After coining up and pressing Start, we get to see the intro, with all of Tiki's adorable kiwi friends getting kidnapped.
Tiki is the only one to escape, and that means only one thing... It's time for revenge.
World 1 - Auckland
Each world in this game comprises of four rounds, with a boss (usually) lurking at the end of the fourth round. Aside from changing tilesets, each world usually has a few unique gimmicks. Auckland, though- in real life the largest urban area in the country, situated at the top of the North Island- does its best to ease you into the long journey ahead, with fairly compact and short rounds designed to teach you some of the basic mechanics. Don't get used to this laid-back and easy-going place though- it only ramps up from here.
The smallest round in the entire game, Round 1-1 is the only numbered stage that doesn't scroll vertically at all. There's also no vehicles to steal here, as Tiki's got to walk before he can fly. So, with only Hermit Crabs, Missile Crabs and Blue Soldiers, Round 1-1 tries to teach you the most basic rules of the game- you can touch (most) enemies safely as it's only their weapons that kill you, you can jump through basically any platform, and that your goal is always the caged kiwi, as you're directly lead there. In a more indirect way, this is where you get a little taste of the weapons and power-up system too- there's enough enemies in your direct path to give you a Bomb just before the end of the round. So, just walk to the right, make your way up the platforms at the end, and that's your first kiwi buddy saved!
... Ah, but if you've looked at the map, in the top-left corner of the platform area, you can see a sneaky ol' Warp hiding up there, the first of many! Shoot at that spot repeatedly to make it appear. This first one is pretty important, as it'll warp you to a boxed-away area in Round 2-1. Zoom over there to see where it leads afterwards...!
Tiki's next lesson is in aeronautics (and optional grand theft auto), you'll find your first vehicles in the game. Making your way past the Hermit and Missile crabs, you'll find yourself next to a Circus poster and the first flying enemy of the game, the bog-standard Bob. They'll pursue you as best they can and fire their arrows (which they telegraph, so pay attention) but because of the large Teddy Bear Head they ride around on, if you're standing right next to them, they can't hit you unless you jump. In this area, they can hit you if you're on the higher ground next to the Circus poster and they're by the lower ground to the left, so don't get cocky. These guys are basically no problem on their own, but later in the game they'll start attacking in huge packs, usually with deadlier enemies backing them up, so don't take them too lightly.
You now have to take your first flight, as jumping won't be enough to get you up on the platform to the right. You can either knock one of the Bobs off his Teddy Bear Head (shoot him off or jump at him to steal it) or take the convenient Hot Air Balloon that's parked up in this area. Either way, hold the Jump button to fly up and around the platforms, following the arrows and avoiding the Spike Frogs that will make their way up to the top platform (remember, even if you're in a vehicle, if you're exposed, you can get hit!), then go down the little shaft to end the level. It's a relatively controlled environment for your first flight, so take out all the Bobs and use this time to get used to it.
As for that Warp in the first area....
This Warp is one of a few in the game that takes you to a special Warp Zone round. It's several different areas blocked-off from one another that do make up a complete round, just one you can never see fully under normal circumstances. When it shows up here, we'll highlight which section you end up in.
Anyway, this time you're given a choice of two other warps to take (and this includes a preview of the swimming mechanics!). The right one takes you to the top-left corner of Round 1-2, where you can grab some bonus apples and make your way back to the stage. The left one takes you to the section underneath the cage in Round 1-2, where you can get some EXTEND letters for your trouble.
OK, you've now mastered flying, right? What do you mean, no?! This round is a lot more open than the last one, and you'll need a vehicle to traverse beyond the platforms at the start. Fortunately, there are plenty of Bobs around here who'll be more than happy to lend you their ride if you convince them with an arrow to the face. However, at the bottom of the wide open area, a new enemy will spawn- the Penguin, by far the deadliest of the common enemies, but also one you want to see. They ride around on the Duck, by far the best vehicle for most situations- it's fast, Tiki sticks out less on it, and it can fit in some small areas you'll struggle to squeeze through on a Teddy Bear. However, their only attack is to lob stones at you, and they lock on to Tiki's position when they throw, so they can hit you on the ground. The first one spawns in the bottom-left corner of the open area, so go and meet them! Then steal their Duck. Two appear in this area- the other is by the windows to the right, so watch out.
Another new mechanic gets introduced gently here, swimming. Unless you saw it in the Warp Area in Round 1-2, of course. Luckily it's only shallow and there's no hazards inside, so get used to the swimming controls too. You can either go up the platforms and around or straight across in the area with the cage, but the top is the way to go here- as well as having a couple of fruit bonuses to pick up, a Penguin will spawn in the lower area, and you might not want to fight one over a spike pit with platforms that small. Besides, the top route has a bonus Warp!
It takes you here, starting you in the top-left, which gets you a few more EXTEND letters, then dumps you just below the cage in Round 1-3...
Incidentally, this tileset is never used anywhere else in the game!
As you can see though, there's a Warp within this warp area!
Clear out the enemies here to make the Warp appear, sending you near the start of Round 2-2.
As for the warp in the big open area, it'll take you to this section of the Warp Round:
Then it'll warp you to a secret corner of Round 2-1.
The final round of Auckland, some more major common enemies make their first appearance... Although one of them doesn't really count. Early on you'll see some Germs that can be useful for farming items if you're looking for a specific weapon (this is something that'll be more useful on later stages, really), then in the bottom-right corner you'll encounter the Spearmen, another deadly enemy! These guys only ever ride around on Teddy Bear Heads and have only one attack- throwing a spear directly upwards. If you're in a single-hit vehicle and the spear hits you, you are dead as it'll go right through it. Watch out for them! The Grim Bats also appear briefly here, and are unique as they're one of the few enemies that never drop point items or power-ups, but fly overhead and drop their spike when they're above you. Needless to say, they appear at the most inconvenient times. Finally, this is the first round with Axe Cat, but they actually spawn in an area cordoned-off by spikes, so you won't really get to see them 'in-action' properly until later.
With the menagerie of meanies dealt with [I assume that's the scientific term - Ed] let's talk about the level istelf, as it sets the standard for the rest of the game in terms of size- 1024 x 1024 pixels, roughly four screens wide and four-and-a-half screens tall. It also throws pretty much everything we've seen so far at the player, including a longer swimming section (which you can mostly skip, as a Penguin spawns near the mouth of the water and you can steal his Duck), a fairly gentle flying section lined by spikes (with some EXTEND letters hiding in the peripheries) and a mini-gauntlet of enemies before the boss fight. You shouldn't struggle too much here, but our main bit of advice is after the water, take the lower route and make your way around- Spearmen spawn below you on the higher path, and you don't want them to spear you. Besides, the X should get you an EXTEND if you took the warps on 1-2 and 1-3 with letters. Other than that, not much to worry about here, so scoot over to the boss for now.
As for that giant walled-off water segment, we'd like to welcome wanderers from the boxed-off Warp in Round 2-1 back, as you'll spawn in the little box under the water. It's a fairly large stretch, so while you just barely have enough breath to make it in one go, we recommend you duck into the fourth box to the right before making your way to the exit. Otherwise, stay low so you won't be bothered by the Urchins or Sponges here. Jumping through the platforms once you resurface leads to some more EXTEND letters, completing the word for you, and then you can either hop up where there's a gap in the wall to fight this round's boss, or keep going, fighting off multiplying Frankies, to find a warp to Round 2-4 in the corner. As explained in Round 2-1, in certain versions of the game fighting the boss here allows you to basically play the game forever, warping between Round 2-1 and Round 1-4 to your heart's content... But you can read about that elsewhere. We have a boss to fight.
However you make it here, it's time for the the Frozen Whale, your first boss. It's the strangest boss in the game, as you won't be fighting it normally. Shoot it as much as you like, you won't be able to hurt it, its frozen hide is unbreakable! Instead, it'll fire icicle projectiles up to the ceiling which then rain down on you, as it moves up and down. You can shoot the projectiles if you so wish, but just avoiding them will be enough. What's important is that you stay fairly close to the Whale so that, when it's done firing its projectiles, you can quickly get eaten. Wait, what? Yeah, this is the only way. It'll lunge forward with its mouth open, and you need to jump inside.
No getting out the Whale's blowhole with this one, you'll have to destroy it from within!
As acid (?) drips from the roof of the Whale's mouth (?), mash the Fire button. Any hit to the walls here counts as damaging the boss, and you'll just need to be careful of the acid, moving in small steps to avoid it, as you fire. Just mash, and eventually...
And that's how you beat a frozen whale. Good to know.
We're done with Auckland, and that's World 1 cleared! Wasn't so hard, was it? But...
Tiki's journey continues in Rotorua.