The way you acquire better strength, shields and firepower is by hacking into droids and taking control of them. Then you can ride the droid and get access to all its capabilities. And if you run out of energy, only the droid gets killed. You'll be safe ... for a while. All droids have a neural network processor which works as a brain. Leading out from it, sending directives to the body, is a neural brain stem
. This happens to be very sensitive to outside influence. By feeding electrical impulses through the right cables, you can block out the droid's processor and gain control over all motoric parts -- wheels, limbs and weapons. But droids also have a built-in defense which will try to counteract your tampering by sending impulses of its own into the brain stem. The better the operating system, the tougher the defense. To initiate a takeover attempt, hold down the T key and get in physical contact with a droid. Then you will be presented with the following screen:
- Influence meter. This shows which side is currently dominant.
- Spare impulse generators. Release a new one by pressing SPACE or K.
- Color switch. Any impulse sent through it will change into the opponent's type.
- Junction. Splits or combines impulses.
- Active impulse generator. It transmits a signal for a few seconds and then fades away.
- The neural brain stem of the unit you are trying to take over.
- Timer. When it runs out, the dominant side wins.
Move your impulse generators up and down. When they are in a proper position, press SPACE to make them fire a signal. (It may take a couple of tries before you get the hang of it.) If you lose, your power source or the droid you are presently in control of will burn out and explode. If you win, on the other hand, the other droid is then your property, and instead of your character on the screen you will see a representation of that droid, but colored white. Now, in addition to its strength, shields and firepower you will also have access to its operating system, which may make it easier to take over other droids, in turn. Statistics
Name: Home surveillance droid, a.k.a. "Door stop"
Armor: Level 1, plastic
Strength: Level 1
Natural speed: 4 km/h
Operating System: CP/M
When you click on a droid during the paused state, the information you get looks something like this. There are five different droid classes: household (red), maintenance (yellow), construction (green), law enforcement (blue) and military (black). Household droids are typically the dumbest and weakest, with the rest ranging in that order up to the military droids, which are the smartest and most powerful.
The number identifies the specific droid model -- in this case the "Model 100, home surveillance droid." The level values of Firepower
determine the offensive capabilities of the droid, for shooting and bumping respectively. Similarly, the Armor
value determines its defensive
capability. A level 3 armor will protect against firepower up to level 3, and so on. (You can also hear, when you are shooting at a robot, if your bullets just bounce off. Then there's a "plink" sound instead of a crash.) Natural speed
is how fast the droid can move on its own.
Clicking on the "OK" button sends you back to the game screen.
The game comes with a background tune in three formats: MIDI, MOD and SID. If you have a fast computer and the appropriate browser plug-in installed, just click on the corresponding button to play it. Click NONE if you wish to turn it off.