Abandonware DOS title

AlphaMan manual

----------==========נננננננננ  A L P H A M A N  נננננננננ==========----------
----------==========נננננננננ    Release 1.1    נננננננננ==========----------
----------==========נננננננננ     June 1995     נננננננננ==========----------

File list:      alphaman.exe   main executable

                alphaman.3     subsidiary
                alphaman.4     files

                readme.txt     this file

After playing,  alphaman.def   (game parameters) and 
                alphaman.scr   (high scores file) will be generated.
                               You may delete these at any time.

AlphaMan (Copyright (c) 1995 Jeffrey R. Olson) is an adventure game set on
Earth in the future, following a nuclear disaster.  You will take the role of
a mutated human who is struggling to save the planet from annihilation.  You
will be pitted against hideously mutated plants and animals, traps and snares
of all sorts, and several varied adversaries whom you will have to defeat in
order to complete your mission.  At your disposal are a broad variety of
technological relics and mutated substances which you will acquire along the
way, as well as your own powers and guile.

Your character will have six basic personal attributes:  Strength (physical
power), Dexterity (agility and quickness), Constitution (fortitude and
health), Radiation Resistance (susceptibility to radiation), Mental
Resistance (susceptibility to mental attacks) and Intelligence (learning
ability).  These characteristics generally are in the range 3-18 (higher is
"better"), but some mutations, devices, etc. can raise or lower these.  Your
characteristics may increase with time as you gain experience as well.

Your character also has Hit Points.  These reveal to how much damage you can
sustain before dying.  You lose hit points as you are damaged by attacks from
creatures, falling into pits, etc.  You heal hit points back over time, and
some devices and substances will heal you faster.  In addition, you will gain
more hit points as you become a more experienced adventurer.

Your character will have a physical and a mental mutation which can help you
complete your mission.  Some mutations, such as Heightened Strength, are in
effect at all times and don't require you to 'u'(se) them.  Others, such as
Laser Generation are used periodically as the need arises.  AlphaMan version
1.1 includes 17 physical and 13 mental mutations;  some details on your
particular mutations can be learned by pressing '?' during the game to see
the help menu, or by examining the file ALPHAMAN.5 which is a text file that
the '?' command accesses.

Your character has an Armor Class (AC) that determines how difficult you are
to hit in combat.  Your AC is determined by the armor and shield you are
using, and may be modified by your dexterity and a variety of devices.  A low
AC means better protection. An AC 6 to 9 is typical at the start of the game;
an AC of 0 is very good;  an AC of -5 or lower is excellent.  Heavy Fur armor
or Ringmail is typical at the start of the game, but better armor may be
found during the game.  Be sure to wear the better armor as you find it (the
'u'(se) command allows you to select the armor you wish to wear;  you must
'U'(nuse) armor you are currently wearing before you can use new armor).

Your character fights with a selected weapon (although you can also throw
things, or use various technological weapons as well).  At the start of the
game, a weapon such as a short sword or a pitchfork is common.  You may find
better weapons along the way, such as titanium or even duralloy ones.  Be
sure to wield the better weapons as you find them (the command 'u'(se) can be
used to select a new weapon-in-hand).  Note that a microcomputer, if found in
the game, can reveal which weapons are the best.

Your character will come across a variety of other objects during the course
of a game.  These include:
Food:  Spam and Beef-a-Roni, which are eaten with the 'e'(at) command.  It is
    generally best to wait until you're very hungry to eat.
Berries:  AlphaMan includes over 30 different kinds of berries which have a
    variety of effects.  Initially you won't know what most berries do, and
    will have to 'e'(at) them or 't'(hrow) them at creatures to determine
    their effect.  The usefulness of most berries is obvious.  Keep in mind
    that, while most berries are intended to be eaten (such as berries that
    confer invisibility or technical prowess), some should be thrown at
    enemies (such as exploding or blinding berries).
Small and Large Tech devices:  AlphaMan includes over 100 different kinds of
    technological devices.  Initially, you won't understand most devices, so
    you'll have to 'f'(igure) them out.  Often, you'll need to try many times
    before successfully figuring out a device.  Once figured out, you can
    'u'(se) the device when the need arises.  Note that the utility of some
    devices is obvious (you obviously shoot a Fusion Rifle at enemies),
    whereas some devices (such as a Slinky) are useless, and some have more
    subtle uses (a Microwave Oven will prematurely ripen berries, for
    example).  A computer, if found during a game, can explain some of these

Much of the game consists of moving around the screen.  This is accomplished
with the numeric keypad.  You can use the arrow keys to move up, down and
sideways;  the Home, End, PgUp and PgDn keys will move you diagonally.  If
you move on top of an item, you will pick that item up.  If you attempt to
move on top of a creature, you will strike at it with your weapon-in-hand.

The Author suggests you print out the list of available commands once the
game begins (by pressing '?' and then 'p') in order to have a hard copy to
reference at first.  Many commands which await input will accept a '?'
keystroke, and will then give context-sensitive help for that command.

The premise of this game is loosely based on two games written by James Ward
and published by TSR Hobbies:  Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World.  The
author of AlphaMan acknowledges their unwitting inspiration.

Please register this software (you will see details of how to do this every
time you quit the game).  There are many enhancements planned for future 
updates, including new mutations (4 Arms and Heightened Luck, for example), 
new devices (e.g., Berry Pouch and Hologram Generator), new berries (ones
which confer temporary immunity to an attack type, for example) and other 
various (and insidious?) additions.  You will also receive lifetime AlphaMan
support (answers to any questions you might have, free updates if serious bugs
are found, and general update announcements).

Any suggestions or bug reports are also appreciated.  Please send them to:

                           Jeffrey R. Olson
                           214 E. Sherwin Dr.
                           Urbana, IL  61801

Users of AlphaMan must accept this disclaimer of warranty:

"AlphaMan is supplied as is.  The author disclaims all
warranties, expressed or implied, including, without limitation,
the warranties of merchantability and of fitness for any purpose.
The author assumes no liability for damages, direct or conse-
quential, which may result from the use of AlphaMan."

AlphaMan is a "shareware program" and is provided at no charge
to the user for evaluation.  Feel free to share it with your
friends, but please do not give it away altered or as part of
another system.  The essence of "user-supported" software is to
provide personal computer users with quality software without
high prices, and yet to provide incentive for programmers to
continue to develop new products.  If you find this program
useful and find that you are using AlphaMan and continue to use
AlphaMan after a reasonable trial period, you must make a 
registration payment of at least $15 to Jeffrey Olson.

Anyone distributing AlphaMan for any kind of remuneration must
first contact Jeffrey Olson at the address above for authorization.
This authorization will be automatically granted, and distributors
may begin offering AlphaMan immediately (However Jeffrey Olson must
be advised so that the distributor can be kept up-to-date with the
latest version of AlphaMan.).

You are encouraged to pass a copy of AlphaMan along to your
friends for evaluation.  Please encourage them to register their
copy if they find that they can use it.  All registered users
will receive a copy of the latest version of AlphaMan.