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The Colony manual

                              "The Colony"


The console lit up, illumination from below the visage of the captain of
the craft who had been, up until a moment ago, sleeping on it. The
sub-space radio crackled and the awakening Space Marshal yawned in reply.

"We have a condition Red-2 in your sector, marshal," hissed the comlink.

"Huh?" The eyes cracked opened to slits and a hand moved to open the
channel. "Red-2? Where?"

The dispatcher responded, "Delta 5-5. We haven't been able to raise them
for several hours and their last message was rather cryptic."

"Playback."

"This is Commander Bagdasarian of space frontier colony Delta 5-5. We have
been overrun. I repeat, we have been overru........". The recording ended
in a wash of static.

"That's all we've got." The dispatcher spoke with the deliberate and
unemotional tone that always signified trouble. "As Regional Marshal it's
up to you. We don't want anything fancy here, not another 'Ganamede
Incident'. Just find out if there are any survivors and get them out. This
was Settler Plot. You know...families."

"Children?"

"Yes."

"Damn!"

"Rescue any survivors and assure that whatever happened to Delta 5-5 does
not happen anywhere else. You will be receiving hard copy of your orders by
tele-link".

The next several hours were not comfortable ones as the Armored Cruiser
headed towards its destination, Delta 5-5. Images from the Ganamede tragedy
filled his head and he remembered the screams of the dying.

"Not again!"

Suddenly the emergency console lit up.

               -- GRAVITATIONAL FLUCTUATION --

"Black hole!?! But there's none charted in this sector. Where - what is
going on here?"

               -- POWER DRAIN CRITICAL --

"I've go to save power for life support." The switch flickered red then
green. "Good. There's enough for a while."

Suddenly, the emergency console flashed again.

              -- MASS IMPACT INEVITABLE --

With a resigned sarcasm that was very atypical of the common space marshal,
he spoke as if to an unseen audience. "What a way to go. Welcome to Delta
5-5, jewel of the cosmos. Come, get sucked planetward by our own special
black hole. See our....."

Suddenly the disturbance ceased as suddenly as it had begun.

"What? Black holes just don't up and walk away. What is..."

             -- PREPARE FOR IMPACT --

The ship hit hard - but not as hard as it would have were the emergency
retros not fired at the last possible second.

The impact had a much harder effect on the captain. It would be a while
before he would regain consciousness.

BRIEFING

The DAS Armored Cruiser is the standard transport vehicle for Space
Marshals in the Outpost Segment. It comes with the following standard
equipment:

High-Impact Carbonic Meta-Plastoid Hull
Linear Output Enclosed Reactor Drive
150*i Giga HP Engines
Planet Smasher Anti-Matter Detonation Device
Full-Seal Dual Ported Airlocks
On-Board Hydroponics Garden
Living Quarters for Two
Armored Space Suit (F-21) Supply and Support Facilities

The DAS Cruiser is one of the most reliable space vehicles presently in
commissioned service. However, if anything should happen to your vehicle,
the DAS Cruiser has been equipped with the latest in high-efficiency safety
devices.

HULL-		The hull of the DAS Cruiser should be able to withstand
                impacts of up to 5 Mega-Gs (gravities) with ease. This
                should allow for safe passage through most meteor showers
                and battle situations.

REACTOR-	The reactor used on the DAS Cruiser conforms to standard
                fitting specs, and also advances the state-of-the-art with
                several enhancements. Any serious system damage will cause
                the reactor to enter "Power-Down" state. In this mode the
                reactor core is essentially dead. It has been set so that
                only enough power for basic system functions and
                life-support will be provided. This should minimize the
                possibility of containment contamination and will enhance
                the life-expectancy of the occupants of the DAS Cruiser.

                (NOTE: For Gov't issue vehicles, minimal power will also be
                available for use of the F-21 Armored Space Suit)

AIRLOCKS-	The Full-Seal Dual Ported Airlocks have been designed with
                security in mind. Upon sustaining any severe impact stress,
                all airlock doors will immediately close and seal. Only by
                using the provided universal decoder can you unseal the
                decompression compartment.

RETROS-		If an emergency situation should result in the dramatic
                loss of altitude over a planetary mass, do not fear. The
                retro rockets included with the DAS Cruiser incorporate the
                latest life-saving technology. Long before actual impact,
                the retros should fire automatically, gently easing the
                craft into a 3 G "touchdown". This should be enough to
                eliminate all damage to the craft. After the pilot
                recovers, we suggest that power levels be checked as this
                impact will also cause the reactor to enter "Power-Down"
                state.

F-21 Armored Spacesuit (and Installer)

The F-21 Armored Spacesuit comes with the following advanced features and
is designed to provide the wearer with near invulnerability in almost all
"Close-Encounter" situations.

	Direct Contact Installation
	(3) Armor Types
	(3) Weapon Types
	Heads-Up View
	Keyboard Operation
	Free-Form Operation
	Multi-Control
	Universal Power Absorption
	Air Conditioning

You can activate the installer by standing on the Contact-Pad and choosing
both the armor and weapons types that you would like. Before you make your
selection, be sure that your reactor has enough energy available to
correctly power your weapons and armor selection. Failure to install a suit
with the proper amount of energy can result in energy drain and system
failure. See warning below.

WARNING: DO NOT attempt to operate the F-21 Armored Spacesuit without the
prerequisite amount of energy. This suit has been outfitted with a
Universal Power Absorption facility. This option allows your suit to store
and utilize any form of radiant energy it comes in contact with. If there
is not enough energy being supplied to the suit at any time, it will resort
to drawing its energy from it occupant.

F-21 Heads-Up Display

There are several different items which make up the F-21 heads-up display
with which you need to be familiar.

Support Systems Display

This display presents you with the current power levels for you weapons and
armor, as well as a personal health monitor. This information is presented
on a logarithmic scale. In order to increase these levels, power must be
supplied to the suit from an external power source ( such as an active
energy matrix). Life-support enhancements will also be able to increase the
users ambient health while wearing the suit. Standard operation will, of
course, drain these levels.

Overhead Display and Compass

Your F-21 suit also comes with a simulated overhead display and compass
facility. The position of the suit is always located in the center of the
square overhead display. Objects in close proximity to the suit will be
represented as circular objects. Relative sizing is estimated. (This unit
is identical to the personal unit issued as standard equipment to all Space
Marshals.)

The lower circle is the integral compass. This compass is designed to fix
upon the strongest magnetic source it can locate. This means that the
top-most point of the compass is not guaranteed to be North, but for all
intents and purposes, it can be treated as such.

Viewport Controls

The F-21 Armored Spacesuit comes with the most advanced and easy-to-use
control system yet built into any such suit. This is the Free-Form control
option. The x and y cartesian axes are utilized where the y-axis is the
forward and backward velocity control and the x-axis is the left and right
angular velocity control. In simpler terms, move the pointer above the
crosshair and you go forward, move it under and you go backwards, move it
to the left and you turn left, move it to the right and you turn right. You
can also use it for any combination of the above to arc around a corner. To
fire the laser while in this mode press either the spacebar or the mouse
button.

F-21 Movement Control

The F-21 has two modes of movement control with which you should be
familiar.

Keyboard Control

This is by far the simplest mode available and has been the standard
control in all spacesuits issued in the last several years. The standard
key commands are always available from any mode. These commands are:

	W		move forward
	Q		rotate left
	E		rotate right
	S		move backwards
	A		move left
	D		move right
	X		look behind
	Z		look left
	C		look right
	spacebar	fire laser
	1-5		variable speed control (used only for keyboard
                        control)

Mouse Control

Mouse Control allows you to simply "walk" the spacesuit by pointing in the
direction you wish to move. Following the guide of the "Free-Form" control
axes, you should be able to guide the suit smoothly through any terrain. In
this mode the mouse button activates the laser firing sequence.

Firing Controls

The F-21 Armored Spacesuit also has the latest in computerized system
fire-power support. Two different firing modes are available to the
occupant at all times.

	Automatic Tracking
	Manual Targeting

Automatic Tracking

Automatic tracking is the default mode setting of the F-21 Armored
Spacesuit. In this mode, you need do nothing to target your opponent.
Simply move so as to face your target and your Targeting Crosshair will
indicate an "On-Target" lock.

Manual Targeting

Manual targeting is much more complex and requires some practice before you
can become proficient with it. However, it can prove to be a much faster
and even more accurate system.

You will not see a targeting crosshair using this system. You will only see
a large crosshair in the center of the heads-up display and the standard
movement crosshair that you have been using for steering control. Using the
steering control cursor, you can now not only turn, but you can turn and
fire.

The action of the Motion and target cursor is geared so that you are able
to turn quickly and fire. Careful attention should always be paid to the
fact that you are always moving the F-21 Armored Spacesuit as you are
firing it.

DO NOT FORGET THIS!!!

There have been several accidents reported in instances where close combat
fighting was required. In an attempt to turn and fire it is possible to
misjudge the turning/firing arc and inadvertently fire upon friendly
targets.

It is because of this slim possibility that we recommend you only engage
the Manual targeting control when you are in a lone combat situation, or
you are in a wide combat arena.

General Weapons Tips

Firing is one of the most costly actions you can undertake power-wise. We
have equipped the F-21 Armored Spacesuit with the capability to auto-fire,
but we greatly discourage its use unless in an extreme situation.
Generally, short controlled bursts are the best combat tactic.

MANIPULATING OBJECTS

Manipulating objects in The Colony is quite simple. While you are walking
around inside The Colony you will see everything as line or solid-modeled
representations. (This is the three dimensional version of the object.) In
this state you can not directly manipulate these objects. In order to work
with an object you must first go up to it and it will be presented in a two
dimensional or bit-map mode. In this state you can work with the object.

If you wanted to read what was on a computer screen, you would need to 
"click" the mouse cursor on the screen and you would then see a dialog box
representing the contents of the screen. To remove the dialog box you would
need to "click" once more on the dialog itself to remove it. 

If you want to open a desk drawer, the operation is just the same. "Click"
on the drawer and it will open. 

If you wish to move the scissors from its current place in the drawer to
the top of the desk, "click" and "drag" the item to the new location. To do
this, position the cursor on top of the item you wish to move and press and
hold the mouse button. Then, move the cursor, and the item, to the new
location. When you release the mouse button, the item will be placed in its
new location.

USING THE DECODER

(this section is not included, if you need the decoder then you don't need
these docs!!!)

USING DOORWAYS

You activate doorways in much the same manner as you do other objects.
Standing in close proximity to the doorway will bring you to a
two-dimensional representation of the door. To open this door you must
first "click" on the "+" next to the door. This will cause the central iris
of the door to open. (This is assuming that you have entered the correct
code into the airlock security control panel.) You will then be presented
with the door open in front of you. 

In order to go through the door to the other side, "click" the mouse in the
center of the open doorway, and you will pass through the door.

The captain of the craft awoke in the darkness. His head slowly began to
clear.

"Damn! Impact must've sent the reactor into Power-Down."  He looked around
trying to distinguish the central control panel from the rest of the
blackness. "Let's just hit the lights and find out where we are."

Still shaken, he switched on the lights. "Now that's a whole lot better."

He quietly made his way to his cabin and examined his face in the mirror. 
"Well," he said to himself, "Time to strap on the 'ole six-gun and go
shootin'. Got to rescue them tha'r children and save the world...again."

                             Keefer Stang
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