Portal Runner

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Guide

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            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
feather7@ix.netcom.com

Initial Version Completed September 22, 2001
FINAL VERSION Completed October 6, 2001

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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

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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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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LEVEL 11
World: Dark forest
Play as: Vikki

Objective: Defeat the Great Tree

Hint: Get ready for plenty of frustration!!!!!

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LEVEL 12
World: Castle grounds
Play as: Vikki (separated from Leo)

Objective: Defeat the guardian dragon

Hint: Shields up, Mr. Sulu!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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?

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LEVEL 19
World: UFO spacecraft
Play as: Vikki (separated from Leo)

Objective: Find the way to the Brain Room

Hint:

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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.

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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).

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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/

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