Defense Grid: The Awakening FAQ v1.1
rate this article  useless not bad informative very informative must read!

Defense Grid: The Awakening FAQ

by Brixx79   Updated to v1.1 on
This walkthrough was originally written for Defense Grid: The Awakening on the XBOX360, but the walkthrough is still applicable to the PC version of the game.
                       Defense Grid: The Awakening
                   Version 1.1 - Last Updated Oct 4/09
                             By: Brixx79 

  Table of Contents
1) Introduction     -          -          -          - [IN1]
2) Updates          -          -          -          - [UPD]
3) Legalese         -          -          -          - [LE1]

  Part I: The Game
1) Story            -          -          -          - [GA1]
2) Description      -          -          -          - [GA2]
3) Strategy: layout -          -          -          - [GA3]
4) Strat: Mazes     -          -          -          - [GA4]
5) Strat: Upgrades  -          -          -          - [GA5]
6) Line of Sight    -          -          -          - [GA6]
7) Shields          -          -          -          - [GA7]
8) Orbital Laser    -          -          -          - [GA8]

  Part II: Towers
1) Gun              -          -          -          - [TW1]
2) Cannon           -          -          -          - [TW2]
3) Inferno          -          -          -          - [TW3]
4) Concussion       -          -          -          - [TW4]
5) Meteor           -          -          -          - [TW5]
6) Missile          -          -          -          - [TW6]
7) Temporal         -          -          -          - [TW7]
8) Tesla            -          -          -          - [TW8]
9) Laser            -          -          -          - [TW9]
10) Command         -          -          -          - [TW10]

  Part III: The Aliens
1) Alien Note       -          -          -          - [AL0]
2) Drone            -          -          -          - [AL1]
3) Swarmer          -          -          -          - [AL2]
4) Walker           -          -          -          - [AL3]
5) Rhino            -          -          -          - [AL4]
6) Racer            -          -          -          - [AL5]
7) Rumbler          -          -          -          - [AL6]
8) Dart             -          -          -          - [AL7]
9) Manta            -          -          -          - [AL8]
10) Bulwark         -          -          -          - [AL9]
11) Spire           -          -          -          - [AL10]
12) Lurker          -          -          -          - [AL11]
13) Decoy           -          -          -          - [AL12]
14) Seeker          -          -          -          - [AL13]
15) Turtle          -          -          -          - [AL14]
16) Crasher         -          -          -          - [AL15]
17) Juggernaut      -          -          -          - [AL16]

  Part IV: Wrap Up
1) Questions        -          -          -          - [WU1]
2) Contact          -          -          -          - [WU2]
3) Thanks           -          -          -          - [WU3]


Hi everyone.  This is my first FAQ I've actually written up so hopefully I'll 
have all the major bugs worked out by the time you've seen this!  I started 
playing Defense Grid when it first came out as downloadable content for the 
XBox 360.  Instantly I was hooked on tower defense and the intricate strategies
you could come up with.  It was a puzzle I could not only tinker with and 
solve, but also take apart and put back together in a new way.  After scoring 
a 63 on the leader boards in Forge's campaign, I wanted to try and help those 
that were struggling with this gem instead of tossing it away in frustration.


V1.0 - 09/24/09
Writing up the basics!
V1.1 - 10/04/09
Re-editing after getting info from DG staff

== LEGALESE [LE1] ==

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
violation of copyright.

This FAQ has currently been submitted to:

               -+-+-+-+-  PART I: THE GAME   -+-+-+-+-

== STORY [GA1] ==
(Copied directly from the games files)

"The invasion began without warning.
After a thousand years of peace, the aliens have returned.
The planet's survival depends on activating the ancient Defense
Grid...if it still functions at all"


Tower defense is what we're all about here folks!  Our ruthless alien invaders 
will march themselves lemming like from one starting point on the map over to 
your power cores.  After snatching up as many as their greedy hands can carry, 
they'll then take the shortest available route to the exit point.  Let them do 
this with all of your power cores and it's game over!  Place towers on the map 
to kill the aliens, hinder their movement, and possibly change their path.  
The game has a reasonable learning curve and tends to give you a new tool to 
deal with a new enemy. Every level has the aliens coming in waves which will 
start small, gradually getting bigger, and having the last one smack you with 
a challenge.


One of the first things to do when entering a level is to get a good look 
around the map and see what you're dealing with.  Take your time since enemies 
won't start coming until you place your first tower.  Some levels will have 
seperate entrances and exits, while others will use the same place.

A shared entrance will force the aliens to take the exact same path to the core
housing, letting the same turrets have a second gun at them on the way out.  
Problems on these maps tend to happen when aliens catch up to another 
retreating with a core.  When the core holder is killed, the new alien grabs 
it with much more hp and less distance to the exit.  This can be piggy backed 
repeatedly if there's enough of them in the wave to a red bar on your core 
meter so be careful.  The answer in these maps then tends to be building long 
dangerous mazes, and or good use of temporal towers.  Temporal towers are your 
best friend once you get them, especially since they'll slow the aliens 
movement but not your cores!  Long mazes mean more time to kill things before 
they even get to your cores, and tend to be the easiest way to gold medals.

With seperate entrances and exits, you usually have to rely more on proper 
tower placement.  While you can still maze the aliens (and you should maze 
given the chance in a level), your towers tend to get only one pass on them.  
Do your very best to maximize the firepower leveled against them before they 
get to the core housing.  Cores can be piggybacked out still if aliens hit the 
housing when it was empty or a seeker is spawning allies.


On a lot of the maps, you'll be given the opportunity to change the aliens path
that they take by placing towers.  When given the opportunity to maze, I 
suggest stopping at the start of the level and moving your cursor along the 
path you want the aliens to end up walking. Check to make sure your path 
doesn't overlap itself incorrectly at any point so there are no wasted paths. 
This will also help with tower placement later so you can remember not to block
off needed paths.  Try to be careful when building up your maze that you 
remember to upgrade the towers as well. Many levels will throw heavy waves at 
you with a lot of durability if you can maze, so you'll need every bit of 
firepower available.  For initial tower placement, look for any spots that 
allow you to change movement the greatest with the fewest number of towers.  

Working backwards in some levels is effective, since you know aliens will 
always head in that direction and can be easier to control their movement.  
Aim to have aliens walking around long S paths if possible to maximize towers 
firing time, and get the most use out of area effect towers like temporals.  
Don't try and completely block off their path though.  If aliens have no other 
choice, they will be allowed to walk right through your towers!


Upgrading your towers can be a hard decision at times, but is almost always 
worth it.  While some upgrades don't give you as much bang for your buck, most 
will improve the damage output by at least double.  Maze building should be a 
careful balance between expansion and upgrading.  Command towers should always 
be built around heavy traffic areas, especially if most are being killed off.  
Those upgraded towers will pay themselves off faster near one, even more so if 
it's upgraded too.  One last thing on upgrading; It takes a long time for your 
tower to sink into the ground and redeploy itself when you upgrade.  Try to 
save an upgrade for a time it's not shooting much and won't be for a bit if 
possible, especially for your temporal towers since they'll take a second to 
charge up their first pulse.  Try not to boost too many meteors or temporals 
at once either since you'll feel their loss more.


Line of sight is applied to all of your towers before they can damage their 
current target.  A gun tower placed in the middle of a 3x3 surrounded by other 
towers won't have much line of sight.  If you want an excellent example of 
just how much this can hinder your towers, go to Ancient Research and try 
putting 3 inferno towers beside the path on the 2x2 spot in the bottom right.  

Not only will they not be able to shoot in their radius most of the time, but 
the left tower actually won't shoot at all occasionally as it tries to target 
enemies passing out of it's line of sight between the other 2 towers!  This 
rule is applied to almost all your towers including meteors.  Usually this 
isn't much of an issue but be careful of bridges and higher paths that might 
neuter your line of sight.

== SHIELDS [GA7] ==

Enemies with shields up will take no damage from lasers, half from infernos 
(no burn damage over time), and 80% from meteors.  Once the shields are down 
though, they are vulnerable to all towers.  Heavy guns and cannons near the 
entrance will help thin out any shielded aliens as they first appear (and also 
help with most flyers since they tend to start near the same spot).  The 
reduced damage on the inferno towers will make the basic greens pretty useless,
but upgraded versions can still be handy against the swarmers + spire combo.


Once you reach the level 'Flight Plan' you will be given access to the orbital 
laser satellite.  This isn't a tower but a new unique weapon you control 
yourself and works as a kind of panic button.  Target a spot on the map with it
and in a second it will aquire lock on the area and blast anything in about a 
2 square radius (around inferno tower range).  This will kill any alien from 
swarmers to juggernauts in just one hit, but you will get -ZERO- resources for 
the kill.  All levels can be beat without using it, but works nicely when a 
cores about to reach the exit out of your tower range, or if you are worried 
you won't be able to conventionally take out a large alien.  Turtles will be 
killed, but their passengers won't be harmed so be careful where you blast 
them on the map.  I try not to use the laser unless in a really tight spot 
since those are resources I could have used.

               -+-+-+-+-  PART II: TOWERS  -+-+-+-+-  

== GUN [TW1] ==

"The gun tower makes up in versatility what it lacks in efficiency.  It can 
hit any enemy within range, and is essential for defending against shielded 
and flying enemies.  It is weak vs. groups, but strong vs. shields and good 
vs. fliers"

Your first tower is pretty weak but has it's uses.  They're cheap so some 
people like building their mazes with them early.  They do a great job of 
ripping up shields and admittedly are kind of decent against darts, but these 
get left in the dust by most of the other towers when it comes to killing 
things.  The upgrades on this are cheap and do the work of a handfull of green 
guns so upgrade them early!

Class: Projectile
        Cost     Range    Damage 
Green:  100       210    10/ 1 sec
Yellow: 200       225    30/ 1 sec
Red:    400       240    70/ 1 sec
*60 range = 1 square

== CANNON [TW2] ==

"The cannon tower is powerful but slow inflicting heavy damage at a low rate 
of fire.  It works very well against strong and shielded enemies although it's 
power can be wasted on weak or heavily damaged units.  It can't hit enemies 
directly next to it, and is not very effective at stopping tight groups, but 
it can target flyers making it a great second row tower."

These things are amazing and should be a heavy factor in most of your maps if 
you have them.  They work above average on pretty much every unit and take 
down shields fast.  Rumblers may go by them quick, but they'll take a beating 
on the way and racers tend to get taken out about as well as a laser could do. 
Any of the big heavys will need cannons and you'd need luck to take out a 
juggernaut without them. Don't worry about the ability to not target up close 
either since it's such a small distance.

The upgrades double then triple the rate of fire, add damage and range boosts.
The red upgrade is expensive but gives you triple the firepower and almost 
double the damage but you might find you get more use out of upgrading 2 to 
yellow instead of 1 to red.

Class: Projectile
        Cost     Range    Damage 
Green:  200      90-330   80/5 sec
Yellow: 400      90-360   107/5 sec, x2 barrels
Red:    800      90-390   150/5 sec, x3 barrels
*60 range = 1 square

== INFERNO [TW3] ==

"The inferno tower can take out many enemies at once, but is fairly limited in 
it's range.  It is especially effective against swarmers or any aliens which 
clump together, but not as powerful vs. single strong aliens.  Because it is 
fire based, it is weaker against shields.  It can't target fliers."

Your first crowd control tower and not too bad one at that.  The damage isn't 
too fantastic, but all the aliens under the stream are hit and will continue 
to take damage as they burn after they are out of range.  The range on this 
tower is the smallest (tied with teslas and temporals), so make sure line of 
sight is minimally hindered and maximize amount of time aliens walk through 
it's path.  Note that shielded enemies will take half damage and no heat 
against this tower.  The yellow upgrade is almost 3x the damage of a green, 
while a red does about the work of 6!  If you're going to use these, upgrade 
early for some real damage and make good use of them on grinder levels.

Class: Fire
        Cost     Range     Cone     Damage 
Green:  150       150   70 degree   4.17 and 0.96 heat/1 sec
Yellow: 300       150   80 degree   11.25 and 7 heat/1 sec
Red:    600       150   90 degree   23.86 and 31.53 heat/1 sec
*60 range = 1 square


"The concussion tower fires explosive grenades in all directions, decimating 
everything nearby.  There is no better solution when enemies are concentrated 
in a large dense area, but it is not as effective against single strong aliens 
or shields.  It can't attack fliers."

The last crowd control tower you get access to is an interesting tool in your 
arsenal.  Unlike most of your towers which will only attack what it's 
targeting, this one spews grenades all over it's radius the moment an alien 
steps in it.  The area of effect is a good size lets you be a bit more free 
with where you place it. So what's the catch?  The pathetic attack power at 
basic green reduce it's use at default level to killing off swarmers and 
tickling everything else. Upgrading is expensive, only up's the attack a bit, 
and you can get more bang for your buck elsewhere.  A couple of these around 
to take care of swarmer masses will let your big guns do more good however, 
and red's can thin out other weak aliens.  Infernos are better placed in 
spots where the tower will be fixed on one area, while concussions get more 
use when aliens are walking through the path area as much as possible and vs 

Class:  Energy
        Cost     Range    Damage 
Green:  200       180     4.56/ 1 sec to all aliens in range
Yellow: 400       180     13.75/ 1 sec to all aliens in range
Red:    800       180     32.08/ 1 sec to all aliens in range
*60 range = 1 square

== METEOR [TW5] ==

"The meteor tower targets ground based units at long range.  It fires a 
superheated fireball that inflicts heavy area damage on impact.  The meteor 
tower can't target units close to it, but it has the longest range of any 
tower making it an ideal second row tower.  It is weaker against fast aliens 
and can't target fliers."

The game description actually covered this one pretty good.  It's high damage, 
maximum range, splash hits, and special line of sight make this tower a 
fantastic addition to your arsenal.  If you find big aliens are running off 
with your cores you probably need more of these.  Damage will affect aliens 
standing directly next to each other in a small radius at green level, but 
increase with upgrades.  Those upgrades also give a massive damage boost making
this one of your best towers for damage against ground units.  Line of sight 
works on the path the fireball would take for these guys so it won't shoot if 
something's above the tower or an alien goes under the landscape.

Class:  Fire
        Cost     Range     Splash Area     Damage 
Green:  250     120-510        25          50.60 and 0.88 heat
Yellow: 500     120-510        30          114.75 and 5.04 heat
Red:    1000    120-510        35          201.69 and 17.53 heat 
*60 range = 1 square

== MISSILE [TW6] ==

"The missile tower is the strongest defense against flyers.  It can easily take
down several aerial units at once at great distances, but can't target ground 
units at all."

In almost any levels with flyers, you should probably be using a couple of 
these.  Putting down even one of these can save a lot of work from your 
cannons and guns that could be split with land aliens.  An odd problem due to 
placement you can run into is missile towers side by side sometimes fire at 
flyers at the same time, overkilling and wasting shots.  Put 2 or 3 spread out 
a little near the start of the flight path to kill them before your 
cannons/guns waste shots.  In later levels when you get big flocks of mantas 
try to spread upgraded towers across the flight path to counter their 
formations.  The yellow tower is a great upgrade but don't worry about the 
red unless you really have massive flocks attacking.  At any level, all 
missile towers have a 2 second cool down between shots.

Class:  Projectile
        Cost     Range     Splash      Damage
Green:  225       510        15        128.57
Yellow: 450       510        15        205 x2 missiles 
Red:    900       510        15        250 x4 missiles
*60 range = 1 square

== TEMPORAL [TW7] ==
"The temporal tower emits an energy pulse that disrupts nearby aliens, slowing 
their movement to a crawl.  It's expensive to build, but cheaper upgrades 
extend it's range."

Once you get access to these use them and use them a lot!  As an enemy enters 
it's radius, the tower will send out a pulse that slows enemy's movement to 
30% normal!  This means your other towers basically get over double the amount 
of time to kill any aliens in the temporals range.  Spread them across the map 
to slow their movement as much as possible to make things easier in the long 
run.  Pulses come every 5 seconds, lasting for about 3 seconds.  Interestingly,
temporal towers that overlap each others radius will synch their pulses for 
maximum effect.  Upgrades increase the radius by about an extra square in 
every direction and only cost 300 for each let you get some good use out of 

Class:  Special
        Cost     Range
Green:  300       150
Yellow: 300       210
Red:    300       270

== TESLA [TW8] ==
"The tesla tower fires a powerful energy bolt.  It is effective if it has time 
to charge up since the last discharge.  Time without firing greatly increases 
the amount of damage when it does fire, and each tower upgrade provides an 
additional charge up capacity.  This tower is an effective last line of defense
 when placed at base exit points.  It can't target fliers"

These are a very unusual tower.  If these are left with time to store up their 
charge they can do massive damage to the first alien that walks in their small
radius.  Each charge does 1.5 damage cumulative each (2nd 2.25x up to 6 
charges at about 11.4x) having the potential to about as much damage as 5 
fully upgraded meteor towers!  The shots from this tower can also chain to 
another alien in a 90 distance from the hit.  Each chain does 2/3's the damage 
the last hit does so a red tower uncharged would do about 60 to the first 
chain, 40 to the 2nd, and 26.7 to the 3rd.  Placement for these are kind of 
odd with their small radius.  You don't want them in your temporal radius if 
possible since they'll be firing constantly instead of charging.  A few of 
these deep in your levels can make a nasty surprise for rumblers and help take 
down other boss aliens quickly.

Class:  Energy
        Cost     Range     Charge time     Charges      Damage
Green:  175       150        3 sec            4         32.81 chains 1x 
Yellow: 350       150       2.75 sec          5         57.75 chains 2x
Red:    700       150       2.5 sec           6         90.07 chains 3x
*60 range = 1 square

== LASER [TW9] ==
"The laser tower is extremely efficient, burning aliens and causing damage 
long after they've moved out of range.  It works very well against fast 
enemies, but is useless against shields and flying enemies.  Multiple laser 
towers firing on a single unit are not as effective, so careful placement of 
laser towers can increase their effectiveness."

One of the earlier towers you get and a pretty handy one but nothing 
fantastic... at first.  If the laser tags a target it will take heat damage 
afterwords like an inferno turret does.  Works really nicely on fast mobs or 
groups of weak mobs as it tends to tag multiple ones quickly as they leave it's
radius.  The heat damage isn't cumalitve from multiple towers but they still 
do their basic attack damage. AI is programmed to have the towers not target 
the same mob unless they have to so don't worry if two lasers overlap some.  
Just remember shields will completely negate all laser damage.

Upgrade these quickly since the damage jumps through the roof with each 
boost, especially the final one.  Heat damage is hard to calculate so don't 
get too excited at that 224.2 damage number.  I won't get into the details 
since you can't normally tell one of the variables, but just trust me when I 
say it does good damage (or see for yourself!).

Class:  Energy
        Cost     Range     Damage
Green:  200       210      4.58 heat every 0.25 seconds.
Yellow: 400       210      41.18 heat every 0.25 seconds. 
Red:    800       210      224.2 heat every 0.25 seconds.
*60 range = 1 square

== COMMAND [TW10] ==
"The command tower reveals stealthed enemies and increases resource recovery 
within range.  There is little benefit when the ranges of two command towers 
overlap.  You will recover extra resources from any alien that dies within 
range of the command tower, and any stealthed alien will be revealed."

Proper use of these beauty's will make your work so much easier and increase 
your bank substantially.  In a heavy traffic area, these will really pay off 
with a 25% kill bonus at green and increasing 10% every upgrade.  Negating 
stealth will help take them out certain aliens even faster so double bonus.  
To put even more icing on the cake, each upgrade is a flat 300 resources and 
increases it's radius!  There is no bonus to overlapping command towers so 
keep them spread out.  Usually 1-3 of these on a level will be enough, 
especially after upgrades.

Class:  Special
        Cost     Range     Kill bonus
Green:  300       210         25%
Yellow: 300       270         35%
Red:    300       330         45%
*60 range = 1 square

               -+-+-+-+-  PART III: THE ALIENS -+-+-+-+-

== ALIEN NOTE [AL0] ==

Base health: Every alien is given a wave multiplier to it's health, making the
later waves tougher to kill.  You can notice the multiplier in general by 
looking closely at the aliens colour.  They use the same system your towers do
with greens being weakest, yellow medium, and red toughest.

Speed:  Default movement rate with 45 being average.

Kill value:  The reward given when the alien is killed off.

Carries: How many cores they can hold at once.

Stealing cores:  Basic ideas on how to improve your tower layout if many of 
these are taking cores away.  Note that no aliens are strong or weak against 
specific tower types with the exception of their shields (and flying aliens 
if you count the fact that only projectile towers can hit them).

== DRONE [AL1] ==

"Drones serve as test targets to ensure proper functioning of the tower 
defense system."

Only place you'll run into these is in the first tutorial level.  Easily 
killed and nothing special about them.

Base Health:  30
Speed:        45
Kill Value:   10
Carries:      1
Stealing cores: Um... if you've got drone's appearing you must have put down 
one tower. Now put down another.  There you go.

== SWARMER [AL2] ==

"The swarmer is a weak alien which comes in large packs. Area weapons are 
particularly effective."

These guys love to come in large groups, occasionally with a larger alien in 
the center to use them as cannon fodder.  Easily taken out unless in very 
large numbers or having a spire shielding them.

Base Health:  50
Speed:        45
Kill Value:   10
Carries:      1
Stealing cores: More inferno and concussion towers will thin them out.  Try 
more upgraded guns if it was part of a shielded group.

==WALKER [AL3] ==

"The walker is the basic field unit of the alien army.  With no particular 
strengths it is single-minded in its mission. It can carry one core"

As their basic grunt you know you'll be seeing these guys regularly.  In later
levels they'll come in large groups like swarmers and you'll see nothing but 
these in waves for grinder levels.

Base Health:  100
Speed:        45
Kill Value:   20
Carries:      1

Stealing cores: Need more firepower. Try using more damaging towers, upgrading 
or making sure line of sight isn't hindered.  If coming in large numbers try 
a fully upgraded inferno or two.

== RHINO [AL4] ==

"The rhino is the basic elite unit of the alien army.  It has good armor, and 
is single-minded in its mission.  It can carry 2 cores."

It's pretty much just a walker with more hp and can carry 2 cores.

Base Health:  200
Speed:        45
Kill Value:   40
Carries:      2
Stealing cores: Need more firepower. Try using more damaging towers, upgrading
or making sure line of sight isn't hindered.

== RACER [AL5] ==

"The racer is a fast alien which rushes to the cores as quickly as possible. 
It is weak against heat, which continues to hurt it even after it leaves 
targeting range. It can carry one core."

These fast little guys will test the power of your first few hits on waves.  
Not a ton of health on them though so lasers heat effect takes them out nicely
as well as a few cannon hits.  Temporals will nerf their speed for a bit so 
make sure you're getting good use out of them.

Base Health:  100
Speed:        90
Kill Value:   30
Carries:      1
Stealing cores: Add more lasers and cannons. Spread them out a bit to take 
care of larger groups.  Upgraded guns can also help whittle them down and 
make sure you've got temporals around.

== RUMBLER [AL6] ==

"The rumbler is a fast boss constructed solely to recover power cores as 
quickly as possible.  It is weak against heat, which continues to hurt it 
even after it leaves targeting range.  It can carry three cores."

These can be one of the most troublesome boss aliens you run into.  They have 
a ton of health, high speed, and can carry the 3 core max.  You better have 
temporals around to slow them down so you have enough time to take them out.  
Teslas can give them a rude surprise when they get to the front of the pack 
but make sure you have a lot of firepower in general and maze them up if 

Base Health:  1000
Speed:        90
Kill Value:   500
Carries:      3
Stealing cores: Temporals to hinder their speed help tons.  Teslas, lasers 
and cannons can help eliminate them faster.

== DART [AL7] ==

"The dart is a small flying alien with poor defense that floats on the air 
currents directly to the power cores.  It can only be targeted by the gun, 
cannon, and missile towers.  Cores captured by flying aliens are 
unrecoverable.  It can carry one core."

These are the first flying enemy you'll run into and really aren't much of a 
threat in small numbers.  They have as much base health as a low ranked 
walker so a few cannons can take them out or a missile tower can usually 1 
shot them.  They are only really a threat in large numbers or when you don't 
have enough anti-air towers up in time.  If a flying alien grabs one of your 
cores it's gone for good even if you kill them off right after so try to kill 
them early!

Base Health:  100
Speed:        60
Kill Value:   20
Carries:      1
Stealing cores:  More guns, cannons or missiles if available.  Later levels 
have these and mantas flying in formations that can make tight groups hard to 
take out so spread your missiles along the flight path to counter this.

== MANTA [AL8] ==

"The manta is a flying alien with strong defense that floats on the air 
currents directly to the power cores.  It can only be targeted by the gun, 
cannon and missile towers.  Cores captured by flying aliens are 
unrecoverable.  It can carry one core."

The only other flying alien in the game is a nice upgrade from the weaker 
darts. Increased speed is their main advantage as large groups can fly past 
your main anti-air defenses quickly if not taken out.  Remember if they grab 
one of your cores it's gone for good so try and be quick in taking them out.  
The extra health and speed on these make cannons and especially guns less 
useful so stock up on missile towers.

Base Health:  250
Speed:        80
Kill Value:   50
Carries:      1
Stealing cores:  More guns, cannons and especially missiles.  Later levels 
have these and darts flying in formations that can make tight groups hard to 
take out so spread your missiles along the flight path to counter this. 

== BULWARK [AL9] ==

"The bulwark has a protective shield which dissipates incoming damage and is 
strong against heat-based attacks.  use the gun or cannon to whittle it down 
quickly - once the shield is gone, it is vulnerable.  It can carry 2 cores."

The basic shield unit is a pretty weak grunt with some good shields on him. 
Cannons and upgraded guns will tear through their shields in no time and they 
die soon after so don't worry too much when you see them.  As long as you're 
not relying too heavily on laser turrets or they come in large numbers that 

Base Health:  50
Base Shields: 150
Speed:        45
Kill Value:   50
Carries:      2
Stealing cores:  Make sure you have a healthy dose of guns and cannons, 
upgraded if possible.  Walking them through an upgraded concussion tower for 
awhile can help take out larger groups too.

== SPIRE [AL10] ==

"The spire is a shielded alien that protects nearby aliens with a projected 
shield.  The shield dissipates incoming damage and is strong against heat-
based attacks.  A gun or cannon will whittle the shared shield down.  The 
spire can carry three cores."

This shield boss alien can be a major pain if you aren't ready for them.  It 
would be one thing if they were just a big alien with super shields, but 
these cone heads can project a bubble shield around nearby aliens.  If the 
shields on the spire are taken out, the nearby aliens will lose theirs as 
well.  They love surrounding themselves in swarmer groups for cannon-fodder 
to make taking out their own shields more difficult.  Paired with lurker 
groups, they can try and push the stealth units past your command points if 
not killed in time.

Base Health:  100
Base Shields: 500
Speed:        45
Kill Value:   200
Carries:      3
Stealing cores: Upgraded gun towers work well to weaken the spire and 
hopefully take out a few minion shields.  Cannons are effective and meteors 
can be as well despite the 80% reduction since they do so much anyways and 
can hurt the tightly packed aliens.  A lucky tesla chain can do wonders as 
well but don't depend on them too much.

== LURKER [AL11] ==

"The lurker can only be detected by towers at close range.  A command tower 
will expose stealthed enemies in range to nearby towers.  Stealth aliens are 
still susceptible to any area damage they may encounter.  It can carry one 

Your basic stealth alien isn't anything too scary to deal with usually.  
Stealth severly reduces the range towers can detect them in, allowing mostly 
minimum range shots.  There isn't much health on these aliens though so a 
standard command tower kill zone should take most of them out.  

Base Health:  125
Speed:        45
Kill Value:   25
Carries:      1
Stealing cores: Command towers will remove stealth so make sure you have as 
many upgraded damage towers surrounding it as possible to take these out 
before leaving the radius.  Lasers, guns and teslas are close range towers 
so don't seem to suffer from stealth as much too.

== DECOY [AL12] ==

"The decoy projects a stealth field around nearby aliens, hiding them from 
long range towers.  The decoy itself is not stealthed.  Stealthed units are 
still vulnerable to short-range and area damage.  A command tower will expose 
stealthed enemies in range.  The decoy can carry two cores."

Your boss stealth alien itself is nothing that dangerous to deal with, but 
the stealth field it projects can protect more dangerous aliens from your 
cannons and direct meteor hits.  On large levels where you can't control the 
aliens path and concentrate your firepower these can be more annoying.

Base Health:  400
Speed:        45
Kill Value:   100
Carries:      2
Stealing cores: While stealth protects the other aliens around it from 
meteors, the decoy doesn't get that defense and tends to get targetted 
instead (hence it's name).  Upgraded meteors and a command kill zone are your 
best bet to making stealth a non-issue.

== SEEKER [AL13] ==

"The seeker periodically summons an unstable portal to the alien home planet.  
Kill it fast if possible to prevent it from spawning more aliens.  The 
quicker it is killed, the more resources can be recovered from it.  It can 
carry one core."

The basic spawner unit can be the worst of all the basic aliens to deal with.
It slowly plods along spewing out other aliens every few seconds.  The spawned
aliens tend to absorb fire that would be directed at the seeker instead so it 
pays to have groups of upgraded towers together.  While the kill value on them
isn't that high, you will get a bonus amount for every alien it didn't get to 
spawn equal to their kill value!

Base Health:  500
Speed:        30
Kill Value:   50 + any unspawned aliens value
Carries:      1
Stealing cores: The slow speed of these can make meteors very effective if 
there are multiple around to help with any spawns.  A cluster of upgraded 
towers can help take out both at the same time.

== TURTLE [AL14] ==

"The turtle contains several aliens that are released when it is destroyed.  
It can carry three cores, but the enemies inside can potentially carry many 

These armored behemoths can take a massive beating before finally falling and 
releasing even more units like an armored APC.  It should be rare that one of 
these exit the map with cores but aliens that pop out will usually grab one of 
the 3 it was carrying and make a bee line for the exit.  This can cause some 
real problems depending on what's inside, especially in later levels when 
rumblers come rushing out.

Base Health:  1000
Speed:        45
Kill Value:   300
Carries:      3
Stealing cores: Upgraded towers, plenty of meteors with temporals to give you 
more time to kill is my best advice.  You might want to consider that orbital
laser cannon to pop them early if you don't think you can handle one yet.

== CRASHER [AL15] ==

"The crasher is slow but has a tremendous amount of armor.  It has no special
vulnerabilities, and it can carry three cores."

The basic boss alien will test the firepower of your towers to it's fullest.
With 4000 base health you'll need to pull out some upgrades if you want any
chance of taking them out.  Luckily they have the slowest speed of any alien 
type so you'll have plenty of time to shoot them.  These can be one of the
major causes of cores being piggybacked off the map since they travel so far
before being taken out usually.

Base Health:  4000
Speed:        25
Kill Value:   500
Carries:      3
Stealing cores: Upgrade as many heavy hitting towers as possible.  Meteors,
cannons, lasers, and to some extent teslas will help beat them down in time.


"The juggernaut is slow but has a tremendous amount of armor in addition to a
 heavy shield.  The shield dissipates incoming damage and is strong against 
heat-based attacks while it lasts.  The juggernaut can carry three cores."

I'll do everyone a favor and skip all the bad juggernaut jokes here.  These 
big bosses are a bit of a twist on crashers as they took half their health 
and turned it into shields, basically giving them some extra resistance for 
the first bit.  Luckily they only really show up in the larger levels giving 
you a good time to whittle away at them.

Base Health:  2000
Base Shields: 2000
Speed:        25
Kill Value:   500
Carries:      3
Stealing cores: Upgrade as many heavy hitting towers as possible.  Cannons and
meteors will probably help the most for the first half, but everythings fair 
game once it's shields are down.

               -+-+-+-+-+-  PART IV: WRAP UP -+-+-+-+-+-


Q: What platform were you playing on?
A: Been going through on my X-box 360 as downloadable content

Q: How do I beat level XYZ?
A: I'll be coming out with a set of FAQs for each level to help people out 
soon so be patient.  There's a lot of general info in this FAQ to help out 
most people till then.

Q: How is heat damage calculated? You said it was complex...
A: Whew... well here's what I got directly from Michael Austin at Hidden Path 
"Basically aliens have a statistic ‘heat’ – shields negate 90% of heat.  Heat 
dissipates over time (and the amount of heat is reflected by fire on the 
aliens). Laser towers apply ONLY heat.   Aliens are damaged according to the 
squareroot of heat.  So an alien with 100 heat might take 10 damage, and alien
with 50 heat would take about 7.   Heat is actually pretty good on damage, it 
just doesn’t pay to stack it.  Accordingly, a level 2 laser tower does 9x the 
heat of a level 1, and a level 3 does about 6x the heat of a level 2."

"Heat has a half-life – i.e. something with heat 100 will have heat 50 x 
seconds later, and heat 25 x seconds after that.  It’s kind of complex, 
unfortunately, but had good behavior.  Enemy A in a beam for 3 seconds will 
take significantly more damage than something in the beam for 0.5 seconds, 
but it won’t be 6x as much."

So like I said, you can never directly calculate a lasers damage since you 
don't have that variable of 'heat' at it's current amount.  Even if you did 
have that number it decays over time so just trust what the man says: Heat 
is actually pretty good on damage.

Q: What's the most damage a red tesla tower can do with full charges?
A: Well the full 6 charges give a multiplier of 11.390625 with a base damage 
of 90.07 for a whopping 1025.95359375 total.  I'd assume there's some rounding
done in the math so the numbers so this might not be exact.  Don't count on 
your teslas to be left alone for a full 15 seconds to reach this point too 
often though.

Q: Why didn't you include 'bouncing' the enemy in your strategies?
A: I find 'bouncing' to be a cheap tactic that abuses the game mechanics 
instead of working with it.  You shouldn't have to rely on it to beat a level
normally and requires little to no skill not to mention can backfire on you.
(Bouncing is abusing the fact that aliens will take the shortest path possible
to the core housing by placing and deleting towers over and over to pace the 
enemy in a confined space).

== CONTACT [WU2] ==

Note that I'll probably ignore most direct requests for help on individual 
levels for now as it's in the works and will be out eventually.  Any 
constructive feedback is appreciated and I hope people were able to get some 
use from this FAQ. (I apologize for the 'texting' of symbols in my email 
but it helps filter some spam)

the_modern_knight at hotmail dot com
Brixx79 on Xbox live (No gold here, sorry!)

== THANKS [WU3] ==

My biggest thanks go out to Michael Austin at Hidden Path Entertainment who 
helped me with tons of information and raw numbers for things.  Without him 
I'd probably still be trying to determine aliens kill value and counting 
what's in every wave.  Not to mention the great game they made!

Isaac May for always helping me find a good game.

Wayne and Michelle for helping me stay sane.

Mona and Stumblebutt for actually leaving me be while writing this for once

Copyright 2009 Matthew D. Wilson