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Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday

1990 Strategic Simulations, Inc.

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BUCK ROGERS: COUNTDOWN TO DOOMSDAY 1 Basic Training, Party, Arms, Equipment, Skills, Tactics 2 Tour of Duty, Missions, Side Missions, Endgame 3 Intelligence Reports, Clues

BUCK ROGERS: COUNTDOWN TO DOOMSDAY Part 1 BASIC TRAINING This walkthru of BUCK ROGERS: COUNTDOWN TO DOOMSDAY is divided into three parts. Part one, Basic Training, contains basic game mechanics and game universe information that the player should know before starting the game. Part two, TOUR OF DUTY, contains game hints. Part three, INTELLIGENCE REPORTS, contains detailed information on how to complete the game. PARTY COMPOSITION The Logbook indicates that having two medics is highly Otherwise, the skill system allows for best created as engineers. There between races and careers. a medic, rocketjock, and engineer are required; recommended, and a rogue is desirable. a variety of party compositions. Tinkers are are no other obviously good or bad matches

It is worthwhile to use the Modify command to maximize the various attributes (such as Strength) after you add a character to the party. SMALL ARMS All guns come with a set of reloadable clips; reloading is done automatically. As a result, there are no reloads to put in the Gear inventory. A gun with all its clips filled has 250 rounds, which is quite adequate for most missions. For the occasional longer missions, two guns or 500 rounds is sufficient. However, battles are won by having the right weapon for the occasion. This means carrying from four to six different weapons. Needle guns are the best weapons. Nothing stops them, nobody is immune to them, and only a few opponents have partial immunity to them. Partial immunity means some rounds will hit for 0 hit points. The only disadvantage of needle guns is their short range. Having two needle guns per character is highly recommended. Laser rifles are good long-range backups for needle guns. Aerosol clouds will stop laser beams and combat robots have partial immunity to lasers. For that reason, some characters should carry rocket rifles in place of, or in addition to, laser rifles. Chaff clouds will stop rockets. ECM packages protect against rockets. Combat robots have ECM packages built into them. Bolt guns are as good as needle guns, but have an even shorter range. Microwave guns are very effective against unarmored opponents, but useless against anyone wearing armor. For these reasons, these weapons should not be
carried unless the party finds ones that improve THAC0 (e.g., a Lunarian bolt gun will improve the THAC0 by 4!). All other guns are not worth carrying unless they also improve THAC0. Melee weapons (swords, axes, etc.) are not worth carrying with one exception: Characters with high strength (18 or above) get hit bonuses when they attack with melee weapons. It is worthwhile to equip your strong characters with melee weapons for close combat. GRENADES All grenades have a 3x3 square blast area. Chaff grenades are extremely useful for fighting heavy combat robots. Since you will be outnumbered in most of the battles, stun grenades are very useful for evening the odds by knocking some opponents out while you fight the rest.

All explosive grenades are very useful. The remaining grenades are of limited use for various reasons, the main one being that most of your opponents are immune to their effects. HEAVY WEAPONS All characters should have a grenade launcher because they extend the range
a grenade can be thrown. This is very useful for throwing chaff grenades at heavy combat robots. Like all heavy weapons, loading takes one combat turn. Fortunately, the game regards the grenade as a regular weapon, so you can have grenade launchers ready at the same time as another weapon. Rocket launchers have Plasma Throwers have a Grenades, rockets, and sure there is no chaff a blast area of 5x5 squares. Grab all you find. blast area of 7x7 squares. Get as many as you can. plasma balls can all be stopped by chaff clouds. Make in the way when you fire these weapons.

MISCELLANEOUS EQUIPMENT Protective goggles protect against dazzle grenades, ECM packages protect against rockets, and poison antidotes are extremely useful. SKILLS REQUIREMENTS The following skills are extremely important: Zero-gravity maneuvering should be at least 40. Everyone, except for the medics, should have First Aid. At the higher levels, First Aid also gives a low-level Treat Light Wound capability. In this game, you have to be next to
a character to Bandage him. One character should have Bypass Security and Open Lock at the highest possible levels. (You do a lot of breaking and entering.) Programming at a high level (20+) is recommended for one character. The rocketjock should have Pilot Rocket at the highest possible level and Navigation skill of at least 20. Besides the engineer, at least one other character should have Juryrig skill of at least 20; having two characters with this skill is preferred. The engineer should have all the repair skills. Repair Weapons can be spread around to the other characters. It is a good idea to have at least one other character who can make repairs. The medic should strive for the highest possible level at Treat Critical Wounds first, then Treat Serious Wounds, and then Treat Light Wounds. If some one else has a high First Aid, then Treat Light Wounds may be neglected to increase the other medical skills. Diagnose and Treat Poisoning need only be
at least 15. Treat Stun enables a medic to unstun someone who has been stunned. To do this, move the medic next to the character and the Aid command should appear in the combat menu. Select Aid and the character will be unstunned if the medic has a high enough skill level (about 15+). You should have the following skills spread among your party: Leadership at the highest possible level Battle Tactics at the highest possible level Library Search of at least 20 Notice at the highest possible level Climb of at least 20 Demolition of at least 15 Planetary Survival of at least 20 Sensor Operations of at least 20 The following skills are used in the game but are not absolutely needed: Move Silently (only a rogue needs this skill, and it is for Backstabbing), Pick Pocket, Use Jet Pack, Commo Operation, Disguise, Befriend Animal, Etiquette, Fast Talk, and Intimidate. BATTLE TACTICS Most of the time the tactics needed to win are easy to figure out. The one exception is fighting the heavy combat robots. They have rocket launchers, plasma throwers, high AC, and high hit points. In a toe-to-toe slug-out, you will lose. The best tactic to use against them is to _immediately_ throw a chaff grenade (to prevent them from firing their heavy weapons), then scatter. They won't use their heavy weapons unless they can blast two or more of your characters at once. If your party is scattered, they will use only their needle guns. This gives your party a fighting chance. If your party cannot scatter, then keep throwing chaff grenades.

BUCK ROGERS: COUNTDOWN TO DOOMSDAY Part 2 TOUR OF DUTY The main missions are linear because they are driven by the game story. There is some freedom to deviate, but only at the cost of making it harder. The side missions can be done in any order, but their difficulty is variable. Some can only be done later in the game, when your characters have high levels and really good equipment. Except for Ceres Base (which is approximately 50x50), all the mazes are 16x16 at the largest, despite the coordinates given. The other large mazes in the game are actually broken into smaller sub-mazes that you explore one at a time. As soon as you can, explore the asteroids and locate the shops. There is some very useful equipment to be bought out in these shops. You must engage in privateering. Prize money from captured ships is needed to play the game. To capture a ship, you must destroy or take over the engineering and control/bridge sections of the ship. It is easier to destroy them, but you get more money for capturing them. To capture a ship, you must defeat the crew manning those sections mentioned above, find all the controls, and shut
them down. While pirates and RAM ships are the obvious targets of privateering, Mercurian ships have the best loot, some of which you will need. You can transfer your personal money to the NEO account using the Bank of Lunar. This may be necessary in the beginning, as it is very difficult to successfully capture ships until your party is more experienced. The asteroids -- in clockwise order from Ceres -- are: Vesta, Fortuna, Pallas, Psyche, Juno, Hygeia, Aurora, and Thule. The following are the main missions in the order in which they should be done. The numbers are references to explicit details in the INTELLIGENCE REPORTS section of this walkthru. CHICAGORG: The prime mission is to activate the missile defenses. This is an easy mission designed to acquaint beginners with the basics of the game. Search the big building to the south. Hint: Someone should make the big sacrifice, or you will not succeed (1). Dazzle grenades you pick here can be
used in the next two missions. DR. WILLIAMS'S DERELICT SHIP: Basically, you have to regain control of the ship from the ECG's. In the process you will learn what the game's plot is all about. First, you need to cure your party of a parasitic infection. Clues and the means to do so are on decks 4 and 6 (2). Hint: Remember the sigma codes you find. You find out how to regain control on Deck 9, but you will need something from Deck 6 (3). You will have to thoroughly explore the
ship, as the steps needed to regain control require you to find certain key places in the ship. CERES BASE: Fast Talk makes this mission much easier. The first order of business is to rescue the children (4). Then, explore the base from the bottom up with the children, because they'll tell you things about the base.
You are given three key locations you have to visit to complete this mission (5). All the other locations are optional, but give valuable experience points and loot. TALON'S SHIP: Surrender and let yourself be imprisoned. This is where Bypass Security and Pick Lock are extremely important. Once you escape, Buck Rogers himself will join your party. The first order of business is to find Talon's quarters (6). There is a very well-stocked armory next to the quarters. Follow Buck's suggestions about which decks _not_ to explore. Once you find Talon's quarters, the next steps are given to you by the game. This is also where Demolition skill is very important (7). MARS: This is a two-part mission. First, help the Desert Runner village due east of where you land. You will meet your first heavy-combat robot here. The key to helping the Desert Runners is GLIDERS (8). Once you have shown your courage and fighting ability, the Desert Runners will take your party to the secret RAM base. The rendezvous is due north and slightly west of the village, near the north edge of the map. Hint: Check around mountain peaks. The RAM base is a long and complicated scenario. Basically, you need to get
to Level 4 (9). You cannot do this without a blue security pass. You cannot

get a blue pass card without a white pass card. Hint: The two cards are on the same floor (10). You should have gotten (one way or another) red and green passcards at the village. Hint: Use the green card. Green squads are made up of eight men. Since this is a spy mission, the best plan is to pretend to be a green squad. Check all computer terminals for information. Bypass Security and Library Search are especially important here. Warning: Once you find Level 4, there is a series of unavoidable combats and very little opportunity to save in between them (11). The final battle is extremely tough at this point in the game. VENUS: Like Mars, this is a two-part mission. The first part is to investigate the Lowland village at the extreme northwest part of the map. Avoid the acid lake north of your ship, unless a character has a very high Befriend Animal skill. You will meet various Lowlander groups. Show your friendship by helping them. The party needs to get a set of keys (12) and a Lowlander child (13) from the village. Helping the villagers out is optional but very much worth the trouble (14). It is very important to keep the child alive. Due south of the village is the ruin of a space elevator. Explore it carefully, but do _not_ blow it up (15), at least not yet. It is useless to explore this place first, as the game will hint to you if you try. Explore all the squares to find needed hidden items. Once you find the secret RAM base, the mission is to help some Lowlanders escape from the base. In return, you will get something you need to complete
the game. The escape sequence is rather complicated. You need to find the Lowlanders, find their leader, help the leader by finding the secret exit, bring the Lowlanders to their leader, and get the location of the thing from
the leader (16). Only then can you leave the base. Upon completing this part
of the mission, you can blow up the elevator ruin. MERCURY: This is the final mission. The first part is easy. You have to find the entrance to the core. Hint: Join the parade (17). Once you enter the core, carefully explore the first three floors before continuing (18). Each floor has something you need. At Level 4, go directly to the Sun King (Hint:
Go northeast), and pretend to ally with him (19). Now you can safely proceed
up to the top of the core. At this point, things get complicated. First, you must abort the firing of the weapon by shutting down the power. There is a time limit to this sequence, so have a saved game you can go back to if you cannot shut the power down in time. Hint: The game tells you to use the stairs to get to the
floor with the power controls (20); this is a good idea. The stairs are to the northwest. You want to go all the way to the top of the stairs. The power control floor is also the floor with the doomsday weapon (21). The battle for the weapon is a two-parter, but you will have a chance to save between battles. The end of the second battle starts another time-limited sequence. You have
to get out of the tower before it blows. The game suggests that you should use escape pods. Hint: It is the next floor down (22). Have a saved position
you can go back to if you fail to make it out in time. After the victory sequence, you can continue to play the game. SIDE MISSIONS TALON'S SECRET BASE: The knowledge of the base is automatically given to you after you escape from Talon's ship, along with a clue as to whom to see. Once you talk to Garrity, it's a simple matter of searching the asteroid belt for
the base. Hint: Try the bars. This mission is moderately tough (23). JUSTIN ROBENO: You will see Robeno's ship fleeing Mars after you complete the Mars mission. The object is to find Robeno and help him retrieve some RAM secrets for NEO. This mission is easy, but be prepared for a series of running battles, including one in space (24). JASON DUPARE'S RESCUE: This mission is given to you by NEO. Hint: Programming skill is very useful for shutting down the security computer. There is also a second "spear carrier" prisoner in the prison to be rescued.
This mission is tough (25). WILMA DEERING: After Venus, you will get a call from NEO to meet Wilma Deering. Since the location is on Tycho, there is no reason not to do this mission immediately. It is moderately difficult, and there is a very nice reward.

ATHA'S RESCUE: NEO will tell you the news of Atha's capture. You get only one chance to do this mission; fortunately, the chance only comes when you go to Juno. As is typical in these games, there is no real time limit for taking on the mission. This is one of the toughest missions in the game. You
must fight a set number of encounters before you find Atha. She will then be
in the last unexplored place, wherever that is. Hint: You need to explore all the rooms and intersections, but not every square in the maze. TALON'S TREASURE TROVE: You stumble on this mission by exploring the asteroids. It should be easy, and there is a lot of very good loot. Hint: Check every square. RAM COMMUNICATION SPY POST: You stumble upon this moderately difficult mission by exploring the asteroid belt. The base is small; explore all rooms
and smash all communications gear. There is one minor loot stash (26). BUCK ROGERS: COUNTDOWN TO DOOMSDAY Part 3 INTELLIGENCE REPORTS 1. The controls are in the room at 13,9. 2. You find out what has sickened your party at 42,44 on Deck 4. The autodoc to cure your party is reached through the door at 63,64 on Deck 6. Use Dr. Williams's sigma number. 3. Scot.dos tells you how to kill the ECG's if you have the computer you found at 63,64 on Deck 6. Scot.dos is at 91,92 on Deck 9. The argon gas is on Level 0, but you will not find it until Scot.dos tells you that you need it. The door at 34,33 leads to the air supply controls. Head for the first console you see on Deck 1 (Engineering) for the manual override. If your party notices the air shaft opening, that is the quickest way up to Deck 10;
otherwise, the race to Deck 10 will be close. 4. The elevator down to the children is at 12,42. It is better to explore the first level after you have rescued the children. The children are at 25,42. 5. The locations you have to visit are given to you by Scot.dos. The only way back up is at 51,42. Once you get back up to the first level, there are three loot caches, the grandfather of one of the kids to be found, and some gennies to be rescued. The kids' rescue ship is at 46,2; your ship is at 17,2. 6. Talon's quarters are on Deck 12. 7. The gallery is on Deck 10, Engineering is on Deck 1, and the exit back to your ship is on Deck 11. There is loot on Deck 7, if you want to risk it. 8. The set encounters in the Desert Runner village are at 3,3, 13,5, 2,11, 3,11, 3,15, and 13,14. There is also a rescue in one of the buildings at 13,5 after the battle. Leave the village to automatically rendezvous with the Desert Runners once you hear the howling. 9. Tuskon should be with you by this time. Use the green passcard and say "One casualty." This gets you into Level 0. The elevator is at 47,59. Check for computer consoles on every floor, and try to get information from them. On Level 1 you will be taken to the base commander. Pretend to be a green squad member who has had a rough time of it. Fast Talking helps here. It is best to use the shaft at 42,62 to get to Level 2. 10. A white passcard can be found at 45,63 or thereabouts. The blue passcard is located somewhere through the door at 43,59. Use the elevator at 42,62 to
get to Level 3. The room at 45,62 on Level 3 is actually the entrance to Level 4. 11. After the battle, you are dumped at 48,59 on Level 0. The exit route leads through locations 53,54 and 50,50. 12. The keys can be found at 9,14. 13. The child is at 12,5. 14. The Lowlanders are at 14,0. The medical kit they need is in the building at 5,11. 15. The self-destruct key is at 8,1. The self-destruct controls are at 2,1.
The entrance to the main base is at 8,0. 16. The Lowlanders are at 0,2 on the 3rd floor. Landon is at 7,4 on the 4th floor. The retinal lockpick is at 1,2 on the 1st floor, but you can find it

only after Landon "tells" you its location. The hidden door is at 3,0 on the
4th floor. The elevator between floors is at 7,1 on all floors. 17. "Two if by sea" is the password at 1,9. The parade starts at 8,4. Remember that you are innocent party-goers if stopped while you're in the parade. Again, Fast Talk is very useful. You leave the parade at 13,7; the core entrance is at 15,2. 18. The coins are at 7,12 on Level 1; 12,13 on Level 2; and 11,12 on Level 3. 19. The Sun King is at 14,3. There is little else of interest on this level. Once you are allied with the king, go straight up the core to the security level. 20. The emergency stairs are at 0,0. Go up two flights. 21. The power room is at 2,4. The Doomsday Weapon is at 10,11. 22. The pod controls are at 4,5. Search the nearby rooms for a pod. 23. Until you kill the RAM commander at 14,13, you will have random RAM encounters. After you kill him (actually Talon does that), you will have random encounters with Talon's heavy combat robots. 24. Go to Ceres and check the bars and restaurants. You will have no problems until you go back to Pavonis. You then will have a series of running battles, including a final one in space. There is no maze. All movement is automatic. 25. You need to shutdown the security computer at 14,8. 26. The loot is at 0,6. For more Amiga documents, visit www.lemonamiga.com