Zarlor Mercenary does tend to kick you in the teeth after the 2nd level. It's simply part of it's charm. I've never actually beaten it... but I've come SO close that I weeped for hours afterwards. ;)

This is what works for me in a one player game. I pick the char that always has the lazer cannon... (Scorch I think?) After that I horde up on the autofire powerups and mega bombs. At the shops, I sell everything but one auto fire and the megabombs. I put all the money I can into more ships, excess into spreadshots to increase fire power. It seems to carry me through for quite a while. *shrug* Hope this helps.


ACCESSING LIFE: The game of LIFE is accessed through the character selection screen of Zarlor Mercenary. Turn on your Lynx with the Zarlor Mercenary game card inserted. Press the fire button twice to get to the character selection screen. At this point you must hold down OPTION 1 while moving the joypad as follows: Up, Down, Left, Right, Up.

At this point your screen should say LIFE and there will be a LIFEform known as a 'glider' moving across the screen diagonally. It will go off the edge of the screen and return on the bottom, eventually running into the cells forming the word LIFE and causing the chain reaction that destroys the title screen.

Before the title screen is destroyed you may try the following controls:

  1. Moving the joypad or pressing either OPTION button or PAUSE will stop the current evolution of LIFE.
  2. Pressing OPTION 1 to continue the evolution puts LIFE into a mode where cells that reach the edge of the screen wrap around to the other side.
  3. Pressing OPTION 2 to continue the evolution puts LIFE into a mode where cells that reach the edge of the screen behave as though they have reached a solid wall. This may be useful if 'gliders' that are launched are disrupting your LIFEforms.
  4. Pressing either BUTTON A or BUTTON B puts LIFE into DRAWING MODE.

From: (William Osser) As Zarlor Mercenary is my all-time favorite lynx games (except for maybe Todd's adventures in slime-world, and, yes, better than battle-wheels), I've beaten it many times. Usually with XQ-49 because I am lazy and wing cannons are hard to come by. Here are some tips:

  1. Simplistic, go for the 100K score and buy the extra ships to sell later.
  2. Easy. If necessary, use a mega bomb or two on the hordes of flies that make you fly through them while they take pot shots at you. Learn to recognize which beasties are worth the most points.
  3. Medium. Watch out for the "face-lifts", the trains that come down and destroy you. The first boss monster is annoying, the second is easy as it can't shoot, but the third has both robots and shooting and is harder to kill. Use a few megabombs to kill the third boss monster, you'll appreciate having the extra ship later on.
  4. Medium, but easier than three. This is where you score all the megabombs. A real miser could come out with 25 megabombs. I don't recall if it is at the store before or after this level, but buy extras until you get better without them. They are cheaper to buy at this stage than any other. If the boss monster gives you any problem, three mega bombs split up by one second each will destroy him and his children.
  5. Harder than four, and almost as hard as three. Learn where the real points are, i.e the buildings and the ripe tomatoes. You can't destroy the beasties on the sides, don't even try. The only challenges are the walls of creatures and the boss monsters. Don't try and get all of the creatures when they form a wall, just punch a hole through them. It helps to have mega bombs for the boss monster, but patience can get him.
  6. This is the hardest level. Ignore the cars driving below you, they are only worth 75 points. Cannons are hidden everywhere. Get used to looking around for shots that come apparently from nowhere. The electrical current along the sides is very damaging. About mid way through is where I lose my first ship (about half the time). The guys who try and drive electrical current down all parts of the screen are the real pains. I haven't figured out the best way to get rid of them. The boss monster is difficult but not impossible. I have an easier time with him than the third boss monster on level three. Unload on your megabombs as they are useless after this level. I normally sell off everything except for one extra fully equipped ship right before this stage for the extra money. The two extra ships I bought after level one are worth quite a handsome profit.
The extras are listed in order of usefulness (in a one player game, I don't have to worry about other people attacking me :-)

Wing cannons! Biggest range of firing, I find them the absolutely necessary.

Power ups, better damage is a big plus

Lasers, almost as useful as powerups as you can hit anywhere, but damage isn't great.

Autofire. Given that you are pounding on the laser button already, it's best if you don't have to do that with both buttons. It causes the lynx to be imbalanced.

Side shots, you don't normally need these except to get in that last shot as you pass something. Still, they are useful.

THe green crystal that heals you as you fly (I forget the name): At times, this is your most important friend. If you can just survive a bit longer, that damage will all be repaired.

Rear-shots, never do I use these. I never have enough room behind me to fire in that direction.

I left my lynx in the states, so it's been a while since I've played, but some memories just stay with you. Good luck!