Walkthrough of G.I.Joe: The Atlantis Factor

Welcome to this walkthrough of G.I.Joe: The Atlantis Factor. Even though this game is several years old at the time of its writing, there is a good group of people who still want to play it (myself included) simply because it is one of the few video games that features "America’s highly trained special missions force" - the G.I.Joe team. I've been working on this walkthrough for some time, and now it's done enough to release it.

Please email any questions regarding this walkthrough to calthaerNOSPMPLZ AT yahoo DOT com. Remove the NOSPMPLZ, of course, and use a period for dot and an @ symbol for AT.

This game follows on the heels of the first Nintendo game produced by Taxan. The basic story goes like this: after Cobra’s defeat a year ago (in Taxan’s G.I.Joe), Cobra troops searched the globe and found the lost city of Atlantis. They raised the island of Atlantis and began to explore it. On the island they discovered some sort of mystical power source that’s able to bring Cobra Commander back to life. They do so, of course, and then begin to amass troops and weapons on the island in preparation for their favorite pastime – world conquest. The Joe team scrambles to launch an assault on the island and thwart their plans before they get off the ground. As the game begins, several Joes have already infiltrated the island and are gathering reconnaissance – General Hawk begins the assault solo (a very bright idea, I might add - quite strategic) and moves to meet up with the other Joes on the island. Stalker gets comfy in the Joes’ orbital base and watches the action from afar.

Stalker

Controls
Some of these are intuitive; some are not. Use these to move your Joes around the game world.

Normal Controls
Left + Right - walk left or right
A - jump
B - use currently selected weapon (can be used while jumping)
Select - switch through available weapons. The order is hand-to-hand, machine gun, pulse, laser, missile
Start - bring up the character selection screen, where you can switch between the characters that you’ve selected for the current mission
Up + B - shoot up (must have a gun equipped). Only works with Duke.
A, then Down + B – shoot down (must have a gun equipped). Only works with Duke.
Down + L/R (while standing)- crawl left or right. Only works with Roadblock.
Down + A - jump down to a lower level (only works on certain platforms) or submerge underwater (when on the water’s surface). Submerge only works with Wet Suit.
Select + L/R - switch between the Atlantean Orb and the radio
Select + down - activate either the Atlantean Orb or the radio

Hand to Hand controls
In G.I.Joe: AF, Hand to Hand operates differently than the other weapons. There are two different types of hand-to-hand controls - what I like to call the "Joe" style and the "Ninja" style.

General Hawk's uppercutJoe Style
B - punch. When pressed repeatedly, the Joe punches with their right fist, then left fist, then an uppercut. The uppercut is gained when hand-to-hand is powered up to level 2.
B + L / R – kick. Stronger than a punch. Gained at level 3.
A, then B + L/R - jump kick (or flying punch). Be careful with this move, as you can’t control your jump once you kick  - you could end up on some spikes, jump into enemy firepower, etc. The jump-kick is also a good way to travel - you move faster while jump-kicking than you do when you walk. Gained at level 3.
A, then Down + B – Knee-drop (or body slam). This is a downward attack that’s great for mauling enemies beneath the Joe. In the "Joe Style" H2H, the knee drop generally bounces the Joe off of the enemy they attacked instead of allowing the Joe to drop through the enemy. This is important because it places the Joe safely away from their foe so that they don’t take a hit when he "stops blinking" from being hit. Gained at level 4.

Storm Shadow's ninja magic
Ninja Style
B – slash (ninja magic). At level 1, the Joe will simply slash forward with their blade. At levels 2 and above, the sword will emit a "ninja magic" that’s a long(er)-range attack. This is the only ranged attack that uses no ammunition. A slash / magic attack can also be used while jumping.
R / R or L / L (rapidly) – ninja dash. Pressing "B" repeatedly while using the ninja dash will allow multiple attacks to be launched as the ninja waves their sword about dramatically. This also allows rapid-fire "ninja magic" beams to be launched at an opponent. Gained at level 3.
A, then Down + B – downward stab/kick. Both ninjas will go through an enemy when this downward stab is used, and because they will it’s best if it’s only used when it’s going to finish the enemies off (otherwise the stab ends up landing you in the enemy’s lap and they damage you). Gained at level 4.
Down + A - "snake attack." This only works with Snake Eyes. He'll do some sort of pounce that does quite a bit of damage and will kill most Vipers that you come across.

Playing the Game
G.I.Joe: The Atlantis Factor is a side-scrolling platform game. In the Cobra bases and in certain areas your screen can scroll up and down as well. Use the controls to move your Joe and attack the Cobra forces.

The Isle of Atlantis is divided into routes and areas, all shown on the map of the island that appears when you first start out the game. The object of the game is to reach and defeat Cobra Commander, who is located in the upper right-hand corner of the map. Press B to enter or move through an area, and A to scroll through Stalker's description of it. If Stalker doesn't provide a description (usually something like "FIND THE ENEMY ON THE ROUTE"), then you don't need to defeat it and can pass through. The directional pad will highlight the route you want to take next from your current position; this will be marked by a flashing dot. A square on the map marked with a "B" is a place where the Joe team has already established a base; they serve no purpose except as waypoints. The red squares are Cobra bases: more difficult levels with tough bosses and objectives to reach before you can fight them. For more information, refer to the map included at the beginning of the "Routes" section.

Combat Interface - G.I.Joe: The Atlantis Factor
The interface for G.I.Joe: AF is fairly standard. Various numbers and icons (depicted in the diagram to the left) tell you how much health your Joe has, how much ammo you have at your disposal, how much time is remaining, and so forth. The "Misc." designation in the diagram will read "G-I" the entire game with one exception: during Area C you will need to pick up a keycard in order to enter the space shuttle. Since the enemy is placed right in your way it's hard to imagine why they didn't just open the shuttle door without the keycard...but at any rate: the "G-I" square will change to a red block with a rectangle in the middle when you obtain the card. The "Score" seems to have no effect on the game, although it may play a role in determining whether or not your Joes receive a "LEVEL-UP" at the end of a route.

Five total weapons are available to you during the course of the game: hand-to-hand combat, a machine gun, a pulse rifle, a laser rifle, and a missile launcher. You begin the game with hand-to-hand and the machine gun, and all Joes will always have access to these two weapons. The other weapons must be gained by completing certain levels in the game. Furthermore, each weapon has four degrees of power that it can use - level one to level four. For most weapons, this power means that the gun will fire a larger spread that has a greater chance of hitting an enemy. There are three different ways to power-up weapons:  collecting Pow icons, obtaining a "LEVEL-UP" at the end of a route, and by using one of the two Atlantean war statues.

Each Pow icon will grant a Joe one-fourth of a weapon level in the weapon that they currently have equipped. This can sometimes be tricky, as you may have to switch weapons quickly in order to put that Pow on a weapon other than the one you have equipped. If you can't do it in time, let the Pow go off the screen! You can leave the screen yourself and the Cobra that yielded the Pow icon will be back. Kill it a second time to make the Pow reappear. If you've already touched a Pow icon - even if it didn't actually help you (i.e. - one weapon was already maxxed-out and therefore it didn't advance the bar), it won't come back. The same holds true for all other power-ups in the game, so keep this in mind when you see a stat-changing object pop up. Each Joe can only collect three Chevrons, each weapon only has four levels of power - anything collected after that is wasted. It's always a good idea to bring along a Joe who doesn't have all their Chevrons or weapons powered-up so that you can make use of the items that pop up.

In order to obtain a "LEVEL-UP," you'll need to kill quite a few Cobras during a level. It's difficult to determine exactly how many, as the number seems to vary from level to level, but in general it seems that you'll need to fight Cobras in each level until the timer gets close to zero seconds. This means that if you progress through a level and you only kill each guy once until you reach the radio, you probably won't get a LEVEL-UP. You need to go back over ground you've already covered and kill at least a third of the enemies twice. Because there's limited time on each level, there are only certain ones where you've given enough minutes  to obtain the LEVEL-UPs. I've noted these levels in the walkthrough later on.

If you've obtained a LEVEL-UP, it will bring up a screen that shows each Joe member you currently selected for that level and all of their weapon skills. This screen will NOT, however, show you how many Pow icons each weapon has applied to it. You can then apply the LEVEL-UP to one weapon of one Joe. The LEVEL-UP will increase that weapon skill to the next level, but it will not "carry over" any Pow icons currently applied to the weapon! That means that if your machine gun is at power level two and you have three Pow icons applied to it (meaning you need only one more Pow icon to advance to three), the LEVEL-UP is essentially only worth one Pow icon when applied to that weapon. If a weapon is at level two with no Pow icons, the LEVEL-UP has the effect of four Pows. You'll need to remember which Joes have which Pow levels when using the LEVEL-UP. You cannot obtain a LEVEL-UP during an area (i.e., a Cobra base) - only on the routes in between.

The third method of powering-up weapons are the two Atlantean war statues. Each subterranean route (denoted by dotted lines on the island map) has one war statue (screenshot provided in the walkthrough section). When a Joe stands in front of one of these statues, ALL possible weapons are increased to their maximum power level - even if you have not obtained them yet. This means that if Duke uses a statue and you don't yet have the missile launcher, he will be able to use the launcher at level 4 immediately after you obtain it without using any Pow icons or LEVEL-UPs. It's best to plan ahead and use these statues on Joes that haven't used any power-ups whatsoever.

While playing a level, you'll come across various Cobra forces. It goes almost without saying that when your character gets hit by one of these guys or from any "bullets" they shoot that he'll lose one bar of health. When that bar reaches zero, your Joe will fall to the ground and will be "WOUNDED."

There are a total of six Joes that you can use during combat during the course of the game. You can take a total of three Joes with you on each route or area. When one Joe falls and is "WOUNDED," you've essentially lost a life - along with the ability to use that Joe during the rest of the game (unless you revive him). Your character will die and you'll be forced to restart the entire route. Because of these factors, it's to your advantage to switch out that Joe before he's killed. Leave him dormant on your active list with one bar of health left so that you don't lose him. When you complete a level, every Joe will regain a portion of the health they've lost if they're still alive. The Joe who actually completes the level (obtains the radio, delivers the killing blow to the boss) will regain five bars of health - everyone else will only regain two.

Three more Joes can be called in on your radio for one-shot boosts of ammo or health. Big Bear can also revive Wounded characters. Details about the Joe team coming up in the next section...

The Joe Team
Each character has unique abilities that distinguish them from the others. Some characters can jump higher, others can hit harder, and some are a good mix of hitting power and mobility. I’ve listed each character along with their starting health points, their maximum health points, and their approximate jumping power and skill with each weapons. Unlike Taxan's G.I.Joe for the NES, G.I.Joe: AF doesn’t list the actual numeric values for a character’s jumping, hitting power, etc.; most of these are all rough appoximations based on comparison and extensive testing.

General Hawk General Hawk
Starting HP: 5
Max HP: 11
Jump: 80%
Hand-to-Hand: 10
Machine Gun: 10
Pulse: 10
Laser: 45
Missile: 10
Hawk has no "special" abilities, but he’s a decent character. A good jumper (right up there with the ninjas) and an average fighter. He has decent health as well. The laser rifle is more powerful in Hawk's hands than it is in any other Joe's.
Wet Suit Wet Suit
Starting HP: 4
Max HP: 10
Jump: 70%
Hand-to-Hand: 13
Machine Gun: 10
Pulse: 20
Laser: 21
Missile: 20
This navy SEAL is the only Joe in the game thatís able to go underwater. Heís also the most well-rounded Joe, able to use all weapons somewhat effectively (but doing excellent damage with none of them). His jumping power is average, although underwater he's able to jump a bit higher.
Storm Shadow Storm Shadow
Starting HP: 3
Max HP: 9
Jump: 90%
Hand-to-Hand: 19
Machine Gun: 10
Laser:
Pulse: 40
Missile: 10
A ninja master, Storm Shadow is quite useful early in the game. His hand-to-hand doesn’t use any ammo, he's one of the two best Joes with the pulse rifle, and he’s a good jumper. His hit points are only slightly better than Snake-Eyes, which makes his usefulness in boss fights quite limited.
Roadblock Roadblock
Starting HP: 6
Max HP: 12
Jump: 60%
Hand-to-Hand: 23
Machine Gun: 10
Laser: 10
Pulse: 10
Missile: 25
This cajun chef and heavy machine gunner is the only character that can "crawl" in the game – he’s able to get down on his belly and move beneath blocks to obtain items in certain boards. He is able to get more hit points than any other Joe. The missile launcher is Roadblock's specialty, and with it he can unleash tremendous amounts of damage - more damage than any other weapon in the game.
Snake Eyes Snake Eyes
Starting HP: 2
Max HP: 8
Jump: 100%
Hand-to-Hand: 15
Machine Gun: 10
Laser: 20
Pulse: 40
Missile: 10
The awesome commando Snake Eyes is one of the most mobile characters in the game, but he’s also the one with the fewest hit points. Perhaps the brainwashing in the Cobra base has weakened him. He can use the pulse rifle with proficiency, and his "snake attack" move does decent damage. Like Storm Shadow, he's not very useful in boss fights.
Duke Duke
Starting HP: 4
Max HP: 10
Jump: 70%
Hand-to-Hand: 23
Machine Gun: 20
Laser: 19
Pulse: 10
Missile: 20
G.I.Joe’s first sergeant is the only character capable of shooting up and down with the ammunition-based weapons. Otherwise heís a pretty average Joe, just like General Hawk.

Confused by those weapons skills? Try this chart, then. All I did in the skills above was multiplied the ratio by 10. Here are the true damage ratios for each of the weapons. This doesn't reveal how good each weapon is compared to each other - it just shows how good each Joe is with that weapon compared to another (for weapons comparison, see the "Arsenal" section). Duke, for instance, will do twice as much damage with a machine gun than any other Joe on the team. Hawk will do almost five times as much damage with the laser rifle as Roadblock will. The only reason Hawk's score is so high, in fact, is because Roadblock uses the laser so poorly. This chart also only takes into account the basic hand-to-hand combat maneuvers, since those are mainly the same. Snake Eyes, who may not slash as hard with his sword as Storm Shadow does, has his snake attack that is more powerful than any of the other hand-to-hand attacks the other Joes can dish out. That attack can only be used on the ground, so I didn't include it in the hand-to-hand comparison. The other thing about the ninja-style hand-to-hand versus the Joe-style is the fact that the level 3 dash requires movement, whereas the Joes' kick doesn't. Since the dash isn't always feasible (and, quite frankly, will get you killed since you go right through enemies and get hit by them), I didn't include it in the comparison, either - that's why the regular Joes outrank the ninjas.

In some cases it looks like Capcom made a trade-off in the abilities. The two ninja Joes, for example, don't hit quite as hard with their swords as Roadblock and Duke do with their fists - but they do have the added advantage of having their long-range ninja magic to take care of things from a distance. The Joes that have special abilities (Roadblock, Wet Suit, and Duke) also seem to have lower jumping skills as a result, and in Hawk's case - where he has higher hit points and jumping ability - it seems they've made him excellent at one weapon only to be poor at using the others.

The following chart shows the relative value of raw damage that each Joe can put out with the particular weapon. Please note: when making comparisons with this chart , remember that it assumes that each Joe has that particular weapon fully powered-up and that all of their attacks connect with the enemy. A machine gun, for instance, only does 75% of its' damage when three out of the four gun-blasts connect and one misses. Likewise, a laser rifle is only operating at 50% efficiency when only one of the two beams connects (i.e. - the weapon isn't powered-up and only shoots one or one of the two misses).

I've highlighted which combinations of Joe / weapon are the best. As you can see, Hawk is the best with the Laser Rifle, while using it with Roadblock is essentially a waste of ammunition. Likewise, the pulse rifle is a waste for most Joes, but the two ninja are great with it. Something else to note is the Wet Suit is not particularly adept at any one weapon, but he's no slouch with any of them. Wet Suit is the best "all-around Joe" in the game.

  Hand-to-Hand Machine Gun Laser Rifle Pulse Rifle Missile Launcher
General Hawk 1 1 4.5 1 1
Wet Suit 1.3 1 2.1 2 2
Storm Shadow 1.3 1 (untested) 4 1
Roadblock 1.5 1 1 1 2.5
Snake Eyes 1 1 2 4 1
Duke 1.5 2 1.9 1 2

 

  Hand-to-Hand Machine Gun Pulse Rifle Laser Rifle Missile Launcher
General Hawk 1 1.5 1.5 6.75 3
Wet Suit 1.3 1.5 3 3.15 6
Storm Shadow 1.3 1.5 6   3
Roadblock 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 7.5
Snake Eyes 1 1.5 6 3 3
Duke 1.5 3 1.5 2.85 6

REGULAR WEAPONS CHART

  Machine Gun Pulse Rifle Laser Rifle Missile Launcher
General Hawk   1.43 7.7  
Wet Suit   2.86    
Storm Shadow        
Roadblock   1.43 2.13 25
Snake Eyes   5.56 4.76 11
Duke   1.43 5 16.67

HAND-TO-HAND CHART

  Punch Kick Downward Snake Attack
General Hawk   4.17 11 x
Wet Suit   5.56 8.3 x
Storm Shadow     14.3 x
Roadblock 2.86 7.14 14.3 x
Snake Eyes     11 14.3
Duke   7.14 7.14 x

 

Select your Joes carefully for each mission. If you know that a certain route will contain an underwater area, bring Wet-Suit along. Balance out a character that has low health (Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow) with a Joe that has a lot, like Roadblock or General Hawk. It’s always a good idea to bring Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow along on any mission; their hand-to-hand has a good range on it and their leaping powers are second to none.

 

Radios and your Support Joes
At the end of each route is a radio; these can be used later on to call in other Joes who "support" you. "Support" Joes are ones that can service your team (heal, give ammo, etc.) but won’t actually do any fighting with you. Big Bear, Spirit, and Gung Ho are the "support" Joes. You can only call these Joes as many times as you have radios – the more routes you beat, the more times you’ll be able to call on them. Just use the Select + Down buttons when the radio is selected (switch to the radio by pressing Select + L/R) to bring up the support Joe selection screen. It’s a good idea to save your radios for boss characters, as they can often give your Joes a beating. Boss characters are also at the end of a long board, at which point your Joes may be low on health or ammunition. Bottom line: there are only about 15 or so radios in the game; don’t waste them. You may find yourself attacking the Cobra base and unable to defeat the game simply because you don’t have enough health or firepower to survive.

Here is a brief list of the abilities that your support Joes will add to your team:

Big Bear
The Oktober Guard member of the Joe team in this game is the only way to restore the life of a fallen Joe. When a Joe "dies" (e.g. – loses all his hit points) his portrait will say "WOUNDED" in the character selection screen. Unless Big Bear is called in to restore him, the Joe will vanish from your team at the end of the level – along with all the level-ups, Pows, and Chevrons that have been given to him. Don’t let this happen – make sure you have at least one radio available at all times in case Big Bear needs to come in. When Big Bear restores a Joe to active duty that Joe will have only one hit point. He will need K-rations, a chevron, or Spirit’s healing powers to safely fight Cobra again. You can only call on Big Bear if at least one Joe is living –don’t let all three of your selected Joes die. If this happens, all three will be lost, and that means a major setback for your team.

Spirit
Calling on Spirit will completely heal whichever Joe uses the radio. Wait until your Joes are really hurting before you call on Spirit. Since radios are rare, you need to regain a lot of health with each use. It’s a good idea to allow characters like Roadblock or Hawk to take the hits and then to call on Spirit when they’re really low on health – that way the radio is used to heal 10 or more hits instead of the 7 or 8 that characters like Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow might need.

Gung-Ho
Ammunition is Gung-Ho’s game. Each time the Joe team calls him in he’ll give 100 ammo to your team. Unfortunately, by the time you gain the ability to use Gung-Ho you’ll probably already have an ample supply of ammo (unless all your Joes have died and you had to continue, of course). Cobra Commander and Destro are two bosses in particular that will need a lot of pummeling to take down; you may run out of ammo once or even twice during those battles. As a general rule, only use Gung-Ho for bosses – their moves are more complicated and their attacks more difficult to avoid than those of the regular Vipers. Because of this fact the bosses will need to be taken down with heavier weapons so that they don’t kill your Joes. If you’re using hand-to-hand against some bosses you’re going to take a lot of hits while dishing out minimal damage. Vipers, on the other hand, can be taken out with hand-to-hand at little risk.

 

The Arsenal
Your Joe team has a limited arsenal at the beginning of the game that can grow as you find more weapons. There are five different weapons available in the game: hand-to-hand combat, a machine gun, a pulse rifle, a laser rifle, and a rocket launcher. Each weapon has advantages and disadvantages that I'll list here so that you can choose the appropriate weapon for each situation. Keep in mind  that certain Joes will use one weapon better than another Joe does, and because of this it's always good to take along Joes with diverse weapons skills for each mission. Finally, a note on the ammunition: each weapon will always use the same amount of ammo, regardless of how powered-up the weapon is. The machine gun, for instance, will use one ammo unit whether  it shoots out one burst (level 1) or four (level 4).

Hand-to-Hand iconHand-to-Hand (ammo = none)
This is the most basic type of combat available to the Joe team. In the "controls" section of this walkthrough I pointed out that there are two styles: a "Joe" style and a "Ninja" style. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are the only two who use the Ninja style. Everybody else uses the Joe style or a slightly modified version thereof. Roadblock, for example, won't perform a downward-kick like Hawk, Wet Suit, and Duke - he'll do a body-slam. The other distinctive thing about Roadblock's fighting is that he uses a flying punch instead of a kick. Duke's flying kick also looks different from everyone else's. The Ninja style is slightly more powerful than the Joe style as well - for more precise estimates of the various attacks, check the attack charts at the end of the character section.

Powering-up hand-to-hand combat gives the Joe a different ability for each level. Level 1 is generally a standard punch / slash, level 2 modifies the level 1 attack to make it more powerful, level 3 adds a kick or a ninja-dash, and level 4 adds a downward attack. Because of the many different types of attacks that can be made with hand-to-hand combat, it's difficult to compare it to the rest of the weapons. Roadblock and Duke can dish out some serious damage with their kicks; these strikes are slightly more powerful than the average Joe's machine gun and slightly less powerful than the ninja's pulse rifle. The great disadvantage in hand-to-hand combat, however, is that you need to get close to the Cobra in order to strike it. Even Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes have a short range on their ninja magic. You'll almost certainly get damaged by doing so if the Cobra isn't finished in a few quick strikes.

Machine Gun iconMachine Gun (ammo = 1)
Another basic weapon of the Joe team is the machine gun. For each level that a Joe powers-up this weapon, another bullet will shoot out from the barrel. At level 1, one bullet shoots out horizontally in the direction that the Joe is facing. At level 2, a second one will emit at around a 25į angle. At three and four, two more additional shots will emit at roughly 50į and 75į angles. When you need to take down a tough Cobra with this gun, it's almost always to your advantage to duck while using this weapon. That fourth shot will do just as much damage as the first, but you want to make sure that it hits the target instead of flying over their head. Ducking puts the starting point of that shot closer to the ground, sometimes allowing it to hit the things at which you're aiming.

The machine gun is also ideal for taking out Cobras that are flying around on jet sleds and jumping about in Cobra Pogos. Instead of jumping to shoot them, you can stand on the ground and let your machine gun do the work with your 3rd and 4th shot vectors. The machine gun does equal damage in the hands of every Joe except for Duke's - he can do twice as much damage with it as the others. In his hands the machine gun is slightly less powerful than the pulse's maximum damage - when all four of the bullets are hitting the target, that is, and with such a large spread they very rarely do that.

Pulse Rifle iconPulse Rifle (ammo = 2)
The pulse rifle isn't a very powerful weapon, but it has the unique capability of being able to block most enemy bullets. It also has a fairly wide spread at higher levels, making it useful for attacking Cobras that might be just below your Joe on another platform. In some areas, bullets from Cobra troopers are flying all over the screen, and it's great to be able to whip out the pulse rifle and blast away with relative safety. The pulse rifle can also travel through walls. It can't blast through breakable bricks, but the fact that it can go through walls means that you can reach targets that you might not otherwise be able to. The pulse rifle is especially useful against the turret guns that Cobra sometimes places at the very edge of a platform. Those things are a pain because they can shoot in every direction and you usually need to be at a certain angle to get them. With the pulse rifle powered-up, you can duck and fire - the bottom of the blast beam will hit the turret.

Unfortunately, the pulse rifle's wide beam is noticeably slow and weak - especially when used in the wrong hands. In most cases, it's best use is as a shield and a weapon to kill hard-to-reach enemies. Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, however, can turn this weapon into a thing to be feared. In their hands it's close to being as merciless as Hawk's laser and Roadblock's missiles - but not quite.

Laser Rifle iconLaser Rifle (ammo = 3)
The laser rifle is definitely one of the most useful weapons in the game. Its beams travel fast and pack quite a punch. The beams are also somewhat narrow, so you'll need to make sure you're aiming correctly when you shoot or you'll waste ammo. Quite a bit of ammo, in fact...this gun will eat up your firepower if you fire it too much. Using it on regular Vipers and other Cobra cronies is a bit of an overkill; save it for bosses and the like. General Hawk has mastered the use of this weapon; whenever possible, place it in his hands.

Rocket Launcher iconRocket Launcher (ammo = 4)
The rocket launcher is the most powerful weapon in the game, and it's best used by Roadblock. Its missile spread is also quite a bit larger than the laser's narrow beam - each level of power shoots out another missile on a vertical spread from the Joe's firing position. It uses the most ammo, but can also dish out the most damage. It's the most difficult weapon in the game to get as well: Destro's holding it in his warehouse. It's well worth the trip through the warehouse, as the launcher comes in handy during the final fight with Cobra Commander.

Selecting your Character
When you press a button to go through an area, a screen will appear where you can choose which Joes you want to take with you. You then have the option to SELECT, DECIDE, MOVE, CANCEL, or END. You have three slots to place Joes in, the first one, the second one, and the third.

SELECT: Cycles through available Joes for the current slot.
DECIDE: Accepts the selected Joe for the current slot and moves to the next available slot.
MOVE: Allows you to perform various moves (jumping, shooting, hand-to-hand) with the selected Joe. The START button will return you to the main menu.
CANCEL: Cancels the selection of the current slot and returns you to the Joe selection for the previous slot
END: Stop selecting Joes and begin the current mission.

Once you have hit END, the three portraits of your team members will dash in from the sides of the screen. They will be placed around a set of grids - these grids are your "continue code" that you can use to continue the game at a later point.

Items - powering your Joe
No good old-fashioned Nintendo game would be complete without items that drop when you kill enemies; G.I.Joe: AF is no exception. Here's a list of the various items that you'll come across during the game, and what effects they'll have on your Joe.

Chevron icon Chevron
The chevron will add two bars to your Joe's health capacity and will fully restore any damage that your Joe might have taken. Each Joe can only use three chevrons during the course of the game to increase their health capacity; any that they use after this will only revitalize them. Chevrons are relatively rare, so try to be careful about which Joes you give them to.
Ammo icon Ammo
Each one will add 10 units of ammo to your arsenal.
K-Ration icon K-Ration
A K-ration will restore up to 2 bars of health points to your Joe.
Pow-Icon Pow
These items will add one power bar to whatever weapon the Joe is currently using. If the weapon is already powered-up fully (at level 4), then the Pow has no effect whatsoever. It takes four Pows to raise a weapon one level.
B icon B-Icon
These items are only found on certain routes. When picked up, they'll increase your score by 10,000 points.
Atlantean Orb icon Atlantean Orb
This item, when activated, will swirl around your Joe in a circular pattern, damaging anything it comes in contact with. After it deals a certain amount of damage, it'll disappear.
Radio icon Radio
These devices, found at the end of most routes in the game, can be used to call in support Joes.

Exploring the Isle of Atlantis - routes to complete the game
G.I.Joe: The Atlantis Factor is set up such there are several routes to take to complete the game. It is possible to skip many of the routes (and many of the items contained in them) and still beat the game. I usually enjoy going through all of the routes and making my Joes as powerful as possible before the final encounter with Cobra Commander, but that's just my preferred style of play. I've provided a map here that lists all of the route numbers so that you can plan out your assault of the island.

Map of G.I.Joe: The Atlantis Factor

Some areas contain powerful weapons for your Joes to use; members of the Joe team are waiting for a rendezvous in other areas.  Plan your route so that you can get all Joes and weapons in the easiest manner. You may need to take on a few other routes besides the bare necessities just to power-up your Joes' weapon skills and hit points. Here's a list of the routes I generally take to defeat Cobra:

01-02-03-B-04-A-C-06-08-12-E-05-10-D-11-15-13-09-07-16-F

Route 01Route 01
Recommended Joes: Gen. Hawk
Reward: Wet Suit, Radio
Level-Up: YES

You start off the game with only General Hawk and his machine gun; watch your health bar closely during this first mission. If Hawk dies here, the game is over. You’ll need to grab all the Pow symbols that you can in this level and put them toward your machine gun to defeat the Cobra near the end of the level. There are eight total Pows to get – the first three are behind the pillars to the left of your starting place, the next three are on the first few Vipers that you face, and the last two are obtained after defeating the floating orbs that come directly after the Vipers. Finish these foes off with your fists and quickly switch to the machine gun before you pick up the Pow symbol. Powering-up won’t be quite so delicate later in the game, but when you’ve got only one Joe you want to make sure he stays alive. That means carrying a bigger gun than the Cobras do. Once your gun is up to level three, most of the rest of the Cobras will carry ammo, with the exception of two which yield an Atlantean Orb and a Chevron.

Use your machine gun on the Road Pig mini-boss that shows up near the end of the level. To beat him, duck down and start blasting away with the machine gun (ducking makes sure that more of your shots will hit him, since the third shot is emitted at a higher angle than the other two). His kicking and hammering will take 3-4 health bars (depending on how fast you push the B button), but he’ll fall down without too much difficulty.

If you have extra time and ammo left, move back and forth and kill some of the Vipers near the end of the level before getting the radio. If your health is getting down to two bars, head straight for the radio and don’t risk it. If you kill enough Cobras, you’ll get a "LEVEL UP" bonus at the end of the route that allows you to allocate one (or more) weapons levels to Hawk. If you get one, use it on Hawk’s machine gun to bring it up to level 4. Anything else will have to go to his Hand-to-Hand.

Wet Suit will join you at the end of this level.

Route 02
Recommended Joes: Gen. Hawk, Wet Suit
Reward: Radio
Level-Up: YES

This level is pretty straight-forward – just keep going to the right and you’ll eventually hit the radio. You’re given plenty of time; keep running around the blue-bricked Atlantean ruins killing the Vipers and Toxo-Vipers operating the pom-pom guns until the timer gets low. They’re easy if you happen to have a level 4 hand-to-hand downward attack. Otherwise use quick jumping to avoid their bullets and get behind them. Kill enough of them and you’ll get a level-up when you hit the radio. There’s a big Cobra with a whip (maybe Croc Master?) near the end of the level; just use the same technique that you used on Route 01 to wipe out the Road-Pig clone – duck and use the machine gun.

Route 03
Recommended Joes: Gen. Hawk, Wet Suit
Reward: Radio
Level-Up: YES

Half of this level is underwater; you’ll need Wet-Suit to get to it. Bringing him along won’t be a problem as he’ll probably be the only other Joe in your party when you get to this route. You could just run across the broken red-brick bridge and get to the radio, but you’d miss a bunch of Cobra EELs and a few Pows under the water. Kill as many Cobras as you can for a level-up because there are only 4 Pows in this route. Use the chevron for Wet-Suit; he'll need the health increase. It's a good idea to have Hawk's hand-to-hand at least to level 3; his kick will come in handy when you need to dispose the  laser-vipers that litter the broken bridge.

Route 04Route 04
Recommended Joes: Gen. Hawk, Wet Suit, Storm Shadow
Reward: Radio
Level-Up: YES

This swampy area has a lot of Pows hidden underwater in boxes. If you haven’t obtained Storm Shadow by now, a lot of them will be wasted because Hawk and Wet Suit will only have two weapons. Stormie is good for jumping around on the earth platforms and taking care of the pom-pom guns with his magic and downward slashes. Use Wet-Suit to get to the items under the water. If you want to power up another Joe with the underwater items use the following procedure: allow Wet-Suit to punch or shoot the box to reveal the power-up, get Wet Suit to switch to the weapon that you want to power up, switch to the other Joe to quickly grab the power up, then switch back to Wet-Suit. Any other Joe will lose health rapidly (drown) if they are kept underwater for more than a few seconds. As usual, kill as many Cobras as you can so that you can get a level-up at the end of the route.

Area A – Cobra Prison
Recommended Joes: Gen. Hawk, Wet Suit, Storm Shadow
Reward: Laser Rifle, Big Bear,. B-Icons available
Level-Up: NO

Cobra’s held a bunch of female (at least they look like women) hostages in this base; you’ll need to nab them all before you can get out. This board, like every other one, has a time limit – try not to miss any hostages on your way through the area or you may not be able to get out in time. The best way to make sure you have them all is to be thorough as you progress. The exit is up and to the right of where you start; the level's path advances in a "right-up-right-down-right" type of manner; be sure to check the nooks and crannies in the places where you change direction. Hostages may be hidden just beyond your field of vision if you’re trying to whiz through the level. A klaxon should sound when you've rescued the last hostage.

OverkillStorm Shadow is great to have on this level because heís the best jumper youíll have; itís easier to reach platforms with him. Be sure to shoot every block in every corner; some of them contain power-ups. Some of the boxes will explode, too Ė be careful of those. Most of the exploding ones are near the bottom of moving lifts. Watch out for a false floor at the end of the area right before the exit door Ė youíll need to jump over this. It doesnít drop you on spikes or anything, but itís annoying. A laser-viper will show up near the beginning to give you some trouble; Hawk's knee-drop should take care of this guy without too many problems. You should escape relatively unscathed.

Overkill
Overkill, the leader of the B.A.T. legions, shows up at the end of the area. He shoots a missile at you horizontally and then jumps up and rains bullets down on you. Whip out the machine gun and do him in; he’ll go down pretty quickly if you try to position yourself such that most of your four shots hit him. Don’t try too hard to dodge his bullets and missiles – if you’re fast enough with the trigger he’ll go down before he can do too much damage.

When he’s dead two things will happen – you’ll rescue Big Bear from the Cobra prison and Stalker will give you a new gun. Big Bear can be called on with the radio to restore a Joe who’s been wounded (i.e. – who’s lost all his hit points). If you come to the end of a route and there’s a Joe who’s wounded, use Big Bear to revive him. Leaving a route with a wounded Joe means that Joe will be lost for the rest of the game.

The gun that Stalker gives you is the Laser Rifle – a very powerful asset. Itís fast and powerful, but itíll only shoot left and right (except with Duke). This gun is quite useful against boss Cobras (it's a little bit too powerful to use against regular henchmen - save the ammo). Make sure that you power it up for General Hawk

Area B – Missile Base
Recommended Joes: Gen. Hawk, Wet Suit
Reward: Storm Shadow, Pulse Rifle
Level-Up: NO

Cobra’s Area B base is filled with missiles that are several screens high; this mission entails planting C-4 on each of these so that they’ll blow up when you finish off the boss. This base can be somewhat tough, so watch your health bar and try to avoid the bullets that floating pods and Vipers shoot at you. Try to look before you leap so that you don’t land on a Viper and lose health – you usually can’t lose by taking the moving lifts. The lifts descend gradually, while your jump will drop you pretty quickly...and possibly on a Viper. Time is also short on this one, so you're probably going to have to hurry.

As with the hostages in Area A, the best way to make sure you plant C-4 on all the checkpoints is to be thorough. When you see a missile in the background, ride a lift to the very top and make sure that there are no checkpoints hidden up there. Having to go through a portion of the area twice will make this level especially difficult, as you probably only have two characters (Hawk and Wet Suit) and there's a whip-guy before the final boss. The last checkpoint for a bomb is underneath the missile area in a spike-filled hallway; if the klaxon doesn't sound when you place this bomb, you'll need to head back upstairs to find the one you missed.

The base is divided into two sections – the first part is the section where all the missiles are stored, the second is the path leading to the boss, Cesspool. The two are "divided" by a narrow hallway filled with spikes – be careful here. Near the beginning of each section is a Road Pig / Croc Master clone that’ll go on their kicking spree and whomp on your Joe. You could try to jump over them and then shoot them from behind, but they move pretty quickly and this will probably just be a waste of time. Best plan: duck, use the machine gun, and hammer away.

Getting the Pow icons in this level will be a pain – many of the pods or troopers will drop them off the side of a platform where you’ll have to jump to reach them, and after you jump the bouncing icon may have disappeared. Try to get most of them, but don’t worry about them too much – there will be others later on and health is a much more precious commodity in this level than Pows are. The other troublesome thing about this level is that there isnít any ammo stashed on any Vipers or pods in the level Ė whatever you come in with is as much as youíre going to have. Try not to waste it, but when it comes to a choice between ammo and health (i.e. Ė you have to use the guns to preserve your life) then whip out a can of firefight and let it rip. This will probably happen at the last point in the level where you need to ride the lifts to the exit Ė about 12 pods will show up in three sets of four, and itís annoying to try and fight all of them while riding the lift. Just blast Ďem.

Cesspool
You’ll eventually reach Cesspool after riding those two or three lifts to the far lower right of the area and taking the door. Cesspool is easy; you can get through him without getting hit once. His attack patterns are very predictable and easy to avoid. He has three attacks, and disappears between each one. He then reappears at the spot where your Joe was standing when he disappeared and commences with the next attack in the sequence. When he is done his third attack the sequence starts again and recycles. Clear enough? The only thing to really watch out for are the two toxic floors on either side of the main platform. Don’t jump on them; they’ll hurt you. Here are his attacks:

CesspoolCesspool 1 – Chainsaw Jump
Cesspool revs up his chainsaw and jumps at your Joe as soon as he appears. He only jumps once; make sure your Joe is standing in a spot with plenty of room to move when he appears. Jump out of his way and then position yourself on one of the two raised blocks on either side of the main platform – right next to the toxic goop.

Cesspool 2 – Grenade Lob
The Cobra king of toxin whips out some grenades and lobs them at your Joe. When I say "at your Joe" I really mean "in the Joe’s general direction." If your Joe is ducking down right next to him the grenades will fly right over your head. It’s best if Cesspool is standing on one of the raised platforms and you’re right beneath him in the middle; just stand there with the machine gun (or Laser Rifle, if you have it) and blast away. He’ll lob about three grenades and then disappear – make sure that you’re standing on the opposite raised platform when his little white swirl completely vanishes.

Cesspool 3 – Toxic Gob
Cesspool shoots three toxic gobs horizontally out of his main gun. If he's standing on one of the raised platforms and your Joe is below him in the middle, this gob will go right over your Joe’s head and explode on the far wall. If Cesspool is on the same vertical level as you are you’ll need to jump over his gobs to avoid getting hit. If you don’t have to jump, it’s a perfect time to pump some lead or laser power into his toxic hide. When he disappears, move your Joe around to position him for Cesspool's first attack – be ready because that Chainsaw Jump comes quickly.

Cesspool isn’t very strong, and he’ll bite the toxic dust after a few rounds of pummeling with the machine gun. You’ll then see a picture of the missile base blowing up and Storm Shadow will appear, telling you that you’ve bought the Joe team some time by thwarting Cobra’s plan to launch missiles. You’ll now be able to use Storm Shadow to fight Cobra in the missions. Stalker will also tell you that you’ve found Cobra’s new Pulse Rifle – you’ll be able to use this in the upcoming levels as well.

Area C - Cobra Launch Pad
Area C – Cobra Launch Pad
Recommended Joes: Gen. Hawk, Wet Suit, Storm Shadow
Reward: Roadblock
Level-Up: NO

This area consists of two parts – a path leading to the launch pad and a long ride up the length of the shuttle to its door in the top. The path leading to it is very simple – a few Cobra Pogos and Jet Sleds show up to give you a hard time. Use your machine gun on the path – it’s great for shooting up at the sleds and it’s not too shabby for taking out the pogos and Cobra troops that stand in your way. Halfway along the length of the path an odd Cobra trooper will show up and walk around without shooting at you – he’s the chump with the keycard for getting in the shuttle itself. He’s really easy to spot and he’s right in your way; just make sure that you grab the reddish rectangular card when it drops to the ground – it’s big and boxy, so you can’t miss it.

Use Storm Shadow to ascend the side of the shuttle. His jumping abilities make it easy for him to catch the lifts, and his ninja magic will allow you to kill the Vipers standing on the platforms before they can get off a shot at you. The best thing to do is get on a lift, jump up, and lash out with the ninja magic at the Viper on the next platform. Then wait for the lift to go all the way up and jump on the platform, avoiding the spikes. The only tricky spot occurs around the fourth platform up – you’ll be approaching it from the left-hand side. If you try to jump on it you’ll hit your head on the platform above it and land on the spikes. Wait for the lift to take you all the way up to the next platform and skip this one altogether to keep your health. You may be low on ammo as well if you've just come from Area B - use hand-to-hand wherever possible during the entire route.

Firefly
Firefly is the Cobra high roller guarding the space shuttle, and he’s a tough one. Like Cesspool, he has three attacks that are predictable and used in sequence. Firefly’s attacks, however, are not as easy to avoid as Cesspool's were. Firefly moves quickly; it’s almost impossible to avoid every attack he throws at you. Like Cesspool's lair, Firefly has two toxic pools to the left and right of his center stage that you don't want to step in. Here's  a run-down of his attack rotation:

Firefly 1 – Exploding Ball
Floating in the air (magically, I suppose), Firefly will raise his arm up and hold a bright ball there for about 2-3 seconds. He'll then shoot this ball directly at your Joe. Jump over the ball when he shoots it and make sure you don't land near the wall that the ball is headed for - it'll explode there and your Joe might get caught in the blast. Firefly will then fade from view and reappear right above where your Joe was standing.

Firefly 2 - Flying Dash
Firefly will wait a half a second while he appears and then fly directly at your Joe. Don't try to shoot him; just move out of his way and try to position yourself for his next attack.

Cobra shuttle explodingFirefly 3 - Pulse Rifle
The Cobra saboteur will try to blast you with the very pulse rifle that you can obtain in Area B! He'll appear right where your Joe was standing when he disappeared after his flying dash and then drop to the nearest surface. Then he'll shoot a pulse wave in the direction of your Joe. This wave is quite "wide" (vertically speaking, that is), and unless you're positioned correctly you'll have a hard time avoiding it. After shooting the wave Firefly will jump straight up and then appear above your Joe to do his Exploding Ball routine.

Focus more on avoidance than on shooting Firefly. You may or may not have any support Joes at this point in the game, and you don't want any of your troops getting knocked off. Use the machine gun against Firefly and take pot-shots at him whenever you get a spare moment - try blasting him when he's holding his bright ball in the air or when he's pausing before flying at you. It'll take a little while to defeat him slowly like this, but at least you'll come out of the fight in one piece. If you have the laser rifle, by all means use it. It'll take Firefly down a lot quicker - if you can aim it at him and get out of the way of his attack at the same time.

When Firefly's done for, you'll see the Cobra launch pad blowing up. Roadblock will show up to congratulate you and tell you that he was able to sneak into the shuttle and destroy it. Since they were using the shuttle to bring back raw materials from space for weaponry, they'll no longer be able to make weapons. Too bad that doesn't appear to make Cobras any weaker during the rest of the game. Roadblock will now fight with your team.

Route 05
Route 05
Recommended Joes: Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Roadblock or Gen. Hawk
Reward: Duke
Level-Up:

This route appears as a dotted line on the map because it is an underground route - one of two in the game. You cannot enter this route until you rescue Spirit at the end of Route 06. It's also a very unique route in that it contains a special "item" for powering-up your Joes - a war statue. Spirit tells you after Route 06 that he found a healing statue; I call this Atlantean artifact a war statue because it improves all of your weapon skills (and because it looks like a warrior). This statue will allow the Joe that uses it to gain immediate proficiency in every weapon available in the game - even if you do not possess those weapons at the time. The statue is a standing armored figure leaning on a sword and surrounded by strange symbols. It's pictured in the screenshot to the left. As soon as you see the edge of this statue on the screen, switch to whatever Joe you want to use it. I generally try to use this statue on either Roadblock or Snake Eyes - either one could benefit greatly from the statue's powers You'll know that the statue has worked its magic because it will emit sparkles in a circular pattern (also shown in the screenshot to the left). To get to the statue you'll need first to go up, then to go down all the way and enter a room on the right.

Otherwise, this route is fairly tough. Lots of pom-pom guns, floating spheres that fire at your Joes, and up / down passages where your Joe could land on Cobras or a toxic floor. If you do bring Snake Eyes along, be sure to have another Joe who has a lot of hit points. Snakes is really in no condition to fight when you first get him; two hits and the guy is dead. You'll need to nurse him to health with a few chevrons, although I haven't found any in this area. Just keep him covered while you blast your way through. I usually bring Storm Shadow along as well because his ninja magic and sword will take out some of the vipers that are on platforms in one hit, and because he usually has enough health to stay alive and do the jumping that needs to be done.

You'll run into Duke at the end of this route; he's apparently been injured, which is why you have to have Spirit before the game will let you enter. Once Spirit heals him you can add him to the active Joe roster.

Route 06,
Recommended Joes: Gen. Hawk, Wet Suit, Storm Shadow
Reward: Spirit, Radio
Level-Up: YES

Route 07
Recommended Joes:
Reward:
Level-Up: NO

Routes 06 and 07 both ascend the steep mountain at the center of the island. Because there’s a lot of climbing to do on these boards, Storm Shadow and/or Snake Eyes  make excellent additions to the team. Unfortunately, quite a few Vipers will drop down on your Joe team as they climb the mountain. Bring Roadblock or another high-health Joe along so that you don’t have to waste a radio calling in Spirit (you won't have him until you finish Route 06, anyways). Try to be cautious. There's nothing terribly special about either of these boards - a few Pows, a chevron, and a radio at the end of each.

If you haven't gotten Roadblock yet, then you may end up wasting some Pow or Chevron icons. Try as best as you can to funnel the resources to the Joes and weapons that haven't gotten any attention yet. In Route 06, the bad guys will stop yielding Pow icons after the first third of the ascent - the rest of the icons appear as stationary objects.

Spirit will join your force at the end of Route 06; you will need his support before you can enter Route 05 to rescue Duke. He claims that he found an Atlantean statue of healing that will allow him to repair the wounds that your Joes receive (before they're "WOUNDED," that is). Call on Spirit with a radio if you need him.

Route 08Route 08
Recommended Joes:
Reward:
Level-Up: NO

Route 09
Recommended Joes:
Reward:
Level-Up: NO

Routes 08 and 09 are essentially identical, much like 06 and 07 were. In Route 08 you must run from the left end of the board to the right, avoiding missiles and destroying troops. You're only given 3 minutes to complete the route, so you'll need to be quick. Cobra Sea Rays will fly across the screen shooting you with their guns and firing missiles at you. Storm Shadow is almost a necessity on this board; he can jump as high as the Sea Rays and can destroy their guns and missiles with his long-range ninja magic. It would also be a very good idea to take Roadblock along on this board, too - there's a spot roughtly halfway through the board where you'll see a breakable block at ground level on a mound with an Atlantean piece of sculpture on it. Break the block and have Roadblock crawl into the structure behind the wall; there's a chevron inside. Route 09 has an identical place with a chevron. You can stand up inside the mound, but it's a pain trying to finesse it such that Roadblock can crawl in and someone else gets the chevron (you'll probably take a few hits from the missiles while in there, too); just have Roadblock get these two. Be sure not to pick up more than one chevron elsewhere with Roadblock, as each Joe can only use three to increase their health capacity.

Route 09 isn't nearly as time-intensive as Route 08 is; you're given 7 minutes to go through a comparable level. The Sea Rays are gone - Cobra Mambas attack you in this route. I usually save 09 until later on in the game when I want to power-up and get a chevron.

Gung-Ho will join your team after Route 08. He'll say something about certain Cobra troops that get stronger when you use weapons. Gung-Ho will give your team 100 ammo when you call him in on the radio.

Route 10
Recommended Joes: Wet Suit,
Reward:
Level-Up: YES


Very similar to Route 03, but instead of a broken red bridge it's a grey one. Bring Wet Suit along to get the most out of this route. There's a lot of ammo on floating drones down beneath the water, along with three Pows. The remaining Pow in the level is on a Cobra Viper three-fourths of the way across the short span of the bridge. You're given plenty of time in this level and the Vipers are easy; you should have enough time to earn two level-ups for your weapons by hanging around and killing them.

Route 11
Recommended Joes: Wet Suit,
Reward:
Level-Up: NO

Another route-clone, this time of Route 04. This swamp-like region is a strange combination of orange ground in a blue surrounding. Tons of Pow icons here; I'd recommend waiting until after Area D to complete this one, as you'll need them to get your rocket launcher up to speed with some of your Joes. The shallow waters are only accessible to Wet Suit. Bring him along so that you can access the Pows hidden in underwater boxes.

Route 12
Route 12
Recommended Joes:
Reward:
Level-Up: NO

The pulse rifle will come in very handy in Route 12 - bring along at least one Joe who uses it at level 4 proficiency (it doesn't matter too much if they specialize in the weapon like Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow do). Route 12 is a jungle, with places where you'll need to jump across the tree boughs to get over a deep chasm. In a few very nasty places Cobra has put some turrets and Cobra Buzz Boars among these boughs. Your mobility is limited on the small branch-platforms; without the pulse rifle to clear the Cobras out and block their bullets, your Joe could be taking a long tumble to the forest floor (and dying as a result). Be careful not to press Down + A when you're on one of these branches! You can jump down through these platforms; if you do so, your Joe will have committed suicide. On the other hand, there are some times when you'll want to jump down to a lower platform to avoid a bullet or pick up an item - always be sure that there is a platform below you!

The Vipers on this route are tougher than many of the others; use hand-to-hand to save ammunition. Storm Shadow is a good Joe to bring along here simply because of his ninja magic, jumping power, and proficiency with the pulse rifle. I usually bring along Roadblock, too, as his punches are powerful and can take out the Vipers on this Route fairly efficiently.

Area D - Cobra Warehouse
Recommended Joes: Snake Eyes, Duke, General Hawk
Reward: Missile Launcher
Level-Up: NO

Destro is running Cobra's warehouse. Stalker tells you that this base is "a huge maze," and he's not kidding. You'll need to find your way to Destro before the clock runs out, and there are several doors that will take you back to areas you've already cleared once. This confusing nature of this base is one of the reasons this walkthrough exists.

This base is dangerous. Those hairy drops into bottomless pits that the Joes should have avoided in Route 12 are back, only this time the platforms above them are moving conveyer belts. To top it all off, floating pods that take pot-shots at your Joes hang around these belts all the time. Sounds fun, right? If you don't want to take a tumble into a pit, you'll have to shoot the pods before they do likewise to you. Duke might be a good choice in this board except that he's not that great with the pulse rifle, and the pulse's wide beam can really do a number on the pods if used by the right Joe. Snake Eyes is a good one to bring along, as his superior jumping power helps to navigate the conveyer belts and his pulse beam, fully powered, can take out any pod in one hit.

Area D - Cobra WarehouseHere's the real kicker: this base has a certain path you'll need to follow to get to Destro. There are several rooms, each of which ends in a section that's laid out something like the screenshot on the right.

The lower-case a, b, and c above the doors in the screenshot to the right are added - you won't see those in the game. What you will see are three doors laid out in exactly the same pattern in every room. Each door in each room will take you to a different location within the factory - if you take the wrong one, you'll end up right back at the beginning. In each room there's one door that goes forward to the next room, one that goes backward to the room before, and one that takes you to the start of the room that you're in. Use the following room guide to make your way through and avoid multiple encounters with Cobra's cronies.

Room 1 - Not too bad to begin with; just watch out for those floating pods. Doors (a) and (b) will land you right back at the beginning; choose (c) to progress to Room 2.

Room 2 - The conveyer belts in this room are deadly. It's hard to stay alive, much less on the top row of them where your jumping life will be made a little easier. Snake Eyes is a good pick for this room because he's strong with the pulse rifle. He can destroy most of those floating orbs with one shot where it would take the others three. If you find yourself below a platform with a Cobra trooper walking around on top, switch to Snake Eyes and jump up there. Shoot through the wall of boxes there and jump over to the side. It's a lot safer than trying to jump up from down below. At the far right of this room you'll need to choose your door. Door (b) takes you right back to the beginning of Room 1, (c) will take you back to the start of this room. Choose door (a) to move forward.

Room 3 - At first it will look like you've been thrown back to 1, but if you look closer you'll see a Pow in the alcove where there wasn't one before. Move to the right - it's a different room. There are moving drones here again; this time they don't shoot. They do home in on you a lot faster, though, so it would be a good idea to take them out with the pulse rifle. One of them near the beginning and at the bottom of the screen has a chevron that you'll probably need. Door (a) will take you back to 2, while (c) takes you back to the beginning of the room. This time the right door to take is (b).

Room 4 - A laser-viper mini-boss shows up to give you a hard time right in front of a tank; then you have to navigate a few girders and Vipers and pick another door. This time (c) will throw you back to the beginning of the room, (b) leads back to room 3. To get to Destro, choose (a).

Let me repeat and summarize: the correct sequence of doors to take to get to Destro is c-a-b-a.

Destro

Destro
Destro is probably one of the tougher bosses in the game. He's so difficult because of his invulnerable ball attack. He's in the form of that invulnerable ball most of the fight, making it hard to get a shot off. Although it makes no logical sense,  Destro morphs into the ball and then bounces around the screen a bit, after which he dissipates into four litte red balls that twirl around and fly off the screen. These little red balls are almost impossible to avoid, especially when they come back into the screen to form Destro again - but it's do-able, with practice. He'll materialize into human form again and then drop to the ground and shoot a wall of fire at your Joe. Ignore the wall of fire and simply pummel him with a fully-powered laser rifle when he's a human being. When he's not, save your ammo and just try as best as you can to keep out of his way. You'll probably need to call on Spirit once or twice here to stay alive, as there's simply no avoiding Destro. Roadblock may seem like one of the worst possible Joes to pick for this area when you're navigating the conveyer belts simply because he can't jump, but when you face Destro you'll be glad that you have him there (if you chose him, that is) to take the hits. The unfortunate thing about Roadblock is that he also stinks at every weapon except hand-to-hand and the missile launcher...neither of which you will be using in this fight. General Hawk is insanely good with the laser rifle, however, and also has great hit points - he is probably the Joe you will want to use to take out Destro.

Depending on how much ammo you've saved up, you'll probably also need to call on Gung-Ho a number of times to replenish your supply during the fight. You'll probably need all those radios that you've been collecting along the way just to take Destro down. Don't worry about spending them here - the missile launcher is worth it and Cobra Commander (who should be one of the last few challenges you'll have to face) isn't nearly as tough as Destro is.

Area E - Cobra Research Laboratory
Recommended Joes: Roadblock, Storm Shadow, Gen. Hawk
Reward: Snake Eyes
Level-Up: NO
Snake Eyes is being held captive in this lab. The Cobras are apparently trying to brainwash him. Be a real American hero;  take your Joes in here to break him out!

Area EArea E is noticeably more difficult than bases A, B, or C. You'll need to do two things before you get out of this place: a) find the doctor being held hostage in here and get some medicine from him, and b) defeat Major Bludd, who's guarding Snake Eyes. The Cobras in this place are nasty: the narrow hallways are filled with Toxo-Vipers with pom-pom guns, Techno-Vipers who shoot at you, turrets, and little sparking balls that rotate around platforms. There are also floors made of some toxic material in the main open spaces you'll want to avoid touching. You'll probably need the pulse rifle here just to stave off the onslaught of all the bullets that the Cobras throw at you. Bringing Roadblock is also a must in this level, as there are quite a few ammo icons underneath low platforms that only he can crawl to and get. Storm Shadow is also a good choice, as the upper platform level is too high for Roadblock to reach.

The first thing to keep in mind about this board is that it's not just one hallway. There are multiple hallways that branch off above and below the main one; you can get to them by riding lifts up and by jumping down open spaces in the bottom floor. One of these hallways has the doctor with the medicine in it; the others have absolutely nothing except Cobra troops. The Cobras there don't even drop ammo or a B-icon, so don't even bother with the passageways that go up. The only one you really need to be concerned with is the one that goes down. The entrance is about halfway through the main hallway and it's easy to miss if you're not looking for the opening in the floor. Travel down that passageway on the lifts through three or four rooms with pom-pom guns shooting at you in a crossfire; use the pulse rifle to ward off their bullets. Each one will drop a Pow; coordinating it such that you can power-up the right weapons is nice, but staying alive is even nicer, so don't worry too much about it. Once you reach a secondary horizontal hallway at the bottom of the four rooms, go right. The hallway dead-ends at two separate doors.

Doctor with MedicineYou've probably already noticed the doors in this place - your Joe can disappear in them if you press up. Hiding from Cobra bullets in them isn't very effective, as the pom-pom guns have an unending supply of shots and you'll have to come out and face them sometime. But the lower door of these two in the dead-end is where the doctor is with the medicine. Nab that and head back up to the main hallway.

A bit further to the right you'll find a small alcove above you with a pom-pom shooter; kill this guy and he'll give you a chevron. If you have a Joe who can use an increase, that's great; you'll probably just be using this as a full-health restoration item, though. Just a little ways beyond this you'll see a few floating drones and a door that's behind a metal grating. Major Bludd is in this door. Be aware that you can't enter the door without the medicine, so if you haven't gotten this yet, go back and talk to the doc.

 

Major Bludd
Major Bludd is extremely easy if you have Hawk use a level 4 laser rifle. All he does is crawl along the floor and lob grenades at your Joes. Apparently he's the "biotechnological creature" that Stalker was talking about in this area's description. Stay near the wall, kneel down and pound Bludd with the laser rifle. When he crawls near your Joe, jump up. He'll hit the wall, turn around, and go the other way. You might get caught in a grenade blast or two, but Bludd will go down like a dog under the fire of the laser. After he's dead you'll give the medicine to Snake Eyes, who'll join your team.

Route 13
Recommended Joes: Snake Eyes
Reward:
Level-Up: NO

This route is a clone of 12, sans the perilous drops through the trees. Since there are no hairy situations in the treetops, carrying a pulse rifle isn't as imperative. Bringing good fists and swords is a must, however, as the Vipers come in droves here. Don't waste the ammo; take them down with punches, kicks, slashes, and maybe even the Snake Attack.

Route 14
Recommended Joes: Duke
Reward:
Level-Up: NO

Another underground route comparable to Route 05. Most of the same things apply - be sure to bring a jumper, a tank who can take damage, and whichever Joe you want to use the war statue (I usually have Duke use it, since he obviously couldn't use the one in Route 05). The war statue looks the same; be careful that you don't have a Joe who's already powered-up use it or it'll have been wasted. The statue is mid-way through the level in an area that is down and in a small alcove to the right of the vertical passageway. As usual, watch your health to make sure you aren't getting nailed too badly; call on Spirit if you have to. At the end of the level, Hawk and Stalker have a little chat about Cobra using one power source, taking down a force field around the island, and so forth. Basically, it means you'll need to take on Cobra Commander himself (big surprise) in his base which is north-east of the current route (also a big surprise, as it's labeled "COBRA" on the map).

Route 15
Recommended Joes: Wet Suit, Duke, Roadblock
Reward:
Level-Up: NO

This route is actually tougher than 16; there are floating orbs, Vipers, pom-pom guns, turrets - most of Cobra's arsenal, in fact. It's probably because the Atlantean power source is located at the end of this route - although the Joe team is powerless to do anything about it until the force field is taken down. The real catch are these two or three underground switchbacks where you have to enter a room for a little ways to get beyond a wall. Cobra's placed turrets right on that wall so that when you're descending and ascending into the rooms you'll get pummeled. The answer: Duke. He's the only Joe able to shoot up and down, and he can use the pulse rifle to block the barrage of bullets and take care of the turrets at the same time.

There are also two or three mini-bosses here. As usual, just pound them and get them out of the way. At this point you may want to use the missile launcher to really lay into them and take them out quickly (it only takes about four shots with Roadblock!). There aren't really many health-returning icons in this board, so you'll need to conserve it if you're going to make it through alive. Try not to use a radio, either - the only real point of going to this remote board is to get another one, and if you use one to get it you've probably just wasted your time. At the end of the board Hawk waxes philosophical and wonders what brought everyone to this island, and if something's controlling us (fate? destiny?). Then he dismisses all that thinking stuff and says "Well, guess the only way to take down the force field is to kill Cobra Commander." That's what we've been waiting for; let's go get that snake!

Route 16
Recommended Joes:
Reward:
Level-Up: NO

This is the last route before the big Cobra base, and it's a pretty easy one. Many of the Cobras drop ammo; try to be quick and pick it up as soon as it drops, because you can't run backwards in this board. There are a few mini-bosses hanging around, along with a small fleet of jet sleds that fly by and shoot at you. The machine gun will come in handy for taking out those pesky flyers before they riddle you with their bullets.

Another important thing to note about this board is the fact that the statues explode. Those half-broken Atlantean figures you see will blow up when you hit 'em and hurt your Joe if you're standing too close. Conversely, if you shoot at one while a Cobra is near it'll go off and damage them. The only statues that don't explode are the platforms that look like urns - you'll need to jump on these, in fact, because they're settled right in the middle of a hidden pool of toxic water.

Other than that...just be careful. If you don't need the ammo, just use a jumper-Joe to get on top of the pillars and run across the entire level to the end, where a radio is waiting for you. After you nab it, it's on to the final Cobra base and a showdown with the head snake himself.

Area F - Cobra Commander's Headquarters