make matters worse, eight of the ships were last seen
breaking away and heading for enemy space. Should the
Droids fall into enemy hands then they could be used
against man to cause his ultimate downfall. The only
way to prevent such a disaster from occurring is by
destroying every last robot present on the renegade
elevation of the space freighter 'Paradroid', showing
the deck levels (the pale blue line indicates the level
you currently occupy), and connecting lift shafts.
prototype Droid, known as the Influence Device,
has been placed under your command, and since docking
was out of the question, it was beamed aboard the first
ship, the Paradroid (hence the title of the game). This
Droid is effectively little more than a self-sufficient
helmet, possessing its own power supply and armament.
It has the unique ability of being able to temporarily
take full control of any robot, maintaining all the
working functions of its newfound host in the process.
Naturally, the host robot objects to this 'intrusion'
and attempts to resume its normal operation. This leads
to the device 'burning out', so in order to survive
for any great length of time one must change hosts regularly.
To do this, one has to gain control of the relevant
robot's microcircuits. Failure to do so results in the
destruction of your 'host' and ultimately yourself.
centering the joystick and holding down the fire button
you enter Transfer Mode. This enables you to
interface with a Droid of your choice by ramming it,
and initiates the transfer sequence. On merging with
a robot, you are reminded of the device you currently
control and informed of the one you wish to take over.
You are then presented with two sections of circuitry
containing twelve wires from both yourself and the target
Droid. One must select which side, and therefore colour,
is going to be advantageous before a timer counts down
from 99 to zero.
looking vertically down onto a section of a deck floor
-- Alert Status Green. The Influence Device is now in
possession of a Class 8 Security Droid (seen centre
of playing area) and it's replenishing energy. This
shot ideally shows the quality of the bas-relief 'metallic'
effect of the graphics.
of the wires lead to a central bar composed of twelve
blocks in one of three ways, while others, known as
Terminators, don't actually reach at all.
object of the exercise is to set at least seven of the
twelve blocks to your chosen colour within a given time
limit of 99 units. This is done by strategically sending
Pulses through the wires and into the blocks, the quantity
of which depends upon the class of robot in your possession.
If neither Droid has the advantage at the end of a 'bout',
then a Deadlock is called and the battle has to commence
once more with different circuits. There's more sophistication
involved than suggested here, but the game instructions
cover the process adequately.
the Influence Device has some limited capabilities and
it can only transmit details of its immediate surroundings
back to your screen, ie anything within its own visual
range. A large majority of the decks are larger than
a single screen, so each is viewed through a multi-directional
scrolling window. One critical defect or the optical
sensors used in the Influence Device is that it can't
see around corners, obstacles or through walls. This
gives rise to what can best be described as a sort of
three-dimensional view in two dimensions.
Transference Game -- the influence Device is attempting
to take over a Class 4 Maintenance Droid, but first
he has to select his colour . . . the Pulsers are shown
down the side, and the odds don't look too inspiring
. . .
are several different deck layouts, most consisting
of many smaller rooms with sliding doors that open when
a Droid is in close proximity to them. Some sections
are nothing more than a single location while others,
such as the cargo bays, contain wide-open spaces leaving
you vulnerable to attack. There are eight lift shafts
and many access points spread throughout the ship, allowing
you to freely travel from floor to floor.
logging on to one of the many consoles about the ship
one can access the Droid Data Library. This contains
useful information on all of the robots, including details
on physical attributes, such as height, weight etc and
other relevant characteristics. You are restricted though,
in that you can only view data on robots of a lower
rank than yourself, due to the fact that access is determined
by the host Droid's security clearance.
are 24 different types of Droid, each with their own
personality, and these are divided into 9 classes: Disposal
Robots, Servant Robots, Messenger Robots, Maintenance
Robots, Crew Droids, Sentinel Droids, Battle Droids,
Security Droids and the 999 Command Cyborg. The latter
is the most powerful of all robots and can only be taken
over for a very short period of time. There is only
ever one Command Cyborg per freighter. The robots are
represented on screen as a three digit number, the first
showing the class of Droid and the other two merely
plan view of a deck, showing lift access points, consoles
and energisers. Your current position is shown right
at the end of the 'thin bit'.
accessing the console, it is also possible to view a
plan of the deck you are currently inhabiting, or a
side elevation of the ship. The former shows all elevators,
consoles and energisers present on the deck, while the
latter is a simple representation of all decks and the
lift shafts adjoining them.
can be destroyed in one of three ways: by ramming, shooting
or transferring. The first method is only really viable
if you are in possession of a well-armoured Droid, since
you can be considerably weakened on ramming. Shooting
is the quickest and easiest way of disposing of a Droid,
higher ranks requiring many hits for complete destruction.
Some Droids fire back, so the utmost caution should
be exercised when attacking one in this manner. Finally,
the last approach, transferring, gives rise to a game
of its own as previously mentioned. If you eliminate
several Droids in a short period of time, the alert
status rise, and then you can score more for each 'kill'.
completely clearing a deck of all Droid activity, the
lighting system shuts dawn, plunging the entire floor
into semi-darkness, and you receive a small bonus. When
you finally clear all twenty sections of the ship you
are given a hefty bonus, a congratulatory message, and
you are beamed aboard the next freighter. Finish all
eight freighters and . . . Well, any offers?