"Midwinter" is a highly complex strategy game. It is easy to learn, but difficult
to master. Many of the screens are driven by easily identifiable icons, the function
of which are shown in the ICON.PIC.
When the game has loaded, select your method of control and "Training" mode from the
'Game Options' screen. Deselect "Mortars" and "Bombers", and click on the "Play" box.
You are in control of Captain John Stark, leader of the Free Villages Peace Force,
the law enforcement agency on the island of "Midwinter". Enemy forces under the control
of the evil General Masters have set up their base in the south-east and are attempting
to capture your Heat Mines which are distributed throughout the island. Your objective
is to recruit fellow members of the F.V.P.F. (there are 32 in total) and ultimately to
defeat General Masters by destroying his Headquarters in Shining Hollow.
Click on Captain Stark's portrait from the 'Team Display' to access his 'Personality
Display'. Please refer to the ICON.MAP for quick identification of each icon. Each of
the Team's Personality Displays give vital information as to their abilities and
characteristics. The successful interaction of the 32 members of the F.V.P.F. is the
key to winning. You must move Stark around the island to meet up with other people and
hopefully recruit them.
Select the 'Main Map' icon to ascertain Stark's whereabouts. The map of the island
shows locations of strategic importance as green dots which may be highlighted by
selecting the buttons on the indicator board. Names of places are shown when the on
screen pointer is moved over them. Stark's location is shown by a green arrow.
The location of team members and enemy units are highlighted by selecting "People".
They are shown as brown men and black crosses respectively. If a settlement is shown
as a green dot with a white border, the enemy have captured it. The map magnification
may be increased by clicking on the left mouse button, and decreased by clicking on the
When you have found stark and his nearest colleague, select 'Close Map'. Select the
'Decisions Display' icon from the Personality Display. The Decisions Display shows all
options which are open to you. Please refer to the ICON.MAP for identification.
Select the 'Skiing' icon. This accesses the Skiing-3D action mode, where you view the
landscape through Stark's goggles. Please note that action modes can be paused at any
time by pressing "P" on the keyboard.
Clicking on the left mouse button sets you walking. Your walking speed may be increased
by pushing forward on the mouse. When you meet a downwards slope you may start skiing
properly, and your speed will increase quickly. Move the mouse left and right to steer,
and click on the right mouse button to stop. The mini-map displayed shows your
surrounding area, showing buildings and settlemets as white dots.
You should ski in the direction of your nearest colleague. You may refer to the Main
Map at any time by pressing "M" on the keyboard. If at any time you hear a low-pitched
drone, it signifies that the enemy are nearby. It is the sound of a vehicle engine.
The green lights below the goggles will flash to indicate the vehicle's direction
relative to you. If you spot a vehicle, stop skiing by clicking the right mouse button
and press the "S" key to toggle to Sniping Mode. Here you view the landscape through
Stark's rifle-sights. Line up the enemy vehicle on the cross-hairs and press the "Space
Bar" to fire bullets.
Pressing the "S" key will return you to skiing. Pressing the "Space Bar" whilst skiing
will throw a grenade directly ahead of you. Once you are close to a building or
settlement, press "X" on the keyboard to return to the Decisions Display. You will have
the option to enter any buildings which are nearby.
Every buildings in "Midwinter" has a specific function, full details of which may be
found in the manual. If you are in a settlement, once you have selected the enter
'enter buildings' icon you will have a choice of building to enter. If a building icon
has a red person next to it on the choice screen, it contains a recruit or potential
recruit. If you enter this building, by clicking on it, you will have the option to
'join' forces with this person. To find your colleagues reply, click on his portrait.
If he agrees to join, you will have two characters available to control, and further
options will be open to you.
Maelstrom Games Ltd
Maelstrom Games was the publishing company and label created by Mike Singleton in about 1988 when he found it impossible to find another publisher for Dark Spectre.
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