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So there was a Defender III prototype after all.

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Maybe you've heard of the Defender III hoax, which had 17 pages of enemies in the non-existent game. Actually there was a proto, but it was nothing like that at all. Defender III was planned to be released around 1990 as a conversion kit for Nintendo Vs. Dualsystem cabinets supporting 2-player link play. The PCB is a Williams Y Unit like the hardware that Smash TV used. A dedicated cabinet was also designed, which would have been a sit-down one similar to Atari Games' Steel Talons. Both players could stick together or defend separate areas thanks to the split-screen setup.

After a set of waves is cleared, the next world has a different landscape. The 1st planet has mountain terrain like Defender or Stargate, only filled in rather than drawn as lines. Other landscapes include a futuristic domed city, a desert, & Stonehenge. The time of day changes between waves. The humanoids are not just men but also women & children, like Robotron 2084. The graphics are about the same quality as Defender 2000 on the Atari Jaguar. Unless you picked the Solo Only mode, a 2nd player could join your game at any time on the other side. D3 allows continues.

Your ship's max speed is 10% faster than in Stargate. The control layout is identical to Stargate except the inviso is replaced with a lock-on laser which has a limited amount of charge. Enemies have a slightly faster shot speed & can fire more often. Landers shoot at you much more than in the other 2 games. After the 5th wave, sometimes mutants will teleport in.

All enemy types found in Stargate are back, along with these:

Napalm Bomber: Like a firebomber except its shots explode into fireballs that linger for 3 seconds. It can shoot in a 3-way spread.

Smart Bomber: If one appears, you better destroy it quickly. If you don't... well watch out. It will use its own Smart Bomb on you. Any humanoids in range are taken out as well. Not cool at all. A klaxon sounds when one is approaching.

Super Lander: Shoots not only regular bullets but also homing missiles that can be shot down. Is orange instead of green. Can't be killed with smart bombs.

Suicider: Like a pod, except if it is left alone too long it will detonate, setting the swarmers loose to make a beeline for wherever you are. Swarmers that come out of that will be blue & more dangerous than the original red one.

Noxazian Super Dragon: Chases your ship & blows fire. It is fast (you can barely outrun it at full speed) & takes 6 shots in the mouth to kill. The smart bomb doesn't damage it.

The Yllabian Dogfight & Firebomber Showdown special waves are back as well, only tougher. One new type is the Baiter Blitzkrieg where you fight off 60 Baiters in succession to finish it. Killing the baiters fast is necessary, or you'll end up in a real mess with 12 of them after you at once. After clearing 40 waves, you attack the alien forces' homeworld. There you try to capture their leaders & bring them to your mothership 1 at a time to clear the game. Landers will show up in an attempt to evac the enemy leaders while you're trying to do this. All enemy types will show up in a last-ditch bid to stop you. This stage has to be done within 3 minutes.

Defender III was on test in Nintendo Vs. Dualsystem cabinets at Aladdin's Castle location #104 for 50 cents per play (quarters only, not 2 tokens). There were several players who really enjoyed it, but the game generally got a cold reception. Many players found it too tough, even though it added a 60-second "Minimum guaranteed game time" period at the start of the game where you didn't lose lives. Williams canned Defender III & decided to go with Strike Force instead.

Special thanks to Parli Olofsdottir from Kalmar, Sweden for the info. I know it's a day late, but oh well.

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Updated 02 Apr 2019 at 01:40 AM by gameoverDude

Video Games



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