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Hard Nova walkthrough

HARD NOVA Walkthrough

   Part 1


 This walkthru of HARD NOVA is divided into three parts. Part 1 contains basic
game mechanics information and should be considered a supplement to the manual
Part 2 is the walkthru; Part 3 contains location information for the
hopelessly lost.


 As in any role-playing game, character development is necessary to win;
however,in HARD NOVA, the player has an additional problem: You cannot dismiss
a character that has been added to your party. Several characters you find 
duplicates of each other in their abilities to help you win. Others exist only
for one mission and have no other use. This means the player must decide what
characters are to be developed. All characters can gain experience points, but
key characters need to be sent on ground missions to gain the extra points
needed to properly develop their abilities.

Experience points can be gained only in combat.In ground combat each character
gains points by just inflicting damage on the attackers. In space combat every
character shares equally in the points gained by damaging an enemy ship.
Characters who are sent to the ground in an away team gain the most points due
to ground combat. Your ground squad is limited to three members,and Stark/Nova
must be the squad leader. You can have less than a full squad. There is a slot
(the recruit slot) for a fourth character; however, any character in that slot
remains there only until you return to the ship. This is an important point to
remember since it makes a significant difference at one point in the game.


 Each time your character reaches a new level, you are given ability points to
spread around your abilities. The number of ability points your character gets
is based on the Aptitude ability. When Aptitude is 8, your character gets 3
ability points. When Aptitude is 11, your character gets 4 ability points. So,
you get one additional ability point with every 3-point increase in Aptitude.
The maximum level for Aptitude is 20. This is a very important ability to
increase quickly and early on.


 This ability determines how fast your character can shoot in ground combat.It
is very important to increase this ability as soon as you can for characters
who will be sent on ground missions. This ability determines the Speed as
shown on page 31 of the manual. A Speed of 10 or better is needed; a Speed of
15 or better is preferred.


 This ability determines how many hit points your character gets with each
increase in level and is crucial to ground combat successes.A Fitness of 10 or
better is needed; however, this ability can be increased gradually.


 This ability determines your character's accuracy with Standard Weapons. It
determines the "To Hit" value on the screen on page 31 of the manual. You want a
To Hit of 50% or better.A To Hit of 95% is the maximum your character can get;
there is no point in increasing Firearms once your character reaches 95%.
Firearms are the only weapons you will find in the early part of the game, so
this ability should be increased early. This ability is only of use to
characters in your ground squad.


 This ability determines your character's accuracy with Special Weapons.You do
not have to increase this ability until you find some Special Weapons.When you
do find Special Weapons, it's better to not use them until a character has
enough points in Special Weapons to have a To Hit of 50% or better.


 This ability determines your character's accuracy with melee weapons. Melee
weapons are generally useless in this game; you can ignore this ability.


 This ability is added to Firearms, Special Weapons, or Close Combat to
determine the To Hit percentage.Increasing this ability is not as effective as
increasing the actual weapon ability, but it does apply to all weapons.


 This ability applies only to Nova or Stark and is generally not necessary. It
is used in conjunction with grenades.


 This ability generally is not useful except for darcators; all the darcators
you can add to your party have this ability at a very high level already.


 The Ship-Based abilities are fairly straightforward.They should be at least 8
to be effective but are really only effective when they reach 10 or better.The
exceptions are Programming and Star Comm. Your ship starts out with Level B
Programming. You cannot safely increase the programming until Programming
ability reaches 12. Thereafter, you can safely increase the programming level
one level for every additional point. You cannot do effective ship scanning
until Star Comm reaches 14 or better.


 Close combat weapons are useless; ignore them. Upgrade weapons as fast as
possible. There are three exceptions to this rule.First,the SMG-70X has a high
rate of fire and can compensate for a low Speed. Second,Special Weapons should
not be used until a character has a high To Hit percentage; otherwise,you just
waste ammo. The third exception involves ammo. You can only carry a limited
supply of ammo.To avoid having one character run out of ammo,you should try to
have everyone use weapons that use the same ammo because then you can share.Of
course, if you find an exceptionally powerful weapon,then you should use it as
soon as someone has a high To Hit percentage with that weapon.


 Upgrade all armor as fast as you can. The only warning about armor is that it
can reduce your character's Speed stat.Your selection of who wears the armo
may depend on how it effects their Speed.Also,the enemy mainly shoots at the
lead character.That character should always have the best available armor and
highest hit points or he will die early and often.Similarly,the lead character
in the ground squad should have the best medical lining you can find.


 Dropped objects do NOT disappear; they stay around for you to pick up later.
Pass cards are one-use items and should be dropped as soon as they are used.
When in doubt, drop the object. Objects only disappear when you sell them or
give them away.


 To give an object, make it the top item in the pool.Then,target the person to
whom you wish to give the object,go into the inventory screen(shown on page 13
of the manual),and press "I" to give the object. It will vanish from the pool.
Next, press "F7" (Talk) to get the result of giving the object.WARNING: Giving
an object deletes it from the game. If you give something to the wrong person,
it is gone. So save before giving anything away!

 Only the lead character can use an object. To use an object, put it in the
inventory of the lead character. The "Use" option will automatically come up
when you reach the place where the object can be used.


 Different shops sell different items at different prices. They will also pay
different prices for items.Be sure to keep good notes on what is sold where &
for what price. Sold objects disappear,so do not sell something unless you are
sure that you no longer need it.


 In general,any character that shows up as a blue dot is a friendly and should
not be killed. However, in some situations, a blue-dot character is really an
enemy. The blue dot is just an indicator that you should talk to the character
first, then you can kill him or her. This should be obvious from the story


 In most cases, a dead enemy stays dead; however, in some mazes, dead enemies
regenerate. In these mazes doing ANYTHING that clears the maze screen
regenerates the enemy.This includes pressing "F9" to view data disks. Pressing
"F10" and immediately returning to the game without doing anything regenerates
the enemy. Once you find such a maze, be very careful when you clear off the
maze screen, or you will have to refight the entire battle all over again.

   Part 2


 Your first order of business is to recruit a new crew and make some money.

 Making money is easy: Smuggle.At first,just smuggle to Tikorr. The payoff is
low but the trips are short and easy. Ariel is very dangerous and should be
avoided unless you are going there anyway for other reasons. Ciberan is also
very dangerous but has a very high payoff.Smuggle to Ciberan as soon as you
are ready for the big bucks. The key to being a successful smuggler is get in
fast and get out fast: don't stick around to fight.

You start off on Mastassini where you can easily pick up Ace Elcator in the
bar immediately.On Tikorr,there are two cities.In the bar of one, you can pick
up Cerallon.Galejay is in the bar at the other city,but you need to get a Grav
Blocker for him before he will join. Galejay makes an excellent Gunner. These
are the only people you can recruit initially. You can pick up a Grav Blocker
later in the game.

 GET A'KRI JANR OFF THE GROUND SQUAD ASAP. You cannot win the game if he dies.
He is useless in ground combat and is easily killed. He cannot be replaced.

 The robot maze on Mastassini is a safe way to get experience points. The maze
is also a long and boring way to get experience points,but its usefulness ends
quickly. The maze is a multi-level maze,so search each floor carefully to find
the entrance to the next level. When you can survive the fourth level, your
characters have exhausted the usefulness of the robot maze.


 This is the first mission and rather tough if you jump right into it.A little
training in the robot maze is nice to have before taking on this mission.It is
also a good idea to upgrade your equipment before heading out. Locating the
shops is left as an exercise for the player, but you can buy flak vests, rush
AMLs, SMG-70Xs, and M23-30ARs; the prices are quite high.You will have to make
quite a few smuggling runs to afford everything.

 The tanker is one of the ships hanging around the star gate in the Ciberan
system.Just target ships until you find a Ciberan tanker that you can board.If
you cannot board, you have the wrong tanker. Good tactics are the keys to
winning this battle. Isolate each hijacker and overwhelm them with superior
numbers. Trapping them in a room is best, but if you can keep the other
hijackers off screen,you can isolate individual hijackers in the hallways. You
need to give the hijackers' leader's head to Kendal as proof of your success.


 You get this assignment at the same time as you get the Ciberan assignment. It
is an optional side mission,but it also has the right difficulty level for
your characters at this stage of the game.It is worthwhile doing this
assignment first. The mission is simple: You are given a location. Once you
arrive, you are given another location. From that location you get the
location of the Lanta leaders. Talk to them before killing them for an
interesting side story. The gems you get as loot should be sold. The best
price is found locally.


 You are also given the location of Amaro when you get the Ciberan assignment.
He is a good fighter to add your party,but you have to do something for him.
What you have to do is obvious.Read the section in Part 1 on "Using and Giving
Objects." Roger comes with some nice weapons that he will share; however, at
this point the best thing to do with his weapons is store them for later use.


 This is the main mission that will lead to the endgame.It is a long, involved
mission that will take several tries to complete.You must recruit Janai or you
cannot hope for success.Both Janai and Cerallon are qualified to be the ship's
Technician, but only one of them can take that position. You have to chose how
to assign these two.

 The first step is to talk to Sebastian in Meridian city. He gives the first
location to go to. The first three locations are Ciberan bases. Help the
defenders clear out the invading Arielans, then talk to them to find out where
to go next. At the third Ciberan base, an Ariel soldier will tell you the
location of the main Ariel base.

 At the Ariel invasion base, you will find General Camede Rodgen. Talk to her
first before killing her.You must kill her to proceed to the next step.She has
the pass card you need to see Damien on Ariel.The Ariel base is the largest
and most complicated maze in the same. Part 3 contains information on how to
get around the maze.


 To find Damien,you must show your prowess by killing his guards in Ariel city
(they're on the top floor)One of the Arielans is a rebel spy who will give you
the location of the rebels' secret base. There, you will get the location of
Damien's headquarters. While you are in Ariel city, talk to the people in the
bar. Two of them will be important later on. You can find a Grav Blocker for
Galejay somewhere Ariel city.

 Taking out Damien is a two-part mission. First,talk to Damien.The entrance to
his office is in the northwest corner of the floor. Once you see him, you must
fight your way past his guard because the way you came in is closed off.
Remember the people you talked to in the Ariel city bar?One of them is the key
to defeating Damien. Recruit that person and head straight back to Damien.That
gives you four squad members to fight your way past the guards again. An extra
set of kevlar armor and rush AML is useful to have at this point.However,it is
a good idea to hold off taking out Damien until you have seen what is going on
at Rouyn.


Your assignment is to get rid of the probes that have been attacking the miner
at Rouyn. They will point you to a DSRE base on Tikorr. Talk to the people at
the bars on Tikorr.One of them knows the location of the base.The DSRE base is
a dead end for now, but you learn the location of the Darcator base there.

 At this point the probes have turned into a major invasion of aliens: the
Typhon.Board one of their ships and retrieve data disks "R" & "S." With those
data disks you can go back to Ariel and take out Damien. You can learn
something interesting about the disks from Damien. After you get that
information, you can go back to the DSRE base.


You will find a Delta Coro force besieging the DSRE base.You have to kill them
and find a way past the DSRE security robots. Locate the blue button on the
first floor before trying to enter the research area. You cannot get past the
stun level; you can only bypass it. The first trip will be a dead end but it's
necessary. Once you have the information on the Typhon data disks from Damien,
the DSRE scientists will give you the solution to the Typhon problem.

 There are two possible endings to the game based on what you decide to do at
that point.You will find Alice and Waldro at the DSRE base. Alice is not worth
recruiting; however, Waldro will lead you to the Darcator base where you may
pick up a very good engineer and some really nice weapons.


 The Bremer ship is the asteroid that is farthest away from Rouyn (outside the
cluster of asteroids near Rouyn).Find the data disk on the Bremer ship and you
will know the name of the person on Ariel you need to recruit to get the
Bremers to help you. That ends the game.


 This is an optional side mission. Because of their stealth, only one Darcator
is visible at a time. The key to winning this fight is to isolate the visible
Darcator since that is the only Darcator you can shoot at. Pressing the space
bar will cycle through all potentially visible Darcators.This mission is worth
doing for the loot. The only thermocaster in the game is here.


 There is no way to find this base except to stumble upon it. Look for a
shielded area on Holbrook; the base is somewhere under the shield.Nothing will
happen here until AFTER you clear out the Delta Coros at the DSRE base. Then,a
very interesting side story will be revealed.


 You need to board one Typhon warship(not a probe ship)and retrieve data disks
"R" & "S." Once you defeat Damien Altron, he will translate the disks for you.

   Part 3


 The Ariel invasion base has four floors. The floors are usually divided into
sections that cannot be reached from the same floor; you need to go to another
floor to get to those sections. The following is a rough map of the floors.The
number indicates the floor number and the letter is a section name.For example
"2B"is Section B on Floor 2.This section can only be reached from Section A on
Floor 3 or Section A on Floor 1. You enter the base on Floor 1.

          |                                       |
     +---3A         +-3B-----------------------+  |
     |              |                          |  |
     |   +----------+             +---------+  |  |
     |   |  +------------+        |         |  |  |
     |   2A-+     +--2B  | +- 2C  | +- 2D   +- 2E |
     |            |   |  | |      | |   |         |
     +------------+   |  | |      | |   +---------+
         +------------+  | |   +--+ |
         |               | |   |    |
         1A          1B -+ |  1C ---+
         |            |    |  ||  1B to 2C elevator requires
         |            +----+  ||  the 391A pass card. General
         0A-------------------+|  Camede Rodgen is at 2C.
         |                     |

 The following is a list of pass cards used in the game:

 CIB    Given by Janai           Meridian City
 391A   Ciberan base at 747,348
         and Ariel City          Ariel invasion base on Ciberan
 174J   Ciberan base at 747,348  Ariel City
 942Z   General Rodgen has it    Damien Altron's secret base
 845B   Rouyn mining bases       Rouyn main mining base


 There are three abandoned Zero-L bases on Holbrook at 790,408, 1309,409, and
1126,190. Visit them to grab some useful loot.