6. The zapper
Your best weapon against the ducks is the duck zapper. The duck zapper is a flashing yellow object shaped like a lightning bolt.
To use it, first pick it up by colliding with it. Then, when a duck is near, push the joystick in the direction you want the zapper to go, and throw it at the duck by pressing the “fire” button. If you are not pushing the joystick in any direction when you press “fire,” the zapper will be thrown to the left.
The zapper will stop when it hits a wall. If there is no wall in its way, it will continue on into the next room. If the zapper hits the duck, the duck will be stunned for about a minute. Hitting a duck with a zapper earns 400 points.
After the minute is up, the duck will revive and resume its pursuit of you, so use that minute wisely! (In later levels, the ducks revive more quickly; eventually, they only stay stunned for a few seconds.)
If your throw misses but the duck accidentally wanders into the zapper anyway, it will still be stunned, but you will only earn 100 points. You can use this to your advantage in rooms with lots of walls by dropping the zapper between you and an attacking duck; if the zapper is dropped in the right spot between you and the duck, the duck will run into it on its way toward you and stun itself.
This technique is handy in “tight-squeeze” rooms where it would be tough to throw the zapper very far without it hitting a wall first. You won’t get as many points this way, but it will stop a pursuing duck and give you some breathing room.
Once you’ve zapped a duck, the zapper will turn gray, indicating it has discharged. Hitting a duck with a discharged zapper has no effect.
You can also use the zapper on the snake (for 300 points) and the bee (for 500 points), although you will need to hit these creatures with a thrown zapper; unlike the ducks, no points are earned if they simply wander over the zapper.
7. Recharging the zapper
After you’ve discharged the zapper by zapping a duck, snake or bee, it will need to be recharged before it can be used again. Fortunately, there are several zapper recharging stations available. The recharging stations look like electrical outlets, and can be used to recharge the zapper an unlimited number of times.
When a recharging station is active (ready to charge a discharged zapper), it will flash yellow. To recharge a zapper, bring it to the recharging station and touch the zapper to the outlet. It will be instantly recharged and ready to zap another duck. But be careful: don’t touch the outlet yourself, or you’ll be electrocuted and lose a life.
When a zapper has been recharged, it will change color from a dull gray to flashing yellow, and the recharging station will change colors to white. There is no limit to the number of times you can recharge a zapper.
In later levels, you will find special “super stations” that flash red instead of yellow. These will super-charge the zapper, giving it such power that it will stun whichever duck it hits for the duration of the level.
Use the super station the same way you use a regular station: touch the zapper to it to super-charge it. The zapper will flash red instead of yellow to indicate it’s been super-charged.
This is especially handy on later levels where the ducks have become more immune to normal zaps, and recover more quickly. But be careful: you can only use the super-zapper once per level, so be sure to pick which duck you zap with it wisely. Since the ducks move at different speeds, you don’t want to waste a super-zap on a less aggressive duck if a more aggressive one is right around the corner.
Use caution where you aim: hitting a super-zapped duck with a regular zapper will cancel the effect of the super-zapper, and the duck will revive!