Abandonware DOS title

Iron Seed manual


Techbook and Trials Guide
Quick Start Manual

Part I. Features


2.5 Meg of compressed video data conveys a universe that is both rich and
vibrant having believability and depth unparalleled by any other science
fiction world.  From the glint in the Sengzhac's eye to the grotesque squirming
of the worm-like D'Pahk each alien race is unique in its movement and alive
with animation.


We present to you a sound track that is as dark and seductive as the world of
Ironseed.  Using one of the most advanced realtime digital mixers available for
the PC we bring you a soundtrack unmatched by any non-CD game title.  After
nearly eight months of work on the sound alone we present a combination of
modern dance, classical, and eastern elements in Dolby Surround that form a
powerful musical score.  The Dual Module Player mixes digital samples in
realtime allowing for smaller sound files.  The sound stays under 10 Meg while
supporting over an hour of playback at up to 44 kilobytes per sec.  That's an
effective data compression ratio of over 16 to one!  DMP also supports a wide
range of audio cards... Sound Blaster compatibles as well as the complete Sound
Blaster family, the Aria, and the Gravis Ultra Sound.


With a backdrop 4 years in the making and a story line equivalent to a 250 page
novel, the universe of Ironseed is a dynamic one.  There are 10 established
empires and the possibility for a thousand others that evolve as the game is
played.  Your struggle to unite the free worlds will take you from the trade
circles of the Guild to the mystic home of the Quai Tetrad. You will be deigned
the voice of the Icon and as their liaison will be the only defense against the
scavenger armada.  Ironseed... the ship... the movement... and now, the last
hope for mankind.

Part II. System and Environment

 A. Minimal System Requirements

     Basic Program:
      - 80386 processor
      - 25 MHz clock speed
      - VGA card and monitor
      - 530,000 bytes of low memory
      - MSDOS 4.0
      - MS compatible mouse

     Sound Setup:
      - Aria, ProAudio Spectrum family, Sound Blaster family,
        Gravis UltraSound or a compatible of one of these sound
      - 1 Mb of EMS memory
      - 600,000 bytes of low memory

 B. System Recommendations

      - 80486 processor
      - math co-processor
      - 33 MHz, 50 MHz for best performance
      - accelerated video board
      - disk cache TSR program
      - ram disk TSR program
      - 615,000 bytes of low memory

Part III. Installation

To install the program, follow these steps:

 A.  Boot the computer.

 B.  Insert the first disk into the floppy drive.

 C.  Type A: (or the appropriate floppy drive) followed by a
     carriage return.

 D.  Type ISDEMO also followed by a carriage return.  The installer will run.

 E.  Follow the prompts for the installation.

Part IV. Optimizing Your System

 A.  Try running a disk cache program such as Smartdrive.  This
     will allow frequently accessed data to remain in memory
     longer rather than in the slower access disk drive.  Optimal
     size is about 1 Mb for 4 Mb of RAM or 2 Mb for 8 Mb of RAM.

 B.  Set an environment variable 'TEMP' to a ram disk such as
     Ramdrive.  This is simply a 'SET TEMP=' and the drive letter
     of the ram disk in the autoexec.bat file.  Make sure that
     the ramdisk has at least 128 kb.

 C.  Disable any TSR's that require large amounts of the
     processor's time.  Even a simple keyboard enhancer can steal
     valuable time from the CPU.

Part V. Trouble Shooting

 A. Sound Failure:

    Make sure that the sound card is installed correct, volume
    turned up sufficiently and there is at least 1 Mb of EMS

 B. Open File or Fatal File Error:

    Make sure that your current directory contains the Ironseed
    executable and all the subdirectories such as data, sound,
    and saved games.  Test your hard drive for failures in case a
    file has been corrupted.

 C. Out of memory Error:

    The program itself, Is.exe,  requires about 600k of low
    memory.  If sound is used this may increase.  It is important
    to note that the main program will not run with less memory.

Part VI. The Story So Far...

It is the thirty-eighth century.  The fall of Earth is but a legend and
humanity has migrated to a terraformed Mars.  The Pentateuch, a group of five
preists, rules the newly risen technocracy with an iron fist.

In a bold attempt to eliminate the last of their political opponents, the five
began the purgation trials.  With guerilla tactics their followers went about
convicting those who would oppose them.

To counter them an underground movement was initiated and an elaborate plan was
conceived.  A virus was spread throughout the circuit matrix.  A thousand days
from inception, the virus was scheduled to delete all personality files.  The
Ironseed movement as it was called, hoped that by stealing a ship they could
escape... leaving behind Mars... and the Pentateuch.  Their intent was to
return after the fall of the technocracy. ...but a computer malfunction turned
a thousand days into a thousand years...

As the captain, you are awakened along with the crew by an alien horde.   After
a brief dialogue, communication is cut off and they attack. The game begins as
the attack ends.

Part VII. In The Beginning...

After the introduction you should see the Ironseed logo floating above a
starfield.  At the bottom of this screen four options will be listed:

A. Ordering Info
     How to get the full game.

B. Continue Game

Choosing this option will bring up a listing of save game slots for previous
games you have saved along with the game-date. If no games have been saved or
if you have not selected your crew to begin your quest these slots should read
"Quick Start 2/3784." If this is the case you may either select one of these
and use the default crew and ship or you may choose cancel.  Cancelling will
bring you back to the Ironseed logo. (Use the Quick Start for Slow is you have
less then a 486/33.)

C. Introduction

     Choosing this option will run the introduction again.

D. Quit to Dos

     Choosing this option will exit the program to the dos

Part VIII. Main Screen

The Main Screen is the screen to which you are born and it is the screen to
which you must always return.  It is divided up into three main sections: The
Primary Display, the InfoBox and the Command Cube.

The Primary Display is the upper half of the Main Screen.  This is the area
through which the world outside your ship can be seen.  You should be able to
see the planet or star you are orbiting on the left hand side of this display.

The InfoBox occupies the lower left hand side of the Main Screen. When the
ship's computer or the crew have an important message for you it will be appear
there.  The InfoBox will store the last 24 messages. You may scroll up and down
through these messages by using the scroll bar and arrows to the right of the

Your ship has three different modes of operation: Rest mode, Alert mode, and
Combat mode.  Depending on which of these modes your ship is in your weapon
power and shield level will vary.  For quick switch to a different mode select
the Panic button from the bottom left of the main screen, doing so will toggle
your ship mode (Rest, Alert, and Combat modes turn the Panic Button green,
yellow, and red respectively.)  If you are in Rest mode the Panic Button will
raise your shields and arm your weapons taking you into Combat mode.  If you
are in Combat mode the Panic Button will lower your shields and power down your
weapons. If you have no damage you will return to Rest mode.  If you have taken
damage you will instead power down to Alert mode.

As captain of the Ironseed, you directly control the actions of your six
primary officers.  These crew members can be accessed through the six faces of
the Command Cube found in the lower right corner of the main screen.

The cube is laid out as follows:
(Psy) Psychometry             (Sec) Security

(Eng) Engineering             (Ast) Astrogation

(Sci) Science                 (Med) Medical

Keyboard Substitutes:

  Command Cube Manipulation    Other Keys
  _________________________    __________

Q or F1        W E R              T or F4
A or F2        S D F              G or F5
Z or F3        X C V              B or F6

Alt-Q,Alt-X    Quit
Spacebar       Clear Right Display
ESC            Clear All Displays
Esc=Curved Arrow button=Universal Exit

Part IX. Secondary Controls

Some displays will open an icon bar at the top of the main screen.  For these
displays, the keyboard equivalents are as follows:

 Position  Key
 ________  __________
   1..4    Arrow Keys
      5    Space Bar
      6    1
      7    2
      8    3

For most other screens, Arrows Keys, +, -, 1, 2, 3, Q, W, E, and ? have some
effect depending on the operation of the screen.  ESC is the universal
cancel/exit key.Part X. Start Hints


While a complete scan of every planet is not necessary, it is recommended.  It
is always better to be thorough to avoid missing anything. In order to speed
this process it is best to focus on building a full troupe of probots.  Once
you have four the scans can be done two at a time.

In general it is better to scan for anomalies first.  This way you can retrieve
them while the other scans are being completed.  Retrieve all anomalies you
find; many of them are useful.  Those that have no immediate use can be traded

When sending down probes to a visibly viable world (i.e. lush green, life
bearing) you should beware of the inhabitants. Because of the heat and light
generated during atmospheric entry, the probes are particularly visible,
vulnerable to being scanned. From time to time if the populace of a world is
technologically advanced they will capture or destroy probes sent to study

Because of the intense surface heat suns are not hospitable to probes.  When
cooler suns actually have temperatures that fall within the tolerance range for
the probe thermashielding, the occasional flare or solar prominence will finish
the device. Until advancements can be made in the design of the device,
scanning a solar body is not recommended.

Fuel Economy:

Conserving fuel in the beginning is crucial.  In order to continue your travels
you will need to build more fuel nodules. To avoid scavenging your probots and
manufactories for fuel it is essential that you collect as many anomalies as
possible before your initial fuel allowance is exhausted.  Previous deep ship
captains suggest the closest body travel algorithm.  This exploration method
involves travelling to whatever happens to be the nearest system to you in the
local star map.  As trite and simplistic as this may seem it tends to keep fuel
use low while maximizing the systems visited.

Research and Design:

In order for your crew to advance in ability they must expand their knowledge
base through research.  Unfortunately, this requires their time and often, a
great deal of their resources.  Yet the benefit of knowledge is great.  By
increasing the knowledge base of each crew member you increase the number and
variety of items that can be designed and built by the engineer.   A small
green light will appear next to the crew member, in the main screen, by the
cube whenever he or she is researching.  Because of the enormous amount of time
and resource it takes to research, some activities may not be performed at the
same time research is conducted.  When such a time arrives the crew member will
end his research and continue with the task assigned to them.  It is important
to keep those research lights green.  When at all possible your crew should be


Upgrading your ship and building new items is the best strategy to surviving a
hostile environment.  Spending time to build better offensive, defensive, and
other devices is well worth it.  Even Leopold Demasque, military genius of the
Final War agreed: Bigger ships and bigger guns = A better chance.  The only
draw back of continually upgrading your ship is the amount of time it takes.
Some devices, especially the most powerful weapons and shields, are very
complex and require crew members to have a great deal of knowledge.  Vast
amounts of components and materials may also be required to construct these
vicious devices. We've come along way since caves and kill sticks, eh?


Minebots and manufactories can be left on planets to collect and process the
indigenous ores and gases.  After returning to the system, these devices will
have filled the planetary cache.  This is a cheap way to gather much needed
materials and components.  Scanning the planet beforehand will tell the type of
items that can be gathered or created by the bots.


Trading with other lifeforms is another way to help create that massive weapon
or device.  Depending on how you barter you can affect the congeniality of the
aliens you encounter.  Because of the size of these empires it may take a long
time for news to travel. However, everyone likes a good deal, but continue to
cheat in your trades and they will become angered.


Talking to the crew can help you, the captain, remember your objective as well
as helping you to understand your ship and the universe around you.  The crew
are privy to a wealth of information and to access that knowledge you have but
to ask. Depending on the races you have encountered and the number of times of
you have encountered them the crew will have different things to say about
each.  Race names are a good starting keyword for questioning.  Most other
subjects will arise from those topics.

Detailed Command Guide


1 Psych. Evaluation
2 Ship Hail
3 Planetary Communication
4 Crew Status
5 Psychometric Research
6 Crew Communication

1. Psychological Evaluation

Moving between stars requires your vessel to travel at speeds near the speed of
light.  Unfortunately, the amount of force necessary to drive a ship at those
speeds grows exponentially the closer one gets to light speed.  In order to cut
down on fuel consumption any unnecessary mass was left behind.  This
'unnecessary' mass included the quarter of a million bodies that made up the

Not to worry.  The marvels of modern science have made a fine art of
personality containment.  Before the bodies of your crew were disposed of, the
magnetic signature of their brains were copied, or encoded, into the ship's
computer. This has several interesting side effects.  First of all, it is
possible to make adjustments to a person's psychological attributes.  Multiple
copies of an 'encode' may also be made.

The transparent container on the left side of the screen contains the physical
manifest of an encode.  When psychological containment was in its infancy it
was discovered that for a soul to have permanence it had to have a physical
focus.  After hundreds of years of trial and error it a very specific chemical
bath was found to contain the proper staying materials to keep a soul viable.
The material itself is called Ego Synth, while the chamber into which it is
placed is termed the Psychotropic Enhancement Chamber.

A personality is defined by its biorhythms, the three primary attributes by
which any personality encode may be described.  These are mental prowess,
physical viability, and emotional strength.  Selecting evaluate will allow you
to see an encode's biorhythmic graph.  The tick marks to the right of the graph
show the mental, physical, and emotional ratings for that encode.  The higher
the mental rating, the greater that person's Skill; The higher the physical
rating, the quicker that person's Performance; The higher the emotional rating,
the greater that person's sanity.  While these aren't equal, they are directly
related.  The combination of these values determine the resulting color of the

Accessing the Encode function near the top left of this screen will bring up
the menu for encoding a crew member.  For each crew member there exists a
backup chip to which that crew member may be saved.  At times it may be
necessary to restore an encode.  The continual psychological drain of having no
physical body combined with the rigors of ship duties will erode an encode.  In
order to restore a person's sanity it may become necessary to restore that
person's encode (hopefully you will have saved the encode at a point at which
they were sane.)  The draw back of re-encoding a personality is that you will
lose any experience they may have gained between saves.  The other option is to
have engineering continually manufacture Mind Enhancers.  While Mind Enhancers
will raise their lowest attribute they are expensive to manufacture and will
eventually run your cargo dry.  Obviously there is quick solution.  You must
maintain a balance between these two.  Encode when the crew is doing well and
be sure to manufacture Mind Enhancers when you have spare components.

2. Ship Hail

Ship Hail will allow you to communicate with any nearby ships.  If no ship is
present the Com-Screen will be full of static.  All you can do at this point is
exit the screen.

Since the only lifeforms that speak your language are onboard your ship it is
essential that you establish some basis of communication.  If there is a ship
nearby your psychometrist will attempt to establish a cypher key.  If the
aliens cooperate some form of lingual key will transmitted to your ship and
talks may begin.  Occasionally a race may have a language so different from our
own that an adequate translation matrix is difficult if not impossible.  If
this is the case, the ship's computer will do the best it can with what it has
to work with.  To communicate with a race with which you have established
contact you simply enter keywords of interest.  The computer will construct an
appropriate translation using the cypher key.  Any responses from the other
ship will be appropriately translated.

Another useful function of the Com-Screen is the info bar.  By selecting this
button the ship's computer will scan the alien vessel and will tell you all it
can about it.

Let's talk trade

Nearly every sapient race founded itself on commerce.  Trade between nearby
communities harbored a sense of unity and eventually brought whole nations
together.  The importance of trade can not be overstated.  Even now as ships
pass between stars trade is essential.

As captain of your ship you will be responsible for conducting commercial
negotiations.  Be wary of who you deal with.  Bad deals abound.  On the other
hand, be sure not to cheat your friends; they'll remember.

Steps to completing a barter:

You've just transmitted your intent to trade to the other ship.  The alien
craft is silent for a moment and then the message is received, "Yes... we agree
to trade with you, filthy human."  What can you expect? You're new here.
You're lucky they haven't already destroyed you.

What type of money will we be buying our exotic wares with?  None. With empires
rising and falling like waves on a Thydizian beachfront there's no reason to
believe anybody's currency is worth anything at all. We'll be trading strictly
in hardware.  What do you have that I want? That'll be the question of the day.
Bartering, my friend.  That's how things are done in space.

1st: Select an item to Buy.

Scroll through the list on the left of the Message Area until you have
highlighted an item of interest.  To select this item for barter choose the
Barter For button (who'd a thought).  This will effectively say to your alien
friend, "I want this item."  Selecting Reject will remove or touching the Exit
Arrow will deselect the item

2nd: Choose what you are willing to give in exchange.

The left hand side of the Message Area should now be the list of items in your
cargo hold.  You'll want to choose an item or set of items that have a net
worth equivalent to or slightly less than what you are bartering for.  This
isn't as complicated as it sounds.  Put simply, if you're asking for 5 apples
you don't offer a truck load of oranges in return.  You'll want to offer
something worth the same as 5 apples (that is unless you really don't like

To add an item to the list, select the Add button from the center of the
Message Area.  As you add things to the list you'll notice the space between
the Accept and Reject buttons changing colors.  This space is called the Barter
Gauge.  This is a simple computerized evaluation of the deal your about to
make.  If only part of the bar is full, the aliens want more.  If the bar is
green and fully lit, the aliens accept the offer and are willing to commit to
the trade.  If the bar is red and fully lit, the aliens are ecstatic and you
have offered them entirely too much.

In the event that your Barter Gauge goes red you'll probably be wanting to
subtract a few items from the list.  To do this you should highlight the item
you wish removed from the list.  Once you've done that select the Remove button
and the item will be returned to your cargo list.

It is important to note that the more difficult something is to manufacture the
more it is worth.  Complex devices like shields and weapons are worth
substantially more than the basic elements that comprise them.

3rd:  Accepting an offer.

Once you've completed the bartering process you'll be wanting to complete the
deal by swapping the materials you selected.  To do this you should select the
Accept button from the right side of the Message Area.  If the deal is
acceptable to your alien friends they will send a cargo pod to your vessel and
the trade will be complete.  If they don't like the deal you're making they
will simply do nothing.  In theory they are waiting for you to regain your
sanity... thinking that your poor decision making skills are the result of
short term brain damage.

4th: Ok. Ok.  How do you exit a sale before it's too late?!

If you want to deselect an item before a sale is made choose the Reject button.
If you're paranoid and you want to exit Trade completely, select the Exit Arrow
from the right side of the screen.

5th: I've made a sale but I changed my mind.

Indian giver!  You gave your word.  You made the sale... Now you want your
stuff back?!  If you're peaceful you'll just get over it.  If you're a
warmonger you'll fight them and hopefully recover the stuff from their burnt
out hulls.  In either case you screwed up.  Making a deal is concrete.  You
need to be sure you want to sell something before you say accept.

6th: I'm done trading

If you're done trading select the Exit Arrow.  This will return you to the
conversion.  From this point you may continue to converse with your alien

One man's junk is another man's treasure

Despite public opinion Worthless Junk actually has a value, however minute.
Since technologies from race to race vary widely it is often possible to get
away with giving garbage in exchange for valuable material.  While no race will
immediately refuse a wad of slag (hey, they don't know what it is) they will
eventually catch on to what is and isn't junk.  Continued use of Worthless Junk
as a bartering tool is not suggested.

3. Planetary Communication

This function is identical to Ship Hail function expect it deals with lifeforms
on the planet you are orbiting.

4. Crew Status

Crew descriptions, experience levels, and experience points may be viewed in
this area.  You can scroll through the crew by using the arrow keys.

5. Psychometric Research

This toggles your Psychometry officer's research status. Researching will
increase their knowledge base, or experience points. Do this whenever possible.

6. Crew Communication

Talking to the crew can help you, the captain, remember your objective as well
as helping you to understand your ship and the universe around you.  The crew
are privy to a wealth of information and to access that knowledge you have but
to ask. Depending on the races you have encountered and the number of times of
you have encountered them the crew will have different things to say about
each.  Race names are a good starting keyword for questioning.  Most other
subjects will arise from those topics.

Once you are in this area you have but to select the crew member you want to
talk to.  Their storage light will turn red and their image will appear in the
center of the screen.  You may then enter keywords of interest.  To speak to
another crew member just select the one you wish to address.


1 Damage Control
2 Shield Status
3 Weapon Status
4 Weapon Config.
5 Computer Logs
6 Engineering Rsrch.
7 Bot Control
8 Component Creation
9 Cargo Inventory

1. Damage Control

No system is infallible.  Things wear out; they break down.  If you're
particularly agressive things may even get blown up.  In any case, you're going
to want to repair the damage.  Dealing with damage is done through this cube

When accessed, the engineering team listing should appear on the right side of
the Primary Display.  Above this you should also appear a control bar with 8
buttons.  Of these pay attention to the three labeled Team 1, Team 2, and Team
3.  These three will take you to the list of ship systems.  To the right of
this list are the respective damage values for each system.  If all values are
zero everything is fine, throw yourself a party.  More often than not these
won't be zero. In that event you'll want to set your engineering teams to work.

To begin repair on a damaged system it's a simple matter of selecting the team
from the menu at the top and then choosing a damaged system from the list.  If
a team is occupied with another task (constructing a device, researching an
artifact) that team number will be to the left of OTHER. This is at the bottom
of the list.  Once you have given your orders you can clear this menu by
selecting CLS from the button bar at the top of the screen.

2. Shield Status

Since the time of the first war man has had to fashion tools of death.  Against
these tools man has had to defend himself with shields, however crude.  While
shields are no longer fashioned from bone and skins they still exist in one
form or another.

This function allows you to install a shield or to adjust the power levels of
your current shield.  When activated a shield menu should appear on the
right side of the Primary Display. At the top of this display should be the
name of the active shield and immediately below that should be the percentage
of shield damage.

You should also see three gauges showing the power levels for the different
alert modes.  The first of these is the REST mode, the second is the ALERT mode
and the third is COMBAT mode (for more info on ship modes see Main Screen
controls.)  Clicking on the gauge will set the power level for that particular
ship mode.

Clicking on the shield icon in the button bar above the shield menu will change
the shield menu to the shield description and installation menu.  Below the
active shield name you should see a list of four attributes: Sys. Damage, Max.
Energy, Protection, and Cargo Size.

System Damage is a redundant.  It has the same meaning as in the main shield
menu display.

Maximum Energy is the amount of Energy the shield will require when at maximum
power.  With the most powerful shields it is a good idea not to leave the
shield very high as it will tend to drain large amount of power from the
auxiliary power supply.

Protection is the total number of damage points a shield can deflect before
damage is taken by the ship itself.  The bigger the better.  It is important to
note that the total number of shield points will be split among the different
damage types.  The damage types and how the percentages affect the damage
absorption can be seen below.

Cargo Size is, as it suggests, the number of cubic meters the shield occupies
when uninstalled.

Below all this on the shield menu you should see the picture of the shielding
device next two four bar graphs.  These graphs represent the percentage
breakdowns for each damage type.  The damage types are as follows:

(P) Psionic Damage affects the viability of the personality containment
matrices.  Life support will be the first thing to go if the ship takes a major
hit from a psionic weapon.  The same can be said for your opponents.

(P) Particle Damage is taken from cannons which fire particle streams, whether
it be electron, proton, or neutron based.  Particle Damage can also be the
result of some device which corrupts the make up of matter itself.  While the
latter is often more destructive a good shield can still take the brunt of the

(I) Inertial Damage is the result of an explosive weapon.  Missles or weapons
of an explosive nature will result in Inertial Damage. Retroexplosive hull
coatings and advanced kinetodispersive barriers render such technology

(E) Energy Damage is taken from energy bolt weapons such as the whip. Weapons
such as these seek to fry the components of enemy computer systems.  While this
is all fine and good if it is the other guy you won't want it happening to you.
If at all possible have a shield with at least a nominal amount of Energy
Damage protection.

From this area you may also install another shield.  If a shield other than the
reflective hull is installed you will have to uninstall the current shield
before installing a new one.

Uninstalling Shields

When in the secondary shield menu you should see a plug-and-outlet icon in the
button bar.  Clicking on the plug in the out position will allow you to
'unplug' your current shield.

Installing Shields

Once you have no active shield you can continue by clicking on the
plug-in-the-socket in the button bar. This will allow you to pick the shield
from those in your cargo that you wish to install.

3. Weapon Status

When this function is first activated a list will appear on the right hand side
of the Primary Display.  This list will contain all of the weapons that are
currently installed on your ship.  Clicking the right arrow will show you a
breakdown of the weapon selected and, to scroll through the list while in this
mode, click up or down.  The values given for each weapon are identical in
meaning to those given for shields except for Damage.  It is obvious that this
value represents the amount of damage inflicted to the enemy instead of the
damage shielded.

4. Weapon Configuration

Selecting this function will bring up a layout of your ship's gun nodes.  This
is the Weapon Configuration menu and should fill the majority of the Primary
Display.  From this area you may install or remove weapons from your ship's

Installing a weapon

Start by selecting a gun node without a weapon already installed in it. (Gun
nodes are the locations along your ship hull at which a weapon may be placed.)
An empty node will appear as an black grey square on the Weapon Configuration
menu.  Select one of these nodes.  A selected node will have a red border along
its edge.

After you have an empty node selected you should select the plug- in-socket
icon from the button bar above the Weapon Configuration menu.  This will take
you to a list of weapons available in your cargo hold.  You will begin the game
with no weapons installed.  Fortunately you have a Dirk in your cargo hold.  It
would be a good idea to install it as soon as possible.

Later in the game (hopefully) you will have constructed other weapons.  These
will appear in the list at the left.  The right side of the display will
provide you with a breakdown of the highlighted weapon (see Weapon Status).

Once the item you want installed is highlighted, you may proceed with the
installation by again selecting the plug-in-socket icon from the button bar.

Removing a weapon

Perhaps you want to remove a weapon from your hull so that you can put another
in its place, perhaps keeping the engineering teams busy amuses you, or perhaps
your encode has lost integrity and you've gone mad... regardless of your
reasoning you've decided that you want to remove a weapon.

Select the weapon you want to remove from those shown in the Weapon
Configuration menu.  To remove the selected weapon choose the
plug-out-of-socket icon from the button bar.  You will be asked if you want to
proceed with the removal.  Better have a good reason to be removing that
weapon.  If it's your only one you'll have a lot of explaining to do to the
crew.  You never know when you'll be attacked, or by whom.  (For mindless
violence see Battle)

5. Computer Logs

As the captain, you make a note to enter into this virtual logbook all the
events of potential interest.  This command will take you to a list of these
entries.  Clicking on an entry title will begin Query Mode which allows you to
read the associated file.  To get back to the log entry list when in this mode
simply toggle Query Mode off by selecting the question mark near the top right
of the screen.  To scroll through the list of entries while in Query Mode use
the arrow keys on the screen.

6. Engineering Research

This toggles your Engineering officer's research status. Researching will
increase their knowledge base, or experience points. Do this whenever possible.

7. Bot Control

Any items in the planetary cache may be retrieved through this function.  By
choosing the out-of-the-box-arrow in the button bar above this menu, any
highlighted items will be retrieved by a probot.  You may also send items to
the planet's surface by clicking on the into-the-box- arrow in the button bar.
This will bring up your cargo list.  Highlight the item you want to send down
and choose the into-the-box-arrow a second time.  This will send a probot down
with the item.

Placing Bots

To send down a minebot or manufactory to process materials for later retrieval,
merely click on the Bot icon at the far right of the button bar.  Due to the
difficulty of processing foreign ores and working in hostile alien environments
it will take a minimum of one full cycle before any ores or materials can be
processed.  In general you will have to leave a system and return to it before
your bot will show progress.  Once the planetary cache is full the bots on that
planet will produce no more materials.  It will be necessary to remove those
items before production can continue.

Retrieving Bots

When you first enter the Bot Menu click on the bot icon on the far right of the
button bar.  This will allow you to retrieve any bots that you have placed on
the surface below.

8. Component Creation (Big guns... BIG guns... BIG &#@ GUNS!!!)

"Screw diplomacy! I wanna kill something!"

While this is a common saying it is a hollow statement unless you've got the
guns to back your agression obsession.  In order to build that awesome arsenal
you'll have to start here, in the Component Creation screen.

The best way to learn how to use this interface is to actually use it.

A Brief Walk Through

Let's say you've just begun your mission.  For some strange reason you think it
is vital that engineering analyze the components of a weapon in your cargo
hold.  In fact, it's the only weapon in your cargo hold (perhaps that's why you
think it vital to analyze it.)

Regardless of your reasoning, the first step in decomposing a device is
selecting the Decomposing button from the top left of the interface. The light
next to that button should change to green, indicating that you are now in
Decompose Mode.  Below that button you should now see a list of items colored
bright white.  These are the items in your cargo hold that you can disassemble.
The weapon that we are looking for is the Dirk.  Select it from the list using
your pointer.

Once it has been highlighted you should see it listed under Current Project on
the far right of the screen.  At the top of this screen you should see the Item
Status area.  This area provides you with a readout of any shield or weapon
selected (for more info on this function see Weapon Status and Shield Status.)

We wanted to analyze the Dirk.  A brief description of its function is given at
the bottom left of the screen.  The description of any item selected can be
found in this area.  If you want to disable this feature you can toggle Query
Mode off by selecting the question mark button at the top left.  If the light
is red Query Mode is off.  Go ahead and click it again.  We'll want that light
green so we'll know the descriptions of what we are selecting.

Now we have a description of the Dirk, but we don't know what it's made of.
When an item is selected the three parts which comprise it are given to the
immediate left of Current Project.  If Dirk is still selected we should see the
three parts: StrataMount, Ion Cache, and Flux Lens. If we wanted to, we could
proceed with disassembling the Dirk.

Disassembling/Decomposing Items

Under Assign/Inspect Teams we can choose an engineering team to do the work.
If a team has a red light next to them they are busy.  You can Inspect the work
of a busy team by selecting that team with the pointer. Their task should
appear beneath Current Project.  Make sure you are in Decompose mode by
checking the light next to that button; it should be green.  Next, select a
free engineering team.  The item will vanish from your cargo as your
engineering teams pull it out to take it apart. To check the progress of your
team you can click on them again (make sure they are busy before you select
them; selecting a free team will put that team to work decomposing whatever
else you highlighted!)  As a team progresses you will see the green bar grow
beneath the item in Current Project.  When this bar reaches the full length of
the box the task will be completed.  Rejoice! You've just decomposed you're
only weapon.

The crew is beginning to think you've gone quite mad.  You've just taken apart
the only weapon you had on board.  It would be a good idea to put that weapon
back together before they erase you (see Assembling/Integrating Items.)  It's a
pity that when you first start the mission your crew lacks the ability to build
Dirks (i.e. You can't put it back together again once it's disassembled.  If
you were foolish enough to actually take it apart and you really can't put it
back together just restore the game.)

Once the item is completely decomposed you'll want to go back into Integration
Mode.  Check the light next to the Integrate button.  Is it green? Make it so.
A list of items you can manufacture will appear below.  As your crew's
knowledge base increases so will your ability to create bigger and better
armaments.  In the beginning that list is fairly small but each time a crew
member increases his or her knowledge base it is a good idea to check the list
again... you never know what the crew will design next.

I don't know nuffin' bout' no devices... what's what?

Regardless of the creation mode you are in you can color code the cargo list in
the Component Creation screen by selecting the Clr Code button beneath the
cargo list.  All items fall into three classes: Materials, Components, and
Devices.  When the Clr Code status light is green the items in the list above
it will be color coded as follows:

Materials: Brown
Components: Light Blue
Devices: Blue

-Materials are processed from raw ores and minerals from a planets surface.
This can be done by dropping a minebot.

-Components are processed from materials.  They are more complex than materials
but still serve no direct purpose.  These can be created by dropping a
manufactory to a planet's surface.

-Devices are made up of components and, sometimes, other devices. Devices
include shields, weapons and ship upgrades.

For every item that exists it requires three primary components to manufacture
it.  Here is a brief list of devices and components that you can eventually
construct as well as the complete list of materials.

Weapons   PART #1        PART #2        PART#3       Relative Worth     LEVELS
Dirk      StrataMount    Ion Cache      Flux Lens      58   1  2  2  3  2  1
Scimitar  Dirk           Solonoid       Ion Cache      98   1  2  3  4  3  2
Broadswor Scimitar       Scimitar       StrataMount    218  2  2  4  4  4  2
Claymore  Broadsword     Steoplast      Plasm Inverter 271  3  2  4  5  4  3
Blackjack Solonoid       Flux Lens      Pulse Loom     58   2  2  4  3  3  2
Whip      Blackjack      Ion Cache      Flux Lens      98   2  3  4  4  4  3
Short Bow Solonoid       Solonoid       Vac-Feeder     71   2  2  3  5  4  1
Long Bow  Short Bow      Guidance Strut Duct Battery   111  3  2  4  5  5  2
Light Rai Disei Conduit  Steoplast      Vac-Feeder     97   4  3  4  4  5  3

ReflectHu Steoplast      Steoplast      Polymers       73   1  1  3  3  3  1
Quart. Sh Solonoid       Solonoid       Plasm Inverter 60   2  1  5  5  5  1

Misc. Devices
Probot    Data Board     Duct Battery    StrataMount   58   1  1  1  1  1  1
Minebot   Probot         Cyberplasm      Masking Pod   111  3  1  2  3  2  3
Manufacto Minebot        Disei Conduit   Mulroid       164  1  2  1  2  3  1
Fuel Nodu Radioactives   Strange Particl Heavy Element 15   1  1  1  1  1  1
Reinforce Torque Stanchi Metal Weave     Guidance Stru 84   2  2  2  2  2  2
Inc. Thru Dirk           Dirk            Pulse Loom    138  2  2  2  2  2  2
Add Cargo Guidance Strut StrataMount     Torque Stanch 84   2  2  2  2  2  2
Ins. Gun  Stasis Generat Stasis Generato Thynne Vortex 563  4  4  4  4  4  4
Mind Enha Proto-Nutrient Cyberplasm      Biosynth      71   1  1  1  1  1  1

Solonoid  Magnetics      Coolants        Heavy Ions    18   1  1  1  1  1  1
Data Boar Ceramics       Liquid Gases    Coolants      18   1  1  1  1  1  1
CyberPlas Organics       Medicants       Electrolytes  18   3  1  2  3  2  3
Disei Con Flux Lens      Solvents        Electrolytes  31   3  1  2  3  3  3
SteoPlast Metal Weave    Heavy Ions      Polymers      31   2  1  2  2  2  2
Flux Lens Crystals       Magnetics       Polymers      18   2  1  3  2  2  2
Metal Wea Conductants    Radioactives    Ceramics      18   2  1  2  2  3  2
Pulse Loo Polymers       Alien Compounds Radioactives  18   2  1  2  3  2  4
Biosynth  Organics       Proto-Nutrient  Protoplasm    31   4  1  2  4  4  2
Plasm Inv Crystals       Electrolytes    Alien Isotope 18   3  1  3  2  1  2
Grav-Coup Pulse Loom     Radioactives    Strange Parti 31   2  2  3  3  2  2
Torque St StrataMount    Guidance Strut  Ceramics      44   2  2  2  3  2  2
Vac-Feede Heavy Ions     Oxidants        Solonoid      31   2  2  3  2  3  2
Mulroid   Esper Seeds    Coolants        Alien Isotope 18   4  1  1  3  1  4
Proto-Nut Protoplasm     Organics        Medicants     18   4  1  2  4  4  2
Duct Batt Conductants    Magnetics       Ceramics      18   2  1  3  2  2  1
Masking P Flux Lens      Crystals        Polymers      31   3  3  5  3  2  1
Guidance  Heavy Ions     Conductants     Magnetics     18   1  2  2  2  3  1
StrataMou Heavy Ions     Solvents        Magnetics     18   1  3  2  2  2  1
Ion Cache Polymers       Magnetics       Liquid Gases  18   3  2  3  3  3  2

Protoplas Amino Acid     Carboxylic acid Amine         5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Polymers  Alkene         Alkene          Industrial Ch 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Crystals  Lensing Solid  Lensing Solid   Strong Acid   5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Oxidants  Base           Transition Meta Protic liquid 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Esper See Lensing Solid  Heavy Element   Industrial Ch 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Heavy Ion Transition Met Transition Meta Strong Acid   5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Coolants  Halogens/Noble Ether           Aldehydes/Ket 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Solvents  Strong Acid    Strong Acid     Strong Acid   5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Electroly Base           Base            Strong Acid   5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Organics  Amino Acid     Amino Acid      Amine         5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Alien Iso Heavy Element  Transition Meta Lensing Solid 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Conductan Halogens/Noble Transition Meta Alkyne        5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Magnetics Industrial Che Transition Meta Heavy Element 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Radioacti Heavy Element  Heavy Element   Industrial Ch 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Liquid Ga Halogens/Noble Halogens/Noble  Aldehydes/Ket 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Medicants Amino Acid     Volatile compou Alkyne        5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Ceramics  Industrial Che Transition Meta Lensing Solid 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Alien Com Heavy Element  Heavy Element   Amino Acid    5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Strange P Heavy Element  Heavy Element   Transition Me 5    1  1  1  1  1  1
Worthless Worthless Junk Worthless Junk  Worthless Jun 1    1  1  1  1  1  1

Assembling/Integrating Items

Once you are in Integrate Mode you can choose from the item list something that
you would like to create.  While you may highlight anything you like from the
list, you may only manufacture those items which are bright white.  When you
have highlighted an item it will appear beneath Current Project.  The three
parts that comprise that item are to the left of that.  If an item is listed as
red you do not have it.  If it is green you do have it.  If all three items
that comprise it are green, rejoice!  You can create that item if you wish!  To
create an item that is selected (and for which you have the parts) select a
free engineering team and go to work.

9. Cargo Inventory

In the center of this screen is the Cargo Door which opens immediately after
this function is accessed.  To view only certain cargo types you may filter out
those you don't wish to see by clicking on the box of the appropriate cargo
type.  To bring those items back into the viewed list just click that same
cargo type name.

Jettisoning Cargo.

Choosing the arrow-and-box icon will allow you jettison any unwanted cargo.
This may become necessary from time to time if you have accumulated a large
number of bulky items.  An alternative this may be decomposing that bulky item.
Unfortunately, if the cargo hold is full of these items it may be impossible to
decompose that item without losing some of the components.  In general it is a
good idea to keep a close track on your space used and your cargo size
allowance.  No one wants throw anything away, especially if it's a valuable

Printouts of the Cargo Manifest

The chief function of this screen is the control pad to the right of the Cargo
Door.  If a printer is connected to your computer you may print out a complete
breakdown of your cargo manifest.  This list includes material, component, and
device categorizations as well as space allowance in cubic meters.


1 Short Range Scans
2 Long Range Scans
3 System Layout
4 Planetary Scans
5 Science Research
6 Star Log

1. Short Range Scans

Short Range Scans provide you with a scan of all space within 8M km.  Incoming
ships will set the scanners red when they come within 3M km.  This scan should
appear in the left side of the Primary Display with a scanning circle radius
growing and shrinking as cyclic scans are completed.

2. Long Range Scans

Long Range Scans appear on the left side of the Primary Display. These scans
are much less intensive but cover a much greater area. Ambient signals appear
in the upper rectangle.  When a salient signal appears as the result of an
alien ship you will see an unmoving blip. Proximity to solar bodies may obscure
this blip with static.  If you are near to a sun it is better to rely on short
range scans as they are much more reliable.  The maximum scan distance for the
long range scanner sweeps is 20M km.

3. System Layout

This function causes the active system map to fill the Primary Display.  It is
from the system map that you may choose the other planets in the system you
wish to travel to.  Basic information such as the number of visits, and the
number of bots on the surface of a world can be displayed by selecting the Star
Log icon from the button bar above the System Layout map (the second from the
right.)  To stop the System Layout rotation select the Halt button to the right
of the Star Log icon.

4. Planetary Scans

In the center of this screen a flat map of the planet should appear. To the
left of the planet layout should be five buttons, each labeled with the
different types of scans your probots may perform.

(Land) Lithospheric Scans
(Sea) Hydrospheric Scans
(Air) Atmospheric Scans

These scans are particularly useful when determining what materials could be
processed from a planet.  You'll want to perform these scans if you are looking
to drop a minebot or manufactory.

(Life) Biospheric Scans

This type of scan is useful when you want to know the specifics of the
lifeforms on a planet.  This is the only way to determine the type and
TechLevel of intelligent lifeforms when they are encountered planet side.

Tech Levels:
0.1-1.0        Developing Primitive Social Schemas
1.1-2.0        Early Imperialism
2.1-3.0        Industrialization
3.1-4.0        Global Networking
4.1-5.0        Extraplanetary Imperialism
5.1-6.0        Intersteller Imperialism
6.1-7.0        Multidimensional Travel
7.1-8.0        Psychoportation and Mass/Energy Matriculation

(Anom) Anomaly Scans

If you have only time for one scan this would be the one to perform. This scan
will search for any materials, components, or artifacts immediately available
on the planet's surface.  Points of green light will appear on the surface
where anomalies occur (if they occur.)  To retrieve these items you will have
to tell the probots where to return to.  You will have to zoom into the area
using the sky-cam.  Select '+' twice for a full zoom, then select the area on
the map where the anomaly occurred.  If red messages appear in the zoom screen
you are properly centered on the item.  If the red dot is on the zoom screen
but red messages don't appear, you aren't properly centered.  Fine tune your
position by using the arrow keys.  Once you are centered on the item and the
red messages appear, select the retrieve button from the bottom right of the
screen.  In an instant the item will have been acquired.

General Scan Info

It requires only two probes to perform any complete scan.  To initiate another
scan just select the scan you want to perform.

As each scan is completed relevant information will appear in the Info Box at
the bottom left.  To scan through these lists choose the Prv or Nxt buttons to
the right of the Info Box.  To get back to the scan status list select the
button between Prv and Nxt.

When all five scans are completed a full planetary description will appear
where the planet layout was.  This description will tell you all there is to
know about that planet.

Planetary Evolution

  State                       Time Frame (yrs)    Tech Level
0 Gaseous
  a. Nebula                    1 Billion           No Life
  b. Gas Giant                 1 Billion           No Life
  c. Heavy Atmosphere         500 M                No Life
1 Active
  a. Volcanic                 500 M            Simple Proteins
  b. Semi-Vol.                400 M          Single Celled Plants
  c. Land Formation           300 M         Single Celled Animals
2 Stable
  a. Land & Water             200 M             Vascular Plants
  b. Slight Veg.              150 M          Multicelled Animals
  c. Med. Veg.                150 M                  0
3 Ea. Life
  a. Heavy Veg.                15 M                  0
  b. Med. Veg.                10000                  1
  c. Med. Veg.                 8000                  2
4 Adv. Life
  a. Med. Veg.                 4000                  3
  b. Slight Veg.               2000                  4
  c. No vegetation             4000                  5
5 Dying
  a. Ruins                     3000               No Life
  b. Med. Veg.                 8000               No Life
  c. Dead Rock                  ?                 No Life
6 Dead
  a. Radiation               200000               No Life
  b. Astoroid                   ?                 No Life
  c. Null                       ?                 No Life
7 Star
  a. Yellow                     X                 No Life
  b. Red                        X                 No Life
  c. White                      X                 No Life

In addition several other changes may take place:
                              5b to 2c
                              2c to 5c
                              3a to 5b

All planets have the potential to change state or mode to the next one in the
list.  Years over a certain amount are broken down into smaller time frames
with a random chance of occuring.  Ie. 100 M into 1000 x 100000 with a 1 in
1000 chance every 100000 yrs.  Game time is actually accelerated to induce more
changes to the system.  A planet changing state or mode destroys
probots/minebots, cache, and info collected on the planet.

You can get back to the planet view by selecting Anom from the buttons on the

5. Science Research

This toggles your Science officer's research status.  Researching will increase
their knowledge base, or experience points.  Do this whenever possible.

6. Star Logs

Selecting the Star Log icon will activate the Star Logs info menu. This menu
should appear in the right side of the Primary Display.  The highest level of
the menu is the star system names list.  Moving to the right through this
display will take you to the more specific levels of data Those levels are as

System Names
 System Info
  Planet Orbit
   Planet Info

Scrolling up and down in any of these modes will take you to the different
stars or planets in that particular list.  To return in the list to the system
you are currently in select the Home icon from the button bar above the Star
Log info menu.  Selecting the System Layout icon from the button bar will take
you immediately to the Planet Info level of the Star Log info menu.


1 Raise Shields
2 Arm Weapons
3 Evade Enemy
4 Mask Ship
5 Security Research
6 Attack Enemy

1. Raise Shields

Raising Shields will take the ship into Combat Mode and will power your shield
to the Combat shield level.  As with weapons powering your shields may
initially use a great deal of auxiliary power but if your enemy is quick it may
be necessary to go in protected from the beginning.

Selecting Raise Shields again will lower the shields.  This will drop you into
Alert Mode if the weapons are not armed or you will stay in Combat mode if the
weapons are still armed.

2. Arm Weapons

Arm Weapons will take the ship into Combat Mode and will fully power all
installed weapons.  While this may drain a significant portion of your
auxiliary power it may be good idea to have weapons powered before you begin an
important battle.  Waiting for your weapons to power while the enemy draws near
is not fun.

3. Evade Enemy

Evade Enemy will have your flight engineers attempt to do just that. If it is
possible to escape an alien ship this command will allow you to get out of
their scan range.

4. Mask Ship

The Mask Ship command will order engineering to mask all emissions from the
ship in an attempt to make the ship 'invisible'  While the ship is not truly
cloaked it is certainly difficult to scan and almost impossible to track when
in this mode.  Enemies will usually drift away when you are in this mode.

5. Security Research

This toggles your Security officer's research status.  Researching will
increase their knowledge base, or experience points.  Do this whenever

6. Attack Enemy

Attack Enemy will order the ship toward whatever enemy vessels are nearest you
and will proceed to engage them in battle.


There are a lot of buttons. Complex commands scare me.  Not to worry. As
always, the commands for your ship are easier than they appear.

We've got Battle Display, TargetBox, Weapon Configuration, and Status Bars.

Battle Display

The Battle Display is filled with a dark starfield.  You are at the center of
it and are surrounded by the scan perimeter which appears as a pulsing blue

The Battle Plane

The Battle Plane is the plane that your ship flies in.  The Battle Plane is
always stationary relative to you.  The movements and positions of other
vessels will be tracked in relation to this Battle Plane.  Ships will appear as
white points while their projections on the plane will appear as dark red dots.
For clarity a shadow line is drawn between the ship and its projection.  In
other words, the longer the shadow line the higher/lower that ship is from your
plane of flight.


The ThrustPad controls your movement through the BattlePlane.  The
controls are straight forward (up arrow=forward, down
arrow=backward, etc.)


The TargetBox is in the lower left quarter of the battle screen. This display
will tell you all you need to know about alien ships.  When you enter battle
the TargetBox will be in Data Mode.


The Alt button at the bottom of the battle screen will toggle the TargetBox
between Data Mode and Visual Mode.

Data Mode:

What this means is that when ships are targeted on the Battle Display bar
graphs of that ship's power levels and system damages will appear here.  These
graphs appear in the following order (from left to right).

(DMG) Hull Damage
(LIF) Life
(PWR) Power
(SHD) Shield

(P) Power
(S) Shield
(W) Weapons
(E) Engines
(L) Life Support
(C) Communications

These values are the same as those on your own ship all are explained in
greater detail below (see Primary and Auxiliary Status Bars).

Visual Mode:

When the TargetBox is in Visual Mode you will see a vid clip of the target
vessel at the left of the TargetBox.  Above that should be other information
about the ship.  From top to bottom that list is as follows:


The race indicator will tell you which alien empire you're clashing horns with.

Ship Type (and ship index)

Depending on the estimated weaponry and hull strength the ship's computer will
attempt to classify alien vessels in one of 15 categories (in order of least to

     Assault Scout
     Patrol Craft
     Lt. Destroyer
     Hv. Destroyer
     Lt. Cruiser
     Hv. Cruiser
     Battle Cruiser

The ship index (the letter that follows a ship's type) distinguishes between
the different ships as they approach you.  Each ship has a different index
letter.  The index for a ship will stay constant throughout a battle.


This is the targeted ship's distance from your ship in thousands of Kilometers
(k km).

Tech Level

This is the estimated Tech Level of the targeted ship (see Science Planet Scan
for list of Tech Levels).

(Accel) Acceleration

This is a rating of how many units of velocity may be accumulated per second by
the targeted vessel.

(Prev) Previous/Next

Selecting Next will move the TargetBox through the index list of ships.
Previous will move you in the opposite direction through the list.  These may
become useful when the enemy is tightly clumped making directly selecting them
from the Battle Display difficult.

Weapon Configuration

This is the bottom middle of the battle screen.  In this Area you should see
your gun nodes and the weapons installed in them.  Next to each weapon should
be a green light.  This light is the Power Light for that weapon.

PowerUp Sequence

Each time a weapon is fired the system checks to see if the Power Light is
active for that weapon.  If the light is green and sufficient power is
available in the battery that weapon will begin powering.  If the light is red
after the weapon is fired that weapon will not begin to power until the light
is again green.

After long battles when your batteries are low it may become necessary to
remove power hungry weapons from the PowerUp Sequence.  This leaves your
batteries free to power less powerful weapons which can fire more frequently.
Ultimately, what weapons are left in the PowerUp Sequence is up to you.  Too
many weapon configurations exist to explain the best technique for each.  The
best suggestion is to experiment with the Power Lights until you are familiar
with the best setup for your ship.

Firing a weapon

Once power from the battery is allocated to a weapon it will begin to power.
This will turn the border of the weapon icon from dark red to bright read then
into dark green and eventually to bright green.  If the targeted vessel located
in the TargetBox is also within range of a fully powered weapon the border for
that weapon will turn blue.  If Active Fire is disabled you must click on the
weapon before it will fire. Active Fire is explained below.

Active Fire

The cross-hair icon is responsible for toggling Active Fire and is located to
the right of the Weapon Configuration Area beneath the word "Active."  The
Active Fire status bar is above the Weapon Configuration Area.   When Active
Fire is enabled the Active Fire status bar should be red.  While this function
is active all powered weapons within range of a targeted enemy will fire.  For
ease of play this feature is often enabled and left on for the rest of the

Active Scanner

In order to increase the accuracy of the weapons when engaging an enemy it is
possible to initiate an active scan of the ships you target.  The Active
Scanner toggle button is immediately to the right of  the Active Fire toggle
button.  When enabled the Active Scanner status bar beneath the Weapon
Configuration Area should be red.  This function will increase your hit
accuracy by 20%.  Unfortunately, all those high energy ship scans have a cost.
In order to pinpoint a ship you have to reveal your own position.  This
subsequently increases the enemy's hit accuracy by 20%.  This is most useful
when you've armed yourself with long range weapons or when the enemy is weakly

Primary Status Bars

The three red bars on the right hand side of the battle screen are the Primary
Status Bars.  These keep you aware of your ship's most crucial system levels
and damages.  Those three, from right to left, are as follows.

Shield Control

Clicking on this bar will adjust the shield level of your ship.  The higher you
go on the bar the greater the allotted shield power will be. Notice the tick
marker that appears near the top and to the right of the Shield Control bar.
The height of this marker is the maximum power value the shield may assume.  As
your shield system takes more damage this marker will move down.  A powered
shield will continue to draw energy from your battery.  For this reason, it is
a good idea to keep the shield on zero power unless you are in immediate

Ground State Pulse Effect

When your batteries have been exhausted and your shields are still powered you
may experience a Ground State Pulse (GSP).  Your shield power will fluctuate
madly as a result.  The reason for this lies behind the physics which drive
your ship.  The matter converters in the ship's drive core are step generators.
They produce discrete packets of energy that the power buffers to the auxiliary
storage batteries convert to continuous power.  This is analogous to the
difference between digital power and analog power.  When the battery is
exhausted the shield begins effectively feeding from the step generators.  The
resulting field instability can cause damage to the shield generator itself.
The chance is small but leaving a shield in a GSP is not recommended.

Auxiliary Power

The second red status bar is the Auxiliary Power level.  This represents the
amount of power available in your batteries.  For this gauge the height of the
tick marker to the right of it is the maximum power the battery may store.  As
you take damage to this system the marker will move down reducing the amount of
storable power.  Keep an eye on this gauge.  When it starts getting low you'll
want adjust your shield level to avoid a GSP (see Ground State Pulse Effect).

Hull Damage

The Hull Damage is self explanatory.  When this gauge reaches zero game over,
adios, ciao, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Auxiliary Status Bars

The Auxiliary Status Bars are located at the bottom right side of the battle
screen.  These status bars give you a read out of your ship systems and their
associated damage levels.  A list of these and the effects of damage are given
below.  From top to bottom they are as follows:


Power system damage will reduce the recharge rate of your battery (i.e.
auxiliary power)


Shield damage will reduce the maximum power that your shield may assume.


Damage to the weapon systems will reduce your hit accuracy.


Significant engine system damage will render the engines inoperable. This is
decidedly bad in combat as you will be a sitting duck.  That's not bad as
sitting ducks lie... but then again, I never believed a liar... it's like they
always say...

Life Support

Significant damage to life support systems will erase backup encodes. This also
very bad.  Restoring your security officer after battle to regain his sanity
will be impossible at that point.  Obviously restoring or re-encoding your crew
would be penultimately stupid following encode loss.  It would be the same as
saving a blank file over a good file. Dumb.  Yes, very dumb.


Damage to communication systems will make talking with aliens impossible.


If the (CPU) Central Processing Unit onboard your ship is damaged many of the
displays will not function correctly.  Damage to the ship's computer will not
kill the crew but will make most of the displays and menus difficult if not
impossible to use.

Zoom (+-)

Above the Active Fire and Scanner buttons you will see the Zoom In/Out buttons.
Zooming in and out will change the maximum scan range for the Battle Display.
When enemies are very near it is useful to Zoom in, while distant enemies will
only be visible from several Zooms out. Play around with these until you are
familiar with their function. TimeSlice (+-)

The TimeSlice control for battle is at the top right of the battle screen.  The
effect and control of the TimeSlice value is the same as it is for the Main
Screen (see Medical, Options, TimeSlice)

I've read all of this and I'm still lost.

For the simplest battle control you need to remember FIVE
1. Scanners and Fire Control must be active.
2. TimeSlice must be large (20 - 30)
3. Head away from everything close to you in the Battle Plane by using
   the ThrustPad (Run away! Run away!).
4. Set your Shield Level to one quarter of its total power.
5. Keep selecting all the vessels closest to you on the Battle Display
   until they are all destroyed.

Beginners should use these five rules only for as long as they have to. These
controls are effective against simpler enemies, but it is important to remember
complex situations require complex strategies.  Use these tips only as a
foundation for your own schemes.

7. Release Drones

This function creates a dummy enemy in the computer for you to fight in mock
combat.  Originally the battles from this simulation were harmless practice
encounters.  However, damage taken before your encodes were revived has made
drone combat potentially dangerous. While the damage taken by your ship in
these simulations is not physcially real the computer is unable to tell the
difference.  When encode containment reaches zero during mock combat the
computer was to exit the combat environment.  Now, the computer believes the
damage it has taken has actually erased the crew.  In the event of an encode
breach the computer was also programmed to reload the crew from cold storage.
Unfortunately only six hot slots remain for the thousands of crew back ups that
exist.  Confused, the computer will compress the data and stuff it into those
slots anyway.  This spells death for you.

Take this as a warning.  While drone battle is relatively inane it can be
fatal.  Do not attempt drone warfare unless you are armed with at least two
Dirks.  It is also suggested that you play in Easy mode (see Medical, Options,
Difficulty) before you get yourself killed.


1 Star Map
2 Sector Codex
3 Local Travel Hist.
4 Quick Ship Status
5 Target a System
6 Astrogation Rsrch.
7 Full Ship Status
8 Local System Info.

1. Local Area Star Map

This star map will appear in the left side of the Primary Display.  It will
reveal all stars within a 40 light year radius.

2. Sector Codex

Within the Sector Codex any star that is selected is automatically targeted.
Due to the number of stars per sector the rotating sector map on the left is
too dense for you to make accurate selections.  You may only select a star from
the x-y and y-z plane views.  Selecting the engage engines icon will take you
to whatever location you have selected without the targeting procedure. Origin:
This button will return you to your present location within the Sector Codex.

X-Loc, Y-Loc, and Z-Loc: These are your X, Y, and Z coordinates (respectively).
You can enter coordinates into these by selecting the number area with your
pointer.  When inputting coordinates from log entries the Sector Codex will
take you as close to that system as possible.  The targeting computer is
fallible, however. It may be necessary to select the system from the x-y and
y-z plane views once you know a star's approximate position.

Sectors (1-8): These buttons allow you to view the areas you have explored in
the eight sectors that make up the local star cluster.

Arrow Keys: These keys will allow you to change the perspective of the rotating
sector map.

Travel Log: This button will provide you with a history of the sector you have
selected.  White stars in the sector map are those you have been to.  Red stars
in the sector map are those you have seen in the Local Area Star Map but have
not travelled to.  The Scans Completed gauge in this area is not entirely
accurate.  As planets age and fall into new stages of development so do their
scans become out of date.  This percentage may be smaller than you thought it
should be.  The percent difference is a result of these changes.

Sector Map: Selecting this button will take you out of the Travel Log Mode.  If
you aren't in this mode when you select this button nothing will happen.

3. Local Travel History

Local Travel History is not a true path of travel.  What it will tell you is
the order in which you have visited the stars in the Local Area Star Map.

4. Quick Ship Status

Quick Ship Status will give you the info associated with the Alert Bulbs on the
right of the main screen.  This is a list of hull integrity, primary power,
auxiliary power, and shield power levels.  You may also access this screen by
selecting the Alert Bulbs themselves in the Main Screen.

5. Target a System

To target a system you must have selected a system from either the Local Area
Star Map or the Local System Info menu.  When a system from either of these is
selected you may then enter that system into the targeting computer by
selecting this function.  Once a location is targeted you may travel to it by
engaging the engines from the button bar at the top of the Primary Display.

6. Astrogation Research

This toggles your Astrogation officer's research status. Researching will
increase their knowledge base, or experience points. Do this whenever possible.

7. Full Ship Status

Full Ship Status will give you a breakdown of damages to the primary systems on
board, the hull, fuel, and cargo statuses as well as the ship coordinates.

8. Local System Information

This is the sister display to Local Area Star Map.  When both displays are
active they affect each other.  Scrolling through the list of stars in the
Local System Information menu will cause the target circle on the Local Area
Star Map to move from star to star depending on the one selected.  This menu
has two primary functions which are as follows:

Printouts of all visited systems

Selecting the Printer icon from the far right of the button bar will provide
you with a complete printout of all stars you have visited.  As with the Cargo
printer function you must have a printer on-line and connected to your computer
for this to work.

Targeting stars and engaging engines

To move to another star you must first target the system you wish to travel to.
Each star in the list has a distance in light years to the right of it.  Stars
whose distance value is white are within travelling distance (i.e. you have the
fuel to get there).  Select a star from this list that is within your reach.
To target that system select the arrow-and-x icon from the button bar.  To
travel to a targeted system select the engage engines icon from the button bar.


1 Game Options
2 Begin Time Burst
3 Clear All Displays
4 Save Game
5 Load Game
6 Medical Research
7 Encode Crew Member
8 Decode Crew Member
9 Quit to Dos

1. Game Options

The Notepad icon will bring up a list of features that you can change about the

Screen Saver (On/Off)

When this function is on and the system is idle for 750 loops through the main
routine (750 loops is officially defined to be "a little while" in Channel7-

Time Slice (1-250)

The Time Slice is the delay in milliseconds that is inserted into each scan
cycle.  Suffice it to say that increasing the Time Slice slows the program
down.  Depending on the speed of your machine you'll need to change the value
of the Time Slice accordingly (66Mhz = 35, 50Mhz = 20, MHz = 10, MHz = 0).

Sound (On/Off)

This turns the sound for music and sound effects on or off depending on the
setting.  If you're machine is particularly slow you may want to turn the sound
off to get better performance.

Difficulty (Min/Avg/Max)

Difficulty effectively changes your ability in battle.

General Messages (None/Some/All)

This function controls the crew alert messages (i.e. when a device is complete,
when artifact research is completed, etc.)

None: When you are not in the Main Screen your crew will not report to you.

Some: When you are not in the Main Screen your crew will not directly report to
you, but will instead put there messages into the Info Box at the bottom left
of the Main Screen.

All: The crew will report to you all the time regardless of where you are in
the interface.  Messages will also be sent to the Main Screen Info Box.

Animation (On/Off)

This function turns Animation off and on depending on the setting (this
includes cube and planet rotation.)  As with Sound, Animation may need to be
disabled if you are running a slow machine.  Every effort was made to make the
game playable on a machine as slow as a 386 running at 25 MHz. In most cases
either Animation or Sound will function on a slow machine but not both at the
same time.  Sorry.

Font Style (Iron/Clean/Block)

This feature will allow you to choose between three font styles.  Play around
and see which ones you like.

Auto-Save (On/Off)

When the Auto-Save feature is active you will be prompted to save your game
each time you travel to a new system.  If you like to save frequently this is a
nice feature.  If a save prompt constantly appearing annoys you, we suggest you
turn Auto-Save off.

Volume (0-64)

This adjust the volume level of sound effects and music.  (0 = no sound, 64 =
max. volume)

2. Begin Time Burst

This command will cause 1/2 days to pass.  This is often useful if you have a
large device that you need completed.  Devices of this nature often take
several days to complete.

3. Clear All Displays

This command will clear any active displays from the Primary Display.

4. Save Game

Used to store your progress.

5. Load Game

Used to restore past games that you have saved.

6. Medical Research

This toggles your Medical officer's research status.  Researching will increase
their knowledge base, or experience points.  Do this whenever possible.

7,8 Encode/Decode Crew Member

(see Psychometry, Psychological Evaluation)

9. Quit to Dos

This command will exit the game and take you directly to a DOS prompt. If
you've made important changes to your mission be sure you've saved the game
before you make this selection.

Saving your artifacts until the end is a better idea... the experience you gain
as a result of researching an artifact is a percentage of your total knowledge

Da' Credits

                               The Core Team

Code Master: Robert W.Morgan III
World Design: Jeremy Holt

Sound Team

Soundtrak: Andrew G. Sega
a.k.a. Necros of the Psychic Monks
Sound Code: Otto Chrons
Sound Effects: Robert W.Morgan III

Grafix Art Team

The Interface: Jeremy Holt
Aliens: PJ Beachem
The Scavengers: Chris Tallent

Design Assistants

Babble: Chris P. Cash
Rocks and Minerals: Scott Davis
Planetologist: Jeff Smith
Jeff's Sidekick: Alex Boster

Writing Team

Conversations: Jeremy Holt
Maniacal Plotting: Jeff Smith

Documentation Team

Words: Webster
Punctuation: Alfredo Withemstoe
Dangling Participle: Mike Botts

Quality Assurance Team

Fanatic Devotees: Mike Matheny,
P.J. Beachem, Jeff Smith, Alex Boster,
Amy Butler, Ben Vandergrift,
Those other weird guys.


All rights reserved.  No modifications, disassembly, and reverse engineering of
this program and/or documentation is allowed. This package is copyright March
13, 1994 by Channel 7.  The authors make no representations, express or
implied, with to respect to this documentation or the software it describes,
including without limitations, any implied warranties of merchantability or
fitness for a particular purpose, all of which are expressly disclaimed.  Users
should be aware that included in the terms and conditions under which Channel 7
is willing to license Ironseed is a provision that the author and their
distribution licensees, distributors, and dealers shall in no event be liable
for any indirect, incidental, or coincidental damages and that liability for
direct damages shall be limited to the amount of the purchase price paid for

In addition to the foregoing, users should recognize that all complex software
systems and their documentation contain errors and omissions.  The author shall
not be responsible under any circumstance for providing information on or
correction to errors and omissions discovered at any time in this documentation
or the software it describes, whether or not they are aware of the errors or
omissions.  The authors do not recommend the use of the software described in
this documentation for applications in which errors or omissions could threaten
life, injury, or significant loss.