Star Crusader manual
- Star Crusader
Game Program Copyright and Manual Copyright©1994
Take 2 Interactive Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Take 2 Interactive Software
575 Broadway, 6th Fl.
New York, NY 10012
Star Crusader is a registered trademark of International Business Machines, Inc.
All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged as the proprietary property of their respective owners.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I Getting Started Quickly
Quick Start 7
Trouble Shooting 7
Technical Assistance 9
II Story Background
Pax Gorenium 12
The Aliens of the Ascalon Rift 12
The Plot 14
III Playing the Game
Main Hall 17
A. Choosing Your Ship 18
B. Choosing Your Opponents 19
C. Flying Missions 20
Tactical Map 20
Mission Briefing Auditorium 21
Pre-mission Computer Room 22
A. Select Wingmen 23
B. Select Combat Resources 24
C. Assemble Squadron 25
D. Secondary Missions 25
1. Offensive Missions 26
2. Defensive Missions 27
E. Pilot Academy Resources 27
F. General Topics Database 28
B. Mission Flight and Combat
Basic Information 28
Cockpit Views 30
Adjusting Velocity 35
Computer and Navigational Controls 35
A. Power Management 36
B. Mission Briefing 36
C. Tactical Map 36
D. Communications 37
E. Damage Control 38
F. Repair Order 38
Weapons and Targeting Systems 39
Emergency Measures 40
Stealth Functions 41
Returning From a Mission 41
Awards and Medals (For CD-ROM ONLY) 42
IV Game Strategy
Ship's Systems 44
A. Power 44
B. Fuel 45
C. Weapons 45
D. Tractor Beams 45
E. Ejection Systems 45
F. Flight Characteristics 46
G. Radar and Sensors 46
H. Damage Control 46
I. Fire Control 46
J. IFF Transponder 46
V Combat Tips
The Five Alien Races 47
A. Tancreds 47
B. Zemuns 47
C. Mazumas 48
D. Amiens 48
E. Gorenes 49
Combat Tactics 50
A. How to line up a target 50
B. How to take on multiple opponents 50
C. How to fight capital ships and bases 51
D. Power Management 52
E. Fighting inside of a nebula 52
F. Fighting in the midst of a mine field 52
` G. Hints on flying stealth missions 53
VI The Star Crusader Development Team 54
VII The Star Crusader CD-ROM Cast 55
From everyone at Take 2 Interactive Software, I thank you for purchasing and playing Star Crusader. Star Crusader isn't the first outer-space flight simulation, and it certainly won't be the last. But our hope is that you, the player, will find Star Crusader to be a unique product in a genre that is as crowded as it is popular. We've attempted to create a product that is different (hopefully more fun in the end) -- a memorable, action-packed, unpredictable tale that blends state-of-the-art 3D technology with elements of strategy and storytelling.
The story of the medieval Crusades -- the exhausted, battle-weary Europeans marching towards Jerusalem to drive the infidels from the Christian Holy Land -- is one of history's greatest tales. The history of the Roman, and later British, Empires -- with their steady expansions, glorious reigns, and inevitable falls -- has also been intriguing in the scope of history. Equally fascinating is the arrogance and the belief in their own benevolence that fueled this expansionism, and the fury and resolve with which some fought the influence of history's seemingly unstoppable empires.
With tales of great empires and the history of the Crusades as our inspiration, we set out to create a story full of conflict and moral choices. In those historic models, both sides were willing to die for their beliefs, and in the end no one could definitively say that either side was right or wrong, good or evil. Star Crusader lets you make that important decision for yourself. In the midst of the adventure you'll have to decide if you want to stay with the Gorene Empire, intent on expanding its influence, or join the Alliance of Alien Races, struggling to maintain independence. We've attempted to shine light on an age-old tale of conflict from opposing sides, and present a story full of emotion and strife.
But the story only sets the stage for what really lies at the heart of Star Crusader -- the fast action and thrill of 3-D space combat simulation. We've gone to great lengths to create a 3D flight system that is, above all else, fun and easy to use. You can fly thirteen different ships, each packed with exciting and unique weapons. And we feature the latest in cutting-edge 3-D technology, with fully texture-mapped space ships, on-the-fly translucency, and state-of-the-art Gouraud and Phong shading techniques. Couple that with poly-phonic distance-cued sound effects, four-track audio, and a driving soundtrack that will leave the sounds of battle ringing in your ears.
Star Crusader is not a linear game. We've designed 104 missions that lie along numerous gaming paths. Please remember that you do not have to succeed in every mission to win a campaign. In order to advance the overall game plot, some missions have been designed to be very difficult. Like any game, if you lose too may missions you will lose the game, but the only way to play all of Star Crusader's 104 missions is to lose a battle here and there. So, by all means, save your games, but don't be too quick to replay a mission that you had to abandon before its objectives were completed. You may be passing up an opportunity to play some of the game's most enjoyable and challenging missions.
We've added some extras for CD-ROM players: an animated introduction that sets the stage for the plot. (If you're playing the floppy version of the game, all of the information conveyed in this intro can also be absorbed by reading the Story Background section of the manual.) As well, the CD version features digitized speech by a cast of professional actors for all mission briefings, cinematic scenes, and in-flight dialogue. Cinematic scenes have been enhanced with more animation and sound effects. And lastly, we've added awards and medals to the CD version. If you're a CD player, we hope you are pleased with our efforts to take full advantage of the CD-ROM platform.
After a year-and-a-half of development, our crusade is over. I hope after you've played the game you'll judge our effort to be a success. Let us know what you think. Only by hearing your comments and criticisms can we improve future designs and releases. Write us at: Take 2 Interactive Software, 1004
Ligonier St. Fl. 3, Latrobe, PA 15650.
F.J. Lennon Producer
Writer, Co-Designer August 1, 1994
GETTING STARTED QUICKLY
Put the Star Crusader disk into your CD-ROM drive.
Type D: (or whatever drive letter your CD-ROM drive is) .
Type INSTALL .
The install program will now install a few files to your hard drive. Follow the instructions that come up on the screen. This is a good time to fill out your registration card. We'd like to hear from you, so please send it in. When Star Crusader finishes installing, the setup program will start.
The setup program will need your help configuring Star Crusader to run on your system. The up and down arrows move through the menus, the Return or Spacebar will select the highlighted item. The F10 key will save and exit, the Esc key will exit without saving. If you need help just use the F1 key.
You will need to rerun the setup program if you change sound cards or system configuration. To run the setup program type SETUP from the SC directory.
To start Star Crusader type SC from the Star Crusader directory.
Put disk 1 into your floppy drive.
Type A: (or whatever drive letter your floppy is) .
Type INSTALL .
The install program will now install the files to your hard drive. Follow the instructions that come up on the screen and swap disks when asked. This is a good time to fill out your registration card. We'd like to hear from you so please send it in. When Star Crusader finishes installing, the setup program will start.
The setup program will need your help configuring Star Crusader to run on your system. The up and down arrows move through the menus, the Return or Spacebar will select the highlighted item. The F10 key will save and exit, the Esc key will exit without saving. If you need help just use the F1 key.
You will need to rerun the setup program if you change sound cards or system configuration. To run the setup program type SETUP from the SC directory.
To start Star Crusader type SC from the Star Crusader directory.
To start the game type SC from the Star Crusader directory. When beginning a new campaign, you are given the option of choosing the difficulty level. The game starts at the Main Hall. Left click on the red jewel at the bottom of the screen. This takes you to the Mission Briefing Auditorium. Here you see the mission briefing after which you are directed to the Mission Tactical Map. You can click on a ship on the tactical map to get a description of it. Just left click on a description to get back to the tactical map.
If you click on the door on the right side of the screen it takes you to the Computer Room. This is where you configure your squadron once you become sector commander. For the first several missions, the only thing that you can access here is the General Topics Data Base.
The three buttons on the left side of the computer screen let you set up your squadron. If you are flying a solo mission go to the Combat Resources menu and choose a ship that you want to fly. If you are leading a fighter wing you need to pick other pilots to fly with you. When finished you can assign pilots to the ships you chose. If you do not assign pilots and ships they are chosen for you automatically.
If you move the cursor to the right of the screen you can proceed with the mission. A cinematic take-off scene plays, and the mission commences. The P key pauses the game. When you complete your mission use the J key to hyperjump back to base. You must be stationary to activate the singularity field generator (SFG), the device that allows you to hyperjump in space.
My computer crashes when I try to play Star Crusader from Windows or Desqview.
Multitasking environments like Windows and Desqview can conflict with Star Crusader in the way they use your computer's memory. When you want to play Star Crusader you must completely exit any multitasking programs and start the game from the DOS prompt.
You get error message: Not enough memory.
Are you running Star Crusader from Windows or MS-DOS Shell? You must start the game directly from DOS. Exit Windows or MS-DOS Shell, then go to the game directory and type SC to start the game.
Star Crusader requires at least 538K of free core memory.
That means the largest executable program size must be at least 550,000 Bytes. Type MEM to find out what your largest executable program size is.
If your largest executable program size is less than 538K then you have to load some of your programs high or make a boot disk. If you are using DOS 6.0 you can type MEMAKER to generate more memory. If you are using another memory manager run their memory maximizing program.
The game runs very slowly.
The configuration of the game at startup is optimized to run on a IBM compatible 486SX-33. On slower machines it may be necessary to turn off the texture maps and light source shading. See the quick reference card for the proper keys.
Certain monitor functions will also slow the game down. On certain missions if you are using the trackcam, rear view or scanner monitor screens your system may slow down. If this is a problem, limit their use on those missions.
The game runs but there isn't any sound.
Check the installation of your sound card. Does it work with other games? If not then reinstall the sound card software
Run the Star Crusader setup program. Type SETUP from the C:\SC directory. Is the correct sound card enabled? Use the autodetect feature to determine you r computer's sound configuration. Note: The autodetect routine may cause some systems to lock up. If your computer won't respond to the mouse or keyboard please reboot your computer. You must set your sound card manually in the setup program.
Check the settings in the setup program against those for your card. Do the IO port, DMA channel, and IRQ channels match?
If some or all sound is missing in the game's 3D section, you may be low on expanded memory. Star Crusader requires a minimum of 1024K of expanded memory to run any of its sounds and 2 megabyte of expanded memory to run all of them.
The joystick doesn't work or works erratically.
Check the installation of your joystick. Is it plugged in to the right port?
Run the Star Crusader setup program. Type SETUP from the C:\SC directory. Is the joystick enabled?
Choose calibrate in the setup program and follow the instructions.
You can reach Take 2 by:
Please review the Trouble Shooting Tips before you call. For customer service and technical support you can call Take 2 at (412) 539-6407 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. We want to get you playing the game as fast as possible, so for greatest speed and efficiency please be at your computer when you call. If you can't be at your computer then please write down the following information about you r computer: brand name/type; sound card type; largest executable program size; mouse type; and joystick type.
You can reach Technical Support by fax at (412) 539-3195. On your fax please include your phone and fax number, your computer information, and as many details as possible about the problem you are having with the game.
If you would like to contact us by mail. Write to:
Take 2 Interactive Software
1004 Ligonier St., Fl. 3
Latrobe, PA 15650
Please include you return address, your computer information, and as many details as possible about the problem you are having with the game.
For Game Play Strategies and Hints (Live and Recorded), Call: 1-900-28-TAKE2
Ninety-five cents per minute for recorded hints; $1.25 per minute for live hints. Must be 18 or have parents' permission. Touch tone phone required.
Thrust (keyboard controls)
0 - no power
1 - 1/3 power
2 - 2/3 power
3 - full power
4 - match target speed
- decrease power by one
+ or = increase power by one
#2 joystick button while depressed up/back - thrust
E or Shift + T - nearest target
L - locks on target in cross-hairs
T - toggles through targets
fires active weapon
Alt + T - previous target
A - toggles through allies
Alt + A - previous ally
Shift + S - overcharges shields
Shift + L - overcharges lasers
Shift + A - nearest ally
W - toggles through weapons
Enter - fires "heavy" weapon
S - toggles shields
#1 joystick button - Fires active weapon
#2 joystick button while depressed left/right - roll
Tab - Activate/Deactivate Afterburner
I - Insult Opponent
Alt + 1 - toggles left monitor on/off (some ships)
Shift + 1 - changes function of left monitor
Alt + 2 - toggles center monitor on/off (some ships)
Shift + 2 - changes function of center monitor
Alt + 3 - changes function of right monitor
7 - Toggles through all left monitor functions
8 - Toggles through all center monitor functions
9 - Toggles through all right monitor functions
(type shift + monitor number, then the function number you want the monitor to be)
1 - radar
2 - trackcam
3 - targeting sight
4 - ship's shields
5 - target's shields
6 - ship's damage
7 - target's damage
8 - scanner
9 - probe
0 - Stealth technology monitor
Bksp or = - rear view mirror
— - communications window
N - brings up the navigational controls
Arrows - move around in maps
Right Click - centers on cursor
X or > - zooms map in
Left click or type number to access functions
C - centers on player's ship
Z or < - zooms map out
F1 - main cockpit view
F2 - front view (no cockpit)
F3 - rear view
F4 - torpedo camera
F5 - external view from ship to target
F6 - external view from target to ship
F7 - external view over ship
F8 - external view over target
Shift < - left view
Shift > - right view
F9 - toggle background textures
F10 - toggle Gouraud shading
F11 - toggle texture maps
F12 - toggle light source shading
Shift + F10 - toggle Phong shading
C - toggle stealth technology (Intruder only)
Alt + R - toggle radar modes
B - toggle stealth battery charging (Intruder only)
Z - zoom in radar (grid mode only)
R - tractor beam
X - zoom out radar (grid mode only)
J - hyperjump back to base (from stationary position)
Ctrl + E - eject
Esc - game options menu (in base)
P - pauses game (in-flight)
Alt + Q - quite to DOS
Alt + L - launch probe (Intruder only)
Ctrl + S - initiates scan (Intruder only)
Alt + S - toggles sound
Alt + M - toggles music
S - go to simulator (in main hall)
M - go to map room (in main hall)
B - go to briefing room (in main hall or computer room)
F - fly mission (in computer room)
Esc - access Game Options' Menu
C- pre-mission computer room
X - go to main hall (in map room)
Special Simulator Keys
Ctrl + R - resupplies ship
Shift + Tab - toggles invulnerability
Page Up - Ultra Speed
(Communication to nearest available wingman)
Alt + F2 - attack my target
Alt + F3 - disable my target
Alt + F5 - defend targeted/closest ally
Alt + F6 - cover me
Alt + F8 - rescue/capture my target
(Communication to targeted wingman)
Alt + F1 - wingman return to base
Alt + F4 - defend position
Alt + F7 - break off attack
You are Roman Alexandria, a high-ranking pilot for the Gorenes, the most powerful and advanced race in the known universe. The Gorene Empire -- much like the British and Roman Empires on earth -- continually expands its influence throughout the universe, spreading its laws, methods, influence, technology, philosophy, values, vast wealth, and monetary systems to worlds which, for the most part, are less sophisticated than Gorene worlds. Many have called the Gorenes conquerors, but the Gorenes believe themselves to be the liberators and educators of the universe. The success of their methods is proof to them that it is their mission to convert other alien races to their ways.
Whenever alien races are discovered in newly explored regions of the universe, the Gorene Empire expands. At times, these races -- many of the uncivilized -- are in awe of the Gorenes and eagerly accept them as masters and liberators. Some races, however, have accused the Gorenes of trespassing and rejected their influence. Vast regions of space have become bloody battlefields, but to date the Gorenes have never lost a territory they sought to conquer, thanks to their advanced technology, weapons, and strategic prowess. The history of the known universe has been written by the victors . . . the Gorenes.
What will they write about the Ascalon Rift -- a newly discovered backwater area of space where a number of alien races have vowed to drive the Gorenes out?
The Aliens of the Ascalon Rift
A. The Tancreds
The most powerful, technically advanced civilization in the region is that of the Tancreds. They are considered barbaric by some, but their power is respected and feared. Their entire society is organized for war, due mainly to the fact that, over the course of the last three centuries, they have been forced to defend their world -- Orentes -- against attacks by the Zemuns. The Tancreds have the most advanced ships and weapons in the Ascalon Rift, and they bitterly reject the Gorenes' attempt to expand their influence into the region.
B. The Zemuns
The Zemuns are a race of religious zealots inhabiting the world Ma'arrat. They worship the god Anjou, and consider all non-believers to be enemies. Their entire civilization is focused on serving their creator. Like the Tancreds, with whom they have always been at odds, the Zemuns have advanced weapons and space technology. Seven years ago they launched a surprise attack on the Tancreds, and a bloody two year war ensued; the Zemuns were eventually repelled. Since then, there has been an uneasy peace between the two races. The Zemuns consider the Gorenes to be infidels and enemies.
C. The Mazumas
The Mazumas are chameleon-like shape-shifters. They're also the most populous and wealthy race in the Ascalon Rift. They control and inhabit four worlds -- Hattin, Silpius, Leinengen, and Nish -- which are lush, fertile, and full of natural resources and treasures. Their power comes from their tremendous wealth, as well as the sheer size of their population, which is six times greater than the Tancred race. The Tancreds, Zemuns, and Amiens, to their dismay, are dependent on the goods and resources of the Mazumas; while the other races plow their assets into the continued development of military technology, the Mazumas invest their vast riches back into their own economy, building industries that tailor to the arms race between the Tancreds and the Zemuns. Financed by the profits from this prodigious trade, the Mazumas have built a formidable army and space force.
D. The Amiens
The Amiens, the race of symbiotes inhabiting the planet Kayzeri, were formerly a pacifistic race of extremely intelligent humanoids. They lived as isolationists, refusing to become an ally of either the
Tancreds or Zemuns. Their advanced technology made them a potentially dangerous foe, so they were not provoked; as long as they didn't seek to expand their power in the Ascalon Rift, the Tancreds and Zemuns were content to ignore them.
Thirty years ago, however, a deadly plague struck Kayzeri and threatened the entire race. A bizarre palliative -- a genetically altered bacteria colony -- was developed and injected into the bodies of the Amiens. This bacteria is now essential to keeping the host Amien body alive, but over the course of the last twenty-eight years it has evolved and gained an intelligence of its own. The sentient bacteria is more aggressive than the nature of its pacifistic host, which leads to greater inner conflict, even schizophrenia. Even though the bacteria's prime purpose is to protect the host, Gorene researches predict that over the course of time, the inner conflict will drive the race to complete madness.
E. The Nuubyans
The Nuubyans of Anqah, on the fringes of the Ascalon Rift, were the first race the Gorenes contacted upon entering the region. A primitive race, they were eager to acquire Gorene technology. The Gorenes were too impatient to make an ally in the region; the Nuubyans proved too primitive to understand Gorene ways. When the Gorenes set up bases on Anqah and gave the Nuubyans the technology and weaponry they would need to defend themselves from attack by the Zemuns and the Tancreds, the plan backfired. A violent civil war erupted on Anqah, a war that led to the destruction of the Nuubyan world and most of its inhabitants.
Now there are Nuubyan refugees scattered throughout the Ascalon Rift. They call themselves Nomen from Netherworld, and they blame the Gorenes for their obliteration.
The story unfolds with the races of the Ascalon Rift joining together in an uneasy alliance to fight off the Gorenes' presence in the region. The Gorenes, encountering some of the most troublesome defiance they've seen, are constructing an enormous base and battle station -- Prajna-7 -- on the outskirts of the Ascalon Rift.
Closer to the alien territories the Gorenes have constructed three smaller bases -- AR-1, AR-2, and AR-3 -- to command strategic operations. As Roman Alexandria, a pilot in the elite Gorene Gold Squadron, you are assigned by Admiral Adleman Shylo, the commanding officer of the Ascalon Rift crusade, to AR-1, which is under the command of Sector Commander Dithmar Ferrand.
The Gorene forces on AR-1, AR-2, and AR-3 have been given three months to drive the opposing alien forces back and force their surrender. As soon as Prajna-7 is completed and manned, the Gorenes will have the power to take the region by force, but the completion of the battle station will take roughly six months. Until then you are an underdog with limited resources, pilots, ships, and weapons at your disposal. Thus, with Tactical Officer Blois Fulcher at your side, you begin the game as one of the crusaders seeking to fly the flag of the Gorene Empire in the Ascalon Rift.
But events begin to unfold, circumstances change, and you'll have the opportunity to take a step back, evaluate what has happened, and decide, based on your own moral choices, who is right and wrong. Perhaps you'll stay with the Gorene Empire and conquer the Ascalon Rift. Or maybe you'll decide to join the alien alliance and help them drive the Gorenes away.
The choice is yours.
PLAYING THE GAME
Having played plenty of computer games themselves, the writers of this manual are well aware that most new Star Crusader players will have little patience for reading this section of the document. Fortunately for such players, Star Crusader was designed with their type of uncontrollable enthusiasm in mind. Anyone who has played an adventure game should have little trouble finding their way around the 2D screens. Players in any way familiar with other space flight simulation type games should be able to fly a Star Crusader ship with little difficulty. The quick reference sheet included with the game will supply you with brief descriptions of all the hot keys, so if you are eager to get started, feel free to jump right in. When you are ready to explore the game in greater detail, the manual will be right here, waiting patiently.
When compiling this document is was necessary to resort to certain conventions in the interest of expediency. In order to keep from confusing (and perhaps even offending) potential players, however, these conventions must be explained.
First, all measurements referred to in this manual, as well as in the Star Crusader game, are expressed in terms of a Gorene unit known as the "km" (pronounced kvum). Though, admittedly, the spelling of km is the same as the standard abbreviation for the Earth Kilometer, players must be assured that the two
measurements are in no way the same. In fact, one km represents exactly one thousandth the distance from the surface of Eysleria, the Gorene homeworld, to its first moon, Arcadia. Legend has it that this term originated eons ago, during the Gorene's eleventh dynasty. It is said that when the mad Emperor Grimnoth III (also known as "The Cruel") asked his court astronomer the distance from Eysleria to Arcadia, the terrified sage (who suffered from an odd speech impediment) could only stammer "kvum...kvum...kvum" over and over again. Emperor Grimnoth, who aside from his genius at conceiving new tortures possessed very few intellectual facilities of his own, kept a count of the phrases, assuming that his wise man was tallying the requested distance in special space-measuring units. So, there you have it. Now remember, we've explained it here, so there's no reason to call us with questions and/or criticisms concerning the practical impossibilities of space flight using a simulator which bases its units of measure on the kilometer.
It is also worthy to note that Gorenes are extremely advanced in the study of physics -- so advanced, in fact, that no manual could properly explain their brilliant advancements. So if you think your ship is defying the laws of physics and their application to space as you know it, you're well, wrong...at least where Gorene physics is concerned. Though physics in the Ascalon Rift is incomprehensible to human minds, it is said to be fun because it doesn't come close to conforming to the restrictions of our work-a-day world.
With reference to the following instructions concerning cursor movement and selecting items found in game screens, mouse commands such as Left Click and Right Click are used as a convention. Again, this is done to expedite the flow of the text. You should know that anywhere that the command Left Click is used, you may also use your First Joystick Button or press Enter on the keyboard. Likewise, whenever a reference is made to using the Right Mouse Button, you can use the Second Joystick Button or the Esc key as an alternative.
As the game begins you must choose a difficulty level for the campaign in order for play to commence. The difficulty level selected will affect the number of objectives that you must complete in order to win a mission, as well as your ability to recover missions where your character is killed. This also affects the intensity of damage that you suffer and the skill levels of enemies that you face.
Once a difficulty level has been chosen, you find yourself in the Main Hall of AR-1, a Gorene base located on the edge of the Ascalon Rift. Before you is a sculpture of the Gorene Imperial Eagle, symbol of the empire's might and prowess. Integrated into the sculpture are four jewels of varying size and color. When you center your cursor on one of these jewels, a label is activated to inform you of the place that you can access by left clicking on that jewel.
The second half of the game takes place in a desert setting on an alien planet. The main base scene for this half of the game is controlled in the same way as the Main Hall.
If you prefer, you may enter the areas accessible from the main hall by simply pressing the letter key that corresponds to the first letter in that area's title. Thus, pressing S will take you directly to the Simulator, M to the Map Room, B to the Briefing Auditorium and C to the Pre-mission Computer Room.
In addition, you may press the ESC key from anywhere in the base to access a special drop-down window containing game options. These options allow you to Save a game, Restore a saved game, and Delete a Saved Game. They also allow you to adjust the Default settings for the monitors, we well as the priority order for power management and damage control systems of the ship you'll be flying on your next actual or simulated mission. Once the defaults have been set for that type of ship, they remain that way until you opt to change them. Other game options allow you to toggle your Sound, Music and Cinematic Scenes off and on, and still others let you begin a New Campaign or Quit Star Crusade altogether.
The flight simulator is a computer-generated holographic device used for training and practice. It's a good idea to put in some time against enemy ships in the simulator before flying actual missions against those same ship. To fly a simulated mission, move the cursor to the left jewel and left click when the Combat Simulator label appears.
A. Choosing Your Ship
Once inside the simulation room, move the cursor to the simulator chair to activate the Select Training Ship label. Left click to implement this option. A drop-down window appears with the first of several possible training ships already featured in revolving animation.
Only ships that are currently available for use in actual game missions can be accessed in the simulator. You can left click on the Menu icon to display the types of ships (i.e., Gorene, Tancred, Zemun, etc.) presently available. Available ship types are highlighted in green. Left clicking on a ship type, and then clicking on Done causes only ships of that type to be featured for your selection.
To see all the ships of a given type that are available in the simulator, left click on the up/down arrows within the window. Each available ship type is featured consecutively. Left clicking on the Stats icon reveals the number of weapons, shield strength, engine power, top speed and maneuverability ratings, overall durability and auto repair capability of a featured ship.
To choose a featured ship for use in the simulator, left click on the Select icon. Only one ship may be selected per simulated mission. To unselect a ship, right click on the Select icon when the appropriate ship is featured in the drop-down window.
Left clicking on the Review icon lets you review the ship selections for the current simulator mission.
To exit the Select Training Ship drop-down window, left click on the icon. This takes you back to the simulator room.
B. Choosing Your Opponents
To choose opponents for a simulated mission, left click on the Select Opponents label, which is activated by placing the cursor in the right third of the simulator room screen. This reveals a drop-down window with the first potential opponent ship featured in revolving animation.
To receive information on a featured ship, left click on the Stats icon. This reveals statistics on weapons, shield strength, engine power, top velocity, overall durability, and auto repair capability for the feature ship, as well as maneuverability ratings.
Left clicking on the up/down arrows within this window shows more opponent ships for you to choose from. Simulated missions may be flown against all ships and bases that appear in the course of game play (including Gorene craft). Should you wish to have a specific type of enemy craft featured as potential opponent ships, left click on the Menu icon. This accesses a list of all the potential opponent ship types (i.e. Gorene, Tancred, Zemun, etc.). Left clicking on a ship type and then on Done ensures that only ships of that type are featured for addition to the opponent's forces.
In addition to choosing your ships, you must choose the overall skill level of each simulated pilot that you will be flying against. Left click on the right/left arrow icons at the bottom of the drop-down window to adjust your opponent skill levels from poor to ace.
Once a desired ship and skill level are selected, left click on the Select icon to load them into the simulated mission. Right clicking on the Select icon removes a selected ship with associated skill level from the opponent's forces in the simulated mission. Up to ten opponents ships, in any combination of type and skill level, may be selected for a simulated mission.
To review your selections for both your own and your opponent's forces in the current simulated mission, left click on the Review icon.
To return to the simulator room from the drop-down window, left click, on the icon.
C. Flying The Mission
Once you have chosen your ship and your simulated opponent's forces, you may enter the simulation by moving the cursor to the base of the simulator chair which activates the Begin Simulation label. Left clicking on this label transports you into the simulation.
Once in the simulator, you can fly your ship normally, using all of the control options available on a regular game mission (see Mission Flight and Combat section for details). However, since you are participating in a simulated combat situation, you cannot die while flying a simulated mission. In addition, since the simulator is a training device, there are several cheat keys available during simulated missions that cannot be accessed during regular game play. These features are: Resupply, Invulnerability, and Ultra Speed.
To access the Resupply option in the simulator, hold down the Ctrl key and press R. Activating Resupply automatically recharges your lasers and shields (without engine power drain), and provides 99 fresh torpedoes to ships equipped to fire them.
To render your ship invulnerable to damage from any enemy attack while in the simulator, hold down the Shift key and press Tab.
In the simulator, you can travel at speeds that greatly exceed those which your ship is actually capable of achieving during regular game play by pressing the Page Up key. A ship travels at Ultra Speed for as long as the Page Up key is depressed.
Remember, these special keys are for use in training within the simulator. They cannot be accessed during regular game play. You would be wise not to become dependent on these keys, and to use them only as equalizers while you are learning to pilot a Star Crusader ship in combat.
To leave the simulator room, either prior to or after flying a simulated mission, move the cursor to the bottom edge of the screen to activate the Exit Simulator label and click the left mouse button.
From the Main Hall, move the cursor to the top jewel to activate the Tactical Map Room title; left click to enter this location. A map displaying the territories currently controlled by all the alien races in the Ascalon Rift appears. To the right of the map screen is a series of buttons, each associated with the name of one of these races. Left clicking on one of these buttons highlights the area controlled by the appropriate race. As the game progresses, territory changes hands between the Gorene Empire and the Ascalon Rift's Alliance of Alien Races. These territorial exchanges hinge directly upon your prowess in combat. They also reflect your grasp of general game strategy, once you have advanced to a position where you can direct secondary missions against your enemies (see Pre-mission Computer Room description for details on ordering secondary missions).
The amount of territory controlled by your forces is important to the outcome of the game. Should you begin to lose substantial amounts of territory as play progresses, your supply of combat resources may be interrupted. Likewise, by gaining territory, you influence the number of enemy ships and the quality of the pilots you'll face. Simply, the control of territory affects the pool of recruits and natural resources available to the respective military forces.
On the tactical map, each combatant's territory is shown in a different color. Blue hexes are those controlled by the Gorenes. Green, magenta, orange, and yellow hexes are controlled by Tancred, Maxuma, Zemun, and Amien forces, respectively. The light gray hexes represent border or frontier sectors, and the dark gray hex is the mysterious no-man's-land known as Grimnada (featured in the Extended Missions
Pack). Each of these colored territories is outlined with red demarcation lines. These lines remain in their original positions throughout play despite actual sectors changing hands. This allows you to have a point of reference for determining the amount of territory that you have gained or lost since beginning a campaign. Within each race's territory, there are various objects that you can identify by centering your mouse on them. These represent the positions of key planets and bases referred to during the game. For a complete description of named objects shown on the tactical map, left click on it or refer to the General Topics Database, accessible from the Pre-mission Computer Room. Move the cursor to the left side of the Tactical Map Room screen to activate the Exit Tactical Map Room label and left click to return to the Main Hall. Pressing the X key from anywhere in the Tactical Map Room produces the same result.
Mission Briefing Auditorium
To receive a briefing on the next game mission, move the cursor to the large jewel at the bottom of the screen. When the Mission Briefing title appears, press the left mouse key to initiate the briefing.
Upon entering the Briefing Auditorium, you'll receive a description of the next mission to be flown as well as any other news that affects the game at that time. Whenever mission briefing dialogue exceeds the space allotted in the dialogue box, an arrow icon appears outside the lower right corner of the box. Left click on this icon to scroll text within the box. Left click anywhere within the dialogue box to bring up the next character's dialogue. You may exit the briefing at any time by pressing ESC or clicking the right mouse button.
When the briefing is completed, you turn to face the room's computer view screen and SETI interface (see General Topics Database in the Pre-mission Computer Room for a complete description). Illuminated on the screen are icon images of ships and objects (excluding asteroids and mines) that can be encountered during the upcoming mission. Red icons represent enemy ships or objects, while green icons represent the ships and objects of your forces. You may move the cursor onto one of these icons and left click to find out more about the ship or object that it represents.
When you left click on an icon, the SETI turns toward you and projects an animated image of the selected vessel, while statistical information associated with it appears on the computer screen. Left clicking anywhere on the projected screen removes the projected image and causes the SETI to rotate back to the main view screen. If the icons on the main screen are too tightly clustered for you to isolate one with your cursor, you can left click on a particular group of icons. This will prompt the SETI to ask you to choose the ship type you wish to study from amongst all the icons your cursor is touching.
Finally, a summary of the mission briefing you just heard will appear beneath the view screen. If you would like to replay the entire mission briefing, including the commentary of your wingmen, left click on the Mission Summary. (Pressing the B key while facing the view screen in the briefing auditorium will give you the same results.)
To the right and left of the briefing summary box, two doors are situated. Left click on the Left Door to return to the Main Hall. (This may also be accomplished by pressing M key.) Left click on the Right Door to go on to the Pre-mission Computer Room (which can also be accessed by pressing C.)
Pre-mission Computer Room
The Pre-mission Computer Room provides the player with access to various command functions, as well as the General Topics Database. Until you, as Roman Alexandria, reach the status of sector commander, you cannot access all of the computer room's command functions.
The computer room itself consists of a large central screen that has three buttons on each side. To display the computer's functions, center your cursor over these buttons one at a time.
As a general rule, accessing a Pre-mission Computer Room function provides you with a list of subjects, all
of which are shown in yellow type. Moving the cursor onto an individual subject highlights that subject in
green. A green highlighted subject is one you may access or select at a given time. Left clicking on a green highlighted subject selects that subject and turns its highlight from green to red. To unselect a subject, left click on that subject, which removes its red highlight. Move the cursor to above or below the game computer screen so you can scroll an accessed list up or down. Move the cursor onto the game computer screen to stop scrolling.
A. Select Wingmen
Left clicking on the Select Wingmen button shows a list of the pilots available to accompany you on your upcoming mission. You'll be reminded that you can't take wingmen with you if you're flying a solo mission.
When the list of potential wingmen does appear, you'll be informed of the number of pilots you may select for duty on the upcoming mission. A pilot dossier appears when you right click a highlighted Pilot Name. These dossiers include portraits of selected pilots, their Species, and a breakdown of their skills and attributes. Skills fall under the headings of Laser, Torpedo and Pilot, while attributes are Courage and Discipline. Skills and attributes are rated from 1 (Poor) to 5 (Ace). The number of Missions Flown in the current campaign and an Overall Rating are also shown. As wingmen participate in primary and secondary missions, their skills and attributes will improve. Subsequently, this will improve their overall rating.
Pilots cannot be selected while in a dossier screen. To return to the list of available pilots, right click. To select a pilot to accompany you on the current mission, left click on that pilot's name when viewing the full list of available wingmen. When all wingmen are selected (or as many as you wish to select, which may be less than the required number), left click on to exit the Select Wingman screen.
If you have not selected enough wingmen for the current mission, wingmen from the available list are selected at random to fill out your squadron. If there are not enough wingmen available to fly the mission due to attrition, training duty, or secondary mission assignments, the computer assigns rookie pilots to your squadron. You are not informed of the details of such automatic pilot selections until you leave the Pre-mission Computer Room to fly the upcoming mission.
B. Select Combat Resources
Left click on the Select Combat Resources button to access a list of the number and type(s) of ships available for the upcoming mission. At the top of this list, you'll see a prompt informing you of the number of ships you may choose.
Right click on a highlighted ship to view the ship's name and world of origin, shield and engine strengths, number of weapons carried, top speed, power and maneuverability ratings, overall durability points, and auto repair ability. An overhead view of the highlighted ship is also shown. Right click to return to the main Select Combat Resources screen.
Left click on the number available next to a ship name to select one vessel of that type for the current mission. For each ship that has been selected, the figure for that type in the Number Available column is reduced by one and the figure in the In Use column is increased by one. If a 0 appears in the number available column, then ships of that type may not be selected. To unselect one ship of a given type, left click on the figure in the In Use column associated with the ship type. The figure is reduced by one and the corresponding figure in the Number Available column is increased by one.
Once you have finished selecting ships for the current mission, left click on to exit the Select Combat Resources screen.
If you have not selected a sufficient number of ships to fly the upcoming mission, the computer selects default ships to fill out your squadron. If, due to attrition, default ships are not available, the computer will choose the first available ships, regardless of type. For example, if the mission calls for one Gorene Liberator and Two Gorene Scorpions, and you only have one Gorene Scorpion available, the computer selects another Gorene Liberator to fill that position. If there are insufficient resources available to meet the number of ships required -- if, for example, you didn't have that extra Gorene Liberator -- then you'll be forced to fly the mission without that extra ship. You are not informed of the details of such automatic ship selections until you leave the Pre-mission Computer Room to fly the upcoming mission.
At the beginning of each new campaign you start with 45 ships: 20 Gorene Scorpions, 20 Gorene Liberators and five Gorene Intruders. As ships are lost in combat, their numbers can be supplemented in three ways:
1. Regular Resupply. Every three missions, you receive one fighter craft. Every four missions, you receive one strike craft. Every ten missions, one stealth (reconnaissance) craft is added to your combat resources.
2. Capture of Enemy Ships During Regular Game Play. Disabled enemy ships are those effected by Disrupters of EMP Torpedoes, or those that have had their thruster and fire control systems damaged in combat. These ships may be captured by locking onto them with a tractor beam prior to engaging SFG engines for a jump back to base. Your ship may capture only one enemy ship per mission.
3. Resource Acquisition Missions. See the Secondary Missions section for details on ordering a Resource Acquisition Mission.
C. Assemble Squadron
Left click on the Assemble Squadron button to assign pilots to selected ships. Roman Alexandria's name, along with the names of the other pilots you've selected for the upcoming mission, will appear. Associated with each pilot's name is a ship that you selected in the Select Combat Resources screen. If you haven't selected wingmen or combat resources, or if it's a solo mission, only Roman Alexandria's name appears on the assemble squadron screen. In short, the Assemble Squadron screen can only be used to assign pilots to ships that have been previously selected.
To assign a pilot to a ship, left click on the name of the pilot, then left click on the appropriate ship. A ship can be assigned to a pilot in the same manner. Subsequently, the Assemble Squadron screen will rearrange to show coordinated pilots and ships. To unselect a ship or pilot in the midst of this process, left click on that pilot or ship's name to remove the red highlight.
To see a dossier on a pilot in your selected squadron, or to view the design specifications of ships selected for assignment to your squadron, right click on the pilot or ship's name. The dossier and design specification screens accessed by this function are exactly the same as those that you can see using the Select Wingmen and Select Combat Resources options. If you right click on Roman Alexandria's name on the Assemble Squadron screen, you can view his career stats. Right click from anywhere in the dossier or design spec screens to return to the Assemble Squadron screen. To Exit the Assemble Squadron screen, left click on .
If you do not enter the Assemble Squadron screen after having selected pilots and ships, the computer randomly assigns pilots to selected ships.
D. Secondary Missions
Left click on the Secondary Missions button to send available wingmen on missions other than the one that you are currently preparing to fly. Secondary missions occur simultaneously with your own mission. Results of secondary missions are revealed to you after you return from your own mission.
There are two types of secondary missions: Offensive and defensive. You may only order one secondary mission per each mission that you fly.
1. Offensive Missions
To send pilots on secondary missions of an offensive nature, left click on the Offensive Mission heading. This reveals a list of the four types of offensive secondary missions: Combat, Contingency, Rescue, and Resource Acquisition.
Combat Missions are raids or attacks on enemy forces with the objective of conquering territory. Depending on the difficulty level selected, successful secondary combat missions contribute to, or directly result in, the acquisition of enemy sectors. These sectors are added to your territory shown in the Tactical Map Room accessible from the Main Hall.
Contingency Missions are offensive operations designed to accomplish your own mission objective should you fail to perform adequately in the course of regular game play. The probability for success in a contingency mission is directly related to the number of wingmen that you send and the risk factor involved.
Rescue Missions are those that attempt to retrieve pilots captured by enemy forces during previous secondary missions, or in missions that you've flown. Again, the number of wingmen you send on a rescue mission and the associated risk factor have a direct impact on the potential success of that mission.
Resource Acquisition missions are operations in which wingmen acquire the raw materials needed to assemble new ships. These new ships are in addition to those added through the regular resupply operations that automatically provide you with a new fighter every three missions, a new strike craft every four missions, and a new reconnaissance ship every ten missions. Resource Acquisition missions can also result in the capture of enemy ships, which would then be available for player use.
Select a secondary mission type by left clicking on the appropriate title. You are prompted to select a risk factor for the mission. The greater the risk factor selected, the greater the potential reward (relative to the number of pilots assigned to the mission). However, a high risk factor greatly increases the chance for wingmen to be killed or captured while flying the secondary mission.
After the desired risk factor is selected, you are transferred to the Select Mission Pilots screen. A list of the pilots available to fly the offensive mission is displayed. Only pilots whom you haven't selected to accompany you on an upcoming mission, or who haven't been assigned to sector defense duty or duty at the pilot academy, appear on the list. Left click on a pilot's name to select him for secondary mission duty; left click again on his name to unselect him. Right click on a pilot's name to view his dossier. Right clicking anywhere within the dossier will remove it from the game computer screen.
Once all desired pilots have been selected for assignment to the current offensive secondary mission, left click on the icon to return to the Select Mission Type screen.
2. Defensive Missions
Left click on the Defensive Mission heading in the Select Mission Type screen to order a defensive secondary mission. A defensive secondary mission assigns pilots to sector defense. This duty includes patrol and frontier protection missions that attempt to deter the territorial aggressions of your enemies. Unsuccessful or inadequate sector defense results in the loss of sectors shown on the territorial map in the Tactical Map Room accessible from the Main Hall. (See the Tactical Map section for details on the significance of losing friendly territory.) As in offensive secondary missions, the chances for success in a defensive secondary mission are directly related to the number of pilots assigned to the mission.
Once you have selected the Defensive Mission option, you must assign a squadron of pilots for the mission. This is accomplished in the same manner as with offensive secondary missions (see Offensive Secondary Missions above).
E. Pilot Academy Resources
To assign pilots to duty as instructors in the local pilot academy, left click on the Pilot Academy Resources button. This will bring the player to the Select Academy Instructors screen.
In order to receive trained pilots to replace those who have been killed and/or captured, you must assign some of your wingmen to the pilot academy as instructors. The more instructors assigned to the academy, the more often you receive trained replacements. The attributes and skills of these trained replacements depend directly upon the skills and attributes of their instructors.
Only pilots whom you haven't assigned to accompany you on an upcoming mission, or who haven't been ordered to fly a secondary mission, will be available for assignment to the pilot academy. To select a wingman for duty as an academy instructor, left click on his name. To unselect that pilot, left click on his name a second time. To receive a dossier on a listed pilot, right click on that pilot's name. Right clicking anywhere within the dossier will remove it from the game computer screen.
Pilots selected for duty at the academy will remain there, as instructors, from mission to mission until you re-enter the Select Academy Resources screen and unselect them. Because your pilot academy is a local institution, wingmen whom you've assigned to act as instructors are still able to attend regular mission briefings and debriefings.
To exit the Select Academy Instructors screen, left click on the icon at the bottom right of game computer screen.
F. General Topics Database
To access general information about various topics pertinent to the current conflict in the Ascalon Rift, left click on the General Topics Database button. Topics you can learn more about are: Alien Races, Geography, Military Bases, Personalities, Science/Technology, and Weapons. Left clicking on one of these topic headings accesses a secondary list of terms that apply to that topic. Left click on any of these terms to receive a definition. To exit a definition, right click from anywhere on the screen.
To exit a specific topic screen, left click on the icon.
Leaving the Pre-mission Computer Room:
You can exit the Pre-mission Computer Room in one of three ways: 1) by moving the cursor to the left of this screen, activating the Exit to Main Hall icon, and left clicking to return directly to the Main Hall; 2) moving the cursor to the bottom of the screen, activating the Return To Mission Briefing Auditorium icon, and left clicking to return to the auditorium; 3) moving the cursor to the right side of the screen to activate the Fly Mission icon by left clicking. Once you have elected to fly a mission, you cannot return to the Main Hall or Mission Briefing Auditorium or Pre-mission Computer Room until your mission has been completed. As you exit the Pre-mission Computer Room to fly your mission, you receive messages from the computer concerning pilots and ships that have been assigned to your squadron if you haven't selected them yourself. To bypass these messages and proceed with the mission, click the right mouse button. If you have selected all ships and pilots necessary to fly the current mission, then no computer messages appear. If there are no messages, or after all messages have been transmitted and bypassed, you are transported directly to the cockpit of your ship.
As in the Main Hall and Mission Briefing Auditorium, you may exit the Pre-mission Computer Room by pressing the key that corresponds to the first letter of the exit you wish to use. In this case it would be B for Mission Briefing Auditorium, M for Main Hall, and F for Fly the Mission.
MISSION FLIGHT AND COMBAT
Pressing the P key Pauses the game. You can Quit the game by pressing the Q key while holding down the Alt key. Quitting the game in this manner allows you to restart the game in the Main Hall just prior to the current mission.
As the mission begins, you find yourself in the cockpit or your ship, having just jumped into the sector where the designated action is taking place. Before you is your main view: looking straight ahead over the nose of your ship. Your craft automatically travels at half speed (except the Gorene Intruder on recon missions, which jump in a one-sixth speed) and your monitors are on default settings.
Also visible are the ship's gauges monitoring fuel (F), throttle (T), engine power (E), laser strength (L), desired speed, and actual speed. Depending on the ship being flown, a count of projectile weapons (i.e., Torpedoes or EMP Torpedoes) may also appear.
Gauge styles vary amongst ship types, but all gauges work on the same principle. Those that track specific numbers, such as torpedo and speed counters, show a numeric figure that tells you exactly how many projectiles you have remaining or exactly how fast you are traveling. Gauges that display fluctuating energy outputs and requirements of a general nature use a glowing color bar to monitor their functions. For example, in the Gorene Liberator, the engine power gauge is divided into ten segments. As power is siphoned off the ship's engines to perform functions such as acceleration, charging lasers and regenerating shields, consecutive segments, starting from the bottom of the gauge, glow orange. Eventually, the entire gauge may be illuminated, indicating that 100% of engine power is being utilized. (Just above this gauge on the control panel, a red warning light glows when you try to use more power than your ship can produce.) The Liberator's throttle gauge works the same way, with a fully illuminated gauge indicating that the ship is traveling at its top speed. Fuel and laser gauges are similar, except that they generally begin in a fully illuminated state and darken as the energy they monitor is discharged.
In the center of the main cockpit view -- or Heads Up Display (HUD) -- you'll notice a set of cross hairs. These are used to point the ship in a desired direction, as well as to target laser fire.
If you are within weapon range of your current target (which will depend on the range of the weapon you have selected), a red optimum trajectory targeting circle may also appear on your main view. This circle marks your target, so you must be facing your target for the circle to be visible. The circle indicates where you should direct your laser fire, using the targeting cross hairs, for maximum effectiveness. When the ship's cross hairs and the optimum trajectory targeting circle are perfectly aligned, a beeping tone will sound informing you that your weapons are perfectly on target.
At any time during game play, you may replace your main view with one of seven alternatives by pressing the function key associated with it. To return to Main Cockpit View, press the F1 key.
Alternative views are:
F2 - Front View. A full frontal view, unobstructed by cockpit monitors or instruments, There is no optimum trajectory circle or set of targeting cross hairs in this view.
F3 - Rear View. A full screen view from the rear of your ship.
F4 - Torpedo Camera. Lets you view the action from behind one of your torpedoes as it speeds toward a target. The function provides a view from the last torpedo you fired prior to activating the torpedo camera option. This view lasts until the torpedo strikes its target, is shot down, runs out of fuel, or you engage a different viewing option.
F5 - External View From Ship to Target. Provides a view of your target looking over your own ship.
F6 - External View from Target to Your Ship. Gives you a view of your own ship looking over your target. With larger enemy ships, your view may be obstructed.
F7 - External View Over Your Ship. Gives you a view overlooking your own ship that adjusts to match changes in the ship's direction. This view is not linked in any way to your target.
F8 - External View Over Target Ship. Shows a close-up of your target, overlooking it from the back. This view adjusts to match the target's changing position and is not linked in any way to the position of your ship.
Shift + < - Left View. Allows you to see an unobstructed view from the port side of your ship.
Shift + > - Right View. Allows you to see an unobstructed view from the starboard side of your ship.
The quality of all these views, including the main cockpit view, may be adjusted by using several options:
F9 - Toggles background textures
F10 - Toggles the Gouraud shading
F11 - Toggles texture maps
F12 - Toggles the light source shading
Shift + F10 - Toggles the Phong shading
Altering the quality of the views may affect the speed at which the game runs on your system. For more details, see the Trouble Shooting section of the manual.
The ship's monitors (three in each ship, except for Amien craft) are the predominant objects in the cockpit. The default setting for the left monitor (Monitor #1) is Monitor Function #1, Ship's Radar. On the radar screen are a series of icons representing ships and objects detected by your ship's radar. The radar system computer identifies the signals emitted by the IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) transponders standard to all craft in the Ascalon Rift. As in the Mission Briefing Auditorium, red icons represent opponents and green icons represent your forces. Identified ships and objects appear as icons that represent ships' shapes. If you have difficulty recognizing the ship types by their icons, you should use the targeting site (default Monitor #2) or the Navigational Controls' Tactical Map to identify your opponents' ships. Red or green question marks represent objects that have not been identified by the ship's computer. Tan question marks represent objects that are too distant to be recognized as being a friend or foe. Your current target appears as a blue icon on the radar screen.
Icons centered in the radar cross hairs represent objects directly in front of your ship. The further an icon appears from the center of your radar screen, the further it actually is from being directly in front of you . Icons that appear on the outside rim of the radar screen represent objects that are behind your ship.
You can toggle the radar screen to a condensed overhead tactical display by pressing the Alt + R keys simultaneously. You can then zoom in and out using the Z and X keys respectively. This view gives you an approximate idea of how far away you are from the closest ships, either friendly or hostile. Pressing Alt + R returns the screen to the dogfight radar mode.
To determine the exact distance of an object from your ship, you must either target the object or consult the Navigation Control's Tactical Map.
The center monitor (Monitor #2) shows Monitor Function #3, the Targeting Sight. Displayed at the top of the sight is the target's ID. If a target has not been identified, the targeting sight will display the designation "Unidentified Ship." The central part of the targeting sight is composed of four triangular LED's laid out in the form of a wide set of cross hairs, and a glowing orange ellipse that represents the player's target. The cross hair triangles will illuminate when the target ellipse is centered between all four of the LED's. This indicates that you are headed directly toward your target. If only one or two of the LED's are illuminated, it indicates that you must pilot your ship in the direction of those triangles in order to center the target within the sight. At the bottom of the targeting sight, the distance from your ship to the target is shown.
The right monitor (Monitor #3) shows Monitor Function #6, the Ship's Damage Display Screen. If your ship has not been damaged, or if all damage to your ship has been repaired, the message No Internal Damage appears in green type inside this monitor. When your ship has been damaged by an enemy, the systems that have been affected are listed in the monitor. Systems that are lightly damaged appear in green, those that have suffered moderate damage appear in yellow, and those that are severely damaged appear in red. Severely damaged systems are not operational.
Ships that you'll be flying are equipped with onboard repair systems; the first of the damaged systems to appear on the list has a number displayed to its right. This number indicates how many seconds it takes the ship's repair nanos to fix the damaged system. (See Damage Control, Repair Order and Power Management headings in the Navigational Controls section for more information on repairing damage to a ship's systems.)
Ship systems that can be damaged, and can thus appear on the Ship's Damage Display Screen, are:
Thrust - Allows your ship to move from place to place. A ship can still pivot when its thrusters are inoperable.
A Burn - Allows the ship's afterburners to function.
Shield Generators - Produces the ship's protective force fields.
Fire Control - Coordinates and controls all of a ship's weapons. A ship with an inoperable fire control system cannot use its weapons.
Tractor Beam - Generates the ship's tractor device, which is used to tow ships or objects.
Eject - Represents the ship's escape pod ejection system.
Radar - Controls all radar functions including IFF Transponder and Optimum Trajectory Targeting Rectical.
Armor - The plating that protects and maintains the ship's physical structure.
Individual Weapon's Systems - These systems vary from ship to ship but include things like lasers, torpedo tubes, and hydrogen plasma torpedo generators. When an individual weapon system is inoperable, you are not able to utilize weapons of that specific type.
To turn off a monitor, hold down the Alt key and press the number associated with the monitor (1, 2, or 3). Repeat this action to reactivate a monitor. The function that was assigned to a monitor prior to its deactivation is still assigned to that monitor when it is reactivated.
To change a monitor function, hold down the Shift key and press the number key that corresponds to that monitor. For example, press Shift + to change the function of Monitor #1 (the left monitor). Now press the number that corresponds to the function that you wish to assign to that monitor. Alternatively, you may toggle through all of the available options for each monitor by pressing a hot key associated with it. Pressing 7 toggles the left monitor, 8 the center and 9 the right. The default settings of a ship's monitors can be changed by using the In-flight Default Options in the Game Options Menu accessible from within your base.
Monitor Function #2 is the Trackcam. Switching to this function allows you to see an animated display of a targeted object. The display shows the target object from the same angle it would be seen from your ship, but at a constant distance that allows you to see the entire object.
Monitor Function #4 is the Ship's Shields function. This allows you to see the current strength of your protective shielding force fields. The monitor screen shows an overhead view of your ship with variable colored bars to the front and back of the vessel. The colored bars represent front and rear shield strengths. As a ship's shields are damaged, the bars shrink from right (yellow) to left (red). When shields regenerate, the bars expand in the opposite direction. When no colored bar remains, the ship's shields are down and can no longer absorb damage directed at your ship. Your shields remain down until they can be regenerated. Shields that are down cannot regenerate fast enough to absorb uninterrupted fire directed at the ship, nor can they regenerate if the ship's shield generation system's inoperable.
Monitor Function #5 is the Target's Shields function. This function operates in exactly the same manner as Monitor Function #4 except that the view and shield strengths displayed are those of your target.
The Target's Damage is Monitor Function #7. It operates in the same way as Monitor Function #6 (Ships Damage) except that the damage displayed is that of your target. In addition, a No Target Damage display appears in red type as opposed to green. Also, opponent ships equipped to perform in-flight repair do not have system repair times displayed.
The Rearview Mirror function is accessed by using the Backspace key. This allows you to place a view of the area directly to the rear of your ship on one of your monitor screens. This is especially useful in heated dogfight situations when you're checking your ship's direction and struggling to avoid enemy mine and missile attacks.
Monitor Function - allows you to turn off or move your Visual Communications Window.
As a default, all radio communications that are accompanied by visual transmissions (usually a portrait of the message sender) temporarily overwrites the display on Monitor #1. To remove the communications window from this monitor, press Shift + 1 and then -. To add it to another monitor, hold down Shift and press the number that corresponds to that monitor and then the - key.
The last three monitor functions are available when you're flying an Intruder recon ship equipped with special sensors and stealth technology.
Monitor Function #8 is the Visual Scan function. It allows you to monitor the progress of visual scans that you've implemented. It shows visual, infrared, and EM (electromagnetic) aspects of the scans as they occur. This function also informs you when it attempts to scan the same object twice.
Monitor Function #9, the Probe Monitoring function, allows you to monitor the progress of a probe scan that you have implemented. The screen displays information being transmitted back to your ship from launched probes in binary code.
Monitor Function #0 is the Stealth Monitoring function. This allows you to monitor your stealth radar evasion battery power and recharge rate. It shows two vertical color bars. The bar on the left, enclosed in a gray box, indicates the battery power available to operate the stealth radar evasion device. Battery power is consumed when the stealth mode is activated. Color recedes from the box as battery power is consumed. When no power is left in the stealth battery, the stealth radar evasion device automatically deactivates to allow the battery to recharge. The battery can only recharge when the stealth device is deactivated and when extra power from the ship's engines is diverted for that purpose using the B key.
The variegated color bar to the right of the monitor is essentially a gauge that shows you detectability when the stealth device is active. An all-gray bar indicates that your ship has not been detected by enemy combat ships. The green color emerging from the bottom of the bar shows your energy signature. The higher the green color rises, the stronger the signature emitted by your ship, and the greater your chances of being detected. The single most important contribution to your ships' energy signature is its speed and acceleration. Keep your speed down to reduce your energy signature. The yellow color descending from the top of the bar indicates your ship's best estimate of its detectability, based on its energy signature and the strength and proximity of an enemy ship's radar scans. When the two colors meet, a red bar appears as a positive indication that an enemy has locked-on to your ship. It's important to note that the data gauged
by the yellow bar is an estimated quantity. It is possible that your ship has been detected with no red or yellow color appearing on the variegated color bar. This is especially likely when you are flying close to enemy combat ships, since Gorene stealth technology only hides a ship from enemy radar and not from enemy eyes.
As noted previously, you begin each mission traveling at half the speed that your engines are capable of achieving. You may adjust your speed at any time by using any one of seven keys.
Pressing 0 causes your ship to decelerate to a complete stop.
Pressing 1 adjusts your ship's velocity to one third of its top speed.
Pressing 2 adjusts the ship's velocity to two thirds of its top speed.
Pressing 3 causes your ship to travel at full speed.
Pressing 4 adjusts your speed to match your target's current velocity.
Pressing = or + increases your speed by one km (up to top velocity); likewise
Pressing the - key decreases your speed by one km (down to a full stop).
Holding down the Tab key engages your afterburners, which increases your speed dramatically until deactivated. Traveling at such high speed makes any type of maneuvering all but impossible. This feature also consumes tremendous amounts of fuel, so you may find yourself stranded and defenseless if you become too dependent on it.
You can also adjust your speed by holding down the right mouse button or second joystick button and
moving the mouse or stick forward to increase speed, or backward to decrease it. This second button is also used in combat to allow you to roll your ship. This is accomplished by moving the mouse or joystick in the direction that you wish to roll, while depressing the second/right button.
Computer and Navigational Controls
Press N to bring up your ship's computer, and press Esc to turn it off and resume play. The computer gives you in-flight access to various ship functions such as power and repair management, damage control, communications, and navigational map. While you are using your computer, the game is paused.
A. Power Management
Left click on the Power Management box (or press P or 1) to access the power management system. This allows you to assign power supply priorities to all ship functions. Areas marked green on the list are receiving all the power they require at the moment, while those marked in yellow are getting partial power, and those marked in red are not receiving any power. The number in parentheses after each item refers to the total amount of power currently required by the function. Most systems will still function, although at a decreased rate, if they are receiving less power than they require. A repair system however, requires full power if it is to function at all. To change a function's power priority, move the cursor to that function, then depress the left mouse button. Hold the mouse button down and move the cursor to the desired priority level, then release the mouse. The selected function now occupies the new priority while all other functions are shifted down in importance. Using the keyboard, you can type the number of a function to move it to the top of the priority list. This change in the placement of a function moves other functions previously above to a lower priority. Pressing ESC will return you to the main Computer and Navigational Controls menu.
B. Mission Briefing
Left click on this box or press B or 2 to view a condensed version of the mission briefing. This allows the player to review the main objective(s) of the current mission. Hit any key to return to the Main Menu.
C. Tactical Map
Left clicking on the Tactical Map box or pressing T, M, or 3 accesses the computer's tactical map of the sector of space that immediately surrounds you as well as ships and other objects detected by your ship's radar. When you first access the tactical map, it will be centered on your ship. You can click the right mouse button to center the map on the cursor, or you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move around within the map. Pressing the C key will re-center the map on your ship. The > and < keys zoom the map in and out respectively, as will Z and X. As in your ship's radar monitor, friendly ships appear in green, enemy ships appear in red, and your current target appears in blue. Centering the cursor over an icon brings up various data about the craft. This information includes: ship type (if identified), speed, distance from you, pilot (if known), pilot's overall skill rating, damage sustained in percent of overall durability, and distance above or below you expressed as a positive or negative z coordinate. In addition, you can determine the direction that a selected ship is traveling by the colored line which emanates from the ship when the cursor is centered over it. A yellow line that connects the selected ship's icon to another icon indicates that the selected ship is targeted on the ship represented by that icon and headed in its direction. A blue line emanating from a selected icon that ends without touching another icon indicates the direction of the ship represented by that icon. Left clicking on an icon selects the vessel represented by that icon as your target. Pressing ESC returns you to the main Computer and Navigational Controls menu.
Left click on the Communications Box to communicate with wingmen or enemy pilots; pressing C or 4 also activates this function. When activated, the tactical map (described above) appears. Left click on the ship you wish to communicate with, and a menu of possible messages appears. Left click on, or press, the number of the appropriate message. Pressing ESC returns you to the main Computer and Navigational Controls menu.
Aside from using the ship's Computer and Navigational Controls, you may communicate with your wingmen by using your keyboard. To do this, select a ship you wish to communicate with in the same manner as if you were targeting it. Then, send a desired message by pressing the appropriate function key while holding down Alt.
The communication function keys that send messages to selected ships are:
Alt + F1 - Return to base. The selected wingman breaks off his attack and engages his SFG engines.
Alt + F4 - Defend Position. The selected wingman comes to a stop and attacks any enemy that targets him or comes close to his position.
Alt + F7 - Break off the attack. The selected wingman will discontinue attacks against his current target and chooses another.
You can also send an order to your closest available wingman without having to target him. This is accomplished by holding down the Alt key and pressing the appropriate function key for the message that you wish to send. Messages that may be sent in this manner, and the function keys that apply, are:
Alt + F2 - Attack my target. The closest available wingman accepts your current target as his own.
Alt + F3 - Disable my target. The closest available wingman accepts your current target as his own and attempts to disable it.
Alt + F5 - Defend my target. The closest available wingman defends the ship targeted by you.
Alt + F6 - Cover me. The closest available wingman closes to within 0.1 km of your ship and attacks any enemy that targets your ship.
Alt + F8 - Rescue/Capture my target. The closest available wingman moves to within tractor beam range of your immobile target. The wingman then ensnares the target and hyper-jumps back to base.
A wingman is usually considered available if he is not engaged in defending himself from attack. A wingman's response to an order is also directly affected by his discipline rating.
E. Damage Control
Left clicking on this function or pressing D or 5 identifies the amount of damage each system has sustained and gives an estimate of repair time for those ships that have an on-board repair system. A system highlighted in green is fully functional, but slightly damaged; a system highlighted in yellow is moderately damaged, but still functioning; a system highlighted in red is damaged and completely non-functional. Tolerance refers to the total amount of damage your ship can sustain. Once the ship has sustained critical damage near to or exceeding the tolerance level, destruction is highly likely. The shield percentages tell you the amount of shield energy remaining in the shield batteries. Estimated repair time is listed in seconds. If your ship has been disabled due to Disruptor or EMP torpedo fire, an account of that damage appears here as well. Pressing ESC returns you to the main menu.
F. Repair Order
This function is only available if you're flying a ship equipped with a repair system. Left click on the Repair Order box, (or press R or 6 to see which system is to be repaired first), and to change a system's repair priority.
As a rule, heavily damaged systems, highlighted in red, are repaired first, with the red highlighted system at the top of the list receiving top repair priority. Those systems that are moderately damaged (yellow) are repaired next, and lightly damaged (green) systems are worked on last. The amount of damage points that a system can sustain before becoming inactive, and the number of damage points it has absorbed so far, appear in parentheses next to each system that is listed.
To override this prioritization system, right click on a listed ship's system. This causes the letter P to appear on either side of that system's title; it also gives the selected system top repair priority regardless of the amount of damage that it, or any other system, has sustained. Right clicking on a top priority system a second time causes the P to be replaced by an L. The L signifies that the selected system should receive the lowest repair priority, once again regardless of the damage that it or any other system has sustained. Right click on L designated system to remove the special priority designation. Should you designate more than one system for top or lowest priority, the designated system that appears highest on the repair order list is repaired before any other designated systems.
You may also use the keyboard to execute a change in repair priority. To accomplish this press P and then the current number assigned to a system on the list. This causes the P to appear next to that system. Pressing the system's number a second time gives it an L priority, and pressing it a third time removes the priority designation. Press P again to toggle off the keyboard priority assignment function.
To change a system's position on the repair priority list, use the same method as described under the Power Management section. Press ESC to return to the main Computer and Navigational Controls menu.
Weapon and Targeting Systems
There are several other keys that you can use in combat situations. Pressing W toggles through your available weapons. The weapon selected by using the W key is active on your left mouse button, first joystick button, and keyboard spacebar. A ship's heavy weapons (i.e., torpedoes, Hellfire, neutron cannon, etc.) can be fired directly from the keyboard without being active on your mouse/joystick by pressing Enter. With the exception of lasers and disrupters, which always fire in the direction that your ship is flying, active weapons are directed at the ship or object represented by the blue icon on your radar (see Monitors). When you wish to fire your active weapon at a ship or object that is in front of you, center your ship's cross hairs on that object and press L to lock the ship's weapons onto it. There are other options for targeting your ship's weapon systems.
To target opponent ships or objects:
Press T to toggle through all enemy targets detected by your radar.
Press E or Shift + T to target the closest enemy ship or object (excluding escape pods, asteroids, and mines).
Hold down Alt and press T to toggle back to the previously targeted enemy ship or object.
To target (usually for communications, navigation, or rescue purposes) friendly ships or objects:
Press A to toggle through all allied ships or objects detected by your radar.
Press A while holding down the Shift key, to target the closest allied ship or object.
Hold down Alt while pressing A to toggle back to the previously targeted ally ship or object.
In the heat of combat, it may be necessary for you to take certain drastic steps in order to turn the tables on your enemies and gain a victory, or even to simply survive. You'll discover that it is not uncommon to run out of laser power at a critical time. When this occurs, you may wish to overcharge your lasers, which greatly increases their recharge rate. To overcharge your ship's lasers, hold down the Shift key and press L. The overcharging process draws a substantial portion of your ship's available power. It continues to do so until lasers are fully charged, or until you deactivate the overcharge process by pressing Shift + L again.
Your ship's shields can also be overcharged with the same increase in recharge rate and power demand. To overcharge shields, press Shift + S. To overcharge lasers or shields using your ship's power, you must designate a high priority to those systems in the Power Management option of the Navigational Controls screen.
Be advised that the short term advantages of overcharging are not without their adverse consequences. Abusing the overcharge keys could result in permanent damage to your lasers and shields by limiting their maximum power levels. Because the potential for damage is high, you are warned each time you overcharge. Damage caused by overcharging cannot be repaired by your in-flight repair system.
There may also be occasions when, to counter enemy weapons (such as the Zemun Hellfire), or to quickly free up power, you may wish to drop your shields. To drop shields, press the S key. To raise shields again, and to get them back to the same level they were at prior to being dropped, press the S key a second time.
Finally, when a situation seems hopeless and your ship is disintegrating, you may be forced to undertake the ultimate emergency measure: bailing out. Your ejection system must be fully operational for you to eject (see Ship's Damage Display Screen in the Monitors section). To eject, press Ctrl + E. Ejecting does not guarantee a safe return to base (only hyperjumping out does that), especially if you are alone and behind enemy lines. But sometimes it's either that, or certain, fiery death.
When flying the Gorene Intruder reconnaissance ship, you have access to special Stealth radar evasion technology. To turn on the Stealth device, press C. This activates the Intruder's radar evasion devices, which you can then observe using monitor function 0. Please refer to the Monitors section for details on using the Stealth device. Press C again to deactivate the device and conserve stealth battery power. The B key toggles the stealth battery chargers off and on in the same manner. The stealth battery generator appears on your Power Management Screen found within the Navigation and Computer Controls function. This means that you must divert engine power to your stealth batteries in order to recharge them.
The Intruder is also equipped with optional scanners and computer probes that are used in certain reconnaissance missions. To activate a visual scan of your target, you must move to within scan range and press Ctrl + S. Once the scan commences, you can track its progress using Monitor Function 8. You must stay within scan range (0.2 km) of your target throughout the visual scanning process.
To launch a computer probe at a target, you must maneuver to within probe range (0.25) and press Alt + L. Again, you must remain within probe range until the device completes its scanning function. You can view the coded data being transmitted to your ship by using Monitor Function 9.
Returning from a Mission
Prior to returning from a mission, you may wish to capture an immobilized ship or escape pod with your tractor beam. The tractored vessel hyperjumps with you when your SFG engines are activated. To tractor a targeted vessel, you must be within 0.2 km of it and traveling at, or near, the same speed as the target. You can then activate your tractor beam by pressing R. You'll be informed once your tractor beam has been engaged, at which point you'll see a narrow blue energy field emanating from your ship to the target vessel. Once a vessel has been tractored, you may gradually alter your velocity without breaking the tractor beam. This has the effect of towing the target vessel and making it conform to your velocity. Only one vessel at a time may be captured via tractor beam. Pressing R a second time deactivates your tractor beam.
Once you have completed your mission, or decided that it is wise to abandon a mission, you may hyperjump back to home base by activating your singularity Field Generator (SFG) engines. To do so, you must bring your ship to a complete stop and press J. You should be aware that, aside from the obvious disadvantage of requiring your ship to be stationary, SFG engines also automatically lower your shields. This often creates the unhappy result of making your ship a prime target for enemy fire during the time that your singularity field is being generated. Careful planning of hyperjumps is therefore essential. Prior to making an emergency hyperjump, you may wish to save fuel for your afterburners in order to put some initial distance between you and your enemies.
Upon executing a successful hyperjump, you return to base for your debriefing, which includes news on secondary missions that took place in your absence. Afterwards, you'll be back in the base's Main Hall, ready for more action in the Ascalon Rift.
Awards and Medals (For CD-ROM version only)
The CD-ROM version of Star Crusader has an extra feature -- awards, medals, and ribbons for exceptional performance. If your performance in combat merits an award, you'll receive it when you return to base. You can only receive one medal for any single mission.
The various award you can win depends on the side of the war you choose to side with (Gorene or Alien Alliance). Here is an overview of the awards:
The Gorene Lion Heart
The Alliance Honor Badge
Awarded to pilots who have sustained critical damage to their ships, but still completed their missions.
The Gorene Eagle Eye
The Alliance Iron Claw
Awarded for exceptional bravery in combat, when pilots kill more than six opponents in a single mission.
The Gorene Tiger Claw Medal
The Alliance Bronze Claw
Awarded for heroism in the line of duty, when pilots earn more than three kills despite substantial damage to their ships.
The Gorene Cobra Fang Medal
The Alliance Silver Claw
Awarded for exceptional heroism in combat, when pilots earn more than six kills after their ships sustain critical damage.
The Gorene Horus Ribbon
The Alliance Hawk Ribbon
Awarded for 25 kills.
The Gorene Nekhbet Ribbon
The Alliance Falcon Ribbon
Awarded for 100 kills.
The Gorene Mandulis Ribbon
The Alliance Eagle Ribbon
Awarded for 200 kills.
The Gorene Shen Amulet
The Alliance Phoenix Ribbon
Awarded for 10 kills in one mission.
The Gorene P-Tah Star
The Alliance Omega Ring
Awarded for the successful completion of a recon mission.
The Gorene Distinguished Falcon Cross
The Alliance Combat Star
Awarded to those pilots who earn more than five kills in combat without sustaining any damage whatsoever to their ships.
The Alliance Cross
Awarded for honorable service in ranks of the Alien Alliance.
The Gorene Liberation Cross
For exceptional bravery, heroism, and piloting.
Perhaps the most important thing for you to keep in mind is that this is not a linear game. Remember that you do not have to succeed in every mission to win a campaign. In order to advance the overall game plot, some missions have been designed to be exceptionally difficult and, in fact, there is at least one mission that you can't help but lose. Make no mistake, if you lose too many missions, especially after becoming sector commander, you will lose the game, but the only way to play all of Star Crusader's 104 missions is to lose a battle here and there. So, by all means, save your games, but don't be too quick to replay a mission that you had to abandon before its objectives were completed. You may be passing up an opportunity to play some of the game's most exciting and challenging missions.
Select your wingmen carefully. Examine their dossiers to find out who's best suited for the mission you're about to fly. Beware of relying on any one or two pilots too heavily. Taking the same wingmen on mission after mission will increase their skills, but down the road, should be favorite to be killed in battle, it could leave you with only relatively untrained pilots to choose from for remaining missions.
Remember to order secondary missions. This is one way to not only increase the skills of more pilots, but also to supplement your supply of ships, and gain control of more enemy territory. As previously mentioned, gaining territory is very important -- it strengthens your forces, while weakening your enemies (and vice versa if you lose territory). Don't forget, you can win every one of your own battles but still lose the war if you leave your territories defenseless.
Likewise, be sure to send your pilots to the pilot academy. After all, this is a war you're fighting and that means that casualties among your own troops are inevitable. Don't make the mistake of waiting too long to start replacing your pilots with trained cadets. There's nothing worse than having to fight against a swarm of veteran pilots with nothing but fresh rookies to back you up.
Finally, get to know your wingmen. Many of them have distinct characteristics that do not appear on their official dossiers. Once you are aware of your pilots' personalities, you can use them to fuller advantage.
In order to effectively use any ship in combat, you should be armed with as much information as possible. Fortunately, all of the thirteen ships you can fly have basic similarities.
First you'll need to learn about the main system on any fighter.
All ships have a limited amount of power that their generators can produce. This power level is constant throughout the game. It will not vary, no matter how much damage you take. If you look through the various ship's specifications, you'll see that each race's ships have unique power characteristics. Tancred and Mazuman ships have plenty of power, while Zemun fighters are somewhat lacking.
Power is used for maintaining velocity, shield repair, charging weapons, damage repair, acceleration, tractor beams, and on Gorene Intruders only, stealth devices. No fighter in the game is capable of applying maximum power to all of these systems at one time. When you first begin a mission, you'll find you have more than enough power. As you fire weapons and take damage to the shields and ship structure, however, power becomes more critical.
The most useful feature of the power system is the priority list. You can set this up before the mission begins, or from inside the cockpit. This feature allows you to decide what systems get power first, second, third, etc. That way, if you find yourself running low in certain situations, you can be sure you get power where you need it most. You may adjust this priority at any time before, during, or after the mission.
For purposes of normal flight and combat, all ships carry more than enough fuel. You'll only have to worry about keeping track of your fuel gauge on prolonged reconnaissance missions, or if you become too dependent on your afterburners. Remember that the afterburners consume a great deal of fuel for each second that they're engaged, so use them cautiously. It is usually a good idea to save at least a quarter of your fuel for emergency situations requiring a hasty retreat; use this reserve fuel to speed as far as possible from enemy ships. Once you're a safe distance away, you can engage your SFG engine.
What would a space flight simulator be without weapons? In Star Crusader, you'll find a wide variety of different weapons, designed so that each alien race has its own tactical capabilities and drawbacks. What's more, you'll notice Star Crusader's weapons have some pretty unique effects -- for example, several weapons don't do actual physical damage at all. It's up to you to experiment with the various weapons in order to discover which ones are best suited for your combat style.
D. Tractor Beams
Tractor beams can be extremely useful. Their primary purpose -- to capture enemy ships -- offers you the additional benefit of being able to experiment with alien technology, ships, and weaponry, which you may then use on subsequent missions. You may discover (as have some of us at Take 2 have) that you prefer certain alien ships to Gorene models.
However, there are two things you must remember about the use of tractor beams. First, they can produce only a finite amount of pulling force, so they can only be locked onto fighters; larger ships like cruisers and destroyers cannot be dragged with a tractor beam. Second, a tractor beam has a maximum range of 0.2km, so watch your speed carefully. If you have a ship in your tractor beam and accelerate too quickly, or fly at high rates of speed in general, the tractor beam will deactivate and the captured ship will most likely fall out of the 0.2km range.
Lastly, in certain unique situations, you may discover a very beneficial effect resulting from dragging an enemy ship during combat. What is that effect? Forget it. We're not saying a word. Let's see if you can figure it out.
E. Ejection System
If you're in critical danger, eject. It's better to lose your ship, or your mission, than it is to die and start over. Remember, we've gone to great lengths to design missions that result from the loss of another mission -- lose paths where the plot takes numerous fun and unpredictable turns. You'll be missing out if you fall into the habit of repeatedly restoring a previously saved game, because Star Crusader is designed to take you on new adventures if you're not always perfect.
F. Flight Characteristics
Each ship -- Gorene and alien -- has its own maneuverability, acceleration, and top speed. You'll notice that individual ships handle quite differently in and out of combat, leading to a balance in game play. For instance, Tancred ships have extremely powerful weapons, but they don't make quick turns. Mazuman ships, on the other hand, are lightning fast and maneuverable, but lack the power and durability of Tancred fighters.
G. Radar and Sensors
Your radar systems allow you to monitor ships that are flying near you and lock onto enemy vessels. If your radar goes off-line, you'll have a more difficult time pinpointing enemies. You'll also notice that the red gun sights won't appear on the HUD, making it all the more difficult to know where to direct your weapons' fire.
H. Damage Control
Not all ships have an in-flight repair capability, which costs 20 power points to operate. Like the power management system mentioned above, you can assign a repair priority list to the systems on your ship.
If some of your systems are damaged in combat, set one of your monitors to watch the damage control. You'll see a list of systems that are damaged, and a timer beside the one that is currently under repair. The timer tells you how many seconds before the system is up and running again. It's also important to note that the damage control system itself can be destroyed in combat. In this event, in-flight repairs are no longer possible for the remainder of the mission.
I. Fire Control
If your fire control system is damaged, you can't fire weapons until it's repaired. It may be wise, though, to remain in the mission and evade your enemies long enough for your wingmen to complete the mission for you.
J. IFF Transponder
All ships are equipped with an Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder. This device emits a coded pulse that identifies the ship to friendly radar. As long as this signal is present, you won't be perceived as a hostile target by your wingmen. However, since this pulse doesn't match the enemy's coded pulses, they can always identify you as a target. Well, almost always.
The Five Alien Races:
When battling Tancreds, get in close and stay there. Use a torpedo at medium range to damage their shields, and then resort to lasers to finish them off at close range. Their ships are powerful and durable, but they lack maneuverability. If you give a Tancred enough distance to turn around and face you, expect to take a plasma torpedo in your forward shield. Tancreds are taught to follow up the plasma torpedo with a vector cannon shot. This has the effect of knocking you out of the way after you absorb their first big blast.
Remember, though, that plasma torpedoes lose strength with range -- the farther they have to travel before they hit you, the less damage they'll do. Their power can also be reduced by laser fire. If you see a plasma torpedo heading for you, shoot it with your laser as many times as you can. (You may also want to use this tactic even if the torpedo isn't aimed at you -- your wingman will thank you for it later.) In any event, don't get hit with a plasma torpedo at point blank range because the weapon is at its most powerful when it is fresh out of the launch tube.
Also remember that plasma torpedoes take time to recharge. Tancred Samurais have only one torpedo tube, so depending on how much power they're using, it may take a minute or two before they're able to fire another shot -- time you may be able to use to your advantage. Tancred Warlords, on the other hand, have two torpedo tubes, and more powerful generators, so their plasma torpedoes may be recharged in as little as fifteen to twenty seconds.
Vector cannons do little physical damage, but they will blast you off your current path. After you're struck by a vector cannon, your ship will spiral out of control for a few seconds. If you're struck, try to keep track of where your Tancred opponent is. He'll surely follow in behind his shot, so steer away from him until your bearings return.
Be particularly aware of a Zemun Hellfire cannon, a devastating weapon that attacks a target's shields. Hellfire has excellent range and power; a single shot at close range can bring both shields down. It is important to note, though, that Hellfire can't damage your ship; it can only affect your shields.
Zemun ships are under-powered. If you damage a Zemun's shields, press on with the attack. Don't give the Zemun time to recharge his shields. Zemun ships don't have great power reserves, so make your opponent use his power on his engines and weapons.
Zemun strike craft employ an energy siphon, which is an omni-directional weapon (they don't need to be facing you to use it) with a range of nearly 2.0km. When you come into contact with an energy siphon, you will notice a brief yet drastic drop in your power. As the energy siphon drains power from you, it applies it to the Zemun's ship systems.
An energy siphon can only be used against you, however, if your shields are down completely. So, if your shields drop when facing a Zemun strike craft, it may be worth the risk to overcharge them, so that they are restored more quickly.
Mazuman ships are extremely fast and agile. If they lock on at close range, it's very tough to shake them. Your best plan of attack is to try to damage them from a distance. If they get in close, try to fly in
the opposite direction and get some range. Use your afterburners if you must. However, if the opportunity presents itself, hit them hard -- Mazuman ships can't take much damage.
Mazuman strike ships have neutron cannons, which can't effect you as long as your shields are operational.
Should your shields fall, however, blasts from neutron cannons do cumulative damage to you, the pilot. Obviously, this is not the type of damage that can be repaired by the in-flight repair systems. If your shields drop when you're fighting Mazumans, be very aware of how many hits you've taken from neutron cannons. Remember, it's better to retreat than to die.
Amien weapons are mostly defensive in nature. Their EMP torpedoes will scramble your ship's computer systems, and their Aegis field, an electromagnetic sphere that surrounds their ship, will discharge onto any object that gets too close. These two weapons have very different tactical implications, so we'll examine them separately.
EMP Torpedoes will detonate when they hit their target. They inflict no physical damage, but they produce
a magnetic pulse which temporarily polarizes the hull of your ship. This has the effect of confusing your
ship's computers, sensors, and radar. The effect is cumulative, so after taking enough damage from an EMP torpedo, your ship will shut down completely. If this happens you must eject or jump out or you'll quickly die.
When they detonate, EMP Torpedoes affect everything within a 0.2km radius. If your squadron is flying in formation, this could be devastating. On the plus side, though, this means the Amiens can't use it if they themselves, or any of their own ships, are within the predicted blast radius.
The Aegis field extends to a radius which is ten times that of the Amien ship's shield radius. You'll know immediately when an Amien ship activates Aegis field because the ship will suddenly be surrounded by an enormous yellow electromagnetic sphere. When you see this phenomena occur, retreat at once -- if an Aegis field comes into contact with your vessel, its destructive energy pulse can destroy your ship.
Amien pilots use this weapon in different ways. Inexperienced pilots usually turn the weapon on at greater distances, as it blocks the effects of torpedoes and lasers. Experienced pilots will hold the charge on their Aegis field until they are closer. This way, there is a greater chance that they can catch you with the field's discharge. An ace Amien pilot will sometimes wait until you are already within the field's maximum radius. When he turns it on, you are automatically hit for full damage.
If you're facing an Amien pilot with an Aegis field, your best strategy is to resist attacking until after the Amien has fired the Aegis field. The effects of the field last for approximately two seconds, and after the field collapses it takes roughly one minute to recharge (dependent on the ship's energy). This is the most opportune moment to close range and strike the Amien. Attempt to destroy his vessel before his Aegis field recharges. It is not likely that the Amien will fire his EMP Torpedoes if you're at close range, so he'll only have his lasers to depend on. If you're facing an experienced pilot, don't stay close for long -- once his Aegis field recharges, he won't hesitate to use it.
During the course of the game, it is quite possible that you will face other Gorene ships in combat. If this happens, you should be familiar enough with the ship's capabilities to formulate your own strategies to use against it. The best tactic is to attack a Gorene ship in numbers. Order your wingmen to attack opponents in groups of two or three. This may open you up to attacks from the side and rear, but it will allow you to overwhelm your target's in-flight repair systems.
When flying Gorene ships, use your torpedoes sparingly. They are extremely accurate, but you have a limited supply, especially in the Scorpion.
There are three types of Gorene ships: the Scorpion, the Liberator, and the Intruder. If you are forced into combat while flying an Intruder, you should think about retreating. The Intruder is mainly a reconnaissance ship, and is not designed for combat.
The Scorpion, on the other hand, is a pure dogfighter. It has an awesome laser fire rate, exceptional maneuverability, and tremendous top speed. Its major drawbacks are a limited supply of torpedoes, a small laser battery (it can fire quickly, but runs out of charge just as quickly), and a small power generator. It should be obvious that the Scorpion is intended to take on other fighters, not capital ships (large, multi-weapon crafts) or bases. When flying the Scorpion, take advantage of its speed and agility. Get behind your opponent and stay on him. Wait until you've lined up a good shot with your lasers, and then unload in a hurry. You have less than ten seconds of sustained fire before the laser battery runs out, so don't waste it.
The Liberator is intended to strike capital targets or capture small ships. It has more power, durability, and firepower than the Scorpion, but is slower and less maneuverable. Its laser fire rate is slower, but the battery is larger than the Scorpion's. Thus, a Liberator can maintain a sustained laser barrage for longer periods than a Scorpion can, although it will damage the target more slowly.
A. How to line up a target
This is not always a problem. If your ship is more maneuverable than your target's ship, simply keep circling, and eventually, you'll get behind him. If not, you may have to resort to one of several tactics:
1) Change speeds often.
If your opponent is hot on your trail, you can shake him by dropping speed quickly at times. He might fly right past you -- in which case, you'll be behind him.
2) If you're in an asteroid field, use the asteroids for cover.
Fly tight curves around them, and sometimes you can run your opponent directly into one.
3) If all else fails, come to a complete halt.
This makes you a sitting duck, but a motionless ship can almost always turn more quickly than one that's moving.
B. How to take on multiple opponents
Star Crusader presents a realistic approach to combat simulation. The opponents you face have ships which are nearly as powerful as your own (and sometimes more powerful). As in a real dogfight, opponents can evade you for extended periods, and when two or three enemies engage you at the same time, it's all you can do to stay alive.
Depending on the ship you're flying, there are different strategies to employ when you're outnumbered. In Gorene ships, the test tactic is to concentrate on a single opponent until he is defeated, and then consider your repair status. As long as you haven't taken extensive damage, tackle your next opponent. In Gorene ships, it's possible to press on with your attack when shield strength is low. If your ship takes internal damage, the repair systems can take care of it later.
With some of the weaker alien ships, you have to keep track of your shield strength more closely. When shield strength begins to decrease, it's a good idea to move away from your target quickly. Once your shields drop, you'll have a hard time surviving if you're facing multiple opponents.
A sound tactic to employ against multiple opponents is to unload heavy weapons -- like torpedoes -- rapidly. When it's do or die, there's no sense in being thrifty with your ammunition. Concentrate your heavy weapons fire on one opponent at a time, and take them out one by one. After a kill, choose your next
target at once. Speed is the key. Give them everything you have quickly. Don't worry about mission objectives that might require your torpedoes later. When you're outgunned, your objective should be to stay alive.
If you have wingmen, this is the opportune time to call them in to cover you. Get on the radio and call for assistance quickly.
One final tactic to use when fighting multiple opponents is to constantly change direction. If you fly in a straight line for too long (especially when you're trying to line up a target for a shot on his rear shields), someone will inevitably try to get behind you. Don't stop moving.
C. How to fight capital ships and bases
Unlike fighters, large capital ships use turreted weapons that can fire in a designated arc. Only with much experience will you be able to pinpoint blind spots on some of these ships, but even after you have, they're often hard to reach.
Your best strategy against a capital ship (destroyer, cruiser, etc.). is to match its speed and run a parallel course just behind it, slightly off to one side. If a capital ship fires at you while you're in this position, it's likely to miss since you're not moving toward it. As soon as you turn to face the capital ship directly, it will start to line up its turreted laser in your direction. As it adjusts its laser, you will have time to get off a shot or two, but you should veer off quickly. As when fighting multiple opponents, don't stop moving or you'll surely be hit. Against bases, and capital ships as well, it's always a good idea to call in reinforcements. Don't attempt to take on such a mighty target by yourself. Save the largest targets for last, and then hit them with as many wingmen as possible.
If you find yourself alone against a base or capital ship, don't give up all hope. There are things you can do, especially searching for potential blind spots. Believe it or not, it's actually possible to destroy a huge base with a single ship. It's up to you to learn how.
D. Power management
If you've already read the Playing the Game section of the manual, you learned that it is possible to assign different priorities to your ship's systems for power distribution, an important thing to remember. The systems which consume power are: engines (for maintaining velocity and acceleration), shields (for repair), charging the weapons, damage repair, tractor beams, and stealth devices (on Gorene Intruders only).
Make a constant study of optimizing your priority list. For example, if the repair system is last on your list, you may find that there isn't adequate power to effect repairs at all. This is especially likely when you're in an intense fire fight. Or, if acceleration is last on your power priority list, your ship may not have enough power to increase your speed and get you out of trouble.
Obviously, each of the systems on your ship is important. You have to decide which systems are most critical to you, based on your game-play style, and distribute your power accordingly.
E. Fighting inside a nebula
The Key to fighting inside a nebula is to remember that the nebula affects all energy weapons -- the ranges of the lasers, plasma torpedoes, neutron cannons, disrupters, Hellfire, and energy siphons are all cut in half.
Inexperienced opponents may fire at you at longer ranges, but they will be wasting their energy. Wait until you are extremely close (perhaps 0.3km or closer) before you start firing lasers.
If you're using a Gorene ship (especially a Liberator), take advantage of the fact that your torpedoes are unaffected by the nebula. Stay at a distance and pummel your opponent, and you'll almost always take no damage yourself.
If you're fleeing from an opponent, you will be out of laser range when you're 0.5km away. Remember this when you plan your attack.
F. Fighting in the midst of a mine field
Mine fields, which react to energy usage, present an entirely new challenge: The more energy your ship expends, the greater the range at which a mine can detect you. (Mines, by the way, are intelligent enough to recognize the IFF transponder codes, so they won't attack friendly ships.)
Once a mine detects you, it will ignite its engines and pursue you like a torpedo. It has poor maneuverability, and a limited fuel supply, but it is faster than any ship except the Gorene Intruder. If a mine locks onto you, it is a bad idea to try to outrun it, because once you increase your energy output to accelerate, other mines will surely detect you. The best strategy is to stop and face the mine. It is possible to shoot them down with laser fire.
If you are near an enemy mine field, beware of opponents who flee towards it as they try to evade you. If you're flying at top speed when your enter the mine field, the mines will immediately pursue you like a swarm of bees. To make matters worse, your opponent will be left alone by the mines, thanks to their IFF transponder, and will surely take advantage of the situation. It is extremely difficult to fight both an opponent and a swarm of mines, especially if you have to control your energy output to avoid being detected by still more mines.
All mine fields are controlled by a central mine. If you happen to stumble across this satellite (which is usually located near the center of the mine field), destroy it. This will deactivate the entire mine field.
G. Hints on flying stealth missions
Flying the Gorene Intruder Stealth recon ship is a challenging endeavor. The key to a Stealth Mission is to travel slowly. It requires strategy, patience and control. You must remember that, though your ship is difficult for enemy radar to detect, it is not physically invisible. Don't get too close to enemy ships. Steer around them if they are coming your way, and if you're on an intercept course with one, stop and let it go by. Check your Navigational Screen Tactical Map often to verify the course of any enemy patrol ships that are close by. As a general rule, remember to take your time. Your stealth battery has a limited supply of power, but it can be recharged. If power is running low and you still have objects to scan, head to open space, far from enemy patrols, then stop and turn off your stealth systems to allow your batteries to recharge. There's no prize for completing the mission in the fastest time. If you are spotted by a single
enemy ship, try to outrun it. You are flying the fastest ship in the Ascalon Rift; take advantage of that fact. If you can't dodge a single attacker, lead him away from the other patrol ships and engage him. With a little luck, a good pilot can sometimes use the Intruder's superior speed and maneuverability to defeat an inexperienced enemy even if they are flying a more powerfully armed vessel. (The key words are "luck" and "sometimes.")
THE STAR CRUSADER DEVELOPMENT TEAM
PRODUCED, DIRECTED AND WRITTEN BY:
GAME DESIGN BY:
F.J. Lennon and Rick Hall with Glenn Dill, Mark Seremet, and Ryan Brant
STORY AND MISSION DESIGN BY:
F.J. Lennon and Rick Hall
3D TECHNOLOGY AND PROGRAMMING BY:
INTERFACE PROGRAMMING AND CAMPAIGN EDITOR BY:
MISSION CONSTRUCTION BY:
SHIP MODELS BY:
Quinno Martin, Thomas Howell, William Petras, Kelly Kern, and Kelly Vadas
COCKPIT ART BY:
Thomas Howell, Kelly Kern, Kelly Vadas, Jon Grayson, and Andrew Gilmore
CHARACTER PORTRAITS BY:
Thomas Howell, Jack Snyder, Michael Snyder, and Jeffrey Styers
CINEMATIC SCENES AND ADDITIONAL GRAPHICS BY:
Quinno Martin, Thomas Howell, William Petras, Kelly Kern, Kelly Vadas, Anne Marie Arbutiski,
Amy Finkbeiner, Jon Grayson, Nancy Janda, Michael Snyder, Jack Snyder, Jeffrey Styers,
Robert C. Taylor, and Wendy Jobe
CINEMATIC SCENE CONSTRUCTION BY:
MUSICAL SCORE, SOUND EFFECTS AND VOICE EDITING BY:
Michael Bross - SoundPlanet
ADDITIONAL SOUND EFFECTS BY:
Michael Bross - SoundPlanet
Steve Glasstetter, Rick Hall, Tom Rigas, and F.J. Lennon
MANUAL LAYOUT AND DESIGN BY:
The Renaissance Group, Inc. (Eric Schutzman, Joy Welty and Wayne Boswell)
LEAD TESTING BY:
QUALITY ASSURANCE BY:
Steve Glasstetter, Don Dillinger, Scott Shust, Michael Scalise, Jeff Ment, Mark Seremet, and
GAMETEK EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:
SCRIPT EDITING BY:
Laura Kampo, John Antinori, and Dennis Johnson
MANUAL EDITING BY:
MARKETING AND PUBLICITY:
Michael Glorieux, Kiera Reilly and Lance Seymour
Special Thanks To Ryan Brant
THE STAR CRUSADER CD-ROM CAST
Buster Maxwell as
William Thunhurst as
Captain Tawl Shud
Bill Dalzell as
Ken Roberts as
Dan Kamin as
Jonas Chaney as
Laura Gray as
David Hadinger as
Gary Burton as
Ron Gmys as
Ruth Lesko as
Laura Kampo as
Nancy Janda as
Amy Finkbeiner as
Michael Bross as
John Antinori as
Dennis Johnson as
Quinno Martin as
Jon Grayson as
F.J. Lennon as
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