Hints for play of ML:
a) There are a lot of different things to click on in the bar,
many of which aren't mentioned in the manual. The special
messages give a bonus or penalty only once each time you
start the game or have a combat, so you can get them again
and again if you either keep battling or quit and restart the
game. They are part of the random sequence of messages that
each item in the bar has. Changing to a different character
will not restore the bonuses. You can save after a bonus, try
to get a special message, restore if it is a penalty, and it
won't appear again in that sequence. For the penalties, if
you don't have enough money or armor so that the penalty
could be applied, it won't appear.
b) The Keg (bottom center of screen) has several special
messages: get $150, lose $1000, get one Neural Amplifier, and
damage one armor.
c) The Bartender has several special messages: pay $100, get
$250, and (if you don't mind stolen goods) pay $1500 (or get
them for free if you don't have that much) for 3 Battery
III. Note that this is a bad deal for you unless you have
less than $1500, so while it could be a penalty, if you go
and spend money on things first it is a bonus.
d) The Floor (on either side of the Keg and Posters) has several
special messages: get $200, get a (random type) armor, damage
an armor, lose an armor. Note that the armor that you get
will have only 1 HP, so sell it to Al if you don't want to
recharge it and keep it.
e) The Mirror (top center of screen) has several special
messages: get $20, duplicate an armor you already have, and
(after you have been in combat once) send you to the combat
opponent select screen for free. Note that the duplicated
armor will be the cheapest type you have, and will have only
1 HP and no power-ups installed, so sell it if you don't want
it. This message can also take a long time to show up, so
don't count on it. Also, the "teleport your ass out of here"
can appear multiple times if you "chicken exit" until you are
ready. Even though it may take a while to appear, I prefer
using the mirror instead of clicking on the Generic Babe or
double-clicking on the Other Posters.
f) The Ashtray (on the bar to the left of the Generic Babe) has
several special messages: get $200, pay $75, and (after you
have been in combat once) add one win to your record. The
effect of the last one can only be seen by clicking on the
"CASH" box (see below).
g) The "DT" (or is it OT?) sign to the left of the "!" sign has
a sequence of messages: click on it (then wait for the
message to clear) to get 15 messages which act as an internal
credits list for the game. After sitting through all of them,
you get $1000 the first time through, $500 the second, $250
the third time, and so on. The counter is apparently separate
for each fighter, and this is one of two bonuses you can get
as many times as you like in one sitting, if you want to sit
that long. If you are persistent, it will eventually go down
to $5 and then back up to $1000, but it appears to "decay"
twice as slow on the second cycle. There are much easier ways
to get money in the game. If you really want to see the
credits list, its in the endgame anyway.
h) The Tough Guy (sounds like AHHHnold to me) has several
special messages: get $250, get $500, get 3 Batteries (a I, a
II, and a III), and damage all your armors.
i) The Radio (towards the upper left of the screen) has several
special messages: get $500, have 1/2 price sale at Armor Al's
(if you go right away), and lose an armor. Ed said you only lose
an armor if you have more than one.
j) Jaimee (the short brunette standing next to Gordie & Mudd)
just tells you the same thing they do. You pay $25 to enter
two player mode; there must be at least two fighters with
armor available. Her name is also used as the password for
the Old Man, but you only need it the first time for each
player. Ed said that if you tell the Old Man "Jaime" (missing the
final "e") the first time, you get a different message, but
nothing really different happens.
k) The Generic Babe (the blonde at the bar) can be paid $100 (a
Big Ben) to tell you that the Old Man wants to hear "Jaimee"
as a password, or paid $150 to send you to the "select a
combat opponent" screen (battle a Robo Babe). You should
never need to do the first, and you only need to do the
second once. After one fight, use the Mirror to save the
money, and ignore her for the rest of the game.
Ed said that if your character is male, tip the Generic Babe
twice, and "Cobra Mission" players will get a surprise.
l) Note that if you go to the "next battle" after a combat with
a Robo-Babe, you will pay $150 for registration. Avoid it by
going back to the bar so you can get more bonuses, save the
game, and then come back through the Mirror for free.
Tournaments are a different story, since you must do all the
combats in one session without returning to the bar.
m) The Crate (below the Mirror) just has the "Metal & Lace"
magazine in it. I never saw it change the whole game, and
couldn't find anything I could do while in it.
n) The Other Posters (of mecha on the pole in the center of the
screen) have several messages, which are not really bonuses
or penalties. When the game starts, they just have a single
message from Gunder. After fighting a combat, you get some
advice from them: "Don't jump, it will lower your max energy
- Gunder", "Be defensive and let the enemy punch you and tire
out", "Keep punching and kicking to raise offensive power",
and "Gunder is a liar!" are the only useful ones. But, if you
double-click on the "Other Posters" you will go to the combat
screens, automatically paying $150 if fighting a Robo Babe,
or for free to a tournament with a champion if you are at
o) The Girl Poster (also on the pole) is the gateway to the sexy
stuff in the game. When the game starts, or just after a
champion is defeated, it is just a single message. After
defeating at least two girls completely (so you can no longer
select them on the combat opponent screen), the defeated
girls start to appear behind the poster. You pay $50 for each
girl you want to see. Their clothes are all on at first, but
they have extra screens with less clothing (only one more
with mostly clothed for the NR-13 version) for each level you
achieve in the tournaments. Why a female character would want
to see them is beyond me. If you are the Ultimate Champion,
you get to see them for free.
p) Armor Al's has (1/2 price shown):
Name cost($) Offensive Defensive Max Energy Power
Power Power Level Efficiency
MIMI 1500 11 9 160 85%
ROGUE 1000 8 11 165 100%
ANNA 2200 10 11 175 65%
MISTRESS 2000 11 10 180 70%
SKY HOUND 3000 11 11 180 55%
DRAGON 4800 11 11 100 50%
SUN C 4000 12 10 190 70%
There's no explanation anywhere of what the power efficiency
number means. I used a Sun C for all my combats because it has
the highest number of HP to start with (that's what "Max
Energy Level" is) and otherwise reasonable numbers.
q) The Towel Girl (Mia) can give you information about your
upcoming opponent in combat. For $50, you get the name of the
opponent's armor type. For $100 you get full information
about the armor including installed power-ups.
r) A Booster III lasts for 5 to 10 seconds each, depending on
the armor type. Unused fractions, measured in seconds, are
retained after combat. Maximum Booster time is 60 seconds.
s) An AI chip lasts for 5 to 10 seconds each, depending on the
armor type. Unused fractions, measured in seconds, are
retained after combat. Maximum AI time is 60 seconds. The
MIMI type can apparently never use AI, whether you buy one
from Al or find it through a bonus. I've found that exactly
when you activate the AI does make a big difference to the
outcome of combat; a fraction of a second can apparently make
the difference between winning and losing, and how long it
takes. I found this only by going into the tournament with
Gunder many times, and have no other explanation for why I
can either win or lose the same battle even if I don't go up
levels in the meantime.
t) A Neural Amplifier adds 6 to 10 HP to an armor, depending on
the type, over and above the usual maximum. If the armor
doesn't take any damage, or enough damage to use them up,
they stay until destroyed in combat. Absolute maximum HP for
any armor, with any combination of Maximum HP levels or
Neural Amplifiers, is 250.
u) A combat lasts for up to 60 seconds. Money is given for
winning (only $10 or so for losing), and a bonus is given for
time remaining. A draw is if both combatants are still
standing at the end of time, or they kill each other at the
same time, which is pretty rare. As said above, you're
usually better off going back to the bar after each fight, so
you can get the bonuses, rather than continuing with another
fight, except for a tournament with a champion. Those have to
be tackled as three or six sucessive fights, so make sure you
have lots of supplies before heading into one.
v) If you collect lots of bonuses, you can easily acquire one of
each of the seven (7) types of armor, lots of batteries, and
the cash to support your combat supplies. I don't think it's
necessary to try to match your armor according to what your
opponent has, e.g. that a Rogue is the best thing to use
against an Anna (which I doubt). I just used a Sun C with a
lot of power-ups, and let the AI do all the work! Even though
some combats were lost, the character gains levels often
enough to eventually beat all opponents, who apparently
don't. The only really tough opponents for my Sun C were the
Silver Dragon and Sun C types, and the tournament with Gunder
wasn't won until I got to comparable levels.
w) Unlike Boosters, Neural Amplifiers, and AI chips, the Shields
are apparently NOT used up in combat, even if they activate
(the humming column of light that acts like a force field for
a few seconds), that is, if that's what is happening. Shields
are apparently lost only when the opponent would have killed
you but for the shield. But, all armor types can only carry 3
at most, so make them the best ones (type II). I don't know
what turns on a force field, but your AI can do it, and so
can your opponent, sometimes for no apparent reason.
x) Another thing in the bar that you can click on is the "CASH"
box. It will show a summary screen until you click on it
again. The win record affected by the magical Ashtray is
here. "Credits Now" is some sort of counter for how many
tournaments you have won, and how many Robo Babes you have
beaten at this level.
y) The beer mug (but it looks more like a can to me) in Jaimee's
hand is the biggest special in the game. While in the "down"
position, it has several special messages: gain money (random
amount $100 to $500), recharge all armors, damage an armor,
destroy an armor. While in the "up" position, it will always
grant a random amount of money from $100 to $500 (in $50
increments) each time it is clicked on. This will work once
if you click on it before clicking on the mug in the "down"
position, but after the first time, you must click on the
"down" mug before the "up" mug will give you more money. In
practice, click on the "up" mug, save the game, then click on
the "down" mug lots of times until it either goes up or gives
you a special message. If a penalty, restore, then click on
the "up" mug and save, and start again. If a bonus, click on
the "up" mug, save, and start again. Once you have been
through all the penalties for the down mug, you can either
click multiple times while down to get the bonuses too, or
just click once down and once up as many times as you like to
get as much money as you need. Nothing happens if you click
on the empty space where the mug would be but for it being in
the other position, or on the mug when up after you get money
once, and there seems to be no way to click on the mug when
it is moving.
z) The pole behind the tough guy also has several messages. If
you double click on it while a "hand" cursor appears, except
for where the mug appears when up, you will get $500 the
first time each player does it. There are several different
messages on the pole, none of which seem to be really
important, but in contrast to the rest of the things in the
bar, these messages appear to be determined strictly by where
on the pole you double click. Single click gets you nothing.
aa) Characters gain levels in Offensive Power, Defensive Power,
and Maximum HP in each type of armor for combat, whether
successful or not. Levels are gained even if the AI does
everything. Fractional levels don't seem to help, but when a
whole number is reached it adds to the appropriate quantity
(1 for power, 5 HP for Maximum HP) and any fractions are
lost. These levels apply to all armor of that type, but
there's usually no point in having more than one of each type
for long anyway. In practice, if the AI is doing all the
fighting, you will gain levels in Maximum HP, Offensive
Power, and Defensive Power, in order of frequency.
bb) Each player can have at most 99 items of any type. The game
will not let you get more than that, so you might as well
sell them if you accumulate close to that many through
accumulation of bonus items. This is particularly easy with
Battery IIIs, since you can get up to 4 each time without
ever using any.
cc) Let's talk about Wolf McGirt. I've ignored him up until now,
because there is really no need to borrow money with the
bonuses available. The amount you can borrow apparently
varies with combat experience and character inventory
somehow. I have a character who won all 4 tournaments and is
trying to beat Gunder, and hasn't been able to borrow any
money at all for a while. Another character has Credits Now
of 32 (has defeated all 7 Robo-Babes in the first level) and
hasn't won the first tournament yet, and could borrow up to
$16,000. A character just starting out is not able to borrow
anything either, so I guess you have to go into combat to
have a reputation first.
dd) Anyway, if you do borrow any amount, interest is added on at
what looks like 5% per combat, which are apparently
considered to be one per day, and Wolf takes a portion (1/2?)
of your winnings to pay off the debt. If you don't borrow the
maximum amount, you can "be funny" and try to borrow a
negative amount of money. In that case, Wolf will take 10% of
your cash as a penalty, but it doesn't go into paying the
debt! Using a combination of this and other ways of losing
money, it is possible to attempt to pay back more money than
you have. If you "go negative", the cash amount will
apparently wrap around to $4,967,295 (as -$1) (this is
5,000,000 - 32705 !?) and go down from there. While this
might seem wonderful at first glance, the amount is
apparently treated by the game as a negative number, and you
can't buy anything! I've also found that if you make one or
more payments on the debt, you can't pay more than you have
or borrow negative amounts again, until you pay the whole
thing off and can start again. I haven't been able to make
this work as a source of essentially unlimited cash, but
somebody else might.
ee) A reply on the Megatech BBS mentioned that you can also pay
$25 to Gordie & Mudd to go negative. The reply also implied
that this was a bug in the program. If so, then this is not
the way to practically infinite riches in ML.
ff) I haven't tried fiddling with the save game file in ML,
since the game can be successfully played (albeit tedious)
and won with AI chips and getting money from bonuses. Patches
available from the Megatech BBS add an experienced character
and an easy mode, but I never needed them.
gg) Megatech did add a cheat key to version 1.42a and later:
press Shift and F11 and F12 in combat "recharge your powers".
This regenerates hits up to normal value, but doesn't affect
AI or booster time. Only works for "easy" mode characters?
hh) Apparently "Cheet Sheets Issue 35" had a contribution by
Otaiba Sheikh which had two different items for Metal & Lace.
The first one said that if you click on the top poster, then
the bottom, then 2nd from top, then 2nd from bottom, you
would be invicible during fighting. Well, there was a mention
of a middle poster too, and there isn't one! And I couldn't
get this one to do anything special; not fighting after doing
this means you die just like always. Anyway, the second one
said to click on the "C" in "Lucky Winner" to see a naked
character. Sorry, this one didn't work either. All I got was
the usual sequence of images. If this was for a different
version (I tried with both my original disks and the 1.42a
update in both NR-13 and NR-18 modes), please let me know!
ii) Ed said these are the Robo-Armors that the various Champions
(the girls) use. Normally, you only fight each one twice, but
the third Armor is there for the last fight in the Tournament
Jamaal Wilkerson: Anna, Silver Dragon, Rogue
Eileen "Bombast" Ballentine: Sky Hound (all 3 times)
Skuzz MacAlfie: Silver Dragon (all 3 times)
Rachel Sapperstein: Mimi or Sun C
jj) Ed said these are the Armors that Gunder uses in the 6 rounds
of the final Tournament.
1: Rogue 2: Anna 3: Sky Hound
4: Mistress 5: Sun C 6: Silver Dragon
Make sure you go in with enough Neural Amplifiers to maximize
HP each round, at least 18 Shield IIs (3 per round), at least
6 Battery III to repair after each battle, and enough Booster
III to have a full 60 seconds of extra power in all 6 battles.
You'll also need enough AI chips, if you're using them.