Abandonware DOS title

Scorched Earth manual

                            Scorched Earth 1.5

                        - The Mother of All Games -

                  Copyright (c) 1991-1995 Wendell Hicken

Scorched Earth                                                       page 2

                             Table of Contents

          Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
          Scorch Quick Start . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
          Choosing Players . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
              Human-Controlled Players . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
              Computer-Controlled Players  . . . . . . . . . .  7
              Tank Icon Selection  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
          Playing the Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
          Tank Control Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
          Controls available:  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
          Moving your Tank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
          Inventory Panel  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
          Buying Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
              Selling Items  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
          Equipment List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
              Available Weapons  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
              Standard Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
              Earth Destroying Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
              Earth Producing Weapons  . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
              Energy Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
              Available Accessories  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
              Guidance Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
              Defense Systems  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
              Miscellaneous Extras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
          System Menu  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
              Reassigning Players  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
              Reassigning Teams  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
              Saved Games  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
          Customizing Scorch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
              Brief Summary of On-screen Controls  . . . . . . 37
              Main Menu  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
              Sound Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
              Hardware Menu  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
              Economics Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
              Physics Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
              Landscape Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
              Play Options Menu  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
              Changing the Talking Tanks . . . . . . . . . . . 48
              Weapons Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
              Archaic Options  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
          Simultaneous Mode  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
          Synchronous Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
          Being a Team Player  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
          Registering Scorch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
          Index  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Scorched Earth                                                       page 3


Scorched Earth is a simple, yet exciting artillery combat game, based on an
auspicous history of artillery games.  Most of the options are very
intuitive, and you can begin playing with only a little bit of information.
Then, when you are interested, you can poke in the dimmer recesses of the
manual for more information and options (or just ignore it altogether!)

If you want to get started right away (and don't we all?), skip to the next
section for a Quick Start.  Note that Scorched Earth uses the full 256
colors available on a VGA monitor, and will not run on anything less (i.e.
Hercules, MDA, CGA, EGA, PGA, etc.)  If you don't have a VGA, you'll have
to find a friend who does.

The following is a list of files that are distributed/created by Scorch. If
you are missing any of these files (except SCORCH.MKT), then you have an
incomplete copy of Scorch!

     Filename       Purpose/Description
     --------       -------------------
     FIX.BAT        Utility to remove bad .cfg files
     ORDER.FRM      Registration form
     README         Last minutes changes and updates
     SCORCH.CFG     Scorched Earth Configuration File
     SCORCH.DOC     Scorched Earth Documentation
     SCORCH.EXE     Scorched Earth, The Game
     SCORCH.ICO     Scorched Earth Icon for Microsoft Windows
     SCORCH.MKT     Market Price Database (automatically created)
     SCORCH.PIF     "Program Information File" for starting
                    Scorched Earth from Microsoft Windows 3.1
     TALKXX.CFG     Comment Files used for Talking Tanks
     *.MTN          Scanned mountain ranges

Scorched Earth                                                       page 4

Scorch Quick Start

So, you want to play Scorched Earth...OK, here's whatcha gotta do:
Start Scorched Earth by copying everything into a subdirectory of your
harddisk, like c:\games\scorch, or by putting it all on a floppy disk. Now
type SCORCH (and then hit  for all you novices. :-) )

You are now looking at a Shareware message. Take the time to read it and
let it bother your conscience just a little bit. Don't worry, there's
nothing subliminal in the message. (Trust me!) Hit any key, and you will be
looking at the opening screen.  For the first game, we'd like to make a
couple of changes to Scorched Earth's normal default settings. Here's how
ya do it:

With the mouse, click on Sound, or press O.  Then press F for Flight Sound
2 times. (or click twice) so that it says POS. If you go past it, just
click a couple extra times, till it comes back.  Now press ESC, or click
anywhere outside the dialog box.

Now click on Physics, or press Y.  Then press W 2 or 3 times till it says
Random.   Now press ESC, or click anywhere outside the dialog box.

Now click on Play Options, or press T.  Then press T again (or click on
Talking Tanks) until there is a check mark in the box. This means ON.

Now click on Economics, or press E.  Then press C (or click on Computers
Buy) to turn this option off. This will give you a little advantage while
you're learning.  Now press ESC, or click anywhere outside the dialog box.

If you have a slow system, you might want to go to the hardware menu and
set the firing delay to a smaller number. The best thing is to play it
once, and see how fast it is, then adjust it to suit your system. If the
system seems to be going too slow, just decrease this number.

If you want, save these defaults by selecting "Save Changes". You can
always retype them later, or get rid or them later, at your discretion.
Now, click on Start, or press S, and start the game.

The screen will turn red (every player has his or her own color).  The
computer will display a window which says "Player 1".  Type your name and
press ENTER.  For now, ignore the tank icons across the bottom.  Click on
the Done button or press 'D'. (A second ENTER will also work here).

Next the screen will turn green, and display a new window.  If you have a
friend, type in his or her name like you did for yourself.  Otherwise,
you'll want to select a computer foe.  To do this, click on the picture of
a computer in the lower left, or press TAB (you might need to press ESCAPE
first, to let the computer know you won't be typing in a name).  The screen
will change to list the different types of Computers available.  The
opponent types are all explained later in this manual. For now, choose
Moron by pressing M or clicking on the word "Moron.'  That should give you
a chance to learn the ropes.  Then press the Done button, or ENTER. (The
computer will choose its own name.)

Scorched Earth                                                       page 5

                        Scorch Quick Start cont...

Now the computer will generate a random Scorched Earth background. A player
will be chosen at random to go first, and then play will proceed from left
to right. If the computer went first, you have already been fired upon.
Get revenge!

To fire, select fire-power, by using the up and down arrows, or putting the
mouse over it (at the top left of screen) and pressing the left or right
button to increase or decrease power. Do the same with angle, using the
left and right arrows, or putting the cursor on it and using the mouse
buttons. Now press space bar, or both mouse buttons at once! Boom!

That's basically how it goes. You can keep shooting till you get the other
tank(s). If you're having trouble, start over, and set the Trace option to
ON, so that all your missiles leave a colored track. The screen will get
messy, but it's much easier to figure out where you shot.
After you kill a tank, you have the option to buy weapons, based on how
much money you made. Money you don't spend will be saved until later. Try
buying a Baby Nuke. Then, before you fire the next time, press TAB, or
select your weapon by clicking the left or right mouse button on the top
right corner of the screen. Sit back and watch the fun. The tank control
panel is activated by pressing T or left-clicking on a player's name. Here
you can work the guidance and defense systems.
At any time, hit Alt-S or F1 for the system menu, which will let you exit
the game, switch players, or kill everyone! Most of all, just experiment,
and ... have fun!

Scorched Earth                                                       page 6

Choosing Players

Once you have chosen START from the main menu, you will be allowed to
choose settings unique to each player.  All of these choices can be changed
while playing the game by using the system menu (See Using the System
Menu).  The following procedure will repeat for each player in the game:

1) The background will change to several shades of a particular color.  This
color will represent the player being configured, and may not be changed.

2) The Tank Initialization Panel will appear.  This identifies the current
tank by number, and gives access to all the settings you can control.  The
contents of the Tank Initialization Panel vary depending on what kind of
player you are choosing: Computer-controlled, or human-controlled.  To
switch between the types of players, press the TAB key or select the
appropriate icon.  The various choices are described below.  When you are
satisfied with your choices, press "Done" or ENTER.

That's all there is to it.  If you are starting with initial cash, then
each player will have a chance to buy things (see Buying Equipment).
Otherwise, you will proceed directly to the game (see Playing the Game).

Human-Controlled Players

For human controlled players, you must at least enter your name.  You do
this by typing into the box labelled "Name" at the top of the
initialization panel.  If there is not a blinking vertical line (a
"caret"), you will need to press 'N' first to select this field.  After you
have entered your name, press ENTER.

If you have selected simultaneous mode you must decide which keys the
players will use to control their tank, as every player will use the
keyboard simultaneously (Computer players don't need keys, so this
selection applies only to non-computer players).  You must choose six keys,
for six different actions, as shown on the initialization panel by icons.
The icons, in order, stand for:

     clockwise rotation of the turret
     counter-clockwise rotation of the turret
     increasing firing power
     decreasing firing power
     the fire button
     a button to change weapons

Simply press the key you want, one for each box.  Be careful to make sure
that no key is used for more than one thing (if you don't, you will hear a
beep, and must enter a new key).  For more information, see Simultaneous Mode.

Scorched Earth                                                       page 7

Computer-Controlled Players

If you chose to play the Computer, you will be prompted for information on
how the computer should play the tank.  Choices and their meanings are
listed below.  In any case, the computer will choose a name for its player
which will not conflict with any name used by a human (or otherwise) player.

                       Available Computer Opponents

          Category       Methods of Operation
          --------       --------------------

          Moron          Well, you can't get much stupider than
                         this.  Morons just pick an angle and
                         power, and shoot.  Definitely for
                         beginners only.

          Shooter        Shooters can be significantly deadlier
                         than Morons, but only if they have a
                         straight line of fire.

          Poolshark      Poolsharks act like Shooters unless you
                         are using rebounding walls.  Then they
                         try to rebound shots off of the walls
                         and ceilings to shoot you.

          Tosser         Tossers start out like Morons, but
                         they'll refine their aim to get closer
                         and closer, until they hit.  If their
                         initial shot isn't too close, you have
                         some time to kill them.

          Chooser        Choosers have all the above methods
                         available to them, and decide which one
                         will be most effective.

          Spoiler        Spoilers are decidedly dangerous.
                         Taking into account the wind factor and
                         gravity, they will get a perfect shot
                         almost every time, assuming nothing is
                         in the way.  Luckily, they aren't able
                         to compensate for viscous air.

          Cyborg         Cyborgs use methods similar to the
                         Spoilers, but are much nastier about
                         choosing targets.  They will tend to
                         attack tanks who are weakened, winning,
                         or have attacked them in the past.

          Unknown        If you choose this option, one of the
                         above will be chosen randomly to control
                         the tank, but you will not be notified
                         of what the selection was!

Scorched Earth                                                      page 8 

Tank Icon Selection

Whether you are choosing a human or a computer player, you will need to
select an icon,  or graphical image, that will represent the tank.  For the
most part, this is just a matter of taste.

If you choose an icon that doesn't have wheels or treads, you  are
selecting a fixed emplacement rather than a tank, and that player will not
be able to buy (or use) fuel.  Thus, they will be immobile for the duration
of each round (except for falling, of course!).

One of the icons may only be selected for Computer players.  This icon is
the largest one to the right, and will appear grayed while you are choosing
human players (unless youre lucky enough to have the registered version!).
The icon represents the deadly "Triple-turreted tank", which allows the
tank to fire three shots at a time if it is using Missiles or Baby
Missiles.  This gives particularly good players a run for their money!

Scorched Earth                                                      page 9 

Playing the Game

When the game starts, you will see a background drawn, with tanks scattered
more or less evenly across the landscape.  Most of the action is controlled
from the thin horizontal control bar across the top, but there are a few
extra options which use other parts of the screen.  The top bar might be
arranged like this:

[Power: 345      Angle: 35                Sprig              o 3 Dirt Clod]

Power is the amount of power you wish to fire your weapon with.  It may be
anywhere between zero and the maximum available power for your tank (1000
if you're at full strength)  Your current maximum may be found on the Tank
Control Panel, which you access by pressing 't' (explained in just a
moment), or will be listed on the next line if you have enable the Status Bar.

Angle is the angle at which you will be firing.  It will always be between
0 and 90.  You must look at you tank to know which direction you will be
firing.  0 is horizontally level, and 90 degrees is straight up.

Sprig is the current players name.

Dirt Clod is the currently selected weapon.  On the far right, there will
always be an icon, a weapon name, and a number indicating how many of that
weapon you have left.  This number will always be greater than zero, as you
can't select a weapon you don't own.

In the upper right corner of the sky, there will be the word Wind written
in a light blue, with either an arrow pointing left or right, and a number.
This represents the speed and direction of the wind, which will affect your
shot.  You can control the wind somewhat before you start the game by
changing options on the Weather menu (see Main Menu).  If there is no wind,
the words No Wind will be written there.

If you have enabled the Status Bar (from the Play Options menu), there will
be a second line of information. (Beginners should probably skip this
section on first reading.  Go to section title "Controls Available."   If,
on the other hand, you are a compulsive reader, feel free to continue... no
secrets here!)

Scorched Earth                                                      page 10

[Max: 1000  0 [batt]  0 [para]   0 [shlds] 0%   0 [guid]  0 [trig]  0 [fuel]

The status bar takes some getting used to, but is a fast way to control
your tank.  The leftmost entry shows your current maximum firing power.
This will be 10 times your tank's remaining power.  If this number reaches
zero, you are dead.

The first icon is a battery, and the number to the left is how many
batteries you have in stock.  If your energy is not at full, the icon of
the battery will be black, indicating you can use batteries to recharge
your power.  If you have no batteries, or no need to use them, this icon
will be grayed.

The second icon is a parachute.  This lets you toggle the current state of
your parachutes, if you own any.  For example, if you have 5 parachutes
which are in the "passive" state, the 5 will be dark and the parachute icon
will be gray.  If the parachutes are "deployed," then the parachute will
also be dark.  If you have no parachutes, both the number and the icon will
be gray.  (Parachutes are fully further on!)

Next is the shield control.  If the shield icon is dark, that mean the icon
showing represents whatever shields are currently active.  The percentage
indicates how much of the active shield remains, while the number to the
left of the shield indicates how many of that type of shield you have in
inventory.  When you energize your shields, the shield represented by the
icon will be activated, decrementing the count on the left by one, and
increasing the percentage to one-hundred.  The icon of a small person
indicates "no shields."  When shields are enabled, the "no shields" icon
will be a downward-pointing arrow.  You can use this icon can be used to
turn off your shields entirely.

Next are guidance systems.  If there is a guidance system icon displayed,
that guidance system will be used when you fire (unless it does not apply,
explained later).  The small icon of a person means "No guidance, I can hit
that tank by myself!"  The number to the left indicates how many of the
selected guidance system you currently own.

Continuing across the status bar, you will find a contact trigger icon, The
trigger icon will be gray if triggers are not active, and dark otherwise.
The number indicates how many triggers you currently own.

Finally, there is a fuel icon (but not in 320x200 mode... no space!).  The
fuel icon will be dark if you have any fuel at all, in which case clicking
on this icon will send you directly to the Tank Movement Panel, so you can
move your tank from side to side.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 11

Controls available:

F1 or Alt-S (which pops-up the System Menu) is available at any time.  In
addition, there are several controls you can use at this point in the game
(facing the playing field with no other controls).

  UP ARROW:    Increase the power with which you want to fire.
               This can be done with the mouse by clicking on the word
               Power with the right mouse button.   As long as you hold the
               key or button, the number will continue to increase (up to
               its maximum).

  PAGE UP:     Rapidly increase the power with which you want to
               fire.  This is similar to using the UP ARROW, except the
               numbers will change much faster.

  DOWN ARROW:  Decrease the power with which you want to fire.
               This can be done with the mouse by clicking on the word
               Power with the left mouse button.

  PAGE DOWN:   Rapidly decrease the power with which you want
               to fire.  This is similar to using the DOWN ARROW, except
               the numbers will change much faster.

  LEFT ARROW:  Rotate your turret counter-clockwise.  This can
               be done with the mouse by clicking on the word Angle with
               the left mouse button.

  SHIFT:       If you hold down the SHIFT key while using any of
               the arrow keys, the power/angle will increase/decrease more
               slowly.  This is useful for making small adjustments to your
               current power and angle.

  ALT:         If you hold down the ALT key while using any of the
               arrow keys, the power/angle will increase/decrease by only
               one for each press of the arrow key.  This is useful for
               making very fine adjustments to your current power and angle.

  TAB:         Change weapons.  This can be done with the mouse by
               clicking on the weapon name with the right mouse button.
               When you change weapons, each weapon you own appears in
               turn.  To change weapons in the other direction of the
               weapons list, use SHIFT-TAB, or click on the weapon name
               with the left mouse button.

  SPACEBAR or ENTER:Fire your currently selected weapon.
               This can be done with the mouse by clicking both buttons
               simultaneously while positioned over the playing area.  You
               will then see your shot on screen, along with any effects,
               and the next player will have a turn.
               If you are using guidance systems, you may need to provide
               additional information after firing your missile, so it
               knows what destination it is headed for.  See Guidance Systems.
Scorched Earth                                                      page 12

                        Controls available: cont...

  t:           This selects the Tank Control Panel.  This may be done
               with the mouse by clicking on the player name with the left
               mouse button.  For more information about this panel, see
               the Tank Control Panel below.

  i:           This brings up an icon inventory of all the items you
               have in stock.  You can do this with the mouse by clicking
               on your name with the right button.  If you have a mouse,
               you can click on any weapon icon, and that will become the
               currently selected weapon.  There is no keyboard equivalent
               to this shortcut.  To exit from this panel, click anywhere
               outside the inventory box, or press the ESCAPE key.

  k:           Display a box which reads "No kibitzing, please."  This
               is a not so subtle clue to tell people to shut up when you
               are trying to aim!  Press any button or key to remove the box.

  r:           Retreat from the playing field.  There is no way to do
               this with the mouse.  You will gain no points for this
               action, but may prevent an enemy from getting points for
               killing you.  This is sometimes a wise action if you know
               you are going to die.  If you kill yourself, you will
               actually lose cash!  After you press 'r', you will be asked
               if you really want to retreat before this action takes
               effect.  You will escape in an emergency helicopter (model
               G.N.A.T.), and your tank will blow up behind you.

  u:           Display an update of the game status, i.e. what state are
               the walls in, and how many rounds are left.  Click anywhere
               outside the box, or press any key to get out.

  0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9:Display information about the tank
               which corresponds to the number.  The leftmost tank will be
               numbered one, the next numbered two, and so on.  If there
               are ten tanks, the last one will be numbered 10, represented
               here by a 0.  Note that when tanks die, their representative
               order will change.  This information can be gotten more
               easily by clicking on the tank you are interested in with
               the left button.  To get rid of the information box, click
               anywhere outside it or press ESCAPE.

If you have the Status Bar enabled, another set of keys will be active
which allow you to control the options listed there.  The options
correspond to those found on the Tank Control Panel, and are explained in
more detail there.  There is currently no way to set the parachute safety
threshold from the Status Bar.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 13

                        Controls available: cont...

  b:           Activate one battery.  This increases your power by 10
               units.  You can do this with the mouse by clicking on the
               battery icon on the status bar.

  p:           Toggle the state of your parachutes.  Deployed parachutes
               will become passive, and passive parachutes will deploy.
               You can do this with the mouse by clicking on the parachute
               icon on the status bar.

  s:           Select shield type.  This selects the current shield
               type.  This is useful for changing your shields or
               recharging them.  You must select a shield type before
               energizing a shield.  Note that the small stick figure
               indicates no shields, and can be used to deactivate shields.
               You control this option with the mouse by clicking on the
               shield icon on the status bar.

  e:           Engage current shield type.  This engages the current
               shield type, or deactivates the current shield if you have
               selected "nothing" as your current shield.  This option will
               not work if you try to charge a fully charged shield of the
               same type, but will work to switch shield types.  You can do
               this with the mouse by clicking on the % energized number to
               the right of the shield icon on the status bar.

  g:           Select guidance system.  This selects your current
               guidance system.  The stick figure indicates no guidance
               system.  You can do this with the mouse by clicking on the
               guidance icon on the status bar.

  f:           Use fuel.  This enables you to move your tank back and
               forth, as described in the section Moving Your Tank.  You
               can enable this with the mouse by clicking on the fuel
               canister icon on the status bar.

  -:           Enable/disable contact triggers.  This option is not
               available in 320x200 mode. This controls whether your shot
               will tunnel or not.  You can do this with the mouse by
               clicking on the contact trigger icon to the far right of the
               status bar.  Note that the equivalent key from the Tank
               Control Panel is 't'.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 14

Tank Control Panel

When the Tank Control Panel is displayed, the above commands are disabled
and replaced by a new set of commands.  For more information on some of the
items described here, see the extensive descriptions in the Equipment List.
Most of the hotkeys will be highlighted.  If any entry is gray, that means
that the option is not currently available  (for example, you may not
control parachutes unless you have at least 1 parachute in your inventory).

If you have the status bar enabled, you will be able to access most of
these options without using the Tank Control Panel.  Some people find the
Tank Control Panel easier, while others prefer the status bar.  In either
case, the actions performed are identical.

Controls available:

  b:           Discharge one battery in order to increase your remaining
               power.  If your remaining power is 100 (the maximum), or you
               have no batteries, then you cannot use this option.  Each
               battery will increase your power by ten, unless doing so
               would give you more than 100  power.  In this case your
               power will simply be put to 100.  This can be done with the
               mouse by clicking on the word Batteries.

  p:           Change the active state of parachutes.  Parachutes may
               either be passive, or deployed.  Each time you press p, the
               state will change back and forth.  This may be done with the
               mouse by clicking on the word Parachute.  Note that if you
               have no parachutes, you may not change the state of them.
               For more information on what the state of a parachute means,
               consult the Equipment List.

  v:           Change the safety threshold of the parachute.  This may
               be done with the mouse by clicking on the tiny dial to the
               right of the word Parachutes.  When you select this, the
               number to the right of the dial will disappear, and a large
               box will appear.  You may type any number between 1 and 100,
               then press enter to register your change.  If you decide not
               to change the value, you can press ESCAPE.  This number can
               only be entered from the keyboard.  For more information on
               what the safety threshold is, see the Equipment List under

Scorched Earth                                                      page 15

                        Controls available: cont...

  e:           This option will engage the currently selected shield.
               This can be done with the mouse by clicking on the words
               Energy Left, or by clicking on the power bar to the right.
               The currently selected shield is the one pointed to by the
               slide bar directly underneath the words Energy Left.  If any
               shields are engaged, the percentage of protection remaining
               will be indicated by how much of the power bar is lit.
               Engage shields will remove whatever shields were present, if
               any, and put the currently selected shields to full.  If the
               currently selected shields are None, then energizing them
               will put your shields down all the way.  If you put down
               your shields, or energize a shield when a shield was already
               present,  there is no way to regain that shield.  For more
               on shields, see the Equipment List under Shields and
               Auto Defense.

  s:           This option lets you change the currently selected
               shield.  This has no effect on the game unless you energize
               the shield, as described on the command above.  You may do
               this with the mouse by clicking on the slide bar.  Note that
               each type of shield will say how many of that type you have
               left.  If you have a shield currently in place, the name of
               the shield will be highlighted here.  The currently selected
               shield need not be the same as the currently energized
               shield.  For more on shields, see the Equipment List under
               Shields, and the paragraph above on Energizing Shields.

  t:           This lets you use triggers.  You may do this with the
               mouse by clicking on the box next to the word Triggers.  You
               may only do this if you have more than zero triggers.  If
               you select triggers, your weapon will be equipped with a
               trigger when you fire.  No triggers will actually be used
               until you fire, so until that point you may reselect
               Triggers to turn them off.  For more information on
               triggers, consult the Equipment List.

  g:           This lets you choose a weapons guidance system.  You do
               this with the mouse by clicking on the slide bar beneath the
               word Guidance.  When you fire a weapon, the guidance system
               which you have chosen, if any, will take charge and do
               whatever it is that it does.  No guidance system will
               actually be used until you fire.  After firing, the guidance
               system will be set back to None, so you don't accidentally
               waste some expensive electronics.  For more info on Guidance
               Systems, consult the Equipment List.

  f:           This lets you move your tank, assuming that you have some
               amount of fuel which is not zero.  You can do this with the
               mouse by clicking on the words Fuel Remaining.  For
               information on how to move your tank, see Moving your Tank.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 16

Moving your Tank

When you choose f from the Tank Control Panel, that panel will disappear,
to be replaced by the Moving Control Panel.  The Moving Control Panel has
two arrows, one pointing left, and one pointing right, and a button between
them which says how much fuel you have left.  To move in a direction, click
on the arrow in that direction, or press the LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW
keys.  Moving one pixel requires one unit of fuel, unless you are going
uphill, in which case it depends on how steep the hill is.

If a hill is too steep, you will be unable to climb it.  If you really want
to go that direction, you'll have to blow the hill up!  If a hill which you
are descending becomes too steep, your tank will slip and fall, possibly
taking severe damage.  If this happens, control will return to the main
area of the game.  If you want to move further, you'll have to reselect f
from the Tank Control Panel.

When you have no fuel left, you can move no farther.  In any case, when you
decide you have finished moving, you may press ESCAPE, or click on the
button which indicates how much fuel you have left.  This will return you
to the main part of the game, not the Tank Control Panel.

Controls available:

  LEFT ARROW:  Move your tank left one pixel.  Naturally, you
               can only do this if you have fuel.  This is done with the
               mouse by clicking on the left arrow of the Moving Control

  RIGHT ARROW: Move your tank right one pixel.  Naturally, you
               can only do this if you have fuel.  This is done with the
               mouse by clicking on the right arrow of the Moving Control

  ESCAPE:      Finish moving your tank.  This is done with the
               mouse by clicking on the "Fuel Left" indicator.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 17

Inventory Panel

When you press 'i' during your turn, or right-click on your name, the
Inventory Panel will pop-up.  This panel displays an icon for each type of
item you currently own.  This panel gives you short-cut access to many of
the features of Scorch.  When you are done looking at/using the Inventory
Panel, press ESCAPE or click outside the panel.   Beginners should probably
skip the rest of this section on their first reading.

When you select an icon, you will either hear a beep, or the icon will
"flash."  If the icon flashes, that means it has taken the "obvious"
action.  The "obvious" actions are described briefly below:

Weapons will be selected, so that you don't have to TAB through a list to
get to them.  This is often a convenient way of choosing a weapon.

Shields will be energized.  Unlike other methods of energizing a shield,
this method both chooses and energizes the shield, so one click gets you
the whole shooting match.

Parachutes and triggers will be toggled from an "active" state to a
"passive" one.

Guidance systems will be selected.  Note that there is no way to de-select
a guidance system from the Inventory Panel... you will need to use the Tank
Control Panel or the status bar.

Batteries will be discharged to recharge your energy.

Clicking on the fuel icon will send you directly to the Moving Control Panel.

Generally speaking, the Inventory Panel shortcuts become easier and more
convenient the more you use them, but if you don't like them, feel free to
ignore them.  As an aside, remember that the Inventory Panel serves a
completely different purpose when selected from the Buying Menu... at that
point, you click on an item to see how much the computer will buy it back
for.  This is described further in another section.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 18

Buying Equipment

Between rounds, players who have extra cash will be given the opportunity
to buy more equipment.  For a list of available equipment, see the
Equipment List.  This section explains the commands available for selecting
and purchasing equipment.

Along the left hand side of the buying screen, there is a large column of
rectangles, each of which displays an icon, a name of an item that can be
bought, and the cost per bundle of that item.  Some items can be bought
singly, while others may only be bought in groups of three, five, or
another number.  To buy an item, click on the name representing that item.
You will see the count increase, and your money decrease.  When you have no
money left, you must select Done, or press ESCAPE, so that the game may

Note that you can never have more than ninety nine of any item.  If you try
to buy more than ninety nine of a particular item, you will only pay for
the fraction that you can buy, but they will be marked up.  That sentence
is confusing enough to warrant an example:  Suppose you have 94 Death
Widgets that cost $10,000/10.  Because of the ninety nine limit, you can
only have five more (until you use some, of course.)  The computer will
only sell you 5 Death Widgets, but instead of $5,000/5, you must pay
$6,000/5, because the bundle size changed.  The markup is about 20%.

Note also that each player has an unlimited supply of Baby Missiles.
They're listed on the menu so that you don't forget them, but you will
always have 99.

Controls Available:

  PAGE DOWN:   Go to the next screen, if any, of the current
               group of items.  This is equivalent to clicking on the down
               arrow.  If the down arrow is grayed, this will do nothing.
               Note that the list wraps around, i.e., if you are on page 2
               of 2, then pressing page down will put you back on page 1.

  PAGE UP:     Go to the previous screen, if any, of the current
               group of items.  This is equivalent to clicking on the up
               arrow.  If the up arrow is grayed, this will do nothing.
               Note that the list wraps around, i.e., if you are on page 1
               of 2, then pressing page up will put you on page 2.

  i:           This will display an icon inventory of what items you
               currently have it stock.   You can do this with the mouse by
               clicking on the "Inventory" button.  This inventory will
               tell you how many you have of each item that you own.  To
               get rid of the inventory and return to buying things, click
               anywhere outside the box, or press ESCAPE.  If you click on
               any item of your inventory except Baby Missiles, you will
               have a chance to sell that item, as explained below.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 19

                         Buying Equipment cont...

  u:           This will display an update of the game status.  You can
               get this with the mouse by pressing the "Update" button.  A
               small, pop-up window will describe how many rounds are left,
               and how much interest you have earned since the start of the
               game.  To get rid of the update panel, click anywhere
               outside the panel, or press ESCAPE.

  UP ARROW:    This will move the triangular marker for the
               currently selected item up one.  This wraps around, i.e., if
               you are at the top of the list, it will put you at the
               bottom.  It will not, however, change between pages of a
               list.  You cannot move the marker in this fashion with the

  DOWN ARROW:  This will move the triangular marker for the
               currently selected item down one.  This wraps around, i.e.,
               if you are at the bottom of the list, it will put you at the
               top.  It will not, however, change between pages of a list.
               You cannot move the marker in this fashion with the mouse.

  HOME:        This will move the triangular marker to the top of the
               list.  It will not change pages.

  END:         This will move the triangular marker to the bottom of
               the list.  It will not change pages.

  TAB:         This can be used to select different groups of items to
               look at.  This is equivalent to clicking on the slide bar.
               The gun icon represents the Weapons group, and the box icon
               represents the Miscellaneous group.  Note that the name of
               the current group is displayed at the top of the item list.

  SPACE BAR:   This will purchase one bundle of the item
               pointed to by the triangular marker.  This can be done with
               the mouse just by clicking on the item you want to buy (the
               marker will jump there).  Note that you can buy anything you
               can see, because items that are too expensive never appear
               until you can afford them.  If making this purchase
               decreases your free cash to the point where you can't afford
               something, that item will disappear from the list of items.
               (It will return when you can afford it again).

  ESCAPE:      This finishes the buying menu.  Do this when you
               have finished buying items.  This will let the next player
               buy items, or if everyone is finished, it will begin the
               next round.  You can do this with the mouse by clicking on
               the DONE button.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 20

Selling Items

When you select an icon from your inventory while on the buying screen, you
will be given a chance to sell that item back.  Another panel will appear
that names the item and how many you have in stock.  There will be a
counter (as used in the configuration menus) that lets you choose how many
you want to sell by pressing 'q' (for "Quantity" to sell),  or left and
right clicking to decrease and increase the amount.  At each amount the
computer will make you an offer.  The price per item may vary depending on
how many you are willing to sell.

After you have reached a decision, press 'a' to accept the computer's
offer, or 'r' to reject it (or simply press the appropriate button).  If
you accept the offer, your account will be credited, and the number in your
inventory will be decremented.  You may spend the money immediately, if you
wish, or keep it in the bank to earn interest.  You may go back and forth
to the Selling Panel as often as you wish, but the computer will not change
its offer until the next round (and possibly not even then).

Although you must  usually accept a loss when you sell something back, if
you are playing with the Free Market switch on, it is possible to
accumulate money if you buy low and sell high...  this sort of creative
financing is risky, but potentially lucrative!  Be aware that the Scorched
Earth free market simulates a supply and demand economy.  In general, this
means that  the more something is bought, the greater the demand for that
item, and thus the price increases.  However, you will notice the market
prices "bouncing" up and down a little bit.  This is a natural consequence
of the free market, and isn't a bug.  I mention it here as a warning:  just
because you buy something, it doesn't mean the price will immediately
jump... it may take some time for the market to reach a new equilibrium.
The best way to understand the free market is to use it, and get a feel for
how it works.

Controls Available:

  q:           This changes the quantity that you want to sell.  For
               each quantity, the computer will make a different offer.
               Pressing Q will increase the amount to sell by one, and
               ALT-Q will decrease that amount by one.  You can do this
               with the mouse by right and left-clicking the word "Quantity."

  UP ARROW:    This increases the quantity you want to sell by
               one (or sets it back to zero if it was at the maximum
               already).  You do this with the mouse by left-clicking on
               the word "Quantity."  This is a short-cut for pressing Q.

  DOWN ARROW:  This decreases the quantity you want to sell by
               one (or sets it to the maximum if it was at one).  You do
               this with the mouse by right-clicking on the word
               "Quantity."  This is a short-cut for pressing Alt-Q.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 21

                           Selling Items cont...

  a:           Accept the computer's offer.  This sells the quantity of
               the item selected and credits your account immediately.  You
               can do this with the mouse by clicking on the "Accept" button.

  r:           Reject the computer's offer.  This quits the Selling
               Panel and puts you back at your inventory.  Nothing is sold,
               and your account remains unchanged.  You can do this with
               the mouse by clicking on the "Reject" button.

  ESCAPE:      This is equivalent, in every way, to pressing the
               "Reject" button.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 22

Equipment List

The current equipment list is grouped into two categories: weapons and
accessories.  These are the same categories which appear on the buying
screen, except that the accessories category is labelled "Miscellaneous."
The name of the item is the name which you will see on the screen.  The
cost is given in dollars per bundle, e.g. $400 for a bundle size of 10
means that you get 10 items for $400 ($40 each, but you have to buy in
multiples of 10).  For weapons, a blast radius is given, which is an
estimate of how large the area of damage for that particular weapon is
(this can be effect by the current scale being used).  The arms level shows
where the cut-offs are between different categories (see Configuring
Scorch, Weapons Menu, for a description of how to use arms levels).

Each category has a table describing the available items, and then lists
descriptions of the items and how to use them, along with pictures of the
icons which help you recognize the items.  To further help you group
similar items, there are some subcategories within the weapons and accessories.

Some of the equipment is rendered useless when certain options are enabled
(for example Smoke Tracers are redundant if Traces are enabled anyway).  By
default, such weapons will not appear on the buying menu.  You can make
them appear anyway if you set the Useless Weapons option to ON when
configuring Scorch.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 23

Available Weapons

     Name                    Cost  Bundle Size  Blast Radius   Arms Level
     Baby Missile            $400             10        10         0
     Missile               $1,875              5        20         0
     Baby Nuke            $10,000              3        40         0
     Nuke                 $12,000              1        75         1
     Leap Frog            $10,000              2     20,25,30      3
     Funky Bomb            $7,000              2        80         4
     MIRV                 $10,000              3        20         2
     Death's Head         $20,000              1        35         4
     Napalm               $10,000             10       N/A         2
     Hot Napalm           $20,000              2       N/A         4
     Tracer                   $10             20         0         0
     Smoke Tracer            $500             10         0         1
     Baby Roller           $5,000             10        10         2
     Roller                $6,000              5        20         2
     Heavy Roller          $6,750              2        45         3
     Riot Charge           $2,000             10        36         2
     Riot Blast            $5,000              5        60         3
     Riot Bomb             $5,000              5        30         3
     Heavy Riot Bomb       $4,750              2        45         3
     Baby Digger           $3,000             10       N/A         0
     Digger                $2,500              5       N/A         0
     Heavy Digger          $6,750              2       N/A         1
     Baby Sandhog         $10,000             10       N/A         0
     Sandhog              $16,750              5       N/A         0
     Heavy Sandhog        $25,000              2       N/A         1
     Dirt Clod             $5,000             10        20         0
     Dirt Ball             $5,000              5        35         0
     Ton of Dirt           $6,750              2        70         1
     Liquid Dirt           $5,000             10       N/A         2
     Dirt Charge           $5,000              5       N/A         1
     Earth Disrupter       $5,000             10       N/A         0
     Plasma Blast          $9,000              5     10-75         3
     Laser                 $5,000              5       N/A         2

Scorched Earth                                                      page 24

Standard Weapons

The standard weapons are straightforward destructive devices.  You launch
them and they cause damage.  How much simpler can it get?

Baby Missile        The Baby Missile is the earliest developed weapon,
                    and performs as such.  Every player has an
                    UNLIMITED supply of them.

Missile             The Missile is an enhancement of the baby missile,
                    increasing both the blast radius and the damage delivered.

Baby Nuke           The Baby Nuke is a nuclear explosive capable of
                    destroying a large region.

Nuke                The Nuke is a large-scale nuclear weapons capable
                    of mass destruction.

Leapfrog            The Leapfrog has three warheads which launch one
                    after another.  This is often very effective for
                    penetrating shields.

Funky Bomb          The Funky Bomb explodes in a multi-colored toxic
                    chain reaction.  Sometimes they don't explode
                    exactly where you want them to, but they are
                    generally confined to the area where they hit.

MIRV                The MIRV contains five Missile warheads, which
                    split apart when the original missile reaches
                    apogee.  If the warhead hits something before
                    reaching apogee, it will not explode.

Death's Head        The Death's Head is the most destructive weapon
                    created to date.  Functionally equivalent to
                    MIRVs, it contains nine large scale explosive warheads.

Napalm              Napalm splashes around wherever it hits and then
                    bursts into hot flame.  It creates more heat (and
                    is thus more destructive!) if it forms deep pools.
                    If Napalm tunnels into the dirt, it may not get a
                    chance to spread out.  Try contact triggers if you
                    are having problems with fizzling Napalm.

Hot Napalm          Hot Napalm is a deadly form of Napalm... much
                    hotter and more powerful.  Otherwise, it functions
                    pretty much like Napalm.

Tracers             Tracers have no destructive capability, but are
                    useful for targeting someone without causing
                    unwanted damage.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 25

                         Standard Weapons cont...

Smoke Tracers       Smoke Tracers function as Tracers, except they
                    leave a brilliantly colored smoke trail behind
                    them.  This makes targeting even easier.  The
                    trails created may be erased using the System Menu.

Baby Rollers        Baby Rollers are the smallest of the roller
                    family.  When they hit ground, they roll downhill
                    until reaching a valley or a tank.  They then
                    explode with the force of a baby missile.  If a
                    roller hits a shield, it will just roll off!

Rollers             Rollers are functionally the same as baby rollers,
                    but contain a warhead equivalent to a standard missile.

Heavy Rollers       Heavy Rollers are non-nuclear, but deliver a
                    payload more explosive than a baby nuke.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 26

Earth Destroying Weapons

Earth destroying weapons are weapons which cause large (or small) amounts
of dirt to be destroyed.  Most of these weapons cannot directly harm a
tank, though they can cause them to fall and take damage that way.  Earth
destroying weapons are also good for removing mountains that are in your
way, or even removing dirt beneath yourself so that your tank is
repositioned (perhaps away from an enemy tank!)

Riot Charges        Riot Charges destroy a wedge-shaped section of
                    dirt from around your turret.  This weapon's
                    primary use is to unbury yourself when you get
                    covered with dirt.

Riot Blasts         Riot Blasts are a larger version of the Riot
                    Charge.  The destroy a wider angle of dirt, and
                    the thickness of the wedge destroyed is also greater.

Riot Bombs          Riot Bombs destroy a spherical section of dirt
                    wherever the detonate.  They do no damage to
                    tanks.  Unlike Riot Charges and Riot Blasts, the
                    Riot Bomb is a projectile weapon.

Heavy Riot Bombs    Heavy Riot Bombs are scaled up versions of Riot Bombs.

Baby Diggers        Baby Diggers are useful for removing small amounts
                    of dirt.  They tunnel when they hit ground.  If
                    they hit a tank, they fizzle.

Diggers             Diggers are more powerful versions of Baby Diggers.

Heavy Diggers       Heavy Diggers are the largest Digger-weapon
                    available, but often fail to reach their full potential.

Baby Sandhogs       Baby Sandhogs employ an alternate technology to
                    achieve an effect similar to the Diggers.  In
                    addition, each tunneling warhead contains a small
                    but powerful charge, which can destroy an enemy
                    tank from beneath.  Sandhogs are often useful for
                    burrowing beneath enemy shields, and attacking an
                    enemy tank directly.

Sandhogs            Sandhogs contain more warheads than the Baby Sandhogs.

Heavy Sandhogs      Heavy Sandhogs can potentially destroy the world,
                    and should be used with caution...

Scorched Earth                                                      page 27

Earth Producing Weapons

The category of Earth Producing Weapons includes weapons which take some
form of compacted earth that explodes into a much larger amount of dirt.
These weapons can be used to build fortifications, or bury enemy tanks.
There are other clever uses which can also be discovered... be creative!

The Earth Disrupter is not technically an Earth Producing weapon, but is
grouped with this category because it often has a similar tactical effect.

Dirt Clods          Dirt Clods are small warheads which explode into a
                    sphere of dirt when hitting something.

Dirt Balls          Dirt Balls are a larger form of Dirt Clods.

Ton                 A Ton of Dirt is a very large Dirt Ball, easily
                    capable of burying someone alive.

Liquid Dirt         Liquid Dirt oozes out wherever it lands, filling
                    holes and smoothing the terrain.  It is often
                    useful to clear the way  for a Roller.

Dirt Charge         A Dirt Charge expels a cloud of dirt into the air
                    in a wedge shape.

Earth Disrupters    Earth Disrupters force all dirt to settle to the
                    ground if dirt is being suspended in the air.
                    This weapon is only useful if you are playing with
                    the Suspend Dirt probability set to something
                    greater that 0%.

Energy Weapons

Energy weapons launch attacks using power stored in batteries... without
batteries, they are not very effective.  With many batteries, they can be
very effective indeed.  After you fire such a weapon, you will be asked how
many batteries you want to use in the attack.  Naturally, you cannot use
more batteries than you have.  Select the number of batteries you want to
use by clicking on the appropriate box (the number of highlighted boxes
indicates how many batteries will be expended).  You can do this with  the
keyboard by pressing a number from 0 thru 9.  Engage your batteries, and
watch the energy go!

The Plasma Blast    The Plasma Blast allows you to expel radioactive
                    energy from your tank to kill neighboring enemies.
                    Your turret direction has no effect on the Plasma Blast.

The Laser           The Laser shoots a high-intensity beam of light in
                    a straight line, cutting through mountains,
                    shields, and anything else in its way.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 28

Available Accessories

     Name                    Cost  Bundle Size   Arms Level
     Heat Guidance        $10,000         6           2
     Ballistic Guidance   $10,000         2           2
     Horz Guidance        $15,000         5           1
     Vert Guidance        $20,000         5           1
     Lazy Boy             $20,000         2           3
     Parachute            $10,000         8           2
     Battery               $5,000        10           2
     Mag Deflector        $10,000         2           2
     Shield               $20,000         3           3
     Force Shield         $25,000         3           3
     Heavy Shield         $30,000         2           4
     Super Mag            $40,000         2           4
     Auto Defense          $1,500         1           3
     Fuel Tank            $10,000        10           3
     Contact Trigger       $1,000        25           3

Scorched Earth                                                      page 29

Guidance Systems

The Guidance Systems category contains items which help you use your
weapons more effectively.  After you buy guidance systems, they are used by
accessing the Tank Control Panel from the main playing screen.

To use a guidance system, you select it from the Tank Control Panel using
the slide bar.   Move the arrow by clicking on the letter representing the
guidance system you want to use.  The letters in parentheses following the
guidance system's name are the letters used in the Tank Control Panel to
represent that system, e.g. Ht will represent the Heat Guidance System.
The number on the tank menu next to the guidance system indicates how many
of them you own - if you own zero, then the letter will not appear.  When
you fire your weapon on that turn, the guidance system will take effect.
After you have fired using a guidance system, the slide bar will reset to
None (N), meaning no guidance system is in effect.  This way, you don't
accidentally waste expensive technology.  This means that if you want to
keep using the guidance system, you need to re-select it at the beginning
of each turn.

Some guidance systems (indicated below) require you to specify a target.
The manner in which that is done is as follows:  After you press SPACE or
double-click the mouse to fire, a small box will appear on screen reading
"Choose Target".  At this point, you select your target using the keyboard
or the mouse.  With the keyboard, you press a number between 1 and 9, or 0
(0 represents 10).  This is the number of the tank you wish to aim at.
Tank 1 is the leftmost tank, tank 2 is just to the right of tank 1, and so
on. Note that if tank 1 is killed, tank 2 becomes the leftmost tank, and
will thus be referred to as tank 1 in future turns.  To choose your target
with the mouse, just click the left button anywhere on the screen.  The
guidance system will do its best to make your weapon explode there.
Choosing a tank by number is the same as clicking on the center of the base
of the tank.  If you right-click on your target with the mouse, it will
select the center of the base of the nearest tank.

Note also that some weapons simply won't work with any guidance system.  If
you fire such a weapon with a guidance system enabled, the guidance system
will not activate (i.e., it won't work, but it won't be used up either).
Weapons which fall under this category are: MIRVs, Death's Heads, Riot
Charges, Riot Blasts, and Plasma Blasts.

Heat Guidance       Heat Guidance (Ht) equips your weapon with a heat
                    detector which, when in range of any enemy tank,
                    will guide it in a straight line to that tank.
                    You must be able to fire your weapon well enough
                    to get it close to the target you want to hit.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 30

                         Guidance Systems cont...

Ballistic Guidance  Ballistic Guidance (B) will attempt to hit a
                    target of your choice by determining the amount of
                    power needed to hit the target based on your
                    current firing angle.  You must select a target
                    for this guidance system.  If your firing angle or
                    current maximum power makes the shot impossible,
                    this system will become confused and fire at
                    whatever power it feels like.  The Ballistic
                    Guidance System can correct for any type of wind,
                    but cannot correct for air viscosity.

Horizontal Guidance Horizontal Guidance (H) sends your weapons in a
                    horizontal straight line as soon as they are even
                    with your target.  You must select a target for
                    this guidance system.

Vertical Guidance   Vertical Guidance (V) performs as Horizontal
                    Guidance, except it operates vertically.  You must
                    select a target for this guidance system.  If you
                    can get your weapon to go over a target, this
                    guidance system will insure that the target is
                    hit.  In other words, once your warhead is above a
                    target, it will head straight down to that target.

Lazy Boy            The Lazy Boy (L) is the ultimate guidance system.
                    Choose your target and watch it die.  If the
                    weapon happens to hit a tank different from your
                    target, then it will explode prematurely.  (C'est
                    La Vie!)

                    Note: If you do not click directly on the tank,
                    the missile may explode next to the tank instead
                    of on it, as the missile explodes exactly where
                    you click.  While this will no doubt damage the
                    tank, it probably won't have the intended effect
                    of killing it.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 31

Defense Systems

The Defense Systems are ways to keep your tank alive longer.  They include
mechanisms both to prevent and to repair damage to your tank.  The wise
users of defense system will find their tanks lasting much longer than
unprotected tanks.

Your own shields will never protect you from your own shots, though they
will protect you from secondary damage caused by your own shots (e.g. heat
damage from Napalm).  This means if your shields are enabled and you shoot
straight up (with no wind), then your missile will fall straight down, and
hit and destroy your tank.  Not only does this mean you're out for the
round, but you will also lose points for this!  And points mean money...

Parachutes          Parachutes are useful as a means of preventing
                    damage when falling.  Parachutes work as follows:
                    If you are going to fall, an onboard system
                    computer looks down and estimates how much damage
                    you tank will take from the fall.  If your
                    parachutes are deployed, and the safety threshold
                    is less than the amount of damage you will take,
                    the parachutes activate, and your tank takes no
                    damage from the fall (unless it lands on an enemy
                    tank.)  If your parachutes are passive, or the
                    precomputed damage is less than the safety
                    threshold, then you will fall without parachutes,
                    and take damage.  You can choose whether the
                    parachute is passive or deployed, and you can set
                    the safety threshold, by using the Tank Control
                    Panel, described elsewhere.   By default,
                    parachutes are deployed, and the safety threshold
                    is 5.

Batteries           Batteries can be used as an energy source for
                    recharging your tank and for firing Plasma Blasts.
                    When using a battery to recharge your tank, each
                    battery is equivalent to 10% of your energy, or 10
                    points.  You use batteries to recharge your tank
                    by using the Tank Control Menu, described elsewhere.

Mag Deflectors      Mag Deflectors are simple shields which exert an
                    upward force on projectiles that are near and over
                    your tank.  If a missile falls down fast enough,
                    the deflectors will be unable to deflect it.  Mag
                    Deflectors cannot absorb very many shots before
                    being destroyed.

Shields             Shields protect your tank by absorbing damage from
                    explosions.  In addition, a weapon which hits a
                    shield directly will not explode, though it will
                    damage the shield slightly.

Force Shields       Force Shields deflect projectiles away from you,
                    and are generally capable of sustaining more
                    damage than normal shields.
Scorched Earth                                                      page 32

                          Defense Systems cont...

Heavy Shields       Heavy Shields are immune to the shield failures
                    which often plague lesser shields.  They are also
                    capable of sustaining tremendous amounts of damage.

Super Mags          Super Mags are the best shields of all - stronger
                    than heavy shields, immune to lasers, with the
                    side effects of Mag Deflectors.  If you can afford
                    them, youll be mighty tough to beat!

Auto Defense        Auto Defense allows you to enable any defense
                    system of your tank each round before combat
                    begins.  Specifically, this means you can access
                    the Tank Control Panel and any of the defensive
                    functions on it.  The cost of Automatic Defense is
                    based on the number of rounds left, as buying them
                    once gives you this capability for the rest of the game.

Strategy Tip: Since shields do not take much damage when hit directly, the
best way to take them out is with an indirect attack.  For example, land a
Baby Nuke right next to the shield, or smother it with Napalm.  For a
slightly different approach, use a Dirt Clod to cover the shield with a
small layer of dirt, then use Contact Triggers on any weapon to get an easy
hit.  Sandhogs often work well with this trick!

Miscellaneous Extras

The miscellaneous extras are things that just didn't fit into the other
categories.  They are described individually below.

Fuel Tanks          Fuel Tanks allow you to move your tank, if it is
                    equipped with treads.  Each fuel tank will give
                    you 10 units of fuel.  Each unit of fuel will let
                    you move 1 pixel, less if you are going uphill.
                    To use fuel, choose f from the Tank Control Panel.

Contact Triggers    Contact Triggers cause projectiles to explode the
                    moment they touch something.  This is equivalent
                    to turning off the Tunneling option.  To use
                    triggers, you must go to the Tank Control Panel.
                    Each trigger will cause one projectile to explode
                    on contact.  (Note that when using multiple
                    warhead weapons like the MIRV, you need only use
                    one trigger for all warheads involved in a single shot!)

Scorched Earth                                                      page 33

System Menu

Once the game has started, you may use the F1 key at any time to bring up
the System Menu.  The System Menu has lets you change some parameters
during the middle of a game.

        Clear Screen     This option is only significant if you
                         are playing with traces enabled or are
                         using Smoke Tracers.  If so, then this
                         will erase whatever traces are currently
                         on the screen.

        Mass Kill        This option kills everyone on the
                         screen, giving them all an equal portion
                         of whatever points remained to be won in
                         the round, but giving no single tank
                         credit for surviving the round.  This
                         option can be used when a couple of
                         stupid computers seem unable to kill
                         each other within your lifetime.

        Reassign Players This option lets you change some of the
                         information you specified when
                         configuring the players.  You can change
                         who is controlling each tank, and what
                         their name is.  (See Reassigning
                         Players, below).

        Reassign Teams   This option, if you are playing with
                         Teams, lets you change which team each
                         tank is on.

        Sound            This option lets you turn the sound
                         effects on and off.  It does not give
                         you control over the flight sound
                         effects individually.  (Useful for when
                         you put the kids to bed at night, and
                         want them to go to sleep.)

        Save Game        This option lets you save the game in
                         progress to a file, so that you can
                         continue play later.  You can only use
                         this option from the buying menu.

        Restore Game     This lets you continue a game you have
                         previously saved to disk.

        New Game         This stops the game in progress and
                         starts all over at the main menu.  This
                         is just a fast way or restarting if you
                         dont want to finish the current game.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 34

                            System Menu cont...

        Quit Game        This option lets you quit a game in
                         progress.  You will be prompted with a
                         "Do you really want to quit?" message,
                         and then promptly returned to DOS (or
                         wherever you came from...)

When you are finished with the System Menu, press ESCAPE to return to your
previous activity, or click anywhere outside the menu.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 35

Reassigning Players

When you choose Reassign Players, you will be given a list of player names,
and who controls them.  You may change any of the settings you selected
when choosing the players initially.

To change something about a player, click on the name of the tank you want
to change, or press the number highlighted on the button next to the name.
This will put you onto the Player Initialization Panel, which works just
like it did when you choose the players initially.  You may change anything
you want, then select "Done" when you are finished making changes.

Reassigning Teams

When you choose Reassign Teams, you will be given a list of player names,
and which team each is on.  You may change any player to any team. Select
"Done" when you are finished making changes. If you are using the keyboard,
press a number for the player you want to change teams.  For example, each
time you press 1, player 1 will switch to the next team.

Saved Games

There are a couple of important points to note about saved games.  The most
important is that, with this version of Scorch, not all information is
saved.  In particular, the only information which is saved from the main
configuration menus is the number of players and number of rounds.  This
means that you can save a game, restart Scorch, change some of those
options, and restore the game with the new options.  If you want to save
the options, you must do so by selecting "Save Changes" from the initial
menu.  Remember that you may use multiple configuration files by specifying
a filename when starting Scorch, e.g. "scorch myconfig.cfg".

It is also important to remember that although you can restore a game at
almost any point once play has started, you can only save the game while on
the Buying Menus.  This is so that the playing field doesn't need to be
saved (this would take up a considerable amount of disk space, in addition
to being slow.)  An important side effect is that if you have no money, you
will be unable to save the game, as you will never get to the buying menu.
In this case, you must win a round before you can save the game!

Scorch will let you overwrite an existing file to save a game, but it will
always prompt you first if it is about to do so.

Finally, note that when you restore a game, it may take a moment for the
computer to catch on to the fact.  If there is a missile in the air, the
game will not restart until it lands.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 36

Customizing Scorch

Scorched Earth has quite an extensive set of options for configuring how
the game is played.  The defaults for most of these are pretty good, but as
many people have different preferences, an easy system has been designed to
customize Scorch to each player's taste.  Each of the menus is documented
below, along with a brief description of what the menu covers, and then an
item by item explanation of all the options.  Letters which are bold and
underlined (like the 't' in this), are hot-keys - if you press that key on
the keyboard it is the same as clicking on that button with the mouse.
Left-clicking and right-clicking with the mouse on a button will cause the
amount to decrease and increase, respectively.

Some entries require a filename.  If this is the case, a blinking "caret"
will appear when you select the appropriate choice.  You may then type in a
name, and press ENTER.  The "caret" will disappear, and you can continue
setting options.

When you click on Save Changes, your current configuration, or set of
choices, will be written to the file scorch.cfg.  The next time you start
Scorch, it will use the same set of options.  YOUR OPTIONS WILL ONLY BE
SAVED IF YOU SELECT THE "SAVE CHANGES" BUTTON.  Otherwise, any options you
change will only last for the current game.

It is possible to use multiple configuration files.  To do this, when you
run Scorch, type "scorch myconfig.cfg".  That will tell Scorch to use the
file myconfig.cfg instead of scorch.cfg.  Change the options to how you
like them and click on "Save Changes".  The file myconfig.cfg will be
created if it didn't already exist, or updated otherwise.  You can then use
this configuration file whenever you want.  There is no limit to how many
configuration files you can have, but you must select which one you want to
use each time you start Scorch.  If you don't choose one, Scorch will
always load the file scorch.cfg.

Feel free to experiment... you can always reset the defaults by deleting
scorch.cfg, or by running fix.bat.  Scorch will automatically recreate the
configuration file with the built-in defaults.  Scorch.cfg can also be
edited directly using any word processor or editor that will edit pure
ASCII files.  (i.e. Sidekick's Notepad, PC Tools Desktop, etc.)  (See also
"Changing the Talking Tanks")

Scorched Earth                                                      page 37

Brief Summary of On-screen Controls

        Counter/Cycle:  These controls are used to enter numbers or
        to select one item from a list.  Pressing the hotkey or
        clicking on the associated text with the left-mouse button
        causes numbers to increment, or selects the next item on the
        list.  Pressing ALT and the hotkey, or right-clicking on the
        text, causes numbers to decrease, or choices to go to the
        previous item on the list.

        Toggle: This is used to represent a on/off choice.  If the
        box is checked, the option is enabled, or "on."  Otherwise,
        the option is "off."

        Text entry: This is used to enter text.  When there is a
        blinking vertical line showing (called a "caret"), then
        anything you type will go into the text box.  Press ESCAPE
        to cancel, or ENTER to accept what you typed.  Clicking
        anywhere with the mouse is equivalent to pressing ENTER.

        Button:  This is used to initiate some action or activity.
        The most common use in the configuration menus is to pop up
        a sub-menu or to start the game.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 38

Main Menu

The main menu gives you direct access to the most common options, and lets
you choose between several sub-menus for more options.  Any entry followed
by three dots (...) causes a menu to pop up when you select it.  After you
have chosen any options, you can decide whether or not to save them (as
explained above), and then press the S key to start the game, or click on
the Start button.

Label            Range   Default Description
-----            -----   ------- -----------

Start                            Start playing the game.

Players          2-10       2    Select the number of people who will be
                                 playing, including computer players.

Rounds          1-1000     10    Select how many rounds will be played.

Sound...                         Go to the Sound Menu (See below).

Hardware...                      Go to the Hardware Menu (See below).

Economics...                     Go to the Economics Menu (See below).

Physics...                       Go to the Physics Menu (See below).

Landscape...                     Go to the Landscape Menu (See below).

Play Options...                  Go to the Play Options Menu (See below).

Weapons...                       Go to the Weapons Menu (See below).

Save Changes                     Save any changes which you have made to
                                 the current configuration file (probably

Scorched Earth                                                      page 39

Sound Menu

The sound menu lets you decide what kind of noises Scorch will make.  With
this, you can choose no sound or lots of sound.

Label         Range  Default  Description
-----         -----  -------  -----------

Sound         ON     ON       If the sound is ON, then Scorch will generate
              OFF             sound effects using the PC's speaker.  If OFF,
                              it will shut up, making no sound at all.

Flight Sounds POS    OFF      This option determines what sounds, if any,
              VEL             your weapons make while streaking through the
              OFF             air towards their target.
                              POS makes sounds based on the height of the
                              VEL makes sounds based on the current
                              projectile velocity.  POS seems to be preferred
                              to VEL by most people.
                              OFF is, of course, no sound.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 40

Hardware Menu

The hardware options have to do with making Scorch work as best as possible
on your computer.  In general, the defaults for these options will be the
right thing.  If you find you are having a problem with your monitor,
mouse, or keyboard, one of these options might be just what you are looking
for!  Be careful though, as improperly setting these options can also make
Scorch run very poorly, or not at all.  (If you're in over your head, just
run the program fix.bat, and it will wipe out your configuration file.
Then when you run Scorch, it will reset the defaults automatically.)
Note that Scorch will, by default, use a numeric coprocessor if present.
This makes everything in the game go faster.  In particular, you will want
a much larger firing delay.  To slow everything down, you can set the
environment variable 87 to 'N'.  (To do this, type "set 87=N" at the DOS
prompt before starting Scorch.  For more info on environment variables,
consult your DOS manual).  You can remove this setting from the environment
by typing "set 87=" at the DOS prompt.

Label              Range    Default  Description
-----              -----    -------  -----------

Graphics Mode      320x200  360x480  This option lets you choose which
                   320x240           graphics mode Scorched Earth will run
                   320x400           in.  Any changes you make here must be
                   320x480           saved from the Main Menu, and will not
                   360x480           take effect until you exit Scorch and
                   640x400           restart it.  Note that the available
                   640x480           graphics modes may depend on your
                   800x600           video hardware - if you choose an
                   1024x768          incompatible mode Scorch may hang when
                                     starting.  To fix this problem, simply
                                     delete the file scorch.cfg. 320x200
                                     mode should work on all VGA monitors

Bios Keyboard      ON       OFF      This option can be safely ignored,
                   OFF               unless your system locks up in strange
                                     ways while playing Scorch.  It forces
                                     Scorch to use the BIOS to access the
                                     keyboard, rather than accessing the
                                     keyboard directly.  This slows down
                                     the response of the game while
                                     playing, and should be avoided.

Small Memory       ON       OFF      This option is for players who have
                   OFF               too little memory for all of Scorch's
                                     options.  By selecting this, Scorch
                                     will disable some of the extended
                                     features, and use less memory.  In
                                     particular, the awesome nuclear
                                     explosions will be much more bland.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 41

                           Hardware Menu cont...

Pointer            None     Mouse    This option tells Scorch whether you
                   Mouse             want to use a mouse, joystick, or just
                   Joystick          your keyboard (the keyboard works
                                     whether or not use are using a
                                     pointing device).  If you don't have a
                                     mouse or joystick, Scorch will not try
                                     to use one.  (But wouldn't this be a
                                     good time to buy one?)
                                     To use a mouse, Scorch requires a
                                     Microsoft compatible mouse driver.
                                     If you have a Gravis Gamepad, this
                                     should be treated as a joystick.

Mouse Rate         .5-5.    .5       This option lets you control how fast
                                     the cursor on screen moves compared to
                                     how fast you move the mouse.  High
                                     numbers mean fast movement!

Firing Delay       0-500    100      This option determines how long it
                                     takes the computer to draw projectiles
                                     when they are fired.  If you like
                                     suspense, make it slow (high numbers).
                                     If you want to get on with the game,
                                     make it fast (low numbers).

Falling Delay      0-1000   10       This lets you determine how fast the
                                     tanks fall on screen.  If you don't
                                     like to wait, set this to zero.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 42

Economics Menu

The economics menu has options that control how money will affect the game
and what methods of scoring will be used.

Label         Range         Default  Description
-----         -----         -------  -----------

Interest Rate 0-.30         .05      If you start a round with unspent
                                     money "in the bank", then you will
                                     earn interest on that money.  The
                                     interest rate determines what percent
                                     you earn.  This rate also affects the
                                     cost of repeated-use items such as the
                                     Auto-Defense System.

Cash at Start $0-$1,000,000 $0       This determines how much money each
                                     player starts with.  If it is
                                     non-zero, players will have a chance
                                     to buy items before the first round

Computers Buy ON            ON       This determines whether or not
              OFF                    computer-controlled tanks can buy
                                     items with their money.  If you are
                                     having a hard time beating them, cheat
                                     a little and try turning this option off.

Free Market   ON            OFF      This option will simulate a free
              OFF                    market economy while you play Scorch.
                                     This means that as the games
                                     progresses, weapons that people buy
                                     frequently will become more expensive,
                                     while weapons which no one is buying
                                     will become cheaper.  If you are using
                                     this option, Scorch will create a file
                                     scorch.mkt, to track the market from
                                     game to game.  Delete this file to
                                     reset the defaults.
                                     This option is often useful for
                                     stimulating new strategies (Necessity
                                     is the mother of invention.)

Scorched Earth                                                      page 43

                          Economics Menu cont...

Scoring Mode  BASIC         STANDARD This determines how the game will be
              STANDARD               scored.
              GREEDY                 BASIC scoring gives you points only
                                     for killing tanks and surviving a
                                     STANDARD scoring gives you less points
                                     for actually killing a tank, but gives
                                     you points every time you damage a
                                     tank or shield.
                                     GREEDY scoring works like STANDARD
                                     scoring, but the final rankings at the
                                     end of each round are based on the Net
                                     Worth of your tank, e.g. how much cash
                                     you have in the bank plus the
                                     depreciated value of all weapons, etc.
                                     in stock ("He who dies with the most
                                     toys wins").

Scorched Earth                                                      page 44

Physics Menu

The Physics Menu lets you control different aspects of reality, such as the
atmosphere and gravity of the planet you are fighting on, and whether the
edges you see on screen have any meaning to the game, or are just windows
onto a larger playing field.

Label           Range    Default  Description
-----           -----    -------  -----------

Air Viscosity   0-20     0        This determines whether or not the air is
                                  viscous, i.e. does it slow down
                                  projectiles moving through it?  If you
                                  are using viscous air, ballistic guidance
                                  will not work properly, nor will some of
                                  the computer players.

Gravity         .05-10   .2       This determines the force of gravity
                                  in pixels/sec

Suspend Dirt    0-100    0        This number allows dirt to remain
                                  suspended in the air some of the time.
                                  It is a percentage chance, per shot, that
                                  all the dirt on screen will fall.  It can
                                  be used on slow computers to speed up the
                                  game, or to introduce more variety.
                                  Earth Disrupters are only interesting
                                  with this option enabled.

Tanks Fall      ON       ON       If this is turned off, tanks will not
                OFF               fall when the ground is shot out from
                                  beneath them.  Not very realistic, but an
                                  option nonetheless.

Borders Extend  0-10000  75       This option specifies how far off-screen
                                  projectiles should be tracked before
                                  being counted as a "miss."  If this is
                                  zero, no missile will ever return to the
                                  screen or explode off the edge, even if
                                  the wind would have brought it back
                                  on-screen.  A high enough value here will
                                  have the computer track any projectile
                                  until it hits somewhere, but might add
                                  unnecessarily long pauses as it tracks
                                  these projectiles.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 45

                           Physics Menu cont...

Effect of Walls CONCRETE NONE     This option controls what happens when
                PADDED            missiles go past the borders of the
                RUBBER            screen.
                SPRING            CONCRETE walls will block shots from
                WRAP              going off screen in any direction.
                RANDOM            PADDED walls reflect shots, but absorb
                ERRATIC           some of their energy first.
                NONE              RUBBER walls will cause projectiles to
                                  bounce off them (Poolsharks take
                                  advantage of this).
                                  SPRING walls are similar to RUBBER walls,
                                  but they give the projectile a "kick"
                                  when they reflect them, much as pinball
                                  machines do.
                                  WRAPAROUND edges cause the left and right
                                  edge to wrap around, i.e. a missile going
                                  off screen to the right will come on
                                  screen to the left.
                                  RANDOM tells the computer to pick one of
                                  the above methods at the beginning of
                                  each round.
                                  ERRATIC tells the computer to choose a
                                  method before each shot.
                                  You can tell what the current state of
                                  the walls is by their color:

                                    Gray:   no effect
                                    White:  CONCRETE
                                    Green:  PADDED
                                    Red:    RUBBER
                                    Cyan:   SPRING
                                    Yellow: WRAPAROUND
Scorched Earth                                                      page 46

Landscape Menu

The Landscape Menu lets you control the environment in which you will
fight.  The first few options allow you to set various characteristics
determining how the weather will behave and what the sky will look like.
The last few options determine how the land on which you fight will appear.
Using these options, you can choose low, rolling hills, steep, craggy
mountains, and anything in between.

Label         Range    Default  Description
-----         -----    -------  -----------

Sky           PLAIN    RANDOM   This determines how the background sky will
              STORMY            look.  RANDOM tells the computer to decide
              STARS             at the beginning of each round what kind of
              SHADED            background it should use (any type except
              SUNSET            BLACK).  Note that some skies are hostile,
              CAVERN            and will launch their own attacks, such as
              BLACK             lightning.

Max. Wind     0-500    200      This determines the maximum wind velocity.
                                If 0, there will be no wind.

Changing Wind OFF      OFF      If this is enabled, the wind will change
              ON                slightly between each shot.  This can be a
                                real pain when targeting someone,
                                especially if you aren't paying attention.

Hostile       OFF      ON       If this is turned OFF, then the "Hostile"
Environment   ON                actions of some of the backgrounds will
                                become non-hostile.  This means that they
                                will act the same, but will cause no damage
                                to tanks.

Bumpiness     0-100    20       This determines how smooth or bumpy the
                                landscape will be.

Slope         0-100    20       This determines how steep hills and valleys
                                will be.

Flatten Peaks ON       OFF      When on, this forces the hills to flatten
              OFF               out at a certain steepness, keeping them
                                from being too craggy.

Random Land   ON       OFF      If this is on, the above options are set
              OFF               randomly by the computer at the beginning
                                of each round.  This allows for a wide
                                variety of terrains. If you choose this
                                option, none of the above three options are

Percent       0-100    20       How often will the scanned mountains be
Scanned Mountains               used instead of random ones.  If you have
                                lots of scanned mountains, you might want
                                to consider making this higher.
Scorched Earth                                                      page 47

Play Options Menu

This menu controls different aspects of the game, and what controls will be

Label             Range     Defaults   Description
-----             -----     --------   -----------

Mode              SequentialSequential This option controls how you play the
                  Synchronous          game.  In sequential mode, the
                  Simultaneous         default, players takes turns one
                                       after another.  In simultaneous mode,
                                       all players and computers can aim and
                                       fire at once.  In synchronous mode,
                                       all players aim their weapons at the
                                       beginning of each round, and all
                                       shots go off at the same time. For
                                       more information, see "Simultaneous
                                       Mode," and "Synchronous Mode" later
                                       in this manual.

Teams             NONE      NONE       Choose this option if you want to
                  STANDARD             play with teams (e.g. several tanks
                  CORPORATE            ganging up on other tanks).  For more
                  VICIOUS              info about tanks, see Being a Team

Status Bar        ON        OFF        This enables the status bar, which is
                  OFF                  a second bar beneath the normal one
                                       you see when playing Scorch.  This
                                       bar lets you access most of the
                                       things the Tank Control Panel does.

Play Order        RANDOM    RANDOM     This controls the order of play.
                  LOSERS-FIRST         RANDOM means each turn the order in
                  WINNERS-FIRST        chosen randomly.
                  ROUND-ROBIN          LOSERS-FIRST means that whoever is in
                                       last place always goes first, and the
                                       winner goes last.
                                       WINNERS-FIRST is the opposite of
                                       ROUND-ROBIN means the play order is
                                       random, but the first shot each round
                                       goes from one player to the next, in
                                       order (i.e. if Player 1 went first in
                                       Round 1, Player 2 goes first in Round
                                       2, and so on).

Fast Computers    ON        OFF        If this option is on, then whenever
                  OFF                  there are only computers attacking
                                       one another, the pace of the game
                                       will speed up until humans are
                                       playing again.  This can speed up the
                                       end of a round significantly.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 48

                         Play Options Menu cont...

Talking Tanks     OFF       OFF        If this option is set to COMPUTERS,
                  COMPUTERS            computer-controlled tanks will "talk"
                  ALL                  to you by flashing messages on
                                       screen, like comic characters.  If it
                                       is set to ALL, then all tanks will
                                       print messages, regardless of who
                                       controls them.  OFF means nobody talks.

Talk Probability  0-100     100        This determines how often tanks say
                                       something before they fire. 100 means
                                       they talk 100% of the time.

Attack file       Any File  talk1.cfg  This should be the name of a file
                                       which contains messages tanks will
                                       say when attacking.

Die file          Any File  talk2.cfg  This should be the name of a file
                                       which contains messages tanks will
                                       say when they die.

Changing the Talking Tanks

If you want to change the message files, use any editor that will edit
straight ASCII files, or use your favorite word processor, and when saving
the file, use the ASCII option.  (Sometimes this is called print to disk,
or printed text.)  The attack file is called talk1.cfg, the die file is
talk2.cfg.  Each comment should take up one line in the file, just add new
comments to the end.  If a comment appears twice, it will be used twice as
often (and so on).  Blank lines provide for the tanks to say nothing sometimes.

If you're feeling really creative, you can just make up your own file from
scratch, and type its name into the Attack file and Die file options.
(NOTE: scorch.cfg can be edited in a similar manner).  If you have any
favorite phrases or comments, feel free to send them to the author for
possible inclusion in a future release!

Scorched Earth                                                      page 49

Weapons Menu

These options let you customize which weapons you want to play with and how
they work.  By default all weapons are allowed, but some people prefer to
have a more restricted set of choices.  Scorch caters to all people.

Label           Range     Default  Description
-----           -----     -------  -----------

Arms Level      0-4       4        This lets you disallow the use of
                                   certain items from the game.  Using an
                                   Arms Level of 0 is often useful for
                                   beginners, so there aren't so many
                                   options to deal with.  Some people just
                                   don't like using the large weapons at
                                   all.  To see what items belong to what
                                   Arms Level, consult the Equipment List.
                                   The Arms Level also affects available

Bomb icon       INVISIBLE BIG      This lets you choose what the projectile
                SMALL              will look like when you fire it: either
                BIG                a small dot, a slightly larger dot, or
                                   no dot at all.  This is just a matter of
                                   preference, though invisible missiles
                                   are mighty hard to aim!

Tunneling       ON        ON       If tunneling is OFF, weapons explode the
                OFF                instant they hit dirt (or anything
                                   else).  If it is ON, they will tunnel
                                   when they hit dirt, burrowing into the
                                   ground before exploding.  They might
                                   even come out the other side of a small
                                   enough pile of dirt, though at reduced
                                   velocity.  If you play with tunneling
                                   ON, you can always buy Contact Triggers
                                   which force any projectile to explode on

Scale           NORMAL    NORMAL   For the blood-thirsty players, Scorch
                MEDIUM             can be "scaled up", so that the weapons
                LARGE              are more destructive than usual.  MEDIUM
                                   is somewhat larger than NORMAL, and
                                   LARGE is yet another step larger.  Note
                                   that some of the graphics are not as
                                   nice when the game is "scaled up," due
                                   to memory constraints.
Scorched Earth                                                      page 50

                           Weapons Menu cont...

Trace Paths     ON        OFF      If this is on, each projectile will
                OFF                leave a trail on the screen of it's
                                   path, in the color of the firing tank.
                                   This can be useful in targeting, as you
                                   don't have to remember where your last
                                   shot hit.  When using this option, you
                                   can use the Clear Traces option from the
                                   System Menu whenever the screen gets too
                                   cluttered.  Smoke Tracers have a similar

Extra Dirt      ON        OFF      This controls how much dirt the Dirt
                OFF                Charges let out.  If you like lots of
                                   dirt, you can use this.  It's fun but
                                   can really slow the game down.  (It also
                                   mean you should pay extra attention to
                                   buying earth handling weapons!)

Useless Items   ON        OFF      If this is OFF, then items which have no
                OFF                effect on the game will not appear on
                                   the buying menu.  (For example Smoke
                                   Tracers have no purpose if you are
                                   playing with Trace Paths set to ON.)

Archaic Options

These options cannot be selected from any of the normal menus, but are
still supported for backwards compatibility.  You can only change them by
editing the file scorch.cfg.  These options may not be supported in future
versions of Scorch.  If you like them, and think they should stay, write
the author and let him know.

Label           Range  Default  Description
-----           -----  -------  -----------

Impact Damage   ON     ON       If this is on, tanks take damage from a
                OFF             fall when they hit the ground.  If it is
                                off, tanks take damage as they are falling.
                                This isn't an important distinction, just a
                                matter of preference.  Total damage done is
                                the same in either case.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 51

Simultaneous Mode

This is a brief summary of the differences between Simultaneous mode and
normal play.  The main difference is that many people (and computers!) will
be moving at once.  Because there is only one keyboard, and everybody is
using it simultaneously, it is important that each player have a unique key
for everything he or she wants to do.  For this reason, you probably
wouldn't play Simultaneous mode with more than three players.    When you
assign keystrokes at the beginning of the game, try to keep each player to
their own section of the keyboard, so that their fingers don't get crossed.

In simultaneous mode, whoever hits the keyboard fastest moves most often
(the computers move at a medium sort of speed regardless).  When someone
fires, they cannot fire again until that missile has exploded, but they may
change their aim while the missile is still in flight.

The status bar on top of the screen gives much less information in
Simultaneous Mode, because all players are sharing the screen also.  Each
tank's current firing power and weapon are displayed across the top bar...
the colors will match your tanks' colors.  Also, when you increase power,
your tank will flash brightly.  When you decrease power, your tank will
flash dark.  Changing weapons causes your tank to flash red.  These are
additional clues you have about what your tank is doing, but be careful not
to waste good weapons! If you have the status bar enabled, you will also be
able to see each player's remaining power and shield strength, if any.
There are no shortcuts on the status bar in simultaneous mode.

When all players but one are dead, the end of round status will come up as
usual, and the players with cash will have an opportunity to buy things
just like normal Scorch.  When the round begins again, though, watch out!

The special keys i, t, and r are not supported in Simultaneous Mode, and
neither is the mouse.  Thus, it is impossible to use the Tank Control
Panel.  You can only use Shields if you have an Automatic Defense System.
Fuel, Contact Triggers, and Guidance Systems are not useful at all.  Also,
unless you purchase an Automatic Defense System, parachutes will always be
deployed, and you will be unable to change the threshold.  This is so that
each player needs only six keys.

Since you cannot access the Tank Control Panel, batteries also work
somewhat differently than normal:  anytime your tank's power falls below 91
but the tank is still intact, as many batteries will trigger as necessary
to bring your power above 90, up to however many you have (your tank will
flash green when this happens).

The System Menu functions as it does during normal play.

Scorched Earth                                                      page 52

Synchronous Mode

This is a brief summary of the differences between Synchronous mode and
normal play.  The main difference is that instead of shots going off
between player's turns, all shots are fired only after all the players have
decided where they are going to shoot.  After each player has chosen a
power and angle, "fire" your weapon as usual.  Instead of firing the
weapon, your tank will be highlighted, indicating that it is ready.  When
all the tanks are ready, all shots go off at once, wreaking their
respective damage.  As soon as the dust settles, everyone who survived gets
to choose another shot, and so on, until the round is over.

This mode is somewhat more fair than the normal, sequential mode, as all
players have an equal number of shots.  Note that in this mode, it is often
advantageous to go last, because then you'll know where your foes are aiming!

Being a Team Player

By using team mode you can gang up on different players.  Scorch supports
three different kinds of teams (in addition to no teams at all). Normally,
you will lose points for damaging or killing your teammates - so be nice to
each other!

        Standard   This is a typical team setup - players work
                   together to eliminate opposing teams.

        Corporate  This is similar to standard teams, but there
                   is only one bank account for each team, so all
                   the teammates can share the winnings.

        Vicious    This options a little different - as long as
                   there are tanks from at least two teams alive,
                   it works just like standard teams.  Once only
                   one team is left, however, it turns into a
                   free-for-all where only the last tank wins.
                   Sometimes this is a fun way to play with a
                   friend - you can both be on the same team, and
                   play against the computer team.  As soon as
                   you wipe out the computer, see who can destroy
                   the other quickest!

Scorched Earth                                                      page 53

Registering Scorch

It is my hope that Scorched Earth will provide a great source of enjoyment
to all age groups.  This version of Scorch should solidify all the
improvements made so far, and lays the groundwork for significant future
enhancements.  I am releasing this game as shareware in order to gain as
large an audience as possible.  Scorch is not crippleware.  Each and every
copy is a fully functioning game.

If you would like to register Scorch send 20 dollars to the author, at the
address listed below.  By so doing, you are supporting the further
development of Scorch.  Users who register will receive a disk with the
current registered version, which contains more scanned mountain ranges,
and disables the tanks shareware reminders. It also gives you access to the
triple-turreted tank!

Anyone interested in Scorch, or with ideas for improvement, or questions
for support, is encouraged to contact me as described below.  Please do not
call me at home.  The author makes no warranty about the fitness of Scorch
for any purpose, nor does he guarantee that it will not crash your system.
Nevertheless, every attempt has been made to insure that Scorch is a
robust, user-friendly game.

The most recent version of Scorched Earth will be kept on CompuServe (under
the  GAMERS forum), America Online (in the Games section), an on the
internet (at ftp://tower.itis.com/pub/scorch). By the time you read this,
Scorch should also be available on most major bulletin boards, and from the
finer discerning shareware vendors.  Minor bug fixes and other goodies may
appear from time to time at any of these sites.  Feel free to upload the
shareware version of Scorch to your favorite local BBS, and share it with
your friends.

The official Scorch web site is: http://tower.itis.com/scorch.

The official Scorch BBS is located in Illinois, and now supports Credit
Card Registration.  Just call:

            (708) 355-6942  Micro Overflow, Naperville, IL

Scorched Earth                                                      page 54

Scorch was written using Borland C++ and Turbo Assembler.  The illustrated
version of this manual was prepared using Microsoft Word for Windows and
Microsoft Paint, and the ASCII version was automatically generated using a
custom RTF-to-Scorch-Manual filter.
About the Author

Wendell Hicken, a.k.a Sprig, was born March 14, 1967.  He graduated from
Caltech with a B.S. in Computer Science in 1991, and is currently working
on developing tools for programmers.  In his spare time he enjoys the finer
things of life, like computer simulations of exploding tanks.

I may be contacted at any of the following places (but please, no phone calls):

Scorch HQ
Wendell Hicken
P.O. Box 1215
Whittier, CA 90609-1215

CompuServe: 70671,606               (may not be valid much longer...)
Internet: whicken@tower.itis.com

Scorched Earth                                                      page 55


   ASCII, 36                            Contact Triggers, 49
   Accessories List, 28                 Corporate Teams, 52
   Angle, 9                             Customizing Scorch, 36
   Attack File, 48                      Cyan Walls, 45
   Author, 54                           Cyborg, 7
   Auto Defense, 32                     Death's Head, 24
   Baby Digger, 26                      Defense Systems, 31
   Baby Missile, 24                     Deflectors, Mag, 31
   Baby Nuke, 24                        Delay, Falling, 41
   Baby Rollers, 25                     Deploying Parachutes, 31
   Baby Sandhog, 26                     Die File, 48
   Backgrounds, 46                      Digger, 26
   Ball, Dirt, 27                       Digger, Baby, 26
   Ballistic Guidance, 29               Digger, Heavy, 26
   Basic Scoring, 42                    Dirt Ball, 27
   Batteries, 31                        Dirt Charge, 27
       Recharging Your Tank, 15         Dirt Clod, 27
   Being a Team Player, 52              Dirt, Liquid, 27
   Blast, Plasma, 27                    Dirt, Ton of, 27
   Blast, Riot, 26                      Disrupter, Earth, 27
   Bomb Icon, 49                        Earth Destroying Weapons, 26
   Bomb, Funky, 24                      Earth Disrupter, 27
   Bomb, Heavy Riot, 26                 Earth Producing Weapons, 27
   Bomb, Riot, 26                       Economics Menu, 42
   Borders Extend, 44                   Effect of Walls, 45
   Boy, Lazy, 30                        Equipment List, 22
   Bumpiness, 46                        Erratic Walls, 45
   Buying Equipment, 18                 Extra Dirt, 50
   Careful Keyboard, 40                 Falling Delay, 41
   Cash, 42                             Fast Computers, 47
   Cash at Start, 42                    Filthy Lucre, 42
   Caverns, 46                          Firing, 11
   Changing Weapons, 11                 Firing Speed, 41
   Changing Wind, 46                    fix.bat, 36
   Charge, Dirt, 27                     Fixed Emplacements, 8 
   Charge, Riot, 26                     Flatten Peaks, 46
   Choose Target, 29                    Flight Sounds, 39
   Chooser, 7                           Force Shields, 31
   Choosing Players, 6                  Free Market, 42
   Clear Screen, 33                     Fuel Remaining, 15
   Clod, Dirt, 27                       Fuel Tanks, 32
   Command Line Options, 36             Funky Bomb, 24
       Controlled Players, 7            Graphics Mode, 40
   Computerized Opponents, 7            Gravity, 44
   Computers Buy, 42                    Gray Walls, 45
   Concrete Walls, 45                   Greedy Scoring, 42
   Configuration Files, 36              Green Walls, 45
   Configuration FilesSaving, 38        Guidance Systems, 29
   Contact Triggers, 32                 Guidance Systems,
                                            Selecting, 15
Scorched Earth                                                      page 56

                               Index cont...

   Guidance, Ballistic, 29              Nuke, 24
   Guidance, Heat, 29                   Nuke, Baby, 24
   Guidance, Horizontal, 30             Number of Players, 38
   Guidance, Vertical, 30               Number of Rounds, 38
   Hardware Menu, 40                    Options, Archaic, 50
   Heat Guidance, 29                    Padded Walls, 45
   Heavy Digger, 26                     Parachutes, 31
   Heavy Riot Bomb, 26                      Changing State, 15
   Heavy Rollers, 25                        Deployed, 31
   Heavy Sandhog, 26                        Passive, 31
   Heavy Shields, 32                        Safety Threshold, 15
   Help!, 4                                 Safety Threshold, 31
   Hills, 46                            Passivating Parachutes, 31
   Horizontal Guidance, 30              Percent Scanned Mountains, 46
   Hostile Environment, 46              Physics Menu, 44
   Hot Napalm, 24                       Pinball Walls, 45
                                        Plain Sky, 46
   Impact Damage, 50                    Plasma Blast, 27
   Initial Cash, 42                     Play Options Menu, 47
   Interest Rate, 42                    Play Order, 47
   Introduction, 3                      Players, How Many, 38
   Inventory, 12                        Playing the Game, 9 
   Inventory Panel, 17                  Pointer, 40
   Joystick, Enabling, 40               Poolshark, 7
   Kibitzing, 12                        Power, 9 
   Landscape Menu, 46                   Quick Start, 4
   Lasers, 27                           Quit Game, 33
   Lazy Boy, 30                         Random Land, 46
   Leapfrog, 24                         Random Skies, 46
   Liquid Dirt, 27                      Random Walls, 45
   Mag Deflectors, 31                   Reassigning Players, 35
   Main Menu, 38                        Reassigning Teams, 35
   Mass Kill, 33                        Red Walls, 45
   Max Wind, 46                         Registering Scorch, 53
   MIRV, 24                             Restore Game, 33
   Miscellaneous Extras, 32             Retreat, 12
   Missile, 24                          Riot Blast, 26
   Missile, Baby, 24                    Riot Bomb, 26
   Money, 42                            Riot Bomb, Heavy, 26
   Moron, 7                             Riot Charge, 26
   Mountains, 46                        Rollers, 25
                                        Rollers, Baby, 25
   Mouse Rate, 41                       Rollers, Heavy, 25
   Mouse, Enabling, 40                  Rounds, How Many, 38
   Moving your Tank, 16                 Rubber Walls, 45
   Napalm, 24                           Safety Threshold, 31
   Napalm, Hot, 24                      Sandhog, 26
   New Game, 33                         Sandhog, Baby, 26
   Night Sky, 46                        Sandhog, Heavy, 26
Scorched Earth                                                      page 57

                               Index cont...

   Save Changes, 38                     Tanks, Fuel, 32
   Save Game, 33                        Target Selection, 29
   Saved Games, 35                      Ton of Dirt, 27
   Scale, 49                            Tosser, 7
   Scanned Mountains, 46                Trace Paths, 49
   scorch.cfg, 36                       Tracers, 24
   scorch.mkt, 42                       Tracers, Smoke, 24
   Scoring Mode, 42                     Treads, 8 
   Selecting a Target, 29               Triggers, 15
   Selling Items, 20                    Triggers, Contact, 32
   Shields, 31                              Using, 15
       Automatic Defense, 32            Triple-turreted Tank, 8 
       Engaging, 15                     Tunneling, 49
       Force Shields, 31                Unknown, 7
       Heavy Shields, 32                Useless Items, 50
       Mag Deflectors, 31               Vertical Guidance, 30
       Normal Shields, 31               Vicious Teams, 52
       Selecting, 15                    Viscosity, Air, 44
       Super Mags, 32                   Walls, Effect of, 45
   Shooter, 7                           Weapons List, 23
   Simultaneous Mode, 47                Weapons Menu, 49
   Simultaneous Play, 51                White Walls, 45
   Sky, 46                              Wind, 46
   Slope, 46                            Wraparound Walls, 45
   Small Memory, 40                     Yellow Walls, 45
   Smoke Tracers, 24
   Sound Menu, 39
   Spoiler, 7
   Sprig, 54
   Spring Walls, 45
   Standard Scoring, 42
   Standard Teams, 52
   Standard Weapons, 24
   Starry Sky, 46
   Status Bar, 47
   Stormy Skies, 46
   Sunsets, 46
   Super Mags, 32
   Surrender, 12
   Suspend Dirt, 44
   Synchronous Play, 51
   System Menu, 33
   Talk Probability, 48
   talk1.cfg, 48
   talk2.cfg, 48
   Talking Tanks, 47
   Tank Control Panel, 14
   Tank Icon Selection, 8 
   Tanks Fall, 44

Back to the game