Shatterhand (NES) Tips

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Shatterhand (Nintendo Entertainment System) Tips 

~By tankMage (May 2016)

Shatterhand Home PageNES Game Catalog

1. Introduction

Being a relatively late release in the NES lifespan, Shatterhand went somewhat unnoticed. Even to this day there are few guides available for this game. The purpose of this short guide is to give players a few general hints and fill in the gaps left by the few existing guides available. This guide will discuss strategies that will allow you to attack and move effectively, use power-ups well, and go over a few secrets hidden in the game.

2. Area Order

The starting area is known as Area A, while the final stage is Area G. The player may play stages B through F in any order they wish, but the difficulty of the game increases as you approach Area F. The stages are ordered from left to right, with Area B  on the top left and Area D in the bottom right as depicted below (Area F is in the center). It is advisable, but not necessary, to play the stages in alphabetical order since levels D, E, and especially F are tougher than the other levels and the order in which you clear the areas has no known impact on gameplay.


3. Controls and Moves

Understanding how the hero, Shatterhand, attacks and performs various stunts is essential to success. The following is a breakdown of how to use the hero’s moves correctly.

Evasion: When to Jump, Duck, Walk or Punch

Not getting hit is really helpful in just about any game and this one is no different, but requires the player to think and act appropriately to stay alive. There are a number of ways you can react to attacks and it’s common for only one or two to be effective.


This is usually a great way to dodge attacks in platformers, but the hero in this game doesn’t have as much control over his jumps as say Mario or Mega Man and is vulnerable as a result. Jumping is really only effective for clearing ground hazards or attacks that come in very low. In some cases jumping is very useful if there is a fence for the hero to grab onto while in the air, since the player can hang from the fence indefinitely to avoid danger.


Surprisingly, Shatterhand can destroy some enemy bullets by punching them, which is a great choice if you cannot dodge by ducking or jumping. Just keep in mind that not all projectiles can be destroyed in this manner. A good rule of thumb is to only punch small projectiles, because they are more likely to be destroyed by the character’s fists.


This is generally best used on enemies that fire at the player character’s upper body. By ducking shots, the player can get in close to an enemy and hammer away at it with punches.


Sometimes the best way to avoid damage is to just walk away. A good example of this is the grenade hurlers found in Areas B and D. These big brutes chuck grenades at the player and counter attack with a slow punch. The best way to fight them (if you do not posses a satellite bot) is to simply walk up to them, throw a punch then back off and repeat the process. This also works well on the Area A boss who often counter attacks with a rifle butt.

Grabbing onto Fences

This is an especially important skill later in the game where you will need to cling to fences in a precise and expedient manner in order to make certain jumps and/or avoid damage. Holding up on the D-pad will make the hero grab onto a fence if one is in the background. The player can release the up button without falling from the fence as well as punch and change the direction in which he/she is facing. Tapping the jump button will cause Shatterhand to disengage from the fence and drop down, while tapping the same button for a split second longer will make him perform a short jump. Holding the jump button down will make him do a long jump. There are some cases where you will have to position yourself very carefully and do a short jump to reach platforms, so learn this skill well.

4. Using Bots Effectively

Satellite bots are a tremendous asset that can easily double your damage output and allow you to hit enemies that could not be reached otherwise. The type of bot you receive depends upon what combination of alpha and beta symbols you collect (alpha and beta will be represented by the letters A and B respectively for this guide). It is wise to learn what each combination does and master using the various satellite bots. You can also force the symbols to change from A to B by punching them before grabbing them to ensure that you get the bot you wish to use. Players should also keep in mind that their bot can take damage from enemy attacks and eventually be destroyed.

Satellite Bot Jet Mode

To use your satellite bot as a jet pack, hold the down button and the A button while you have an active bot. This will cause your mechanical buddy to hover just above Shatterhand who will then grab onto the bot. The bot will lift off with the hero in tow when you release the down button, allowing you to bypass certain obstacles with ease. The player can also launch the bot at enemies while flying through the air in this mode by pushing the B button. Just be careful when utilizing this ability as it is very slow to set up.

Invincible Mode

Collecting the same set of A/B symbols twice (given that you have an active bot) will cause your satellite bot to fuse with Shatterhand, encasing him in armor that makes him invulnerable for roughly 14 seconds. Your punches will also emit a short range fireball that deals massive damage. Getting hit by an enemy while in this mode will take one second off of the suit’s duration, but enemies that touch you will take damage as well. Your bot will return to you with full health after the invincibility mode has ended.

Using Invincible Mode Effectively

Most stages offer at least six alpha/beta symbols, which is enough to activate the super suit. It is often in the player’s best interest to hold off on getting the final upgrade until you are ready to enter the teleporter to the boss room. In this manner you can grab the final alpha/beta symbol just before fighting the boss and take full advantage of the power of the invincible suit while fighting the boss. It should also be noted that if you find a symbol and do not wish to collect it in order to save invincible mode for the boss, you can punch the Alpha/Beta symbol multiple times to make it change into a coin.

5. Satellite Bot Letter Combinations

AAA- “Yobobot” this bot unleashes a glowing sphere that orbits it at an angle for a short time. Good for dealing damage close up in conjunction with the hero’s fists.

AAB- “Laserbot” fires a laser that penetrates, floors, walls and enemies. This laser delivers moderate damage, but there is a delay in between shots which greatly reduces its rate of damage. Even so, the laser bot is useful in situations where you can use terrain to your advantage.

ABA- “Swordbot” a close range blade wielding bot that strikes foes directly in front of the player. Attacks quickly and does decent damage. The swordbot lacks the versatility of the ranged bots, but makes up for this by dealing heavy damage. The swordbot also appears to be slightly more durable than the other bots, but this is based off of my personal observations and have I not been able to verify whether or not this is true.

ABB- “Ricobot” this bot fires balls that bounce off of surfaces. This is perhaps the most versatile and useful of the satellite bots. It’s shots do not do much damage, but it’s capable of firing rapidly as long as the shots connect with a nearby target. The ability to bank shots off of walls or through narrow corridors is very useful in eliminating threats before they can engage the player.

BBB- “Grenadebot” throws hand grenades that explode, dealing moderate damage in a small radius. One of the more useful bots thanks to its decent damage output and blast radius. I found this bot to be highly effective against the area E boss.

BBA- “Pyrobot” holding the punch button causes this satellite bot to spew flames in a sweeping motion over a wide area. The pyrobot deals heavy damage, but is difficult to control and prevents the player from using Shatterhand’s punch attacks. Nevertheless, this bot is effective in a number of situations if used well, especially against bosses.

BAB- “Yoyobot” hurls a ring of fireballs that snaps back like a yo yo. This bot is very useful due to the fact that it’s attacks deal good damage and can pass through walls and floors. Although it lacks the Laserbot’s range, the Yoyobot is generally superior to its counterpart, because of it’s faster rate of fire.

BAA- “Bouncebot” shoots a ball of energy that rises upward and travels along the ceiling. This bot is virtually useless aside from a few rare situations. The energy balls seldom make contact with enemies and do little damage.

6. Gravity Panels

In Areas E&G you will encounter rooms with panels on the floor and ceiling that alter the effects of gravity causing Shatterhand to cling to the ceiling or be pulled back onto the floor in some cases.* These gravity panels only appear on floors and ceiling and can sometimes be found on both. Jumping in places where there are G panels both above and below the hero will cause him to flip upside down (or right side up) and cling to the opposite surface, which can make life complicated. Luckily the player can control the situation by tapping the jump button, which will result in a shorter jump that will keep keep Shatter from flipping. Mastering this technique as soon as possible will make life much easier for the player later on.

*Some sections do not have the aforementioned “G” panels, but have altered gravity nonetheless.

7. Secrets

Area A: Hidden Coin

There is a breakable wall in Area A that conceals a hidden coin and opens up an empty corridor.

Punch wall, get coin.

Area G: Hidden Life Refill

Just after defeating Infernon (orange ninja boss) you will enter a gravity room. On the floor there is a hidden life refill between two eclectic grid hazards. Landing on this spot and ducking will reveal the hidden power up.

Odds are you will need some extra life in this area.

More Resources

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5 thoughts on “Shatterhand (NES) Tips”

  1. there is a hidden life after you break that wall in Area A just go to last panel and press down you should have 2000 coins to get that panel

  2. in Area C you will find a hidden power up just before the Boss press Down on the panel after the Boss Panel you need 100 Coins

  3. Thanks OJSIDO! I was wondering if I missed any secret panels, since the first one I found was in the final stage.

  4. Thanks! I’ll give it a watch, Shatterhand is a personal favorite. Maybe I’ll update this page someday, since I missed a lot.

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