The Train Game (TrainGameThe.txt)


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The Train Game

You have just got the job of Chief
Operations Manager for a major railway. You
arrive at the address they gave you on your
first day, expecting a plush air-conditioned
office, when, to your horror, you find that from
now on you will be working all alone in a
draughty old signalbox. Pinned on the wall is
a sealed envelope. You open it and begin to

  Dear latest Operations Manager
    We were so impressed by your
  performance at the interview that
  we have decided to give you the
  jobs of Safety Manager and Public
  Relations Manager as well. By the
  way - beware the 10.47.

  You are just about to pick up your
briefcase and leave, when a bell starts ringing.
Looking up the track you see a train heading
towards you. Looking down the track, you see
another train rushing to meet it. Only you can
stop them colliding. Only you can prevent the
largest train disaster in the history of rail
travel. The lives of countless people depend
upon you.

  You rush into the signalbox and read the
rest of these instructions as quickly as you

Microsphere Computer Services Ltd
72, Rosebery Road, London N10 2LA.
Tel 01-883-9411

Loading The Program
  Two track layouts are recorded on each
cassette, these are called 'tracka' and 'trackb'.
The two layouts are different and pose
different problems. To load one of the tracks:-

    1) Set the volume control on your cassette
       recorder to somewhere near the middle.
       Rewind the cassette (label side up) to
       the beginning of the tape
    2) Connect the EAR socket of the cassette
       recorder to the EAR socket of the
       Spectrum. Make sure that there is
       nothing in the MIC socket of the
    3) Type in LOAD "tracka" or LOAD
       "trackb" depending on which layout
       you want. (You get the LOAD simply by
       pressing the "J" key rather than typing
       in the individual letters.)
    4) Press ENTER and start your cassette
       recorder playing.

If the tape fails to load, try again with different
volume levels. If it still fails to load, send it
back to MICROSPHERE at the address above
for a replacement.

Levels of Play
  You can play at any of 7 levels. Levels 1-6
have five sub-levels. Level 7 has 9 sub-levels.
Each sub-level has a unique combination of
trains and speeds, and, in case you ever
wonder, every sub-level has been thoroughly
checked out to make sure that it is possible.
When you complete all the sub-levels at any
level you will automatically be taken on to the
next level.

  You start off with 4 lives, but you can earn
an extra life if your score reaches 5000. The
number of spare lives you have remaining is
shown in black carriages on the bottom line
on the screen. On the line above this you see
the current level and sub-level, and the
speeds of the trains. (A number after a single
black carriage is the speed of the express, a
number after two black carriages together is
for a goods train.)

  Before you select a level and start playing
you can watch the demo version. This will give
you a chance to study the track layout. Notice
that each set of points has a code letter.
During play, pressing this letter on the
keyboard will make the points on the screen
change, and any train coming to those points
will go down the other section of track. But be
careful any train reaching a set of points
switched against it will be derailed.

  You score by stopping at the stations and
picking up fare-paying passengers. The
amount you score per passenger depends on
which sub-level you are in. Red trains pick up
red passengers, blue trains blue passengers
etc. Keys 1, 2 &3 are used to make the trains
stop. "1" affects the blue train, "2" the red
train and "3" the magenta train. (The keys
have these colours on them.) The train will not
stop immediately, but only when it next
reaches a station.

  You have to pick up 25 passengers before
you are allowed on to the next sub-level. But
you have to keep them happy. If you delay too
long in picking up a passenger he will go
white with rage, hijack the next train that does
stop, not letting anyone else on, and certainly
won't pay you. If you are very slow, the station
platform may fill up entirely. If any other
passenger comes along then there will not be
room for him without pushing somebody else
onto the rails, and you'll lose a life.

  In some sub-levels lost express or goods
trains will appear from the tunnel at the
bottom right of the screen. The only way you
can get rid of them is to send them back out
the way that they came. However, if you direct
one of your trains out through this tunnel, you
will lose a life for your carelessness.

  Pressing the SPACE key will freeze the
action on the screen. But, time is money, and
so don't be surprised if you see your score
going backwards as you think. Pressing any
key will start the game again. (So if you decide
not to change any points press something like 
ENTER.) At any time you can stop the train
noises by pressing '0' (zero) and the CAPS
shift key at the same time. Pressing these
keys again will bring the noises back.

To summarize:-
 a-z Switch associated points
1, 2, 3 Stop train at next station
SPACE Freeze action
Shift+0 Switch on/off train noises

Turntable Bonus Games
  Every now and then, when you complete a
sub-level you will be offered the chance to
score a turntable bonus. In the bonus game
you change the direction of the train by
flipping it round while it is on a turntable
rather than changing points. Pressing '0' (zero)
rotates all the turntables clockwise: pressing
'1' (one) rotates them all anti-clockwise.

  In order to collect the bonus you have to
get from the bottom left hand corner to the top
right hand corner of the screen. Running into
a turntable which faces the wrong way will
derail the train. As an additional hazard, heavy
rains have washed away some sections of
track, and hitting one of these will cause a

  This program and documentation, its
  content, game principles and graphical
  presentation is copyright Microsphere
  Computer Services Ltd. It may not be
  reproduced, in part or in whole by any
  means or in any form without the express
  permission of the copyright holder.
  Penalties for infringement of copyright are
  high. This program is sold subject to the
  condition that it will not be lent or hired

Re-edited Nigel Fishwick's work with complete (mistakes
intact) instructions by Frode TennebÝ, 20050824.
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