Time Pilot '84 - Enemies

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The enemies in Time Pilot '84 are plentiful. Some enemies change their appearance each level while others stay the same. A couple new enemies are introduced in the later levels, although they're not terribly difficult.

"Green" enemy 100 pts

Your standard fodder. These take the place of the planes, helicopters, and UFOs from the original Time Pilot. They can be destroyed by your standard shot. Destoy enough of these and the boss will appear. My own rough estimate is that you need to kill 45 before the boss arrives.

Here are the various incarnations of the green enemy:

"Gray" enemy 500 pts

A somewhat more difficult enemy to kill, the gray ones can only be destroyed by your missiles. They make for easy points in the early levels due to their slowness and relative stupidity. However, in later levels they are very fast and move much more erratically making them a real threat.

Once you pass level 6 the gray enemies start repeating. They get mixed up as levels have different combinations of the previous gray enemies.

Here are the various incarnations of the gray enemy:

Level 1 - These are the easiest of the gray enemies. They head for the center of the screen, but before they get close they turn around and head away. You would need to really try to ram them if you wanted to.
Level 2 - These guys enter the screen from either the top or bottom. They move vertically, sometimes flipping around and changing directions (often at the worst moment for you).
Level 3 - Similar to the previous one, these enemies enter the screen vertically. However, once they reach a spot on the screen they stop and spin for a bit. Then they fly quickly off the screen horizontally.
Level 4 - Getting tougher now. This level has the gray enemy enter the screen from any direction. When it reaches the middle (or somewhere thereabouts) it stops and then cirles around for a while before leaving. The circular path it makes is somewhat wide. Be sure to anticipate this!
Level 5 - In my opinion, the most difficult of the bunch. They move towards the center of the screen and then move about randomly very quickly. They are faster than you so be sure to steer clear.
Level 6 - Once you get used to these they are not too difficult. Very easy to predict, they enter the screen from any direction and travel in a straight line towards the center (i.e. YOU). This eventually carries them off the screen. Just keep moving and don't travel in a straight line for too long.
and Level 7
and Level 8
and Level 9
and Level 10
and Level 11
and Level 12
and Level 13
and Level 14

Tank 200 pts

I'm not sure what their official name is, but I call these guys tanks. They rove around the landscape occasionally firing at you. Since they are on the ground you can fly over them without harm. Missiles are required to kill tanks. They move in patterns, mostly on the roads, but also on the terrain outside the city.

They're not too difficult to destroy and will come back to life when you are killed.

Formation 100 pts/enemy
1,000-3,000 pts/all
Green Formation

Formations make their return in this game. Destroy all five enemies before they go off the screen and you'll earn big points. Your standard shot will take these guys out.

This is somewhat easier than in the original Time Pilot since as long as they remain on the screen you can take as long as you like to destroy the formation. In the previous game, if you did not destroy all of them quickly they would become normal enemies and lose their bonus.

Rather than being worth 2,000 points like the original, you are awarded on an increasing scale. The first formation destroyed earns you 1,000 points. The second is 2,000. The third and every one thereafter give you 3,000. I guess formations in this game are a combination of both the formations and parachuters from the previous game.

Tank Formation 500 pts/tank
8,000 pts/all
Tank Formation

There's a second kind of tank. They come in a group of eight and move in a set formation. Like the standard tank you can fly over them and they can only be destroyed by your missiles.

If you can manage to destroy all eight tanks you get 8,000 points! This is easier said than done, however. The tanks fire quite often, making dodging their shots very difficult. Personally I avoid them altogether - it's not worth the risk of getting killed. If you die before destroying them, all eight tanks return to life.

The tanks' location and formation changes every level (plus they do not appear in every level). In the first level you will find them immediately north-west of where you start. Visit the world map section to see their locations.

Reader Chris B. sent along a good strategy for taking out the first level tank formation. It worked for me!

Fly straight up the screen at the start of the game - then turn 90 degrees left when you reach the road that the tanks drive along, ensuring that your ship is centred directly above the road so you're flying straight toward the tanks. Most of the bullets that the tanks fire will miss your ship (they mainly go above or below you) - the main risk is being shot by other ships so you may need to weave up and down a little. If your timing is good with your missiles you can take out all the tanks in a single bombing run.

Bonus Formation 500 pts/enemy
8,000 pts/all
Bonus Formation

There's another type of formation composed of five enemies that look like your ship from the original Time Pilot. They can only be destroyed by your missiles. If you manage to kill them all you get a whopping 8,000 points!

Since they do not fire they are definitely worth going after. However, they fly faster than your ship so you need to approach them correctly to ensure you can obtain a lock on all five. The best way is to ride side-by-side with them until they get slightly past you. Then slide in behind them and waste them all quickly (before they fly out of the reach of your missile lock).

They seem to only appear at one specific location in each level - I have seen them in levels 1, 4, and 7. For example, when starting the game fly directly east and you will encounter them. Visit the world map section for the location of each one.

Special Bonus 5,000 pts

There are hidden targets scattered around the map. When you get close enough one will appear and you will lock onto it. If you fire a missile soon enough you will destroy it for 5,000 points! See the world map section for locations of all eight.

You may destroy these targets in any level. Once they are destroyed they no longer appear on subsequent levels. If you accidentally activate one, but do not destroy it you will need to wait until the next level before you can activate it again.

1-up Bonus Extra Life
1up Bonus

Destroy this little plane and you'll earn an extra life. They can only be killed by missiles.

I have only seen the plane appear in one spot on both level 2 and level 8 (same place both times). It's a good idea to head there and grab it while you can. See the world map section for the exact location.

Boss 5,000 pts

After you destroy enough green enemies the boss will appear. Unlike in the original Time Pilot, it only takes one shot to kill it. The trick is that it has to be a missile and so you must obtain a lock first. This usually isn't too difficult. If you're brave (insane) enough you can fly straight at it, get a lock, fire a missile, and destroy the boss before you crash into it.

The boss fires multiple missiles which home in on you. They aren't too dangerous, however, because you can destroy them with your standard shot.

One odd behavior is that the boss will only appear after all gray enemies have gone away (either by destroying them or going off the edge of the screen). I'm not sure if this was a technical limitation (limited number of sprites on screen) or just a design decision.

Mini-boss Minelayer 1,000 pts
Mine Layer

These guys don't start appearing until level 3. They fly vertically up the screen, dropping a batch of mines behind them. They can be destroyed with a missile.

The mines they drop spread out in a circle. They spread slowly in the early levels, but speed up later on. Still they are not much of a threat.

Mini-boss Missile Launcher 1,000 pts
Missile Launcher

These appear starting on level 6. Like the mine layer, they fly veritcally up the screen. Rather than mines, they fire multiple missiles which home in on you. Like the boss' missiles they can be shot by your standard bullets.

These are bit more dangerous than the mine layers due to the homing missiles. Go after them if it's convenient.

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