was required to defeat the old air bosses at level 42. So maybe it's about the same difficulty as before.
I notice that the score is reduced a bit every time you sell off a unit. That's annoying. I think this was probably also true in the earlier version of the game, but not documented. The amount of the reduction increases the more times you do it, so the first time you sell something, it subtracts 6 from your score. Then 8, 10... I would do a lot of moving things around. Now I discover it's penalized. Oh well. Ultimately I'm more interested in getting to the end with all 20 lives; I don't care that much about the score.
Actually, the solution is very consistent. With the very rare case of a swarm creep jumping a line near the beginning, or a flying creep getting by -- most of the time, I finish it with all 20 lives.
Unfortunately, it is also a really *boring* solution. The maze is pretty much built near the beginning. No selling of any towers. No moving towers around. Just waiting for enough gold to upgrade the towers in the middle.
I also wish that the old version was still around. It would have been nice to see how this solution would have worked.
I found this one to be easier. Scored around 6200 max. Didnt like the fact that selling was penalized. The bash towers were pretty cool. I still cant decide between using expensive squirts all together and using one or two expensive squirts, two maxed darts and freeze and 4 swarms. I found the latter more beneficial so far. Still experimenting.
After a bit of tweaking, (by order of upgrading and placing) it will work 90 percent of the time with 20 lives. On small occasions, it will let one flying guy through -- although I have not seen this happen in a while.
Interestingly, this doesn't work well in easy mode. There just aren't enough creeps to get enough gold to build it up to the point that can handle some of the bosses. To do easy mode, I have another maze, using only pellet towers, that works 100 percent of the time, with 20 lives.
Unfortunately, I will be too busy for the next week or so, to play with this more... but upon trying this a few times, on hard, it doesn't seem to work. I just can't seem to build up the initial maze quick enough to handle some of the eariler rounds.
The goal was to make it to the end with an army of the cheapest guns. I made it to level 49 with 20 lives 3 times and was slaughtered every time by planes and the fast bosses. With this one I gave in and maxed out an anti air craft tower in the center. Even with that maxed out I barely made it.
Originally posted by Eric Pascarello: I can not beat the spawn boss in the medium level. Any hints?
Some replacing of towers is required to get this guy. The spawn boss lasts even after the final pinkies are all out so I would suggest concentrating the maxed squirts and maxed freezes on the center with one maxed out dart. Make the boss roam around for a while and BANG ! Got my score up to 6500 with 18 lives on my last try