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THE SPECTRUM GAMES DATABASE
AUTHOR Special F/X
CONTROLS Keyboard, Kempston, Cursor
KEYS : Redefinable Pause - SPACE Quit - BREAK
INSTRUCTIONS Your task as commander of the Firefly is to destroy the mechanoid system framework, developed by the enemy, by removing the vital energy source used to sustain its existance.
The framework is represented on the screen by a system of grids, each one being one of the following:
1. A robot-occupied zone. 2. An unconstructed region. 3. A robot-free "Dead Zone". 4. A planetary sector. 5. The system power source.
The system grid is arranged randomly each turn. You always start in the Dead Zone on the far left, ready to battle your way through the occupied area to the power source.
Your movement is restricted to the Dead Zone areas and you can therefore only enter a system which is adjacent to a Dead Zone. You do so by positioning the Firefly on the appropriate square and pressing fire. You cannot enter a system with a planet at its core. These are the main mechanoid colonies and are too well protected against attack.
The unconstructed regions are the least protected by the robots. In order to take over one of these you must first override its "intrusion detection" alarm system. This can only be done manually. If you fail to do it correctly in the given time, a chain reaction will occur, causing the robotic system to jumble itself up, forcing you to retreat to the far left of the grid.
ENTERING AN OCCUPIED AREA : The solar system chart will be replaced by a close-up view of the area with one of the Firefly's battleships in the centre. The scanner at the bottom of the display will show the entire area and your battleship, observed from a distance.
Your ship is equipped with an ion-thrust drive and plasma disruptor balls which, if used correctly, can get you out of impossible situations!
Each area has four main energy points (fast-flashing dots on the scanner) and two teleports (slow-flashing dots). These are protected by a selected number of robots which, because of their size, will not show up on your radar. Once destroyed these robots may deposit some useful items.
To take over the area you must destroy all four energy points. You accomplish this by entering each point and trying to overpower them. You can only do this, however, by collecting four excess energy units (yokas) which are constantly being expelled into the playfield by each of the energy points.
The teleports can be used to move your ships into inaccessible places or for more economical travel around the playfield. However, these are robotic devices and may be difficult for humans to operate.
Your ship can be damaged by: 1. Robotic collisions. 2. Mechanoid missile attacks. 3. Incorrect teleport operation. 4. Failure to overpower energy points. 5. Entering energy points with insufficient energy units.
A ship is lost when it can no longer sustain any more damage... thus the occupied area will remain under robotic control but, if you have any ships left, you may re-enter the same system or choose another route through the framework.
SCORES RECEIVED "Firefly virtually overflows with quality, style and sheer excellence." 92% (CRASH #50, March 1988)