(1) UPCOM. Universal Protocol/Communication. A system conceived by Honk, in response to the difficulty of talking with people who use unfamiliar languages. Honk's system translates simultaneously, using icons to signify words or ideas. UPCOM is able to detect those signs that are understood by the being you're talking with. This allows a speedy evaluation of the being's personality. If its vocabulary contains only icons symbolizing food and drink, it's pretty easy to figure out the being's intellectual level.
A BRIEF GLOSSARY OF FAUNA ON HYDRA
IZWAL : Peaceful and generous beings. Look almost human. Very cultured. Masters of Science.
BUGGOL : Beings with a particular social behaviour, being obsessively democratic. All belong to YATANGA, which is the only political party in presence and whose one aim is to defend democracy as obsessively as possible. The President's term of office is not fixed. As soon as BUGGOL attains a majority, he is elected. Since all are eligible for high office, Presidents tend to change very frequently, sometimes every 5 minutes. At the time this story begins a BUGGOL remains on ROSKO. He can't be elected, owing to the shortage of electors. He would need two more votes to become President of planet ROSKO. An imposter (YUKAS), who doesn't even live on ROSKO has got himself elected in a fixed election. ROSKO is now in political upheaval.
YUKAS : Belligerent and underhand characters. No class at all. Little is known of their customs.
CROOLIS : Separated into two distinct evolutionary branches: Vareux and Ulves. Each has always hated the other.
MIGRAX : As their name suggests, they are great travellers. Highly intelligent, they carry the news around the galaxy. Excellent negotiators. Their slyness is legendary.
ONDOYANTES : Originally from planet Ondoya, these are dream creatures. They appear beautiful to those whom they like, and ghastly to those they detest. This way, everyone knows where he stands.
TRICEPHALS : Very interesting genetically. These guys have three android heads, each of which is equipped with an amazing tongue.
SINOX : Hardworking and intelligent, the Sinox are the technology whizzkids of the galaxy.
ANTENNA : Simple creatures, the Antenna are really very friendly. Maybe too friendly.
TUBULAR BRAINERS : The only race so far known to have tubular brains. Their intelligence is quite particular and difficult to grasp.
TROMPS : Inoffensive creatures, if somewhat stubborn. Their hair is highly prized as snuff by the Sinox.
ROBHEADS : Long long ago, Hydra was invaded by bionic armies of android combat-robots with orders to take charge for a few thousand years. When the Hydrans got fed up with them, things went hideously sour for the robots. A few decapitated units managed to keep some systems functioning. They are the Robheads. They're just robot heads with a few memory zones still working. Completely harmless, they just lie there. They can't even reproduce, unless some passing geneticist...
KINGPAKS : Ridiculous creatures who smoke tromp tails (supposedly aphrodisiac), and eat pills. Not very smart. Rumour has it that they inspired the early Pac Man versions.
NUMBERS : Blood's clones. There are 5 of them : Number 1, number 2, number 3, number 4 and that son of a bitch number 5...
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PLAY
ATARI ST VERSION
See the specific commands for the other microcomputers in the addendum.
SAVE TO DISKIn CONTROL PANEL mode, insert an unprotected formatted disk into your drive. Click on the DISK icon when the onboard clock has passed 5 minutes. You cannot save a game during the first five minutes of play. The icon will flash for several moments if the save has aborted. In this case you should check your disk and try again. The saved file is called "BLOOD.CPT"
LOADING A SAVED GAME FROM DISKIn CONTROL PANEL mode, insert your disk containing the saved file "BLOOD.CPT". Click on the DISK icon BEFORE the onboard clock has reached 5 minutes. You cannot load a saved game after five minutes of play.
Should you wish to load a saved game after the five-minute time limit, you'll have to reset the computer and reload the program.
Only sneaky types and defective clones save the game after every action ! You're neither of those, are you ?
EXTERIOR VISIONSimply click on this icon to switch from CONTROL PANEL mode to EXTERIOR VISION. To come back from EXTERIOR VISION to CONTROL PANEL mode, click on any inactive button (eye).
GALACTIC MAP(CHOOSING A DESTINATION)
In CONTROL PANEL mode, click on the GALACTIC MAP icon to access a view of the HYDRA galaxy.
How to use the GALACTIC MAP :
First select your destination's X coordinate. You do this by clicking on the red vertical selection bar which you then drag onto the desired X coordinate. In the left window you can see the coordinates of Blood's finger. The right window displays the chosen coordinates (the coordinates for the point of intersection of the selection bars).
Next, select your destination's Y coordinate. You do this by clicking on the red horizontal selection bar which you then place the Y coordinate position of your choice. As previously stated, the chosen destination coordinates are at the point where the two selection bars meet.
When you have chosen your destination coordinates, strap yourself in and click on the HYPERSPACE icon.
To speed up the HYPERSPACE sequence, click the right mouse button at the beginning or during the sequence.
OORXX CONTACT MISSION(LANDING AND PILOTING THE OORXX)
In EXTERIOR VISION mode, click on the OORXX CONTACT MISSON icon. The OORXX is teleported and lands immediately. You then have total flight-control of the OORXX with your mouse. You can climb, dive and turn.
To accelerate press right mouse button
To decelerate press left mouse button.
You are advised not to fly into mountains. If the planet has defense systems, you should fly as low as possible. When the OORXX is detected by the enemy, two red arrows will start to cross the screen towards each other. When they meet in center-screen, the OORXX blows up. To avoid having your OORXX destroyed in this way, dive as far as you can, until the arrows disappear.
Life-forms in the Hydra galaxy have a weird habit of living at the very end of canyons. You'll have to find the canyons. The OORXX is equipped with a life-form detector which is a red aim symbol. It will follow the mouse's movement on the screen. When the detector flashes, that means you're flying the OORXX in the right direction. If an arrow shows up beside the detector, that means you must turn in the direction the arrow is pointing to get onto the right heading.
There are two onscreen indicators during flight :
- The SPEED indicator at the bottom of the screen.
- The ALTITUDE indicator on each side of the screen.
When a life-form is found at the end of canyon, the OORXX is programmed to land immediately. If the planet is deserted, the OORXX will land, extremely exhausted. If you are currently transporting a being in the Ark's fridgitorium, the TELEPORT icon will activate so that you can teleport the being onto the planet if you want. To do so, just click on the TELEPORT icon.
At any time during the flight, you can request a photo of the fractal scenery around the OORXX. Simply press the SPACE bar on your keyboard. The OORXX will stop. To restart flying, press the SPACE bar again.
OORXX DESTROY MISSION(DESTRUCTION OF A PLANET)
In EXTERIOR VISION mode, you can teleport an OORXX onto a planet in order to destroy it.
Just click on the OORXX DESTROY MISSION icon. The planet will be irretrievably zapped.
OORXX GEOPHOTO MISSION(SURFACE SCAN)
In EXTERIOR VISION mode, you can teleport an OORXX into low orbit to collect aerial pictures of the planet. A special detector will indicate whether the planet is equipped with a defense system.
To activate this mission, click on the OORXX GEOPHOTO MISSION icon, once for medium altitude scan, and once again for a low altitude scan.
To return to normal mode, click on the EXTERIOR VISION icon.
(UNIVERSAL PROTOCOL OF COMMUNICATION)Once contact has been established with a sentient life-form in a canyon or when a being has been teleported from the Ark's frigitorium, the UPCOM comes on automatically.
The UPCOM is a system of communication using icons. The UPCOM uses a number of windows, which will each be described.
The dictionary window : at the bottom of the screen. This icon dictionary uses two sideways scrollings, one rapid (activated by clicking on a red elevator bar situated under the dictionary icon), the other slow (activated by placing Blood's finger over two red-striped boxes, situated on either side of the dictionary icon).
By moving Blood's finger over the dictionary icon, you can read a simultaneous translation of the icon into human language. The translation window is just above the UPCOM.
The conversation windows : situated above the dictionary icon and separated by a central mouth.
a) The left-hand window : reserved for the life-form you're communicating with. To translate his (or its) messages, move Blood's finger over them. As long as the central mouth is moving, the being hasn't finished saying what it wants to say. Click on the central mouth to read the next sentence. When the mouth stops moving, you can start sending your message.
It is possible to understand the sentences spoken by the being, if you learn his language. Each icon represents a specific speech-sound.
b) The right-hand window : reserved for your use. You can enter your messages by clicking on the icons of your choice in the icon dictionary. A small cursor under that window may be moved in order to insert an icon. Simply click on it. A delete option is available : click on the arrow situated to the right under the window. To transmit your sentences, click on the central mouth.
You can teleport a being into the fridgitorium, if the being agrees. At that moment, the TELEPORT icon will be enabled. To teleport the life-form, click on the TELEPORT icon.
Your conversational partner can, for reasons best known to himself, break off the discussion at any time.
If you want to leave the UPCOM during a conversation, click on the triangle at the right of the screen, under the DELETE arrow.
TELEPORTThis icon is used to teleport a being from the planet into the Ark's fridgitorium. The icon will not be enabled until a being with whom you are in conversations consents to be teleported. If the icon is enabled and if you want to teleport the life-form, just click on the icon.
DISINTEGRATE THE TELEPORTED BEINGWhen a life form is teleported to the fridgitorium, you can decide to destroy the life-form by disintegrating it. If it's one of the Numbers, Blood will recover some of his vital fluid and survive a little longer.
FRIDGITORIUMIt's a cryonization container where teleported beings are conserved. The beings in question must give their consent because the teleport system uses psychic energy generated by the being's will, a little like hypnosis. For security reasons, living beings cannot be teleported into the Ark, so they must be cryonized and stocked in the fridgitorium. The fridgitorium has a disintegrate crematorium feature which you can use if you feel like it. This feature recovers vital fluid, and so Blood can use it on the Numbers. All other forms of vital fluid are unfortunately incompatible with Blood's organism.
NOTE : Pacemakers are automatically extracted before cremation, so there is no risk of explosion during the disintegration phase.
THE OORXX BIRTH RAMPThe layer is incorporated into the Ark's structure, in the pram zone. This area is completely sterile, of course. The newly-laid baby OORXX are propelled into the birth ramp immediately after a stress-free birth. The layer is able to lay endless numbers of babies.
TIMEOnboard time is displayed on the clock, in Earthling minutes and seconds. The UPCOM takes account of the minutes only. 60.45 means 60 minutes and 45 seconds, which comes to HOUR 60 for the UPCOM.
The game is limited to 45 realtime hours.
THE ? COMMANDWhen an OORXX has already been placed on a planet, it may be reactivated, which saves you having to pilot another through all those dangerous mountains.
When the Ark stops after a hyperspace jump, near a planet you've already visited, simply switch to CONTROL PANEL mode by clicking on a closed (disenabled) button. The ? command is then available and enabled. Click on it to reactivate the OORXX. You will inevitably catch up with the character you talked to the last time.
PLAYING HINTSCAPTAIN BLOOD's Ark stops near an inhabited planet at the start of the game. The HYDRA galaxy is biggish, boasting 32,768 inhabitable planets noted on the map. Not all of them actually have thinking life-forms living on them, so it's easy to get very lost and see nobody for millions of years. That's why it's a damned good idea to note down the precise coordinates of inhabited planets before plunging into the immensity of unknown space. That way, you can always get back to a familiar place. Ask any space jock : trusting your luck is a non-viable survival option.
The program recreates the galaxy each time you begin a game. That means that coordinates of inhabited planets are not valid from one game to the next.
Bear in mind that Blood is degenerating. Don't be surprised if his hand gets the shakes from time to time ; it's normal. It's also a bad sign ! HE MUST GET HIS VITAL FLUID BACK. That's the only way he can regenerate.
To recover the vital fluid, Blood has to find the NUMBERS and disintegrate them in the Ark's fridgitorium.
This software explores a new concept, the BIOGAME. The characters can evolve, be born, die, trade information and generally get on with their own independant lives. Strange things can happen; planets can appear or disappear overnight, the behaviour of matter is out of our control !
You can transport beings from one planet to another but you'll have to win their trust first. Study their behaviour closely, because knowing who you're dealing with can mean the difference between life and death.
LOADINGTo load the program, type RUN"ERE" then press ENTER.
COMMANDSThe program functions with a keyboard or a joystick.
- Move using the arrows (cursor keys).
- Confirm using the space bar.At the start of the game, place Captain Bloods hand over the flag that corresponds to your language:
In the planet flying sequence:
- Acceleration: CURSOR UP + FIRE
- Decelaration: CURSOR DOWN + FIRE
To shorten the Hyperspace sequence and the flying sequence, press the ESC key.
To save the game, use a blank formatted disk or a blank tape.
. to stop: function keys F1 to F10
- Panic button: "-" (sign minus)
This key clears the screen and brings up an A> at the top of the screen. Press "-" again to continue the game.
Turn on the computer. Insert disk or tape, then:
- CASSETTE VERSION
Type LOAD and then press RETURN.
- DISK VERSION
Type LOAD"*",8,1 then press RETURN.
At the start of the game when requested press the symbol that corresponds to your language.
The program functions with joystick or keyboard.
Attention : for the joystick use port 2.
With keyboard :
- UP : ...... A
- DOWN : ...... Z
- LEFT : ...... K
- RIGHT : ...... L
Confirm : space bar
- Flying over planet :
- Acceleration : A + space bar
or with joystick UP + FIRE
- Deceleration : Z + space bar
or with joystick DOWN + FIRE
To shorten the flying sequence or the hyperspace, press DEL.
- SPECTRUM +3 DISK
Insert disk into drive, then select Loader from the Menu screen and press ENTER
- SPECTRUM CASSETTE
Insert the disk in the drive. Type LOAD "BLOOD" and press ENTER.
Press PLAY on cassette player.
- SPECTRUM 128k AND PLUS 2 CASSETTE
Insert fully rewound cassette into cassette player.
Select "Tape Loader" from menu screen and press ENTER.
Press PLAY on cassette player.
At the start of the game when requested press the number key that corresponds to your language.
The program functions with the joystick or keyboard.
At the start of the game choose joystick or keyboard from the following menu:
1 - KEMPSTON JOYSTICK
2 - SINCLAIR JOYSTICK
3 - MOVEMENT - CURSOR KEYS
- CONFIRM - SPACE BAR
4 - MOVEMENT
. UP : ...... Q
. DOWN : ...... A
. LEFT : ...... O
. RIGHT : ...... P
Confirm - space bar
To shorten the flying sequence or the hyperspace, press ENTER.
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