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Gameplay

Controls

Assignable Controls

You can assign the following controls, from the defaults shown below, to keyboard keys or game controller buttons via the options screen.
Arrow Keys Movement
Z Fire 1
X Fire 2
C Shield
A Airstrike
Shift Select 1; hold to transform
Ctrl Select 2
S Transfer power to shields
W Transfer power to weapons

Other Commands and Shortcuts

Esc Saves the current progress and returns the game to the main menu.
Left Mouse Button Pauses the level, press Enter to resume.
F5 Plays a new music track at random.
F6 Saves the current progress in the level.
F7 Reverts the level to a save point or checkpoint, whichever is more recent.
Restarts mission if neither are available.
F12 Captures a screenshot
Alt + Enter Toggles between full-screen and windowed display modes.
Alt + F4 Closes the program without prompting for confirmation.

Instruments

Instrumentation Layout Screenshot

Counter-clockwise from top-left:

Ship Status

Shields
The shields protect the ship's armour and, as the shield energy diminishes, the armour becomes more vulnerable.
In tight situations, you can activate the shields' blocking mode while holding down C. In this mode, your shields and armour take no damage from collisions but the shield energy drains rapidly.
The shield energy is topped up by collecting shield power-ups. The shields also recharge at a rate of 1% per second.
If your shields are already at 100%, the energy used to recharge them is diverted and your weapons energy recharges at twice the normal rate.
Equally, your shields recharge at twice the normal rate when your weapons energy is full.

Armour
When the Armour reaches zero, your ship is destroyed.
The armour does not repair automatically but can be repaired by collecting armour power-ups.

Weapons

Energy
Energy weapons consume this while firing. When the Weapons energy reaches zero, these weapons will struggle to fire.

X-Impulse
Shows the number and type of available X-Impulse blasts.

Select
 - Shows the selected main weapon.
 - Shows the onboard Special Weapon and how much ammunition it has. (Illuminates when the Special Weapon is selected) 

Tactical

Objective
This typically shows how much more damage the current boss enemy can sustain.
 Distance 
This shows your distance from the end of Mission Boss. 

Other

Messages
Messages from the crew and other characters are displayed at the top of the screen.
Score
increases when enemies are destroyed and when escape capsules are recovered. 

Objectives

  1. Avoid hazards such as weapons fire, enemy ships, asteroids and other obstacles.
  2. Use your weapons to destroy the enemy.
  3. Collect power-ups to replenish your resources.

To complete a Mission, you must survive to the end of the level and destroy the end-of-level Boss enemy.
If your ship is destroyed, the game is over and you have to start the Mission over from the beginning or from the latest CheckPoint.
Missions may have other objectives, which are set out in the Mission Briefing.

  • Red markers highlight targets recommended by the ship's targetting computer. These may be targets whose destruction is critical to the mission or high-value targets that will cost you points if allowed to escape.
  • Blue markers highlight your destination. Fly your ship to this location.
  • Green markers highlight resources that either you must protect for the mission to succeed or that will cost you points if allowed to be destroyed.

Other enemies can be destroyed at your discretion. Destroying too few can leave you overwhelmed and destroying too many can deplete your resources.

More important than destroying the enemy, is keeping your ship intact.

Your ship can collide with enemy ships and their weapons fire, along with other hazards such as asteroids and mines. It can also suffer damage from radiation and nearby explosions.

Hints

  • Glance at your instruments often but don't stare at them for too long. You can change the position of the HUD or hide it altogether for an extra challenge using the options screen.
  • Don't forget to switch ships if yours is damaged or runs out of weapons energy. For example, launch fighters or use Dai-X if X-Bomber is badly damaged.
    Bear in mind that your ships re-arm and repair themselves in the background when not being used.
  • Your ships are normally (!) fully repaired and recharged at the end of every level.
    Your special weapons and their ammunition are carried over to the next mission.

Weapons

  • Use the right weapon. Spreadfire weapons are effective for crowd-controlling swarms of small enemies but often slow at downing stronger individual enemies; like bosses.
  • Remember to use of your secondary weapons (press X). It's better to use an X-Impulse blast or two to get out of a snag than get the ship heavily damaged or blown up.
  • You can use slower weapons to 'lead' your targets by flying ahead of them, matching their direction and letting them fly into your path of fire. Leading the target makes it very difficult for them to hit you in return.

Damage

  • Explosions can cause damage to you and to the enemy. Detonating one enemy can damage or destroy other nearby ones.
  • You can't collide with allied ships or with any ground targets such as tanks or buildings.
  • You can't damage allies with your weapons directly and they cannot harm you with theirs. It is possible to damage your allies with the splash damage from your missiles if one happens to explode near to them. By the same
  • Avoid use missiles on close-quarters targets for extended periods. The splash damage can gradually wear you down.
  • Objects with over 50% damage trail smoke and those with over 75% shower sparks. Keep an eye out for damaged enemies and take them out first to clear the screen faster.

Movement

  • Make use of the whole screen and keep moving into open spaces. This gets you out of the way of lots of bullets fired directly at you without you having to actively avoid them.
  • Don't worry about getting hit by smaller bullets if it means avoiding enemy ships and more dangerous enemy weapon fire. Your ships can take a fair amount of damage.
  • Sometimes it helps to stop firing and concentrate on dodging when you're in a pinch.
  • Relax. Take a break and think up a different approach if you're tired or stuck. You can adjust the difficulty in the options screen. The game is meant to be hectic.

Power-ups and Resources

Power-ups can be found floating in space or they can be left behind when certain enemies are destroyed.
Special Weapon Power-ups are released when your score reaches a multiple of 20,000.

To collect a Power-up, fly your ship into it.

System Power-ups

Three Power-ups can be used by any player ship. Each comes in three versions; Silver, Gold and Platinum, giving 25%, 50% and 100% boosts respectively:

Armour Power-up Repairs your ship's Armour Shield Power-up Recharges your ship's Shield energy Weapons Power-up Recharges your ship's Weapons energy

When you collect a Shield Power-up, any surplus Shield energy is transferred to Weapons and vice-versa.
If both the Shields and Weapons energy gauges are full, surplus Shield or Weapons energy is used to activate the Invincibility and AfterBurners respectively for up to 10 seconds. Excess Armour is converted into Points.

You can transfer power between shields and weapons manually by pressing [S] and [W] (default), however, the transfer is only 50% efficient.
Your ship's shields and weapons energy recharge themselves at a rate of 1% per second at Normal difficulty but your armour does not repair itself.
Any of your ships that are not in use will repair themselves and recharge their Shields and Weapons energy more quickly.
Your ships' shields, weapons energy and armour are replenished after every mission.

Secondary Weapon Power-ups

X-Impulse Power-up X-Bomber: X-Impulse Ammo Power-up Fighters: Ammo Missiles Power-up Dai-X: Missiles

Your energy/ammunition for secondary weapons is carried over between missions.

Special Weapons Power-ups

... are earned every 20,000, 30,000 and 45,000 points in Chapters I, II and III respectively.
They come in 10 colours, each giving a different Special Weapon that is compatible with X-Bomber and Dai-X.

Yellow Weapons Power-up Blue Weapons Power-up Orange Weapons Power-up

Your special weapon and its remaining ammunition are carried over between missions.

Other Features

Customisable Music

The game's music is stored in the "mp3" folder. You can supplement or replace these files with your own music.
X-Bomber indexes the files in this folder and plays them back at random in the game's levels.
You can press F5 to make the game select another track.

The game supports MP3, OGG, MIDI files and anything else that your PC's codecs allow Windows Media Player to play.
It also detects and skips files that it cannot play.

Night Mode

Night mode creates a night-time darkness effect in planet levels (3, 8, 9 and 11).
When starting a planet level, there is a 25% probability of night mode being activated and the effect varies every time it activates.
There isn't a way to disable night mode or to force it on all the time but if the effect is not desired, you can press F7, which will generate the level again, this time without night mode.

Screenshots

You can take a screenshot at any time during a level by pressing F12. The game gives the file a unique filename and places it in X-Bomber's screenshots folder.

The game also captures screenshots automatically to display as previews of the levels in the game's menu.
These are kept in the screenshots folder too and named "Mission __.png".
Deleting these files will prevent the game from displaying previews in the menu until the game creates new preview screenshots.

Information

video: 800x600 resolution, 16.7 million colours
Target framerate: 50 frames/second
Application Type: Clickteam Fusion 2.5 32-bit DirectX 9 hardware-accelerated Windows executable
Sound: Wave samples with lossless compression and 32-channel mixing
Music: MP3 128kbps (replaceable)

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Star Fleet, X-Bomber et al. © Enoki Films.