© 1990 Psygnosis
A W E S O M E T R A D E S E C R E T S
The unemotional, yet strangely smooth sound of the ship's navigational computer]
disturbs my musings. We should be cruising towards our home galaxy at this
moment in time, but my crew has been restless for a number of days now. So, as
mutiny would be more than a little inconvenient at present, I decided to visit
the first suitable system we came across to indulge in a spot of trading....
in the hope or relieving some of the boredom.
We are currently journeying home from a fairly unsuccessful trip to Skillion,
and I suppose it was inevitable my crew would require a diversion sooner or
later. Normally I wouldn't allow myself to be swayed by subordinates, but as
we've all had a rough time lately, I thought it be best to let them have their
way.....also the blaster they shoved up my nose helped me reach what they
called "The right decision."
That's why we're here in the Octarian system - wherever that is - hyperspacing
towards a particular wet planet by the very unoriginal name of Aquoss.
My onboard facilities reveal there are eight planets in this system. All,
according to my info, diverse and dangerous, but also all potentially
profitable. Swarms of ailen creatures infest all planets in the system and
there are rumours of giant Space Creatures that lurk off-world waiting for
unsuspecting prey to cruise by. There's apparently even a dead planet somewhere
in the system called Morb......and to think I could be 12 light years closer
to home by now.
Unfortunately, my data also reveals that fuel in this system is an incredibly
expensive commodity, so our chances of making mucho moolah could be severely
hampered - a little fact I intend to keep from my crew for as long as possible.
Apparently the only way to gain fuel is to undertake missions or trading
contracts for ruling bodies. In a ship like Elapidae, my Cobra Class Rr4, I,
sorry we, should have no problem making some sort of killing.....
Especially as the trading system here is reportedly fairly lucrative:
Diogem Disks - the monetary system here - are plentiful and Chrollum Crystals
abound throughout the galaxy. I also hear on the spacewave that fields of
asteroids bursting with crystles are abundant: Which reminds me, I must pick
up some decent mining lasers at the first opportunity.
Elapidae is a fairly spunky craft, even with only basic weapons attached,
therefore I feel we have a good chance of leaving here with more than we came.
Particularly as our speciality is pilfering - I can't imagine this warphole of
a system having anything as sophisticated as Elapidae so extracting goods from
other craft shouldn't be too difficult. With a bit of luck we should be able
to continue our voyage home before too long with a hold full of interesting
But before we impulse towards Aquoss I think I'd better check out the airwaves,
just to catch up on the latest......
A L L S Y S T E M S G O N E
The Homikahns are a militaristic race who originate from a galaxy only light
years from the Octarian system. They themselves are not very sucessful merchants
and have been envious of the Octarian's trading strategies for years. Basically
they want in. However, even though the Octarians aren't exactly peaceable
people, they are galactic pussycats compared to the Homikahns - trading with
whom, they feel, would be a dangerous and limited-profit exercise.
Being warlike, the Homikahns do not like to take no for an answer, they decide
that if they can't trade with the Octarian system then no-one will....They're
about to make a hole in space. They have the power, they have the technology,
they have the inclination......Octaria is a goner!!!
M E A N W H I L E
While scanning the airwaves for snippets of news, a freak Stat-Storm enables
your already powerful receiver to pick up a message from the Homikahn leader
to his attack-systems' commander. He orders him to ready something called a
Promethean cannon for firing on Octaria. Your onboard facilities inform you
that this cannon is a weapon of unfathomable capabilities and certainly
sufficient to wipe out an entire galaxy. To achieve such a task it needs a
phenomenal amount of power; Power that it draws from the Homikahns' sun.
However it will take the cannon quite some time to charge to a sufficient
level to totally destroy Octaria - unfortunately, exactly how long is not
Obviously you now have to get out of the Octarian system before it becomes
vacuous. And you realise that should others hear of the impending doom then
the race for fuel and the ensuing manic exodus would certainly impede, if not
completely negate, your efforts to escape. You decide to keep what you have
learned to yourself......
The knowledge that some planets will be difficult to reach - being essentially
guarded by huge and aggressive leviathans - is a little diconcerting, but you
now have great incentive to make it to each of the Octarian worlds. The price
of fuel makes Planet-Hopping the only feasible way out. And knowing that the
system is doomed gives you an increased lakadaisical attitude towards other
space users. Once you have suitable weapons onboard, foraying guarded convoys
and engaging space pirates in battle for their booty seems the logical way to
quickly gain wealth and cargo.
As you're some way from the edge of the Octaria and as your ship will require
many tons of fuel to get to the edge of the system, you appreciate you'll need
all your trading and battle skills to get out in time.
The only thing left to do now is inform your crew of the situation.....
T H E G A M E
You command the enhanceable Starship Elapidae and her crew as you hyperspace
from planet to planet in an effort to get sufficient fuel to leave Octaria
before she blows.
However, your Rotational Scrolling interplanetary hyperspace travels are
constantly interrupted by other space users such as swarms of pirates,
asteroids, cargo convoys and the occasional space station to name but a few....
Pirates are out for plunder and stop at nothing to get it. You have to wipe
out each attack wave - collecting items, such as Energy Cells, Booby Traps
(if you're not careful) and disks, from conquered pirates - before you can
continue your hyperspace journey.
Asteroids can be shot to avoid collision or mined for their crystals. However,
this lucrative exercise is only possible with mining lasers attached to your
Cargo and Trader convoys are patrolled by police or pirate security ships which
have to be knocked out before the cargo can be expropriated. As the game
progresses the patrolling ships fight more fiercely to retain their cargos.
Space stations are few and far between, but they hold many secrets.
When approaching a planet the landing-craft forward of your ship segments
from the main body and the view changes to show a rear view of your battle
with monstrous Space Serpents. However, not all planets are guarded by these
Having successfully dealt with the Serpents, the screen display changes again
to show your ship from above as it skims the planet's surface. Swarms of ailen
creatures attack your ship; blasting them rewards you with extra oxygen for
the dash to the underground complex.
During this level the bottom left of the screen displays the amount of oxygen
you have, bottom middle shows how many ailens require annihillating before an
arrow appears to point the way to the landing site while bottom right displays
number of shields you have left before your oxygen starts depleting.
Pressing the space bar while over a landing site results in a touch-down.
Once set down on the planet you leave the ship to fight your way through more
aliens as you race on-foot to the entrance of the underground installation.
You have limited oxygen for this task - determined by the number of aliens you
destroy before touchdown - and each time you come into contact with enemies
your supply is impoverished.
When inside the complex you logon to the planet's network computer and trading
It is at this stage that you exchange disks and crystals - values of which
vary from planet to planet - for weapons to enhance your ship and sell cargo....
if the price is right. You may also take on extra crew members should you
S H I P E N H A N C E M E N T S I N C L U D E
Sonic Mining Lasers
Wide-Beam Plasma Cannon
Radial Disrupter (Press space bar to fire)
Other more advanced weaponry is available.....if you know where to look.
Fuel can not be bought as such, only earned by undertaking missions or
contracts for governing bodies.
Available missions or contracts can be perused through the trading screen, as
can market news.
You also plan your next destination from inside complexes using the Navcom
You use the Navcom to position your next destination in relation to the planet
you're currently on. You decide whether you should stick around waiting until
your destination orbits closer - thus saving precious fuel - or go now and
save money on hotel bills. Please note that hotel expenses vary from planet
When making this decision you should examine all contracts available to you
and also take future journeys in to account.
The Navcom screen also displays your wealth, fuel and hotel bill, current
planet and selected destination plus actual date and predicted date.
T H E E I G H T P L A N E T S
1. Sea World: Aquoss
2. Barren World: Tundrars
3. Forest World: Follas
4. Lava World: Volcurn
5. Desert World: Grosbar
6. Organic World: Bacillius
7. Ice World: Cryogene
8. Dead World: Morb
Once trading is complete and you've selected your next destination, pressing
Exit will take you back to the logon screen from where you select Return To
Ship to continue your journey.
Y O U R O B J E C T I V E
To get our of the Octarian system before it's destroyed!!
S H I P ' S S T A T U S S C R E E N
Click on Shield or Cannon to balance power between the two.
Click on weapon representation to select it. Click again to de-select.
Click on Exit to return to the game.
J O Y S T I C K
Control of your ship with the joystick may take some getting use to in the
Rotational Scrolling sections, but direction and firing commands are standard:
Left for left, right for right, fire to fire and so on....
The joystick also controls the pointer on selection screens.
Use space bar to fire Radial Disrupter.
K E Y S
Typed by RC PILOT
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