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PPPPP OOOOO RRRR TTTTT AAA L P P O O R R T A A L PPPPP O O RRRRR T AAAAA L P O O R R T A A L P OOOOO R R T A A LLLLL RRRR U U N N N N EEEEE RRRR R R U U NN N NN N E R R RRRRR U U N N N N N N EEEE RRRRR R R U U N NN N NN E R R R R UUUUU N N N N EEEEE R R GGGGG U U IIIII DDDD EEEEE G U U I D D E G GG U U I D D EEEE G G U U I D D E GGGGG UUUUU IIIII DDDD EEEEE By Jamie Stafford/Wolf Feather firstname.lastname@example.org Initial Version Completed September 22, 2001 FINAL VERSION Completed October 6, 2001 ==================================== ==================================== ==================================== CONTENTS Spacing and Length Permissions Introduction General Tips The Story Level 01 Level 02 Level 03 Level 04 Level 05 Level 06 Level 07 Level 08 Level 09 Level 10 Level 11 Level 12 Level 13 Level 14 Level 15 Level 16 Level 17 Level 18 Level 19 Level 20 Overall Evaluation Contact ==================================== SPACING AND LENGTH For optimum readability, this driving guide should be viewed/printed using a monowidth font, such as Courier. Check for appropriate font setting by making sure the numbers and letters below line up: 1234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ==================================== PERMISSIONS This guide may ONLY be posted on FeatherGuides, GameFAQs.com, PSXCodez.com, F1Gamers, Cheatcc.com, Absolute- PlayStation.com, InsidePS2Games.com, RedCoupe, gamesover.com, CheatPlanet.com, The Cheat Empire, a2zweblinks.com, Gameguru, cheatingplanet.com, vgstrategies.com, hellzgate, ps2fantasy.com, and neoseeker.com. Permission is granted to download and print one copy of this game guide for personal use. ==================================== ==================================== ==================================== INTRODUCTION This stand-alone third-person adventure is actually part of the Army Men gaming universe. Here, you play as Vikki G., the main squeeze of Sarge, and/or Leo, a lion Vikki befriends early in the gameplay. Myself, I rarely play anything other than driving/racing games, but I found myself falling in love with Portal Runner almost as fast as I originally did with Oni and the Tomb Raider series (the latter of which I played exclusively on Macintosh). For those unaccustomed to such games, Portal Runner will be rather forgiving if using Dream Mode. This easiest level of gameplay will only give damage to Vikki and Leo if the damage results from the environment - lava, long falls, etc. In other words, damage from weapons is nullified. The initial version of this guide has been written from Dream Mode gameplay. Note that it is certainly NOT my intention in this guide to detail where everything of importance is located, as I personally dislike reading such guides. Instead, I give strong hints as to WHERE key items are located, the general idea of how to solve a certain puzzle, etc. I should state from the outset that I have not played any of the Army Men games. Portal Runner is my personal introduction to the series. Also, this guide is based on Dream Mode, and took less than 48 hours to complete (usually playing 3-5 levels per session). ==================================== GENERAL TIPS ALWAYS save your progress at the end of each level. You never know when some fool will drive into a telephone pole and cut off the electricity to your neighborhood. Directional control can be achieved with either the D-pad or the left analog knob. However, the D-pad is generally more precise. The right analog knob is used for camera movements. This is a good way to look around walls and other obstacles to see who or what might be coming your way. To return to the default camera angle, press the right analog knob (R3). As much as possible, use only Basic Arrows. This will allow you to save the other arrows for when they are needed most. The latter often occurs in solving puzzles or in defeating particular enemies. Try to collect as many jewels as possible. If you are in an area with a lot of enemies, try to eliminate all opponents first, then collect all the jewels you can reach. This is true whether you play a Vikki alone, Vikki with Leo, Vikki mounted on Leo, or Leo alone. ==================================== THE STORY The Army Men series pits the Green Army against various other armies of different colors. Earlier in the series, Brigitte Bleu was introduced as a spy for the Blue Nation. Now, she has been able to take over various worlds using connecting portals; her henchman Rage the WarBot assists her in her quest for ultimate domination. Vikki is the daughter of a high-ranking officer in the Green Army. Also, she is an ace journalist, and madly in love with Sgt. Hawk (Sarge). Vikki can have a bit of a temper, and apparently has a rather strong adventurist streak in her which helps her in tracking down the best journalistic stories. She is also quite proficient with a bow and arrow, and is able to target with precision at great distances (using Vikki's first-person view). Vikki apparently also has Animal Friendship at Level 6 (BESM, second edition), as she is able to quickly befriend a wounded lion. The game begins with Vikki on a mini-adventure across two opening levels. These levels are rather small and provide players a good opportunity to become accustomed to the game's main controls. Beginning with Level 3, the main adventure begins as Vikki is lured into a trap set by Brigitte Bleu, and must find her way back to her own world. The other 'main character' is Leo (Leonardo) the Lion. Leo is incredibly strong, an excellent warrior, and willing to submit only to Vikki. Leo's rage can grow rapidly, especially in battle, but Vikki must constantly keep his rage in check so that Leo can fight effectively when necessary. Also, should Vikki stray too far away from Leo, he will begin to whine, calling for her to return to him. ==================================== LEVEL 01 Worlds: Tranquil forest, chessboard Play as: Vikki alone Note: Vikki begins the game wearing camouflage pants and sports bra. Objective: Follow Sarge through the portals Hint: Always check each area carefully for jewels, arrows, hearts, etc., which can either heal Vikki and/or Leo or provide new weapons, extra energy, etc. By the time you finish this level, you should be accustomed to searching virtually every cranny and nook for potential goodies. ==================================== LEVEL 02 World: Candy Store Play as: Vikki alone Objective: Find and rescue Sarge Hint #1: For the rest of the game, each level will have multiple mini-objectives to guide you through each stage of the level. To check these mini-objectives, pause the game (press Start), then select Objectives. Hint #2: Whenever you come across a floating gold star, cross it as soon as possible. These are checkpoints; should you perish in the level, you will restart from the last checkpoint you touched, rather than at the beginning of the level. Hint #3: Some platforms in the game levitate or fly. ==================================== LEVEL 03 World: Cave Play as: Vikki alone Objective: Find Rage inside the cave Hint: Targeting the birds in the cave can make survival a bit easier. ==================================== LEVEL 04 World: Prehistoric jungle Play as: Vikki Note: Once in the jungle (after the cut-scene has finished), Vikki will be wearing the Flintstones-style outfit shown on the front cover of the game's case. Objective: Befriend the lion and set up camp Hint #1: Have a good memory? You may just need it later!!! Hint #2: To feed the as-yet-unnamed lion, you must be standing directly in front of him. Hint #3: Note the positions of the jewels. Hint #4: It may be a good idea to light the campfire from a safe distance. ==================================== LEVEL 05 World: Prehistoric jungle canyon Play as: Vikki mounted on Leo. Objective: Find a way out of the canyon Hint #1: Higher elevations provide a better view. Hint #2: Note the positions of the jewels. ==================================== LEVEL 06 World: Prehistoric jungle Play as: Vikki Objective: Solve the secret of the pyramid to get out of the jungle Hint: Platforms are not necessarily meant for you. ==================================== LEVEL 07 World: Prehistoric cave/mountain area Play as: Vikki (separated from Leo) Objective: Cross the lava lake and solve the secret of the stone gateway ==================================== LEVEL 08 World: Erupting prehistoric volcano Play as: Vikki mounted on Leo Objective: Escape before the volcano erupts Hint #1: Meditate on the rising steam. Hint #2: Have you ever felt like you kept spinning around in circles? ==================================== LEVEL 09 World: Medieval Play as: Vikki (separated from Leo) Note: Vikki now wears medieval archer's clothing Objective: Rescue the wizard and find a way to open the locked gate Hint: Knowledge of the movements of chess pieces may be useful here. ==================================== LEVEL 10 World: Medieval forests - picturesque and dark Play as: Vikki Objective: Solve the secret of the stone monolith to break the magical barrier Hint: Call the Elements for guidance. ==================================== LEVEL 11 World: Dark forest Play as: Vikki Objective: Defeat the Great Tree Hint: Get ready for plenty of frustration!!!!! ==================================== LEVEL 12 World: Castle grounds Play as: Vikki (separated from Leo) Objective: Defeat the guardian dragon Hint: Shields up, Mr. Sulu! ==================================== LEVEL 13 World: Castle Play as: Vikki Objective: Collect the magical playing cards to open the doors to the castle Hint #1: X marks the spot. Hint #2: Some cards open more than a single door. ==================================== LEVEL 14 World: Castle Play as: Leo (separated from Vikki) Objective: Fight your way to the portal Hint: Before beginning this level, refresh your memory of the Leo-specific controls, as they are a little different than the Vikki-specific and Vikki+Leo controls. ==================================== LEVEL 15 World: Castle dungeons Play as: Leo (separated from Vikki) Objective: Find the way to lower the dungeon (cage) to rescue Vikki Hint: In some puzzles on this level, using the left analog knob providers easier control of Leo. ==================================== LEVEL 16 World: Castle dungeons Play as: Leo (separated from Vikki) Objective: Find Vikki in the cage room Hint: Have you ever left like you were running around in circles, like a dog chasing its own tail? ==================================== LEVEL 17 World: Castle Play as: Vikki mounted on Leo Objective: Find the golden arrow to unlock the way to the portal Hint: Have you ever heard 'Fast as You Can' by Fiona Apple? ==================================== LEVEL 18 Worlds: Space, prehistoric jungle Play as: Vikki mounted on Leo Note: Vikki now wears a rather snug-fitting futuristic outfit. Objective: Defeat the flying saucer to get the key to the wedding hall Hint: Is it fish night? ==================================== LEVEL 19 World: UFO spacecraft Play as: Vikki (separated from Leo) Objective: Find the way to the Brain Room Hint: ==================================== LEVEL 20 World: UFO spacecraft Play as: Vikki (separated from Leo) Objective: Defeat the Brain Note: It's Pinky and the Brain, yes Pinky and the Brain . . . Hint: Try not to do anything which may disrupt your rhythm. ==================================== OVERALL EVALUATION Overall, Portal Runner is a great game. For those (like myself) unaccustomed to the Army Men universe, the storyline can at times seem a bit silly, but that is quickly lost once gameplay begins on each level. Sound is perhaps the best feature of the game, especially the supporting music and the voice acting. Except perhaps for Brigitte Bleu, the voice acting is highly convincing, seemingly pushing the envelope of believability without crossing the thin line into corniness; given the script of some of the cut-scenes and the comments Vikki makes throughout the gameplay itself, this is quite a feat!!! Brigitte Bleu's fake accent is only okay, but it does convey important character information nonetheless. In each level, the music fits the current world and/or situation like a glove. While the music certainly grabs the attention, it also does not consume all of the player's attention. I believe that independent of the game, the music would still stand on its own as a really good CD. As for replay value, those who play such games once and then sell them on eBay (or elsewhere) should not use Dream Mode, which is EXTREMELY easy. However, replaying the game at progressively higher levels of difficulty should be quite interesting. Overall, Portal Runner is a great standalone game; as I am unfamiliar with the rest of the Army Men universe, I cannot comment as to its appropriateness within the Army Men series. As a standalone, I would rate Portal Runner at 7.5/10. The puzzles are sufficiently challenging, the storyline and characters rather intriguing, and the controls easy to learn. Where the game hits a real pitfall is in replay value and the need for more levels (the latter is especially important for those playing in Dream Mode). ==================================== ==================================== ==================================== CONTACT For rants, raves, etc., contact me at FEATHER7@IX.NETCOM.COM; also, if you have enjoyed this guide and feel that it has been helpful to you, I would certainly appreciate a small donation via PayPal (http://www.paypal.com/) using the above e-mail address. As this is the final version of the Portal Runner Guide, I will likely not be able to answer specific questions about the game - my time is extremely limited now, and I am concentrating on the newest F1 games. To find the latest version of this and all my other PSX/PS2 game guides, visit FeatherGuides at http://www.angelcities.com/members/feathersites/ ==================================== ==================================== ====================================