Defender Master Gives Tips

Have you ever played Defender? It’s amazingly difficult! It was described in Craig Kubey’s golden-era video game book The Winner’s Book of Video Games as like being locked in a closet with a swarm of killer bees, and the comparison is apt. It absolutely destroys inexperienced players, and the road to mastery is long. And yet, it can be mastered. People have flipped the score many times over, even if it’s difficult to see how.

This video (18 minutes) from Tim’s Tiny Arcade with Defender expert Joe Dearman explains some of the higher-level tactics of the game.

One thing it doesn’t explain, though, possibly because it’s a fairly basic piece of knowledge even if it’s not obvious at all, is the “International Date Line.” There is an invisible vertical line at a specific place in the game world where the internal coordinate system wraps around. When your ship is being chased by enemies, and you cross that line, pursuers suddenly drop their pursuit, because the x-coordinate comparison sends them all the way around the game world the other way. If you hang out around the IDL, you can immediately escape from chasing Swarmers and Mutants just by crossing it!

Defender Strategy Tips from Joe Dearman – Golden Age Defender Champion (Youtube, 18 minutes)

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