The Unofficial Area 51 Secrets FAQ 

If you're reading this, then you're probably already a fan of Area 51, the
excellent shooting game from Atari/Time Warner Interactive. If not, you
should probably go to an arcade and play this game, since no FAQ can
help you shoot straight.

This FAQ tackles the question of Area 51's many secret entrances and
levels! Finding these secrets can not only get you tons of points (up to
40,000 in "Head Quarters") but can win you your very own Area 51
machine through a contest Atari is sponsoring. Information about this
contest is available at your local arcade, or from the web site (see below).


If you haven't looked for these secrets already, turn away immediately!
Go look for them yourself in the game, or try the official Area 51 Web

It's *fun*. Once you're done that, come back here. Don't take the
easy way out -- finding this stuff out for yourself, whether through playing
or through the cool web site is the whole point, isn't it? =)


There are 7 different secret rooms in Area 51, accessible by 14 different
entrances, in the game's 6 waves. Each secret entrance is triggered by
shooting a sequence of objects in the game, often background objects but
sometimes barrels and other obvious items.

If you're trying to find secret rooms, or to use these tips, I *strongly*
suggest the following: 

     Play a 2-player game. I find it nearly impossible to do some of the
     tricks in a one-player game, especially without being hit! Play two
     players and have your pal shoot the aliens while you take care of
     the secrets -- you both get to go into the secret room anyway! 
     Use grenades like crazy, since with 14 secret entrances you're
     going to get refilled *often*. 
     Forget about streaks. Well, pay attention during parts with no
     secrets, but if you have a choice between getting a few streak
     points or getting a secret level, the choice is obvious. 
     Don't get shot =). Besides the obvious reason, if you don't get shot
     you can keep your cool weapons, including autofire (which wears
     off after a while, frown). BTW I'm still trying to find a reason why
     you'd want the 5-shot elephant gun (gun level 3) over the really
     cool 2nd level gun, which has way more shots and seems to have
     about the same range. When I'm playing, I try to keep the level 2
     gun, but it's funny how you reflex towards the powerup =). 

The last tip, which applies to any player, whether you're looking for
secrets or not, is a fast reloading trick that you can use on almost any
shooting game. Use two hands to aim your gun and keep a finger near the
barrel. When you want to reload, just cover the front of the barrel with
your finger and pull the trigger -- CLICK, reloaded. This enables you to
keep your aim on a tough enemy while reloading. HINT: don't try this
with a real gun =).

Here's the secrets! 

Wave 1 -- Outside -- one secret entrance.

#1 - shoot all 10 hangar windows when outside. These windows will be
to your left when the camera pans from the first lockdown. The leftmost
windows must be shot while panning, so when the first lockdown is
ending, aim for the top right corner of the screen and start blasting. This
trick gets you to "X Marks The Spot".

Wave 2 -- Inside Hangar -- five secret entrances.

#2 - shoot all 15 windows on the right of the hangar entrance. You need
to shoot a few of these at the start of the level, when the camera looks up.
I find that if I use a grenade, I can get rid of the rappelers and shoot 3
windows before the camera looks down. Shoot the others when you are
sitting in the forklift waiting to drive away (there is a 3-5 second pause
after you shoot the aliens). You get to "Tank Top" using this trick.

#3 - shoot all three flashing blue lights by the red truck. The first light, to
the left of the truck, can be shot during a short pause right when you first
walk up to the truck -- it will be almost in the top left corner of your
screen. The other two lights are on the right of the truck. You have two
chances to shoot them. The first is when you back up from the truck and
walk around to the other side -- you can see the lights on the right of your
screen. The second chance is right after the status report that comes after
the lockdown by the truck. Don't abort this status report -- keep your
gun trained on where the lights will be and start shooting when the AREA
51 doors open. This accesses secret room "Head Quarters".

#4 - shoot all 15 windows at the back of the hangar (ie. behind the first
barrel-thrower). Shoot a few windows as you're walking from the truck
lockdown to the helicopter lockdown. Always shoot the leftmost
windows first since you will walk to the right. This is probably the easiest
secret entrance to get to. You get into the secret room "Chow Palace"
this way.

#5 - shoot all the barrels before and after the forklift ride. The hardest
ones to shoot are to the left of the forklift as it is moving, so blast away!
You get to "Egg Cellent" with this trick.

#6 - blast all the windows on the office in the hangar. The office is the
thing you see when walking away from the forklift. You have to shoot all
the lower level windows, so blast away at them while you are walking
towards it. Don't forget the two panes behind the ladder that you climb
up, and one pane to the right of the ladder (shoot at the right side of the
screen when you're almost at the ladder, before the green alien appears).
Then when you're up top, you have to shoot a few panes on the front of
the structure, then *all* the panes on its side (on your right when the car
parts fly at you), then *all* the panes on the back of the office (when the
barrel thrower appears). It's not as tough as it sounds, and you get to
have fun with "Shake Your Budda"!

Wave 3 -- Tarmac -- two secret entrances.

#7 - shoot all the airplane canopies during the first part of the level. At
least one of these canopies is hidden in the background, or passes by
quickly when the camera pans, since I've only reached this entrance once
(by mistake, on my second game =). So I need more information on this

#8 - during the last part of the stage, when you're heading straight for the
admin building, shoot all the crates that are passing by you. I'm not sure at
which point you have to start shooting crates. I usually start just before
the "max headroom" barrier comes down, but others have told me you
can wait until the helicopter ladder appears. You get to "Shake Your
Budda" in any case.

Wave 4 -- Admin Building -- three secret entrances.

#9 - at the start of the level, after passing through the first door, shoot the
"exit" sign above the second door and blast all the lights nearby. You
need to shoot the lit (white) lights. Pretty tough with one player since the
camera is moving so much. Accesses "Egg Cellent".

#10 - shoot two photos in the office, then shoot two name plates. The
first photo is on the first desk you see, and should be easy to hit since you
have a 8-10 second lockdown right in front of the desk. The second
photo is on the desk just to your left as you come out of the small hallway
after that lockdown. The nameplates are on the office doors that you pass
after the "chalkboard" lockdown. You get to "Chow Palace" with this
easy secret entrance (I think).

#11 - Blast every painting in the admin building (there are at least 10) to
reach a secret entrance. Some painting pass by quickly as the camera
pans, so shoot constantly =). It's unconfirmed, but I'm told this trick gets
you to "Shake Your Budda".

Wave 5 -- Computer Room Lockdown -- one secret entrance.

#12 - shoot all 13 computer terminals that appear at the start of the level.
I think you might have to do it during the first lockdown in this room,
since I've shot everything the second time around and got nothing.

Wave 6 -- Bunker Cave -- two secret entrances.

#13 - shoot all the barrels on the hill during the first lockdown (with the
barrel throwers). The best way to do this is to blast away while you're
walking towards the hill -- before the aliens appear you can easily get rid
of half the barrels. If you're playing alone and 3 throwers appear, good
luck =). If two appear, kill one and then shoot barrels, or just use
grenades. You get to "Chow Palace" this way.

#14 - shoot *everything* when the "pop-up" bunker appears, after the
part where all the aliens rappel down from the top of the screen. There
are 24 things to shoot. Lots of the objects are hidden behind others, so
blast away. I've never done this with one player, but with two players it's
not too difficult. You get to a secret room with a huge alien, but an
"access denied" message always appears at the end. Could this be the
*next* Area 51 contest? (Atari says one is forthcoming)

Secret Rooms

Here are the descriptions for the secret rooms:

X Marks The Spot. A tactical map fills the screen. Blast away to
destroy part of the map and reveal Lt. Grant in a "pin-up" pose. Yes,
she's in uniform. =)

Head Quarters. Hey, isn't this Revolution X? Nope. A bunch of aliens
at urinals and sitting on toilets. Take about 5 shots each. You can also
shoot various objects in this room, such as the sink, lights, etc.

Chow Palace. There's an alien about to chomp down on a
Night-Trap-esque female. Blow away the alien and collect all the
powerups. If you shoot the woman, an "X" appears but you do NOT lose
a life. Someone told me that you get a "mercy kill" bonus but I have not
verified this.

Egg Cellent. Fun! Shoot eggs three times to break them open, revealing
cute yet evil baby aliens. Blast 'em three times for pure chewing

Shake Your Budda. Tons of buddha statues appear. Shoot the heads to
make them explode, revealing the heads of the Area 51 programmers!
You can also shoot these heads (they flash) but I'm not sure if you can kill
them. There is an alien statue/priest in the far background that you can
also shoot -- never killed this either.

Tank Top. More information needed on this secret level. I just can't
seem to shoot all those 15 windows =).

Get a Life. More information needed on this level as well. The only time
I reached this secret part was during one of my first games, and the game
crashed right after showing a *huge* alien. Yeeps. Someone mentioned
having "access denied" to this level.

Play as a Kronn Warrior

To play as a rebel Kronn Warrior, start the game and shoot *only* the
first 3 STAAR members you see (it'll be the same guy, three times). The
game will restart with you as the Kronn Warrior. All secret rooms are
available in this mode, plus you get TONS of extra points.

Don't shoot any aliens, boxes, missles -- NOTHING but the blue guy
(poor guy =). Don't worry about losing life. When you get down to 1 life
unit left, NO aliens will shoot you, and shooting the blue guys won't make
you lose a life. Even the helicopter's missles don't hit. It's fun to watch the
looks on people's faces when you do this trick ;).

That's it. Remember that Area 51 is a copyrighted, trademarked, and generally
protected work of Atari and Time Warner Interactive.

This page created by Chris "Canadian" Foley. You can mail me 
(, or check out my home page:

Please don't mail me to rant about my revealing Area 51 secrets. The contest is
open until July 1, and it's not as if everyone on the net wouldn't know all this
information by then, anyway. The internet is a medium which makes information
the property of many rather than few. I found the lack of Area 51 info on the net
annoying, so I made the decision to put everything I knew into this page. If you
have more information about game secrets, please mail me and let me know.

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