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Follow the dark path or use the light
Retro Game Challenge Pack Shot

Retro Game Challenge


Retro Game Challenge: Cosmic Gate Guide

by willyfoureyes

Retro Game Challenge - Cosmic Gate
Strategy Guide (version 1.00 - February 18, 2009)
by Walter "WillyFourEyes" Williams (f.k.a. SiliconHero, MoonsaultKid)

* DISCLAIMER/CONTACT INFORMATION                                              *

This mini-game strategy guide was written by Walter Williams (pen name:
WillyFourEyes), and is intended for personal/private use. No part of this guide
may be reposted in any form without permission from the author.

Retro Game Challenge (a.k.a. Game Center CX) is the property of Namco Bandai
Games Ltd., Fuji Television, and its various publishers, including XSEED Games
in North America.

Additions, corrections, strategies, and omission notes are always welcome.
If you have any additional tips for this mini-game, or ideas for improving this
guide, please send an e-mail to willygamer (at) with the
subject line "Retro Game Challenge - Cosmic Gate FAQ". This, and other guides
of mine, can eventually be found at my personal website:

* TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                           *


* 0. VERSION HISTORY                                                          *

1.00 - February 18, 2008
- Guide completed.

* 1. ABOUT THE GAME                                                           *

Cosmic Gate is the first of eight games given to you as challenges from Game
Master Arino. This is a fixed shooter in the vein of Galaga, where you have to
defeat waves of aliens with a spaceship equipped with lasers. The enemies will
start by flying into formation from the top and sides of the screen., and then
descend to attack one at a time once they've all formed up. On the third stage,
and every fourth stage after that (7, 11, 15, etc.), you'll enter a bonus round
where you fly through an asteroid field, and can score extra points by
destroying asteroids. Crashing into one of them ends the bonus round. There are
64 stages in all, and most of them (except for the bonus rounds) can be
completed in as little as 15 seconds.

* 2. CONTROLS                                                                 *

D-Pad Left/Right = Move your ship back and forth.
A/B Button = Fire lasers/missiles.
Start Button = Start/pause the game.

* 3. ENEMY TYPES                                                              *

Pawns - The lowest-ranked enemy fighters that occupy the two bottom rows (ten
each). They charge straight toward your ship area, but loop around to try and
hit you again if they miss the first time. On most stages, there will be a
flashing pawn that occupies the bottom row. Shoot it before hitting anything
else to make a warp appear.

Guards - Enemy fighters that occupy the third and fourth rows (eight on the
third row, six on the fourth), and sometimes fly in formation with a Boss.
They take a zig-zagging flight pattern, making them harder to hit than pawns.

Bosses - Enemy fighters that occupy the top rows. Usually the last ones to
attack, and they always fly in formation with one or two Guards if they are
available. They attack by diving, looping in mid-flight, and then descending
at a diagonal. On the second stage, and every fourth stage after that (6, 10,
14, etc.) a flashing Boss will carry a power-up that allows your ship to shoot
missiles that can pierce and it multiple enemies. If you already have this
power-up, then the flashing boss will not appear.

As the stages progress, the enemies will fly in formation in larger clusters.
They start out with four small ones for the first 24 stages, then in three
medium-sized waves on stages 25-48, and finally two large clusters for stages

* 4. SCORING                                                                  *

* Enemies
Pawns - 50 points in formation, 100 points in flight.
Guards - 80 points in formation, 150 points in flight.
Bosses - 150 points in formation, 400 points in flight. When in tandem with
Guards, x2 if killed second, and x4 if killed last.

* Asteroid Zone

Small Asteroids - 100 points.
Medium Asteroids - 500 points. Takes 3 hits.
Giant Asteroids - 15,000 points. Takes 15 hits.

* Bonuses

Skill Shot multiplier - Hitting multiple enemies with a piercing missile nets
you that ship's score x2 if it's the second one destroyed, x4 if it's the
third, and x8 for any others after that.
Asteroid Shoot Down Bonus - 100 points for each one destroyed.
FANTASTIC! Bonus - 10,000 points for Asteroid Zones before Stage 20; 15,000
points for Asteroid Zones before Stage 40; and 20,000 points for all others.
Must shoot down 30 or more Asteroids to obtain.

Extra lives are obtained at 20,000 points and all multiples of 70,000 points.
On very rare occasions, a 1-Up Tomato will be dropped after you destroy a
medium-sized asteroid in the Asteroid Zone.

* 5. GENERAL TIPS                                                             *

* Warp Zones

If you want to get ahead quickly, then using the warp zones is your best bet.
After all of the enemies fly into formation, hold your fire until you can line
your ship up with the blinking Pawn in the bottom row. If you shoot anything
before that one, the Pawn will stop blinking, and you'll have to wait for
another stage. Once a warp is successfully hit 18 times, you'll get to skip
ahead three stages.

There are also "rainbow warp zones", mentioned in the March '85 Gamefan
Magazine (the second one you obtain) that will warp you ahead twelve levels
instead of the usual three. In order to make it appear, you have to shoot
down the blinking pawn before it reaches formation on a prime-numbered stage
(2, 5, 13, 17, 29, 37, 41). These are harder to get on higher levels, so
it's best to shoot for the one on Stage 2 or 5 if you want to get moving

There is another, super-secret type of warp zone that instantly jumps you
to the last level of the game. To activate it, you need to shoot and miss
64 times until a red vortex appears. You have to wait until the "Stage 1"
marker disappears before you fire your first shot, or the game may not count
any of the others. Once this is done, open the wormhole to jump your way to
Stage 64, where the enemies are at their fastest. This trick is not revealed
until the very last challenge (Gamefan Magazine, Issue 12/31/1989), when
Arino makes you play and beat all of the games in your collection.

* Cheat Codes

Instant Power-Up (once per game) - If you're having trouble collecting
power-up items from the bosses, press Start to pause the game, and then enter
Up, Up, A, A, B, B, and your ship will transform into its powered-up form.
Be careful, as you can still lose this ability if you get hit, requiring you
to wait for an even-numbered stage to get a boss to drop another one.
(Revealed in Gamefan Magazine, Issue 3/85)

Continue - To continue to game from the last stage where you died, press
the Start button while holding Left on the D-Pad when the "Game Over" text
appears. (Revealed in Gamefan Magazine, Issue 3/85)

Hard Mode - To play the game in Hard mode, press Down, Down, B, B, A, A
(an inversion-of-sorts of the Instant Power-Up code) at the title screen.
The vortex around "Cosmic Gate" will turn green to denote that you entered
the cheat correctly. In Hard mode, enemies will shoot more often, and the
shots will fly faster than in Normal mode. There is no difference to the
ending if you play on Normal or Hard.

* 6. CHALLENGES                                                               *

Before unlocking this game for Free Play, you'll have to complete a series of
challenges for Game Master Arino. Since this is the first game in his series,
the goals to meet are pretty easy.

1. Clear Stage 5!
All you have to do here is clear the fifth stage. You're not allowed to use
any warp zones to get there, though. This will give you a good look at how the
enemies behave, and let you take your first trip through the Asteroid Zone.

2. Use two warps!
Self-explanatory: Jump through two warp zones. You can do this in any stage
you choose, but you have to use two of them. Just hold your fire and wait for
the blinking Pawn to get in formation, and then blast away.

3. Destroy giant asteroid!
In the Asteroid Zone, you'll find three different sizes of asteroid - small,
medium, and large. Find a slow-moving giant asteroid, and shoot at it 15 times
to complete the challenge. You'll want to line up your ship with it fairly
early and start blasting away, or else you'll get crushed by it.

4. Score 200,000 points!
You'll need to play the game for a little while in order to reach this score
plateau. Try to get a power-up as early as the second stage, and fire your
missiles through a line of targets (preferably the ones in the middle where
the bosses lie, for maximum point scoring). In the Asteroid Zones, use these
same missiles to help you quickly shoot down multiple asteroids (especially
the medium- and large-sized ones), and aim to score as many FANTASTIC!
bonuses as possible. Every third shot counts!

* 7. SPECIAL THANKS                                                           *

First, a big hearty thank-you to those of you who've sent in
suggestions/questions about all of my previous guides. Without your support,
I'd only be writing these for myself, and that would be no fun.

Also, the following people/entities deserve honorable mention:
* XSEED Games for publishing this game,
* Nintendo, for developing the DS to play it on,
* Namco, for giving the world Pac-Man, Galaga, and other arcade classics, and
* those gamers keeping the spirit of retro gaming alive across the world. I
salute you.