Nova Defender - A Guide Beyond the Stars!
In the depths of space, far beyond the sight of Neopia, a battle of epic proportions is being played out between good and evil. There are two opposing forces: that of the menacing Mechanova, and you—a lone warrior in pursuit of peace across the galaxies, the Light Nova. This is Nova Defender. In this game, your goal is to progressively defeat each level, battling against the minions of Mechanova, until you ultimately defeat him yourself. This guide is to ensure that your battle is victorious, whether it is to ensure an 1000 NP score each play, to complete the game, or to obtain a new gold trophy for your userlookup.
In Nova Defender, you control your character using your mouse, and firing using the WASD or arrow keys. Enemies continually spawn throughout the level, and you must defeat them by hitting them with one of your shots. If an enemy touches you either by direct contact or one of its shots, you will lose a third of your health. When all your health is lost, you lose a life. You have three lives throughout the entire game. When an enemy is defeated, it leaves behind a gem that you can collect by moving your character over it. If you collect gems in succession, you will obtain a greater score for each gem. If in trouble, you can double click your mouse to activate your shield, protecting you from anything for a brief period of time.
Solely battling an entire army isn't easy; however, there are six different power-ups that you can purchase with collected gems to make the game significantly easier. Because most these power-ups are essentially mandatory to complete the game, I will take a moment to describe them in detail.
3-Way Shot – At 3000 gems, this power-up is the cheapest out of the shot upgrades, and will most likely be the first one that you get. As the name suggests, it allows you to shoot three shots at once, each of them with slightly different angles, as opposed to one singular shot that you start with.
2-Way Shot – Despite only adding two extra shots for a price of 8000 gems, this upgrade is just as useful as the 3-Way Shot, adding two more shots at wider angles, allowing you to hit a wider range of opponents.
Shield Bonus – The Shield Bonus is the only upgrade that doesn't directly assist in taking out enemies. For 9000 gems, it adds an extra five seconds to your shield.
Cannon Shot – This power-up costs 10000 gems, and it upgrades your default shot to be larger, which allows it to pass through enemies. However, it only upgrades the centre shot, and not any of the shots obtained from the 3-Way or 2-Way shots.
Back Shot – Comparing power to price, at 15000 gems, this power-up isn't the most useful, as it adds a single shot directly from the back. However, since there is nothing else to buy near the end of the game, this can be slightly helpful in some cases.
Hypernova – This is a single-use power-up, costing 2500 gems. To use it, one must press the spacebar and the entire screen will be cleared. This can be especially helpful in sticky situations. However, its usefulness is limited because you can only have one at a time, and you must purchase a new one when it is consumed.
The Pink Gem – While you can't directly purchase this from the store, a pink gem will appear in the centre of the map on most levels that destroys all of the enemies on the map. This is very helpful to collect, as it can help yield a lot of points.
Nearly each of the ten levels introduces a new type of enemy, which becomes more difficult to beat as the levels progress. However, the novas from previous levels will show up in each new level as well, causing you to battle a diverse range of enemies in the later levels. Here, I will give you a strategy to maximize your chances of defeating each level.
Level 1 – This is by far the easiest level in the game, as there are only opposing Light Novas to fight against. To pass this level, you must defeat 30 enemies, and because none of them fire shots at you, it is easy to collect a gem bonus.
Level 2 – This level is similar to level 1, however Mechanical Novas are released, which fire a singular shot in your direction. To complete this level, you must defeat 40 enemies.
Level 3 – In this level, Fire Novas are released. Compared to Mechanical Novas, Fire Novas have an enhanced speed as well as an enhanced shot. To complete this level, you must survive for one minute and fifteen seconds, which allows you to collect a copious amount of gems throughout the level.
Level 4 – This level is probably the most unique in the entire game. Instead of protecting yourself, you must protect your friend, the Friendly Nova, which resides in the centre of the map. Enemies will shoot green arrows towards her, and like you, she has a limited amount of health. To rid the map of the green arrows, you must fire at them like you would an enemy. Like level 3, you must survive for one minute and fifteen seconds to complete the level.
Level 5 – This level introduces the Attack Novas. Instead of firing anything towards you, these novas just set mines that temporarily occupy the map, damaging you if you manage to touch them. Again, you must survive for one minute and fifteen seconds to complete the level.
Level 6 – Pulsar Novas are the enemy that is released in this level. They are not too terribly bothersome, as they don't tend to shoot directly towards your character. Because you only have to defeat 100 enemies, rather than survive for a period of time, this level is generally completed faster than the others.
Level 7 – Level 7 is especially painful; the Dark Novas are some of the strongest enemies in the game. They are virtually indestructible from anything, bar the Hypernova power-up, until it is about to fire. If you can defeat 150 enemies, you may continue to the next level.
Level 8 – Super Novas are LARGE. When one of these is on the screen, you must prioritize to take it out, or a heavy blast of firepower will be coming your way. As this is a survival level, you must last for one minute and fifteen seconds.
Level 9 – This level introduces Ultra Novas, which are basically an upgraded version of Super Novas. If they aren't taken out immediately, they will fire a copious amount of shots that are nearly unavoidable. If you can eliminate 140 enemies, you can move on to the next level.
Level 10 – Congratulations if you got this far, this is the final level of the game! In this level, you must take Mechanova by yourself. He is similar to an Ultra Nova; firing heavy, nearly unavoidable blast at you. If you can complete this level, you will have completed the entire game, and may even be eligible for a high score.
Additional Tips and Strategy
Play with the sound on. You will be able to hear whether or not you have a gem bonus; each successive gem will make a higher pitch when collected. Muting the music is fine, as long as you keep the sound on.
In order to obtain a high score, it is important that you play on hard mode; it rewards an exponentially greater amount of points than the other two modes, easy and normal.
With that in mind, it is also important to collect gems in succession to receive points for the gem bonus. There are several ways to make this easier:
1) If possible, circle around the map, trying not to get hit by other enemies. Then destroy all of the enemies at once, collecting all of the gems at once as well.
2) Avoid using your shield. You cannot take advantage of the gem bonus while using your shield.
3) However, in some cases, you can use the shield to your advantage. In the survival level, you can activate your shield at around 40-42 seconds left, circling the map to allow the enemies to build up, and then when it is about to run out, a pink gem will appear at the centre of the map that will destroy all of the enemies.
Avoid moving to the next level unless you have the power-ups you need to succeed. While it may seem redundant to lose a life on purpose, you do keep all the gems and points obtained in a level. Because survival levels yield the most amount of gems, it is a good strategy to play through these levels until there are a few seconds left, and then purposely lose a life. Because it is the earliest survival level, level 3 is probably the best choice to do this.
If you follow these tips, you should be on your way to achieving a high score. Remember, practicing is essential! I was once never able to complete level 3, and now I can achieve a high score every time I play. I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for reading my Nova Defender guide!