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Williams' Arcade's Greatest Hits is a compilation of several classic Williams arcade games, including Defender, Defender 2 (originally known as Stargate in the arcades), Joust, Robotron: 2084 and Sinistar. It was developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Williams in 1996.
In this game, players control a space ship that flies over the surface of a planet. On the first Attack Wave, the player is pitted against only slow-moving Landers that occasionally fire at the player's ship. However, they can also snatch humanoids off the planet's surface and attempt to make it to the top of the screen with them; if they are able to make it to the top, they then turn into a Mutant, which moves much quicker and is much more aggressive. If the player shoots the Lander while in mid-air with the humanoid, the player needs to catch the humanoid and return it to the surface. If the humanoid is too high up and the player misses it it will die upon impact. Safely returning the humanoid results in a bonus and there is a bonus for remaining humanoids at the end of a Wave. However, if all humanoids die during a Wave, the planet will explode, all Landers will change into Mutants, and "free space" is difficult to survive for most. The planet gets restored with every four completed Waves though.
From Wave 2 on, Bombers also appear that leave a trail of bombs behind them, while Pods split into several fast-moving Swarmers that are hard to hit. Also, if a player takes too long to finish a Wave, one or more fast-moving Baiters will appear.
Colliding with any creature or ship other than a humanoid, being shot by anything, or blowing up upon re-entry from Hyperspace (which can occasionally happen) will cause a player to lose a ship in reserve; the game will end when there are no remaining ships. An extra ship and Smart Bomb (which destroys everything onscreen) is awarded with every 10,000 points, plus the player also has the Hyperspace function to move them randomly to another area of the planet in case of emergency.
This sequel to Defender has the usual cosmetic upgrades -- such as the player's ship, planet, and a few of the enemies have a bit of a facelift (the Landers and Mutants are wider this time around) -- but, there was also several additions as well, such as the name element to the game (the game was originally called Stargate) of the Stargate, which would do one of three things when the player flew into it: it would transport them to the other side of the planet, if a humanoid was being abducted, the player would be automatically taken to the abduction site, or if the player was carrying four humanoids, that would warp them ahead four Attack Waves and give them a big bonus.
There were also several Baiter-like ships added, being the Phreds, Big Reds and Munchies, although they all move just as quickly as Baiters, but don't fire. Firebombers were also added, shooting quick-moving fireballs at the player, along with Yllabian Space Guppies, which are small and tend to appear in clusters, and Dymanos fire off Space Hums at the player. There are several new "themed" waves as well, such as the Yllabian Dogfight, where the majority of the Wave contains only the Yllabian ships, and the Firebomber Showdown.
And finally, the new weapon of Inviso was added as well, making the player invulnerable to attack, but they were also made invisible while it was used as well. A small amount of Inviso is awarded (along with an extra Smart Bomb and reserve ship) at every 10,000 points.
Players control flying ostriches that must defeat enemy ostriches in jousting contests. Ostriches appear from one of several pads from onscreen ledges and take flight. In order to unseat an ostrich, contestants must fly and strike at each other; whoever has the higher lance (that the player's knight is holding) wins the joust, whereas with a tie they will just bounce off each other.
Once an enemy is defeated, it's bird will fly away while dropping an egg, which can be scooped up for bonus points. If left for too long, though, a new, more advanced rider will emerge, and if the human players take too long in clearing out a level, a Pterodactyl will appear and go after the players, which are very hard to kill.
As the game goes on, there are bonus rounds comprised of only eggs (Egg Waves), various challenges issued (points awarded for two players for either not dying or if one unseats the other during a round, as two players can play simultaneously), ledges will disappear (there is also a Lava Troll at the bottom corners of the screen that will grab and possibly drag a knight down to its death) and the enemy ostriches will get faster.
The game is over when players run out of ostriches. Extra lives are awarded with every 10,000 points.
In the year 2084, scientists created a race of Robotrons that are bent on taking over the world. Meanwhile players control genetically altered humans in their bid to stop the Robotrons.
Players can move and fire independently at various Robotrons, such as Grunts that swarm the players. There are also Spheroids that move around the screen and launch Enforcers that fire quick-moving shots. Brain Robotrons will fire Cruise Missiles and reprogram the last surviving human family into Progs, while Tanks fire shots that bounce off walls, and Hulks cannot be destroyed.
There are also Electrodes that do not move or attack, but if a player runs into them or anything else other than the human family that will cost them a reserve life. The game will end when there are no more reserve lives left, although extras are earned with every 10,000 points.
The last surviving human family -- Daddy, Mommy and Mikie -- also roam the levels, which touching them earns the player a bonus. Hulks can kill the humans if they make contact with the family members.
In this game, the player(s) control a ship that must stop the building of a living weapon known as the Sinistar. While flying through space, the player must mine nearby planetoids by shooting at them to free up crystals that, when collected, will create Sinibombs to attack the Sinistar with, since a player's regular shots will not affect it.
Meanwhile, the player has to contend with drones that can steal crystals, and Warrior ships that shoot at the player. Once the Sinistar is built, it rapidly pursues the player (while taunting the player with threats) and will draw the player's ship into its mouth if possible.
Being shot by a Warrior ship or making contact with the Sinistar will cost the player a reserve ship and the game ends when they have no remaining ships.
Under Game Options, all games have the ability to change the number of lives to start, when extra lives will be earned, and how high the difficulty level will reach, but also these features can be changed as well:
- Defender--Waves per planet
- Defender 2--Inviso levels, number of humanoids needed to warp, last Wave for warp
- Robotron: 2084--normal controller setting or the ability to turn controller 90 degrees
- Sinistar--next bonus ship, have rapid fire enabled or not
- Every home version of Stargate has been called Defender 2, once Atari got sued for bringing home a port of Stargate to their 2600 system, as there was already a product with the home exclusive name of Stargate released at the time.
- If a player has a joystick with a turbo mode, if turned on for Joust, the player's ostrich will flap around like a hummingbird. (Note: this may not work with all joysticks with this feature; this has been used with an official Sega controller.)
- This was also ported to the SNES and PlayStation consoles as well, which, along with Bubbles being included on the latter, which also has some interviews with some of the game designers as well.