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1. Introductory Data

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ELITE by Firebird

for the Commodore 64

1. Introductory Data 3 Missiles

Interior of a Cobra Mk III Energy Bomb

The Cargo Hold

The Bridge Defensive Measures 17

The Drive Sector Safety Zone

The Living and Hygiene Section Shields and Energy Banks

The Equipment Level ECM

The Status Page Escape Capsule

Your rating as a Combateer

Non-Combative Equipment 18

2. Navigation and Flying 6 Fuel

Navigation Fuel Scoops

Navigation Controls Cargo Bay Extension

Galactic Chart Docking Computer

Worldata Link Intergalactic Hyperdrive

Local Navigation Chart Asteroid Mining Lasers

Navigation Key Functions Combat Key Functions
A Corolis Space Station 8 4. Intergalactic Trading 20

Leaving the Space Station How to Trade

Basic Manoeuvers Advice to Traders

Console Readings Agricultural Worlds

Industrial Worlds

Making for Your Target World 11

Hyperspace and Related Controls Alternatives to Trading 23

Hyperdive across Galaxies Bounty Hunting


Docking Procedure 11 Asteroid Mining

Flying Key Functions Illegal Trading

3. Interplanetary Travel 13 5. Political Profile of the Universe 25

Combat Protocol Consequences for Trade

Manoeuvering Corporate States

Signs of Danger Dictatorships

Anarchy Planets

Likely Enemies 13

Bounty Hunters Alien Races 26

Pirate Vessels Bird-forms

Police Amphibioids

Thargoids and Thargons Felines


Other Space Types 14

Rock Hermits 6. Observer’s Guide to Ships 28

Generation Ships

Space Dredgers 7. Appendix 38

How to Load the Disk

Combat Console 15 How to Access the Disk

Agressive Weaponery

Lasers 8. Pilot's Log 39


Welcome aboard this Cobra Mk III trading and combat craft. The ship has been supplied to you by Faulcon deLacy Spaceways, by arrangement with the Galactic Co-operative of Worlds whose Space and Interstellar Pilot's Exams you have just successfully completed. The small flight manual supplied with the craft is designed to familiarise you with all aspects of space flight, combat and trading, and we hope that it will be of use to you.

The Cobra Mk III

Incorporates Zieman

Deflection Shields, fore

and aft, 4 hull mountings

for Ingram ‘rapid-fire’

pulse lasers, a Lance &

Ferman ‘seek & kill’

missile system, a

Holodirect & Thruspace


commnications system,

and provision for a cargo

bay extension.

You begin your career, your ship equipped with a single forward-firing pulse laser, 3 homing missiles, 7 light years of fuel, and the sum of 100 Credits (CR), ready to embark from a space station in orbit around the planet Lave.
The Cobra Mk III is the best of the medium-range, medium capacity fighter-traders, and is an ideal ship for new traders intent on building their fortunes, or new combateers who will constantly need to finance the cost of both armaments and non-combative equipment.
The ship is highly manoeuverable, has a good C-holding factor during hyperspace transit, can hold sufficient Quirium H-fuel for a 7 light-year single jump and has full Auto Trading Systems Link for use at space stations. Further, it is protected by Dual Zieman Energy Deflection Shields, powered by 4 energy banks, and has a powerful, rapid-fire pulse laser mounted on the forward hull segment. Flight controls are elegant and simple, and ThruSpace GravDistort communications systems. Its life support functions are varied and flexible to ensure maximum comfort during trading or hunting operations.
Pilot licences are issued only at the planet Lave, and it is likely, therefore, that you are now docked at a Coriolis station in orbit around that particular world. Lave is a rich, agricultural dictatorship, but is a reasonably safe world at which to begin your endeavours. GalCop and the Lave Authorities allow practice docking and departure runs to all their space stations here, and you would be advised to take advantage of this facility.
The Cobra is essentially a single-pilot trade-ship, but has been designed to support a second person, provided that person is of ordinary human or humanoid dimensions and physiology. The ship itself consists of five main areas:
The cargo hold fills the bulk of the mid-space area, and the cargo bay doors open downwards. The capacity in an unmodified Cobra is 20 1-tonne canisters. Extra cargo space may be acquired by extending the cargo bay, which does not affect manoeuverability. Tonne canisters (TC) attach magnetically to the cargo arms within the bay, and 2 AutoShuttles occupy the central space.
The bridge has seats for pilot and co-pilot, a MedStim Centre, entrance to the escape pod, descent well to living quarters, communications console, special suit locker, RemLock supply case, attachment facilities for AutoDock System and a hand-weapons locker. The main wall is occupied by the scanner screen, astrogation console and main systems monitors.
The drive sector houses the directional thrusts, the System Space Kruger ‘lightfast’ motors, and the Irrikon Thru-Space drives. Also here are the rear laser housings, the ECM capsule, the Zieman shield generators, and energy banks, and the Witch-Space fuel condensors (Quirium). There are both internal and external access panels. Radiation level is high.
The living and hygiene section is below the main bridge, and reached through a descending gravity well. Two bunks, food dispensing facilities, waste disposal (including high-tox copper exudate for Aonians), SynPleasure relaxapads, and videos.
The equipment level runs throughout the ship, and houses all energy banks for lasers, plus the missile rests, with dispatch shafts to the lower hull. The communications centre is here, and the escape pod (with a separate entrance from the bridge) life support systems, cryogen tanks (two) and 40 cubic meters of FacsEnvironment for emergency use.

A new pilots’s rating is

COMMANDER JAMESON ‘harmless’; his legal

status ‘clean’

Present System : Lave

Hyperspace System : Lave

Condition : Docked

Fuel : 7.0 Light Years

Cash : 100.0 Cr

Legal Status : Clean

Rating : Harmless

Front Pulse Laser

The ‘Present System’ refers to the planetary system which your ship is currently in; while the ‘Hyperspace system’ refers to the system onto which the hyperspace is locked.
There are 4 possible ‘Conditions’: DOCKED means that you are docked in a space station at the Present System; GREEN means that there is no immediate danger; YELLOW indicates enemy ships in the vicinity; Condition RED signals a high-risk on-going death-type combat situation.
‘Legal Status’ refers to your Galactic Police record. If this is CLEAN you have nothing to worry about, but as an OFFENDER or, still worse, a FUGITIVE you are likely to be attacked by police ships.
The ‘Rating’ is a dispassionate assessment of your performance in combat so far.
Current cash and fuel are also displayed, along with a list of ship fittings.
The status page is always retrievable by pressing 8.
Commander Jameson’s

COMMANDER JAMESON rating is ‘dangerous’,

which is not surprising

Present System : Disco when you consider the

Hyperspace System : Leesti equipment and cash he

Condition : Green has managed to amass.

Fuel : 3.4 Light Years In fact, as his status

Cash : 7433.3 Cr suggests, this has not

Legal Status : Fugitive been achieved without

Rating : Dangerous sailing quite close to the



Large Cargo Bay

Fuel Scoops

E.C.M. System

Energy Bomb

Docking Computers

Galactic Hyperspace

Front Beam Laser

Rear Pulse Laser

Left Pulse Laser

Right Pulse Laser

To become an elite combateer requires great skill and great patience, because expert trading is essential before the necessary more powerful armaments and equipment available to the Cobra ship can be bought: beam lasers, more missiles, energy bombs, a docking computer, galactic hyperdrive, etc.
As you sail through space between the stars, and as you trade, you will live with your combat rating. You will begin as HARMLESS. If you survive your first skirmish you may be reclassified as MOSTLY HARMLESS. But on the slow climb to a status level that reflects a growing talent for combat you will have to engage many different ships, in many different skirmishes, in the System Space of many different worlds. You will be classified as POOR, then AVERAGE, then ABOVE AVERAGE, then COMPETENT. Then you will become DANGEROUS, then DEADLY. An at last, a few will become ELITE.
Your kills are photographed and transmitted by TS ComDirect to the nearest GalCop Federal Law Center. Your rating as a combateer will increase in direct proportion.
Fly your Cobra craft wisely and carefully. Remember: other pilots may be attempting to increase their own combat rating by attacking either innocent traders, or police Vipers (the ships of the GalCop Police Force). If you resort to such tactics (or if your adopt the fast-credit routine and trade in illegal goods) then your combat rating may rise, but your legal status: CLEAN - OFFENDER - FUGITIVE, will make you Public Enemy Number One with the Federation Crime Monitoring Authority and you will not be left alone.
8 Status page originally accessed by space bar, always recalled by 8.


The Galactic Co-operative is only one - although the largest - of several planetary federations, and maintains trade and diplomatic links with over 2000 planets spread throughout 8 galaxies. The political profile of a planet is an important navigational consideration as many are in a state of anarchy and are unsafe to visit in poorly equipped ships. Important too is its economic profile, as will be discussed in the section about trading.
Navigational strategy depends of course upon your aims in life. If you think you have what it take to become elite, you will need to chart your path through the galaxies with care and great precision. You will wish to equip your ship as fully and as early as possible. You will, therefore, need to study the trading section of this manual so that you can work out a profitable trading route in order to be able to afford the weaponry you will require. You will wish to lead; in general, the more risks you take (travelling to dangerous planets or trading in contraband goods), the faster you may equip your ship but the quicker you will be killed. You will discover that life in the 8 galaxies is a question of fine balance. Although it may seem, at first, that indiscriminate carnage is a soft option (kills improve your rating, after all), as your skills and experience of living in space mature, you will quickly discover that piracy is a short-lived career.
Success in this context is a mosaic of talents: combative, certainly, but thinking and decision-making talents too.

There are 8 galaxies (of

which this is one), and

over 250 recognised

planets in each galaxy.

So massive a universe

contains very little that is

completely predictable,

and offers infinite

opportunities for


Here you are introduced to all the controls which will eventually be useful to you in developing a route through the 8 galaxies.

It is important that you do not press the F1 key for the moment.
Galactic chart (4). This chart shows all registered worlds within the galaxy, and indicates your own coordinate position. The star cursor may be used to scan the shown worlds for potentially favorable trade sites.
Use the joystick, mouse or cursor keys to move the small cross over to one of the dots, and hit F7.
Worldata link (6). The Orbit Space Authority takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information registered here, but the trader may gain some idea of the relative wisdom of trading with the world whose data is displayed. The information shown is distance, type of main life form, degree of agricultural or industrial development, with industrial and technological level displayed on a scale of 1-12. The government type, ranging from Corporate State to Anarchy, will be a strong indication of the danger of trading with the system.
6 involes a planetary

DATA ON REORTE status card. Whether you

choose to amass kills by

bounty hunting or take

Distance : 4.4 Light Years the less dangerous course

of the traditional trader

Economy : Poor Agricultural and defensive combateer,

the police and

Government : Dictatorship economic infrastructure

of planets should

Tech. Level : 6 influence the route you

take through a galaxy

Population : 3.2 Billon (see Interplanetary Travel

and Trade).

(Black Fat Felines)
Gross Productivity : 5288 M CR
Agerage Radius : 6419 km

Use 5 again to return to the chart and acquire information about some more planets.

The larger of the crosses on the chart shows where your ship is and the circle shows how far it can jump with its current hyperspace fuel.
O returns the small cross to the larger one.
Local navigational chart (5). This is a high power chart of all planets in the immediate vicinity of your docking world. Since the Cobra ship has a maximum single H-jump range of 7 light years, the target world must be chosen carefully. The target cursor, used in conjunction with the Worldata link, will indicate dangerous or likely worlds for trade.
If the cross moves off the screen, use the O key to bring it back. Notice also that the D key will tell you how far away the system nearest the small cross is.
4 Galactic chart
5 Local chart
D Distance to system
O Retrieve cursor cross

Cross-sight cursor for local and galactic systems

6 Data on system

Every world registered with the Galactic Co-operative has several Coriolis space stations in orbit at various altitudes. Coriolis stations are ‘neutral’ territory, controlled equally by GalCop and the Planetary Government.
A new dodecahedral design (the so-called ‘Dodo’ stations) is replacing the Coriolis design in the more advanced systems. Coriolis stations are hexagonal in approximate shape. They spin along a single axis running vertically from the planet below. One side of the station always faces the planet, and it is on this facet that the access tunnel is located.
Coriolis stations were designed at the GASEC (Galactic Astronautic and Space Exploration Centre) Laboratories on the planet Vetitice. The first station was in orbit around the world Lave in 2752.
Coriolis stations have powerful defensive shields (against pirate attack and inept docking) and a large fleet of Viper fighters, and several larger types of ship. The inside of the station is free-space, and on each inner facet of the station there are berthing and refueling facilities, as well as cities, hospitals, farmlands and leisure-scapes.
Each Coriolis station has a diameter of 1 standard kilometre. They can berth 2000 ships, and support a fair-sized colonial life development of humanoids.
Front View Space stations are cargo

transition points for

interplanetary trading

vessels and shuttle craft.

They also provide

entertainment and

lodging facilities for pilots

not wishing to go

‘planet side’.

On coding for Station Depart the pilot is advised to accept a 10-second MemnSomn to dispense with subjective experience of the passage from docking bay to Coriolis station egress. The screen will then show a break-pattern, which is the passage through the protective field over the Coriolis entrance tunnel.
Front View Leaving a Coriolis station

and approaching the

planet, Lave.

The Cobra trade ship needs practice to fly well, though it is highly manoeuverable, very fast, and a good combat vessel. It accelerates and decelerates rapidly using fingertip control:
< (or joystick left) for anticlockwise roll

> (joystick right) for clockwise roll
X (or joystick back) for climb

S (or joystick forward) for dive

? to decrease your speed.
Pitch and yaw manoeuvre requires bi-digital play on keyboard model (X, S, <, >)
Notice the small dot moving around inside the large circle on the dials (just above the large ‘S’). This is your compass; the dot corresponds to the position of the space station. If the dot is small then the station is behind you. When the dot is large and in the centre of the circle, you should be able to see the space station directly in front of you.
Looking back at the

Rear View Coriolis station where

your Cobra was berthed.

Practice rotating the space station off the screen and using the compass to find it again.

You might see some Cobra Class ships. These are other traders like yourself, and will not harm you unless you shoot at them. If you do this they will either attack or, alternatively, run away. Should you use them for combat practice, do not expect the space station to turn a blind eye to such unruly behavior. Nothing will attack you while you are within sight of the space station - unless you make a nuisance of yourself.
It is not possible to land on the planet, and flying into planets or space stations is fatal. The altimeter shows your height above the planet's surface, and you should not let it fall too low.
(If you are a new pilot, now is your best chance to practice docking manoeuvers with the space station at Lave. The Lave Orbit Space Authority permits an unlimited number of practice runs by newly appointed pilots, and does not charge. This facility is suspended during attack, or when the Coriolis station has no free docking space. See the illustrated section on docking procedure.)





CT 1

LT 2

AL 3

E L I T E S 4

1 2 8 6 7 5 3 4
1 4 7

Cabin temperature will Gyro orient bar indicators Compass. This instrument

increase and the console show right/left roll and first picks up a target

register this when your dive/climb status. planet when it remains

ship flies too close to a out of range of the main

sun. flight-path scanner. When

5 the planet’s space station

S refers to the space nearest to you comes

2 station and indicates that within range of it, the

Altimeter. Your altitude you are on target for it and compass picks up that

above your destination within its protective instead. When the dot is

planet can be crucial. range. small, the object is

Flying too near its surface behind you; when large

will be fatal. and in the centre of the

6 compass circle, it should

Flight grid scanner. This be visible through your

3 sophisticated instrument front viewfinder.

Forward velocity should displays a

be maintained at three-dimensional view of

maximum on planetary space in the immediate, 8

approach. Keep it low vicinity of your ship, seen Fuel level.

during space station from a point behind and

approach, and minimal for above it. The precise

final docking. position of any ship within

its range can be


Having left the space station you will be in low orbit above the planet Lave, moving at low velocity. Decrease your velocity to absolute minimum before coding the astrogation console for Hyperspace Jump.
During space flight only, F1, F3, F5, and F7 provide access to views all around your ship.
Use 4 or 5 to display a chart (galactic or local, respectively), and move the smaller cross to choose a larger planet, press F1, then hit H. After a short delay, the hyperjump motors will engage.
On arrival in a new planetary system, after transit from hyperspace, you will find yourself at some distance from your target world. This conforms with GC Flight Law.
Even in the safest systems there can be unseen dangers, and you will be well advised to approach orbit space, and the safety of the space station, as quickly as possible. Increase forward velocity to maximum. At this point you can take full advantage of the space-skip facility (J). Inter-space jumping does not function (because of interference patterns) if there is another ship, a planet or a sun in the immediate vicinity. If this is the case, a sound signal will occur.
Soon your ship's computer will pick up the beacon signals of the nearest orbital space station and will re-engage the compass to track that instead of the target planet. Once the Cobra is within scanning and protective range of the Coriolis station, the flight-grid scanner will begin to track it. Its own defenses are now available for your protection. The scan console will register the letter "S" as long as the space station is within range.
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