Cybercon III manual
- Cybercon III
This booklet provides a basic guide on how to play Cybercon III. More
information can be discovered by reading the Mission Briefing section, which
expands the Game Control instructions.
SAVING A GAME
To save a game you must first enter a save game room - these can easily be
identified by the code wheel logo on the door.
Once in the room you will see a communications console - walk up to this
console and it will self activate requesting a disk on which to save the
game. (This disk need not be formatted as this is done automatically). Once
you have inserted the disk, use the sonic key to interrogate and then operate
the console - this will actually save the game. (Only one saved game per
RESTORING A SAVED GAME
There are two ways to restore a saved game: After you boot the game, or hit
ESC during the game, a menu will appear allowing the user to either start a
fresh game, continue the game (if relevant) or restore a saved game. Before
selecting the restore option make sure your saved game disk is in the drive.
If you die during play and a saved game disk is in the drive, you will
automatically be restored to the position of that saved game.
CONTROLLING THE POWER ARMOUR
Movement of the Power Armour (PA) is controlled by the joystick. Push
forward to move forward, pull back to move back. Pushing the joystick left or
right turns the PA clockwise or Anticlockwise.
By pressing the FIRE button and moving the joystick left or right
simultaneously, the PA can be made to `shuffle' to the side. Finally,
simultaneously press the FIRE button and operate the joystick to tilt the
PA's head. Press forward to look down, pull back to look up. If the PA's
sensors are on-line, the Pitch indicator shows the altitude of the helmet,
and the compass shows the orientation of the Armour.
Pressing F10 (or a sustained press of the FIRE button whilst moving) causes
the PA to Jump (if Power-assist is on-line). The longer F10 is held down, the
more power is transferred to the Jump (the maximum depends on the number of
Energy Banks on-line and other systems energised). The Ring Indicator shows
the power build-up. Some lateral movement (using the joystick) is possible
through automatic manoeuvring jets.
Note: the Power-Assisted Landing function is used automatically if the PA
`falls', provided that Power-Assist is on-line.
ENERGY BANK INDICATORS/CONTROL
The Energy Bank indicators show the current reserves in the PA's integral
matrix and any supplemental Energy Banks. If the bar is red, the Bank has a
finite energy reserve, drained from Fuel Cells. If green, the Bank is powered
by a small fusion reactor which has effectively limitless power, although it
takes time to recharge. If you discover an Energy Bank in the Complex (they
look like rectangular columns), you can use it as a supplemental power plant
by placing it in the backpack. It automatically fills one of the vacant
Energy Bank slots. Toggle the four supplemental Banks on/off-line by using
F1-F4 (but remember they need to be `fuelled' from captured Energy Cells,
just like the integral Matrix). The more Banks on-line, the more power is
available for the PA, Shield, Weapons Systems, etc. Power is always shared
equally between on-line PA systems.
Energy can be drawn from or supplied to certain apparatus within the complex
via the Energy Transfer Probe (ETP).
PRIMARY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (PMS)
The PMS controls the PA's main functions. The LEFT/RIGHT cursor keys select
the system; UP toggles the selected system on/off-line.
The first system is the PA's Power-Assist. On-line, this gives the player
better control over the Armour, and access to the Powered Jump function and
The second system is the PA's Defence Field, which can absorb damage from
The third system actually controls the status of a variety of Secondary
Systems, including the ETP, Weapons, and the Sonic Key.
The fourth system is the Auto-Repair which, if placed on-line repairs
damaged systems. The status of individual systems can be ascertained through
the status bars beneath the systems icons. Again, use the LEFT/RIGHT cursor
keys to select the system, plus DOWN cursor to place that system in the Auto-
Repair net. Power allocated to the Auto-Repair is shared equally between
selected damaged systems.
The fifth PMS controls the Sensors. If placed on-line (this system's power
consumption is minimal), the Ring Indicator acts as a Doppler Detector with a
360 degree sweep. Targets are indicated by a green light. The Sensor system
also controls the Pitch indicator, the Compass and the Cameras.
SECONDARY SYSTEMS (SS)
Secondary Systems are placed on-line by selecting PMS switch 3 and pressing
UP cursor. They are controlled through the SS Display.
The SS Display operates in three Modes. The 9 and 3 keys on the numeric
keypad scroll through the three Modes, and the lights on the right of the
display show which is currently active.
Mode One allows the player to select one of four different systems to be
active. The 7 and 1 keys on the numeric keypad scroll through the four items,
with the currently selected item both appearing in the PMS display, and being
highlighted in the Secondary Systems Display.
The first unit is the Plasma Projector. This is mounted on a pod beside the
helmet visor, and fires directly forward. Press FIRE to operate the weapon.
The second unit is vacant at the beginning of the game, but could be used for
a second weapon or for another device. The first applicable device picked up
will be loaded into this slot automatically; should you wish to change
devices, drop both, and pick up the actively required device first (the other
will be stored in the backpack).
The third unit is the Energy Transfer Probe (ETP). If the ETP is selected
and on-line, it flashes when brought into the proximity of a system with
which it can interact.
The ETP can drain power from Fuel Cells to on-line Energy Banks. It can also
provide power to start-up Field Generators and other systems.
The fourth unit is the Sonic Key. If this is selected and brought on-line,
it alters the Icon Strip Display to show the sonic codes known to that Key.
To operate, first select 1-3 icons from the Strip by scrolling the icons with
the < and > keys and using SPACE to select.
Selected codes are transferred to the Key Display to the right (loading a
fourth code clears the display). Press FIRE or RETURN to activate ("play")
the Sonic Key. If the correct code(s) are played, the Key can operate almost
any device in the Complex.
If the Key is played without any codes loaded (or if F9 is pressed), it will
Interrogate a system within the Complex, seeking to discover the right
This can be attempted more then once. An Interrogable system within range of
the Key causes its on-line indicator to flash red/green. If the Interrogation
is successful, the Key will draw the code from the system, and this can then
be played back to operate that system.
Should the PA's Key not know the relevant Code, Interrogate will be
unsuccessful. However, some systems can give the Volunteer extra codes, which
can then be used from then on.
SECONDARY SYSTEMS - CAMERAS
The other two Modes for the Secondary Systems Display refer to the operation
of Remote Cameras. Mode Two is Reception Mode. If the Sensory Array PMS is
on-line, pictures from a camera which has been placed and activated can be
viewed. Up to four cameras can be monitored, and the active camera is
selected using the 7 and 1 keys on the keypad.
Mode Three operates in much the same way, but allows the joystick to be used
to control the camera (in Mode Two, it still controls the PA).
Standard cameras can pan left or right and can be zoomed in or out using the
joystick. By pressing FIRE simultaneously moving the joystick up or down, the
Camera tilts up or down, in the same way as the PA.
The special `Parrot' camera (Camera 1) is mobile and, therefore, the
joystick actually controls its movement through space as the PA is moved. It
cannot be Zoomed in and out; however it can fly closer to its target, which
has the same effect.
Note that by pressing 5 on the keypad, you can have the Parrot return to
you, provided that you are in the same room.
The Cellular Backpack carried by the PA can carry up to 16 items.
Except when used with the Sonic Key, the Icon Strip shows those items which
are carried in the backpack.
To drop/place an item, select it by using the < and > keys to scroll through
the items, and SPACE to select.
Certain items require a Sonic Key sequence to be activated. These can be
Interrogated to obtain the code, using the normal procedure.
Items can be picked up throughout the Complex by reversing the procedure.
First, make sure the Icon Strip window is over a vacant space, then approach
the object. When it flashes in the window, it can be picked up by pressing
THIS DOCUMENT IS CLASSIFIED UPMOST SECRET
This document, and the enclose holo-stills from classified vid-cube footage,
contains all the information the War Council of the Democratic Union
possesses about Cybercon III, its central Brain Stem, and the Defence Complex
at Mount Adam.
Thanks to intelligence gathered at enormous cost, the WCDU has discovered
the previously-unknown location Brain Stem of the Cybercon III system. The
Defence Complex was constructed alongside the development of Cybercon to
provide a sterile, hermetically-sealed environment for the Brain Stem, which
is the core Command Centre for all Cybercon's activities.
Sensory and reconnaissance data indicate that the Defence Complex was
designed to provide access to technicians and inspectors through a heavily
guarded entrance on the west side of the mountain. This was sealed by
Cybercon at the beginning of the current emergency. However, it seems that a
second entrance on the south side was also constructed, and was left as a
deliberate blind spot or fail-safe by Cybercon's creators. This entrance will
admit a single operative, after which it places an energy seal across the
portal until the operative returns, or the Complex's sensors register no life
It is proposed that a single Volunteer enter the Defence Complex, with a
view to achieving one of two favourable outcomes. The first is the complete
neutralisation of the Brain Stem, which would effectively bring to an
immediate halt all Cybercon's activities worldwide. Failing that, the
operative should seek to dismantle the force wall that shields the Complex,
so that additional forces can be admitted to achieve the primary objective.
MISSION PARAMETERS; OBJECTIVES AND RESOURCES
The Volunteer will enter the Complex by the southern entrance at the
earliest opportunity, in co-ordination with a diversionary show of force at
the main entrance by WCDU forces.
The Defence Complex is a multi-layered, tri-dimensional combat environment,
designed to provide a graduated response to any attack on Cybercon III's
It must be stressed that, like Cybercon III, the Defence Complex has an
auto-diagnostic defence capability, which uses its resource to complete its
function, free from human agency or control. However, there are two key
advantages for the success of the mission.
First, although self-contained, the Complex was not designed to completely
deny all human interface. Before the Cataclysm, accredited human agents were
admitted to carry out construction, logistic and maintenance missions. This
means it is not a function of the Defence Complex to isolate itself and the
Brain Stem, and there exist within it control centres, equipment and
facilities designed for human operation.
Second, to the best of our knowledge, Cybercon III is not controlling the
Defence Complex; the two systems remain largely independent of one another,
as they were designed to be. Cybercon appears to have raised the Defence
Condition of the Complex to its highest rating, hence the force wall. It is
also sensible to suppose that Cybercon can dispose of its own resources
within the complex. However, it seems that the Complex is not operating in a
way to deny all human access.
Once he has gained admittance, the Complex should be user-friendly to the
Volunteer at a basic level. That is to say, there will be heat and light, no
unshielded radiation sources, and all interfaces - such as doors and lists -
operate normally. The Volunteer should, therefore, be able to move around
relatively freely, within the normal design constraints of the Complex.
To further enhance the prospect of a successful mission, the Volunteer will
be equipped with a Maintenance Exo-Skeleton (MES), which used to the common
protective equipment for technicians and programmers working with Cybercon.
The MES was discovered at a military airbase abandoned as surplus by
Cybercon, and has been fully upgraded and reclassified as PA. The armour's
value is that it shares common systems with all Cybercon-originated equipment
- including the Defence Complex. The Volunteer should be able to use the PA
in the Complex environment, and should find additional systems and internal
interfaces will be compatible with the PA.
To augment the utility of the PA, as much ancillary equipment as has been
possible to configure to its interface has been added.
Defensive equipment has been taken from a disabled Cyber-wheel robot,
providing the Volunteer with a 25mm Plasma Generator and full Stasis Field
generation. Additionally, a Sonic Key, the basic interface tool for
communicating with the Defence Complex, has been equipped.
It is important to recognise that - due to the extreme urgency of the
mission - evaluation tests in the equipment has been limited. However, its
ancestry with the Cybercon system should mean it provides adequate resources
for the job.
THE HISTORY OF CYBERCON
The following information is provided as background. The WCDU cannot be sure
that the information is wholly correct, nor does it surmise that it provides
any intelligence directly relevant to the mission.
Cybercon's origins lie in the power struggle between the Confederate
Democratic Union of States and the Alliance of Holy States, latterly known as
the Southern Alliance. The residual weaponry of totalitarian regimes
overthrown by the mass revolutionary movements which pre-figured the Alliance
gave it an immediate advantage in the initial phases of the war with the
The Union's technological advantage was partially offset by these weapons,
and by the sheer weight of numbers on the Alliance side. During the first
phase of the war, when parts of Europe were overrun, the Union was unable to
cope with the command and control of its diverse weapons systems. Control
foundered at the interface between human policy-makers and electronic `minds'
of the advanced weaponry.
At this point, amidst great secrecy, Union scientists provided an answer:-
Cybercon, a cybernetic artificial intelligence which did not need human
guidance for individual commands, but which operated within the set
parameters of the Union's requirements. Only Cybercon, it was argued, could
operate the military resources of the Union swiftly enough to meet the
multiple threats in each theatre. The overwhelming nature of the threat to
Union security was the simple justification for the enormous expense of the
When Cybercon came on-line, people throughout the Union breathed a sigh of
relief. As it took control of the Union arsenal, as it developed new
defensive weapons, and as it utilised those weapons with incredible response
rates across the globe, the threat from the Alliance began to recede.
But ultimate peace could not be obtained by holding the enemy at bay. Though
the Alliance's primitive defence capability had been neutralised, the
potential of billions of people might still be exploited; the Alliance might
still overwhelm Cybercon. With this in mind, the Union continued to pour
money into development, and the finest cybernetic scientists of their
generation were co-opted into the project to conduct advanced research.
Cybercon evolved into a second entity, now given the power to make offensive
war against the enemy.
The resulting collapse of the Alliance was rapid. Cybercon II's processing
was now even more intricate, yet still incredibly fast, allowing it to plan
and control its offensive campaign to a degree unimaginable to any human
commander. Within three months, the final outcome of the war was no longer in
doubt, although it took six years to quell the last bastions of the Alliance.
During that time, Cybercon passed into the third stage of its evolution, and
the cloak of secrecy which had veiled its activities became an impenetrable
wall. Although outward signs of Cybercon's activities remained - at the
airbases and missile sites it maintained and utilised, and through its
communications with its human `masters' - the location of its key centres
became the subject of almost mythical conjecture.
Cybercon was hidden away even from the natural curiosity of its political
overlords in the Union; increasingly, it also reduced its dependence on
humanity for any of its vital functions. Powerful armoured robots conducted
its war operations, others ran factories producing vital equipment and
stores. Slowly, the number of human beings directly interfacing with the
various sub-systems dwindled. Cybercon III was independent, self-sufficient -
and answerable only to its own logic programs.
Almost inevitably, there came the disastrous price to be paid for such
folly. Like a thunderclap from a clear sky, Cybercon released the full range
of its advanced robotic and cybernetic weaponry against the world.
Simultaneously, every great city in the world was vaporised by nuclear
weapons, fired from bases which were themselves rendered inoperative by auto-
destruct mechanisms. Within hours, all human agencies of government and
policing were destroyed. The survivors, abandoned and helpless, asked "Who
did this to us? Which of our enemies has Cybercon failed to defeat?" The
answer became clear only slowly - Cybercon itself was the culprit. Humanity
had made the mistake of divesting too much responsibility to a soul-less
Cybercon interpreted its prime directive - the preservation of the Union and
saw the greatest danger to the Union as its own people; had it not destroyed
all other threats? Following such remorseless logic; Cybercon preserved the
Union by destroying all within it. Even the destruction of its bases and
outward sub-systems was deliberate; with no viable target for them to be used
against, they were destroyed to prevent any part of their technology entering
Human survivors, in rural areas, wastelands and sheltered country, were
easily herded and culled by Cybercon's advanced Cyber-wheel robots. But a few
were capable of resistance. The revived WCDU has fought Cybercon for several
years, with some small success against lone Cyber-wheels or isolated sub-
systems. But those success have merely focused the mind of the machine back
on the human problem. Once more Cyber-wheels are rolling across the land,
seeking out survivors and nests of resistance.
This time, Cybercon will not rest until all human life has been eradicated.
THE DEFENCE COMPLEX
The WCDU discovered the whereabouts of Cybercon's Brain Stem through good
fortune and painstaking research. An exploding Cyber-wheel broke upon a
vestigal underground command facility dating from the late 21st century.
Within, the WCDU discovered theoretical documents about a self-supporting
command centre, with access to all necessities within its perimeter, and yet
which would be small enough to be practically invisible. The ideal location,
the document theorised, would be beneath a mountain which had both rich
mineral resources and flowing ground water sufficient for industrial power
and cooling purposes.
The Brain Stem - Cybercon's central command facility - remained undiscovered
at that time, despite all efforts. Cybercon's communications systems were
deliberately intricate and arcane, to make tracing signals back to their
source impossible. However, the original belief had been that the site could
be tracked by monitoring all the activity of Cybercon's robots. Sooner or
later, it was theorised, equipment, fuel, replacement parts or other items
would have to be delivered there.
The document showed this might not be the case - Cybercon's Brain Stem could
be completely isolated. The WCDU's resources were switched at once to a
major search to find a site with the requisite resources.
That site is Mount Adam.
Surviving geological data records showed Mount Adam to be a site with great
potential. It is undistinguished and lies some distance away from pre-
Cataclysm urban centre or geological `hot' zone. Reconnaissance then
discovered two heavily-camouflaged entrances, both shielded by an
impenetrable force wall. These entrances must date from an early incarnation
of the Cybercon, when human agents had access to the facility. Cybercon
appears to have attempted to further conceal the main entrance by means of
Our knowledge of what lies beyond the Force Wall is extremely limited, but
we do have some intelligence from early vid-film taken inside the complex
during Cybercon's earlier incarnations.
The Defence Complex's sole function is to provide security for Cybercon's
Brain Stem, although the facility also manufactures and recycles robots, and
operates mineral mines, power plants and other stations. The Force Wall and
Mount Adam itself provide proofing against thermo-nuclear blast or
conventional externally-supplied high explosive.
The Defence Complex is designed to provide proofing against infiltration by
commando, terrorist or special forces - a sign that the design of the Complex
was supposed to permit more general human access.
Captured vid-film shows the bulk of the complex consists of inter-connecting
passageways, rooms, shafts and trenches. In theory, the Complex could have
several thousand such units, although the likely limit is about 500. Further,
the Complex is divided into a number of discrete sectors, which connect only
at a limited number of points. The Sectors have extremely variable designs,
aimed at disrupting intruders' learning patterns, and to test their
capabilities against a number of different defence environments.
Passive defence plays a considerable part in the Complex's design. Approved
human agents were equipped and trained to access only those parts of the
Complex required by whatever mission profile they had. Low-grade security was
provided through a Sonic Key, which would be issued to the operative before
he entered the Complex.
These keys exist for all manner of Cybercon's facilities, and operate by
playing audible tones to a sensory instrument.
By issuing a key containing a limited number of tones, the Complex
effectively restricted the equipment any operative could use, and complicated
the approach routes to the Brain Stem. Although some doors within the complex
operate sensing the approach of a human or robot, others require a Sonic Key
The Union has obtained such a Key, which gives the Volunteer low-grade
access to most levels of the Complex. The operation of the Key is the same
whatever the end device may be. In some cases, the required code will be
displayed on or near the instrument; in others, the operative would normally
have been expected to know the required code.
Note that elevators carry two displays. The first shows which floor you are
on, and which others the elevator serves. The second shows if the elevator is
on your floor, and if it is ascending/descending. Inside the elevator car,
the Sonic Key sequence for each floor is indicated on the rear wall.
One important refinement has been added to the Sonic Key supplied to the
Volunteer. This is an interrogate function. By activating the Key with no
tones entered, the Volunteer can interrogate the device's sensor to obtain
the code the device requires. This should be an invaluable aid to moving
around the Complex.
It is extremely likely that other key codes are hidden within the complex,
which give access to the most sensitive parts of the Complex. The Volunteer
should make every effort to locate these codes.
Communication will be virtually impossible once the operative is inside the
Complex. The Complex is so tightly sealed that normal communications are
impossible. However, the historical record shows it is equipped with a number
of visi-cubes which provide external agencies with views of the Complex (we
have included captured stills with this briefing) through a number of
transmission interfaces. Any useful information which would be of benefit to
a reserve mission should be communicated through this device.
Other Cybercon installations are known to have used toroidal (magnetic
plasma bottle) fusion reactors, and it is likely this is the case at Mount
Adam. It should be possible to tap into power sources at certain points in
the mission to replenish supplies. It may also be possible to remove power
from the complex by shutting down or disabling these reactors. It seems
unlikely that this will be sufficient to complete the mission, and it will
certainly shut off all power to elevators and doors.
Given that it is wholly isolated as a system, Cybercon's Brain Stem and the
Defence Complex must have internal means for the appropriation, utilisation
and processing of local resources. Central manufacturing and repair
facilities will break down and rebuild robots on a regular schedule, and
disabled equipment will be brought to such facilities by drones for
recycling. Intelligence suggests that a red/green chevron marker is a symbol
for doors and robots servicing this facility; blocking such doors may have a
beneficial effect on the mission.
We have no idea of the location or description of the Force Wall's controls.
Clearly, however, the dismantling of this Wall would be a useful success in
the event of the primary mission's failure.
ROBOTS AND FIXED DEFENCES
Though separate to the main Cybercon system, the Defence Complex provides a
self-contained environment for the Brain Stem and acts as a cellular, multi-
threat neutralising defence shield. It is programmed to provide a graduated,
variable response to hostile intrusion through both fixed and passive means.
Each Sector of the Complex is designed to make different demands on the
aptitudes, resources and capabilities of the aggressor. Furthermore, its
defence programme algorithms will be tuned to `learn' from the actions of the
intruder, and to alter the composition of its counter-attacks.
Many of its defences are designed to disorientate, alarm and confuse
opponents unfamiliar with the layout of the complex. False or transparent
floors, disguised equipment and twisting, random access routes slow down and
dull an aggressors progress.
There are also fixed Plasma Projectors guarding key doorways, trenches and
walkways. These are extremely hazardous, and the WCDU knows of no way in
which they can be deactivated short of finding a shut-down Sonic Key code, if
However, the greatest threat to the Volunteer comes from the robots within
the Complex, particularly since there is a very real possibility that
Cybercon has acquired some control over key robots and defence systems. The
WCDU has no indication of the scale or complexity of these, but we must
expect certain design constants to be followed. This allows us to make
several generalised comments about what to expect, even though a small number
of Cybercons robots have been properly studied.
The most important of these is that all Cybercon robots are modular and
utilise the same components. Though they may preform different functions, and
have very different external appearances, they are all essentially similar.
This follows on from the importance of the robot `factories'; these break
down robots to their constituent parts, recycling parts which pass various
tests into new robots.
This same design criteria explains also why it is that critically-damaged
robots throw out undamaged systems and parts for recovery and recycling. This
may be of considerable benefit to the Volunteer, since the robots usually
discard Fuel Cells as a priority, to avoid these rupturing and corrupting the
POWER PLANT: Most are powered by electro-magnetic derives fed from internal
energy cells. These are heavily armoured, and are usually centrally-located
to distribute the weight. The Fuel Cells lock in through access ports, and
can be explosively jettisoned if the robot is endangered.
SENSORY APPARATUS: According to function, the Robots are given on of three
or four sensory arrays, normally masked behind a dome or screen high on its
surface. Cybercon robots are given sensory arrays appropriate to their
function. The most basic will have Doppler Detectors of variable resolution
levels, capable of detecting movement. Others have simple EM Scanners,
capable of detecting electro-magnetic radiation, such as would be caused by
equipment use. Finally, the most advanced systems carry optical sensing
systems, including infra-red or image-intensifying enhancements, along with a
CPU capable of shape/pattern analysis. All systems are then linked to a
targeting computer, which controls the on-board weapons systems.
WEAPONS SYSTEMS: Cybercon robots carry various high-yield Plasma Projector
systems. Their weapons are controlled by an extremely sophisticated Targeting
Module, which has a fast learning curve, and can predict enemy movements from
a number of constants. In the Cyber-wheels, the weapon is mounted through the
hub or axle, although some have forward-firing hub weapon. The more advanced
systems have a high-angle, multi-directional weapon mounting.
The Cyber-wheel is the standard type, consisting of a simple wheel, or pair
of wheels connected by an axle. The tread of the wheel, which is made of some
inert substance, contains small sensory devices which read directional
information from small wires buried in the floor. The main casing is made of
a highly-reflective (to nullify laser fire) poly-carbonised metal alloy,
shielding the main drive unit, power plant and logic systems. Manipulation,
interface and weapons systems are housed in the hub or axle.
The second type is the Nemesis, a floating robot which uses power magnetic
field generators to rise above the surface and control movement. These robots
have the more advanced sensory and control systems, usually housed in the
`head', or in high mountings on the body. Most have advanced Field
Generators, capable of providing shielding in addition to the poly-carbonised
reactive armour. Weapons systems are interior mounted, usually from a high
vantage point, although some of these robots have them placed behind the
THE POWER ARMOUR
Before the Cataclysm, Cybercon's interface with humanity was at a very high
level. Human technicians constructed and serviced plant, oversaw equipment
and software installation and monitored all Cybercon's activities. Some of
this work was extremely hazardous. For the more dangerous tasks, operatives
were equipped with suites of powered armour, manufactured by the same
factories as Cybercon's robots.
The Maintenance Exo-Skeleton (MES) the WCDU has adapted for this mission is
the only known suit to have survived the post-Cataclysm era. Cybercon's
destruction of its bases may have been necessitated by its desire to prevent
humans gaining access to such equipment. The Armour is designed to the same
exacting specifications as Cybercon's own equipment, and shares a number of
unique design characteristics with those systems.
The Power Armour is manufactured from 9mm Multi-Phase Reactive Bio-
Ceramic/Titanium plate. It weighs just over 4 tonnes and stands three metres
high. It has a joint at the waist, allowing the operative to gain access,
which is locked with a Bio-Ceramic seal. It is otherwise seamless. The suit
is capable of operating in radiation-hot areas, and provides full
Environmental Isolation and Recycling, with on-board filters capable of
resisting all known nerve, chemical or biological agents.
The Volunteer controls servo-assisted movement through sensory apparatus
attached to the operative's leg and foot muscles. Muscle output is magnified
ten-fold, allowing the suit to be `walked' with minimum effort though with
little capacity for inertia damping. Maximum speeds of 45kph can be attained
in this mode. However, the suit's power source can be circuited into the leg
hydraulics, providing pico-second reaction tomes, and speeds of up to 90kph.
With Power-Assist on-line, three other benefits are conferred on the Armour.
The servo-assisted walk generates considerable momentum and this makes
movement relatively clumsy, especially for an untrained operative. With
Power-Assist, inertia-damping systems are coupled to the hydraulics,
considerably enhancing control, particularly when the suit is running at full
Second, with the suit powered-up, the hydraulics can be expanded rapidly to
provide a Power Jump, capable of lifting the Armour up to 20 metres. Some
lateral guidance can also be gained by small ram-jets at the armour's waist.
Thirdly, the hydraulics provide extremely powerful suspension, allowing the
Armour to drop from some considerable height without sustaining damage.
The power supply comes from a high density Energy Matrix, which can be
`idled' safely, with no radiation threat to the user. Moreover, because it
uses the same fuel system as the Defence Complex, it is assumed ample energy
resources will be available.
The Energy Transfer Probe (ETP) can tap into (or feed) various Defence
Complex systems. If the Probe is selected and on-line, the indicator flashes
in the presence of a system which can interface with the ETP. Power Cells can
be drained of energy to top up Energy Banks, or power can be provided to
Field Generators or other equipment.
Energy is a primary concern on the Mission, since the Armour's integral
Energy Matrix has a limited capacity, which is quickly drained if all of the
suits systems are on. The Power Armour has the capacity to place on-line up
to four Energy Banks. Not only will such additional energy sources provide a
longer mission profile, but virtually ever one of the Primary Management
Systems works more efficiently with more power on-line. In particular, the
Power-Assist, Energy Shield, Plasma Blaster and Auto Repair functions all
operate on an enhanced gradient with greater supplies of energy.
As already mentioned, Fuel Cells, such as those ejected by damaged robots,
can be tapped to replenish the Energy Matrix or supplemental Banks (note:
their ballistic shape has lead to suggestions they may also be used as
ammunition for some kind of missile launcher).
The Cells, however, have a finite capacity. It may be possible to recover
small fusion reactors from disabled robots or other systems in the Complex. A
Fusion reactor plugged into an Energy Bank would provide infinite energy
within the mission context, though time must be allowed for the Bank to
recharge after heavy use.
Finally, the Volunteer should look out for actual Energy Banks, which may be
discarded by robots, and which can be fueled by Cells as mentioned above.
Energy Banks, along with ancillary equipment, can be locked into the Power
Armour through the Cellular EM Backpack. This contains 16 storage bays,
accessed through the remote magnetic `arm' (actually a magnetic field tractor
system) on the right shoulder, which can pick up or set down objects. With
the Icon Strip Display functioning, any object which can be picked up and
held in the Backpack flashes in the window when within tractor range. Items
can be discarded at any time.
The Pilot sits in a harness within the body of the armour. Controls are
handled in various ways, designed to make the best use of the various areas
of his or her brain. A Cerebral Scan helmet, capable of detecting and
decoding electro-chemical and brainwave signals, acts as an override
management system, attuning to the `instincts' and decision-making parts of
the brain. As seen above, movement of the Power Armour is controlled and
powered by a low-energy `walking' movement by the pilot. Finally, small
micro-switch controls in the `arm' recesses allow the pilot to manually
control functions such as camera operation, weapons guidance and the
orientation of the armour.
The Primary Management Systems can be switched on or off at the operative's
command, allowing him to control energy output. The first is Power-Assist.
The second is the integral Energy Shield, the third controls the Secondary
Systems, the fourth the Auto-Repair, and the fifth the Remote Surveillance
Although the basic MES unit was discovered unarmed at an airbase (shielded
from destruction, incidently, through being buried under rubble by a freak
accident moments before a Cybercon strike), the common systems it shares with
all Cybercon units means that WCDU have been able to provide a Plasma
Projector taken from a disabled robot and mounted on the Power Armour's
Cybercon's Plasma Projectors generate super-heated `balls' of energy, and
firing these over ranges of up to 500 metres. The projector draws on the
Armour's power supply, and recharges in seconds, particularly when more then
one Energy Bank is on-line.
Plasma weapons remain the ultimate short-range battlefield weapon. No
material has been developed which can withstand them, nor can the energy be
reflected or dissipated as is the case with conventional projectile or laser
weapons. However, Cybercon does have a defence, in the form of Energy Stasis
Fields. These fields have the capacity to dissipate plasma energy, greatly
reducing their impact.
The Power Armour's Shield generates such a Field, interacting with the
active armour systems. The power drain is considerable, and it is not
recommended that the Shield be powered-up except in confrontational
situations. Note that Cybercon's most advanced robot designs have integral
shields. Certain types are equipped with Field Generators, which, properly
aligned, create an energy-field `skin' over the robot to protect it from
blast or radiation. Once removed from a robot, however, the same Generators
can be used to create cube-shaped `walls' of energy. Obtaining such items
would be extremely beneficial to the mission.
The fourth PMS is the Auto-Repair function. This is a sophisticated
monitoring and recycling unit, which can provide replacement parts or bypass
systems for virtually all the Power Armour's many functions - including
itself. The operative can immediately gauge the status through the Helmet
Display. By putting the AR system on-line, and selecting those systems to be
repaired, the operative can maintain systems integrity following any
Obviously, if the AR unit is itself damaged, priority should be given to its
repair. The AR system also works best with more power on-line, and with the
other PMS systems shut down.
The final PMS controls the Sensory arrays. With this on-line, several sub-
systems are activated. First the Doppler Detection operates through the Ring
Indicator; moving objects show up as green lights on the display. This takes
no account of the distance or altitude of the object. Second, the Ring
Indicator functions as a Jump Gauge during powered leaps, and as an impact
Gauge at the end of a fall. Third, the Pitch and Compass Indicators come on-
line. Finally, the Sensors can receive incoming data from remote cameras.
We have obtained two standard cameras and placed them in the Power Armour's
Cellular Backpack. The Volunteer can operate four cameras altogether, of
either type. Clearly, if one could be found, a Parrot would be extremely
useful. The standard cameras (plus any others discovered in the Complex) are
best placed at a junction or other point from which an attack might be
launched. Alternatively, the status of certain rooms within the Complex -
such as power plants - could be monitored from afar.
Other equipment, such as alternative weapons or specialised security
devices, can be either operated directly with the PA system or remotely. The
ballistic shape of the Fuel Cells suggest that these could be fired from some
kind of Missile Launcher, if such could be discovered. More advanced control
devices similar to the Sonic Key may also exist. Such items can be affixed to
the left shoulder port on the backpack, and operated through the Secondary
Systems Display. Other equipment, such as a captured Field Generator would
have to be placed on the floor before activation.
The Sonic Key will operate such devices as they will most other systems
within the Complex. Most require the correct Key sequences to be played. The
Interrogate function will trick certain of these systems to divulge their
codes, and additional codes for more advanced equipment must be sought.
(1) Fuel is your lifeline. You must find additional sources of energy
quickly, to provide more power for the PA. The most readily-available source
are the robots; these will eject Fuel Cells or Energy Banks if critically
damaged (and some of the larger robots have self-sustaining nuclear power,
which would reduce your dependance). For that reason alone, it is important
not to waste firepower in destroying robots - use the minimum amount of
force. Create stores of cells in safe parts of the Complex. It is also
conceivable that the central energy sources of the Complex itself might be
(2) You can husband your limited power supply through switching Primary
systems off. However, it is not recommended that the Shield or Sensors be
left off when entering a potentially `hot' area. Finding a safe place to hide
allows you to turn off all other systems while repairs take place. Always
repair the Auto-Repair first; it will then service the other systems more
(3) Field Generators in their unattached (cuboid) form have a variety of
potential uses. Certainly, they can provide a shield from hostile fire, or to
block a doorway. Think creatively. Your PA's Jump capability means you could
shelter behind a field, and pop up to fire at hostile forces. Remember to
keep the Field Generator replenished with fuel for as long as it is useful to
you, and turn it off (with the Sonic Key) when it is not.
(4) The Parrot camera is an invaluable tool. If used carefully, it makes an
excellent scout (although it has no means to open locked doors or to operate
elevators). It can also provide a remote means to plan an ambush, or to keep
watch while your power down the shield and weapons to make repairs.
(5) Observation is the key! The Complex's original makers and the
technicians who served it were only human - there are many places where they
left mnemonics and other memory-jogging devices to remind them how to
activate systems or bypass destructive equipment. There may even be a
schematic map of the Complex somewhere. You must also keep searching for
additional Sonic Key codes; for every obstacle, there is a solution,
(6) Communications Rooms are your only means of contact with the outside
world. Use them whenever you can - you never know when you might run into
something lethal round the next corner. Treat them just like a Save Game
option in one of those 20th Century computer games - we might just be able to
pick up from where you left off.
(7) Watch out for blast damage from explosions. Watch out for your own
weapons if you fire them in an enclosed space. Watch out for fixed Plasma
Generators. Watch out for any energy-carrying devices. In fact, just watch
out for everything!
The top half of the Power Armour is winched down, and locked in place. The
scurrying technicians make their last adjustments, then you are
unceremoniously wheeled out towards the Defence Complex. The suit comes alive
as you activate the Internal Energy Matrix.
A voice crackles over the ear implant.
"Time to go son. We've just got time to pass on a few last-minute
enhancements the back room boys added in the last few minutes."
"First, you can get a more detailed look at what the cameras pick up. Press
F5 while a camera is active, and the view will go to full screen. Press F5
again to return to the normal view."
"You can record the Power Armour's PMS settings at any time by pressing
SHIFT + FUNCTION KEY. This allows you to set up configurations for Combat,
Auto-Repair, Jump etc. You can access stored configurations by pressing
CONTROL + FUNCTION KEY. Its up to you which configurations you store where."
"Finally, though its pretty hard to map the inside of the Complex, you might
be able to make some sort of Topographic plan. We've worked out as much as we
can of the Complex, and that information is now in your possession. Each time
you pause the game by pressing F8m you can get the ID NUMBER for the room you
are in. That might make it easier to keep a record of the Complex. The rest
is up to you."
"Thats all we can do to help, boy. Now, all we can do is wish you luck...
and watch and wait. You come back now... y'hear!"
F1-F4 Energy bank on/off toggle for each of the four banks (if fitted).
F9 Interrogate (activate Sonic Key in interrogate mode).
F10 Jump. Hold down to build up jump power to max dependant on power
available to PA. Release to jump.
<> Slide icon strip left/right to select backpack item or Sonic Key
SPACE Pick up/drop an object (depending on weather item selected) or load
icon into Sonic Key for playback.
RETURN Play the Keycode loaded into the Sonic Key.
S+FKEY Save current PA setup onto function key.
C+FKEY Restore PA setup from that function key.
9 & 3 Move the multi-function display between its three modes
7 & 1 Weapon/camera select, depending upon mode.
LEFT/RIGHT Select PA system for control.
UP Toggle selected PA system on/off.
DOWN Toggle selected PA system repair status on/off.