Pro tip: lots more bonus points in Duck Tales

You might remember a while back that I told you how to get lots more points in Super Mario Bros. by waiting until the timer runs out before you clear a stage.

It turns out that you can so this in other games, too.

Like Duck Tales, for instance.

First, go to your favorite boss and defeat it, open the treasure chest, but don't grab the loot.

Then, wait around until time runs out. The moment that time runs out, grab the prize

Done right, you'll grab the treasure, and the clock will roll over and start counting down

Giving you lots of bonus dollars

I don't really recommend this, though. You have a very small window of opportunity to grab the loot before you lose a life. You have to grab it the precise moment that the clock rolls over to "TIME UP", otherwise you have to beat the boss again, and wait for the timer to count down, which takes a real long time.

But you might want to do it once, just to see it.

Pro tip: Getting lots of magic books in Golden Axe 2

This one's kind of fun.

In Golden Axe 2, if you go to the Options screen and set the type of magic to Special

Then play the game normally until you come to a boss. When the music changes, hold in the A button (or whatever button you have designated for Magic

Don't let it go until the battle's over and the screen transitions to black. Then, when you go to the bonus stage, don't press any buttons at all.

It'll kind of look like the bonus stage will go on forever until you thwack the enemies walking around, but it will eventually end.

When you start the next stage, your character will immediately unleash a magical attack

After which, you'll see that your stockpile of magic books has suddenly grown enormous!

If you use more than your character's normal maximum, you can occasionally use other characters' spells

But, if you use too many, the game will freeze, so staying within your characters' limits is probably for the best.

Pro tip: Using abilities you don't actually have in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

In Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, you pick up these cards that are used in something called the "DSS System" do give you special abilities, you have to pick one from the top row and one from the bottom. And then you press the L button to activate the combo.

For example: choose the Mars and Manticore cards and your whip will be replaced with "Poison Claws"

Then you press L again to deactivate it.

What's interesting is if you press L to activate a combo

And while your character is going through the animation of activating the skill, you go to the status screen

And pick a combination of cards that you don't actually have, you get its effect anyway! Like here, this combo activates a familiar that follows me around

The only drawback is that some of the effects are kind of hard to figure out what they do, and if you do manage to figure them out, the game won't actually record the description for you (unless you eventually collect the cards, of course).

One of my favorites is this combination

Which gives you the Item Crush ability. It costs 20 hearts, but you unleash a super attack with whatever sub-weapon you have equipped, if you put in the correct button combo

It's quite useful, especially on bosses and powerful normal enemies.

Pro tip: Warping to World 6, 7, or 8 without using the vine in Super Mario Bros.

It's pretty well known that in the original Super Mario Bros. game that you can warp from World 4-2 to either 6, 7, or 8 by using a hidden Vine, but what you might not know is that there's another way.

Toward the beginning of the level, you have all these blocks making a path. What you want to do is to scroll one of the columns halfway off the screen so that when you go back to break them, they make a 1/2 block-width column.

If you duck-jump into this column and then stand up, Mario will start to slide toward the right.

If you start walking to the right just as he gets to the edge of the screen, it'll start to scroll. You're going to want to stay as far to the right as possible (which is kind of tough, since you can't really see what's coming). You might want to back up a little bit so you can see stuff like that moving platform across the first pit.

An alternate method would involve making the Vine appear here, scrolling so that the block that sprouted it scrolls halfway off the screen and then trying to jump on it. Done right, you'll be teleported to the far right of the screen. Done wrong, though, and you risk getting Mario stuck until the time runs out.

Make your way to the third pipe and enter it

If you were far enough over, you will be whisked away to the Warp Zone instead of the bonus room you would be expecting!


Pro tip: using the walls to your advantage in Double Dragon

In Double Dragon's Mission 3, you will eventually come across a pair of green Abobos. They're kind of tough, since you have less room to maneuver than normal.

But you can use that to your advantage.

If you can back Abobo up so that his back is touching the wall on the left

And give him a jumpkick to the face, he'll fall through the wall!

Saving you precious life-points.

Pro tip: watching out where you pause in Blaster Master

If you managed to get past the Crab boss in Area 5 of Blaster Master, you get to move on to the ice stage, Area 6, which features these blocks that you have to destroy from below to proceed.

But, say you need to check your status screen for some reason, or you just want to pause the game for a breather

Once you leave the status screen...

The blocks are back!

I sure hope you didn't need to go back down that shaft.

Also, as a bonus tip: the boss's room is to the right once you get to the top of this shaft. If you go left it'll lead you back to beginning of the stage, and some of these mysterious blocks will be back, making you take the long way around.

Pro tip: infinite weapon energy in Mega Man 2

In Mega Man 2 you go around destroying Robot Masters and collecting their special weapons to use against them, pretty standard Mega Man stuff.

Now, each weapon takes a certain amount of weapon energy, represented by the meter to the left of your health

Several of the weapons take significant chunks out of your energy meter, but some, like the Metal Blade, give you several shots per bar of energy. You can use this to your advantage.

First, equip something that drains less than one bar of Weapon Energy per shot, like the Metal Blades or the Quick Boomerangs, then start firing. Before you consume the first bar of weapon energy, bring up the weapon selection screen by hitting Start.

Then immediately close it. That fraction of Weapon Energy you used? It gets reset! Meaning that if you keep bringing up the selection screen after every few shots, you'll never run out of Weapon Energy for those weapons.

Of course you have to constantly count how many shots you've gotten off, and pause the game every few seconds, which makes this really tedious to do.

But it's totally worth it, right?

Pro tip: Final Fantasy 3/6's "Psycho Cyan" bug

This one's kind of fun. In Final Fantasy 6 for the SNES (otherwise known as Final Fantasy 3 in North America) there's a couple of bugs that will let you defeat just about any enemy or group of enemies with essentially no effort.

First, get into battle with a party that has Cyan in it. Then have him charge up his SwdTech to level 2 (Retort).

Then, before he has a chance to use it (i.e. before he gets hit with a physical attack) turn him into an Imp.

Then kill him off with a magical attack.

Then revive him.

Now the fun begins.

As soon as a physical attack is made, from anyone to anyone else, Cyan will counter it.

And, because of a couple of bugs, he'll continue to counterattack until every enemy on the screen is dead.

You might run into a problem if an enemy on the screen is invisible or otherwise can't die from physical attacks, so be careful. Once this bug is initiated, you can't do anything else until the battle is over.

Pro tip: extra bonus points

At the end of each stage in Super Mario Bros. you get 50 points for each unit of time that you have left on the clock when you finish a stage.

But, let's say that you go to your favorite X-4 stage (the big castles)

You make your way to Bowser and bide your time a little bit (this works best if you're fiery and can get him out of the way)

And then hit the axe then the timer hits 000 seconds.

The result? When you visit the mushroom retainer the clock starts counting down from 999 time units back down to zero.

Giving you 49950 points instead of whatever amount you would have had, had you just gone for it.

And this trick is arcade only, I'm afraid.

Pro tip: Zombie Mega Man

If you remember a while back, I told you about a way to vastly increase Mega Man's jump in Mega Man 3. It turns out, though, that there's more to that trick than first it seems.

First, grab controller 2, and hold down the Right arrow, just like before. You might want to recruit a friend or a rubber band to do the honors, since it's hard to do on your own.

After that, find a conveniently-placed hole, and jump in. It'll need to be a hole where an enemy will follow you.

Let the enemies hit you while you're offscreen and eventually, you'll run out of life points and hear the "you dead" sound. But, as long as you're holding down the Right arrow, you can still jump out and walk around, even with no life points.

The awesome thing is, that now enemies can't kill you off. They can hit you all they want, but you'll never explode. The downside is, though, that your Mega Buster doesn't work any more, since Mega Man's energy for that weapon is gone.

The rest of his weapons work fine, though. And since the Rush Marine is all but useless, I like to use that to fire the Mega Buster.

Just don't pick up any health powerups. If you do that, you will be able to die again if you get hit.

Oh, and spikes are still lethal. They're jerks that way.

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