(c) 2006 Scott M Baker / SB-Software, http://www.sb-software.com/astrohunter/
One man... One ship... One infinite supply of Mark-1 nuclear torpedoes. They called him the astro hunter, and his job was to keep the shipping lanes clear. The UFOs tried to stop him -- they failed. Some say he even defeated the space invaders. This is his story, and it's a story you know well, for you are the astro hunter, and he is you. It all started one day, when you downloaded what you thought was a simple "game" from the internet...
Overview, Requirements, and Installation
Astro Hunter is an asteroid shooter game, similar to the "asteroids" game that you might have played back in the mid 1980s, but Astro Hunter goes far beyond what the original asteroids game was capable of. The asteroids are rendered using 3D models, textures, and lighting. They roll, tumble, and break apart just like real asteroids would. There are several types of UFOs that can attack you, and lots of foes other than asteroids -- weird whirlygigs and berzerazoids to name a few...
There are also many different "power ups" available that will add advanced new capabilities to your ship, including multiple missile launchers and a starburst launcher.
The game still plays like a 2D asteroid shooter, but uses modern 3D graphics techniques, and will fully exploit your fancy 3D graphics accelerator in your PC.
This game requires Windows XP and Microsoft DirectX version 9.0 or greater.
This game requires a decent video card with 3D acceleration.
The automated setup program will install Astro Hunter to your hard drive, and place an astro hunter icon on your desktop. It's as simple as that.
Launching the game:
The game is launched, unsurprisingly, by clicking the desktop icon labeled "astro hunter 3d deluxe" on your desktop. This will bring up a dialog box where you can configure game options, graphics settings, difficulty, etc.
If you want to jump right into things, then go ahead and click the <Play> button.
If, on the other hand, you want to study the full range of exciting configuration options available to you first, then continue reading...
Windowed vs Full Screen:
You can choose to play the game in a window, or on your full screen. Personally, I recommend full screen mode (who ever went to an arcade and played a game with windows and dialog boxes in it...)
Windowed mode is useful if you still want part of your windows desktop visible. For example, if you're waiting for an important email message or some such nonsense.
The difficulty levels range from a complete and total wimp level, to unreasonably difficult. Adjusting the difficulty level will make asteroids harder to destroy, and your ship easier to destroy.
The acceleration effect controls how responsive your astro-hunter fighter is. A low acceleration effect means that your ship starts and stops quickly. A high acceleration effect means it will take you longer to get going and longer to stop.
Playing the Game
The game is played using the keyboard, joystick, or mouse. To select an input device, use the "options" button on the main window, and select the "controls" page.
Left-Arrow Rotate your ship left Right-Arrow Rotate your ship right Up-Arrow Thrust in the direction your ship is currently rotated Ctrl Fire a nuclear torpedo (you have an unlimited* supply of them, so you have safely hold down the ctrl key if you wish) Alt Fire a special weapon, such as Starburst ESC Pause (or quit) the game Shift Engage shield, if you have shield power available (you must collect power-ups)
[Note: By default, keyboard support is selected. To use your joystick, use the options button on the main menu and select the controls page]
Joystick support is self-intuitive. Pressing left or right rotates your ship. Pressing up applies thrust. Weapon, Starburst, and Shield are controlled by joystick buttons 1, 2, and 3. You can also use the keyboard to fire the weapons and activate the shields.
[Note: By default, keyboard support is selected. To use your mouse, use the options button on the main menu and select the controls page]
The mouse doesn't lend itself to ideally controlling your ship, but it can be used. Moving the mouse left or right will rotate your ship. The left mouse button will fire your primary weapon, and the right mouse button will apply thrust. You can also thrust by using the keyboard, and you can fire weapons, starburst, and shield from the keyboard as well.
Remember, to apply thrust with the mouse, use the right button or the keyboard.
The asteroids will appear from the sides on your screen and tumble across the screen, at which point they will wrap† around to the opposite side of the screen. Your job is to shoot these asteroids, and make them go away. It usually takes several shots to destroy an asteroid, especially a big one. When you destroy a big asteroid, it typically breaks into several smaller asteroids, which travel even faster, and you have to hunt them down and destroy them. This is simply the bad luck commonly associated with the universe.
Your ship is equipped with a limited amount of hull plating. Hitting an asteroid, or being hit by a UFO's nuclear torpedo, will damage your hull plating and reduce it's protection by exactly one.
When you run out of hull plating, your ship is extremely vulnerable, and any hit will destroy it. That would be bad.
Sometimes when you blow away an asteroid, it will leave a "power up" behind. Power-ups are equipment, materials, and treasure that were hidden by space pirates inside of the asteroid. Chase down the powerup with your ship and you will get a bonus. Here are some power-ups:
Hull Plating Adds to the existing hull plating rating of your ship. Starburst Adds to your available starburst missile inventory. A starburst fires multiple missiles in multiple directions, and is usually fired with the alt key. Extra Missile Launcher This will add an extra missile launcher to your ship, allowing you to fire two missiles at once. It will last a while, and then eventually burn out, leaving you with just one missile. If you already have two missile launchers, and you pick up this power-up, then you will be able to fire three missiles at once. Extra Ship Add another ship to your inventory. Useful. Very useful. Shield Picking up a shield powerup will increase your shield reserve. Shields are activated by using the Shift key
There are a variety of UFOs that will show up periodically and harass you. UFOs differ from asteroids and other hazards in the respect that UFOs also have nuclear torpedo launchers. Fortunately though the UFOs are exceedingly poor shots, and rarely hit you. Here are some common UFOs:
Flying Saucer One of these crashed in Roswell, NM a few years back so we've been able to study it thoroughly. It wobbles across the sky and fires nuclear torpedoes in random directions. We asked the aliens why they do this, and they say they do it simply to annoy you. Bork Kube Oh, those dreaded Borks, they want to assimilate everything. Fortunately though the bork kube is really no more dangerous that the usual flying saucer.
The universe is not a safe place, and there are all kinds of other things that you might encounter:
Space Invaders These guys are notorious for attacking planets. Of course, first they have to get to a planet, and that's where you might encounter them. Fortunately, they are extraordinarily stupid and they only fly in a downward direction. Berzerkazoids We're not really sure what these things are. Probably some kind of defunct spaceship by some alien race that didn't quite know what they were doing. If you don't understand something, just blow it up. That's always the safest thing to do. Whirlygigs These are prototype UFOs, but the aliens forgot to add control systems and a cockpit, thus they just kind of fly around out of control and hit your ship. Twirly Spikes This is like a whirlygig, but with the a spike sticking out. Much speculation exists as to what the spike is for, but the consensus is that it does absolutely nothing and is there solely for decoration. Porcupines The porcupine is believed to be a spore from some giant space-born vegetation. Best not to hit it, as it will probably leave a good size dent in your hull plating.
* You may ask yourself how we managed to fit an unlimited supply of nuclear torpedoes inside such a small space ship. This is not as difficult as it seems, because infinity is not nearly as a big a number as most people think it is, and the inside of your ship is bigger than it looks. We ensure you that your ship does in fact hold an infinite number of nuclear torpedoes and we encourage you to count them if you do not trust us. We would never lie.
† At first, it may seem contrary to physics that an asteroid should "wrap" and appear on the opposite side of the screen when it goes off-screen. However, we assure you that newtonian physics is wrong, and we are right. In the real world, if an asteroid was to fall off one side of a flat universe, wrapping and appearing on the opposite side of the universe is exactly what it would do. We encourage you to go out, find a flat universe and some asteroids, and try this experiment for yourself.
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