Click Here To Go To The Your Computer Archive

Written By John Wilson

Cover Art
Click Here To Enlarge Loading Screen

Loading Screen
Click Here To Enlarge Opening Screen

Opening Screen
Click Here To Enlarge Screenshot

Game Screenshot

Star Trek

Should you decide to accept your five-year mission, John Wilson's BBC program will have you in a state of readiness long before you get off the interplanetary shuttle

Unlike many games, this has an ultimate goal and end. You do not keep on fighting until you die. Your five-year mission is to boldly go where no man has gone before, seeking out new forms of life and persuading them of the immense economic advantages that would accrue from Federation membership. KJingons sadly can never see your point of view but that is what your phaser banks are for. The mission can be finished within an hour; the player must think up his own tactics, and try them. As the galaxy is randomly set up, the game will never be the same twice.

I do not intend to go into a lengthy description of how the program works. It only uses a few special instructions for the BBC Micro, so it can readily be modified for other computers. The only problem I can foresee with converting it, is getting the graphics right. These reside between lines 1210 to 1340 and 1950 to 3180. As the program is so big, I had to use Teletext mode for the graphics, and store the galaxy array as memory locations. This array holds all the information about the galaxy, including the positions and strengths of Klingons, Starbases and different types of planets.

The galaxy is a three-dimensional eight by eight by eight galaxy, with each level number o to 7, each column 0 to 7 and each row 0 to 7. Placed randomly in the galaxy is a random number of M-class planets and a random number of G-class planets. As well as these, there is a Black Hole and Starfleet HQ.

The commands available to the player are as follows:

Command Shortened version
Damage control Return
Alert control A
Repair control R
Warp drive W
Impulse engines I
Phaser control PHA
Photon torpedo control PHD
Science computer SC
Ship's computer SH
Long-range scanner L

From the listing, you can see that every command announces itself, so it should be quite easy to modify or add new commands.

Damage control, if not damaged itself, describes the damage sustained by each part of the ship. The higher the number, the more damage sustained. The command can only be used if it has sustained no damage, that is, if it does not appear in the list.

Alert control can be used to change the condition of your shields, that is, full-on, or off. Red is full-on, yellow is half-on, and green is off. As your shields are damaged, you cannot use the shields full on. Unfortunately, the shields drain a lot of energy, so it is not a good idea to stay in condition Red.

Repair control can be used to repair damage at a higher rate than normal. Repairs are automatically done when your ship is damaged anyway, but for fast repairs this command is used.

The warp drive can be used to move to any sector in the galaxy. After typing this command, the player must enter the destination co-ordinates x,y,z and the speed. The higher the speed, the faster you get there, but the more energy you use up.

Impulse engines are used to dock with a Starbase or HQ. On entering a sector contaming a Starbase and using this command, the player must try to dock the Starship with the Starbase. This is done by moving left or right with the cursor keys, as it moves towards the Starbase. On docking, your energy is replenished, you get back your photon torpedoes, and some of your damage is repaired. The Starbase then disappears. Note, if you land at HQ - it looks like a Star base - the game will automatically end.

The science computer is used to scan a planet and log information about it. Every planet must be scanned in this way to finish the game. Only your sector is scanned at one time.

The ship's computer is used as a database holding all the information that you have scanned on your journey through the galaxy. It is used to search for any Klingons on planets that you have scanned. Therefore, if you find a Klingon, its position will be stored in the ship's computer ready for use.

The long-range scanner is used to give a visual description of the sectors adjacent to you. Any information found will be stored in the ship's computer. The phaser banks can be used to fire on a Klingon in your sector. They will always hit, but do not necessarily destroy the Klingon. It puts up an energy screen, too. The phaser banks drain a lot of energy, so do not use them too much.

The photon torpedo is the ultimate weapon. It will destroy the Klingon immediately if you hit it. The problem is that it must be aimed. To destroy a Klingon, you must hit him in the centre. Also, you only get five, so do not waste them.

If you enter a sector containing a Klingon, he will shoot at you, so be prepared. Put your screens up and go into combat with little damage, plenty of energy and at least one photon torpedo.

To make the game even harder, I have included a Black Hole somewhere in -the galaxy. If you get close to it, you will get sucked towards it. Also, if you enter the same sector, you would be totally destroyed by a Black Hole. Therefore, avoid the Black Hole if possible.

The various galactic features may be distinguished as follows: planets are green, the void is blue, the Black Hole is ironically white, Starbases are red and magenta, and Klingons are cyan; they turn white and re-configure for combat. If you finally complete the game, the computer will tell you your final score and will comment on it. Starfleet expects every sentient life-form to do its duty.