Mechwarrior (mechwarrior_manual.txt)


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                          MechWarrior Key Summary  


ESC -- Retreat or Eject from Mech
P -- Pause
S -- Toggle Sound On/Off
H -- Change Colors of HUD

ENTER -- Targets Mechs or Bases in view
M  --  Moves Targeting Cursor Up
N  --  Moves Targeting Cursor Down

Top Number Keys 1 -> 10 -- Select Specific Weapon
W -- Toggles Automatic Weapons System
O -- Attach/Remove particular weapon from AWS.

TAB -- Fire all weapons linked to AWS
SPACE -- Fire Weapon

A -- Auto-Align Torso & Feet
<  > -- Twist Torso Left/Right

J -- Activate Jump-Jets (Not all Mechs have these)
U -- Get Up (when your Mech is knocked down)

D -- Damage readings for your Mech
E -- Damage readings for Targeted Mech (Friend or Foe)

T -- Topographical Screen, toggles between Elevation Map & Radar
R -- Changes range of the Radar

C -- Command Screen
Q -- Quit from Command Screen or Damage Screen to Cockpit.
Z -- Zoom Level, changes main view (and Command Screen detail)
SPACE -- Exit Command Screen and Damage Screens

Plus Key -- Next Weapon
Minus Key -- Previous Weapon

7 -- Forward Left
8 -- Forward
9 -- Forward Right

4 -- Left
5 -- Stop
6 -- Right

1 -- Reverse Left
2 -- Reverse
3 -- Reverse Right

(For those too damned lazy to crack MechWarrior, here's the codez')

Verify Codes

Code Check                    Authorization Code
Whiskey Delta Tango           Night Stalker
Xray Zulu Charlie             Future Guard
Foxtrot Echo Delta            Red Dawn
Foxtrot Oscar Xray            Duck Soup
Sierra Echo Xray              Dragon Tail
Juliet Alpha Sierra           Yellow Bird
Papa Foxtrot                  Tin Man
Echo Golf Alpha               Black Witch
Victor Victor                 Red Arrow
Lima Golf                     Slasher
Romeo Alpha Zulu              Glory Boy
Foxtrot Alpha Delta           Bad Dream
Charlie Charlie               Black Jack
Hotel Oscar Tango             Red Lance
Foxtrot Alpha Romeo           Sakhara
Tango India November          Grave Walker
Papa Bravo                    Mad Dog
Whiskey Alpha Romeo           Silver Hawk
Bravo Alpha Delta             Renegade
Mike Alpha Sierra             Small Room
Zulu Alpha Romeo              Black Baron
Charlie Alpha Tango           Snow Fire
Hotel Oscar Tango             Screaming Eagle
Bravo Alpha Bravo             Grim Jim


                             MERCENARY'S HANDBOOK

NOTICE: This handbook is entirely unofficial, and is under interdict in
multiple systems. Do not reveal its contents, or even talk about its existence,
to anyone whom you don't completely trust. A healthy dose of paranoia will
to your life expectancy in this universe.

 This handbook has been distilled, like Quanga nut liquer, from the experiences
of many mercs over hundreds of years. Here you'll find all the essentials
being a successful mercenary -- how to negotiate contracts, how to get and keep
the best Mechs, and the basics of how to operate a Mech.

 Of course, there's no substitute for experience. Once you've spent a
few years
on the mercenary trail, gunning your Mech through a rain of shrapnel and bolts
of laser lightning, you'll have a knowledge of what it's like that no
book can
give you. Maybe you can pick up a pointer or two from these pages that will
help you through some of the rough spots. No guarantees, though. In this
universe, you're on your own.

  The Years 2014 - 3024 AD.  
 After the Western Alliance enforced a world peace in 2014, the unification of
the world under its banner was inevitable. By 2086 most of the world belonged
to the Western Alliance. The development of Faster-Than-Light travel in 2108
launched an era of interstellar colonization. As the cost of FTL travel
dropped, colonization proceeded apace, so that by 2235 there were more than 600
inhabited worlds. In 2236 the colonies rebelled against the dominion of Terra,
and by 2242 Alliance holdings had shrunk to a sphere less than 60 light years
across. Over the next 50 years, the Exodus of Earth's population took place
more than 1500 new planets were settled.

 With the collapse of the Terran Alliance in 2314, hostilities broke out. The
establishment of the Terran Hegemony as a replacement sparked years of war. In
fact, the period until 2550 was marked by an almost continuous series of small
battles under the peculiarities of the Ares Conventions. The BattleMechs became
the standard instrument of the highly ritualized warfare during this time. The
founding of the Star League in 2571 sparked the Unification War; when that war
ended in 2597, a period of relative peace began. The Star League developed the
first FTL transmitters, cutting the average communication time from Terra to
the Periphery from 1 year to less than five months. The Star League went on for
over 150 years in peace before it was torn apart by treachery and rebellion. In
2785 the First Succession War raged through known space, as the five lords of
the High Council all declared themselves ruler of the Star League. The Ares
Conventions were cast aside, and hundreds of millions perished in the brutal
warfare that ensued. For the next several hundred years, a series of Succession
Wars brought the technology to a level barely above that of the 21st century.
The Warlords of the Successor States, unable to manufacture the advanced
computers, fusion plants, and starships that their civilization depended on,
took to cannibalizing existing equipment to maintain their armies.

 Now that the Third Succession War is over, the new alliance between the
Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth portends a new era of peace and trade
among the Successor States.

                         -- from "The Succession Wars: A History"
                                   by Dr. B. Banzai, New Avalon
                                   Institute of Science

  The Successor States  
 While you may have learned some of this in school, it's good to have it
repeated. Know your employer -- and your enemy. They may be one and the same.

The Federated Suns
 Founded in 2317 by Lucien Davion, then Prime Minister of New Avalon. A member
of the Davion family has led the Federated Suns for over 700 years. Much of
Davion's expansion in the last centuries has been at the expense of
Capellan Confederation. Recently, Hanse Davion (Duke of New Avalon and ruler of
the Federated Suns) has formed an alliance with the Lyran Commonwealth and is
skirmishing heavily with Kurita's Draconis Combine. The ambitious Michael
Hasek-Davion, brother-in-law to Hanse, is Duke of New Syrtis and ruler of the
Capellan March.

 House Davion has earned a reputation among mercs for being very fair in
contract negotiations and treating mercs quite well. However, Hanse Davion
isn't known as "The Fox" for nothing. His tricky battle
strategies have put
some lances in unexpected situations. Mercs should look for possible twists in
the contract offered them before accepting a Davion mission.

The Lyran Commonwealth
 Formed in 2341 by a combination of three small leagues: the Tamar Pact, the
Federation of Skye, and the Protectorate of Donegal. The Lyran capitol is
currently located at Tharkad. Since the early 2400's the Lyran Commonwealth
been ruled by the Steiners. While the Lyrans have been losing territory to the
Draconis Combine, the Commonwealth remains a major power due to the extreme
wealth of some of its planets. Most recently, their pact with the Federated
Suns has resulted in the recapture of several planets held by Kurita. The Lyran
Commonwealth is ruled by the Archon Katrina Steiner; her daughter Melissa is
rumored to be betrothed to Hanse Davion, promising the formation of a powerful

 House Steiner offers generous contracts to mercenaries, using their great
wealth to attract some of the best mercs around. However, the Lyran
Commonwealth suffers from a great deal of infighting, which reduces the
military effectiveness. Often forced to withdraw during combat, the Lyrans just
as often yield little good plunder. The Archon is striving to improve the
quality of their military leadership, but it remains to be seen how successful
such efforts will be.

The Capellan Confederation
 The Capellan Confederation was created in 2366 by treaty agreement among five
smaller areas. The early days of the Confederation were marked by vicious
internal debates and factionalism. Eventually, Franco Liao managed to pull
things together as a compromise leader; his descendants have consolidated their
power over the major worlds of the Capellan Confederation. The Capellans have
always fought fiercely with the Free Worlds League. Over the centuries of
bitter warfare, the Capellan Confederation has come out on the short end,
losing many of its most valuable territories to House Davion and House Marik.
However, the now much shrunken Capellan realm is heavily fortified, and they
have been mostly peaceful for the last fifty years. Maximilian Liao currently
rules the Capellan Confederation, spending much effort in shrewd diplomatic
maneuvering designed to bring back the lost glory to Capella and especially to
House Liao.

 For mercs, it's enough to know that the Capellans are the weakest among
Successor States. While they tend to offer excellent terms while contracts are
available, there are many stories of Capellan contracts that looked good at the
start but soon turned sour. When dealing with the Capellans, more than one merc
has found himself unable to collect on a technicality or two.

The Draconis Combine
 Founded in 2319 after a brutal military campaign led by Shiro Kurita. The vast
reaches of the Draconis Combine are controlled by the Kuritas to this day;
Takashi Kurita is the current iron-fisted ruler. Luthien is now the capitol
world, but New Samarkand still wields great power as the home base for the
Internal Security Force (ISF).

 House Kurita issues many mercenary contracts, but they have a widespread
reputation for being ruthless and arrogant. They don't like to dicker, and
drive a hard bargain. Nonetheless, they do have a way of winning, which keeps
the mercs coming back for more contracts.

The Free Worlds League
 Created in 2271 by the Treaty of Marik, which unified the Grand Duchy of
Oriente, the Principality of Regulus, and the Marik Commonwealth. Largely based
on merchant organizations, the Free Worlds League has maintained a strong trade
with the Successor States. The Captain-Generalship of the Free Worlds League
has become a hereditary post held by House Marik. The Free Worlds League
suffers from increased balkanization, and Janos Marik (current Captain-General)
faces mounting difficulties as he tries to hold things together from his
capitol on Atreus.

 Contracts are common in the Free Worlds League, as the internal bickering
constantly erupts into combat. There are often good contract and rich plunder
available, but the unstable political situation makes it a dangerous playground
for the unwary merc.

  Getting Started  
(Installation Instructions Deleted)

Your Authorization Code
 Each time you start MechWarrior, you'll be asked for an authorization
that matches the code check pattern for a particular Mech shown on the screen.
The Codes are included for each Mech in the section "BattleMech
on page 35. Enter the correct code, then press ENTER. Failure to enter the
correct code 3 ties in a row will result in your returning to DOS. Once
entered the correct code, you'll be dirtside. Check out the following
for the options available to you.

(Fortunately, we've included the Crack, so you won't have to futz with

  The Mercenary's Life  
 There are many things you need to know to be a successful mercenary -- more
details than there's space for here. Besides, you'll learn the details
through (sometimes bitter) experience. These pages cover only the essentials of
what you can do dirtside.

 Whenever you're moving around dirtside, you can use either a joystick, a
mouse, or the arrow keys on your console keyboard to move the pointer to one of
the icons. Press the joystick fire button (Button 1), the mouse button, or the
ENTER key to enter the selection represented by the selected icon.

 The instructions that follow refer only to the keyboard commands, but the
mouse or joystick can be used equally well anywhere dirtside.

Blazing Aces
 This is your personal database. Of all your basic personal data, perhaps the
most important item is your wealth. Like all mercs, you have a software agent
who synthesizes data off the NewsNet and posts readings of how the various
families feel about you. These attitudes, based on previous contracts
handled for them, will of course affect your contract negotiations. Play it
smart, pal. Keep your eye on these readings and don't expect too much from
families that hate you.

 This is your Lance command roster. When you highlight the word and press
ENTER, you'll see your current crew roster along with their gunnery and
ratings, their wages, and the Mech they've been assigned by you. Of course,
you're the only one in the Lance, then you're the only one that shows
up. You
can change the Mechs assigned to each crew member, or even dismiss a crew
member if you're not happy with his performance. Whenever you buy a new
you'll have to assign it to a crew member (including yourself); otherwise,
won't be utilized.

 Changing Mech assignments is simple. Move to each pilot's Mech and
it, then press ENTER and use the up or down arrow keys to choose among the
Mechs you have (one of the choices available is to DISMISS the crew member).
Once you have the Mech you want to assign to that pilot, press ENTER again.
Note that if that Mech is already assigned to some other pilot, then the two
pilots swap Mechs. Use the down arrow to highlight the DONE button, then press
ENTER to leave the Crew roster.

 This is your access to news items of interest selected by your Comstar news
filter of the interplanetary telecommunications network. Personal messages for
you can also be found here. The information you find here can be crucial to
getting the best contracts by finding out where the action is. If you have any
other goals in mind, your news filter is also selecting news items that can
help you achieve your goals.

 Use the arrow keys to highlight your choices, and press ENTER to execute each
choice. PREVIOUS shows you any messages you've had before; NEXT shows you
next message (if any); and DONE takes you back to your personal database.

 Exit from your database and get back to wandering around dirtside.

Mech Complex
 This is where you go to view, repair, buy, sell, and re-arm your Mechs. Of
course, things are different on every planet. Prices change depending on local
availability of supplies. You won't be able to get Mechs on some worlds.
parts you need to repair your Mech might not be available. So make the most of
what's available, because you might not be able to get it when you need
Those C-bills in your bank account won't do you any good when you're
down the muzzle of a PPC and wishing you'd repaired that frontal armor.

Review Mechs
 This shows a listing of the Mechs you own, with the pilots assigned to them.
Select a Mech and press ENTER to take a closer look. A picture of the Mech
appears with its basic armaments and speed listings. Here you can choose to do
the following things:

 This shows a complete listing of the Mech's systems and their current
operational status. As you cycle through the systems, if a repair is required
the cost is shown at the bottom of the screen. If you want to repair that
system, press ENTER. Otherwise, press the Up or Down arrow key to move to
another system. Note that each time you repair a system it gets a little
better, moving up one damage class (from Junk to Heavy Damage to Light Damage
to Functional). So if a system is Junk, the cost shown is one-third of what it
takes to make it fully operational. Sometimes, the parts needed to repair a
system won't be available, and you'll have to wait for some more to
come in or
try another planet. Or take your chances and go into battle anyway. Sure,
a risk, but so's life.

Repair All
 You can use this option to automatically repair all damaged systems without
having to select each one. Note that the repair cost displayed on this screen
is only as estimate of the actual cost and the final bill may be lower or
higher than estimated. This function works like the regular Repair function; if
you don't have enough money or the parts aren't available, you're
out of luck.

 If you're fully loaded, you'll be told that your ammo bay is full
when you
press ENTER. If you need ammo, the cost of reloading is show; you can choose to
reload and pay the cost or cancel without reloading.

 If you want to sell your Mech, choose this item and press ENTER. If
there's an
offer, it appears before you. You can accept or reject the offer. The price
offered for your Mech depends on its condition and on the demand for Mechs on
that particular planet. Some mercs can make a tidy sum just by buying Mechs
where they're cheap, maybe fixing them up a bit, and selling them where
scare. Of course, if you're not careful the transportation costs will eat
alive. Best to leave trading to the merchants and concentrate on the business
of war.

 Gets you back to the review Mechs choices.

Extra Ammo
 While your Mechs can carry a full combat load of ammo, when you're going
on a
long campaign you'll need to stock extra ammo if you can afford it. On an
extended campaign, you may go thru several combats before you can get back to a
civilized place to repair and reload. You'll feel more than foolish if you
up all your ammo during the first combat, only to face another -- you'll
DEAD. So spend some C-bills on extra ammo before heading out on one of those
extended campaign contracts.

 Extra Ammo shows a display of the different kinds of ammo available for the
different Mechs (if you own on of the Mechs listed, it will be highlighted). As
you scroll down the list, the types of Mechs that can use that ammo are
displayed. If you press ENTER, the ammo is purchased and stored for future use.
You can sell back any extra ammo by using the Right Arrow to highlight the ammo
stored in the hold; the prices change to show what you will get if you sell.
Press ENTER to sell the ammo. Select DONE and press ENTER to return to the Mech
Complex choice.

Buy Mechs
 When you select this item, a list of the Mechs currently offered for sale is
displayed. (Of course, sometimes there just aren't any Mechs for sale at
Select any Mech and press ENTER to check out the price and its operational
ratings. Chose DAMAGE LEVELS to see the condition of the Mech, and just how
much repair it's going to take before you can haul it onto the
Select BUY to acquire the Mech for the price shown. Select DONE to return to
the Mechs For Sale listings. When you're finished shopping, choose DONE to
return to the Mech Complex choice. Don't be surprised if the choice of
Mechs is
limited or even nonexistent. After all, these things are scare and valuable,
and not every podunk planet has Mechs for sale. The bigger Mechs are even
harder to find.

 The smart merc will notice that Mechs are cheaper on some worlds. When a world
is small and there's a shortage of Mechs, the price is higher -- it may be
great place to sell an extra Mech. Keep your eye on the prices, and don't
some backwater planet charge you too much. Buy your mechs when they're
Remember, every C-bill you save could save your life by enabling you to buy a
little more ammo or some repairs.

 Select this item to return to your other dirtside choices.

 On many planets (but not all), you'll find merc contracts offered by the
ruling House. Select CONTRACTS to see the latest contract postings. Sometimes
there's only one contract being offered; at other times or places, there
may be
more. Read each one CAREFULLY, and don't get in over your head. No matter
tough, experienced, and well-armed you are, there's always somebody

Request Mission
 Here's where you get your contracts. Any current contracts available on
planet are displayed one at a time. Of course, contracts are not always
available, so you can either wait around until one shows up or haul mass to
another planet with better opportunities. Check the NewsNet for some idea of
where the action can be found.

 If you've got a contract offer, don't leap at it right away --
that's the mark
of a real amateur. First, check out all the contracts being offered by
selecting the NEXT button and pressing ENTER. If you don't see anything
like, select LEAVE and press ENTER to go back to your other dirtside
activities. Look carefully at the odds. Balance your forces against the enemy
forces. Sure, you know your crew is good, but take care not to bite off too big
a job.

 Once you've found a contract you like, then it's time to get the best
You can negotiate over the price, the percentage of the confiscated equipment
you'll get (assuming you win, that is), and how much front money
you'll get for
outfitting. Since all haggling over contracts is conducted via computer, all
you do is use the arrow keys to point to the item you want to negotiate and
press ENTER. The item turns yellow; use the up arrow key to increase the
number, and use the down arrow key to decrease the number. When you've got
number you want, press ENTER again. When you've modified all the figures
your satisfaction, highlight the SUBMIT button and press ENTER. The figures
change to show the counteroffer. If the counteroffer is not to your liking,
change the figures again and re-submit the contract.

 Some families don't have a lot of patience, and they may just withdraw
contract if you haggle too much. And of course the terms vary depending on the
job and the reputation you have with the individual family. Experience can
guide you on just how flexible each House will be and what kind of terms you
can expect.

Mission Types
 There are several different types of missions that might be outlined in the
typical mercenary contract. The payoff conditions (what NewsNet types call
"victory") are different for each type, so pay careful attention when
negotiate each contract.

 A few missions, like suppressing a rebellion or eliminating enemy forces, are
simple, clean, and not too hard to figure -- immobilize all enemy mechs, and
you win. That's all there is to it.

 When an enemy base is involved, things get more difficult. You may be asked to
capture an enemy base -- in order to rescue a kidnap victim, say, or retrieve
captured equipment. On such missions, you'll have to fight your way to the
and ram it with one of your Mechs; as soon as you breach the walls, surrender
is immediate, and you should be able to collect on your contract. When your
mission calls on you to destroy or disable an enemy base, you'll have to
your way through opposing Mechs and pound the hostile base with several rounds
of high-powered ammo.

 If a contract calls on you to defend a base against enemy forces, you must
immobilize all enemy Mechs that don't permanently flee the scene. On
that involve crossing territory, like a reconnaissance raid, you must move all
the Mechs in your Lance across the line indicated on the Mission Briefing
screen, fighting off enemies as you go, in order to collect. Conversely, some
types of contracts, such as the relief of engaged forces, require that you
prevent enemy forces from crossing a dashed line indicated ont eh Mission
Briefing screen (also shown on the Command Screen) -- again, you'll have
immobilize any hostile Mechs that don't flee.

 Extended campaigns are the most difficult. Each one involves two or three
separate encounters; in between them, you'll have a chance only to re-arm
any extra ammo you brought at the start of the campaign, and to make field
repairs to your Mechs. There will be no chance to return to a civilized area
for extensive repairs -- unless and until the campaign is successfully

 Get back to your other dirtside business.

 For those farm boys out there who may not know the ins and outs of
interstellar travel, someone should layout the basics for you. First there are
jumpships and dropships. Dropships are those metal beasts you see standing on
every launch pad throughout known space. They take you off planet and carry you
out to the jump points where the jumpships sit. The distance from a planet to
it's system jump point varies depending on the size of the star, position
the planet in the system, and velocity of the dropship. That means it can take
you anywhere from a few days to three weeks to get there.

 Once the dropship gets to the jump point, it links up with a jumpship.
Jumpships use the Kearny-Fuchida drive system to make near-instantaneous jumps
to another jump point. Jumpships are limited to single jumps of around 30 light
years. So to travel to a system 60 light years away requires two jumps. The
jumpship must recharge its engines in between jumps with a device called a jump
sail. The recharge process takes about one week. So, to travel to a system 60
light years away requires at least one week for the jump, plus the amount of
time needed to travel to and from the jump point in the drop ship.

Using The Star Map
 You're shown a map of the major planetary systems throughout known space
it's very helpful in making your travel decisions. Here you can make your
travel arrangements, find out a bit about the planets you're traveling to,
determine the cost of your journey, and go.

 The name of the highlighted planet is shown in the upper left corner. The type
of planet (for example, tropical or ice) is shown to the right of the name, and
the population is shown in the upper righthand corner. Below this is a brief
description of the planet as found in Stoner's Galactic Travel Guide, 4th
Edition. The icon of the ruling House for the planet is shown on the righthand
side. Below this icon appears the cost in C-bills to travel to a designated

 Note that travel costs are based on several factors: number of Mechs, crew,
extra ammo being transported, and distance traveled. You pay by the jump. A
planet two jumps away doubles the cost (mechs, personnel, ammo). Your personal
wealth is shown below the cost.

 Use the Up and Down arrow keys to highlight either the name of the planet in
the upper left corner, or the TRAVEL, PLANETS, or CANCEL button.

 The left arrow key will move the cursor off the current planet selection and
free it up so you can use all four arrow keys to move the cursor around on the
map. Placing the cursor on a planet and pressing ENTER causes that planet to be
selected. All the data on the screen will change to reflect the new choice.

 When you've chosen your destination, highlight this button and press ENTER
travel there. Your wealth will be reduced by the amount displayed under the

 Use this button to find a particular planet. Highlight this button and press
ENTER to get a list of the different Houses. Select the House you want using
the arrow keys, the press ENTER. A list of available planets in that House
appears. Select your destination using the arrow keys; press ENTER when the
planet you want is highlighted.

 You can also locate a planet directly. When PLANET NAME is highlighted, press
ENTER, and the box will clear. Type in the name of the planet you're
for and press ENTER. If the name your typed in is not recognized, the currently
selected planet will reappear in the box.

 Return to dirtside activities.

The Bar
 Here you can get some refreshment and maybe catch some useful rumors -- the
kind of things that don't appear on the NewsNet. And of course all the
merc pilots hang out here between jobs.

Order Drink
 Sometimes, the bartender will slip you a little information and maybe some
answers to your questions. Go ahead, be friendly -- if could save your life.

Recruit Crew
 If there are any merc pilots looking for work, you can bet they'll be here
the bar. Check out their references, look over their skill ratings. Watch their
pay rates, and remember that you'll have to shell out that much every
And when you're just a rookie, don't expect the best pilots to sign up
you. If you want to hire a particular merc, just say YES. Saying NO puts you
back into circulation at the bar.

 Go outside and look for other dirtside activities.

  Game Options  
 Here's where you can take care of some housekeeping matters, like storing
or altering your personal data environment.

Save Game
 If you want to check out of reality and enter a simulation of 20th century
Earth life, choose SAVE GAME. You'll be asked to enter a name for your
game." This will effect the storing of all current data on your career, and
can use the same name as your "password" when you want to return to
the reality
of the 30th century, just the way you left it. You can save and resume up to 12
separate "games".

Restore Game
 Brings you back to the real world of the 30th century. Choose the
"game" that
you want to "restore" and press ENTER.

Restart Game
 Choose this to start your career as a marc all over again.

Turn Sound On/Off
 Controls the sound output to your cockpit when you're in a Mech, and any
incidental music.

Detail Level
 Allows you to adjust the complexity of the combat simulation display to suit
you particular computer console. Especially on slower computers, it's
to match the simulation level to the speed of your processing hardware for
maximum control and maneuverability. You choices are HIGH, LOW and MED. A HIGH
detail level shows all landscape items such as mountains and ridges. Choosing
LOW will remove these items from the display, allowing for faster updates to
the screen.

Exit To Dos
 Leave the program and visit the mysterious dimension of MS-DOS.

 Return to normal dirtside activities.

 Here are the basics of owning and operating a Mech. And no, they don't
you this stuff in school, so don't think you know it all.

BattleMechs 101
 First, a quick refresher course. BattleMechs, the most powerful war machines
ever built, dominate the battlefields of the Succession Wars. These huge man-
shaped vehicles are faster, more maneuverable, better armored and carry heavier
weaponry than any other combat unit. Equipped with particle projection cannons,
lasers, rapid-fire autocannons, and missiles, these behemoths pack enough
firepower to flatten everything but another Mech.

 Mechs break down into four basic categories: light, medium, heavy, and
assault. Light mechs range in weight from 20 tons to almost 40 tons. They are
the most inexpensive and common type found on the battlefield today. Light
mechs are used mostly for reconnaissance. Their speed and jump capability
usually allow them to skirt heavy fighting to get a look at enemy formations or
to perform deep penetration raids.

 Medium Mechs are the real workhorses of the armies of the Inner Sphere. They
range in weight from 40 tons to almost 60 tons. They provide a wide variety of
design and usually end up doing the real dirty work.

 Heavy Mechs range in weight from 60 tons up to 80 tons. They are usually
piloted by commanders and the most experienced warriors and are the major force
on the battlefield. With their capacity to give and take enormous amounts of
damage, their deployment and use in combat is critical.

Assault Mechs are the lords of the battlefield. Although rare, and hence often
kept out of battle altogether, one assault Mech is equal to a whole lance of
other Mechs. They range in tonnage from 80 to 100.

The Cockpit
 The top area of the screen shows the battlefield as displayed through the
external sensors of your Mech. The image display can be sped up by selecting a
lower DETAIL LEVEL through the OPTIONS menu (see above); this removes the
mountains and ridges from the screen, resulting in a faster screen display.

 The Direction Indicator or compass is shown in the display area, marked off in
5 degree increments for a full 360 degrees. The top arrow indicates the
direction of your Mech's torso, while the bottom arrow shows the direction
your Mech. The ENTER key on the combat keyboard controls your targeting
rectangle. Each time you press ENTER, a new target is acquired and displayed,
showing current damage levels as detected by your sensor array. There are two
targeting rectangles around a friendly Mech, one targeting rectangle around an
enemy Mech. This is important enough to repeat: One Rectangle, THEIR Mechs --
Two Rectangles, OUR Mechs. In a military organization, forgetting this kind of
information is a court-martial offense.

 The display may be magnified by a factor of 1x, 2x, or 3x by pressing the Z
key. When your view is magnified the targeting cursor will be disabled.

 The crosshairs may be moved by pressing M or N, to move the cursor up and
down, or > and < to twist the Mechs torso left and right. Also, the left
right arrow keys may be used to pivot or steer your Mech in those directions.
If you need to get straightened out in a hurry, the A key will auto-align the
feet and torso of your Mech.

Weapons Status Board
 Your weapon status board is shown next to the map display. On some Mechs the
weapon status board is on the left while other models place it on the right.
Your weapons are listed here. The lights next to each weapon show whether the
weapon attached to the AWS (See Below), and the one for the currently selected
weapon is lit. Pressing the trigger (SpaceBar or Fire Button) will fire this

 Ammo (if the weapon requires it) is listed with its current status next to the
weapon name. The final letter indicates the range of the weapon -- Short,
Medium, or Long. When the target is out of range these letters are black. When
the target is at long range for the weapon, the letters change to red; at
medium range, yellow; and at short range, blue.

 Weapons that are reloading or recharging have their names shown in red, and
cannot be fired during this time. A weapon shown in black is unusable, due
either to damage or lack of ammo. To select a weapon, you may either press the
corresponding number key (1 for the first weapon, 2 for the 2nd weapon, and so
on), or press the  -  and  +  keys on the number keypad to cycle back and forth
through the listed weapons.

 Pressing W will toggle the Automatic Weapons System (AWS) on and off. The AWS
does two things; it automatically chooses the next available weapon after the
current weapon has been fired, and it provides a second trigger.

 When the system is on, the letters AWS appear in the display over the weapons
list, and all weapons attached to the AWS are surrounded by a highlight box.
These are the weapons the AWS will look at when choosing the next weapon to

 To remove specific weapons from AWS control, use the  + and  -  keys to
advance to the weapon to remove and press O. The highlight around the weapon
will disappear and the AWS will skip over the weapon. To attach a weapon to the
AWS, use the same process. The letter O works as a toggle for on and off.

 The TAB key works as a second trigger for the AWS weapons. Pressing TAB will
cause all of the available weapons under AWS control to fire at once.

 To override the AWS and select a specific weapon, press that weapon's
corresponding number key. You may also use the  +  and  -  keys to advance, or
back up to the next weapon regardless of whether it's AWS controlled or

Map Display
 At the center of your cockpit is your map display. Toggle between a
topographical map view and a radar view by pressing the  T  key. The topo map
shows the terrain with elevations (the highest points in red), your Mech as a
black dot (always in the center), other Mechs on your team as white, and enemy
Mechs as red dots. The topo map orientation always has North (0 Degrees) at the
top of the display, regardless of your Mech's orientation. The radar map
you the Mechs in your front arc. Pressing the  R  key zooms the radar display.

Sensors and Damage Indicators
 Just above the map display are a set of indicator lights which give you
information about the status of your major systems. From left to right they are
Sensors, Gyros, Engines, and Life Support. These lights change color for
different levels of damage: green -- functional, yellow -- light damage, red --
heavy damage, and black -- destroyed. A warning tone is sounded when one of
these systems becomes damaged.

 Sensors are for targeting and detecting damage of other Mechs. When damaged,
your sight will not always be visible and you will not always be able to target
other Mechs. Also, the topo map will not be visible when your sensors are
completely damaged.

 Gyros are for balance during movement. When they're damaged you move
when they're destroyed, you stop moving.

 Engines drive everything. If they become damaged heavy buildup is increased,
and if they're destroyed you shut down. During shutdown your only option is
Command Screen to lead your lance or retreat (ESC).

 Life Support keeps the heat level in the cockpit down and lets you breathe.
Although you can survive with this system damaged you'll die without it,
matter how long you can hold your breath.

Heat Indicator
 Next to the map is your heat indicator, which is of extreme importance in
combat. If your heat buildup is too great (when you've fired your weapons
fast or are under heavy fire, or when you've overused your jumpjets), your
fusion reactor will shut down to prevent a catastrophic meltdown. A shutdown
means you can't move, fire, or do much of anything (except use the command
damage screens) until your heat has fallen to a workable level. Experienced
pilots soon learn to pace their weapon usage to avoid this condition. Of
course, weapons like machine guns, missiles and autocannon contribute little to
heat build-up, while PPC's and lasers add vast amounts of waste heat.

 Your heat dissipates based on the number of working heat sinks your Mech has.
In arctic conditions your heat will dissipate twice as fast.

Command Screens
 Pressing  C  displays the Command Screen, where you'll see a strategic
overview of the entire area of engagement, showing terrain features and the
disposition of known forces. From here you can command the other crew members
of your Lance (provided you have some).

 Your Mech is shown as a black or white square, depending on the type and the
color of the terrain; your crew members' Mechs appear as small icons
the icons shown for each crew member to the right of their names on the crew
screens). Enemy Mechs are red; bases are blue. When a hostile mech disappears
around the side of a mountain and goes out of your radar's effective range,
blinking red square marks its last known location until it reappears.

(Note to CGA Users: Your Mech and your Bases will usually appear as white
squares, depending on the type and color of the terrain; enemy Mechs appear as
black or contrasting squares.)

 Mountains are multi-colored; ridges are one or two colors. it's important
you distinguish between the two, since Mechs can walk over ridges, but must go
around -- or jump over -- mountains.

 From the individual Crew Screens, you can review the members of your Lance and
issue them new instructions. The first three items (displayed in blue) provide
general information; crew member, Mech and current status (what he's
The next two lines, shown in green, are weapon and systems status for the crew
member's Mech.

 Use the arrow keys to move among the choices (right and left for different
crew members, up and down for options), and press the ENTER key to activate a
choice. The options available are described below.

 Orders are activated by selecting the current order (such as ACT ON YOUR OWN)
and pressing ENTER. A list of possible orders is the presented. Scroll thru the
list with the arrow keys until the one you want is highlighted and press ENTER.
Every order except ACT ON YOUR OWN requires you to specify a location or
target. A line appears from the crew member's Mech to it's current
target or
destination, which is highlighted by a targeting box. Use the arrow keys to
change the target. If it's a location (AMBUSH, DEFEND, MOVE), the keys
move the targeting box anywhere on the battlefield. If it's a Mech or a
the arrow keys will cause the targeting box to jump between possible targets.
When the targeting box is where you want the crew member to go, press ENTER.

 Remember that your crew members are human. If you give them a command that
looks like suicide, they may back out, or they may not be able to get to a
location because of superior firepower in the way. Know the limitations of your
crew and their equipment.

Act On Own
 Your crew members are automatically set to this order when they start a
mission. When acting on this command, they'll do their best to achieve the
goals of the mission. For example, if the mission is to destroy a base, that
base will be their main target and they will only engage enemy Mechs if they
get in the way. You may change their target under this command by highlighting
the current target listed and pressing ENTER. Use the arrow keys to switch
targets and press ENTER when done. This will cause them to immediately charge
the enemy you select.

 Under this command the crew member will go to the specified location and wait
until the enemy is near or until his Mech is spotted. He will then attack the
nearest enemy. This works best, or course, in a situation where the Mech cannot
be seen by the enemy (such as when it's behind a mountain).

 A defend command directs the crew member to go to the indicated location and
wait. The Mech may move in a small patrol circle while waiting. When an enemy
approaches the location the crew member will attack.

Attack Enemy
 Causes the crew member to move toward a specific Mech or base and attack when
in range.

Move (Attack)
 Under this command the crew member will move toward a specific location,
attacking any enemy encountered along the way.

Move (Avoid)
 This command is good for directing crew members to get behind enemy lines to
attack a base while the other Mechs draw the enemy away, or perhaps to get
across the territory as fast as possible with as little damage as possible.
With this command the crew member will move toward the indicated location,
avoiding any enemy engagements if possible.

 This gives a status report on the crew member's Mech's damage levels,
the internal and external condition and the condition of important sub-systems
like their engines, gyros, sensors, and life support. The words on the list
change color to show different levels of damage: green for functional, yellow
for light damage, red for heavy damage, and black for destroyed.

 This shows the current status of all weapons systems.

 Press  Q  or Space to return to the Main Battle Screen.

Damage Screen
 Press  D  to display a screen showing the damage to your Mech. Damage levels
are shown for all areas, and the damage is shown visually to the right. You may
press  C  to get to the Command Screen or  Q  or Space to return to the cockpit

 Pressing E  when you're in the cockpit brings up a display of the
Mech's damage levels (whether friend or foe) as determined by your sensors
extrapolated by your onboard computer systems. The controls are the same as for
your own damage screen.

  In Battle  
 Once again, there's no substitute for experience when it comes to learning
merc's trade. But you probably won't live long enough to gain any
experience if
you don't learn quickly how to use your jumpjets, and pick up at least a
basic techniques for surviving combat.

 JumpJets enable you to avoid enemy firestorms and to scale and traverse
mountains. In other words, they can mean the difference between collecting on a
contract and ending up a smoking ruin of mangled metal.

 You control your jumpjets from the cockpit. Press  J  to activate jumpjets.
The Up and Down arrow keys are your thrust controls. Press the Up arrow key and
hold it down to engage and maintain upward and forward thrust. Do the same with
Down arrow key to thrust straight up into the air. While in the air, use the
left and right arrow keys to turn. To land, simply release the active thrust
key and use the down arrow intermittently during your descent to soften your

 Always keep an eye on the two gauges in the lower right corner of the screen.
The vertical bar indicates how much power is available for using your jumpjets.
The light above the gauge glows red when there's insufficient power
for activating jumpjets; when it glows green, you're powered up to go
The hairline on the gauge indicates the amount of power you need to activate
the jets.

 Always take care to set your Mech down BEFORE your available power runs out,
indicated by the bar inside the jump gauge -- if you run out of thrust while
you're airborne, you'll crash and damage your Mech.

 Remember, too, that using your jumpjets contributes to heat build-up in your
Mech, which can lead to reactor shut-down.

 If you land on top of a mountain, you won't be able to walk around on top
it or to walk off of it; you'll have to wait for the jets to recharge and
jump off. The same goes for landing on top of a base.

Combat Tips
 Here are a few tips to help you get through your first few missions:

 Aim for the head of the enemy Mechs, or try shooting off their legs. Either
way, you'll have to aim carefully, but the results can be more gratifying
and waste less ammo -- than simply hammering away at the heavily armored torso
of a hostile Mech.

 The rear armor on a Mech is weaker than that in the front. This is true of
both friendly and hostile Mechs. So don't let enemy Mechs get behind you --
you can bet your next contract that they'll try to -- and get behind them
you can and blast away.

 Walking in one direction while turning your torso in another direction makes
it difficult for enemy Mechs to draw a bead on you. If you charge straight on
at a hostile Mech, you're going to take a lot of firepower straight on too.
try the zig-zag approach, laying down fire as you go.

 Use your AWS to put missiles and lasers on separate triggers. If you fire a
laser right behind a missile you might destroy it in mid-flight and so waste
both shots.

  BattleMech Descriptions  
 A merc needs to know his equipment. If you want to survive, you'll learn
about the Mechs and their capabilities. The following technical readouts give
you a good idea of each Mech's capabilities.

 One of the most common of all BattleMechs, the Locust model is found almost
everywhere. Originally designed as a light recon vehicle, it's been
into service for general warfare in many places. Lightly armed and very swift,
its weakness is its small size, making it vulnerable to attacks and unable to
carry heavier weapons. However, many a larger Mech has been taken down by a
well-piloted Locust.

Mass: 20 Tons
Cruising Speed: 86.4 KPH
Max. Speed: 129.6 KPH
JumpJets: None
Jump Capacity: None
Armor: 1/Star Slab
Armament: (1) Medium Martell Laser
          (2) Sperry/Browning Machine Guns
Manufacturer: Bergan Industries

 This Mech is a fast, agile workhorse with enough firepower to mix with the
heavier Mechs. Its jump capability makes it extremely mobile and especially
dangerous in fast hit-and-run actions. Without hands, Jenners rely on their
SRM's for short-range punch.

Mass: 35 Tons
Cruising Speed: 75.6 KPH
Max. Speed: 118.8 KPH
JumpJets: 3 Smithson Lifters
Jump Capacity: 150 Meters
Armor: StarShield
Armament: (4) Argra 3L Medium Lasers
          (1) ThunderStroke SRM-4
Manufacturer: Diplan Mechyards

 The Phoenix Hawk is a common, versatile Mech that has become a staple of Star
League recon forces. Its armor is heavy enough to withstand sustained combat,
while its array of lasers makes it a formidable opponent.

Mass: 45 Tons
Cruising Speed: 64.8 KPH
Max. Speed: 97.2 KPH
JumpJets: 2 Pitban 9000's
Jump Capacity: 180 Meters
Armor: Durallex Light
Armament: (1) Harmon Heavy Laser
          (2) Harmon Medium Lasers
          (2) M100 Machine Guns
Manufacturer: Orguss Industries

 This medium-size Mech has diverse armament to make it useful in a wide variety
of battle situations. The Shadow Hawk can handle both long- and short-range
engagements with equal facility. While its jump capacity is limited, it's
unusual to have any jump capability at all in a Mech this large.

Mass: 55 Tons
Cruising Speed: 54.0 KPH
Max. Speed: 86.4 KPH
JumpJets: 3 Pitban LFT-50's
Jump Capacity: 90 Meters
Armor: Maximillian 43
Armament: (1) Armstrong J11 Autocannon (20)
          (1) Holly LR Missile Pack (5)
          (1) Holly SR Missile Pack (2)
          (1) Martel Model 5 Medium Laser
Manufacturer: Lang Industries

 This Mech was designed as a medium fire-support vehicle with heavy armor and
powerful long-range strike capability. Its comparatively low mass makes it less
effective in close combat against large Mechs, and the pilot is well advised to
avoid head-on confrontation with heavy Mechs like the WarHammer.

Mass: 60 Tons
Cruising Speed: 43.2 KPH
Max. Speed: 64.8 KPH
JumpJets: None
Jump Capacity: None
Armor: Kallon Royalstar
Armament: (2) Magna MkIII Heavy Lasers
          (2) Magna MkII Medium Lasers
          (2) Imperator-A Autocannon
Manufacturer: Kallon Industries

 This Mech is one of the most dangerous and powerful Mechs ever placed in the
field. Its twin Donal PPC's give it superb firepower against heavy
and its lasers and machine guns make it a threat against infantry and light
support vehicles.

Mass: 70 Tons
Cruising Speed: 43.2 KPH
Max. Speed: 64.8 KPH
JumpJets: None
Jump Capacity: None
Armor: Leviathon Plus
Armament: (2) Donal PPC's
          (2) Martell Medium Lasers
          (2) Martell Small Lasers
          (1) Holly SR Missile Pack (6)
          (2) Sperry/Browning Machine Guns
Manufacturer: StarCorp Industries

 This heavy Mech is one of the most effective fighting machines in existence.
The Valiant Lamellor armor provides excellent protection; unfortunately, the
secret of its manufacture has been lost, and replacement armor is not as
effective. The Marauder is equally effective close in and at long range.

Mass: 75 Tons
Cruising Speed: 43.2 KPH
Max. Speed: 64.8 KPH
JumpJets: None
Jump Capacity: None
Armor: Valiant Lamellor
Armament: (2) Magna Hellstar PPC's
          (2) Margna MkII Medium Lasers
          (1) GM Whirlwind Autocannon
Manufacturer: General Motors

 This Mech is one of the largest and arguably the most powerful ever fielded.
Its firepower is staggering, particularly at close range. While the
BattleMaster is slow, it's virtually unstoppable by lightweight Mechs, and
poses a difficult problem even for heavy Mechs.

Mass: 85 Tons
Cruising Speed: 43.2 KPH
Max. Speed: 64.8 KPH
JumpJets: None
Jump Capacity: None
Armor: Star Guard IV
Armament: (1) Donal PPC
          (6) Martell Medium Lasers
          (1) Holly SR Missile Pack (6)
          (2) Sperry/Browning Machine Guns
Manufacturer: Hollis Industries


AFFS: The Armed Forces of the Federated Suns.

Autocannon: Cannon with a high cyclical rate of fire of explosive projectiles.

Autopistol: Rapid-firing projectile weapon.

BattleMech: A large military vehicle using two "legs" for its main
mode of
ground movement, often in more or less humanoid appearance. BattleMechs have
been in use for hundreds of years, and are the main instrument of ground forces
throughout the Star League. Armament, size, and other capabilities can vary

Black Widows: Famous mercenary company of Wolf's Dragoons, led by Natasha
Kerensky (also know as the Black Widow).

Chalice of Herne: Symbol of rulership on Ander's Moon. Said to be the
chalice used by Herne the Hunter, an ancient forest god of old Terra. The
chalice is used in the ceremony in anointing a new Duke on Ander's Moon.

Comstar: The interstellar communications network, founded by Jerome Blake in
the late 2700's.

Davion: Ruling House of the Federated Suns.

DCMS: Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery.

Dropship: A spaceship used for ground-to-orbit travel.

Eridani Light Horse: A mercenary group dedicated to preserving the ways,
traditions, and honor of the Star League Armed Forces. They work only with
those they admire and who also keep alive the old ways. They are currently in
service to House Davion.

Gyroslugs: Self-propelled projectiles fires by gyrojet weapons. The gyrojet or
"cone" rifle is a recoilless projectile weapon more closely related to
a rocket
launcher. It fires projectiles that do not drop off in velocity over distance
and deliver explosive shells at their destination.

Hanse Davion: Ruler of the Federated Suns.

Hansen's Roughriders: A mercenary unit serving House Steiner for the last

Heat Sinks: Cooling devices that pass heat built up inside operating Mechs
through the armor to the outside air, where it is usually cooler. Heat sinks
may be located anywhere on the Mech, but usually occupy the torso or legs.

Holovid: Holgraphic video, or 3-D Television.

House: Refers to one of the five noble houses whose members control the
Successor States.

HUD: Heads Up Display.

ISF: House Kurita's Internal Security Force.

Jumpship: A spaceship capable of interstellar travel.

Kurita: Ruling House of the Draconis Combine.

Lance: A group of fighting Mechs and their pilots.

Laser Pistol: Small, light laser weapon with high power output.

LAW: Light Anti-vehicle weapon. A development of the Portable Rocket Launcher
and similar support weapons. LAW's and V(Very)-LAW's can fire only
once, after
which they are discarded.

LCAF: Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces.

Liao: Ruling House of the Capellan Confederation.

Lostech: The lost technology of the Star League.

LRM: Long Range Missiles.

Marik: Ruling House of the Free Worlds League.

Mech: See BattleMech.

Mech Complex: An industrial area where Mechs are repaired and serviced.

Merc: Short for Mercenary.

Mercenary: A free-lancer who hires out his military services to various

MIIO: Ministry of Intelligence, Investigations and Operations is the name given
to various departments and secret agencies that the Davion government has
created over the centuries to gather information and to act covertly against
their enemies.

MI6: The name given to teams of elite saboteurs and terrorists who conduct
missions into enemy realms. These "hit teams" carry out missions
ranging from
abductions and assassinations to demolitions and random murders to terrorize
civilian populations. Any use of the hit teams requires Prince Davion's
approval. Because the Federated Suns's peace-loving propaganda is so
successful, few outside of the MI6 or MIIO realize to what extent Davion
condones terrorist activities.

Natasha Kerensky: Leader of the Black Widows.

Needlegun: One of the most vicious weapons ever developed. Instead of firing a
single bullet or burst of energy, it fires a spray of plastic flechettes.
Needlegun ammo consists of a small block of plastic that the gun shreds and
fires out at high velocity.

Periphery: Hundreds of worlds on the edge of the star systems on the Inner
Sphere; many have fallen in barbarism.

PPC: Particle Projection Cannon. A particularly powerful long-range weapon
mounted on some Mechs.

Quintus Allard: Head of Davion Counter-Intelligence.

Smithson's Chinese Bandits: Famous Mercenary unit currently working for

Solaris VII: The gaming world, where Mechs compete for sport and profit.

SRM: Short-Range Missiles.

Star League: The ruling interstellar government from 2571 to 2751.

Steiner: Ruling House of the Lyran Commonwealth.

Stun Lance: A full-size martial arts lance that delivers a powerful neural
impulse in impact, designed to render the target unconscious.

Subhash Indrahar: Director of the ISF (Kurita Internal Security Force).

Successor States: The five main governments formed after the collapse of the
Star League: the Federated Suns, the Lyran Commonwealth, the Capellan
Confederation. the Draconis Combine, and the Free Worlds League.

Takeshi Kurita: Ruler of the Draconis Combine.

Team Banzai: Mercenaries and expert techs under long-term contract to House

Theodore Kurita: Prince of Luthien and heir-designate of House Kurita.

Vibroblade: a bulky version of a standard sword or other blade. When activated,
it vibrates at an extremely high frequency, making it a very effective cutting

VTOL: Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft.

Wolf's Dragoons: The most widely renowned mercenary regiment in the


Making Back-Up Copies
 (If you can't figure this out for yourself, you're beyond hope or

Options At Start-Up
 Graphic Mode Options: To select a different graphics mode, enter one of the
options below after typing MW. The game automatically selects the best graphics
mode for you. If you like, however, you can manually select the mode by typing
one of these options after MW:

 1 = EGA 16 Color   2 = Tandy 16 Color <Bletch>   3 = CGA 4 Color

 For example:  Typing  MW 1  will load the game in EGA 16 Color Mode.

(Note: CGA will only work in certain areas of the program. The program must be
run with an EGA compatible card.)

(If it MUST run with an EGA card, why the Fuck does it even have CGA mode at
all? Hello? Hello??)

Sound and Music Options: To force MechWarrior to recognize a particular sound
board, type the following after MW:

 A = AdLib Board    T = Tandy MT-32     R = Roland     S = PC Speaker

 Any of the above options can be combined when starting up MechWarrior. For
example, typing  MW 1 A  loads MechWarrior in EGA mode with AdLib Sound.

Centering Your Joystick
 If you find that your Mech is moving when the joystick is centered, simply
push the joystick in the direction the Mech tends to move and press ALT-J to
correct the problem. For example, if the Mech is drifting to the left, push the
joystick to the left and press ALT-J.

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