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Starcross manual

The challenge was issued eons ago, from light-years away.

And only you can meet it.

STARCROSS - The first INTERLOGIC science fiction mindbender.


                              Starcross
                              =========
All it takes is one final command. Then the surge of power,
the thrust-and thousands miles of empty space go racing into the
background...

Rocketing through the Asteroid Belt, you still get the thrill of
first flight. But as you settle into your seat and look around, you
feel that slight insinuation of total aloneness with its tinge of
unease. The ship's computer has taken over the functions of
navigation and routine maintenance.

You watch the sophisticated mass detector as it is unceasingly
scans your vicinity for uncharted mass. To assuage the tedium
of your long trip, you consider browsing through the compact
tape library - a compendium of the knowledge and culture of
humanity. But the drone of the ship's systems gradually lulls
you, and you close your eyes and relax into a deep sleep.

 The year is 2186. Humanity has established colonies on the Moon,
Mars, and several of the larger asteroids. Earth's sky is dotted
with space habitats, and the spaceways hum and zoom with activity.
But as always, there is the urgent need for energy to power this
advanced civilization. Based on theories which began as early as
the 1970's, it has been determined that quantum black holes can
provide an inexhaustible source of power. These phenomena resulted
from the Big Bang, and are extremely rare; there is approximately
one 5mm-diameter hole found per year.

  Finding and harnessing a single black hole can make a man's
fortune. It is a lonely business, fraught with the known and unknown
hazards of the space frontier. You've equipped your ship, the mining
vessel STARCROSS, with the best equipment you could afford. You've
got a good mass detector to spot the hole, and the right magnets to
bring its charges under control and haul it back to a containment
tank at the base on Ceres. You've put everything into this venture,
and though you've tried before, you somehow sense that this time will
be different.

  Suddenly the strident jangling of the alarm jolts you to attention.
Your heart pounds as you stop the noise and see that the mass detector
is registering a massive bulk in your vicinity. Pushing the button for
the navigation chart print-out, you eagerly pinpoint the position of
the mass. You hope that this is your long-anticipated chance of
discovery, little realizing that your quest has taken an unexpected
turn.


Pre-flight
----------
* Loading STARCROSS
To load STARCROSS, follow the instructions on your Reference Card.

  The copyright notice and the serial number will appear, followed
by a descriprion of the starting location of the game.

  Whenever you see the prompt(>), STARCROSS is waiting for you
to type in your instructions. When you have finished typing in your
instructions, press the RETURN key. STARCROSS will respond and then
the prompt(>) will reappear.

  Next to the prompt(>), try typing the following:
GET OUT OF THE BUNK
and press the RETURN key. STARCROSS responds with this:
YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN FEET AGAIN. Read the RULES AND STRATEGIES section
for further directions and hints.

*Talking to STARCROSS

When you play an INTERLOGIC game, you talk to it in plain English,
typing in all your requests on your keyboard when you see the
prompt(>). When you have finished typing a line, press the RETURN
key and STARCROSS will digest your request.

  STARCROSS usually acts as though your sentence begins with,
"I want to . . . ," although you should not type those words
explicitly. STARCROSS then displays a response that tells you
whether what you want to do is possible in the current situation,
and if it is, whether anything interesting happens as a result.

  All words you type are distinguished by their first six letters
and all subsequent letters are ignored.

  STARCROSS "understands" many different types of sentences. Some
examples:

TAKE THE SPACESUIT. PUT ON THE SPACESUIT. TAKE OFF THE SPACESUIT.
DROP SPACESUIT. WEAR SPACESUIT
GO STARBOARD. GO AFT. WALK CLOCKWISE. SB.
PUSH BUTTON. PUSH THE RED BUTTON. OPEN AIRLOCK DOOR LOOK AT THE
SCREEN. LOOK UNDER THE TABLE. LOOK BEHIND THE PANEL. LOOK IN THE CAGE.
READ THE PLAQUE. READ ALL THE PLAQUES. FIRE THE RAY GUN AT THE PLAQUE.

  You must separate multiple objects of a verb by the word AND or a
comma. For example:

TAKE ALL BUT THE ALIEN AND THE RAY GUN. PUT THE SPACESUIT AND THE RAY
GUN IN THE DISINTEGRATOR. THROW THE ALIEN AND THE MONSTER IN THE CAGE.

  You can include several sentences in one input line if you separate
them by the word THEN or a period. You don't have to type a period
at the end of an input line. For example:
TAKE RAY GUN. AFT. DROP TAPE LIBRARY. TAKE RAY GUN THEN P THEN DROP
TRANSLATOR

  There are only two kinds of questions that STARCROSS understands:
WHAT and WHERE. For example:
WHERE IS THE CHIEF? WHAT IS A GRUE?

  You can tell or ask various characters to do something.
For example:

COMPUTER, LAND ON MARS. COMPUTER, SET COURSE FOR CERES. REPORT
STATUS. ALIEN, GIVE ME THE ROD. TURN THE PAGE

  STARCROSS tries to be clever about what you really mean when you
don't give enough information. If you say that you want to do
something, but you don't say what to do it with or to, STARCROSS
will sometimes decide that there was only one possible object you
could have meant. When it does so, it will tell you, by displaying,
for example, (WITH THE ROPE). If your sentence is ambiguous,
STARCROSS will ask what you really meant. Most such questions
(for example, WITH WHAT?) can be answered briefly (for example, ROPE)

  STARCROSS uses many more words than it "understands." STARCROSS's
vocabulary consists of several hundred words which are nearly all
you are likely to use when conversing with STARCROSS. However,
responses may tend toward "purple prose" at times, and STARCROSS
will display English descriptions that it couldn't possibly analyze.
Indeed, the response may refer to something to which you cannot
refer (perhaps to your dismay). In that case, it is not essential
to the story, and appears only to enhance your mental imagery.

  Completely mystifying sentences will cause STARCROSS to complain
in one way or another. After making the complaint, STARCROSS will
ignore the rest of the input line. Unusual events, such as being
attacked, will also make STARCROSS ignore the rest of the sentences
you typed, since the event may have changed your situation drastically.


Rules and Strategies
--------------------
STARCROSS, Infocom's mindbending science fiction first, launches you
into the year 2186 and the depths of space. And not without good
reason, for you are destined at that point in time to rendezvous
with a gargantuan ship from the outer fringes of the galaxy. Upon
boarding this craft, you will explore as startling, complex and
engaging a world as any in Infocom's universe.

  In this story, time passes only in response to your input. You
might imagine a giant clock that ticks once per move, and the story
progresses only at each tick. Nothing happens in the story while you
are thinking and planning your next move, so you can plan your moves
slowly and carefully if you so choose.

  STARCROSS keeps track of your score as a rough measure of your
progress in unraveling the mysteries of the alien probe, and in
gaining mastery of the vessel itself.

Commands for Exploring
----------------------
The best way to move from place to place is to type the direction
in which you want to travel. Acceptable directions are FORE, AFT,
PORT or P, STARBOARD or SB, UP or U, and DOWN or D. In appropriate
circumstances, IN and OUT may also be used.

  When you enter a particular place (STARCROSS calls any kind of
place a "room") for the first time, STARCROSS usually displays the
name of the room, a description of it, and then descriptions of any
interesting objects in the room wil which you might want to interact.
Normally, when you return to a room, just the name of the room and
the names of objects in it are displayed.

  The VERBOSE command tells STARCROSS to show the descriptions of
rooms and objects every time you go there, not just the first time.
The BRIEF command tells STARCROSS to fully describe only newly
encountered rooms and objects, as it did initially. For moving
through areas you already know well, the SUPERBRIEF command tells
STARCROSS to show only the name of the room (even on your first
visit there), and not even to mention objects in rhe room. You can
always get a description of the room you are in and the objects in
it by typing LOOK (or the abbreviation L).

Suggestions for More Successful STARCROSS Playing
---------------------------------------------------
It is essential that you draw a map. Remember that there are 6
possible directions. In certain circumstances IN or OUT apply.

  Read everything carefully. There are clues in some of the
descriptions, labels, and books, etc.

  Most objects in the game which can be taken are important for
solving problems.

  Unlike other games with which you may be familiar, there are
many possible routes to the successful completion of STARCROSS.
There is no one "correct" order for solving problems. Some problems
have more than one solution, or don't need to be solved at all.

  It is often helpful to play STARCROSS with another person.
Different people find different problems easy, and can often
complement each other.

  Don't be afraid to try something bold or strange-you can always
save your state first if you want. Trying the bizarre can be fun
and ofren will give you a clue. A nonsense example:

> GIVE THE CATERPILLAR TO THE CHRISTMAS-TREE MONSTER.
THE CHRISTMAS-TREE MONSTER IS REVOLTED AT THE THOUGHT OF ADORNING
ITS BRANCHES WITH A CATERPILLAR.

  You have just learned that there is probably something which
would be a decoration pleasing to the monster and possibly a solution
to the problem.

How to Quit
-----------
If you want to stop playing, and never continue from this particular
position again, type QUIT. STARCROSS will respond: YOUR SCORE WOULD
BE score (TOTAL OF 400 POINTS) IN number MOVES. THIS SCORE GIVES YOU
THE RANK OF rank. DO YOU WISH TO LEAVE THE GAME?
(Y IS AFFIRMATIVE): >

  Type Y next to the prompt(>) and press the RETURN key.

  If you never want to continue from this particular position again,
but you want to keep playing, type RESTART after the prompt(>).
STARCROSS responds by starting the game over from the beginning.

  If you want to continue playing from this particular position, but
at a later time, follow the SAVING A GAME POSITION instructions.

Saving a Game Position
----------------------
It will take you some time to play STARCROSS through to the end,
just as it takes you some time to finish a good book. You will
almost certainly not finish in one sitting. STARCROSS allows you to
continue playing at a later time without having to start over from
the beginning, just as you can place a bookmark in a book you are
reading. There is a command, called SAVE, that makes a "snapshot"
of your position in the game. If you are a cautious or prudent
player, you may want to save your position before you embark
upon (or after you finish) any particularly tricky or dangerous
part of the journey. Having taken a snapshot, you can go back to
that position even though you may get lost or killed afterward.

  When the prompt (>) appears, type: SAVE, then press the RETURN
key. Then follow the instructions on your Reference Card.

Restoring a Saved Game Position
-------------------------------
When you want to continue playing from where you made a snapshot,
follow the RESTORE procedure. You can RESTORE a saved snapshot
at any time during play.

  When the prompt (>) appears, type: RESTORE and press the RETURN
key. Then follow the instructions on your Reference Card.

  You may now continue playing from your restored position. You can
type LOOK for a description of where you are.

List of STARCROSS Commands
-----------------------------
To simplify your adventuring, you may order STARCROSS to give you
information by typing specific commands. These commands can be used
over and over again as needed, but they are each considered one
complete move. Type your command in sentence form after the prompt
(>) appears.
  The list of commands is:

AGAIN
STARCROSS will respond as if you had repeated your previous sentence.

BRIEF
This commands STARCROSS to fully describe only newly encountered
rooms and objects. Rooms already visited and objects already seen
will be described by printing the room name and the object names only.

INVENTORY
STARCROSS lists your possessions. You may abbreviate INVENTORY by
typing I.

LOOK
STARCROSS describes your surroundings in detail. You may abbreviate
LOOK by typing L.

QUIT
This gives you the option to quit playing. If you want to save your
position, first read the instructions under SAVING A GAME POSITION.
You may abbreviate QUIT by typing Q.

RESTART
This ends the game and starts the game over from the beginning.

RESTORE
Restores a game position you saved with the SAVE command. See the
section RESTORING A SAVED GAME POSITION.

SAVE
Saves a game position on your storage diskette. See the section
SAVING A GAME POSITION.

SCORE
STARCROSS shows your current score with the number of moves you
have made, and your rank. (Your rank is your rating as a
professional STARCROSS player and is based of the number of points
you have. )

SCRIPT
This command assumes you have a printer. It commands the printer to
begin printing a transcript of your game session.

SUPERBRIEF
This command tells STARCROSS to show you only the name of the room
you have entered, and no other information. It is briefer than BRIEF.

UNSCRIPT
This command stops your printer from pri nting.

VERBOSE
This command tells STARCROSS to show you a long description of the
room and the objects in it whenever you enter a room.

VERSION
STARCROSS responds by showing you the release number and serial
number of your copy of the game.

WAIT
This command causes time in the game to pass. Normally, between
moves, no time is passing as far as STARCROSS is concerned -you
could leave your computer, take a nap, and return to the game to
find that nothing has changed. WAIT is used when you want to find out
what will happen in the game if you do absolutely nothing while time
passes. For example, if you encounter an alien being, you could WAIT
and see what it will do.


Appendix
--------
STARCROSS Responses

STARCROSS may occasionally have a few words for you when it wants
you to clarify your instruction. Some responses are:

I DON'T KNOW THE WORD 'yourword'. The word you typed is not in the
game's vocabulary. Sometimes a synonym or rephrasing will be
"understood." If not, STARCROSS probably doesn't know the idea you
were trying to get across.

I CAN'T USE THE WORD 'yourword' HERE. STARCROSS knows the word you
typed, but the word made no sense where you put it in the sentence:
"Open the take," for example.

YOU MUST SUPPLY A VERB! Unless you are answering a question, each
sentence must have a verb (or a command) in it somewhere.

THERE IS A NOUN MISSING IN THAT SENTENCE. This usually indicates
an incomplete sentence such as, "Put the lamp in the," where
STARCROSS expected another noun and couldn't find one.

TOO MANY NOUN CLAUSES. An example is "Put the troll in the basket
with the shovel." A valid STARCROSS sentence has at most, one direct
object and one indirect object.

BEG PARDON? You did not type anything after the prompt (>) and
before you pressed the RETURN key on your keyboard.

IT'S TOO DARK TO SEE. In the story, there was no light to see
objects in rhe room.

I CAN'T SEE ANY 'object' HERE. In the story the object you referred
to was not accessible to you.

MULTIPLE OBJECTS CANNOT BE USE WITH 'your verb.' It is legal for you
to use multiple objects (that is, nouns or noun phrases separated
by "and" or a comma) only with certain verbs. Among the more useful
of these verbs are "take," "drop," and "put."

I DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT SENTENCE. You typed a sentence that is
gibberish: for example, "Give alien with ray gun." Yov might try
rephrasing the sentence.


Command Summary
---------------
The following commands can be entered when the prompt(>) has
appeared on the screen. (For explanations, see LIST OF STARCROSS
COMMANDS section. )
AGAIN
BRIEF
INVENTORY
LOOK
QUIT
RESTART
RESTORE
SAVE
SCORE
SCRIPT
SUPERBRIEF
UNSCRIPT
VERBOSE
VERSION
WAIT

Sentence Syntax
---------------
* A STARCROSS sentence must contain at least a verb or a command
  (e. g., AGAIN).
* Separate multiple objects of the verb by the word AND or a comma (,).
* Several sentences typed to STARCROSS at one time must be separated
  by a period (.) or by the word THEN.
  A period is not needed at the end of a line of input.
* Only two kinds of questions may be asked: WHAT and WHERE.
* For the shortest abbreviation of directions, use F (FORE), AFT, P
  (PORT), SB (STARBOARD), U (UP), and D (DOWN).
* The letter L may be used to abbreviate the LOOK command.
* The letter I may be used to abbreviate the INVENTORY command.

INTERLOGIC Reference Card for the COMMODORE 64

I. What You Need

Required
  * Commodore 64 Computer
  * One VIC-1541 diskette drive

Optional
   * One or more blank, formatted diskettes (for SAVEs)
   * VIC graphic printer (or equivalent) connected to the serial
     port (for SCRIPT)
   * Second VIC-1541 diskette drive (for convenience with SAVE)


II. Loading the Game

   1. Turn on the power to your Commodore 64.
   2. Insert the game diskette in Drive 1 (device 8) and close the
      drive door.
   3. Type
      LOAD "GAME",8
      When the computer responds
      "READY,"
      type
      "RUN."

      The diskette drive will spin the diskette and the program will
      load. A message should appear asking you to wait while the
      game loads (this should

III. Talking to the Game

  Whenever you see the prompt (>), the game is waiting for you to
type in your instructions. You may type up to two full lines of text
at a time. If you make a mistake, use the DELETE key to erase the
error. When you have finished typing in your instructions, press
the RETURN key. The game will respond and then the prompt (>) will
reappear.

  NOTE: You may use the left- and right-arrow keys in combination
with the DEL and INST keys to edit your command; however, use of
the up- and down-arrow keys will cause unpredictable results.

  If a description will not fit on the screen all at once, [MORE]
will appear in the bottom left portion of the screen. After reading
the part on the screen, you will need to press the space bar to see
the rest of the message.

IV. The Status Line

  At the top of the screen, you will see a status line. This line
is updated after every move to show your current whereabouts in the
game. Depending upon the type of game, it may also show other
information:

Score
In games that keep a score, such as the ZORK underground
adventures, the right side of the status line will show something
like this:

SCORE:  245/920

The first number is your score and the second is the total number
of moves you have made. In the example, you have 245 points
in 920 moves.


Time

In games that keep track of the time (e.g., the mystery thriller
DEADLINE), the right side of the status line will look something
like the following:

TIME: 9:22AM

This shows the current time of day in the game.


V. Saving a Game Position

To save the current position, use the SAVE command. You may SAVE up
to eight different game positions on each storage diskette and
RESTORE them in any order. To keep track of these different
positions, each is assigned a number (from 0 to 7). Each time you
SAVE a game position, it will overwrite any position that is already
on your storage diskette with the number you specified. If you want
to SAVE more than one game, you must use a different position number
for each one.

When you enter the SAVE command, the game will respond:

 Please insert SAVE diskette,
 - Press RETURN key to continue -

1. If you have only one diskette drive, remove the game diskette
   and insert the storage diskette; otherwise just insert the
   storage diskette in the second drive. (To prepare this
   diskette, see Initializing Store Diskettes.)
2. Press RETURN. The game will respond
    Position (0-7):      Default = 0
3. Type a number between 0 and 7 to tell the game which save
   position on the diskette to use (or simply press the RETURN
   key to select the default). The game will respond
    Drive (8/9):         Default = 8
4. Select whichever drive contains the SAVE diskette. Now the
   game will respond
   - Press RETURN key to begin -
5. Press RETURN. The game will type
    Saving...
   to indicate that the game is being saved. This should take
   about half a minute. When the game has been saved, it will
   respond
    Please re-insert GAME diskette,
    - Press RETURN key to continue -
6. Remove the storage diskette from the drive and insert the
   game diskette again (this step is unnecessary if you are
   using two drives). Close the drive door.
7. Press the RETURN key. If all is well, the game will respond
    Ok.
   If it responds
    Failed.
   consult the Troubleshooting section.

You may now continue playing. You can use the storage diskette
and the RESTORE command to return to this position at another time.


VI. Restoring a Saved Game Position

To restore a previously saved game position, enter the "RESTORE"
command. Then follow the steps (1 to 7) for SAVE above.

VII. SCRIPTing

If you have a VIC Graphic printer (or any equivalent printer
which attaches to the serial port on the Commodore 64), you may
make a transcript of the game as you play it:
  1. Connect the printer to the serial port on the Commodore 64.
  2. Turn on the printer.
  3. Load the game as described above.
  4. To start the transcript at any time, use the SCRIPT command.
  5. To stop the transcript, use UNSCRIPT.
  6. SCRIPT and UNSCRIPT may be used as often as desired as long
     as the printer is left on-line.


VIII. Initializing Storage Diskettes

Storage, or "SAVE" diskettes are made using the standard
Commodore diskette initialization procedures ("NEW" command). See
either the Commodore 64 Reference Manual or the VIC-1541 diskette
drive manual for detailed instructions.

IX. Troubleshooting

If the game fails to load properly, or if SAVE/RESTORE fails,
check each of the following items. If none of these offers a
solution, call your Commodore dealer for assistance.
1. Check to see that your Commodore and disk drive(s) are plugged
   in correctly, connected properly, and that everything is
   turned on.
2. Check to see that the diskette was inserted correctly, and
   that the drive door is closed.
3. Inspect the diskette carefully for any visible damage.
4. Be sure that the diskette(s) is in the proper drive(s). The
   game diskette may only be run from the main drive (device 8).
   For SAVE/RESTORE, be sure that you have typed the correct
   drive number for the storage diskette.
5. For SAVE, be sure that the storage diskette is not write-
   protected (i.e., there is nothing covering the notch on the
   side of the diskette).
6. Also for SAVE, be certain that the diskette has been properly
   initialized (formatted). As a last resort, try a different
   diskette.
7. If you have turned off your Commodore, follow the instructions
   for loading the game.
8. Try again: the problem may be only momentary.

Copyright
---------
This software product is copyrighted and all rights reserved by
Infocom, Inc. It is published by Commodore under license from
Infocom, Inc. The distribution and sale of this product are intended
for the use of the original purchaser only and for use only on the
computer system specified. Lawful users of this program are hereby
licensed only to read the program from its medium into memory of a
computer solely for the purpose of executing the program. Copying,
duplicating, selling or otherwise distributing this product is a
violation of the law.

 This manual and packaging are copyrighted and all rights are
reserved by Infocom. Inc. and Commodore. This document may not, in
whole or part, be copied, photocopied. reproduced, translated or
reduced to any electronic medium or machine readable form without
prior consent, in writing, from Infocom, Inc.

 Willful violations of the Copyright Law of the United States can
result in civil damages of up to $50,000 in addition to actual
damages, plus criminal penalties of up to one year imprisonment
and/or a $10,000 fine.

STARCROSS and INTERLOGIC are trademarks of Infocom Inc.
(C)1982 Infocom. Inc. Printed in U.S.A.
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