To play Stellar Frontier, you will need a computer running OS/2 Warp 3.0, OS/2 Warp 4.0, Windows 95/98, or Windows NT 4/5. Stellar Frontier is enhanced with full multimedia and network capabilities, but if you are not hooked up to a network, there is a single player mode, complete with computer opponents. In short, our goal with Stellar Frontier is to use whatever enhancements your computer offers to give maximum enjoyment to computer technophiles without excluding gamers with lower end configurations.
We have greatly enjoyed developing and testing Stellar Frontier and we're sure that you will too. Stellar Frontier, alive in 2006 and beyond!
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|Planet||The sun, planets, moons, and asteroids make up the solar system. Some can support life while others cannot. Planets are the keys to the conquest of the solar system. By placing a population of your people on a planet you can exploit the raw materials to build ships and ship parts to aid the expansion of your race within the solar system.|
|Colony||Colonies serve a variety of purposes in Stellar Frontier. Their
primary function is to serve as a home to large populations as they move
between planets. During this first stage of their life they move
through space, generally with the intent to travel to a habitable planet,
but they can perform other functions en route. Most colonies are towed by friendly ships. Once they arrive at a
planet they start on the second phase of their life by serving both as a
shipyard for the construction of ships and as a line of defense for the
colonists on the planet should they be attacked by hostile forces.
|Ship||In Stellar Frontier each player is given a ship to command.
There is a one-to-one correspondence between players and ships in the
game. Each ship you see is controlled by either a computer or a
human player. Like the colonies, ships are aligned with a race and
their mission is to further the expansion of their race by helping to
conquer enemy planets and destroy enemy ships. There is a rank-based
hierarchy that exists within each race that determines which ships perform
which functions. As a player your rank will determine which players
you can direct the actions of.
|Weapons||Weapons of course, represent the primary offensive capability in Stellar
Frontier. In general they are fired by ships and colonies at other
objects with intent to do damage. Weapons differ in their
capabilities, such as velocity, warhead strength, and lifespan. In
addition some have special characteristics that suit them for specific
tasks and/or targets. Some missiles may have no offensive
capability, but may nevertheless have characteristics that make them
strategically very valuable. Examples of some specialized missiles
|Power-Up / Debris||When a ship explodes some ship parts may survive the blast and float freely in space for a short time. These parts may be picked up by any ship, friendly or unfriendly, and incorporated as a functioning system. Technology can be stolen by this means so it is important to safeguard your technology by picking it up when you see it floating about or destroying it. To destroy floating technology of a friendly ship, press the Del key. In addition to exploding ships, ship systems, or power-ups, are manufactured by friendly colonies to aid in upgrading the fleet to the best technology available.|
|Action||What to do|
|Examine your ship||Press the 's' key to bring up
the status window in the upper left of your display.
You should see a list of the installed systems in your ship along with
status information for each indicating the level of damage and the current
power level. In addition the color of the damage gauge indicates the
level of functionality of the system. The color code is as
|Moving about||Use the thrust and arrow keys. The following is a list of keys
that control the thrust and/or direction of your ship.
|Explore the Solar System||If you are pacifistic by nature, or you merely want to acquaint
yourself with your surroundings, you may find the desire to visit the nine
planets (for your own good, you should stay away from the sun). Press the
"n" key (or the "N" button on the video window). The
navigation window will appear. This window will display your sensor
readings of the planetary object closest to you. You can press the
"<" key or the ">" key (or use arrows on the video
window) to scroll backward and forward through all the major planets. By
simultaneously holding down the |
|Build up your ship||The ships in Stellar Frontier are meant to be upgraded. If you
see ship parts floating around, fly into them and if they can be of use to
you, then they will be incorporated into your ship. For example, the
bigger ships don't come with a cloak, but if you see one floating around
you can pick it up. Likewise, smaller ships can upgrade their
shields to get close to those of even the Dreadnoughts and Star Bases. For a
list of what systems your ship has, press the "s" key or the "S" button on the video window. To drop a
ship system select the status window by pressing "s". By using the "<" and ">" keys select a system. Press
<shift>-"\" to drop it.
Note that engines, power plants, and tubes may not be dropped. Ship
systems are upgraded by either picking up the debris of ships that have
recently exploded, or picking up powerups created by colonized planets. Be
aware that stealing enemy technology may provoke a response. Normally,
when you pick up a ship system, the computer will decide if it should
replaced an onboard system already in use. To prevent a system from being
upgraded automatically you can lock it by pressing "\" until the message line says "system
is locked". If the status window is showing then a "+" will appear
next to the system. Once in this mode a system cannot be replaced
until it is unlocked. To unlock press "\" until the message says "system is on
standby". This is the default for all systems and in standby mode the
computer will automatically make the decision to upgrade systems. To force
the computer to upgrade to the next available powerup of the same class,
even if it is inferior, a system may be left unlocked. To unlock a
system press "\" until the
message line reads "system is unlocked" (a "-" will appear next to
the system if the status window is active).
Trading in a system: ship systems can be traded, either for credit or another system, while docked at a space station. The credit you accumulate will stay with you throughout the current game but it will not be carried between games. To use or accumulate credit, simply use the controls are described above to select a system. Once selected a system can be traded in for credit by pressing shift-"\" or for another system by pressing shift-"<" or shift-">" to scroll though a list of available items.
|Acquiring a target||Other ships can be acquired as targets by several different methods.
To bring up the target window push "t". To acquire the nearest enemy target,
press "a". To acquire a specific
target on the screen use one of the following:
||Acquire an enemy target (see Acquiring a target). You will notice that the video window will give you a readout of the targetted ship. Press "f" to automatically go to it and engage it in battle. Press the up arrow or any other ship control key to go back to manual control.|
||If you have a dock, then you have the ability to capture enemy ships. To do this you must follow these instructions to the letter. (1) Weaken an enemy until his engines are damaged and in the red on your target display. (2) Check to make sure you have a larger crew than he does. To check your crew, hold down the shift key and and then either click on your ship with the mouse or press "z". (3) If you have more crew than the ship you intend to board, then acquire the ship as a target. shift-click on the ship with your mouse to acquire it. (4) Now press "y" (yank) and wait until it is attached with your ship. If you are successful, then his name should change colors to be the same as yours. Press "/" to release the ship.|
||There are several ways to take over a planet.
|Destroy an enemy colony||Any enemy colony you run across should be destroyed or captured. Colonies can be armed so be careful. The best way to defeat a colony is to target it by pressing "a" or shift clicking it with the mouse and pressing "t" to bring up the targetting computer. Then press "h" to get any unoccupied friendlies to help you attack it. Once your fiends arrive, attack it with all you've got and be patient. Colonies take a while to die or surrender. Watch the power level on your targetting computer to get an idea how healthy the colony is. Also, watch out for an enemy response when the colony sends a distress signal.|
|Evacuating a colony from a planet||If one of your inhabited planets is under attack and the cause appears hopeless you can try to evacuate the colony and therefore concede the planet to the enemy. You must have dock and it must be available. To pick up a colony simply target it (see Acquiring a target), and activate your tractor. You will have to maneuver your ship in close to the colony so that it is at the attachment point for the dock, but if you do it right you will pick up the colony. Once you are in possession of the colony you can move away from the planet with the colony in tow. Note that you can use this technique to pick up a colony under any circumstances, whether it is under attack or not.|
|Request a new colony from a friendly planet||If your ship is equipped with a dock you can request that a friendly planet create a new colony for you to transport. If a planet has "[Colony Available]" belowe the name, then the planet can spare a colony. Press O to orbit the planet and press "j". A colony should appear, attached to your dock. Note that the planet must have at least 50% of the optimal population or the request will be denied. You may accumulate colonies around a planet for defense by orbiting, pressing j, and pressing / to drop the colony. Colonies have lasers that, in numbers, can be deadly to any player.|
We shall use the word fleet to indicate a group of ships under your control.
All fleets consist of at least two ships. To start building a fleet you can either send out a call to all available junior officers or you can build your fleet one ship at a time. To gather all available ships press <shift>-<control>-"J". To request that an individual ship join your fleet first target it (see Acquiring a target) and then press <shift>-"J".
Remember that the following descriptions are for ships immediately after they
are created. Players will undoubtedly find ship modules floating around in
space and pick them up (by flying into them). For example, what seems like
an innocent scoutship, just waiting for your torpedos to blast it, may actually
have picked up some level 4 shields and be a menaccing target. Because
of this, you should make sure you scan your targets and see that your weapons
are doing the damage you expect them to.
|The scout ship comes equipped with level 1 shields, so it can't take more than a few torpedos and you're best off if you avoid any large scale firefights. It has a cloaking device, level 3 sensors and level 2 engines so it makes a good ship for quick attacks on lone ships or small convoys. With one forward firing massdriver tube, one laserI, and a superbomb, it can easily take out another scout or a destroyer especially if the approach is made while cloaked. More experienced players find that a full upgrade with three plasma tubes compressed in one shot can even destroy some dreadnoughts. Do not underestimate this ship.|
|Like the scout ship, the destroyer comes equipped with level 1 shields, so as with the scout, it can't take more than a few torpedos and you're best off if you avoid any large scale firefights unless you upgrade fully. It also has a cloaking device, and level 2 engines so it makes a good ship for quick attacks on lone ships or small convoys. With three forward firing torpedo tubes, it can easily take out a scout another destroyer or a cruiser, especially if the approach is made while cloaked. One drawback to flying a destroyer is the weak level 1 sensors that prevent you from seeing many of your enemies until you are right on top of them. When upgraded to power 5, shield 4, engine 3, and with three plasma tubes, a destroyer can be a formatable ship in the right hands.You must have a rank of at least Lieutenent to fly a destroyer.|
|The cruiser, being a larger ship, affords its captain the luxury of more powerful shields, although at the expense of not having a cloaking device. It has four forward firing torpedo tubes. For such a large ship, it is relatively nimble, although the lack of a cloak makes it hard to escape some sticky situations. You must be at least a Captain to fly a Cruiser.|
|The Battleship simply bridges the large gap between the cruiser and the dreadnought. It has three torpedo tubes, one laserI, and a superbomb tube. When upgraded and in the right hands, it can be deadly. The battleship is a little faster than your average dreadnought but has the same number of tubes. And hey! It just looks scarier too!|
|Powerful shields up to level 6, room for Power:5,laserI, and three forward firing rapid fire torpedo tubes. If you can't rack up kills in this baby, don't go online. A docking module allows friendly players to dock with you and help repair their ships or you can use it to capture enemy players and convert them to your race. The dock is also used to transport your colonies from planet to planet although it is a slow process with a Dreadnought. You must be at least a Commodore to fly a Dreadnought. Dreadnoughts are very capable of killing starbases and blockading becuase of their heavy shielding. If you're new, try to avoid them.|
|A starbase is a key element of your race's resources. Without a starbase, you can't upgrade and your base is vulnerable. They have a laserII system, one Rapid2 tube, and two Plasma Tubes. In combination, this can be sudden death for many players. Few experienced players can execute a successful attack on a starbase and attacks are usually in groups. When flying a starbase, your best defense against humans is the LaserII. To use the laser, press "A" to select your nearest enemy and press "F" to fight them. The laser will auto-fire at them. Starbases are also good for blockading enemy planets because of it's shielding.|
|Shields||Shields help prevent your ship's systems from taking damage. They aren't perfect and shields lower than level 2 are very weak. When your shields are at zero percent, the functionality of your power plant and other devices inside starts to drop.|
|Power Plant||All your ships systems derive their energy from your power planet. When its functionality goes to zero, your ships blows up.|
|Torpedos||Normally front mounted, torpedos are the basic weapon brandished by all ships. Torpedos do between 90 and 500 points of damage. Watch out for rapid fire torpedo tubes that can launch about 30 rounds per second. Plasma is the most powerfull Torpedo tube.|
|Seeking Missiles||Watch out for these self-propelled missiles. They lock onto you and are very hard to shake and do between 120 and 180 points of damage. They make for an extremely tough long range weapon since you never have to see your enemy to fire at him. Use the cloaking device to escape these weapons, as they go right over you in cloak.|
|Mines||If you see these sparkling balls floating around take extreme caution. The blast from a mine can cause damage from a distance and it will continue to damage for as long as the explosion is visible. They will explode when an enemy ship comes within a certain distance of them. You could lose your ship with one hit.|
|Lasers||Lasers come in two classes - LaserI and LaserII. LaserI is weaker and has a small reach. It is often mounted on smaller ships. It has a firing radius of about 90 degrees. LaserII is most comon on Starbases and can reach extremely far. Beware these deadly weapons in combination with others.|
|SuperBombs & Grenades||SuperBombs are smaller mines that can be propelled at roughly the speed of a Torpedo. They have a warhead of 2000 Look out they can be dangerous to the target or to the user. The blast range is huge. Often, if one of these is fired at you, you can fire your own superbomb and detonate it so that the other bomb blows up in your enemies' faces. To detonate a bomb, press the "Delete" key on the number pad of your keyboard. Grenades come in three different classes. GrenadeI is the same as the Superbomb. GrenadeII is the same but has a warhead of 3000. GrenadeIII is a sparkly large ball of orange that has a warhead of 4000 and can seek your ship just like a missile. If a GrenadeIII hits you with anything lower than shield 5, you are dead.|
|End (1)||Left thrust|
|Down Arrow (2)||Reverse Thrust|
|Pg Dn (3)||Right thrust|
|Right Arrow (6)||Rotate clockwise|
|Center Button||Forward thrust|
|Left Arrow (4)||Rotate counter clockwise.|
|Up Arrow (8)||Boost|
|Enter||Send a chat message. Must press Tab first to edit message.|
|+||Zoom radar and mini-map windows in|
|-||Zoom radar and mini-map windows out|
|Left||Fire Weapons||Select Object|
When using the left button to fire your weapons, ll weapons that can fire in
the direction toward the mouse pointer will fire in that direction.
|<space>||fire all normal-fire tubes||order fleet to fire all non-specialized tubes|
|1||fire tube 1||toggle the auto-fire setting. When set to auto-fire the tube will continue firing until it has discharged or runs out of missiles.||toggle the manual-fire setting. When set ot manual fire the tube will not activate when the space bar is pressed, but it will always respond to its corresponding number key.|
|2||fire tube 2||toggle the auto-fire setting. When set to auto-fire the tube will continue firing until it has discharged or runs out of missiles||toggle the manual-fire setting. When set ot manual fire the tube will not activate when the space bar is pressed, but it will always respond to its corresponding number key.|
|3||fire tube 3||toggle the auto-fire setting. When set to auto-fire the tube will continue firing until it has discharged or runs out of missiles||toggle the manual-fire setting. When set ot manual fire the tube will not activate when the space bar is pressed, but it will always respond to its corresponding number key.|
|4,5,6, etc.||fire tube 4,5,6, etc.||toggle the auto-fire setting. When set to auto-fire the tube will continue firing until it has discharged or runs out of missiles|
|c||stealth system toggle on/off||order fleet to toggle stealth system state on/off|
|d||dock with nearest available dock (it could be a transport). To dock with the nearest space station press <shift>-"d"||order fleet to dock with nearest spacestation with available docks|
|<tab>||Toggles Chat window on/off. A green border appears around the Chat window to indicate it's active.|
|+||zoom main window in|
|-||zoom main window out|
|t||switch to targeting computer|
|a||acquire nearest enemy target||z||aquires self as target|
|f||attack (fight) target||follow target (do not attack)|
|y||tractor (yank) target and board. Once boarded, a friendly pilot takes control of the ship|
|d||dock with nearest available dock (it could be a transport). Once docked, press "d" again to undock.||dock with the nearest space station with available docks|
|j||ask friendly ships to join you (low priority request)||ask targeted ship to join your fleet (high priority request). If the targeted object is a friendly colony, then it will request a colony (see Request a colony )||summon all available lower rank officers to join your fleet (low priority request)||summon all available lower rank officers to join your fleet (high priority request)|
|<backspace>||refit your ship (only if docked to a space station). The available ships are dependent on your rank||refit a ship under construction. You must have targetted a computer-controlled ship under construction and you must outrank the player whose ship you are refitting.|
|n||switch to video screen view to navigational computer and show nearest planet,asteroid, or moon||switch to video screen view to navigational computer and show nearest friendly planet,asteroid, or moon|
|g||go to the planet shown in the navigation computer. If the navigation window is not active you will go to the last planet you viewed.||go to the planet shown in the navigation computer. If the navigation window is not active you will go to the last planet you viewed. If a colony resides on the planet it will be targeted.|
|s||switch video screen to status window. Pressing "s" additionally will toggle the status detail view.|
|m||switch the video screen to the message window|
|p||switch the video screen to the player list window. Pressing "p" additionally will toggle the race list.|
|<||the function depends on which mode the video window is in.
navigation: selects the preceding planet (does not include moons and asteroids)
status: moves the ">" pointer to the next system
status detail: displays detail for the next system
target: selects the preceding visible target
|the function depends on which mode the video window is
navigation: selects the preceding friendly planet, moon or asteroid
|the function depends on which mode the video window is
navigation: selects the preceding planet, moon or asteroid (friendly or otherwise)
|>||the function depends on which mode the video window is in.
navigation: selects the next planet (does not include moons and asteroids)
status: moves the ">" pointer to the preceding system
status detail: displays detail for the preceding system
target: selects the next visible target
|the function depends on which mode the video window is
navigation: selects the next friendly planet, moon or asteroid
|the function depends on which mode the video window is
navigation: selects the next planet, moon or asteroid (friendly or otherwise)
|\||toggles the lock state of the ship system between locked, unlocked and
standby. See Build up your
restriction: the video screen must be in status or status detail mode ("s")
|drop the designated system|
|' (back quote)||activate counter measures (if installed). A message will indicate how many missiles were scrambled.|
|[||display the currently assigned colonization target|
|]||assign the colonization target to the planet, moon or asteroid shown
in the navigation computer.
restriction: the video screen must be in navigation mode.
|o||orbit the nearest planet, moon or asteroid|
|/||generic release: if docked, it will release you; if docked to another object it will release you; if you are being tractored by a friendly ship or are tractoring an object, it will turn the tractor beam off; if assigned a duty, it will release you to manual control.||releases all ships assigned to your fleet, or that are currently following you.|
|x||self-destruct. Damage will accumulate for as long as you depress the key, so hold it until the ship explodes.|
|<f1>||toggle in-flight help|
|<f7>||toggle debug/lag information on/off|
|<f9>||Resync with the server (when lag is really bad).|
o Planetary Defense System: to lay out a huge amount of superbombs, mines, or grenades, simply orbit a planet and press 1o1o1o1o1o1 as much as you like. A steady stream of bombs come out that can be leathal to many ships that are attacking your planet. But be careful. These bombs can easily blow up in your face. Also, beware using GrenadeIIIs since when you orbit, you automaticly target the planet colony.
o A good defense perimeter for a planet is laying out colonies around it. The colonies have lasers that can, in large amounts, cripple even shield 6. The enemy often must destroy the colonies to get to the planet, so you may want to use colonies with low population.
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