For Commodore 64/128
and IBM PC/PC Jr.
Graphic Artist: Mimi Doggett
Music: Ed Bogas
You are about to command your ship through one of the great edge-of-your-seat
adventures of the 35th Century. Summon your management skills and man
the bridge. The physical and economic survival of the Psi 5 Trading Company
is in your hands.
You must first choose your cargo and course through the Parvin Frontier.
Then select the best crew possible from a cast of human and nonhuman
characters. As you take command of your space freighter on its perilous
voyage, your challenge will be to command the mission by successfully
managing your resources and allocating task assignments to your crew.
TO START THE GAME:
For Commodore 64/128:
- Turn off your Commodore 64 or 128 and remove all cartridges.
- Connect your joystick to port 2.
- Turn on your Commodore 64 or 128, disk drive and monitor.
- After the red "busy" light on the disk drive goes off, Insert the Psi 5
disk into the disk drive with the label side up and close the disk drive
- Type: LOAD "*". 8. 1 and press RETURN.
For Apple II:
- Insert the Psi 5 disk into the disk drive with the label side up and close
the disk drive door.
- Turn on your Apple Computer.
- Insert your Psi 5 disk into the disk drive then:
- For cold start: turn on your IBM PC/PCjr or
- For warm start: press CNTRL, ALT, DEL simultaneously
TO PAUSE THE GAME:
For Commodore 64/128: Press the RUN STOP key.
For Apple II: Press the ESC key.
For IBM: Press the ESC key.
Press return or fire button to continue.
The demo mode demonstrates a variety of game elements. This is initiated by:
Note: During demo mode, any keystroke (or joystick motion) will restart game at
- Pressing the Commodore key (first keystroke at mission selection screen)
- If no keystroke after mission selection screen has been displayed for approximately 1 minute.
- During crew selection if no keystroke for several minutes.
In general, all game options may be selected by using the joystick or
keyboard. Using the joystick, move the highlighting or cursor to the
appropriate place and press the fire button. You can also (optionally) make
your selection from the keyboard by pressing the key corresponding to the
first letter (or number) of the desired command.
Note: The function keys on the Commodore or direction keys on the
Apple act as joystick control:
||fire button =
||move left =
||move right =
The display of possible courses will include their distance, cargo and
reward/payment for completion. The larger rewards indicate greater risk,
difficulty, danger and challenge in nature of your cargo. You must arrive at
your destination within a reasonable length of time.
To select your course, use the joystick and fire button (left = up, right =
down) or enter the course number on the keyboard.
In addition to the control console which you operate as captain, your space
freighter has been retrofitted for five other departments scattered throughout
its creaking hull. These are: Weapons, Scanning, Navigation, Engineering and
You must carefully select your crew from thirty potential candidates-five
groups of six individuals trained in each department specialty. These
"assorted beings" consist of humanoids, aliens and vaccdroids, each with
different backgrounds, skills, personalities and reactions under stress.
The six candidates for a department position will be displayed. To examine
the resume for any individual, type the first letter of the character's name
or move the joystick and select by pressing the fire button. Once selected,
the candidate's resume will be displayed for your scrutiny. The two options
presented at the bottom of the screen will be "Welcome (name) to the
Crew" or "Exit". The options may be selected by using the Joystick or typing W
or E. "Welcome... " hires this person to fill the department position and
the candidates for the next department will be displayed. "Exit" returns to
the same department to allow you to examine the resumes of other candidates.
After the last department crew member is selected, You will be prompted to
remove the disk and flip it over to reinsert with the back side up. Then
press the RETURN key or fire button to continue.
Play takes place with you (the Captain) sitting at the communications console.
The ship's view of space will be displayed on the left console screen and the
communications screen on the right will display the department crew member
with whom you are interacting at any given time. There will also be indicators
on the console showing weapons, motion, speed and pending messages.
The initial command options (main menu) may be selected via keyboard or
joystick and include the ability to acknowledge pending messages
(communications) from any department or interact with any specific
department. In general, when you select a department, you can examine the
status of department activities or make (ask assignments/commands by removing,
adding, or reprioritizing the list of functions to be performed by that crew
member. Because time is money and you are in the freight business, we suggest
the first command you give is to tell the Navigator to accelerate the ship to
a given speed. If you (the Captain) don't issue specific orders, the crew
persons in Repair, Weapons, and Scanning will eventually get bored and start
performing tasks on their own. The detailed command options for each
department are described below. Note: Selecting "?" on any department command
line will display pending messages. Pressing the DELETE key (or IBM backspace key)
or selecting ← with joystick or pushing up on the joystick and pressing
the fire button will delete the last entry on the command line.
Note: A quick exit out of any department can be taken by pressing
the CLR/HOME key for Commodore, += key for Apple, or HOME key for IBM.
This can also be accomplished by pulling down on the joystick and pressing
the fire button.
Display statistics of past performance (i.e., number of shots and kills).
Through this you can learn how effective the weapons specialist (crew member)
is with each weapon.
Show the activity list (assignments) for the weapons specialist to perform.
The information includes the type of weapon, number of shots, target
(indicated by scanning ID). priority and status of weapons/target.
Removes a weapons command from the list.
Reprioritizes the weapons list.
adds a command to the weapons list.
The general function is to identify and keep track of other vehicles in space.
Assigns ID letter to a new object in space and adds it to the end of
the list. As time progresses. more of the following information is gathered
regarding a target:
Blinking Activity Character
o)) blinking symbol appears if this object is being examined.
(o) blinking bullseye appears if Weapons Department has outstanding orders for
the class (of people)
type (friend or foe)
locked on to continue tracking (L)
position of object in space (P. O.)
Out of Range
Fore (in front)
This is a prioritized list of what the scanner crew person is to do
(examine). The information shows damage to the target ship and recommended
weapon to use.
Removes an action item from the list.
Reprioritizes the list.
Adds a target to the list to be examined.
Before the Weapons Department can fire upon a target, the Scanning
Department must examine the target long enough to get a lock on it. Continued
examination will determine class and damage and suggest a weapon. This is
done by adding the target to the scanning list at a high priority and waiting
to give the scanning crew member enough time to fill in the
In this department, the crew member can fly a specific course/speed and
control evasive maneuvering.
This displays course description which includes shortest path,
medium deviation to port/starboard, and full port/starboard circumvention.
It also shows estimated time of arrival (ETA), risk factor, requested speed,
current speed and evasive maneuvering. INF (Information) scanner must be
operational for RSK (Risk) column to operate. For RETA (relative estimated
time of arrival):
- means early.
+ means late.
Shows prioritized list of possible courses.
Eliminates evasive maneuvering.
Sets speed and allows selection of standard or evasive maneuvering.
This department is responsible for managing and allocating power oriented
devices that can be controlled. Different sections of the ship can be shut
down to conserve energy (i.e., the port shields can be turned off it the
pirates are on the starboard side). Defensive weapons such as shields require
a set amount of energy just to be turned on (in operation). They can deflect
an enemy shot
by countering it with an equal amount of energy which is drawn
from reserve battery power (if the charge is sufficient). Note that engine
power consumption is variable, depending on actual speed.
This displays the Device ID, a description of it, and its enabled
state. The device types include shields, weapons, Information Scanner and two
Show classes of power, power drain, level of activation (yes, no,
Prioritizes devices in relationship to available power and thus
determines which devices are on, partially on (subject to "Brown Outs") and
off. As an example, if in Navigation the speed requested = 5 but the current
speed = 4. it is because the engines are only partially on (at a lower
priority on the list).
Cancel and Enable:
Unlike corresponding commands in other departments which act
upon the "Display" list, these cancel or enable devices on the status
list. This will cause a corresponding change of status to RqC (Request
cancel) or RqE (Request enable) for pending requests.
This department is responsible for repairing damaged devices on the ship.
There are three forms of damage to a device:
It can still operate (at a higher power consumption),
The damage can be repaired.
The device is destroyed/dead and cannot be repaired.
The repair person is assisted by a number of robodroids. When one of them is
re-allocated or completes a task, they won't be immediately available. It will
take some time for them to return to the department, get tools, assignments
and instructions before they can begin their next task. The robodroids can
have the following status:
Active - available to work.
Damaged - will become an item to be repaired.
Dead - Can never be reactivated.
If your ship is helpless (where engines, shields and weapons
are not functioning), the pirates can board your vessel and start looting.
You will slowly lose your cargo until one of the above items is repaired.
The first number on the first line indicates the number of robodroids
ready for assignment. The second number indicates total robodroids available,
although some may be broken, in transit, or working on a job. This lists up
to the first 16 items to be repaired and includes ID, description, ETR
(estimated time of repair) and items being worked on currently
(indicated by *). A blinking check mark (√) appears before the item ID if a
repair order has been given to fix the device.
Shows what is currently being repaired (up to 8 items) and how many
robodrolds are working on it (and the number of them assigned to work on it).
Removes an item from the repair list.
Reprioritizes the repair list.
Adds an item to be repaired (and number of robodroids to work on it) to the
Selecting the QUIT function from the main rnenu allows you to restart the
game with the existing course and crew selection.
SUGGESTED TRAINING MISSION:
As an introduction to the game to gain familiarity with the functions and
better understand the interrelationship between departments, try the following
procedure for your first mission.
Select the ENGINEERING department and prioritize the ships power classes to
shields, weapons, charge shield battery, scanners. engines. and charge
emergency battery using DISPLAY and several RANK commands.
Select the NAVIGATION department and accelerate the ship to speed 1 using the
Select the SCANNING department and get a status report by using the STATUS
Watch scanning status until the first unknown vehicle is detected.
Select NAVIGATION and use ACCELERATE to stop the ship.
Select SCANNING and use EXAMINE to get detailed information on the first
Use scanning DISPLAY to watch for class of vehicle, damage, and suggested
weapon to be filled in.
Do a STATUS command.
Select WEAPONS and FIRE AT-WILL at the target using the suggested weapon.
Experiment with STATUS and DISPLAY functions within both the SCANNING and
After the target is destroyed, repeat steps 2 through 7 and remember: use the
run/stop key to pause the game so you can catch your breath and gather your
thoughts. To continue playing, any key will start up the game,
Select ENGINEERING and turn some shields off using STATUS and CANCEL.
Select WEAPONS and FIRE one shot at a target, This will make them mad, even
if they are normally friendly.
Select REPAIR and get a STATUS report. Observe entries being added as
hostile targets shoot at your ship.
ASSIGN one robodroid each to fix several items. Flip back and forth between
STATUS and DISPLAY.
When you have had enough, select ENGINEERING and use STATUS and several ENABLE
commands to turn the shields back on.
Complete the repairs, start the ship moving. experiment, and enjoy!
Playing the role of Captain on a space freighter full of unknown people,
enemies, and equipment can be intimidating. The best way to become familiar
and successful is to imagine yourself actually as the captain and put yourself
in the game.
Your duties as captain require you to investigate and monitor the different
crew members and departments often. Working too long in one department, while
ignoring some others can lead to your downfall. A wise strategy is to load up
your repair, scanning, and weapons officers with several tasks. This will
insure they will stay productive while you are busy elsewhere; One powerful
capability of the ship's computer is to monitor one department's STATUS or
DISPLAY while giving commands in another.
Here are some playing hints on a department basis:
Confirm targets to be hostile (foes) or known enemies before
shooting normally peaceful ships.
||Examine any new targets as quickly as possible.
||Be sure to monitor the RISK column on the STATUS report.
Change course to avoid overwhelming odds, but not as often to
delay reaching your destination.
||Pick power priorities to match your strategy. Consider turning
off (CANCEL) power to individual items to increase your power
||Be sure to fix mission critical components as soon as possible (such
as cargo support devices, life support systems, and power reactors). Fix
other items as to best serve your strategy. If damage seems out of your
control, it is often wise to stop the ship, divert power to shields and
weapons, and fight between repairs.
Many actions depend on the Psi 5 ship to be in working order. If something
appears not to be working, check the Engineering STATUS and DISPLAY, the
Repair STATUS, and ACKNOWLEDGE messages to gain clues to possible causes.
We have given you enough information to be well on your way. We have purposely
not given you every gruesome detail, because there is fun in learning by using
your mind, imagination. common sense, and by experimenting.
I wish you the best of luck on your perilous mission and may the winds of
Xaldur be in your favor!
It was not easy to fit the entire 35th Century on two sides of a floppy
disk. Please let me know how you like the Psi 5 Trading Company and what
aspects you enjoy the most. You can write to me at
20863 Stevens Creek
Blvd., B-5/E. Cupertino, CA 95014.
Admiral Mike Lorenzen
Star Base 27 Command
Mike Lorenzen is the designer of GOLF for Atari VCS And Atari TEXT EDITOR
(MEDIT) for Atari 400/800. He also co-designed Atari's CIRCUS for the VCS and
HOME FILING MASTER for Atari 400/800. Mike also designed Activision's OINK
for Atari VCS and adapted Activision's PITFALL II for Atari 400/800 and 5200.
Atari VCS, Atari 400/800, Atari 5200, Golf, Atari Text Editor, Circus,
and Home Filing Master are trademarks of Atari Corp.
Oink! and Pitfall II are trademarks of Activision Inc.
MORE SCENARIO BACKGROUND.|
Well here we are in the 35th century. Although technology has advanced by a
great deal, man (or alien biological lifeforms as the case may be) is still
dominate in the man/machine relationship. Biological thinking is still far
superior in most cases to the most advanced mechanical mind. Rapid advances
are being made in the mechanical mind, especially with a new approach in
VACCdroid technology. These VACCdroids are showing very promising results
when they are trained and focused on one specialty.
Planets have joined their neighbors to form super-governments. There are
several rather large superpowers (The Alliance, the Federation, and the
Coop to name a few). These superpowers are not in competition with one
another, but instead provide local government services while cooperating
together. The majority are pretty much in agreement that society and its
rules are needed for peaceful coexistence and peace of mind.
Some things never change, there always seem to be opposing forces of good
and evil. The hard core evil types usually avoid punishment by living on
the edges of the known universe. The universe is still thought to be
endless and without bounds. The superpowers provide police services that
are reasonably effective in the populated areas. The universe is large
enough to make 100 percent policing impossible due to cost and manpower. As
new colonies explore and expand the edges of the known universe they are
subject to a high risk from the hard core element. These colonies generally
must take or make their own protection and become self sufficient to help
guarantee their survival.
One such colony consists of a bunch of mining entrepreneurs that have made
a financial success in the newly charted PARVIN FRONTIER. There has always
seemed to be a correlation between violence and unprotected wealth. The
PARVIN colonists were cautious enough to purchase and maintain sufficient
local defense mechanisms to protect their investments and lifestyles.
However, being mostly miners, they soon found they underestimated their
ability to become self sufficient. They have found themselves quite
dependent on importing supplies from the outside. As the news of their
wealth and weakness has spread, their situation has attracted the evil
element from all over the universe.
The colonists’ survival depends on courageous freighter pilots successfully
getting their cargo through to them. The most risky cargo is of perishable
nature. Being on the fringe of known universe limits the time a freight
ship has in getting this kind of cargo through. Freight ships carrying
perishable cargo must use most of their power to maintain fast speed and
use direct routes to cut down the time. The space pirates know this and
often wait on these direct trade routes. Luckily the pirates are still
greedy enough to act independently and have not formed their own alliance.
Their ultimate goal is twofold: They want to prevent any cargo from
reaching the PARVIN colonists as well as capturing as much cargo as they
can for their own survival. An interesting note
is that the pirates rarely kill or destroy freighter crews or ships because
they depend on them for their own supplies (stolen of course).
Fewer and fewer freight companies have been willing to attempt to haul
cargo (especially perishable) into the PARVIN frontier. This has threatened
the colonies’ existence and driven up the price for successful cargo runs.
The freight companies have requested defensive assistance from the super-
governments but were reluctantly turned down because of the great cost of
supplying expensive and highly demanded fighting ships for such a low
density population area.
Here is where you come in. You, being the bright fearless entrepreneur that
you are, come up with a brilliant idea. You will purchase a used freighter
instead of an expensive new model. Then spend the money you save on
retrofitting the once automated ship with offensive and defensive
capabilities (systems and crew) usually found only on fighting ships. You
have decided to add five crew positions and act as the captain yourself.
Each crew member will head up one of the following five specialized
departments: Scanning, Weapons, Navigation, Repair, and Engineering. The
Scanning officer will be responsible for scanning and tracking of all ships
in the immediate area. The weapons officer will be responsible for all
offensive capabilities. The navigator will be responsible for steering the
ship and providing long range scanning reports. The Engineer will be
responsible for dynamically altering the assignment of the ship’s limited
power to the,many subsystems. The repair officer will supervise 7
mechanical robodroids (robots) who will actually carry out repair tasks.
Recently completed, this retrofitted high capacity Quasan 3GP freighter and
your leadership abilities have formed the foundation of the Psi-5 Trading
Company. You are now ready to put your idea to the test. Your ship is
prepared and the cargo readily available from the closest outpost, Starbase
27. Admiral Lorenzen, top official of Starbase 27, although unable to
provide you with protection, has offered credit terms for cargo and
supplies. You have narrowed the choice of crew members down to six
candidates for each crew member ' position. Their resumes are loaded into
your business computer and are waiting for your final evaluation, review,
DISK LOADING PROBLEMS (Commodore 64/128 users)
BRAND OF DISK DRIVE: At present, Accolade’s C64 product line only supports
Commodore disk drives (i.e. 1541 & 1571). We cannot guarantee compatibility
with other brands. We have a built-in “fast-loader” that can load programs
over 10 times faster than a normal 1541 load. This, along with protection
software, requires the internals of the disk drive to be very close to what
a Commodore disk drive looks like.
RANDOM BOOT PROBLEMS: We have found that a variety of problems can be
caused by equipment being attached to your C64. We therefore recommend that
all peripherals and cartridges (particularly “fast loaders”) be removed
from your C64 computer (except disk drive 8 joystick) prior to running any
Accolade game. People are surprised to find out that just turning the power
off to these devices is not enough. Accolade software utilizes all 64K of
RAM in the system and uses memory configurations that differ from other
game software. This tends to upset modems and printers and the like.
DRIVE ALIGNMENT PROBLEMS: We have found out that our original "fast-loader”
and protection system required 1541 and 1571 disk drive alignment to be in
close adjustment. A weakness in Commodore’s 1541 disk drive design (along
with the fact that other companies' older protection schemes involved the
stepper motor banging itself against the track zero stop) causes many disk
drives to become, out of alignment. Both Commodore any other companies have
wised up, but it still leaves a lot of disk drives partially out of
alignment. We have therefore improved. our "fast-loader” software to be
more forgiving. In the case of Psi-5, you can determine if you have the
earlier loader by doing a diskette directory of the label side. If the
volume-id is “F1” it is the early, less forgiving loader. You may purchase
an updated version by sending $10.00 to Accolade with your written request
(your warrantee card must be on file also). Of course the best long term
solution, is to get your disk drive aligned.
QUIT-REPLAY PROBLEMS: We found out that there is a rather rare version of
the Commodore G64 printed circuit board that has trouble performing the
Psi-5 QUIT REPLAY SAME/NEW commands (screen goes black with no disk light &
hangs). This is machine and not media dependent. The later disk releases of
Psi-5 have found a way around this problem. You can determine if you have
the earlier version by doing a diskette directory of the label side. If the
volume-id is “F1” it is the early version. You may purchase an updated
version by sending $10.00 to Accolade with your written request (your
warrantee card must be on file also).
PERSONAL COMMENT ON SOFTWARE PIRACY.
We are often tempted to rationalize that possessing and using a software
product we did not pay for is not hurting anyone. We use excuses like:
- it cost too much.
- I wanted to play it first before I decide to buy it.
- I do not think I will use it enough to justify paying for it.
- I cannot afford it.
- I did not know it was stolen property.
- It does not matter if I use it, I am only one person.
Let me give you my personal view from the entertainment author’s view. A
couple of years ago my industry was writing entertainment software that was
easily selling 500,000 to 1,000,000 units per title. The industry was
wealthy and able to spend the time, money, and research to produce quick
advances in hardware and software. We were able to supply increasingly
better entertainment values. And when we heard a few people were cheating
by not paying for their software it did not have far reaching affects.
However, times have changed. Many of the leading companies have gone
bankrupt and died or have severely cut down their size. Entertainment
titles are lucky to sell titles in the tens of thousands level. The
programming effort of a top notch game has advanced from 2K of assembly
language and data to 50K and up (PSI-5 has over 250K of code and data). The
cost of developing this software has increased dramatically with the
improved quality of the entertainment products. In the old days, most
programmers could implement their own sounds and graphics. Today top
companies use a team approach to produce a title, using specialists for
things like music, graphics, speech, code, etc. and are therefore spending
large sums on development just to survive competitively (or grow modesty at
best). The days of the quick, big profit for games (particularly
substandard ones) are gone.
Software pirate copies today are taking the profit away from developing top
quality games. Unless companies can make some profit, they can’t afford to
be in business, and certainly cannot afford to spend large amounts of money
to produce new exciting software titles. Do you want new and better games?
Do you want to pay higher prices for less dazzling games?
What about the issue of having a backup copy. Most companies who protect
their software from casual copying provide some low cost quick way of
replacing accidentally damaged software. Read the last page of the Psi-5
manual, Accolade is very fair.
What can you do about this? Do not accept stolen/pirated copies of games.
Do not try to break copy protection schemes. Put pressure on your friends
not to steal or be in possession of stolen software. You may feel that you
are winning (in the short term) by using software for free – but you should
realize that you and all the other game consumers will suffer in the long
Appendix A – More details for the impatient or confused
READING BEYOND THIS POINT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR ENJOYMENT!!!
It is recommended that you not read this section until after you have
played several games. Some people may consider this section as giving all
the play secrets away and spoiling some of the enjoyment. It was provided
for those who desire more information or clarification.
APPENDIX A - INDEX
ADVICE ON EARLY DEFEATS.
- ADVICE ON EARLY DEFEATS.
- PICKING A MISSION.
- CHOOSING YOUR CREW.
- READING THE CONSOLE INDICATORS.
- MESSAGES FROM CREW MEMBERS.
- WEAPONS DEPARTMENT.
- SCANNING DEPARTMENT.
- ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT.
- REPAIR DEPARTMENT.
- KNOWING WHERE THE ENEMY IS.
- TAKING OVER FOR DEAD CREW MEMBERS.
- PERFORMING A GAME AUTOPSY.
Early defeats by beginners seem to be caused by misunderstandings or
impatience. Psi-5 is not a trivial mindless game. It takes understanding,
patience, thinking, and practice.
Don’t be too ambitious in your first few games. Set your goal as survival
not a perfect score. Once you survive, set your goal at getting all your
cargo to the destination. Once you get all your cargo through, set your
goal at early bonus pay. Once you can achieve all these goals, try to
maximize your pay (score). Experiment to find out when it is desirable to
move to the next difficulty level (more difficult course destination). When
you move to the next level, you may find it necessary to set your goal back
There is no one way or strategy to win at Psi-5. In fact, strategies will
change as your performance increases. As you move on to the next difficulty
level (selecting a more difficult destination) you may have to use a
previously developed strategy.
The following suggestions will help beginning players survive. Be warned,
however, that these suggestions may be counterproductive for more
- Be sure you are playing course (destination) #1.
- Set your goal at survival, ignoring time.
- Use NAVIGATION to select directional course D or E.
- Use NAVIGATION to accelerate to speed 1 with evasive maneuvering.
- if more than a couple of ships show in SCAN. STATUS stop the ship.
- If more than a few repairs show in REP. STATUS stop the ship.
- Pick crew members for SCAN., WEAP., & REP. whose resumes state self-
- Always use the weapon that the weapons officer’s resume said was best.
- Use ENG. RANK commands to allocate power to ships devices in the
following order: B,A,F,C,D,E
- Assign 3 robodroids to each repair item.
- Assign repairs in the following order: life supports first, cargo
stabilizers & environments second, power reactors third, etc.
PICKING A DESTINATION.
The Psi-5 instruction manual talks about two kinds of “Course Selection”.
The first type deals with choosing a destination (the first user input).
The second type deals with how to best arrive at the desired destination
and is explained further under NAVIGATION DEPARTMENT.
Psi-5 offers three possible destinations to choose from. This is a fluffy
way of asking for desired game difficulty. Beginners should always select
course 1. When you want more challenge move on to the next destination.
Mastering a destination includes being able to repeatedly bring all your
cargo to the destination and qualifying for early bonus pay. You must also
consider other elements such as maximizing pay by keeping your crew alive,
not shooting normally peaceful ships, keeping compound repairs to a
minimum, and arriving as early as possible.
CHOOSING A CREW.
Do you select a crew that sounds promising and tailor your strategy to fit
their strengths, or do you develop a strategy first and then look for a
crew that best supports it? This is an easier question for the beginner.
Since they have not had a chance to explore or develop strategies, the best
choice is the first.
There is no one magical crew that will perform best for all strategies.
Just as in real life, Psi-5’s resumes contain a mixture of important clues
to performance and irrelevant information.
Each crew member has different strengths and weaknesses. Each department
position requires several technical skills. Each individual’s technical
performance can vary depending upon his current mood (calm or stressed).
Most crew members work more efficiency when calm, however there are always
those individuals who thrive on pressure. Here are a few examples/clues of
technical skills on a department basis:
How fast and accurate a crew member is with particular weapons system.
How fast the scanning officer can come up with specific scanning
How effective the officer is at avoiding enemy hits while performing
How long it takes to switch equipment on/off.
How fast the officer can train and delegate robodroids to fix specific
READING THE CONSOLE INDICATORS.
The Psi-5 freighter has 4 weapons systems (Missiles,
Blasters, Thermos, & Cannons). Each weapon system has a status light on the
console which is colored if it is operational and ready. If the system is
damaged or not powered the light is removed. If the system has just fired,
the light flashes white.
There are four defensive force field shields that surround
the Psi-5 ship. The console shield indicators show a bar for each shield.
If the shield is operational it shows as a white bar. If the shield is
damaged, but still providing protection it is shown as a red bar. If the
shield is not operational the bar is not displayed.|
The shield battery strength indicator is shown as a dot in the center of
the shield indicators. If the dot is not present the shield battery is
completely discharged (and the shields are useless). If the dot blinks
there is less than a 20 percent charge.
The power section of the console shows two bar graphs (Supply &
Demand) and a battery active light (Emergency Battery).|
The Demand graph (labeled D) shows the total amount of electrical power
requested by the ship’s subsystems. A breakdown of these subsystems power
demand can be seen by using the DISPLAY command in Engineering. There is a
small fixed amount of overhead demand that is required by the ship that is
not represented by the subsystems.
The Supply graph (labeled S) shows the total power being generated by the
Psi 5 ship. Power can be contributed from four sources: 1) Galactic
government construction code required a bulky Yhtak perpetual generator
(reliably supplies power to ship’s core functions & equal to above fixed
demand), 2 & 3) Main power reactors, 4) Emergency Battery (if enabled and
holds a charge).|
If the Demand graph exceeds the supply graph some of the subsystems will
automatically be shut down. As power becomes available, the systems will be
automatically restored. The priority of what subsystems gets shut down
first are set by using ENG RANK commands to prioritize the ENG DISPLAY
list. Power is supplied first to the class of subsystems on the top of the
list and then the remainder of power trickles down to the next power class.
There is a single information scanner indicator light on the
console. The indicator light is on if the scanners are operational. These
scanners are used for SCAN EXAMINE research to fill in Class, Enemy ship’s
damage, and suggested weapon and NAV STATUS research to fill in Risk. The
light can be off if Info Scanners become broken (Repair Item) or for lack
of power (Item D on ENG DISPLAY not ranked high enough or broken
The compass indicates the ship’s current deviation from mission
course. It can be used to verify course changes and evasive maneuvering.
The speed indicator displays the current gross speed. It can differ
from the requested speed because of lack of power, damage to engines
(repair needed), or acceleration changes. The net speed (actual speed
towards destination) is not directly available. net speed can differ from
gross speed when using evasive maneuvering.
There is one message indicator for each of the five departments.
These indicators show the letter abbreviation for the department if
messages are pending there. The ship’s computer can save up to eight
pending messages for each department. The color of the indicator gives a
clue to the number of pending messages.
Whenever you become powerless to defend your cargo and there are space
pirates in your area, you will most probably be looted. Powerless to defend
means your shields are down, your weapons are inoperative, and your ship
has come to a stop. Because these space scum are after your cargo and not
your life, the worst that usually happens is that you will lose your cargo,
therefore forcing you to abort your mission. It makes no sense to continue
your journey if you cannot bring any supplies to your destination. The best
plan is to return to base, restock and try again (use QUIT REPLAY SAME
All is not lost if you can take immediate appropriate action to thwart the
pirate raid. If you can quickly put a shield up, get a weapon system
operational, or start the ship moving you can scare off these cowardly
scum. Quite often all you have to do is go to Engineering and enable the
ship’s emergency battery (ENG ENABLE L command). Depending on the charge
you have allowed to be built up, you have up to 99 seconds to make repairs
and/or engineering ranks to make a permanent fix to your predicament.
Careful planning is necessary to minimize the time it takes to thwart the
pirate raid thereby minimizing the amount of cargo you lose. Do not forget
to recharge your emergency battery once you get your act back together.
MESSAGES FROM CREW MEMBERS.
Each candidate for a crew position has his or her own set of message text.
Each individual can contribute warnings, damage control, a few hints, as
well as casual conversation.
You, as the captain, have the choice of letting crew members interrupt your
work (ACK AUTO ENABLE command) with their messages or to have the ship's
computer postpone/store their messages (ACK AUTO DISABLE command) until you
have a chance to talk with them (? command).
The Psi-5 freighter has man’y redundant ways of informing you of the ship’s
status and general information. Messages are just one of these ways. Your
strategy and experience level determine what is best for you. You have
several options: ignore the message system altogether, let them stack up
until you have free time to catch up, answer messages immediately, or any
of the above. The complete beginner may want to ignore them, the novice may
want to read each one, the average player may want to read selected ones,
and the advance player may gather information faster from other sources.
Some players can actually determine a lot of information from the dash
message lamps without taking the time to read the message text. If you get
behind in answering messages, you can use the ACK CLR (clear) command to
erase and remove all messages pending in the ship’s computer.
CLR stands for CLEAR. The CLR command erases all pending messages.
This is useful when you get behind in reading crew member messages and want
to start fresh.
AUTO stands for Automatic messages. Auto messages can be ENABLED or
DISABLED. When ENABLED all crew messages immediately interrupt the captain
and are displayed. If DISABLED (the default) crew messages are saved by the
ships computer until the captain has a chance to acknowledge (read) them.
The most popular way to use the Weapons department is to do a SCAN STATUS
command followed by WEAP FIRE commands. This leaves the ship’s computer
display showing the possible targets you can shoot at while you build your
FIRE commands. The ship’s computer is still updating the Scanning Status
with current information, even though you are currently talking to the
Weapons department. You can tell what ships you have already placed FIREing
orders on by the blink activity character on the Scanning Status Report
(Blinking Bullseye next to Tracking ID). You can also easily determine
tracking lock and in-range information this way. If you become confused or
need more Weapons information then watch WEAP DISPLAY while entering
The WEAP STATUS command displays weapons firing statistics. The best time
to use this information is at end of the game. After you receive your
mission invoice (score) you can use the STATUS WEAPON to review the weapons
statistics. It is a good idea to use a calculator and some note paper to
keep track of how well each weapons officer performs with each weapon. You
will have to keep mental notes during the game, to recall and record if the
Weapons officer was shooting while calm or stressed (this type of mood
affects performance). Another way to build calm/stress statistics is to
determine the officer’s mood and watch the WEAP STATUS display during the
game. You will have to be careful of how to factor in whether or not you
were telling the weapons officer to use the Scanning Department's suggested
The best chance you have of destroying an enemy target is if you use the
suggested weapon at a target that happens to be your weapons officers most
effective, while he is in his best mood. The worst chance you have of
destroying an enemy is if you use a weapon other than the suggested weapon
and it happens to be your weapons officer worst weapon while he is in his
Before you can destroy an enemy ship, you usually have to knock out his
shields. This means that under most circumstances it will take at least two
shots to obliterate a target. You can get the status of an enemy's shield
from the SCAN DISPLAY report assuming the scanners are getting power and
the Scanning officer has had time to scan the target. Remember that the
higher the target line is in the display, the faster you gain information
about that target (with the exception that if the lines above already have
that field filled in the first line to not have the field filled in will be
the first ship to have the field filled in).
As far as strategy goes, fire first at FOEs (SCAN STAT or DISPLAY) that are
in range (SCAN STAT or DISP) and whose weapons systems are still intact
(see SCAN DISPLAY). Only fire at FDSs if your Weapons officer is bored (no
FOEs) and if your SCAN STAT or DISPLAY has identified the target as a enemy
type you know will soon become hostile. Remember some groups of people are
generally harmless unless you provoke a fight. These include passenger only
ships, scientific probe ships, etc. If you destroy one of these friendly
types be prepared to be penalized at the end-game by having to pay death
benefits to their next of kin. Be sure to fire first at attacking ships
that have damaged shields (see SCAN DISPLAY) and that are in range. This
will reduce the hostile threat the fastest.
There are several strategies that deal with choice of the weapon system to
use. Here are a couple of examples. You could favor your weapons officer’s
best weapon, or use the Scanning department’s suggestions. You could turn
off power to weapons systems you are unlikely to use (ENG STATUS & CANCEL
commands) thereby leaving more ships power for other ship subsystems (or
even turn power on and off to weapons as you need them).
The most popular way to use the Scanning department is to first do a SCAN
STATUS and then follow with SCAN EXAMINES. The Scanning Status report
contains the information you want most from Scanning. If your strategy
depends on using the ship’s scanners and having the Scanning Officer
evaluating the enemies you will also need to see SCAN DISPLAY quite often.
As a general rule, it is often best to add SCAN EXAMINES as quickly as new
ships (targets) show up. The ship’s computer can only keep track of up to
eight examinations. If a ninth is desired it is advised to “SCAN CANCEL”
less important scanning examinations such as: 1) targets you know are
friendly, 2) targets you already have enough scanning information on, 3)
targets you already have “track locks" on. Another factor to consider is
how many pending Examinations your Scanning officer can handle without
becoming stressed. Most Scanning officers perform better while calm (see
resumes and observe their mood performance).
The Scanning officers will carry out detailed examinations in the order you
specify. The examinations will be filled in if your officer is alive and
the scanner and track-lock are operational. Because each field of the
detailed examination uses separate channels of the scanning systems which
work at different speeds, vertical columns of fields will fill in generally
faster than all the fields of one target (horizontal).
You can evaluate your Scanning officer’s performance by reading resumes,
making careful observations, using a stopwatch, looking for mood changes,
and keeping notes.
The Navigator steers the ship and generates some long distance scanning
information. One of his more important abilities is to perform evasive
maneuvering. By steering the ship with erratic course changes the Navigator
can make it quite difficult for the enemy’s weapons to lock on and cause
major damage. Evasive maneuvering is an art and not a science. Different
Navigators can perform this task with different results. There are two
separate concerns here. One is how effective a Navigator, using evasive
maneuvering, can prevent enemy hits from causing damage. The other is the
impact that performing these wild maneuvers will have on the effective rate
the ship is traveling towards the destination. By noting the changes in NAV
STATUS when you NAV CANCEL to terminate evasive maneuvering, you can
determine the cost in time of using that navigator’s tricks. Determining
how well the navigator can defend the ship is more of a subjective
Selecting the proper course is part of your responsibility and strategy.
Generally, the shorter course is faster and more dangerous. These
differences may be hard to spot in mission 1, and become more apparent over
longer distances. If you need to get to your destination safer, take a
longer route such as D or E. If you need to get there faster, take a
shorter path. A smart captain will use the NAV STATUS Risk column to aid
him in picking the correct short term course. Changing course takes time
and delays the ship from becoming closer to the destination. Some
Navigators can change course faster than others.
The NAV STATUS command gives almost all of the useful information generated
by the Navigator and his equipment.
The RETA (Relative Estimated Time of Arrival) columns inform the captain
whether the EARLY BONUS REWARD PAY will be met. Any course with a negative
RETA will qualify for the early bonus. There are small additional bonuses
for being even earlier than required for those who are trying for record
pay (score). The RETA will change depending upon the ship’s current speed
towards the destination. It only makes sense that the field can not be
computed if the ship is standing still.
If the ship is moving the ETA column for the course you are currently on
will tell you how long it will be before you reach your destination. This
time is suspiciously similar to earth minutes and can be used to inform Mom
when you will be ready for dinner.
You can tell how far you are from your destination by glancing at the
DISTance column for the course your currently on. When you come near the
end of your journey there is some advantage in “putting the pedal to metal”
(top speed) as the highest priority, ignoring fighting and repairs as
necessary to maintain top speed.
The most popular use of the Engineering Department is to use a ENG DISPLAY
followed by RANK commands to prioritize the ship’s limited power to the
many systems that desire power. The power class on the top of the list gets
first chance at the available power. If any is left over, power trickles
down the list until it is exhausted. From that point on, the ship’s systems
are shut down for lack of power.
Ship power classes:
|A Shields Class||
Fore, Port, Starboard, & Aft shields
|B Weapons Class||
Missiles, Blasters, Cannons, & Thermos
|C Engines Class||
Engine One, Engine Two
|D Scanners Class||
Scanning & Navigation (Info) scanners
|E Charge Emerg Batt||
Ships emergency power source
|F Charge Shield Batt||
Ships defensive shield power supply
The shields:are a purely defensive way of protecting the Psi-5 ship and its
cargo. The shields take tremendous power and require a lot of attention to
keep them useful. The good news is that the shields can deflect a large
percentage of enemy shots which would normally cause damage. For a shield
to be useful, it has to be enabled, in good repair, have enough power to
run, and there must be a sufficient charge in the shield battery to fully
deflect the blow. The shield can become partially damaged (shown on the
ships console as a red colored bar instead of white), If this happens, it
will draw more power to operate, causing less power to be available for
other ship systems (use ENG DISPLAY during game to see affect). If the
shield battery becomes fully discharged, the shields are completely
useless. If your shield battery becomes fully discharged you might as well
turn off the shields (by ENG RANK or ENG CANCEL) until you can get a charge
back up. It is a good idea to RANK the batteries high on the list when just
starting out or when things are peaceful. When the batteries become fully
charged (99 units) RANK them to the bottom of the list.
By using ENG STATUS followed by CANCEL and ENABLE commands you can turn off
and on the different ship systems. This will allow the captain greater
flexibility in his power assignment strategy. An example of this is only
desiring to use the Weapons officer’s best weapon, but to have it always
available. This can be accomplished by RANKing B (weapons systems) to
PRIority 1 and using CANCEL to disable the other three weapon systems.
The most common thing to do in repair is a REP STATUS command followed by
several ASSIGN commands. The amount of repair work you can handle will
contribute to how fast you can fly. If repairs overwhelm you, you must slow
down, so as to give yourself more time before confronting more space scum.
If you become overwhelmed stop the ship, initiate multiple repairs (ranking
the most critical items first) and then fight it out.
Determining the correct order to repair devices takes some experience and
depends on your strategy and current situation. Generally you want to
handle things like life-support, cargo stabilizers and environment, and
power reactors as top priority. Postpone repairs on items that are not
critical to your strategy . Be warned that if repair times (ETR) exceed 99
units, the repair officer will consider the equipment unrepairable. The
ship’s computer can only keep track of up to 16 devices that need repair.
If you have lost control (when more items become broken than can be
displayed) you will be powerless to fix items that do not appear on the
list. If this happens you will have to fix one of the items on the list to
make room for a new entry of one of the items that did not fit on the list.
This is not a desirable situation to be in. Some people have tried the
method of never repairing certain ship systems that were not critical to
their strategy, thereby allowing quicker repairs to the priority devices.
Determining the correct number of robodroids to place on a task takes some
experience and is somewhat subjective. How quickly a repair can be done by
a group of robodroids depends on how many are in the group and which repair
officer is leading them. Generally speaking if you only place one robodroid
on the task he may be hampered by not having enough “hands” for the job. On
the other hand, a large oversized group may just bog down repairs as too
many cooks spoil the meal.
If you have several repair orders underway and critical repairs are not
getting completed fast enough, review your situation with a REP DISPLAY.
Use the ASSIGN command to both reRank and add or subtract robodroids to
existing orders. The ship’s computer is smart enough to update the existing
instructions instead of adding a second order. You can also use the ENG
CANCEL command to get rid of any repair orders that no longer make sense
given your current state of affairs.
Be careful in selecting your repair officer. There are many things to
evaluate. Is the person self motivated? How fast does he repair the items
you find important (look at ETRs)? How does his calm/stress mood affect his
ability to train and delegate the robodroids?
On the top line of the Repair Status report, four numbers are provided to
help the captain determine where the robodroids are. They represent the
number of robodroids “Ready for next assignment”, “in Transit from last job
site back to repair”, “working on a Job”, and “Broken". The four numbers
are labeled “R, T, J, B” for easy identification. The Psi-5 ship is usually
staffed with 7 robodroids. If the numbers in the four categories (R, T, J,
B) do not add up to 7 the robodroid some robodroids have been destroyed.
KNOWING WHERE THE ENEMY IS.
The enemy actually waits in predictable places. Since they know that you
are on a time schedule, they wait on the shortest shipping paths. A lesser
number wait on the less frequently used, longer shipping paths. You can use
NAV STATUS Risk information if your Info-Scanners are operational. In
mission 1 it may not be so apparent or as important as in the more advanced
missions. With careful observations you may be able to map hot spots on
your missions. You may be able to predict where “hordes”, “walls”, or “V's”
(enemy formations) are likely to be. Clever pilots mark these maps with
distances as compared to time markings. That way the maps are useful, even
when the ship is stopped, or the ship’s info-scanners are non-operational.
Do not expect the enemies to be predictable by marching out in the exact
order every time. If you encounter too many enemies it is better to stop,
than try to outrun them, since you will most likely just find more if you
move. Changing course through high risk sectors can be dangerous. You might
just find yourself collecting a few bad guys from all the courses you pass
In game 3 early survival depends on knowing where to stop so that you do
not encounter more than half a dozen (or so) bad guys at any one time. It
also requires intelligent course changes to avoid overwhelming odds.
TAKING OVER FOR DEAD CREW MEMBERS.
Crew members can die from lack of life-support or from direct enemy hits.
The loss of a crew member is a loss to both your ability to complete your
mission as well as your ability for top scores. You, as the captain, can
assume some of the crew member’s duties and functions by using the ship’s
computer manual override commands. These limited commands automatically
replace the normal department commands upon the death of a crew member.
Completing your mission can vary from a small nuisance to a major disaster
depending on how many crew members are lost, how much farther you have to
go, what your current situation is, what mission you are on, and which crew
members are lost.
PERFORMING A GAME AUTOPSY.
After the game is over and you have received your score you can perform a
“game autopsy" to help aid you in your next attempt. Once your score
(mission invoice display) is shown, a new command menu is provided. This
end-game menu provides a way to examine each department’s STATUS and
DISPLAY reports that were frozen at the end of the game.
By taking a careful look at these displays you may find reasons inhibiting
your success. Examples might be:
- I lost control because I took on too many enemies. (should have stopped
to fight and paid more attention to NAV RISK)
- My weapons did not work because I ranked them too low on ENGINEERING
- My Navigator died because I did not see that his life support was broken.
- I was looted and lost all my cargo because both power reactors were
broken and I tried to fix one with a long repair time when the other one
just needed a little work.
- I lost all my cargo because I did not notice that the cargo stabilizer
required repair (missed message, did not see it on REPAIR STATUS, and did
not notice cargo percentage decreasing on SCANNING STATUS).
- I stopped to fight it out, but should have “put the pedal to the metal”
because I was almost at my destination (according to NAV STATUS DISTANCE).
Copyright 1986 by Accolade. All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, transcribed, copied, translated or reduced
to any electronic medium or machine readable form without prior written
permission of Accolade, 20833 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, California
Accolade makes no representations or warranties with respect to this
publication or its contents and specifically disclaims any implied
warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose. In
addition, Accolade reserves the right to revise this publication and to
make changes from time to time in its contents without obligation of
Accolade to notify any person of such revisions or changes.
Commodore™ is a trademark of Commodore Electronics, Ltd. Apple II is a
trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. IBM is a trademark of
International Business Machines. Apple Adaptation by Tom Mornini. IBM
adaptation by Distinctive Software Inc. We understand your concerns about disk damage or failure. Because of
this, each registered owner of the Psi 5 Trading Company™ may purchase one
backup copy for $10. Send your money with your registration card. Checks
should be made out to Accolade Software. This copy is for backup purposes
only and is not for resale. Your backup disk is covered by our limited
warranty on disk media described in the back of this manual.
Limited Warranty for Disk Media
Accolade warrants to the original purchaser of this computer software
product that the recording medium on which the software programs are
recorded will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for ninety
days from the date of purchase. Defective media that has not been subjected
to misuse, excessive wear, or damage due to carelessness and that is
returned during that ninety day period will be replaced without charge.
Important: You must complete and return warranty registration card to be
eligible for this service.
Following the initial ninety day warranty period, defective media will be
replaced for a replacement fee of $10.00.
The defective media should be returned to:
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