----------==========��������� A L P H A M A N ���������==========----------
----------==========��������� Release 1.1 ���������==========----------
----------==========��������� June 1995 ���������==========----------
File list: alphaman.exe main executable
readme.txt this file
After playing, alphaman.def (game parameters) and
alphaman.scr (high scores file) will be generated.
You may delete these at any time.
AlphaMan (Copyright (c) 1995 Jeffrey R. Olson) is an adventure game set on
Earth in the future, following a nuclear disaster. You will take the role of
a mutated human who is struggling to save the planet from annihilation. You
will be pitted against hideously mutated plants and animals, traps and snares
of all sorts, and several varied adversaries whom you will have to defeat in
order to complete your mission. At your disposal are a broad variety of
technological relics and mutated substances which you will acquire along the
way, as well as your own powers and guile.
Your character will have six basic personal attributes: Strength (physical
power), Dexterity (agility and quickness), Constitution (fortitude and
health), Radiation Resistance (susceptibility to radiation), Mental
Resistance (susceptibility to mental attacks) and Intelligence (learning
ability). These characteristics generally are in the range 3-18 (higher is
"better"), but some mutations, devices, etc. can raise or lower these. Your
characteristics may increase with time as you gain experience as well.
Your character also has Hit Points. These reveal to how much damage you can
sustain before dying. You lose hit points as you are damaged by attacks from
creatures, falling into pits, etc. You heal hit points back over time, and
some devices and substances will heal you faster. In addition, you will gain
more hit points as you become a more experienced adventurer.
Your character will have a physical and a mental mutation which can help you
complete your mission. Some mutations, such as Heightened Strength, are in
effect at all times and don't require you to 'u'(se) them. Others, such as
Laser Generation are used periodically as the need arises. AlphaMan version
1.1 includes 17 physical and 13 mental mutations; some details on your
particular mutations can be learned by pressing '?' during the game to see
the help menu, or by examining the file ALPHAMAN.5 which is a text file that
the '?' command accesses.
Your character has an Armor Class (AC) that determines how difficult you are
to hit in combat. Your AC is determined by the armor and shield you are
using, and may be modified by your dexterity and a variety of devices. A low
AC means better protection. An AC 6 to 9 is typical at the start of the game;
an AC of 0 is very good; an AC of -5 or lower is excellent. Heavy Fur armor
or Ringmail is typical at the start of the game, but better armor may be
found during the game. Be sure to wear the better armor as you find it (the
'u'(se) command allows you to select the armor you wish to wear; you must
'U'(nuse) armor you are currently wearing before you can use new armor).
Your character fights with a selected weapon (although you can also throw
things, or use various technological weapons as well). At the start of the
game, a weapon such as a short sword or a pitchfork is common. You may find
better weapons along the way, such as titanium or even duralloy ones. Be
sure to wield the better weapons as you find them (the command 'u'(se) can be
used to select a new weapon-in-hand). Note that a microcomputer, if found in
the game, can reveal which weapons are the best.
Your character will come across a variety of other objects during the course
of a game. These include:
Food: Spam and Beef-a-Roni, which are eaten with the 'e'(at) command. It is
generally best to wait until you're very hungry to eat.
Berries: AlphaMan includes over 30 different kinds of berries which have a
variety of effects. Initially you won't know what most berries do, and
will have to 'e'(at) them or 't'(hrow) them at creatures to determine
their effect. The usefulness of most berries is obvious. Keep in mind
that, while most berries are intended to be eaten (such as berries that
confer invisibility or technical prowess), some should be thrown at
enemies (such as exploding or blinding berries).
Small and Large Tech devices: AlphaMan includes over 100 different kinds of
technological devices. Initially, you won't understand most devices, so
you'll have to 'f'(igure) them out. Often, you'll need to try many times
before successfully figuring out a device. Once figured out, you can
'u'(se) the device when the need arises. Note that the utility of some
devices is obvious (you obviously shoot a Fusion Rifle at enemies),
whereas some devices (such as a Slinky) are useless, and some have more
subtle uses (a Microwave Oven will prematurely ripen berries, for
example). A computer, if found during a game, can explain some of these
Much of the game consists of moving around the screen. This is accomplished
with the numeric keypad. You can use the arrow keys to move up, down and
sideways; the Home, End, PgUp and PgDn keys will move you diagonally. If
you move on top of an item, you will pick that item up. If you attempt to
move on top of a creature, you will strike at it with your weapon-in-hand.
The Author suggests you print out the list of available commands once the
game begins (by pressing '?' and then 'p') in order to have a hard copy to
reference at first. Many commands which await input will accept a '?'
keystroke, and will then give context-sensitive help for that command.
The premise of this game is loosely based on two games written by James Ward
and published by TSR Hobbies: Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World. The
author of AlphaMan acknowledges their unwitting inspiration.
Please register this software (you will see details of how to do this every
time you quit the game). There are many enhancements planned for future
updates, including new mutations (4 Arms and Heightened Luck, for example),
new devices (e.g., Berry Pouch and Hologram Generator), new berries (ones
which confer temporary immunity to an attack type, for example) and other
various (and insidious?) additions. You will also receive lifetime AlphaMan
support (answers to any questions you might have, free updates if serious bugs
are found, and general update announcements).
Any suggestions or bug reports are also appreciated. Please send them to:
Jeffrey R. Olson
214 E. Sherwin Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
DISCLAIMER - AGREEMENT
Users of AlphaMan must accept this disclaimer of warranty:
"AlphaMan is supplied as is. The author disclaims all
warranties, expressed or implied, including, without limitation,
the warranties of merchantability and of fitness for any purpose.
The author assumes no liability for damages, direct or conse-
quential, which may result from the use of AlphaMan."
AlphaMan is a "shareware program" and is provided at no charge
to the user for evaluation. Feel free to share it with your
friends, but please do not give it away altered or as part of
another system. The essence of "user-supported" software is to
provide personal computer users with quality software without
high prices, and yet to provide incentive for programmers to
continue to develop new products. If you find this program
useful and find that you are using AlphaMan and continue to use
AlphaMan after a reasonable trial period, you must make a
registration payment of at least $15 to Jeffrey Olson.
Anyone distributing AlphaMan for any kind of remuneration must
first contact Jeffrey Olson at the address above for authorization.
This authorization will be automatically granted, and distributors
may begin offering AlphaMan immediately (However Jeffrey Olson must
be advised so that the distributor can be kept up-to-date with the
latest version of AlphaMan.).
You are encouraged to pass a copy of AlphaMan along to your
friends for evaluation. Please encourage them to register their
copy if they find that they can use it. All registered users
will receive a copy of the latest version of AlphaMan.
Fixes made to AlphaMan:
Please send bug reports to
214 E. Sherwin Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
Game now remembers recent castle and lair levels, so remapping is no longer
necessary. For example, most dropped items will still be there when
character returns to a place already visited. Thanks to Tim Jordan for
lighting a fire under me to finally get this done.
Entering 'alphaman somename' from the DOS prompt will now generate a new
character if the saved file 'somename.alf' doesn't exist. Thanks to
Matthias Kring for the suggestion.
Now separate "Halls of the Dead" for the different difficulty level.
Now an experience bonus at the end of the game for each "subquest"
successfully completed, an additional bonus if the game was won, and a
further bonus if it was won in a short amount of time. Thanks to Tim
Jordan for the idea.
The Main Map key (F5) now shows regions where you've visited (useful for
looking for Monoliths). Another Tim Jordan idea.
A few new items - Flash Grenade, UV Helmet, Geiger Counter, Neutron Suit,
Fixed saved filename convention so the game no longer dies when trying to
save games with character names that include odd characters like ?, /.
Thanks to Tony Chang for pointing out the problem.
Fixed a serious bug that could crash the game when you went from "very
hungry" to "famished". Thanks to Carl Waldbieser for finding it.
Modified the effects of a few mutations to make them more equally strong:
Invisibility lasts somewhat longer.
A character with Invisibility recovers from blindness 3x faster, since
invisibility is described as "ability to bend light rays around you".
Quills, when shot, hit more often and do more damage.
A character with Heightened Endurance recovers from sickness 3x faster.
Thanks to Gerry Kevin Wilson for many useful mutation suggestions.
Fixed a bug that would very occasionally give a nonsense message when
character gained a level.
There is now significantly more food found randomly. Thanks to Chris
DiRubio and others for the suggestion.
Fixed superglue trap - before, when stuck in trap, there would be extra,
annoying messages about falling blobs of glue.
If your Tough Exoskeleton is quenched (by eating a berry, or a Vampire Bat,
for example), your AC now goes to the proper value of 10 instead of 15.
Added Easy and Moderately Easy levels of difficulty. Thanks to Dan Hayes
for the suggestion.
Added a Fast Fight mode that allows you to bypass most of the spacebar
presses during combat. Not recommended for beginners who would miss some
potentially useful information in the messages. Thanks to Dan Hayes for
Made the Dung Beetle less nasty and annoying to a character who has passed
out from exhaustion (no more 10 or 15 attacks in a row).