Stunt Car Racer
Copyright/Publisher: Microprose Software, Program Concept, Design and Programming By: Geoff Crammond,
With the Assistance of: Norah Crammond, Additional Graphics By: John Cummins, Quality Control By: Peter Moreland,
Manual Design By: Julie Burness, Manual Design and Graphics By: Artistix UK, Manual By: Tony Middlehurst, Martin
Moth, Peter Jones & Geoff Crammond, Release Year: 1989, Genre: Racing Sports, Number Of Players: 1 to 8

INTRODUCTION
You weren't no racing rookie. You'd served your time on the old Formula 1 tracks, before the cars got too quick for'em and they all got shut down after the 2006 season...

What was it they said again? Oh yeah... SAFETY. You'd never managed to work that one out. Hell, everybody knew the only reason people wnet to those old F1 races in the '90s was on the off chance of seeing some hash-ecsted sucker silch himself against a kevoprene guard rail.

The geeks up in CenCom who'd banned Formula 1 were just riled because they weren't getting their nice little rake-ff from the race promoters.
JEEZ... WHAT A JOKE.

Now, here you were: your number had come up, all the bribes had paid off, and you were on the Stunt Car circuit at last. You'd come through the last days of Formula 1 more or less in one piece. The left leg was still rated at 76 percent efficiency the last time you'd been able to afford to have it checked out. Sure, that Australian shunt in '02 had re-rated your right leg down to 35, but you could manage with that...

Anyway, if the cramps came back, the accelerator pedal was as good a place as any to rest it against, heh heh. One thing was for certain: the synthplast foot on the end of that gnarly ol'right leg wouldn't be going anywhere near the brake pedal in a div four stunt race.

Division four... shoot! Things were really getting bad... Div four was for wimps, computer programmers, and mummy's boys. The cheesy old track you'd picked from the McFax listings was hardly worth the Transcorp fare... but rules are rules, as the man said. To get up to where you belong, back up there with the big boys in Division One, you've got to mix it with the herbies again. That's what he'd said.

If- no, WHEN - you get through the penny-ante tracks in Four, that would be one step closer to the big one, where all the creds are, where the livin' is good and the beer still has alcohol in it: Division One. It'd be so GOOD to upstage some of those silk-scarfed jerkwaters up there in the Green Zone.

Hell, some of those guys in Div One, they haven't even earned the right to race in a div four night reserve match. That creep Dare Devil, for example. Oh sure, he knows how to throw his car around all right, but under that beauty parlour complexion the guy's just a blown-up hot shot with a big ego and a few friends in the right places.

Hey, I'm not saying anything, y'understand, at least, nothing I'd like to repeat within range of a Cit-Scan. But if he's so good, why does he have to come out and strut his stuff of these backwoods div four meets?

And that other guy, Road Hog, he's here as well, slumming it with the rest of us low-lifes. I guess both these characters are expecting to tan out hides here, you know, just to show who's the boss. Well, maybe they might be in for a little shock...

I mag not have the hottest motor in town, but it ain't far off. And I've got one thing over on both of these prima donnas - EXPERIENCE.

Yeah... I was a pretty good driver in the old days. Set a few lap records, grabbled a handful of pole positions, surprised a few people... It wasn't my fault I hot hitched up to the wrong team, with the wrong cars and the wrong engines...

Don't get me wrong, I know this stunt car stuff is different. I'm not stupid. Maybe the old F1 cars DID only touch two-eighty-five when the wind was in the right direction, but these stunters don't scare me. I can handle speed.

Okay, SO WHAT if the stunt tracks make the worst rollercoasters look tame?

The only place to go is up, right?

Yeah, well sure, you can go down too - but only if you don't know what you're doing. I've reached twenty-eight. How many other racers can say that? Maybe I HAVE taken a couple of hard landings too many, but I'll be able to get my back fixed with the creds I'm gonna win in Div One, right? Right!

Okay. I've inflated the seat-suit, the engine's running, the turbo's whistling, and the nitrous oxide tank is primed. Probably won't even need the nitrous...

Like I say, it's just like a rollercoaster. Sure, I know there's one big difference. You can't fall off a rollercoaster... But I'm not scared.

AM I?

OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
GETTING STARTED
DRIVING CONTROLS
Plug the joystick into the joystick port 2.

1. Joystick Controls:
Steering - Joystick Left/Right
Accelerate Forwards - Push Joystick Forward
Brake/Reverse - Pull joystick back.
Boost (limited supply of special fuel) - Press the fire button.

Note:
Once acceleration is selected by pushing the joystick forward, you can return the joystick to its central position as the car will continue to accelerate until you brake or freewheel the car. This avoids the need for constant forward pressure to be applied to the joystick. Pulling the stick back cancels the acceleration, and returning the stick to its central position allows the car to freewheel.

2. Keyboard (default keys):
The key controls differ slightly from the joystick in order to avoid the need to press more than two keys at any one time.

With the 'Boost and Accelerator' key depressed, your car will be accelerating the boost. Once the key is released, the car will continue to accelerate, but without the boost. Therefore, the key does not need to be held down continuously unless boost is required.

Forward acceleration is turned off by pressing either of the two brake/reverse keys. The car will then freewheel until another key is pressed.

Two brake/revese keys provide two braking/reversing rates, i.e. with and without boost.

Key Controls
Steeering left - 'S' key
Steering right - 'D' key
Boost + accelerator forward - 'RETURN' key
Boost + brake/reverse - spacebar
Brake/Reverse '=' key

Redefining Keys:
The car control keys are redefined from the cockpit. First of all, PAUSE the game (see item 4 of 'Other Controls'). Then press the 'F1'-key. The 'PAUSED' message on screen will be replaced by a 'DEFINE KEYS' message.

The computer then asks for the keys that you wish to use for the relevant controls. It then requests that you verify the keys that have been pressed. Enter the same keys again and the computer will then return to the main game. If the second entry does not match the first, the computer will ask for another set of keys to be pressed and verified. You must then unpause the game to continue.

In multi-player mode, each player can redefine the keys at any time during a race (preferably before the start). These settings are stored for each individual player and are automatically re-installed in subsequent races involving that player.

Auto-alignment
When the car is on a straight section of track and there is no steering input from the joystick or keys, the car will steer itself in the direction of the track (unless, of course, it is airborne).

Other Controls
1. On the 'Name Selection' page, type in your name and press 'RETURN' to continue. Press 'SHIFT' for capital letters.

2. On the 'Menu' pages, push the joystick forwards or backwards to move the highlighted bar and then press the fire button to select and advance to the next screen. For those of you using key control, press 1, 2, 3, etc. to move the highlighted bar and select by pressing 'RETURN'.

3. Where appropriate, the fire button or the 'RETURN' key can be pressed to advance to the next screen.

4. There is a PAUSE facility available whilst driving. Pause the game by pressing:
Pause On - 'P' key
Pause Off - 'O' Key

5. You can retire from a race or practice using the 'COMMODORE' key. Note that if you are racing, you will automatically lose the race and best lap time points.

6. You can drop out of a season's racing by holding down the 'F1' key at the same time as clicking the fire button on the NEXT RACE fixture page.

7. You can return to the game start by holding down the 'F1' key at the same time as clicking the fire button on REPLAY SEASON.

Practice Mode
A player can practice on any track by selecting 'Practice' on the main menu and choosing the division containing the desired track. The tracks are as follows:

Division 1 - The Drawbridge & The Ski Jump
Division 2 - The Rollercoaster & The High Jump
Division 3 - The Big Ramp & The Stepping Stones
Division 4 - The Hump Back & The Little Ramp

If 'Practice' mode is selected and the player is in the SUPER LEAGUE, then extra power and speed will be available to the player on each track.

Each pratice session lasts three laps. After three laps, your car will automatically be repaired and refuelled. However, more practice sessions can follow if desired.

Note that only damage incurred during the practice session is repaired.

DASHBOARD

Lap Indicator
The lap number that you are currently compelting is shown at the bottom left on the screen with the prefix 'L', e.g. 'L2' means you are on your second lap.

Boost
This indicates how much boost you have left and is shown with the prefix 'B', e.g. 'B30' means you have 30 units of boost left.

Separation
At the bottom of the left hand side, there is the figure that gives the separation between you and your opponent in metres. If there is a '-' in front of the number, you are ahead of your opponent by however much the readout says. Conversely, if the figure is not prefixed, you are behind by x metres. The units indicated are metres and will always show the minimum separation.

Lap Time/Stopwatch
The flag indicator on the left lights up when you ate leading the race. The top right hand display shows the current lap time. Under this is the best lap time (yours or your opponents). The stopwatch indicator to the left lights up if the best lap time is yours.

Speedometer
The speedometer reads in 10s of mph. If your speed exceeds 250 mph, the speedometer wraps round and starts from the left hand side again, whereupon your actual speed is 200 mph + the indicated speed.

OTHER FEATURES
DAMAGE

1. Chassis Cracks
A crack in the chassis travels from left to right along the top bar of the roll cage when the car is put under severe stress as in hard cornering or hard landings. When the crack reaches the right hand side, the car is wrecked and is retired from the race. However, the cracks are repaired after each race. If your car is wrecked and does not finish the race then the points go to your opponent.

2. Structural Damage
Severe impacts give rise to holes in the crossbar. These are permanent features and stay with you throughout the seasons. However, in Division 4, you always start the season with a completely undamaged car. The damage crack (point 1 above) makes faster progress when in encounters a hole.

Crane
At the start of the race, the crane picks you up from the side of the track and swings you out over the start line. The message ' DROP START' appears on screen and, after a random interval, the crane releases you onto the track.

If your car falls off the track, a crane will pick up the car and reposition it over the track at the nearest, most suitable point. The crane avoids bends or gaps.

The message 'PRESS FIRE' will appear and, by sodoing, you will release yourself from the crane. However, remember to wait until you are over the track before pressing the fire button to release you, otherwise you will fall off the side of the track again.

RACING
SINGLE PLAYER LEAGUE

Objective
The aim of the game is to become to of the first division in the Stunt Car Racer league. There are four division, each containing three drivers and two tracks. For first rate drivers, there is also a Super League.

Super League
The Super League can only be accessed once you have become Division One Champion. You are then offered the chance to mix it with the ultimate drivers in another series of races, this time with much improved engine power and brakes. You will start off in Division Four of the Super League on the same tracks as the normal league, i.e. Hump Back and Little Ramp.

The only difference being that both you and your opponents are capable of higher speeds and accelerations. The aim of the Super League is to work your way through the four divisions to become Super League Champion.

A Racing Season
A full racing season involves six races: All permutations with three drivers and two tracks. Two of the six races do not involve the player and so are conducted behind the scenes. Therefore, it is possible that the first race of the season is billed as 'Race 3 of 6'.

The driver at the top of the division table after six races is promoted into the next division.

Practice Sessions
Before entering a racing season, you can practice on the two tracks which feature in your present division.

Points Awarded
Win - 2 points
Best Lap Time - 1 point

In the event of a draw at the end of a season, the driver with the greater number of points gained from wins will be promoted. If this number is the same, a random selection is made.

If you retire from a race or are wrecked without finishing a race, then the best lap and race points go to your opponent. If both cars are wrecked then the car thatm was wrecked first is the loser.

MULTI-PLAYER MODE

Driver's Championship
Up to eight players can take part in the driver's championship. The championship can consist of up to four racingf seasons. Each season takes place on the two tracks of a league division where the players can gain points racing against computer drivers, with special track bonus points being awarded to the players with the fastest lap time and race time (sum of all lap times during a race).

Access To Tracks
Since there is no promotion in multi-player mode, access to tracks in divisions other than Division 4 standard league must be obtained by loading single-player game positions that have previously been saved. The greater the number of divisions that you have access to, the greater the choice of tracks when you come to race.

Ultimately, access to all four divisions allows all 8 tracks to be included in a 4 season championship. Super League divisions can also be included to get more power and speed. Whatever the track selection, it must be remembered that the other drivers will perform to the standard of the league and division.

Save Game Position
If there isn't time to play 4 seasons then, before starting the next season, the game position, i.e. the players' names, points, etc., can be saved and the championship continued at a later date. In order to save your game position, select the SAVE option and use a filename starting with the letters 'MP...'. 'MP' distinguishes a multiplayer game position from a single player game position which is used to gain race access to tracks.

Restart Championship
To restart the championship without having to re-enter the players' names, select the REPLAY option.

To restart the whole game and return to the single player/multi-player menu then hold down the 'F1' key whilst selecting the REPLAY option.

Multi-Player Racing Season
A racing season consists of two rounds, one on each track of a league division. A round consists of all the players racing in turn against a computer driven pace car.

For each race there are the usual points awarded:

2 points for a win,
1 point for the best lap time.

At the end of the round, track bonus points are awarded to the player(s) with the best overall lap time (1 point) and best overall race time (2 points) provided, of course, that a lap time or race time were attained by completing at least one lap or completing a race. The computer pace cars' times are ignored.

When the second round is completed (on the other track), bonus points are added once again.

Quit The Season
It is possible to skip the remaining races in the current round when the next fixture race page is on the screen. Hold down 'F1'whilst pressing RETURN/FIRE and it will take you through the 'end of round' track bonus screen. An individual race can be skipped by getting into the race and pressing the 'RETIRE' key.

Hall Of Fame
The hall of fame contains the track records and the names of the people who set them. It can be viewed from the main menu by selecting 'Hall Of Fame'.

The track records are for fasted lap and fasted race time (sum of all lap times during race). They can be set during any race but not in practice mode. If a record is broken then the new records is announced on the scoreboard at the end of the race. The computer drivers do not contribute to these records.

Save Hall Of Fame
The current Hall Of Fame can be preserved by selecting the SAVE menu option and using a filename beginning with the letters 'HALL....'.

Load Hall of Fame
Previously saved hall of fame files can be loaded by selecting the LOAD menu option and using the appropriate file name. It does not matter if some new records have already been created before loading the hall of fame as only records better than those times in the current hall of fame are accepted when loading.

This means that several hall of fame files can be combined simply by loading them all in. Saving then preserves the optimum hall of fame.

Load/Save/Reply
Selecting this option gives another menu with the options LOAD, SAVE and REPLAY.

Load/Save
Whether loading or saving, a filename has to be entered. Some special significance is attacjed to filenames that start with certain letters:
.. Single player game position
HALL - Hall of Fame
MP - Multi-Player game position
DIR - Disk directory

Any other filename is taken to be a single player game position. Suggested names might be DIV4, DIV3, DIV 2, DIV 1 for the standard league and SDIV4, SDIV3, SDIV2, SDIV1 for the Super League.

Pressing the 'ESCAPE' key while entering the filename will cause an exit back to the main menu.

A message saying 'file name inappropriate' will appear if, for example, a filename starting with 'MP' is used when saving a single players' league position.

Data Storage
A blank formatted disk must be used to store all recored information, such as, hall fo fame, save game positions and multi-player game positions. Do not attempt to use your Stunt Car Race game disk. Refer to your specific machine's operating manual to see how to format a blank disk. Label this disk, say, 'Stunt Car Racer Game Position' and keep it with your game disk in the Stunt Car Racer packaging.

Replay
In the single player mode this can be used to replay the last season. This has the effect of restoring everything to how it was at the start of the last season. This saves having to reload a game position if the racing season ends with demotion for the player.

Game Reset
If 'F1' is held down while REPLAY is selected, then the game will totally reset and return to the single/multi-player menu.

Racing Tips
You will need to find the best places for overtaking on each track and then use your boost to get in front as soon as possible. It is always more difficult to come from behind to win than it is to hold the lead from the start of the race. Remember, boost is limited, so do not waste it.

When you exit from a bend, don't watch the side of the track, but look for the road ahead and concentrate on bringing that into the centre of your view.

Remember that with a joystick you do not need to keep it pressed forward. This also makes it easier for you to make use of the auto alignment.

Whilst it is generally important that you go as fast as possible around the tracks, there are places on certain tracks that you must travel at a fairly crucial speed, otherwise it could lead to disaster. The Stepping Stones is one such track. You must hit the actual stepping stones at a constant speed (found out by trial and error) and keep this speed constant over every stepping stone.

Other tracks, such as the High Jump, require you to have a minimum velocity in order to clear the jump - a fraction too slow and you paster yourself and your car against the track supports.


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