© 1990 Hewson
It is the year 2390. A fleet of space freighters have been despatched to the
frontier world of Basmyth in response to urgent calls for military assistance
following attacks from the bordering trimorg empire. These freighters
carry a skeleton crew by various droids, ranging from simple cleaning robots to
complex cyborgs capable of piloting a ship.
The freighters are carrying a cargo of battle and security droids to help in
the defence of Basmyth. Three days ago, sub-space messages were received from
two distress beacons launched from the fleet. The crew of the U.S.F Paradroid
reported being scanned from an uncharted asteroid feild, moments before the
droids in the cargo deck mysteriously activated themselves, minutes later the
bridge was under attack from the battle droids, and the onboard complement of
crew also became hyper active. The captain of the U.S.F Paradroid reported the
bridge bulkhead doors had almost been breached and that the remaining human
crew were unable to reach the shuttle bay to abandon ship.
Since the message was sent three days ago, we can only fear the worst. It is
assumed that the rogue droids have taken over the ship, possibly under alien
control, and will be used against the free planets. It is therefore imperative
that the freighters be stopped immediately. It is too dangerous to beam military
personnal aboard the freighters, but it is possible to use to use MKII prototype
influence droid (I.D) is a small self-powered anti droid unit. It uses
anti-gravity generators to hover about. It carries its own armament, a low
powered plasma bolt sufficient to damage or destroy small droids, but unable to
penetrate armoured battle droids. However, it`s main feature is its ability to
render an enemys droids brain unit inoperative and control the droid
itself, able to direct its weapons under the protection of its armour.
The I.D is also able to recharge itself from the droids energy banks but the
life of the slave droid is severly shortened as its brain unit attempts regain
control, inevitably resulting in burning out and destroying the droid. At this
point the I.D becomes a free agent once more. In order to keep itself charged
up, the I.D must continually gain control of a new slave droid. More powerful
droids are harder to take over, but offer a better platform for taking over
droids. The droid libary on the ships onboard computer carries more information
on the different droids likely to be found on the freighters.
Control is by keyboard or a joystick in either port, mouse control is not
supported, select the control mode by pressing F1 to bring up the options
screen at any point during the title sequence. Press F1 again to cycle through
available modes. Other options shown on this screen are detailed later.
Keyboard Controls are as follows;
Up --- O P Q W 1 2 0 or the up cursor
Down --- L;A S or the down cursor
Left --- M , Z X or the left cursor
Right --- . / C V or the right cursor
Fire --- ALT CTRL and either SHIFT key
SEQUENCE OF PLAY;
Press fire to play. The influence device is beamed aboard the selected start
ship, initially only the first two ships may be selected, but any ship reached
may subsequently be selected.
The I.D will materialise over one of the ships transmat poits. It is armour
protected and unable to fire for up to 4 seconds. Your task is to destroy all
of the droids on the ship by shooting, ramming or taking control of them, as
each deck is cleared, the lights dim on that deck to indicate that no other
droids are present.
You must use the lift network to travel from deck to deck and finally return to
any transmat point and beam out once all the droids on the ship have destroyed.
THE INFLUENCE DEVICE;
The influence device (I.D) is moved around the deck in all directions by
pointing the joystick (or keyboard equivalent) in the required direction. To
fire the plasma bolt, jab the fire button while pointing in the right direction.
It will not fire when the joystick is centred for too long.
Additional functions are carried out by holding the fire button down while the
joystick is centred. This is `transfer mode`, and is shown by a spark emanating
from the I.D. Once the spark is visible the I.D can now move around in this
mode, providing the fire button is held down.
From the transfer mode you can; 1. Attempt to take control of other droids by
touching them with the spark.
2. Access the ships onboard computer for extra
3. Operate the lifts to move to other decks.
Every droid carries at least one method of sensing the player, as detailed in
the droid library. Most droids have true visual awareness, and will see the I.D.
if it is within its angle of vision and within its distance limit. Some droids
have narrow angled vision, some wide, and some quite short distanced.
Droids with aural sensors will only react if they hear the I.D. firing or if
they hear the transfer spark. Some droids carry radar sensing equipment and can
detect the I.D. anywhere in the vicinity.
Many droids carry or are fitted with weapons. Once successfully transferred to
such a droid you may then fire it`s weapon. The weapon will always fire in the
direction the droid is facing, regardless of the joystick direction.
Two droids only carry a head mounted weapon, which may be fired in any
direction, depending on the joystick and it is therefore independent of the
droids actual facing direction. The weapon will not fire if the joystick is
Some droids carry no weapons at all, in which case the influence device`s own
weapon is used, which behave like a head mounted weapon.
One droid carriers a sonic disruptor, this damages all susceptible droids in the
vicinity over a short period of time. When fired it takes time to build up, then
discharges, it temporarily scrambles the droids brains. It has no effect on
humanoids, and some droids have protection circuits.
When all droids, but not necessaryily raiders,are destroyed on deck, the onboard
computer shuuts down the lights on that deck and bonus points are awarded. When
the final deck is cleared, a message will indicate this and you should proceed
to a transmat to beam off the ship.
The influence device`s capacity to hold energy is slowly reduced as time goes
by, as indicated by the inner dark bar of the energy display at the top right
of the screen. The actual amount of energy held is shown by the outer bright
bar of the energy display. This will normally obscure the inner bar, but damage
incurred during the game from enemy shots or ramming will reduce the outer
bar. To restore this energy it is necessary to stand under an energiser, an
octgonal pulsing device, which are liberally spread around the ship. When a droid
approaches, a ring of rotating lights activates and energy is gained, up to the
maximum capacity for the droid. Not that the energiser may be destroyed by
gunfire, preventing other droids using it.
The only way the I.D can restore itself to full capacity is by temporarily
taking control of another droid. This gives it time to replenish itself on the
host droids energy supply.
The transfer game involves the I.D. fighting the target droid for overall
control. The central control bar is split into 14 elements, initially set to
alternating yellow and on the first ship, red elements. Timer indicators-straddle
the central bar, and various wires lead from each side of the bar to two
You have a few seconds to select which side to wish to play on, while the time
indicators rise from the bottom of the central bar to the top, your droid and
target droid are shown on the relevant sides at the top. Move the joystick left
or right to select your side. Initially you are on the left (yellow) side. Which
side you select will depend on the arrangement of the wires and circuit
components on each side. Once you have selected the side to play on, the timer
will reach to the top and begin to count down. You have until the timer reaches
to bottom to get the majority of the central bar elements over to your colour
by firing your pulsers, shown on the very outside of the layout. This transmits
power of your colour through the circuit to the central bar, changing the colour
of the central element or elements reached to your colour. The spark under to
dome at the top of the central bar shows the colour of side currently holding
the most elements. The more powerful the droids involved, the more pulsers you
get to start with.
Pulsers enter the side tracks from the top and may be moved up and down with
the joystick. Press fire and the pulser moves forward and transmits power along
the wire for a few seconds before it burns out. Various components modify this
power along the way to the central bar, and should be taken into account when
choosing which lines to fire along, these are;
1. Splitters - Power branches out into 2 paths
2. Joiners - Power must arrive at both inputs to allow power through.
3. Auto-pulsers - Once activated by power, these will continue to produce power
on their own until the end of the game.
4. Terminators - Power cannot pass through and is wasted.
5. Colour switches Power is converted to the opponents colour.
These components may be arranged in very complex ways, but it is usually best
to pick the side with the most splitters and auto pulsers and avoid too many
joiners and colour switchers.
Succesful takeover of the majority of the central bar at the end of the game
will enable the I.D. to `hop over` to target droid, and the previous host will
burn out and be destroyed. Failure to takeover a droid will result in the
destruction of the target droid, and the I.D.`s current host, if present. If the
I.D. was fighting the transfer game alone and loses it will be destroyed and
the whole game is over. In the event of both sides having an equal control of
the central bar, and the deadlock occurs the transfer is replayed.
The lifts may be accessed by standing under a lift controller and activating
transfer mode, the screen will dispaly a side view of the ship, highlighting the
deck you are currently on and the lift shaft you are situated in. Move the
joystick up and down to change decks, and press fire when the required deck is
Approach a console and its screen will light up. Activate transfer mode and the
onboard computer will be activated. You will see a menu screen with 5
options, accessed by moving the joystick up/down and pressing fire on the
1. Log off - Return to the game
2. Ship data - Show a side view of the ship and overall ship status
3. Deck data - Show a plan view of the current deck and deck status
4. Droid library - Access data on all droids
5. In game statistics- Show current game data
The ship name and outside view of the ship are shown.move the joystick
left/right for a detailed display.note that some of the decks are behind others
and are only shown while the decks are being drawn.the decks are colour coded
Yellow -- Current deck, no other droids
Brown -- No other droids on deck
Pink -- Current deck - not yet cleared of droids
Red -- Not yet cleared
The pink and the red will be different colours on ships other than the
first. Move the joystick left/right to toggle between the two displays and
press fire to return to the menu.
A small scale plan of the deck is shown. Your current position on the deck is
marked and information is given regarding the number of droids remaining on the
deck and ship. Press fire to return to the menu.
Move the joystick left/right to view each droid in turn. Only those droids equal
to or lower than your current host droid`s security clearence may be viewed. To
view more data on a particular droid, move the joystick up/down. Pages of text
will be shown, one at a time. Press fire to return to the menu.
Some in games statistics are provided for your convenience. The statistics for
the previous game may also be viewed by pressing F9. During the title
sequence, press fire to return to the menu.
Destruction of droids by any means results in the alert status of the ship
arising. This slowly reduces with time. By destroying lots of droids quickly it
is possible to change the alert status from normal green to yellow, amber or
even red. This increased alert status yeilds bonus points each time the alert
lights flash and the alarm sounds.
Raiders may beam into the freighter at any time. The onboard computer sounds a
warning klaxxon as the raiders ship approaches. The raiders will beam in, looking
for things to steal and destroy. It is imperative that they are eliminated
quickly, although only droids need to be considered to complete the ship.
During the game press `Help` to pause, the `Help` or fire to resume game.
During pause mode press `ESC` to quit game. You can pause the game when
in the transfer game.
During the title sequence;
F1. Change controls between joystick or keyboard.
F2. Select start ship (any previously visited ship may be started on).
F3. Switch the transfer game on/off.
F4. View previos game statistics.
HINTS AND TIPS;
Some droids cannot be transferred to. Donīt just destroy all easy droids early
on, you may need them later on, when you get into trouble on a difficult deck.
If your host droid is blown up, use the 4 seconds of armour protection wisely,
it is better toescape and return to fight later than struggle on.
Typed by Scooter of Genesis
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