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Mission: Mainframe manual

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                      []      -  MISSION: MAINFRAME  -      []
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                           *** CONFIDENTIAL BRIEFING ***

            Sometime in the recent past, a well known corporation was beset 
        with  a frightful disaster.  It seems that on a dark,  stormy night 
        an electrical disturbance produced a tremendous power surge in  the 
        corporation's  new  30-story office complex.  The damage was minor, 
        except in one area.  The logic in the main computer, which controls 
        almost every aspect of the company's operation, was put in complete 

            From that time on,  the computer  took  on  a  rather  sinister 
        disposition  toward those who used it.  First,  the computer gained 
        control over the Computer Operator.  Then,  it began  to  influence 
        the  other employees.  Soon the corporation's normal operation came 
        to a halt and a cry went out for someone,  anyone,  to rescue  them 
        from the grasp of the diabolical mainframe.  

            Your  mission,  should you choose to accept it,  is to find the 
        Mainframe, defeat the Operator, and return to the Lobby alive.  

                   Copyright (C) 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 by
                           Jerry Plemons & Brian Shankman 

                                       Page 1


            The computer mainframe is located  somewhere  on  floor  27-30.  
        The  Computer  Operator moves it each time you begin a new mission.  
        Once you locate the mainframe,  you must return to the Lobby  alive 
        to  inform the service technician where to find it.  The malevolent 
        Operator guards the mainframe jealously.  You must overcome him  in 
        order to get to the mainframe.  The Operator is powerful and resist 
        your attempts, but he can be overcome by your resourcefulness.  

            Before  you  can  go  up to floor 27-30,  you must get past the 
        employees guarding the elevator on floors 10 and 20.  To go  beyond 
        floor  10,  you will need PASS KEY which can be found on one of the 
        floors 7-10.  You will have to convince the person in charge of the 
        PASS KEY that you really need one!  

            To  get  beyond  floor 20,  you will need a SECURITY CLEARANCE.  
        This can be found on one of the floors  17-20,  again,  guarded  by 
        some trusted employee.  Once you have a SECURITY CLEARANCE, you can 
        proceed to any floor in the building.  

            Once you  begin  your  mission,  you  will  need  to  create  a 
        character.  The instructions for your character identity are in the 
        Mission Program.  You begin by choosing a name for  your  character 
        of  eight (8) letters or less.  Then you may choose one of the four 
        (4) character types. Each type has slightly different attributes.  

        COMMANDO:           Has more strength and stamina.
        SECRET AGENT:       Has high intelligence and wisdom.   
        DETECTIVE:          Has higher dexterity.
        PRIVATE EYE:        Has greater stamina and personality.

            As your character gains  experience,  his/her  statistics  will 
        also  increase.  As  in  character type selection,  the increase is 
        determined by the basic attributes of the character.  

            After selecting a character type,  you may select a  level  of 
        playing difficulty: 

        1. Beginner's Level
        2. Takes some Thinking
        3. Somewhat Difficult
        4. Professional Player

            The level of play determines how much information is displayed
        in the floor plan during your travels in the building.  The higher 
        levels of difficulty present less information.

                                       Page 2
            Once  you  have  selected a playing level,  the Mission Program 
        will generate a set of statistics for  each  major  attribute.  The 
        display will look like this: 

        Strength:      20
        Intelligence:  18
        Wisdom:        21
        Stamina:       15
        Dexterity:     17
        Personality:   15

        Type  Y  to accept or RETURN to roll again:

            If you are not satisfied with the statistics generated, you may 
        continue  pressing  RETURN  for another set until you get a set you 
        like. Then, type Y to accept.  

            After your character is created,  you  will  be  taken  to  the 
        Mission Display and Lobby. The screen will look like this: 
        BRIAN the DETECTIVE  Grade: 1  (Age: 18)  Version 3.2  Difficulty 1
        Strength:       20    |                     |      Floor          0
        Intelligence:   18    |                     |      Account:   50000
        Wisdom:         21    |                     |      Junk Food:     1
        Stamina:        15    |    >>> LOBBY <<<    |      Offense:       0
        Dexterity:      17    |                     |      Defense:       0
        Personality:    15    |                     |      Chips:         0
        Power Level:   100    |                     |      Bytes:         0
        Plans:         1/1    |                     |      Exp to go:  2000
                  1. Vending Machines           4. Health Club
                  2. The Library                5. Power & Plans
                  3. Office Supplies            6. Elevator



            The Mission Display keeps a continuously updated record of your 
        character's attributes and other vital statistics.  The Stats which 
        most affect your survivability are on the left.  As you  deal  with 
        various  employees  throughout the mission,  your grade will go up.  
        Your stats  will  also  increase  based  on  your  character  type.  
        However, there is a limit of 999 for any one statistic.  

            The  statistics  on  the  right side of the screen display some 
        additional important information.  When the computer took over, the 
        conventional  monetary  system was replaced.  Purchases now require 
        Chips and Bytes rather than dollars and cents.  Bytes  in  Account, 
        indicate the amount you have to spend on Junk Food, Strategies, and 
        Office Supplies.  

                                       Page 3
            Offense  and defense are added to the display when you purchase 
        supplies in the Office Supply Store or find them during your  walks 
        through  the  building.  Offense  and defense assist you in dealing 
        with reluctant employees you encounter.
            As you walk through the  building,  you  will  find  Chips  and 
        Bytes.  When  you return to the Lobby,  these will be automatically 
        deposited to your Bytes in Account.  

            When you begin your mission,  you already  have some experience 
        in dealing with difficult matters.  The "Experience to go:" display 
        (2000) is reduced by a certain amount each  time  you  successfully 
        deal with an employee.  When this value reaches zero (0),  you will 
        advance one Grade and the "Experience to go:" is re-calculated  for 
        the next Grade Level.  

            You  may save your character and stats on disk so you can play 
        at a later time by pressing the ESC key while in  the  Lobby.  You 
        can only save your character and stats from the Lobby.  

        LOBBY & STORES:
                  1. Vending Machines           4. Health Club
                  2. The Library                5. Power & Plans
                  3. Office Supplies            6. Elevator


            The stores are invaluable resources to you.  You will  need  to 
        use them frequently.  The employees no longer come to the lobby, so 
        you need not worry about your safety there.  These  stores  provide 
        the following: 

        Vending Machines:  Junk Food  can be purchased here.  You  need  to 
                           have at least one unit on hand while exploring 
                           the building,  or you will  starve  to death.  

        The Library:       The Library  provides  a wealth of Strategies to 
                           assist  you  in  encounters  with the building's 
                           occupants.  Of course,  there is a small  charge 
                           for these.  

        Office Supplies:   Office Supplies  add to your Offense and Defense 
                           in dealing with employees you meet.  You may buy 
                           some items in the store;  however, you will find 
                           many more  valuable  items on  the upper floors. 
                           You may elect to sell some of these items at the
                           store.  Also,  the  store manager  will tell you
                           what each item's offense and defense is. Pricing
                           will vary depending on your Personality. 

        Health Club:       Working  out  in  the Health Club will allow you 
                           to  increase  your stats.  The club is not cheap 
                           and the higher your stat is,  the more difficult 
                           it is to raise.
                                       Page 4
        Power & Plans:     You can  renew your  Power Level and  Plans here 
                           if  you  have  not done so in the building.  You 
                           should keep your Power Level at 100%.  Plans are 
                           needed to use the  Strategies  you  buy  in  the 


            The  Elevator  allows  you  to  leave  the Lobby and enter the 
        Building's upper floors.  When you select Elevator,  you  will  be 
        asked  FLOOR  PLEASE?  Type  the  number of the floor you want and 
        press RETURN.  The Elevator will take you to that  floor  provided 
        you   have   the  proper  clearance.   When  you  arrive  at  your 
        destination, the center of the Mission Display will change to: 

                                  Location ^ 5,5
                                   * ELEVATOR *

            There are 64  rooms on each floor of the building.  The room at 
        the far northwest (upper left) is room 1,1.  The  southwest  corner 
        is   8,1.  The northeast corner is 1,8  and the southeast corner is 
        8,8.  On each  floor the  Elevator is at  5,5.  When  you  want  to 
        change floors or return to the lobby, go to  Location  5,5 and type
        the + key to call the elevator. Enter a floor number or L for Lobby
        and press RETURN.

            When you reach a floor (other than the Lobby), you may continue
        in the  direction  indicated  (Location ^) or  change  direction by
        pressing  the  appropriate  CURSOR  key.  You will advance one room 
        (step) at a time in  the new  direction.  If you walk too far,  you
        will bump  into a wall. Each bump slightly lowers your Power Level.  


            You  will  encounter  many  hazards  in  your  search  for  the 
        mainframe.  The computer has complete  reign  over  the  building's 
        environmental control system.  Each room has vents for this purpose 
        and it is possible to be sucked into the ventilation system, placed 
        on another floor, and suffer some loss of Power Level.  

            During your walk,  you may also find  unguarded  file  cabinets 
        which  contain  Chips  and  Bytes.  They  may also contain valuable 
        office supplies or beverages.  Beware!  Some of these file cabinets 
        are  trapped  and require high dexterity to open them safely.  When 
        you encounter a file, the Display will show: 

                                 You found a File!
                                 1. Break it open
                                 2. Disarm & open
                                 3. Inspect it
                                 4. Leave it
                                       Page 5
                                 You found a File!
                                 1. Break it open
                                 2. Disarm & open
                                 3. Inspect it
                                 4. Leave it
                You may sustain damage or even die from trapped  files.  If 
        you "inspect" the  file and the report is Looks Safe,  then you may 
        open the file safely.  When you Disarm & Open a trapped  file,  you 
        may get less Chips & Bytes than you  would by breaking it open. But
        breaking it open causes more damage to your power level.  Files are 
        also more dangerous  on higher floors,  but those files can contain 
        more Chips & Bytes.  
            Some of the file cabinets are guarded by  employees.  You  will 
        have to convince these folks that you need the file's contents more 
        than they do to get the treasures!  

            While walking through a room, you may see this display:

                               You found a beverage!
                                    1. Drink it
                                    2. Leave it
                                    3. Sip it

            If you Sip it, you use one (1) Junk Food unit.  If the beverage 
        Tastes Delicious, it may add to one of your stats. It may also make
        you Drunk!  You'll have to  walk it off or sober up using your Junk
        Food by R(enewing). When Drunk, you'll have difficulty going in the
        direction you want. If it Tastes Terrible,  it will lower a stat if
        you drink it. Sometimes Sip tells  you that the value of the bever-
        age is UNKNOWN.  Poison Juice  will  kill  you if you drink it, and
        lower your Power Level if you Sip it.  

        You may also see this display:

                                You found an item!
                                    1. Take it
                                    2. Leave it

            These  items  are  Office Supplies which may add to or subtract 
        from your Offense and Defense.  There are 36 items.  Most are  good 
        items and will add to your Offense and Defense.  A few are bad.  If 
        you have the Analyze strategy and sufficient Wisdom you can analyze
        the item before picking it up to determine if it is good or bad. If
        you are  already  carrying  6  items,  you must drop  one  to  take 
        another.  You  cannot  drop  a  bad  item.  You  must return to the 
        Office Supply Store in the Lobby and pay the owner to take it  from 
                                       Page 6

            Sometimes  (all too often)  you  will  encounter  one  or  more 
        employees guarding a file cabinet or just fending  for  themselves.
        You  have  several options  at  your  command.  Typing  a  question
        mark (?) when you encounter an employee will display: 

              D(eal), B(attle), S(trategy), T(rick), E(vade), P(hone)

        D = Deal. Make a deal with the employee. You can barter Bytes, 
            Junk Food, or Office Supplies.

        B = Battle. You get 10 rounds of fighting unless the employee
            hits you. Then it stops and waits for your next option.

        S = Strategy. This option allows you to use one of the Strategies 
            you bought in the Library.

        T = Trick. You may attempt to trick the employee. Trick depends 
            on your intelligence and the employee's intelligence.

        E = Evade. If you have greater dexterity than the employee, you 
            may be able to evade them. Of course you do not get any Chips 
            or Bytes, or items they may be guarding. If you return to that 
            room, an employee will still be there. Its easier to evade
            when the lights are out. 

        P = Phone. You can try the phone to distract the employee. Since 
            it is a pay phone you must have some Bytes to make the call.

            There are 24 different types of employees.  You  will  discover 
        the  best  way  to deal with each type as you explore the building.  
        The more difficult employees appear only on the upper floors of the 

            A few employees have the following added characteristics:

        CURSING     -  can lower any stat or increase your age.
        MANGLING    -  can destroy an Office Supply.
        SCROZZLING  -  can destroy any of your Strategies.
        TELEPORTING -  can transfer you to another location.
        STEALING    -  can steal some of your chips & bytes.

            Even though some employees can do these things,  they can still 
        be dealt with using the normal encounter resources or by one of the 
                                       Page 7 


             A Strategy will usually take care of the employee on the first
        or second try if you  have  chosen  the  correct  Strategy for that
        employee and your stats enable you to use  it.  Each  Strategy  has
        some probability of failure,  depending on the strategy and certain
        other traits. Incidentally, these  Strategies  are  rather worn and
        may  disintegrate in your hands during use if your dexterity is not
        high enough.  

            You must own a Strategy to use it.  These are available at  the 
        Library. They will  cost  you  something, depending on your Person-
        ality,  so its a good idea to build up your bank account to get the
        more powerful Strategies.  When you  encounter an employee and want
        to use a Strategy, type S at the option. Typing a question mark (?)
        will display: 

           A(nalyze), B(luff), C(onfuse), D(ecoy), F(latter), H(ypnotize) 

           Simply type the first letter of the  Strategy  you  want to use.   
        There are six  Strategies  you  can  use.  The  more expensive  the 
        Strategy is,  the more effective it will be (if your stats permit).  
        Some of the cheaper strategies will  not  work at  all  on  certain
        employees. There is one exception. The A(nalyze) Strategy will work
        on all employees,  but you must  have  high  Wisdom to use it.  The 
        A(nalyze) Strategy informs you of the employees capabilities: 

                   LEV: 5  DEX: 25  STR: 45  INT: 32  EXPER: 1000

            This tells you the  Level (how tough they are),  Dexterity (how 
        quick they are),  Strength (another measure of difficulty),  Intel-  
        ligence  (how hard  they will be to trick),  and EXPER  (the amount 
        your "Experience to go:" will be reduced).  

            Strategies use up your plans.  A(nalyze) takes 1, B(luff) takes 
        2,  and so on up to 6 for H(ypnotize).  You may renew your Plans by 
        typing R(enew) at any location except an encounter or in the Lobby.  

            When you R(enew) at a non-encounter location, you will see:

                                  1. Renew Power
                                  2. Renew Plans
                                  3. Renew Both to Maximum

            Selecting  1  will  display  the  number of Power units you can 
        renew.  Selecting 2 will display the number of Plans you can renew.  
        Selecting 3 automatically renews both power and plans to their max-
        imum values. If you are drunk, a fourth option,  "Sober Up (takes x
        food)" appears.  Be careful not to use up all your food! Power  and
        Plans are renewed  with  Junk  Food  while in the building and with
        Bytes from your Account when in the Lobby.

                                       Page 8 
        LIGHTS OUT:
            Perodically, the lights will go out and you will not be able to
        see at all.  You must light a match to see your way to the Elevator
        and go to the  Lobby  or  the  Fuse Box  (designated by an  "F"  in
        Difficulty 1).  At the Fuse Box, pressing  "F" will turn the lights
        back on. Matches are obtained from some employees you overcome. Few
        employees carry matches nowdays.
                        -*-*- Tips for Mission Success -*-*-
            Start your mission on the lower floors until  your  character's 
        stats  increase.  Don't  go to a floor number much larger than your 
        Grade until your stats allow you to do so safely.  

            Always keep your Junk Food at a maximum,  as it  is  useful  in 
        renewing Power and Plans in the Building.  Be careful not to use it 
        all,  or you will starve to death.  Each step you take  consumes  a 
        small amount of Junk Food.  

            When making a  "Deal"  with an employee, remember that the max-
        imum  amount  needed for  success  is the  difference  between  the
        employee's intelligence and your personality times 1000 bytes. Food
        is worth 200 bytes each when dealing,  and most office supplies can
        be dealt successfully, except bad items.

            The PASS KEY, SECURITY CLEARANCE,  and MAINFRAME are all placed 
        on  specific  floors  and  in specific rooms when your character is 
        created.  They  will remain in place  until  you find them.  If you 
        decide  not to pick  one  up  when you find it, it will be ramdomly
        placed elsewhere in the building. 

            If you E(vade) to avoid an employee, you might stay alive,  but
        that might be the employee with the PASS KEY or SECURITY CLEARANCE.  

            If  a T(rick),  E(vade), or  P(hone) does not work on the first 
        try against an employee,  you can try  again.  Sometimes  it  takes 
        several attempts.  

                              -*- COMMAND SUMMARY -*-
        Commands available in the Lobby:
           Type a number (1-6), R(eplot), F1(sound) or ESC for the Index

        Commands available in the Building (floors 1-30):
           Cursor Keys, R(enew), F(use), F1(sound), M(atch)
        Commands available at the Elevator:
           + Key then: L for Lobby or floor number. 
           Cursor Keys, R(enew), F(use) F1(sound), M(atch)

        Commands available at an encounter:
           D(eal), B(attle), S(trategy), T(rick), E(vade), P(hone)

        Commands to use a Strategy: S for Strategy then:
           A(nalyze), B(luff), C(onfuse), D(ecoy), F(latter), H(ypnotize)
                                       Page 9