Before you embark on your first mission, some background information is necessary to fill you in on the current state of affairs.
The treaty between the Atarian Federation and the Zylon Empire has been broken. A technical state of war exists. The deadly menace of the Zlyon Empire threatens to eliminate humanity as we know it.
Your orders: DESTROY ALL ZYLON STARSHIPS ON SIGHT, SHOW NO MERCY.
To date, only three types of Zylon craft have been observed. They are classified as follows:
|ZYLON FIGHTER - Designed for high-speed attacks. At close range they can be deadly.|
|ZYLON CRUISER - These ships may have assigned patrol routes within a sector and will not attack unless provoked.|
|ZYLON BASESTAR - Unlike other Zylon craft these ships are equipped with shields and can only be destroyed at close range. Use extreme caution when attacking a BASESTAR.|
During battle you will be concerned only with the enemy craft which are occupying the sector you're currently in, although you have the ability to "hyperwarp" to any sector at any time. When you destroy an enemy starship with one of your photon torpedoes, that starship stays destroyed for the remainder of the mission.
A photon torpedo is a burst of concentrated energy - it completely destroys a target upon contact.
As a word of caution, beware of the meteors flying through space which you will observe during your mission flights. A meteor will destroy your ship if it hits you when your shields are down. When your shields are up, a meteor can still damage your starship (except in the NOVICE level). It is also possible to hyperwarp into a meteor, which will result in damage or destruction of your starship. You can destroy a meteor by hitting it with one of your photon torpedoes.
The friendly starbases allow you to stop for repairs. The number of starbases in a mission depends on the skill level you're playing. (The higher the skill level, the more starbases, but the more enemy ships as well.) Docking at a starbase enables you to receive a new supply of energy and to repair damaged and destroyed equipment.
During each mission you receive updated information from the computer on the status of your starship and equipment, unless your computer is destroyed or damaged. When that occurs you're on your own until repairs are made.
The rating or rank you receive on each mission depends on how well you develop your skills in space. The NOVICE level will help you get started. The going gets much tougher from there. You can work your way up to PILOT, when WARRIOR, and finally to COMMANDER, which is reserved for the smartest, most skilled players.
STAR RAIDERS is a dynamic game, full of depth and detail. It is absolutely essential for you to read these instructions carefully to acquaint yourself with the basic operations of the game and with using the joystick before you start playing. Then, after each mission you will know more about the important aspects of game play, and the depth of the game will become more apparent to you.
As a final note to this introduction, it is important for you to realize that you never actually see your own starship on the screen (except when using the Long-Range Scan which is explained later). You are sitting at the controls looking out into space. Your television screen is your "window" into space. What you see on the screen is deep space which surrounds your ship.
Becoming a COMMANDER will take quite a bit of flight time. Good luck, the galaxy awaits you...
Your secondary objectives are to complete the mission in as little time as possible, with minimal energy expended, and without allowing friendly starbases to be destroyed.