Elite - Manual
ELITE COMMAND SUMMARY
SPACE FIGHT CONTROLS
Anticlockwise roll - <, joystick or mouse left
Clockwise roll - >, joystick or mouse right
Dive - S, joystick or mouse forward
Climb - X, joystick or mouse back
Increase speed - SPACE or hold right mouse
button then forward
Decrease speed - /(slash) or hold mouse button
down then back
Cancel roll - one press on right button
Fire retro rockets (if fitted) - R
Front view - F1
Back view - F2
Left view - F3
Right view - F4
Hyperspace - H
Intergalactic jump - G then H
Distance to system - D
Cursor cross home - B
Cursor cross control - CURSOR KEYS and SPACE
Galactic chart - F5
Local cluster chart - F6
SPACE COMBAT CONTROLS
Fire laser - A, joystick or left mouse button
Target missile - T
Fire missile - M
Unarm missile - U
ECM - E
Energy bomb - TAB
Escape capsule - Q
Docking computer on/off - C
ID computer - I
Toggle radar magnification - Z
Launch from station - F1
Sell cargo - F2
Buy cargo - F3
Equip ship - F4
Galactic chart - F5
Local cluster chart - F6
Data on system - F7
Market prices - F8
Status page - F9
Inventory - F10
Find planet - F (only while docked)
Jump drive - J
Freeze game - P
Continue game - P
Initiate save - - (minus) only while docked
Game options - = (equals)
When in the option screen
The auto centre toggle will disable and is re-enable the the recentering in
roll and dive / climb control. When recentering is enabled, a small
amount of climb (for clockwise roll) cancels any dive (or anticlockwise
roll) and vice versa.
The damping toggle will disable and re-enable the automatic damping of
a roll, dive or climb.
Please note that the presence of any RAM expansion or non-standard
hardware may inhibit the correct operation of the game.
LOADING & SAVING
When loading is complete you will see a rotating space ship. This is a
Cobra Mk III, identical to the ship with which you are equipped. If you
don't have a saved game to load, press SPACE BAR to move to the next title
page. If you are playing with the joystick you should now press the fire
button; otherwise press the SPACE BAR again.
The game has now started and the screen shows a page of information
describing the current game situation.
While docked at a space station, you can save your game position to disk.
When a position is saved, it automatically becomes the position from
which any new game starts (the default position).
While docked, press the I key, the disk menu now will be displayed:
1. Load New Commander
2. Load Commander Jameson
3. Default Jameson
This menu will also be displayed if you press the Y key in response to
the 'LOAD New Commander (Y/N)?' question on the title page.
1. Load New Commander
You will be prompted for a filename. After a successful load the second
title page is displayed.
2. Save Commander
You will be prompted for a filename. After a successful save the status
page is displayed.
3. Default Jameson
The computer will respond with the question 'Are you sure (Y/N)?' if you
press 'N' then the function will be aborted. Pressing 'Y' will reset the
game to the initial starting position. I.E. Clean, harmless, docked at
Lave with 100 CR.
Welcome aboard this Cobra Mk III trading and combat craft. The ship has
been supplied to you by Faulcon deLacy Spaceways, by arrangement with the
Galactic Co-operative of Worlds whose Space and Interstellar Pilot's Exams
you have just successfully completed. The small flight manual supplied with
the craft is designed to familiarise you with all aspects of space flight,
combat and trading, and we hope that it will be of use to you.
The Cobra Mk III incorporates Zieman Deflection Shields, fore and aft, 4
hull mountings for Ingram 'rapid-fire' pulse lasers, a Lance & Ferman 'seek
& kill' missile system, a Holodirect & Thruspace GravDistort communications
system, and provision for a cargo bay extension.
You begin your career, your ship equipped with a single forward-firing
pulse laser, three homing missiles, 7 light years of fuel, and the sum of
100 Credits (CR), ready to embark from a space station in orbit around the
The Cobra Mk III is the best of the medium-range, medium capacity fighter-
traders, and is an ideal ship for new traders intent on building their
fortunes or new combateers who will constantly need to finance the cost of
both armaments and non-combative equipment.
The ship is highly maneuverable, has a good C-holding factor during
hyperspace transit, can hold sufficient Quirium H-fuel for a 7-light-year
single jump and has full AutoTrading Systems Link for use at space
stations. Further, it is protected by dual Zieman Energy Deflection
Shields, powered by four energy banks, and has a powerful, rapid-fire pulse
lader mounted on the forward hull segment. Flight controls are elegant and
simple, and the bridge is equipped with both Holodirect and ThruSpace
GravDistort communications systems. Its life support functions are varied
and flexible to ensure maximum comfort during trading or hunting operations.
Pilot licences are issued only at the planet Lave, and it is likely,
therefore, that you are now doced at a Coriolis station in orbit around
that particular world. Lave is a rich, agricultural dictatorship, but is a
reasonably safe world at which to begin your endeavours. GalCop and the
Lave Authorities allow practice docking and departure runs to all their
space stations here, and you would be advised to take advantage of this
INTERIOR OF A COBRA MK II
The Cobra is essentially a single-pilot trade-ship, but has been designed
to support a second person, provided that person is of ordinary human or
humanoid dimensions and physiology. The ship itself consists of five main
THE CARGO HOLD fills the bulk of the mid-space area, and the cargo bay
doors open downwards. The capacity in an unmodified Cobra is 20 1-ton
canisters. Extra cargo space may be acquired by extending the cargo bay,
which does not affect maneuverability. Ton canisters (TC) attach
magnetically to the cargo arms within the bay, and two AutoShuttles occupy
the central space.
THE BRIDGE has seats for pilot and co-pilot, a MedStim Center, entrance to
the escape pod, descent well to living quarters, communications console,
special suit locker, RemLock supply case, attachment facilities for
AutoDock System and a hand-weapons locker. The Main wall is occupied by
the scanner screen, astroogation console and main systems monitors.
THE DRIVE SECTOR houses the directional thrusts, the System Space Kruger
'lightfast' motors, and the Irrikon Thru-Space drives. Also here are the
read laser housings, the ECM capsule, the Zieman shield generators, and
energy banks and the Witch-Space fuel condensors (Quirium). There are both
internal and external access panels. Radiation level is high.
THE LIVING AND HYGIENE SECTION is below the main bridge, and reached
through a descending gravity well. Two bunks, food dispensing facilities,
waste disposal (including high-tox copper exudate for Aonians), SynPleasure
relaxpads, and videos.
THE EQUIPMENT LEVEL runs throughout the ship, and houses all energy banks
for lasers, plus the missile rests, with dispatch shafts to the lower hull.
The communications center is here, and the escape pod (with a separate
entrance from the bridge) life support systems, cryogen tanks (two) and
forty cubic meters of FacsEnvironment for emergency use.
THE STATUS PAGE (7)
A new pilot's rating is 'harmless'; his legal status is 'clean'.
The 'Present System' refers to the plantary system which your ship is
currently in; while the 'Hyperspace System' refers to the system onto which
the hyper-space is locked.
There are four possible 'Conditions': DOCKED means that you are docked in a
space station at the Present System; GREEN means that there is no immediate
danger; YELLOW indicates enemy ships in the vicinity; Condition RED signals
a high-risk on-going death-type combat situation.
'Legal Status' refers to your Galactic Police record. If this is CLEAN you
have nothing to worry about, but as an OFFENDER or, still worse, a FUGITIVE
you are likely to be attacked by police ships.
The 'Rating' is a dispassionate assessment of your performance in combat so
Current cash and fuel are also displayed, along with a list of ship
The status page is always retrievable by pressing 9.
YOUR RATING AS A COMBATEER
To become an Elite combateer requires great skill and great patience,
because expert trading is essential before the necessary more powerful
armaments and equipment available to the Cobra ship can be bought: beam
lasers, more missiles, energy bombs, a docking computer, galactic
As you sail through space between the stars, and as you trade, you will
live with your combat rating. You will begin as HARMLESS. If you survive
your first skirmish you may be reclassified as MOSTLY HARMLESS. But on the
slow climb to a status level that reflects a growing talent for combat you
will have to engage many different ships, in many different worlds. You
will be classified as POOR, then AVERAGE, then ABOVE AVERAGE, the
COMPETENT. Then you will become DANGEROUS, then DEADLY. And at last, a few
will become ELITE.
Your kills are photographed and transmitted by TS ComDirect to the nearest
GalCop Federal Law Center. Your rating as a combateer will increase in
Fly your Cobra craft wisely and carefully. Remember: other pilots may be
attempting to increase their own combat rating by attacking either innocent
traders, or police Vipers (the ships of the GalCop Police Force). If you
resort to such tactics (or if you adopt the fast-credit routing and trade
in illegal goods) then your combat rating may rise, but your legal status:
CLEAN -> OFFENDER -> FUGITIVE, will make you Public Enemy Number One with
the Federation Crime Monitoring Authority and you will not be left alone.
NAVIGATION AND FLYING
The Galactic Co-operative is only one - although the largest - of several
planetary federations, and maintains trade and diplomatic links with over
2000 planets spread throughout 8 galaxies. The political profile of a
planet is an important navigational consideration as many are in a state
of anarchy and are unsafe to visit in poorly equipped ships. Important too
is its economic profile as will be discussed in the section about trading.
Navigational strategy depends of course upon your aims in life. If you think
you have what it takes to become Elite, you will need to chart your path
through the galaxies with care and great precision. You will wish to equip
your ship as fully and as early as possible. You will, therefore, need to
study the trading section of this manual so that you can work out a
profitable trading route in order to be able to afford the weaponry you
will require. You will have to make decisions about how dangerous a life
you wish to lead; in general, the more risks you take (travelling to
dangerous planets or trading in contraband goods), the faster you may
equip your ship but the quicker you will be killed. You will discover that
life in the 8 galaxies is a question of fine balance. Although it may seem,
at first, that indiscriminate carnage is a soft option (kills improve your
rating, after all), as your skills and experience of living in space
mature, you will quickly discover that piracy is a short-lived career.
Success in this context is a mosiac of talents: combative, certainly, but
thinking and decision-making talents too.
Here you are introduced to all the controls which will eventually be useful
to you in developing a route through the 8 galaxies.
It is important that you do not press the 1 key for the moment.
GALACTIC CHART (5)
This chart shows all registered worlds within the galaxy, and indicates
your own coordinate position. The star cursor may be used to scan the
shown worlds for potentially favorable trade sites.
Use the joystick or the cursor control keys to move the small cross over
to one of the dots, and hit 7.
WORLDATA LINK (7)
The Orbit Space Authority takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the
information registered here, but the trader may gain some idea of the
relative wisdom of trading with the world whose data is displayed. The
information shown is distance, type of main life form, degree of
agricultural or industrial development, with industrial and technological
level displayed on a scale of 1-12. The government type, ranging from
Corporate State to Anarchy, will be a strong indication of the danger of
trading with the system.
Use 5 again to return to the chart and acquire information about some more
The larger of the crosses on the chart shows where your ship is and the
circle shows how far it can jump with its current hyperspace fuel.
O returns the small cross to the larger one.
LOCAL NAVIGATIONAL CHART (6)
This is a high power chart of all planets in the immediate vicinity of your
docking world. Since the Cobra ship has a maximum single H-jump range of 7
light years, the target world must be chosen carefully. The target cursor,
used in conjunction with the Worldata link, will indicate dangerous or
likely worlds for trade.
If the cross moves off the screen, use the O key to bring it back. Notice
also that the D key will tell you how far away the system nearest the small
A CORIOLIS SPACE STATION
Space stations are cargo transition points for interplanetary trading
vessels and shuttle craft. They also provide entertainment and lodging
facilities for pilots not wishing to go 'planet-side'.
Every world registered with the Galactic Co-operative has several Coriolis
space stations in orbit at various altitudes. Coriolis stations are
'neutral' territory, controlled equally by GalCop and the Planetary
A new dodecahedral design (the so-called 'Dodo' stations) is replacing the
Coriolis design in the more advanced systems. Coriolis stations are
hexagonal in approximate shape. They spin along a single axis running
vertically from the planet below. One side of the station always faces the
planet, and it is on this facet that the access tunnel is located.
Coriolis stations were designed at the GASEC (Galactic Astronautic and
Space Exploration Center) Laboratories on the planet Ventitice. The first
station was in orbit around the world Lave in 2752.
Coriolis stations have powerful defensive shields (against pirate attack and
inept docking) and a large fleet of Viper fighters, and several larger
types of ships. The inside of the station is free-space, and on each inner
facet of the facet of the station there are berthing and refuelling
facilities, as well as cities, hospitals, farmlands and leisurescapes.
Each Coriolis station has a diameter of 1 standard kilometer. They can
berth 2000 ships, and support a fair-sized colonial life development of
LEAVING THE SPACE STATION (1)
On coding for Station Depart the pilot is advised to accept a 10-second
MemnSomn to dispense with subjective experience of the passage from docking
bay to Coriolis station egress. The screen will then show a break-pattern,
which is the passage through the protective field over the Coriolis
< (or joystick left) for left roll
> (or joystick right) for right roll
X (or joystick back) for climb
S (or joystick forward) for dive
SPACE to increase (joystick button #2)
? to decrease speed (buttons 1 & 2)
Pitch and yaw maneuver requires bi-digital play on keyboard model (X,S,<,>)
Notice the small dot moving around inside the large circle on the dials
(just above the large 'S'). This is your compass; the dot corresponds to
the position of the space station. If the dot is small then the station is
behind you. When the dot is large and in the center of the circle, you
should be able to see the space station directly in front of you.
Practice rotating the space station off the screen and using the compass to
find it again.
You might see some Cobra Class ships. these are other traders like
yourself, and will not harm you unless you shoot at them. If you do this
they will either attack or, alternatively, run away. Should you use them
for combat practice, do not expect the space station to turn a blind eye
to such unruly behavior. Nothing will attack you while you are within
sight of the space station - unless you make a nuisance of yourself.
It is not possible to land on the planet, and flying into planets or space
stations is fatal. The altimeter shows your height above the planet's
surface, and you should not let it fall too low.
(If you are a new pilot, now is your best chance to practice docking
maneuvers with the space station at Lave. the Lave Orbit Space Authority
permits an unlimited number of practice runs by newly appointed pilots,
and does not charge. This facility is suspended during attack, or when the
Coriolis station has no free docking space.
CT = CABIN TEMPERATURE
Cabin temperature will increase and and the console register when your ship
flies too close to a sun.
AL = ALTIMETER
Your altitude above your destination planet can be crucial. Flying too near
its surface will be fatal.
SP = FORWARD VELOCITY
Forward velocity should be maintained at maximum on planetary approach.
Keep it low during space station approach, and minimal for final docking.
RL = RIGHT/LEFT ROLL
DC = DIVE/CLIMB STATUS
S (UNDER THE COMPASS) = SPACE STATION
The S refers to the space station and indicates that you are on target for
it and within its protective range.
CENTER GRID = FLIGHT GRID SCANNER
This sophisticated instrument displays a three-dimensional view of space
in the immediate vicinity of your ship, seen from a point behind and above
it. The precise position of any ship within its range can be pinpointed.
This instrument first picks up a target planet while it remains out of
range of the main flight-path scanner. When the planet's space station
nearest to you comes within range of it, the compass picks up that instead.
When the dot is small, the object is behind you; when large and in the
center of the compass circle, it should be visible through your front
FU = FUEL LEVEL
Once you have left a space station, the controls 1,2,3 and 4 change their
function to produce front, rear, left and right views respectively.
MAKING FOR YOUR TARGET WORLD
HYPERSPACE AND RELATED CONTROLS
Having left the space station you will be in low orbit above the planet
Lave, moving at low velocity. Decrease your velocity to absolute minimum
before coding the astrogation console for Hyperspace Jump.
1,2,3,4 = VIEWS AROUND SHIP
During space flight only 1,2,3 and 4 provide access to views all around
H,5,6 = HYPERJUMP, DISPLAY CHARTS
Use 5 or 6 to display a chart (galactic or local, respectively), and move
the smaller cross to choose a larger planet, press 1, then hit H. After a
short delay, the hyperjump motors will engage.
On arrival in a new planetary system, after transit from hyperspace, you
will find yourself at some distance from your target world. This conforms
with GC Flight Law.
J = INTER-SPACE JUMPING
Even in the safest systems there can be unseen dangers, and you will be well
advised to approach orbit space, and the safety of the space station, as
quickly as possible. Increase forward velocity to maximum. At this point you
can take full advantage of the space-skip facility (J). Inter-space jumping
does not function (because of interference patterns) if there is another
ship, a planet or a sun in the immediate vicinity. If this is the case, a
sound signal will occur.
Soon your ship's computer will pick up the beacon signals of the nearest
orbital space station and will re-engage the compass to track that instead
of the target planet. Once the Cobra is within scanning and protective
range of the Coriolis station, the flight-grid scanner will begin to track
it. Its own defenses are now available for your protection. The scan console
will register the letter 'S' as long as the space station is within range.
HYPERDRIVE ACROSS GALAXIES
G = ENGAGE HYPERDRIVE
The Intergalactic hyperdrive is expensive and can be obtained only from
planets at Tech level 10 or higher. It can only be used once, and will
take you to a system in a whole new galaxy (i.e. a new 5 map). There are 8
such galaxies and making 8 jumps will return you to your starting galaxy.
The Inter-Galactice Hyperdrive is engaged by pressing G.
Docking with a Coriolis space station is never easy, unless the ship is
equipped with an automatic docking computer (in which case C will activate
it). The Navy Training Manual recommends the following approach and dock
Locate the Coriolis station and approach it. The entrance tunnels to all
these stations face the mother planet. Fly near to the station and then on
towards the planet (monitoring altitude carefully). By turning a half
circle you will now find your ship oriented towards the entrance.
Approach the final moments of docking at DEAD SLOW SPEED. Failure to dock
cleanly can be fatal but may simply result in your scraping the sides of
the aperture, with consequent loss of defensive shield(s) and quite
possibly your cargo. Manually control the Cobra's roll motion to match
the rotation of the Coriolis station.
Practice docking by re-entering a Lave station:
Accelerate towards Lave, then slow down, stop and loop over to face the
Set the station in your sights, and make your approach slow and in the
final moments dead slow. When just outside the station egress, 'correct'
the gyration of your ship by manipulating the left/right roll controls (<>)
until the entrance tunnel appears horizontal.
Provided velocity is low, even if you scrape the sides of the tunnel, you
will survive, though possibly at the expense of some of your defensive
Docking protocol, and Orbit Space Regulations, are numerous, and are
available in the GC Orbit and System Space Code, published by Federation
ELITE PT 2
Not all ships in deep space, even small fighters, are pirates. Most ships
will respond to hostile action with hostile action. If you attack a police
ship or trade in contraband goods (see Trading), your legal status will be
changed to OFFENDER, or even higher. If you destroy pirate ships, or
Thargoid invaders, (or asteroids) you will receive a bounty payment. If you
shoot at the Coriolis space station, its own defensive ships (Viper class
fighters) will attack you.
The Cobra tradeship is fast, and has a very tight turning circle (though
less tight at full speed); it is an ideal combat ship against small packs
of enemy vessels. It will outrun many attack craft by speed alone, but it
will not outrun a missile. Spinning, fast-slow, and duck-and-weave
maneuvers are very effective against the larger, less maneuverable ships
when they attack. A sudden decrease in speed followed by a tight 180 degree
turn and an increase in velocity will often give you a big advantage over
pursuing enemy craft.
You must be prepared to outwit your enemies tactically. Speed of reaction
will not in itself always be enough.
SIGNS OF DANGER
If you cannot make an interspace quick jump (J) towards the planet, there
is a ship in the vicinity. It could be dangerous.
The the status screen, during flight, shows YELLOW or RED, prepare to
engage in combat.
Flashing streaks on any screen mean laser fire is coming in.
Laser fire striking the defensive shields makes a light screeching sound.
Listen for laser fire striking the hull direct. Through damaged screens it
makes a low, screeching sound. DANGER.
An incoming missile will be detected, tracked, and a warning message
flashed on main screen.
Some star pilots are braver than others and pirate ships may break off and
run in the face of stiff resistance. some appear to know no fear-in
particular Thargoid vessels, whose captains have had their fear glands
Lone-wolf traders-such as Cobra pilots-are constantly at risk from other
Space- faring types. An understanding of other loners, packhunters, and
bounty killers is essential.
Unless you have achieved FUGITIVE status, and especially if you are highly
ranked as a combateer as well as being a criminal, bounty hunters will not
bother a ship as insignificant as a Cobra Mk 3. In fact, many bounty
hunters favor Cobra trade-ships as they make an excellent disguise. But
the real killers star-ride in the sleek, and highly efficient, Fer-de-Lance
Lightspeeder in which they live for months at a time. Bounty hunters can
always be found outside Orbit Space, especially around the worlds
classified as 'dangerous'. They are invariably of combat rating: DEADLY or
ELITE. Bounty hunters rarely identify themselves to passing ships, and if
pestered too closely will usually kill.
There are several ways of identifying a space-going ship as 'pirate
occupied', and this is essential since pirates and renegades will take any
ship for their purpose, from a Worm to a massive Python. Pirates exist
everywhere in the galaxy, but cluster mainly around unstable GalCop worlds,
especially worlds run on a feudal or anarchic system.
Small ships hovering very distant from a planet are pirates. Large ships
accompanied by a mixture of small fighter types are pirates. Ships that
refuse to acknowledge identification signals are pirates. Around worlds run
by auto-cracies, or clans, pirates will very often have been paid to leave
trade ships alone. Piracy is a huge, and complex, business, and any life-
respecting trader will learn the tell-tale signs of pirate presence.
In a Co-operative of Worlds as complex as the 2040 planets of the GalCop,
the police can be as menacing as they can be helpful. The typical police
vessel is a Viper GH Class PulseShip, which is very fast, and very
maneuveralble. They are on constant standby on every Coriolis and Dodec
space station, and will attack- a pirate, or a fugitive trader-within
seconds. They do not make arrrests, they destroy. There are different
police departments serving different purposes- narcotics, space-drunkeness,
psychotic shooting, piracy, slave trading, etc.-but all have small fleets
of these very fast Viper patrol craft.
THARGOID INVASION SHIPS AND THARGONS
The Thargoids are humankind's deadly enemy, and throughout the 8 galaxies
there are at least 50 war zones between humanity and Thargoid. This highly
technologically advanced insectoid race is also a war with 17 other space-
All Thargoid combateers are ruthless in combat, and some may be comparable
with elite-status human combat pilots.
Though most of the Thargoid Space Fleet is currently engage by the Galactic
Navy in InterGalactic Space, a few of the smaller battle ships make
occasional destructor-raids into human space. These ships are extremely
fast for their size and invariably have anti-missile (ECM) Systems.
Additionally, most Thargoid battle ships carry several small, remote-
controlled 'thargons', killer-craft each equipped with a single, but highly
advanced, pulse-laser. The Galactic Navy are developing their own deep-
space RemCraft, and pay a large bounty for any thargon craft that are
brought to them.
(N.B. Bounty on Thargoid invasion craft destroyed is very high. Thargoid
battle cruisers believed to be able to 'hover' in Witch-Space (hyperspace)
and destroy through-coming craft).
The Galactic Banks will pay a handsome bounty for the destruction of a
Thargoid invasion ship. Your most dangerous enemy, a Thargoid may-in
addition to its own fire-power-activate remote-controlled killer craft
('thargons'). Destroy the 8-sided mother ship, however, and the thargons
will cease to pose a threat.
OTHER SPACE TYPES
Pirates, ageing bounty hunters, or planetary outcasts, who create living
space out of asteroids. They usually choose large asteroids, and set up
signal beacons to warn off miners. GalCop Law protects Rock Hermits, but
since most of the asteroid is hollowed-out, there is little advantage to be
gained by mining them anyway.
Before the development of the WS Thru-Space drive, in all its various
forms, interstellar travel occurred in large, self-sustaining environment
ships-Generation Ships-most of which have now been logged and their
progress monitored. There are more than seventy thousand of these immense
vessels ploughing their way through the galaxy, some of them into their
30th generation. The penalty for interference with such a vessel is
These immense factory ships are to be found whereever there has been a war,
or Thargoid invasion, or a natural catastrophe. More than forty miles long,
the dredgers are a life-form to themselves. The Dredgers are huge cities in
space, feeding off debris and ruination. Heavily armed, and with fleets of
reconditioned fighter ships, they are to be avoided at all cost.
FS/AS = DEFENSIVE SHIELDS
Defensive shields take power from two energy sources, fore and aft.
>==- (BOTTOM LEFT) = MISSILE STATUS
Missile status depicts the number of missiles on board and whether they are
'targetted' (white) or 'untargetted' (green) or 'locked and ready to fire'
1,2,3,4 (BOTTOM RIGHT) = ENERGY BANKS
Energy banks will rapidly drain if defensive shields are taking excessive
fire. Using lasers of an ECM System will also drain their resources. When
the fourth bank is tapped, an ENERGY LOW message will flash onto the screen.
Eventually, in normal circumstances, the banks will be automatically
replenished by surface radiation absorption.
LT = LASER TEMPERATURE
Laser temperature will rise during continuous firing of the ship's
laser(s). As the central housing overheats, a laser will temporarily cut
out rather than destroy the system.
CENTER DISPLAY = 3 DIMENSIONAL SCANNER
The 3-dimensional scanner operates in such a way that you can pinpoint a
ship above and below yours, as well as to the front, behind or to the sides.
AGGRESSIVE WEAPONRY (4)
ITEM TECH LEVEL PRICE/CR
---- ---------- --------
Fuel Always Varies
Missile Always 30
Large Cargo Bay Always 400
ECM System 2 600
Pulse Laser 3 400
Beam Laser 4 10000
Fuel Scoops 5 525
Escape Capsule 6 10000
Energy Bomb 7 900
Extra Energy Unit 8 1500
Docking Computers 9 1500
Galactic Hyperdrive 10 50000
Mining Lasers 10 800
Military Lasers 10 60000
Pulse lasers are initially housed only in the front of the ship, and so no
sights appear across rear or side views until such time as you have
sufficient credits (from combat and trading) to afford lasers for these
mountings. As we shall see, with sufficient cash you will also be able to
upgrade pulse to more powerful beam lasers.
A OR BUTTON #1 = FIRE LASER
Even fully equipped only one laser may be fired at a time. If a laser over-
heats it will not fire (observe the laser temperature bar).
Lasers are the principal armament of all space fighters.
Pulse lasers will be offered for sale at planets of Tech level 3 or above
(see Trading). Beam lasers will be offered at Tech level 4 or above. If a
beam laser replaces a pulse laser the price of the pulse laser is refunded
after the beam has been fitted.
PULSE LASER SPECIFICATIONS
Ingram Model 1919A4 Pulse Laser is recommended for all positional laser
mountings, but is especially effective for rear-shooting. Fires intermittent
laser 'rods' 610mm in length, with a cycle rate of 1500 RPM. The barrel is
of high grade Allutium fibre, lined with tempered QuQorian Silica. Power
provided directly from inverse energy banks contained in main ship's drive.
Each rod is capable of piercing 267mm of Flux-Locked metal.
LASER BEAM SPECIFICATIONS
Ingram Model M19282A2 is highly recommended for front shooting. Beam lasers
fire continuous laser strands, up to 150 in parallel. Barrel is Allutium+
lined with tensioned plastiglass, and as with the 1919A4 Pulse laser, power
is provided by main drive link. Beam lasers are capable of slicing through
410 mm FL metal.
Military lasers are the very height of sophistication. Costing fifteen times
the price of a pulse laser and available only on planets at Tech level 10,
it is an extremely effective piece of hardware.
(See also Mining lasers under Non-combative Equipment)
MILITARY LASER SPECIFICATION:
Range and penetration twice as effective as the Ingram model M1928A2 beam
laser. This is Lance & Ferman's enter into the laser market. Hitherto known
for their highly effective and relatively cheap missile systems, in the
military laser they have in effect created a whole new laser market. The
LF90 is the current computer-aided model and comes with X4SUSAT sights.
Missiles are always available, whatever the nature of your destination
world, though no more than four may be carried at any one time. They are
extremely effective weapons and are carried by the larger star ships. Your
ship's computer will warn you when one is fired at you with a message
on-screen. Unless your ship is fitted with ECM (see below) you will have to
outmaneuver the missile, which will home in on you relentlessly. If a
missile hits you, it can almost completely exhaust a fully charged shield
and, if your shields and energy are low, may well be fatal.
Before a missile can be fired it must be locked onto a target. When fired,
it will home in on that target and destroy it, unless your enemy
successfully takes one of the precautions described above. The missile
launch mechanism is very reliable and hardly ever jams. Missiles can be
locked onto targets in any view (1,2,3,4).
T = ENGAGE TARGETING SEQUENCE
The targeting sequence is engaged by hitting the T key. One of the square
missile status indicators on the astrogation console will then turn white.
When any possible target enters the cross-hair region the missile will lock
onto it, the missile status block turning red. A beep will sound to inform
you of this.
M = FIRE MISSILE
U = UNARM-ABORT ANY TIME BEFORE FIRING
Lance & Ferman Homing Missiles (4x4) are now recommended for all small class
trade-combat ships, but can be fitted as part of a mixed design weapon rack.
LF missiles have 2IL-135 guidance systems, and optional manual directional
control overrides. Warhead packed with Terminal 9 explosive, and the 4x4 is
invulnerable to all known counteraction, except ECM systems. Capable of
Megazon Destruct Force 7. Prototype first used in 2987, during Ineran Wars.
B = ACTIVATE ENERGY BOMB
An energy bomb will be offered for sale at a planet of Tech level 7 or
higher, and can be used only once. It is activated by the B key and will
destroy all other ships, asteroids, and missiles in the vicinity.
ENERGY BOMB SPECIFICATION:
Medusa Pandora Self Homing Energy Bomb (available at Tech Level 7 worlds or
higher) is a tactical weapon capable of Megazon Destruct Force 13. Has heat
radius of 9000km. Developed by Klaus-Kline laboratories for multi-role
combat using 'launch-and-leave' techniques.
The Orbit Space around any Coriolis Space Station is safe. The Stations own
defences will come to your immediate assistance. Entry to safety zone is
signalled below the compass.
SHIELDS AND ENERGY BANKS
Your ship comes equipped with fore and aft shields and energy banks. The
shields protect your ship from aggressive fire, and will be recharged from
the energy banks. Constant fire will harm the shields. Once a shield is
depleted, enemy lasers and missiles striking that shield will take energy
directly from the energy banks and may even destroy items of cargo or ship
fittings. When all your energy banks are empty your ship will be destroyed.
Using lasers or an ECM system will also deplete your energy banks.
The ship's computer will keep you informed of any damage to your ship and
will also warn you when energy levels are dangerously low.
An Extra Energy Unit may be fitted at planets of Tech level 8 or higher, and
doubles the energy bank replenishment rate. This is the energy unit with the
copper colored top. No other unit looks like it, or lasts like it.
DEFENSIVE SHIELD SPECIFICATION:
The shields consist of hi-tense flux webs of Zieman-charged sub-particles.
They are weakest where the laser and missile tubes pass through the ship's
hull and along the central ship band where the two shields overlap, and
cause a stress zone.
E = ACTIVATE ECM
An ECM System (literally Electronic Counter Measures System) is offered
for sale at Tech level 2, and may be used any number of times given
sufficient energy replacement. When activated by the E key, ECM destroys all
missiles in your vicinity-including any that you have fired. Some enemy
ships, especially traders, will have this and may user it against your
missiles. Your ship's computer displays an E on the console when it detects
ANTI-MISSILE (ECM) SYSTEM SPECIFICATION
Radiant-Magnetic 'wipe-out' using ion-
saturation theory developed by Bell and Braben on Riedquat 359. Electronic
Counter Measures Systems use minute charged particles of InterSpac Heavy
Element dust, releasing their radiant energy and setting up expanding
nuclear flux chains.
ESC = LAUNCH ESCAPE CAPSULE
An escape capsule can be fitted in place of your cabin at any world of Tech
level 6 or higher. If ESC is then hit during combat the capsule will be
jettisoned from the ship, be automatically tracked by the nearest world and
will travel safely to a Coriolis space station. Your cash will be preserved
but all your cargo will be lost.
However, this item comes with a widely recognized insurance cover which will
guarantee you a new Cobra Class ship, equipped in like manner. The contents
of the cargo hold is exempt from this protection.
Since the unique IR signature of a ship's hull is used to file police
records, abandoning your ship in this way will have the effect
(unfortunately exploited as much by galactic brigands as trader victims) of
clearing your police record.
You may see an escape capsule leaving an enemy ship. This will not harm you
unless you crash into it.
ESCAPE CAPSULE SPECIFICATION:
Recommended model is the Xeeslan FastJet LSC 7, which can support two human
life-forms for seven weeks, in moderate SuspendedAn.state.
Fuel is always available. You can refill your tanks to full (7 light-year)
capacity-no less is permitted.
Fuel scoops may be fitted to the hull at a planet of Tech level 5 or higher.
These enable a ship to obtain free hyperspace fuel by 'skimming the sun'-
flying close to it at high velocity.
Since fuel scoops utilize powerful electro-magnetic fields to guide the solar
wind into their converters, they may also be used to pick up miscellaneous
space debris. Almost all pirate vessels are fitted with these so that they
can blast their prey apart and sift among the wreckage, rather than attempt
to dock with a hostile craft.
Once fuel scoops are installed, you can scoop up an object (such as a cargo
canister) by keeping it in the lower half of the screen view area while
flying right up to it.
FUEL SCOOP SPECIFICATION:
Fuel scoops are considered an essential for Deep Space, and dangerous zone
trading. They have a standard design, and a standard fitment. They use
powerful electromagnetic fields to guide solar wind or small space debris
into their ReQax convertors.
CARGO BAY EXTENSION
One cargo bay extension can be bought, increasing the hold space from
CARGO BAY EXTENSION SPECIFICATION:
Standard model is the Mariner Freight Chamber.
C = AUTO DOCKING SEQUENCE ON
P = AUTO DOCKING SEQUENCE OFF
This is available from all Tech level 9 planets; they are fitted to the
ship's flight control system and enable it to dock the ship automatically.
The auto-docking sequence is triggered by the C key and switched off by P.
DOCKING COMPUTER SPECIFICATION:
The SinCorn RemLock D&A System is a sophisticated and expensive piece of
gadgetry. It comes with MemnSomn pilot interaction to induce hi-cram sleep
during the maneuver.
G = ENGAGE INTER-GALACTIC HYPERDRIVE
The intergalactic hyperdrive is obtainable only from planets at Tech level
10 or higher, and can only be used once.
Although a number of manufacturers have supported a whole range of IGH
motors, it is recommended you remain loyal to Xexor/Hikan who provide the
standard hyperspace transit drives.
ASTEROID MINING LASERS
Asteroid mining involves the fitting of fuel scoops and special mining
lasers to your ship. Ships which always carry them are known as 'Belters'.
They search for asteroids and, on finding one, use the laser to fragment it
into pieces sufficiently small to be taken into the cargo bay.
MINING LASER SPECIFICATIONS:
Kruger Model ARM64 Sp. Mining laser is highly recommended as both a trade
and combat addition. Uses variable frequency laser rods of 200mm length,
fired in wide beam, 100 channels/beam. Automatic debris-pattern lock
ensures no fragments of large size of target asteroid impinge on ship
space. Can destroy asteroids of up to 2KtHH durable Mass. Must be fitted
with a fuel and matter scoop.
ELITE PT 3
The Cobra Mk III, designed primarily as a trading ship, combines combat
efficiency and maneuverability with substantial cargo space (20 ton
canisters) and with scoop attachments for space debris, jettisoned cargo
and space rock.
Most space stations have made the process of trading very simple, in order
to facilitate a fast turnover in goods and ships. Import and export
tariffs-which are high on some worlds-are automatically added or deducted
and this is reflected in the prices shown. The auto-trader system, employed
by the Cobra, does not allow for more specific trading deals to be
A selection of the more valuable alien items that are tradeable is given in
this manual, but the trader must deal with them in person.
Once docked you are linked directly with the CorCom Trade System. At your
request you can obtain a list of basic trade items available for purchase.
Slaves are measured by the ton in galactic trading. This may seem a bit
strange but it includes the cryogenic suspension system necessary to keep
them alive during space travel. The slave trade, once almost eliminated by
the Galactic Government is not returning, despite the efforts of the
Galactic Police Force to suppress it.
ITEM AVERAGE PRICE/CR
Food (Simple organic products, see below) 4.4 ton
Textiles (Unprocessed fabrics) 6.4 "
Radioactives (Ores and by-products) 21.2 "
*Slaves (Usually humanoid) 8.0 "
Liquor/Wines (Exotic spirits from unearthly flora) 25.2 "
Luxuries (Perfumes,Spices,Coffee) 91.2 "
*Narcotics (Tobacco,Arcuran Megaweed) 114.8 "
Computers (Intelligent machinery) 84.0 "
Machinery (Factory and Farm Equipment) 56.4 "
Alloys (Industrial Metals) 32.8 "
*Firearms (Small-scale artillery, sidearms, etc.) 70.4 "
Furs (Includes leathers,Millennium Wompom Pelts) 56.0 "
Minerals (Unrefined rock containing trace elements) 8.0 kg
Gold 37.2 kg
Platinum 65.2 kg
Gem-stones (Includes jewelry) 16.4 g
Alien Items (Artifacts,weapons, etc.) 27.0 ton
* These items are defined as illegal by the Galactic Government, so trading
them is risky.
8 = LIST OF TRADE ITEMS
The prices shown at the time of trading represent an offer to you and will
be guaranteed while you are in Trading Mode.
The purchasing of items is almost instantaneous. You will be offered each in
turn. If you do not wish to buy, merely indicate your decision by pressing
O = INVENTORY OF CARGO, FUEL & CASH
2 = PURCHASE MODE
3 = SELLING MODE
If you wish to buy, numerically indicate the amount you wish to purchase;
autoSCAM modules will immediately load your purchase into the cargo bay.
Your screen will indicate your remaining credit facility.
When all items for sale have been offered to you your cargo hold status will
appear to confirm your purchase.
The Cobra trade ship must dock with a Coriolis space station before buying
or selling cargo. It has no Free Space trade facility, apart from routine
jettisoning of canisters.
Once docked, the selling process is automated, although there is no
requirement to sell.
HOW TO TRADE
BUYING MODE FOR GOODS
8 = LIST OF GOODS AVAILABLE ON TARGET PLANET
O = INVENTORY OF YOUR CARGO
8 = TO SEE AGAIN WHAT IS AVAILABLE
2 = ENTER PURCHASE MODE
You are now being asked (at the bottom of the screen) how much food you
want to buy. Choose a number equal to the tonnage of food you wish to
purchase, and press RETURN. You will then be asked, in turn, how much you
want to buy of each item on the list of goods available. Press RETURN when
you do not wish to purchase. You can buy only 20 tons in total, and no more
of a commodity than there is available. Once you have gone through all the
items, the trading computer will print up your inventory.
3 = ENTER SELLING MODE
This comprises of a series of Y/N questions, the answers to which will
concern the possible sale of all cargo including that just bought.
(Advanced selling systems permit the sale of precise amounts.)
ADVICE TO TRADERS
The Cobra trade ship can be fitted with four lasers, four missiles and one
energy bomb. This should be sufficient to make trade possible within the
System Space of even heavily piratized worlds. But it is strongly
recommended that pilots achieve a combat of at least 'DEADLY' before any
worlds designated 'Anarchy' or 'Feudal' are approached, especially if the
cargo is high tech machinery or luxury goods.
To make money as a trader is no easy task. Unless you have backing capital
you would be well advised to start with foodstuffs, textiles, minerals and
Demand for good varies widely and prices within planets fluctuate, but
GalCop regulations prohibit planets from advertising their requirements or
announcing their market prices beyond their own System Space. Any trader,
therefore, approaches all transactions with a certain financial risk.
Trade depends upon demand, and selling prices depend upon the level of
demand on the planet, and its available money. None of these factors can be
assessed before docking.
Agricultural planets invariably have excess produce at reasonable purchase
prices, and such food sells well at industrialized, middle-to high-
technology worlds. Raw materials, and ores, will sell well to middle-tech
worlds, which are usually able to refine them, and the refined product can
fetch excellent prices at worlds of very high tech status.
The rules are complex, and anarchy and piracy has its effect on causing the
rules to change.
In trading with a planet, consider its economic profile:
AGRICULTURAL WORLDS need specialist food and raw materials, but mostly basic
machinery and spare parts. If they are rich, they need luxuries and high tech
industrial machines. They produce food in quantity, raw materials and
specialized 'organic' items, like some textiles.
INDUSTRIAL WORLDS need agricultural produce; raw materials (for refining);
resource exploitation machinery; (if rich) high tech goods. They produce
basic items of need for civilized worlds: beds, seals, and gaskets, power
storage units, basic weapons, mass produced fertilizer, mass produced
Think about a planet's needs.
Think what might make the society function.
Don't trade expensive trivia to a hungry world.
IF THE PROFIT ISN'T WORTH IT, TRADE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE.
ALTERNATIVES TO TRADING
Since the Cobra craft is equipped as a fighter as well as a trader, with in-
built capacity for strengthening its armaments, there are alternative life-
styles to trading which may prove profitable, but which are excessively
Galactic banks, which insure the larger trading convoys, will pay a large
bounty for each pirate ship destroyed. A ship's computer will transmit
photographic evidence of any kill to the GalCop Bank Federation Monitoring
Authority The IR signature of the destroyed ship is then tallied with all
known pirate vessels, and the bounty hunter pilot credited accordingly.
Bounty hunters commonly have Cobra Class ships in order to masquerade as
traders. They simply hyper-space into a system (anarchic and feudal worlds
especially) and wait to be attacked, ensuring that they have sufficient
hyper-space fuel (Quirium) for a quick escape.
Piracy is widespread throughout the 8 galaxies, and many pirates are not
hardened criminals at all, but failed traders who have turned to this way of
life in desperation. To survive as a pirate, looting freighter convoys and
small ships, requires a high degree of combat experience, since not just
Police Vipers will pursue them, but other pirate ships and Bounty Hunters,
too, will prey upon them.
But the rewards are high. Provided the pirate ship is equipped with a fuel
scoop, the jettisoned ton-canisters of attacked cargo ships can be scooped
up and traded.
Asteroids are large chunks of rock which are mined (for the valuable trace
elements that they contain). As they are a navigational hazard, a small
bounty is paid for destroying an asteroid, and a kill rewarded (which will
help to improve your rating).
There is money in rock, but to make the most of it a Cobra ship must be
fitted with a fuel scoop and a MinReduc 15 Mining Laser (or some equivalent
type). The mining laser will blast very large asteroids into very small
fragments and the scoop can rapidly swallow this tradeable ore.
FREE SPACE CARGO
Trade ships are often destroyed (by natural catastrophe or enemy action) and
their cargo left ungathered. Using a fuel scoop such 'free bounty' can be
collected. the contents of the canisters will be unknown until they are
taken aboard and examined, and may be worthless or worth a fortune. If
their contents are illegal goods, they cannot be traded or sold without
(NB: Pressurized cargo canisters are th Universal means of storing cargo for
Interplanetary Space Voyaging. Made of HiFlux Chromon-alloy, they hold one
GalTon of goods, under variable pressure and temperature conditions. Tales
have been told of such barrels being discovered after over five hundred
years on barren moons, and such 'Moon Salvage' is a remarkable source of
historical artifact material.)
It is surprising how many planetary systems will allow the purchasing of
illegal trade items, notably firearms, narcotics (especially Arcturian
Megaweed) and slaves. Slaves are supplied in cryosuspension in transporter
coffins, and often turn out to be old and sick specimens of vaguely humanoid
life forms. Nonetheless, few systems will allow the selling of these items
without taking recriminatory action.
POLITICAL PROFILE OF THE UNIVERSE
CONSEQUENCES OF TRADE
To trade successfully, and profitably, will almost certainly require you to
fly the Cobra trade ship into politically unstable planetary systems.
Pirate and free-booter activity is high in many solar systems, and adequate
ship defences are essential if the rewards of higher selling prices are to
For the benefit of new traders, a brief political summary is given below.
Planetary governments, or federations, determine the relative safety of
their Solar Space. Ranked in decreasing order of safety, the 2040 officially
registered worlds of the Galactic Federation can be classified as:
Like Engema and Zaatxe, these are well-ordered worlds, which have usually
developed from settlers who practised a free trade form of competition.
Taxation is high on such worlds, but the living standards are high also.
Corporate planets wish to protect their trade, so goods are expensive, but
luxuries are welcomed. Import licenses are often necessary.
Engema is an agricultural world, run as a single farming co-operative.
Farmers receive a fixed payment for their crops, whether or not the
harvest is good, and selling prices do not vary greatly. It is a dependable
market, and customer relations are good. Luxuries, machinery and raw
materials sell well here.
Zaatxe is an example of a rich, industrial state (Tech level 12). It
produces luxury goods, elaborate and innovative machine systems, and
specializes in Prototype design. Prices fluctuate depending upon the level
of inter-state competition, but it is always a safe bet to buy recently-
developed machine items which have not yet spread very far across the
Dictatorships such as the worlds Lave and Enzaer, are only moderately safe
to trade with, but are well worth the risk (provided the trader is well
defended and combat trained). Very often pirate attack will not occur
because of an agreement between pirate fleets and the world itself. A
proportion of all incoming trade is 'allowed' to be stolen by pirates, who
will then leave the world alone, and protect its ships from aliens or rogue
traders. It is an uneasy liaison, which often breaks down.
Lave is an agricultural world, and Enzaer an industrial planet, but a
similar principle operates on both surfaces. There are two trading
standards, that of the People and that of the Aristocracy. Standards of
living are artificially generated, a veneer of progress, and luxury goods,
machinery and textiles sell well-usually. The great demand, however, is for
basic commodities, especially foodstuffs, clothing and raw materials. These
will sell well when the voice of the People has been raised in protest.
A trader can make his biggest profits here and reach his grave the quickest.
Worlds like Onisou and Xeesenri have vast wreck-yards in far orbit, the dead
places of ships that came to trade honestly, and fell prey to trickery.
These are lawless places, and have become so because the original settlers
competed too hard when there was too little resource material. Those worlds
which survived holocaust did so because of uneasy and bloody alliances
between clan families. Pirates and mercenaries were hired for protection
and assassination purposes. Anarchic worlds will trade readily in narcotics,
slaves, firearms and exotica, and the price will be good...if you get a
price at all. These worlds are almost always supplying invisible Masters,
usually elite trader/combateers who have turned to crime as the most
profitable way of life. Such form loose federations, and trade on the black
market extensively throughout the galaxies.
These worlds pay highly for goods they cannot produce themselves, because
they know that traders avoid them. Their own products need specialized,
illegal outlets: weaponry, narcotics, eavesdropping devices....if it's
covert, then anarchic worlds are producing it. Trade in these items and you
will get rich quick, or dead quick, or at least become a 'Fugitive'.
Of the 2040 officially registered planets in the GalCop, all but 45
support human colonies only, that is to say, human presence elsewhere is
restricted to settlements in under-populated parts of the land surface.
Trading at such worlds depends, for its success, very much upon the extant
state of co-operation between human and alien. Humans control the Coriolis
stations in orbit, but the availability of items for trade, and their
relative expense, can be affected by the controlling life forms.
Most alien life forms are either too primitive, or too glad of off-world
trade, to interfere. Some, such as the Reptiloid life form of Esanbe or the
Amphibioids of Anbeen, can made a trader's life very difficult, by haggling
at the point of a laser.
The available planetary information on all worlds will indicate the nature
of the inhabiting life form.
Dealing in alien artifacts on such worlds often involves forming a close
liason with Flight Elders or Nest Elders, and this is very much a job for
the specialist. Bird-forms are, on the whole, a delight to trade with, and
the highest form of honor (fairly universally) that an off-worlder can
receive is an invitation to 'keep the eggs warm for a moment'.
Are usually a lot sharper than their wet, sluggish appearance would suggest.
They are usually keen to trade in narcotics, or exotic foodstuffs. Skin
creams are always well received. Technologically they tend to be backward,
but will pay high prices for such mid-range items as automated ponds, croak
meters, spawn freezers and swamp purifiers.
Are dangerous to the extreme. No matter what sort of political structures
the world may have, feline aliens are pack oriented, and feudal, and very
unpredictable. All traders are advised to wear body suits, to prevent
secretions of sweat from triggering a feeding response among these hostile
and enigmatic life forms.
To win the confidence of a feline alien is almost invariably to be invited
to mate, so a certain aloofness is recommended.
The most dangerous insectoidal life form is the Thargoid, which is
mentioned in the Combat section. Insectoidals are usually highly
intelligent, often existing as a group mind. There is rarely any
individuality among insectoids, and the trader must beware making deals in
such a way. One life form builds earth cities up to four miles high, and
over four million drones live in the middle levels. According to legend,
any trader who voluntarily ascends the earth passageway from ground to
upper surface of these immense mounds is honored with there rare title
Ascender of the Scent City. And then consumed alive. But trading with
insectoids can be immensely profitable, as there are so many of them (to
trade in wrist watches, for example, means two to four watches per
individual in a clone-group of perhaps ten thousand).
In dealing with any alien life-form, for the purposes of trade, there are
three cardinal rules:
Learn the body language of the alien race.
Cover up your body scent.
Beware of Carapace concealed weapons.
Provided by THE HELLION / THE CORSAIR