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You can assign the following controls, from the defaults shown below, to keyboard keys or game controller buttons via the options screen.
* The power transfer controls perform a different function for The Skull player ship.
Other Commands and Shortcuts
Counter-clockwise from top-left:
The shields filter damage away from ship's hull and, as the shield energy diminishes, the armour becomes more vulnerable. While holding down Shield (C, by default), the shields operate in 'blocking mode'. In this mode, a protective bubble forms instantly around the ship. Your shields and armour take no damage from collisions but the shield energy drains relatively quickly. This is useful to escape tight spots, where the ship might otherwise sustain heavy damage. In this mode, you can use your ship as a battering ram. 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 double the normal rate. Equally, your shields recharge at twice the normal rate when your weapons energy is full.
The armour indicator shows the ship's hull integrity. When this indicator reaches zero, your ship is destroyed. The armour does not repair automatically but can be repaired by collecting Armour power-ups.
All of X-Bomber's primary weapons, as well as some special weapons, consume energy from this reserve while firing. Weapons energy can be replenished by collecting Weapons Energy power-ups. Weapons energy also recharges automatically at a rate of 1% per second. Some Special Weapons power-ups also boost the weapons energy reserve, while some special weapons feature an additional power generators that increase the rate at which the weapons energy recharges. When the weapons energy reaches zero, these weapons can fire only intermittently.
This shows the number and type of available X-Impulse blasts. During X-Bomber's retrofit, the ship was upgraded with an 'augmentative X-Impulse system'... With every X-Impulse power-up collected, the ship will be able to fire an additional low-power X-Impulse blast. When three X-Impulse power-ups are collected, these combine into a full-power X-Impulse. When the ship has sufficient X-Impulse power to fire three full-power X-Impulse blasts (equivalent to 9 X-Impulse power-ups), and a further X-Impulse power-up is collected, this energy is converted into a single super X-Impulse blast, which inflicts catastrophic damage over a very wide area and recharges X-Bomber's shields.
This indicator shows the currently selected primary weapon. Primary weapons can be selected by pressing Select 1 and Select 2 (Shift and Ctrl by default) to cycle forward and backward through the available weapons. This area also indicates whether a special weapon has been collected, and if so, which one. Special weapons are obtained by collecting the multicoloured 'special weapon' power-ups. These power-ups are colour-coded to the weapon that they install. For example, the yellow Special Weapons power-up installs the ADEN Cannons on X-Bomber. The special weapon indicator illuminates more strongly when the special weapon is selected and darkens when one of the built-in weapons is selected. This area also indicates how much ammunition the special weapon has, if applicable. If a special weapon that requires ammunition depletes its ammunition supply, then that special weapon is automatically ejected, since the only way to replenish the ammo is to collect another special weapon of the same type.
This typically shows how much more damage the current boss enemy can sustain.
This indicator shows the current distance from your objective and the estimated time needed to reach it in 1/100ths of a second. This objective can often be the end of the level, where typically, an end-of-level boss will be located.
Messages from the crew and other characters are displayed at the top of the screen.
ScoreThis increments when enemies are destroyed and when escape capsules are recovered. The score indicator appears when incrementing, then fades out.
To complete a mission, you must survive to the end of the level and destroy the end-of-level Boss enemy.
Other enemies can be destroyed at your discretion. Destroying too few can quickly leave you overwhelmed while destroying too many can deplete your resources unnecessarily.
Keeping your ship intact is even more important.
If a single Dai-X fighter is destroyed, the remaining two fighters return to X-Bomber and X-Bomber can continue the mission. The destroyed fighter is re-assembled in X-Bomber's hangar. The Dai-X fighters and Dai-X can be used again later in the mission, or in subsequent missions, once that fighter has been sufficiently repaired.
Missions may have other objectives, which are set out in the Mission Briefing.
Glance at your instruments often but don't stare at them and take your eyes off the enemy 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 change ships, by holding [Select 1] (Shift by default), if yours is damaged or runs out of energy or ammunition. For example, if X-Bomber is damaged, launch fighters or use Dai-X to cover for it while it recovers itself.
Use the right weapon. Spreadfire weapons are effective for crowd-controlling swarms of small enemies but slower at downing stronger individual enemies; like bosses.
Remember to make use of your secondary weapons by pressing Fire 2 (X by default). 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.
With slower weapons, you need to 'lead' your targets by flying ahead of them, matching their direction and letting them fly into your bullets. The benefit, however is that it makes it difficult for the enemy to hit you in return.
You can't collide with allied ships or with any ground targets such as tanks or buildings.
Explosions can cause damage to you and to the enemy. Detonating one enemy can damage or destroy other nearby ones.
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.
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 but I also meant it to be fun, rather than frustrating.
Power-ups and Resources
Power-ups can be found floating in space or they can be left behind when certain enemies are destroyed.
To collect a power-up, fly your ship into it. As a rule, if you can't shoot it, try picking it up.
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:
When you collect a shield power-up, any surplus Shield energy is transferred to weapons and vice-versa.
You can transfer power between shields and weapons manually by pressing "S" and "W" (default), however, the transfer is only 50% efficient.
Secondary Weapon Power-ups
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.
Your special weapon and its remaining ammunition are carried over between missions.
The game's music is stored in the "mp3" folder. You can supplement or replace these files with your own music.
The game supports MP3, OGG, MIDI files and anything else that your PC's codecs allow Windows Media Player to play.
Night mode creates a night-time darkness effect in planet levels (3, 8, 9 and 11).
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.
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 (replaceable)
This site and content is unofficial; © 2002-2023 Piers Bell and other authors.
Star Fleet, X-Bomber et al. © Enoki Films.