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Written By Peter J. M. Irvin & Peter J. M. Irvin


Cover Art
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Loading Screen
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Opening Screen
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Game Screenshot

Introduction

"Command a starship against the attacking alien ships in this demanding high-resolution graphics game. You control the forward drive and sideways thrust of your ship which is equipped with shields, long and short-range scanners, and a sector display of the stars and alien ships.

This game is fully compatible with either keyboard or joysticks, and includes a table of high scores. An instruction booklet is included in the pack."

Combat Preparation

As the captain of a battle starship, it is your duty to fight off invading enemy spaceships. Before going into combat, you are given a briefing on the facilities available on the battleship...

Once the program has been loaded and you have read the intoductory screen, press the RETURN key to display a list of console parameters. You may choose to view Starship controls or Star-Fleet records, and you may also select the appropriate number to determine whether:

- the sound effects are turned on or off
- your starship has small or large torpedoes
- your enemies have small or large torpedoes
- you use keyboard or joystick control.

The current (default) conditions are marked with a dash.

The size of the torpedoes has no effect on the game itself, but alters the size of the torpedoes on the console display, and so determines visibility.

When you are satisfied with the conditions, press RETURN again to begin your mission.

Starship Controls

Your ship can accelerate (use "Thrust", decelerate (use "Brake"), rotate and fire torpedoes. There is a shield which you can activate to protect your ship from enemy fire, and two escape capsules either or which can be launched before your enemy banks are drained empty.

Z - Rotate left, X - Rotate right, N - Fire torpedoes
M - Thrust, , - Brake
F - Launch port escape capsule, G - Launch starboard escape capsule

All of the above may operate simultaneously. Alternatively, one of the following may be depressed...

B - Shields On / Scanners Off, V - Scanners On / Shields Off
C - "Auto-Changeover" On
2 - "Rotation Dampers" On, Q - "Rotation Dampers" Off
3 - "Velocity Dampers" On, W - "Velocity Dampers" Off

COPY/DELETE - Pause On/Off

Joystick Controls

Joysticks can be used to move the ship in any direction and the fire button fires torpedoes. You should use the keyboard for the other controls as listed above and on the screen.

Playing The Game

On the right of the screen, there is a panel which displays long- and short-range scanners, the accelerometer and the rotation meter, the state of the energy banks and the shield mode indicators.

Each starship has four energy banks which recharge continuously at a constant rate. Energy is drained if the ship:

- is firing torpedoes
- is accelerating, declerating or turning
- has working shields
- is being hit by enemy torpedoes
- crashes into enemy ships.

Occasionally, after a severe energy loss, the shields and scanners will break down, resulting in interference on the long-range scanners. While this persists, your shields are down, and you are very vulnerable to attacks. Here you must keep your wits about you to avoid enemy shots and collisions. After a short while, the shields and scanners will auto-repair.

The shields can be in one of three states:

- shields permanently on; this is probably the least-used shield command
- shields permanently off; this has the advantage that your energy will not drain so fast: for example, when a hostile ship is on the main screen, but not firing at you.
- Auto mode; probably the most-used shield mode, where the shields come on automatically whenever something hostile appears on the screen. This is the default state.

Scanners cannot operate when shields are on.

There are two types of enemy ships: the larger ones can be invisible on the main screen at the same time as being visible on the long and short range scanners. Larger ships are worth more points when destroyed than the smaller ships.

More points are gained by shooting enemy ships rather than ramming them. Both enemy ships have different firing techniques: their torpedoes fan be fired in a continuous stream or in plasma bolts.

Scoring

- small space ship: 8 points if hit, 2 points if rammed.
- big space ship; 12 points if hit, 3 points if rammed.

Ships are destroyed if their energy runs out completely. This applies to both your starship, and the aliens' ships.

As soon as you consider yourself to be in danger, launch one of your escape capsules so that you can return to the starbase. Here the Star Fleet admirals will review your mission, and then decide whether you are a fit person to command another of their starships.

The missions get progressively harder, as you deal wuith more and more vicious aliens. Also, for added zest, you are sent further and further from your home galaxy; your ship may be able to manoeuvre faster, but then the same is true of the aliens' ships!