info:xanathis' faq


Propeller Arena: Air Battle Championship FAQ
Last Updated: May 15th, 2004
By: Xanathis (xanathis@gmail.com)
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Quick Basics
3. Teams/Planes
4. Modes
 4a. Training Arena
5. Items
6. Tricks
7. Copyright 
1. Introduction:
Back in the final days of the Dreamcast market, a number of games that were
set for release in the United States were cancelled. Most people remember
Shenmue 2 being canned, but another title that was canned was Propeller
Arena. The game sprung from the mind of the famous Yu Suzuki and was being
produced by AM2. It is questionable why the game was cancelled as it was
basically complete. At the time, it was a little after the events of
September 11th and Sega claimed that they did not want to release the
game over sensitivity for the public. Whether that's really why it was
yanked, I suppose we'll never know.
So what is Propeller Arena? It's Yu Suzuki's take on the idea of WWII dog
fighting with propeller planes. The main draw of the game was to be it's
ability to be played over Sega's network with friends. Think of it much
like Alien Front Online but in the air and you'll have the general idea.
This was a game that nobody believed would ever be seen. Fast forward to
2004. An enterprising group was able to get their hands on a basically
finished version of the game (as far as I can tell it's finished) and rip
an image of it to spread around the internet. It's unfortunate that the only
way one will be able to play such a fantastic game (with great graphics and
featuring music from bands at Fat Wreck Chords) is through downloading the
image and making themselves a copy.
As for the game, it does not need a true walkthrough. It's very straight-forward
in that the idea in the main mode of gameplay is to shoot down opponents and
have the most kills.
2. Quick Basics:
Default Controls:
Thumb Joystick - Changes the plane's direction (turn left/right, angle up/down)
                 Note: The Y-axis is inverted, so when you move the joystick
                       up the plane angles downwards.
D-Pad - Up and Down on the D-pad changes camera view between three views.
Right and Left are not used.
L - Brake
R - Accelerate
A - Machine Gun
B - Voice
X - Tricks
Y - Use Weapon Item
You can change the control setup in the options as well as listening to the songs
in the game, and changing options for a couple of the modes.
The general gameplay is that of a death match. You have your plane and there are
several opponent planes and the goal is to have the most "kills" within the time
limit or reach the point limit first (10 in Championship mode and whatever you
set it to in Quick Battle). To do this, you make use of items, tricks, and your
gaming abilities. Items and Tricks are listed further on in this FAQ.
When you play, you will see in the bottom middle of the screen 3 bars - Power,
Speed, and Damage. When you perform tricks, they drain energy from your power
bar. When you're out of power, you will be unable to perform tricks. It slowly
recharges over time. Speed is obviously an indicator of your speed while Damage
is how much health your plane has left.
To the left of these bars is the logo of your pilot as well as a number next to
it which indicates how many kills you have. In dog-fights, the top of the screen
will be lined up with the logos of your opponents. Under their logos is their
health bars and to the right of the logos is the number of kills they have.
When you lock on and approach a target, a number will appear under them. This
number indicates the target's distance from you. As you get closer, a circle
will appear around the crosshairs. At this point, you will be in range of them
and be able to shoot them with your machine guns. When you score hits, it will
say "HIT" in the middle of the screen. If you get really close behind an enemy,
a larger circle appears around them and the screen will say "Press X". If you hit
X at this point, you will zoom in on your enemy and be able to kill them with ease.
3. Teams/Planes:
Eagle Jam - P51D Mustang
Shameless Cats - P51D Mustange
Muscle Bros - P38J Lightning
Pizza Fat - P38J Lightning
Pengo Jets - Bf 109E
8-bit Beat - Bf 109E
Hex Candy - Spitfire Mk Vb
Golden Knife - Spitfire Mk Vb
Some teams have specific tricks that only they may do. The one's I've noticed
are in the tricks section.
I can't tell much difference between the pilots/planes so if anybody can submit
info on this part, that'd be great. Just send an
email to Xanathis@hotmail.com with what you've discovered.
4. Modes:
In championship mode, you pick a team and then battle through each of the 8 battle
maps to achieve victory. Each battle is decided by whoever has the most kills at
the time limit or whoever gets 10 kills first. Points are awarded based on rank and
the team with the highest point total after all the battles is the winner.
Quick Battle:
This is for playing with friends on the same machine. Up to 4 players may play
a battle on split screen in this mode. Each player picks a pilot then you pick
one of the 8 battle maps (Airport, Red Valley, Tower City, Sky High, Ice World,
Volcano, Old Castle, or Phantom Island). Then it's off to the battle where you
play in the same way as championship achieving the most kills by the time limit
or by getting to the point limit first (which can be set in the options menu
from 1 to 10 kills).
Like Quick Battle mode, but played over the network.
Training Arena:
This is the most interesting mode with 3 types (Propeller Stunt, Propeller
Challenge, and Propeller Agility). Each mode has different missions (one for
each of the battle maps). This mode is useful to learn the game and get some
experience before taking it to the battles. More information on this mode is
3a. Training Arena
As mentioned above, there are three types of modes under the Training Arena.
Each mode has 8 levels to play, one based in each of the battle maps. One
thing to note is that in the training arena, you have infinite power so use
your tricks to the fullest to achieve the goals.
Propeller Stunt:
After choosing a level, you go to the battle map. In the left hand side of the
screen will be a box that lists tricks. The goal is to perform all the tricks
presented to you within the time (there's a time bar under this box). As you
go up the levels, the tricks get more difficult and more tricks will need to
be done. If you fail to finish a set of tricks, it counts as a mistake. If you
make 3 mistakes, you fail the mission.
Propeller Agility:
The Propeller Agility mode of the Training Arena tests the gamer's ability to
maneuver the planes. Each level has a path of rings that you must fly through
to get to the end within a certain time limit. As you go up in levels, more
rings are added and the paths become more complex. There are two types of rings,
green which are the normal ones of the path, and a red ring at the end symbolizing
the finish line. Each ring you miss gives you a 1 second penalty to your time, so
you really want to avoid missing any rings. You will also want to stay close to
the path, as if you wander far off of it and rejoin with it later on, the game
will still be waiting for you to go back for the rings that were earlier on. This
prevents gamers from charging their planes to the finish ring and just taking a
large time penalty.
Propeller Challenge:
The most interesting mode of the Training Arena is Propeller Challenge. Each of the
8 levels has a different mission requiring all the skill and abilities available
to you.
Level 1 - Destroy 10 missiles in 120 seconds before they hit the ground (You can miss twice)
Level 2 - Collect all the blue items in the stage in 90 seconds (Blue items add 5
          seconds to your time)
Level 3 - Collect all the blue items in the stage in 150 seconds (Again blue items add
          5 seconds to your time, but plane controls are reversed)
Level 4 - Destroy the giant meteorite in 120 seconds (The key here is that you have to
          use missiles to destroy it, so head straight for the red item boxes rather
          than waste time trying to damage it with machine guns)
Level 5 - Destroy the group of unidentified planes in 150 seconds (There are 25 planes
          in total that you must destroy)
Level 6 - Collect 10 blue items in 120 seconds as they fly out of the lava (Blue items
          work as mentioned before)
Level 7 - Use napalm to destroy each bridge in 75 seconds (Like stage 4, you need to
          go for the item boxes. When you drop the napalm, clear out quick as it can
          destroy your plane quickly which costs you precious seconds)
Level 8 - Collect all the blue items in 90 seconds (Same as before for the blue items,
          but the catch here is that you will occasionally get hit by Freeze Controls
          which results in you not being able to control your plane temporarily)
5. Items:
There are 3 types of item boxes in the normal game - red, yellow, and green. Each
color represents one type of item. Red are for weapon items, yellow are , and green
are . There is a 4th type of item box in the Training Arena in a couple of the
Propeller Challenge levels. This 4th type is a blue box which contains an item
that extends your time limit by 5 seconds. To collect an item, you shoot the box
open to reveal the item and then fly into it to pick it up. Weapon items are used
by pressing the Y button while other items work automatically on pick-up.
Bomb (bomb icon) - Drops a large bomb below you.
Homing (4 small missiles icon) - Fires off a set of homing missiles at the enemy.
Hot Potato (spiky ball icon) - When you launch the hot potato at an enemy, it fires off
  a barrage of spiked balls that bounce around between opponents before damaging one.
Missile (missile icon) - Launches a large missile that does heavy damage to a target.
Freeze (diagonal slashes icon) - Freezes an enemy's controls for 5 seconds
Hard-Bolt (* icon) - Gives you a stronger machine gun for 25 seconds
Reverse (arrows icon) - Reverses an enemy's directional controls for 5 seconds
Stealth (blank icon) - Renders your plane invisible for 30 seconds to prevent enemies
  from locking onto you.
Hyper (circle icon) - Creates a shield around your plane for 20 seconds
Power (lightning bolt icon) - Restores your power bar
Recover (black cross icon) - Recovers some of your plane's health.
Recover All (green cross icon) - Restores all health to your plane
6. Tricks:
The following is a list of the tricks and the gamepad commands needed to execute them.
Right 90 Turn - Down, Down-Right, Right, X
Left 90 Turn - Down, Down-Left, Left, X
Right 180 Turn - Down, Down-Right, Right, Up-Right, Up, X
Left 180 Turn - Down, Down-Left, Left, Up-Left, Up, X
Right 360 Turn (8-Bit Beat)/Left Barrel Roll (Shameless Cats) - Left, Right, X
Left 360 Turn (8-Bit Beat)/Right Barrel Roll (Shameless Cats) - Right, Left, X
Lightning Dash - R, R
Air Brake - L, L
Corkscrew - Right, Left, X
Up Loop - Up, Down, X
Down Loop - Down, Up, X
Air Lift - Up, Up, X
Air Pocket (Muscle Bros) / Cobra (Golden Knife) - Down, Down, X
Right Side Slide - Right, Right, X
Left Side Slide - Left, Left, X
Right Double Slide - Right, Left, Right, X
Left Double Slide - Left, Right, Left, X
Right Spin Attack - Left, Down-Left, Down, Down-Right, Right, X
Left Spin Attack - Right, Down-Right, Down, Down-Left, Left, X
Kulbit (Golden Knife) - Down, Down, X, Down, X
Up Immelman Turn (Pengo Jets) - Up, Down, Up, X
Down Immelman Turn (Pengo Jets) - Down, Up, Down, X
7. Copyright:
FAQ ©2004 Xanathis. Websites are free to display/distribute this on their
sites as long as they follow the following rules:
1. It is not done for commercial gain.
2. The content remains fully intact without editing.
3. Credit is given properly and is not claimed as your own work.
If anybody wishes to submit info for the FAQ, feel free to email me or leave
a message on the message board on my website. Addresses are given at the top
of the FAQ.