STARCROSS Part One Ah, outer space! No dank and dusty dungeons here....but you can be sure that the puzzles are no easier than they were in the Great Underground Empire! So, settle in and get ready for lift-off. There you are, floating around space in your ship, alarm bells ringing in your ears. Obviously, something's about to happen. Get the tape library, then get up and go Starboard into the Bridge. Push the red button, which will shut off the alarm bell, and read the screen. This will tell you which object on your map is the one to head for. Now, there's no way I can tell you the exact coordinates, as the destination changes from game to game. However, it isn't hard to figure out what they are. Once you've done that, sit down in the control couch and fasten the belt. Now you have to enter the course into the computer, which is done as follows: Computer, range is x, theta is y, phi is z. The computer will ask you to confirm the new course, which you do by saying: Computer, confirm new program. After that, you're off! And now it's time for the hallmark of all Infocom games: Waiting! You'll sit in the couch, and wait until you arrive at the alien ship and you are captured by it <however, you can enjoy the verbose descriptions while you wait>. Once your ship is down on the dock, unfasten the belt, get up, and go Starboard into the storage room. Get the suit, put it on, then get the line. Head Portwards back to the bridge. Fun times with airlocks begin now. Open the inner door, go out, close the inner door, open the outer door, and go out. Get used to doing that, because you'll be doing it again, and again! So, now you're on the Red Dock, and there's a strange-looking sculpture here. Closer examination, and a little thought, shows that it's a representation of the solar system. Aha! Could it be...? You press the fourth bump, and strange things happen. Press the small bump, and a black rod appears...get the rod, and the outer airlock door opens! Okay, go inside <close outer, open inner, etc.>, and you are in a Red Hall. At this point, you might want to save the game, and just wander around, doing some mapping. Actually, I recommend that you do so, since there will be a point in the game where I won't be able to give you specific directional instructions. Now that you've checked out the territory a bit, restore to your original entry point. You're ready for the great rod hunt....because the object of the game is to activtate and control the artifact, which is done via different colored rods. Right now, you want the red one, so, go North, then West into the Room on Ring Two. From there, North into the Zoo, and East into the rat-ant cage. The red rod is part of the nest, and you just can't reach over and get it. This is one of the very few times in an Infocom where violence is necessary: Throw the tape library at the nest, which will be smashed. While the rat- ants look at you in terror, grab the red rod and the tape library. Now it's time for the yellow rod, so head along West, South, West, which will bring you to the Blue Hall. Go South once and you're at the Blue Airlock. Open the door, go down, close inner door, etc. When you reach the Blue Dock, go Aft until you come to the Spider-like alien. It's quite intelligent and even friendly. Give it the tape library, and in return you will get the yellow rod. Take that, and make your way back to the Blue Hall. STARCROSS Part Two You have two rods, and you will be using them now. From the Blue Hall, go up, and you're in the Grasslands. Go South to the Thin Forest, open the hatch there, and go down into the Repair Room. Put the yellow rod in the yellow slot. That turns on the lights in the Yellow Hallway. Put the red rod in the SECOND red slot. Make sure it's the second; this will provide a breathable atmosphere for you. Now, get the metal square, and go up, then North, then down again to the Blue Hall. From there, West to the Yellow Hall and Yellow Airlock. You know the drill by now, but there's an extra feature this time: You will have to try to open the outer door twice <it's balky>. Also, while you're in the Yellow Airlock, pick up the basket; it will come in very handy! Once on the Yellow Dock, tie the line to the suit and then to the hook. Head Portwards, get the pink rod, put it in the basket, then go back Starboard to the dock, untie yourself, and return to the Yellow Hall. Now, it's time for the blue rod. Go South twice, then East once. You are in a laboratory with a mysterious silver globe floating in mid-air. Inside the globe, although you can't see it now, is a blue rod. It's easy to get, however. Take the two disks off the wall. Put one on the floor, and one under the globe. It doesn't matter which way you do it, the result will be the same. Put the basket on the globe, then turn the dial to 4. Ta-da! The basket suddenly appears on the disk on the floor, with the blue rod! Turn the dial to 1, then get both disks, the basket, and the blue rod. Put the rod in the basket. In fact, put all rods in the basket when you get them. Okay, there's still plenty of rods to collect, so let's keep moving! Head West, then North four times to the end of the hallway, then West to the Room on Ring One, and South from there into the Computer Room. Open the panel on the computer, then insert the metal square into the slot. Turn on the computer, and you will get a gold rod. Don't worry about all the displays; they aren't important to you. Now comes more waiting. What you're waiting for this time is the mechanical "mouse" that collects trash. So, move around until it makes an appearance. As soon as it does, drop one of the disks <either one>. The mouse will pick it up. After that, you must follow the mouse around until it disappears into a secret door in one of the rooms. There are several different rooms where the mouse can do this, so you *must* follow it. Wait there until it reappears and leaves, wait a little longer to make sure it won't come back, then drop the other disk on the floor and step on it. Zap!! You're in the Garage! <Hurray for transporter disks!>. Pick up the disk, then empty the trash bin <yuck!> until you find the green rod. Go North and you will be in the Room on Ring Four. STARCROSS Part Three You are now in the Room on Ring Four. Now, this is why you had to do some mapping on your own: You must get the other disk you dropped, and there's no telling exactly in which room that was. So, you must explore on your own until you find the disk. Once you've done that, make your way to the Blue Hall where the airlock is. From there, go North twice, then West into the Observatory. Drop off one of the disks, then hike along East, South, East, East, South, East into the Weasel Village, and then East once more to the Village Center. Wait around a short while, and the Weasel chief will appear. He will indicate that he wants your space suit. That's no problem, since the air will remain breathable, and you don't need the suit anymore. So, give it to him. Then, when he wants to give you something in return, point to the brown rod he wears around his neck. He will give it to you, and start to leave. Follow him! <Think of all this following around as good practice for "Deadline."> Continue to follow him, until you arrive at the Center of the Warren. Then climb down the ladder to the Green Airlock <yep, another one!>, and do the usual job with the doors. From the dock, go West to the Umbilical, then West again to the Cargo Hold. Pick up the visor fragment, then go Forward into the Control Room of the wrecked ship. Move the skeleton, and you will find a violet rod. Now, drop the disk on the floor, and step on it. If you attempt to leave the way you came, the Weasels will kill you for disturbing their shrine. So, now you've materialized in the Observatory, and it's time to pick up another rod: Look at projector through visor. Aha! A clear rod. Sneaky, huh? Get the rod, drop the visor, then move along East, then South three times to the Melted Spot, then West into the Weapons Deck. Get the genuine Ray-gun, and look inside it. Sonuvagun! A silver rod! Get that, then East and North, and up to the Grasslands, 'cause it's time to get this show on the road. Now, trek on South twice to the Dense Forest, then East to the base of the tree. Climb the tree, all the way up to the top, then jump to the Drive Bubble. Insert the silver rod into the slot, then enter the bubble. There's a white rod here; get that and put it into the white slot. Under no circumstances should you insert the black rod into the black slot!! That will shut everything down! Okay, the drive mechanism has been activated; now you have to make the thing move. So, out, and up to the top of the Bubble, and....jump! Isn't floating in air fun? However, you still have some things to do yet, so shoot the gun at the Drive Bubble three times, which will bring you to the Control Bubble. Go Down, then put the gold rod in the slot, and enter the Bubble. Inside, you will find the slots for the remaining rods. Put each rod in the slot of its own color. Now, at last, you're ready to bring the artifact to life! Touch the large pink square, and the scene in the small one will change to show the inner solar system. Now touch the brown spot until a picture of Earth appears. Press the violet one until a ellipse shows <it *must* be an ellipse!>, then press the green spot, and flashing lights appear. And last, but certainly not least, the final move: Touch the blue spot, which activates everything, and brings the alien ship safely to Earth! Of course, it isn't over yet! That final remark by the alien sounded a little ominous....I have a feeling you'll be heading out again into space sooner than you might think!