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A Coriolis Space Station
Leaving the Space Station
Hyperspace and Related Controls
Hyperdrive Across Galaxies
Signs of Danger
Other Space Types
Shields and Energy Banks
Cargo Bay Extension
Asteroid Mining Lasers
Buying Selling Mode for Goods
Advice to Traders
Alternatives to Trading
Political Profile of the Universe
Consequences for Trade
Ship Data Catalog
Load New Commander
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 familiarize you with all aspects of space flight, combat and trading, and we hope that it will be of use to you.
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 maneuverable, 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 licenses are issued only at the planet Lave, and it is likely 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 endeavors. 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-ton canisters. Extra cargo space may be acquired by extending the cargo bay, which does not affect maneuverability. Ton 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 Center, 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, energy banks, and the Witch-Space fuel condensers (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. This section includes 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 center is here, and well as 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.
Status Page. 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 drive is locked.
There are four 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 tapping .
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.
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 takes 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.
Here you are introduced to all the controls which will eventually be useful to you in developing a route through the 8 galaxies.
Galactic Chart. This chart shows all registered worlds within the galaxy, and indicates your own coordinate position. The D-Pad Keys will move the small red cross, which is used to scan the worlds for potentially favorable trade sites. The large white cross on the chart shows your ship's current location, and the green circle shows how far your ship can jump with its current amount of hyperspace fuel.
will return the small red cross to your ship's current location.
will find a specific world in the displayed galaxy by typing in its name using the Alpha Keyboard.
Worldata Link. 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.
will return you to the Galactic Chart where you can acquire information about additional planets.
Local Navigation Chart. 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 small red cross, used in conjunction with the Worldata link, will indicate dangerous or likely worlds for trade. If the cross moves off the screen, use to bring it back. Notice also that the Distance to the selected system is also displayed.
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 Center) 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 kilometer. They can berth 2000 ships, and support a fair-sized colonial life development of humanoids.
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.
Basic Maneuvers. The Cobra trade ship needs practice to fly well, though it is highly maneuverable, very fast, and a good combat vessel. It accelerates and decelerates rapidly using fingertip control.
|Anticlockwise Roll||Left D-Pad|
|Clockwise Roll||Right D-Pad|
|Increase Speed||Button 1|
|Decrease Speed||Button 2|
Pitch and yaw maneuver requires bi-digital play on the D-Pad.
Note: The D-Pad and Button functions can be changed as desired on the Options Page.
Compass. Notice the small ball moving around inside the large blue circle on the console. This is your compass. The ball corresponds to the position of the space station. If the ball is red then the station is behind you. When the ball is green and in the center of the circle, you should be able to see the space station directly in front of you.
Note: Upon arriving into another system, the compass will first indicate the position of the planet. As you near the planet, the compass will automatically switch to indicate the position of the station.
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 maneuvers 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.
Fuel Level. Fuel is required for Hyperspace jumps. Full tanks will permit a maximum 7 LY jump.
Cabin Temp. Temperature will increase when your ship flies too close to a sun.
Altimeter. Your altitude above your destination planet can be crucial. Flying too near its surface will be fatal.
Flight Grid Scanner. This sophisticated instrument displays a three-dimensional view of space in the immediate vicinity of your ship, seen from a point behind and above it. The precise position of any ship within its range can be pinpointed.
Grid Scanner Magnification. Displays the current range of the Grid Scanner.
Grid Scanner Bar. Tap this bar with the stylus to adjust the Grid Scanner Magnification from short range X1, to long range X4.
S refers to the space station and indicates that you are within its protective range.
Compass. This instrument first picks up a target planet while it remains out of range of the main Grid Scanner. When the planet's space station nearest to you comes within range, the compass will automatically switch to track the station. When the ball is red, the object you are tracking is behind you; when green and in the center of the compass circle, it should be visible through your front viewscreen.
Speed Gauge. Forward velocity should be maintained at maximum on planetary approach. Keep it low during space station approach, and minimal for final docking.
Gyro Orient Bars. These bars indicates the ship's Right/Left roll and Dive/Climb status.
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.
Launch/Docking Computers. Launches your ship from the space station. Also toggles the Docking Computers ON/OFF when fitted.
Views. During space flight only, tapping this icon repeatedly provides access to the views all around your ship.
Hyperspace. Engages the hyperspace drive motors. This icon will only display on the main console after a destination planet has been selected, and you have enough fuel onboard to get there.
Use or to display a chart (Galactic or Local), and then move the small red cross to select a destination planet. Tap to return to the main console controls. Then tap . 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 by tapping . Inter-space jumping does not function (because of interference patterns) if there is another ship, a planet or a sun in the immediate vicinity.
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 as long as the space station is within range.
Inter-Galactic Hyperdrive. This expensive equipment item can be obtained from planets at Tech level 10 or higher. It can only be used once, and will take you to a system in a whole new galaxy (i.e. a new Galactic Chart). There are 8 such galaxies and making 8 jumps will return you to your starting galaxy. The Inter-Galactic Hyperdrive is engaged by tapping this icon.
Docking with a Coriolis space station is never easy, unless the ship is equipped with an automatic docking computer, in which case will activate it. The Navy Training Manual recommends the following approach and dock sequence.
Locate the Coriolis station and approach it. The entrance tunnels to all these stations face the mother planet. Fly near to the station and then on towards the planet (monitoring altitude carefully). By turning a half circle you will now find your ship orientated towards the entrance.
Approach the final moments of docking at DEAD SLOW SPEED. Failure to dock cleanly can be fatal but may simply result in your scraping the sides of the aperture, with consequent loss of defensive shield(s) and quite possible your cargo. Manually control the Cobra's roll motion to match the rotation of the Coriolis station. The entry port must be as nearly horizontal as possible.
If docking is successful; the protective field across the station entrance is penetrated, and a break pattern appears on the screen. Berthing is handled automatically.
Docking protocol, and Orbit Space Regulations, are numerous, and are available in the GC Orbit and System Space Code, published by Federation Planet Bureau.
Welcome to the manual! (In case this is the first page you have turned to.)
Not all ships in deep space, even small fighters, are pirates. Most ships will respond to hostile action with hostile action. If you attack a police ship or trade in contraband goods (see Trading), your legal status will be changed to OFFENDER, or even higher. If you destroy pirate ships, or Thargoid invaders, (or asteroids) you will receive a bounty payment. If you shoot at the Coriolis space station, its own defensive ships (Viper class fighters) will attack you.
The Cobra tradeship is fast, and has a very tight turning circle (though less tight at full speed); it is an ideal combat ship against small packs of enemy vessels. It will outrun many attack craft by speed alone, but it will not outrun a missile. Spinning, fast-slow, and duck-and-weave maneuvers are very effective against the larger, less maneuverable ships when they attack. A sudden decrease in speed followed by a tight 180 degree turn and an increase in velocity will often give you a big advantage over pursuing enemy craft.
If you cannot make an interspace quick jump towards the planet, there is a ship in the vicinity. It could be dangerous.
If Yellow or Red warning lights appear to either side of the Elite logo on the Flight Grid Scanner, prepare to engage in combat.
Laser fire striking the defensive shields makes a light screeching sound. Listen for laser fire striking the hull direct. Through damaged screens it makes a low, screeching sound. DANGER.
An incoming missile will be detected, tracked, and a warning message flashed on main screen.
Some star pilots are braver than others, and pirate ships may break off and run in the face of stiff resistance. Some appear to know no fear - in particular Thargoid vessels, whose captains have had their fear glands surgically removed.
Lone-Wolf traders - such as Cobra pilots - are constantly at risk from other Spacefaring types. An understanding of other loners, packhunters, and bounty killers is essential.
Bounty Hunters Unless you have achieved FUGITIVE status, and especially if you are highly ranked as a combateer as well as being a criminal, bounty hunters will not bother a ship as insignificant as a Cobra Mk 3. In fact, many bounty hunters favor Cobra trade-ships as they make an excellent disguise. But the real killers star-ride in the sleek, and highly efficient, Fer-de-Lance Lightspeeder, in which they live for months at a time.
Bounty hunters can always be found outside Orbit Space, especially around worlds classified as "dangerous". They are invariably of combat rating: DEADLY or ELITE. Bounty hunters rarely identify themselves to passing ships, and if pestered too closely will usually kill.
Pirate Vessels There are several ways of identifying a space-going ship as "pirate occupied", and this is essential since pirates and renegades will take any ship for their purpose, from a Worm to a massive Python. Pirates exist everywhere in the galaxy, but cluster mainly around unstable GalCop worlds, especially worlds run on a feudal or anarchic system.
Small ships hovering very distant from a planet are pirates. Large ships accompanied by a mixture of small fighter types are pirates. Ships that refuse to acknowledge identification signals are pirates. Around worlds run by autocracies, or clans, pirates will very often have been paid to leave trade ships alone. Piracy is a huge, and complex, business, and any life-respecting trader will learn the tell-tale signs of pirate presence.
Police In a Co-operative of Worlds as complex as the 2040 planets of the GalCop, the police can be as menacing as they can be helpful. The typical police vessel is a Viper GH Class PulseShip, which is very fast, and very maneuverable. They are on constant standby on every Coriolis and Dodec space station, and will attack - a pirate, or a fugitive trader - within seconds. They do not make arrests, they destroy. There are different police departments serving different purposes - narcotics, space-drunkenness, psychotic shooting, piracy, slave trading, etc. - but all have small fleets of these very fast Viper patrol craft.
Thargoid Invasion Ships and Thargons The Thargoids are humankind's deadly enemy, and throughout the 8 galaxies there are at least 50 war zones between humanity and Thargoid. This highly technologically advanced insectoid race is also at war with 17 other space-going life-forms.
All Thargoid combateers are ruthless in combat, and some may be comparable with elite-status human combat pilots.
Though most of the Thargoid Space Fleet is currently engaged by the Galactic Navy in InterGalactic Space, a few of the smaller battle ships make occasional destructor-raids into human space. These ships are extremely fast for their size and invariably have anti-missile (ECM) Systems.
Additionally, most Thargoid battle ships carry several small, remote-controlled "Thargons", killer-craft each equipped with a single, but highly advanced, pulse-laser. The Galactic Navy are developing their own deep-space RemCraft, and pay a large bounty for any Thargon craft that are brought to them.
(N.B. Bounty on Thargoid invasion craft destroyed is very high. Thargoid battle-cruisers believed to be able to "hover" in Witch-Space (hyperspace) and destroy through-coming craft).
Rock Hermits Pirates, aging bounty hunters, or planetary outcasts, who create living space out of asteroids. They usually choose large asteroids, and set up signal beacons to warn off miners. GalCop Law protects Rock Hermits, but since most of the asteroid is hollowed-out, there is little advantage to be gained by "mining" them anyway.
Generation Ships Before the development of the WS Thru-Space drive, in all its various forms, interstellar travel occurred in large, self-sustaining environment ships - Generation Ships - most of which have now been logged and their progress monitored. There are more than seventy thousand of these immense vessels ploughing their way through the galaxy, some of them into their 30th generation. The penalty for interference with such a vessel is marooning.
Space Dredgers These immense factory ships are to be found wherever there has been a war, or a Thargoid invasion, or a natural catastrophe. More than forty miles long, the dredgers are a life-form to themselves. The Dredgers are huge cities in space, feeding off debris and ruination. Heavily armed, and with fleets of reconditioned fighter ships, they are to be avoided at all cost.
Defensive Shields. The Fore and Aft shields use power from the energy bank sources. When a shield is depleted from incoming laser fire, the sound of the laser striking the hull will be heard.
Missile Status. Displays the number of
missiles onboard (Green), if they are activated (Yellow), and locked on target (Red).
Laser Temp. Laser temperature will rise during continuous firing of the ship's lasers. As the central housing overheats, a laser will temporarily cut out rather than destroy the system.
Flight Grid Scanner. This sophisticated instrument displays a three-dimensional view of space in the immediate vicinity of your ship, seen from a point behind and above it. The precise position of any ship within its range can be pinpointed.
Energy Banks. Energy banks will rapidly drain if defensive shields are taking excessive fire. Using lasers or an ECM System will also drain their resources. Eventually, in normal circumstances, the banks will be automatically replenished by surface radiation absorption.
Equipment. Accesses the CorCom equipment purchase screen when docked.
|Large Cargo Bay||All||400|
|Extra Energy Unit||8||1500|
|Ship ID Computer||10||2000|
Pulse lasers are initially housed only in the front of the ship, and so no sights appear across rear or side views until such time as you have sufficient credits (from combat and trading) to afford lasers for these mountings. As we shall see, with sufficient cash you will also be able to upgrade the pulse lasers to more powerful beam lasers.
The Cobra astrogation console accommodates a single laser-fire key (default Button 4). Even fully equipped only one laser may be fired at a time. If a laser overheats it will not fire (observe the laser temperature bar).
Lasers are the principal armament of all space fighters.
Pulse lasers will be offered for sale at planets of Tech level 3 or above (see Trading). Beam Lasers will be offered at Tech level 4 or above. If a beam laser replaces a pulse laser the price of the pulse laser is refunded after the beam one has been fitted.
Pulse Laser Specification: Ingram Model 1919A4 Pulse Laser is recommended for all positional laser mountings, but is especially effective for rear-shooting. Fires intermittent laser "rods" 610mm in length, with a cycle rate of 1500 RoPM. The barrel is of high grade Allutium fiber, lined with tempered QuQorian Silica. Power provided directly from inverse energy banks contained in main ship's drive. Each rod is capable of piercing 267mm of Flux-Locked metal.
Beam Laser Specification: Ingram Model M1928A2 is highly recommended for front shooting. Beam lasers fire continuous laser strands, up to 150 in parallel. Barrel is Allutium + lined with tensioned plastiglass, and as with the 1919A4 Pulse laser, power is provided by main drive link. Beam lasers are capable of slicing through 410mm FL metal.
Military lasers are the very height of sophistication. Costing fifteen times the price of a pulse laser and available only on planets at Tech level 10, it is an extremely effective piece of hardware. (See also Mining lasers under Non-Combative Equipment)
Military Laser Specification: Range and penetration twice as effective as the Ingram Model M1928A2 beam laser. This is Lance & Ferman's entry into the laser market. Hitherto known for their highly effective and relatively cheap missile systems, in the military laser they have in effect created a whole new laser market. The LF90 is the current computer-aided model and comes with x4SUSAT sights.
Missiles are always available, whatever the nature of your destination world, though no more than four may be carried at any one time. They are extremely effective weapons and are carried by the larger star ships. Your ship's computer will warn you when one is fired at you with a viewscreen message. Unless your ship is fitted with ECM (see below) you will have to outmaneuver the missile, which will home in on you relentlessly. If a missile hits you, it can almost completely exhaust a fully charged shield and, if your shields and energy are low, may well be fatal.
Before a missile can be fired it must be locked onto a target. When fired, it will home in on that target and destroy it, unless your enemy successfully takes on some of the precautions described above. The missile launch mechanism is very reliable and hardly ever jams. Missiles can be locked onto targets on any viewscreen.
The targeting sequence is engaged by tapping a Green missile square. The square missile status indicator on the astrogation console will then turn Yellow. Tapping the Yellow square will de-activate the missile. When any possible target enters the cross-hair region, an activated missile will lock onto it, the missile status square will turn Red. A beep will sound to inform you of this. Tapping the missile graphic on the astrogation console will then fire the missile.
The Ship ID computer will display the Description, current Energy Bank level, and whether or not a ship has ECM for any ship or object that passes in front of your cross-hairs. The information is displayed just above the Flight Grid Scanner.
Missile Specification: Lance & Ferman Homing Missiles (4x4) are now recommended for all small class trade-combat ships, but can be fitted as part of a mixed design weapon rack. LF missiles have 2IL-135 guidance systems, and optional manual directional control overrides. Warhead packed with Terminal 9 explosive, and the 4x4 is invulnerable to all known counteraction, except ECM systems. Capable of Megazon Destruct Force 7. Prototype first used in 2987, during Ineran Wars.
Energy Bomb. An energy bomb will be offered for sale at a planet of Tech level 7 or higher, and can be used only once. It is activated by tapping , and will destroy all other ships, asteroids, and missiles in the vicinity.
Energy Bomb Specification: Medusa Pandora Self Homing Energy Bomb (available at Tech Level 7 worlds or higher) is a tactical weapon capable of Megazon Destruct Force 13. Has heat radius of 900 km. Developed by Klaus-Kline laboratories for multi-role combat using "launch-and-leave" techniques.
The Orbit Space around any Coriolis Space Station is safe. The Stations own defenses will come to your immediate assistance. Entry to safety zone is signalled with a on the astrogation console.
You ship comes equipped with fore and aft shields and energy banks. The shields protect your ship from aggressive fire, and will be recharged from the energy banks. Constant fire will deplete the shields. Once a shield is depleted, enemy lasers and missiles striking that shield will take energy directly from the energy banks and may even destroy items of cargo or ship fittings. When all your energy banks are empty your ship will be destroyed. Using lasers or an ECM system will also deplete your energy banks.
The ship's computer will keep you informed of any damage to your ship and will also warn you when energy levels are dangerously low.
An Extra Energy Unit may be fitted at planets of Tech level 8 or higher, and doubles the energy bank replenishment rate. This is the energy unit with the copper colored top. No other unit looks like it, or lasts like it.
Defensive Shield Specification: The shields consist of hi-tense flux webs of Zieman-charged sub-particles. They are weakest where the laser and missile tubes pass through the ship's hull, and along the central ship bank where the two shields overlap, and cause a stress zone.
ECM System. An ECM System (Electronic Counter Measures System) is offered for sale at Tech level 2, and may be used any number of times given sufficient energy replacement. When activated by the , ECM destroys all missiles in your vicinity - including any that you have fired. Some enemy ships, especially traders, will have this and may use it against your missiles. Your ship's computer displays on the console when it detects ECM broadcasts.
Anti-missile (ECM) System Specification: Radiant-Magnetic "wipe-out" using ion-saturation theory developed by Bell and Braben on riedquat 359. Electronic Counter Measures Systems use minute charged particles of InterSpac heavy Element dust, releasing their radiant energy and setting up expanding nuclear flux chains.
Escape Pod. An escape pod can be fitted in place of your cabin at any world of Tech level 6 or higher. If is then tapped during combat the pod will be jettisoned from the ship, be automatically tracked by the nearest world, and will travel safely to a Coriolis space station. Your cash will be preserved but all your cargo will be lost.
However, this item comes with a widely recognized insurance cover which will guarantee you a new Cobra Class ship, equipped in like manner. The contents of the cargo hold is exempt from this protection.
Since the unique IR signature of a ship's hull is used to file police records, abandoning your ship in this way will have the effect (unfortunately exploited as much by galactic brigands as trader victims) of clearing your police record.
You may see an escape pod leaving an enemy ship. This will not harm you unless you crash into it.
Escape Pod Specification: Recommended model is the Xeesian FastJet LSC 7, which can support two human life-forms for seven weeks, in moderate Suspended An.state.
Fuel is always available. You can refill your tanks to full (7 light-year) capacity - no less is permitted.
Fuel Scoops may be fitted to the hull at a planet of Tech level 5 or higher. These enable a ship to obtain free hyperspace fuel by "skimming the sun" - flying close to it at high velocity.
Since fuel scoops utilize powerful electro-magnetic fields to guide the solar winds into their converters, they may also be used to pick up miscellaneous space debris. Almost all pirate vessels are fitted with these so that they can blast their prey apart and sift among the wreckage, rather than attempt to dock with a hostile craft.
Once fuel scoops are installed, you can scoop up an object (such as a cargo canister) by keeping it in the lower half of the screen view areas while flying right up to it.
Fuel Scoop Specification: Fuel scoops are considered an essential item for Deep Space, and dangerous zone trading. They have a standard design and fit. They use powerful electromagnetic fields to guide solar wind or small space debris into their ReQax converters.
One cargo bay extension can be bought, increasing the hold space from 20 to 35 tons.
Cargo Bay Extension Specification: Standard model is the Mariner Freight Chamber.
Docking Computer. This is available from all Tech level 9 planets; they are fitted to the ship's flight control system and enable it to dock the ship automatically. The auto-docking sequence is toggled on and off by .
Docking Computer Specification: The SinCorn RemLock D&A System is a sophisticated and expensive piece of gadgetry. It comes with MemnSomn pilot interaction to induce hi-cram sleep during the maneuvers.
Inter-Galactic Hyperdrive. The inter-galactic hyperdrive is obtainable only from planets at Tech level 10 or higher, and can only be used once. The Inter-Galactic Hyperdrive is engaged by tapping .
IGH Specification: although a number of manufacturers have supported a whole range of IGH motors, it is recommended you remain loyal to Xexor/Hikan who provide the standard hyperspace transit drives.
Asteroid mining involves the fitting of fuel scoops and special mining lasers to your ship. Ships which always carry them are known as "Belters". They search for asteroids and, on finding one, use the laser to fragment it into pieces sufficiently small to be taken into the cargo bay.
Mining Lasers Specification: Kruger Model ARM64 Sp. Mining laser is highly recommended as both a trade and combat addition. Uses variable frequency laser rods of 200mm length, fired in wide beam, 100 channels/beam. Automatic debris-pattern lock ensures no fragments of large size of target asteroid impinge on ship space. It can be fitted with a fuel and matter scoop.
|Fire Missile||Button 3|
|Fire Laser||Button 4|
|Target Missile||Button 5|
Market Prices. Accesses the CorCom Auto-Trader System for trading when docked, and for viewing current prices when in flight.
The Cobra Mk III, designed primarily as a trading ship, combines combat efficiency and maneuverability with substantial cargo space (20 Ton Canisters) and with scoop attachments for space debris, jettisoned cargo and space rock.
Most space stations have made the process of trading very simple, in order to facilitate a fast turnover in goods and ships. Import and export tariffs - which are high on some worlds - are automatically added or deducted and this is reflected in the prices shown. The CorCom auto-trader system, employed by the Cobra, does not allow for more specific trading deals to be performed.
A selection of the more valuable alien items that are tradeable is given in this manual, but the trader must deal with them in person.
Once docked you are linked directly with the CorCom Trade System. At your request you can obtain a list of basic trade items available for purchase.
Slaves are measured by the ton in galactic trading. This may seem a little strange, but it includes the cryogenic suspension system necessary to keep them alive during space travel. The slave trade, once almost eliminated by the Galactic government, is now returning despite the efforts of the Galactic Police Force to suppress it.
|Food||Simple organic products||4.4 Tn|
|Textiles||Unprocessed fabrics||6.4 Tn|
|Radioactives||Ores and by-products||21.2 Tn|
|Slaves||Usually humanoid||8.0 Tn|
|Liquor/Wines||Exotic spirits from unearthy flora||25.2 Tn|
|Luxuries||Perfumes, Spices, Coffee||91.2 Tn|
|Narcotics||Tobacco, Arcturan Megaweed||114.8 Tn|
|Computers||Intelligent machinery||84.0 Tn|
|Machinery||Factory and farm equipment||56.4 Tn|
|Alloys||Industrial Metals||32.8 Tn|
|Firearms||Small-scale artillery, sidearms||70.4 Tn|
|Furs||Includes leathers, Wompom Pelts||56.0 Tn|
|Minerals||Unrefined rock trace elements||8.0 Kg|
|Gem-Stones||Includes jewelry||16.4 G|
|Alien Items||Artifacts, Weapons, etc||27.0 Tn|
Items in red are defined as illegal by the|
Galactic Government. Trading in them is risky.
Activates a list of basic trade items at current market prices.
Shown on this list are the quantities of each item available (vertical bar to the right of the item), and the current market price per unit. Most CorCom Trade Systems deal exclusively under blanket categories, including Food, Machinery, Minerals and Gemstones.
The prices shown at the time of trading represent an offer to you and will be guaranteed while you are in Trading Mode.
If you wish to buy, numerically indicate the amount you wish to purchase. AutoSCAM modules will immediately load your purchase into the cargo bay. Your screen will indicate your remaining credit facility.
The Cobra trade ship must dock with a Coriolis space station before buying or selling cargo. It has no Free Space trade facility, apart from routine jettisoning of canisters.
Once docked, the selling process is automated, although there is no requirement to sell. puts you in selling mode.
Inventory. Displays your onboard inventory of cargo, fuel, and cash.
The Cobra trade ship can be fitted with four lasers, four missiles, and one energy bomb. This should be sufficient to make trade possible within the System Space of even heavily pirated worlds. But it is strongly recommended that pilots achieve a combat of at least "Deadly" before any worlds designated "Anarchy" or "Feudal" are approached, especially if the cargo is high-tech machinery or luxury goods.
To make money as a trader is no easy task. Unless you have backing capital you would be well advised to start with foodstuffs, textiles, minerals and luxuries.
Demand for goods varies widely and prices within planets fluctuate, but GalCop regulations prohibit planets from advertising their requirements or announcing their market prices beyond their own System Space. Any trader, therefore, approaches all transactions with a certain financial risk.
Trade depends upon demand, and selling prices depend upon the level of demand on the planet, and its available credits. None of these factors can be assessed before docking.
Agricultural planets invariably have excess produce at reasonable purchase prices, and such food sells well at industrialized, middle-to high-technology worlds. Raw materials, and ores, will sell well to middle-tech worlds, which are usually able to refine them, and the refined product can fetch excellent prices at worlds of very high tech status.
The rules are complex, and anarchy and piracy has its effect on causing the rules to change.
In trading with a planet, consider its economic profile:
AGRICULTURAL WORLDS need specialist food and raw materials, but mostly basic machinery and spare parts. If they are rich, they need luxuries and high tech industrial machines. They produce food in quantity, raw materials and specialized "organic" items, like some textiles.
INDUSTRIAL WORLDS need agricultural produce; raw materials (for refining); resource exploitation machinery; (if rich) high tech goods. They produce basic items of need for civilized worlds: beds, seals and gaskets, power storage units, basic weapons, mass produced fertilizer, mass produced medicines, etc.
Think about a planet's needs. Think what might make the society function. Don't trade expensive trivia to a hungry world.
If the profit isn't worth it, trade it somewhere else.
Since the Cobra craft is equipped as a fighter as well as a trader, with in-built capacity for strengthening its armaments, there are alternative life-styles to trading which may prove profitable, but which are excessively dangerous.
BOUNTY HUNTING. Galactic banks, which insure the larger trading convoys, will pay a large bounty for each pirate ship destroyed. A ship's computer will transmit photographic evidence of any kill to the GalCop Bank Federation Monitoring Authority. The IR signature of the destroyed ship is then tallied with all known pirate vessels, and the bounty hunter pilot credited accordingly.
Bounty hunters commonly have Cobra Class ships in order to masquerade as traders. They simply hyperspace into a system (anarchic and feudal worlds especially) and wait to be attacked, ensuring that they have sufficient hyperspace fuel (Quirium) for a quick escape.
PIRACY. Piracy is widespread throughout the 8 galaxies, and many pirates are not hardened criminals at all, but failed traders who have turned to this way of life in desperation. To survive as a pirate, looting freighter convoys and small ships, requires a high degree of combat experience, since not just Police Vipers will pursue them, but other pirate ships and Bounty Hunters, too, prey upon them. However, the rewards are high, provided the pirate ship is equipped with a fuel scoop, the jettisoned ton-canisters of attacked cargo ships can be scooped up and traded.
ASTEROID MINING. There is money in rock, but to make the most of it a Cobra ship must be fitted with a fuel scoop and a MinReduc 15 Mining Laser (or some equivalent type). The mining laser will blast very large asteroids into very small fragments and the scoop can rapidly swallow this tradeable ore.
FREE SPACE CARGO. Trade ships are often destroyed (by natural catastrophe or enemy action) and their cargo left ungathered. Using a fuel scoop such "free bounty" can be collected. The contents of the canisters will be known until they are taken aboard and examined, and may be worthless or worth a fortune. It their contents are illegal goods, they cannot be traded or sold without legal risk.
(NB: Pressurized cargo canisters are the Universal means of storing cargo for Interplanetary Space voyaging. Made of HiFlux Chromon-alloy, they hold one Gal Ton of goods, under variable pressure and temperature conditions. Tales have been told of such barrels being discovered after over 500 years on barren moons, and such "Moon salvage" is a remarkable source of historical artifact material.)
ILLEGAL TRADING. It is surprising how many planetary systems will allow the purchasing of illegal trade items, notably firearms, narcotics (especially Arcturan Megaweed) and slaves. Slaves are supplied in cryo-suspension in transporter coffins, and often turn out to be old and sick specimens of vaguely humanoid life forms. Nonetheless, few systems will allow the selling of these items without taking recriminatory action.
Consequences for Trade
To trade successfully, and profitably, will almost certainly require you to fly the Cobra trade ship into politically unstable planetary systems. Pirate and free-booter activity is high in many solar systems, and adequate ship defenses are essential if the rewards of higher selling prices are to be reaped.
For the benefit of new traders, a brief political summary is given below, but reference should be made to Kroweki & Carr's Psycho History and Economic Theory in the GalFederation, 2845. Planetary governments, or federations, determine the relative safety of their Solar Space. Ranked in decreasing order of safety, the 2040 officially registered worlds of the Galactic Federation can be classified as:
CORPORATE STATES. Like ENGEMA and ZAATXE, these are well-ordered worlds, which have usually developed from settlers who practiced a free trade form of competition. Taxation is high on such worlds, but the living standards are high also. Corporate planets with to protect their trade, so goods are expensive, but luxuries are welcomed. Import licenses are often necessary.
Engema is an agricultural world, run as a single farming co-operative. Farmers receive a fixed payment for their crops, whether or not the harvest is good, and selling prices do not vary greatly. It is a dependable market, and customer relations are good. Luxuries, machinery and raw materials sell well here.
Zaatxe is an example of a rich, industrial state (Tech level 12). It produces luxury goods, elaborate and innovative machine systems, and specializes in Prototype design. Prices fluctuate depending upon the level of inter-state competition, but it is always a safe bet to buy recently developed machine items which have not yet spread very far across the galaxy.
DICTATORSHIPS. Dictatorships such as the worlds Lave and Enzaer, are only moderately safe to trade with, but are well worth the risk (provided the trader is well defended and combat trained). Very often pirate attack will not occur because of an agreement between pirate fleets and the world itself. A proportion of all incoming trade is "allowed" to be stolen by pirates, who will then leave the world alone, and protect its shops from aliens or rogue traders. It is an uneasy liaison, which often breaks down.
Lave is an agricultural world, and Enzaer an industrial planet, but a similar principle operates on both surfaces. There are two trading standards, that of the People and that of the Aristocracy. Standards of living are artificially generated, a veneer of progress, and luxury goods, machinery and textiles sell well - usually. The great demand, however, is for basic commodities, especially foodstuffs, clothing and raw materials. These will sell well when the voice of the People has been raised in protest.
ANARCHY PLANETS, A trader can make his biggest profits here and reach his grave the quickest. Worlds like Onisou and Xeesenri have vast wreck-yards in far orbit, the dead places of ships that came to trade honestly, and fell prey to trickery.
These are lawless places, and have usually become so because the original settlers completed too hard when there was too little resource material. Those worlds which survived holocaust did so because of uneasy and bloody alliances between clan families. Pirates and mercenaries were hired for protection and assassination purposes. Anarchic worlds will trade readily in narcotics, slaves, firearms and exotica, and the price will be good...if you get a price at all. These worlds are almost always supplying invisible Masters, usually elite trader/combateers who have turned to crime as the most profitable way of life. Such form loose federations, and trade on the black market extensively throughout the galaxies.
These worlds pay highly for goods they cannot produce themselves, because they know that traders avoid them. Their own products need specialized, illegal outlets: weaponry, narcotics, eavesdropping devices...if it's covert, then anarchic worlds are producing it. Trade in these items and you will get rich quick, or dead quick, or at least become a "Fugitive".
Of the 2040 officially registered planets in the GalCop, all but 45 support human colonies only, that is to say, human presence elsewhere is restricted to settlements in under-populated parts of the land surface.
Trading at such worlds depends, for its success, very much upon the extant state of co-operation between human and alien. Human control the Coriolis stations in orbit, but the availability of items for trade, and their relative expense, can be affected by the controlling life forms.
Most alien life forms are either too primitive, or too glad of off-World trade, to interfere. Some, such as the Reptiloid life form of Esanbe or the Amphibioids of Anbeen, can make a trader's life very difficult, by haggling at the point of a laser.
The available planetary information on all worlds will indicate the nature of the inhabiting life form.
BIRD-FORMS. Dealing in alien artifacts on such worlds often involves forming a close liaison with Flight Elders, or Nest Elders, and this is very much a job for the specialist. Bird-forms are, on the whole, a delight to trade with, and the highest form of honor (fairly universally) that an off-worlder can receive is an invitation to "keep the eggs warm for a moment".
AMPHIBIOIDS are usually a lot sharper than their wet, sluggish appearance would suggest. They are usually keen to trade in narcotics, or exotic foodstuffs. Skin creams are always well received. Technologically they tend to be backward, but will pay high prices for such middle-range items as automated ponds, croak meters, spawn freezers and swamp purifiers.
FELINES are dangerous in the extreme. No matter what sort of political structures the world may have, feline aliens are pack orientated, and feudal, and very unpredictable. All traders are advised to wear body suits, to prevent secretions of sweat from triggering a feeding response among these hostile and enigmatic life forms.
To win the confidence of a feline alien is almost invariably to be invited to mate, so a certain aloofness is recommended.
INSECTOIDS. The most dangerous insectoidal life form is the Thargoid, which is mentioned in the Combat section. Insectoidals are usually highly intelligent, often existing as a group mind. There is rarely any individuality among insectoids, and the trader must beware making deals in such a way. One life form builds earth cities up to four miles high, and over four million drones live in the middle levels. According to legend, any trader who voluntarily ascends the earth passageway from ground to upper surface of these immense mounds is honored with the rare title Ascender of the Scent City. And then consumed alive. But trading with insectoids can be immensely profitable, as there are so many of them (to trade in wrist watches, for example, means two to four watches per individual in a clone-group of perhaps ten thousand).
In dealing with any alien life-form, for the purposes of trade, there are three cardinal rules:
The Startup screen has four selections. Tap on the desired button to activate.
The Ship Data Catalog provides detailed information on the 22 ships and 2 stations in the game.
The D-Pad keys can also be used to navigate through the Ship Data Catalog.
This option displays the Save Commander screen.
This option displays the Load Commander screen which lists the Commanders you have previously saved.
This option displays the Load New Commander screen.
This option will E-Mail your current score to www.eliteppc.com for display on the Scores page. To properly work, your PDA must be connected to the internet directly, or via a host computer, and your E-Mail account must be configured properly for transmission from the PDA. Typically Pocket PCs use MS ActiveSync to interface With MS Outlook on a host computer. Other E-Mail applications will require specific setups. Consult your application and PDA/host user manuals for the correct E-Mail configuration.
Tapping the selections for each option will cycle through all the available selections for that option.
Red = default value
|Solid||Display objects as solid polygons in color.|
|Wireframe||Display objects as white line drawings.|
|Anti Alias (wireframe only)|
|Off||Standard display of white lines in wireframe mode.|
|On||Smooth display of white lines in wireframe mode.|
|Fractal||Display planets as solid polygons in color.|
|Wireframe||Display planets as white line drawings.|
|Green||Display planets as solid green circles.|
|SNES||Display planets as multi-color circles.|
|BBC||Planet descriptions from the BBE version of Elite.|
|MSX||Planet descriptions from the MSX version of Elite.|
|Off||Normal display of the docking procedure when the Docking Computer is activated.|
|On||Ship instantly docks when the Docking Computer is activated.|
|Up=Up||Pressing the Up D-Pad button causes the ship to climb.|
|Up=Down||Pressing the Up D-Pad button causes the ship to dive.|
|Inc Speed||Increases ship velocity.|
|Dec Speed||Decreases ship velocity.|
|Target||Activates missile targeting.|
|Scan Dump||(Button 5 only) Saves current screen display as a .BMP image in the game folder.|
|Inc Speed||Button 1|
|Dec Speed||Button 2|
|Defaults||Resets all Game Settings to their default values.|
|On||Displays marketing banner plus up to 20 custom banners.|
|Off||Only displays the marketing banner.|
|On||Scanner Grid Range automatically goes to X1 when under attack, and X4 when Space Skip indicates Mass Locked.|
|Off||Grid range is manually set at all times.|
Exit Without Saving - Game Settings active for the current game session only.
Save Settings - Game Settings are saved as a .CFG file in the game folder, and are active for the current and future game sessions.
Help will display three QuickHelp pages which describe the game controls. Tapping each page will go to the next page, and then return you to the Commander status page.
Quit Game will ask you if you want to quit.
Tapping NO on the keyboard icons returns you to the Commander Status screen.
YES while in space will go to the Credits screen.
Tap the Credits screen to end the game.
YES while docked will ask you if you want to save your Current Commander.
YES will save your Commander, then go to the Credits screen.
NO will go to the Credits screen.
|Local Navigation Chart|
|Return Cross to Origin|
|Market Buy Sell|
|Options Yes No|
|Roll Pitch Indicators|
|Grid Scanner Mag|
|Grid Scanner Bar|
|E.C.M. is active|
|within protected space|
Flight Grid Scanner
Seven missions are included in the game. These missions will activate once you have obtained a Competent or better combat rating, and are in Galaxy 2. Mission rewards includes credits as well as special equipment items.
An additional special mission is also included. It will activate in any galaxy. However, you must have completed all previous missions, and have obtained an Elite combat rating.
Obtaining a combat rating of Elite will display a special reward screen. A Passcode unique to your Commander will appear on this screen to prove that you have indeed obtained the Elite status.
The default game folder on a Pocket PC is at:
My Pocket PC/Program Files/ElitePPC/Game
Icons to launch the game are at:
My Pocket PC/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Games
The installation program will only install the icons at an existing Games folder at the above location. If you have previously moved your Games folder (as occurs when you display it in the startup menu), you will need to copy the icon shortcuts in the above folder to the new location of your Games folder. You can then delete the above folder.
Five stock banners are displayed on the Market Prices screen. The default Marketing banner is an integral part of the game, and cannot be replaced. The remaining four banners can be replaced, and up to twenty custom banners can be added and displayed while the game is running.
Eight stock backgrounds are displayed when the ship is docked at a station. All of these backgrounds can be replaced with custom backgrounds.
|bg01||Market Prices (Banners also display on this page)|
|bg05||Short Range Chart|
Secure Digital memory cards are fully supported. Other memory cards should also work, but have not been specifically tested. The game can be installed to a SD card, thus saving memory space on the Pocket PC. The game requires about 5.2 Mb of space for installation.
SD Install. This procedure will install the game to a SD card installed in a Pocket PC, place game icons into the Games folder, and copy one file to the Windows folder.
All game files and folders are installed to the SD card with the following exceptions:
Game icons are installed in the Pocket PC/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Games folder. They are simply a convenience for starting the game. The game can also be started by clicking on the appropriate .EXE files in the Storage Card game folders.
ElitePPC Game.unload is installed in the Pocket PC/Windows folder. This file tells the Remove Programs application on the Pocket PC where to find the game files when uninstalling the program. Removing this file, the icons, and the game folders on the SD card will also uninstall the game.
Note that the game is fully operational on the SD card, and it does not require any files to be stored on the Pocket PC for proper operation. There is a slightly longer delay when starting the game from an SD card while all the game files are loaded into the Pocket PC memory. Once this is completed, the game runs at its designed full speed.
Moving from Pocket PC to SD. This procedure will uninstall the game from the Pocket PC, and reinstall the game to a SD card.
Powering off the PDA with a game in progress will effect the proper operation of the game upon powering up again. These effects can be minimized by first pausing the game, then powering off the PDA.
The original Elite Space Traders Flight Training Manual is copyright 1984 by Acornsoft publication.