FAQ by RLordier

Updated: 01/01/70 | Printable Version

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  (just some of the famous quotes from the game PRIVATEER)

      The "un-official" FAQ for Privateer......from Origin systems @ 

                       Created by....Rob "STINGER" Lordier

		       (only one mans opinion....of course)

This Faq is being done to help with the game from Origin Systems that is part
of the Wing Commanders series.  It is a stand-alone game that is very similar
to other flight-sim type games with it own unique characteristics.

Immediate disclaimer:  I do not work for Origin Systems...I just like their
games.  Any copywrite infringements (real or imagined) are purely coincidental
and if anyone would like to contact me about any legalities....please, feel 
free to contact me and I'll "make it right".

These words are my own....no one elses (if I use someone elses ideas or words
and do not already acknowledge that fact..... see above.^

****I would like to thank Hank Leukart for his guideance with this FAQ.*****
Ok, with all that out of the way, lets get to the point. :-) :-)

   The most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the game Privateer

   Hints, strategies, and cheats.

   Game analysis.

************ WARNING! ******* MANY SPOILERS DO FOLLOW *************************


Q.  What is an FAQ?
    A:  It is a summary of questions that are mostly unanswered by either the
	plot of the game or the manual.  

Q.  What is the purpose of an FAQ?
    A:  The whole idea behind an FAQ is to provide a single place where most of
	the questions about a game, or whatever, can be restated and answered
	in Laymen's terms, to destroy any confusion the can and does results 
	from playing a game, or whatever.

Q.  What is Privateer?
    A:  It is a stand-alone game that is part of the Wing Commander series of
	games created by Origin Systems.  It is a type of flight-simulation
	computer game with a few wrinkles.  The basic idea behind the game is
	simple, you are a "Privateer" flying in and around the Gemini system
	(futuristic space) with many possible objectives in mine, depending 
	entirely on the "type" of Privateer YOU choose to be.  There is a set
	plot to follow, but you are in no way ordered to to make this your one
	and only objective.

Q.  How do you get Privateer?
    A:  This game has been out for some time, most "reputable" software distri-
	butors either have the game in stock or can order it for you.

Q.  Where can I get the FAQ for Privateer?
    A:  for now, this is it.  The creator does not have access to upload to an
	ftp site.  If you have the ability, feel free....I only ask that the
	contents be kept cohesive and the entire file become as one. :-)

Q.  I am having trouble getting anywhere in this game, what am I doing wrong?
    A:  The game itself is designed to be difficult in the beginning.  The one
	thing this does accomplish is get you used to the controls. :-)  This
	may sound trival but what you learn early in the game sets you up for
	the type of Privateer you are.  Patience is a virtue.  In the beginning
	it is a good idea to check the mission computer for missions that   
	involve either going to or staying in the same area.  For instance, 
	if the are two "patrol" missions in the Troy system, take them both,
	that way you get two for the price of one.  I highly suggest upgrading
	your ship before you begin to jump around the systems.  The Taurus is
	not a great ship to run with/defend with/fight with.  It does give you
	a great feel for what lies ahead.  Spend your money wisely, wait until
	you can buy the entire Gemini map (not one at a time), join the two
	Guilds (mercenary and merchant), upgrade sheilds and engines, get     
	better guns (lasers are weak), ...it's a jungle out there, prepare your
	ship before you venture into the great wide open and don't forget, save
	your game often!!!

Q.  Is there a cheat for this game?
    A:  Yes, there are a few, see below under hints/cheats/strategies

Q.  I have flown a mission and failed, now I can't seem to get back on the plot
    do I have to start over?
    A:  Maybe.  If you have a game saved before your mishap, just go back to
	that saved game and press on.  If you do not have a saved game you're
	going to have to start over.  Lesson to be learned here is ALWAYS have
	a saved game as a back-up.  (i.e. save often!)  If you fail on the plot
	missions you need to do it until you succeed.  If you are flying a 
	"cargo" mission you must not land at any other base than where the 
	cargo is destined.  You will lose the cargo.  If you are flying a 
	bounty mission, you can make as many "detours" as you like until you
	get the opportunity to go for it.  

Q.  Are some missions harder than others?
    A:  Oh yea, most definately.  The missions at Oxford are extrememly tough.
	The Exploratory missions are hard and killing the green drone is a real
	hum-dinger as well.  Some missions you can make harder on yourself if
	you don't use the "right" strategy.

Q.  I keep getting pummeled by the confeds, What did I do to deserve this?
    A:  You get the "good guys" mad at you by killing one of there own or one
	of the groups they are allied with.  It is called "aligning yourself".
	The basic premise here is if you go out and kill, say, a merchant.  The
	Confeds/Merchants/Miltia, now become your enemies because they're are
	allies with each other.  You can "re-align" yourself by going out and
	killing a number of their enemies as a show of good faith.  The
	Privateer Playtester's Guide says the ratio is something like 5 to 1.
	In other words, kill a Merchant/Militia/Confed (even a Hunter I        
	believe) and you'll have to kill 5 or six Kilrathi/Pirates/Retro's to
	make amends.  The Kilrathi Capital ship alone is worth 10 to 15 regular

Q.  How do I upgrade my ship?
    A:  RTM!  The ship dealer is the place to go, but keep in mind, not all
	bases have ship dealers (Pirate bases never hane any) 

Q.  Can I play this game without following the plot?
    A:  Absolutely.  That is what makes this game unique.  Although flying the
	plot/story is the basic premise...you can venture out on your own and
	do whatever you like.  You can even take a break from the "grind" of
	the plot missions and do your own thing.  Just be sure you finish a
	plot mission objective (the on-board computer will show dull red when
	checking missions while flying) before branching off.

Q.  What is the best ship to fly and how should I arm it?
    A:  This really is entirely up to you.  A good thing to keep in mind.. you
        get what you pay for.  Some guns have a better kill potential than 
        others but they take much more energy to fire.  Different types of 
	missiles are used for different fight tactics.  If you like to keep on
	the enemies back then heat-seekers are for you.  I you like to run 
	right at them then either friend or foes (FF) or Photon torpedoes would
	fit the bill.  If you like to dogfight and fly around a lot in tight
	corners, then maybe the Image Recognition (IR) is for you.  Whatever
	you choose to do is entirely up to you.  Some ships carry more cargo
	space than others while some much faster than others.  My personal
	favorite is the CENTURION with all IR's and Tacheyons in front and     
	back.  The Repair Driod is a must for any well equipped ship.

Q.  Are there any add-on games for Privateer?
    A.  Yes.  The only add-on (currently) is called Righteous Fire.  You fly
	in the same Gemini Sector with better up-grade capabilities and a
	different plot line.  Author's opinion...you liked Privateer?? get
	Righteous Fire and get the feeling of immortality!!

Q.  I have the green gun..... now what?
    A:  The most asked question by a big margin.  You obtain the green gun
	from the Derelic base in the Delta Prime System from another ship. 
	when you get the gun, a strange new ship appears (the green drone) as 
	is quite a formidable adversary.  The game does not show you what the
	next move is.  Once you get the green gun, go back to Rygannon to get
	your money.  Then proceed to any other mining base outside the Rygannon
	system and at the bar you'll met an atache to Admiral Terrel named
	Sandra Goodin.  She will get you back on the plot.  

Q.  I'm having problems with my controls, the joystick seems jumpy, can this
    be fixed?
    A.  Well, maybe.  If you are running the game on a 386 computer you will
	experience jumpyness with a joystick.  On a 486 it is much smoother.
	Apparently this is due to the requirement/recommendments situation
	that is on the box.  I have flown the game on both and the difference
	is dramatic.  I learned to fly on a 386, but when I flew the game on 
	a 486 it seemed almost unfair to me.  I found it extremely easy to
	control the ship on the 486 since I learn on the lesser model.  The
	game is really meant to be run on a 486.  If you choose you can 
	contact the support people at Origin Systems directly and discuss the
	control problem with them.  They are very patient and friendly.  See
	below for the phone number and e-mail address.


Q.  Are there any cheats in this game?
    A:  Hitting Alt-O will open a screen that allows you to test out the ships
	capabilties without much fear of destruction.  Unlimited ammo, joystick
	calibration, invulnerabilty (GOD MODE) are a few of the options that
	are available.  Be careful when using this "cheat" though, if you are
	either flying a mission (cargo or plot) and you go into this option 
	screen to save yourself, the mission is considered a failure and if you
	are on a plot mission, you are basically screwed.  You'll need to go
	back to a saved game (hopefully you remembered to save!) and start from
	there.  Bounty missions are different, apparently they are unaffected
	by this option (sometimes getting rid of a mission is good, you can 
	only "hold" three missions...not including plot missions).  You can
	get into this mode at any time, even while flying!

Q.  How do I kill the green drone?
    A:  When you are givin the assignment from Admiral Terrel, if you haven't
        figured it out yet, you are to be the bait for the green drone.  The
	Confeds are going to ambush the drone in hopes of destroying it.  Fat
	chance, their guns are impervious to it.  The only hope is your newly
	charged up (by the Steltek you encounter on the way).  Once you get to
	the ambush site, and after a short formal conversation with the Confeds
	the green drone will appear.  The Privateer Playtesters guide suggests
	the strategy here is to fire a few shot at the oncoming drone then turn
	90 degreees to avoid its fire.  It says to stay on its rear and avoid
	direct encounters.  It also says to avoid getting between the Confeds
	(Commodore Reissmman and his buddies, a Paradigm and two Broadswords)
	and the drone because they will shoot you down (friendly fire).  I 
	think the best strategy is to get away from the Confeds and take the 
	drone on by yourself.  It will follow you, always, so use it to your 
	advantage.  A centurion equiped with level 2 shields can take a few    
	hits from the drone.  If you have level three, even better.  Only use
	the green gun( the other guns are useless and drain valuable energy).
	Line up with the drone and fire until your finger bleeds.  Once you see
        the drone's shields begins to drop, unload with missiles/photons and
	you will destroy him.  

Q.  How do you get through the missions at Oxford?
    A:  There are four missions to run at Oxford.  The first and the last are
	the hardest.  The middle two are "relativily" easy.  This will discuss
	the two hardest.  In the first mission you are to escort Toth to Oxford
	and protect him from the Retro's.  There will be a total of five God of
	Man Retro's to fight.  Two in the frist wave and three in the second.
	Your priority is to kill the Retro(s) that are going after Toth.  In 
	the first wave...the second enemy you target is the one to kill first.
	The first one you target is coming after you.  Ignore him for now.  A
	good strategy I found is to RAM them.  Your ship (hopefully a Centurion
	or even a Galaxy) weighs more than the Retro's Talans so an impact will
	destroy them.. not you.  In the second wave, there are three Talons to
	fight.  Once again, don't go after the first ship you can target.  It 
	is coming after you.  You want the other two killed first.  They are
	going after Toth exclusively.  Ram them, fire missiles/photons, shoot
	at them, whatever you need to do to keep them of Toth.  Even though he
	is in a Merchant ship, he cannot take too much of a beating.  Don't be
	too concerned about the Talon that is dogging you.  You are here to 
	protect Toth only.  One thing to keep in mind.  If you find that you
	kill the last Talons just as the Merchant ships blows up....go ahead to
	Oxford.  You'll be surprized.  I think because a Talon blows up faster 
	than a Merchant the mission is actually successful.

	In the forth mission (another escort) you are to protect a Merchant 
	ship carrying a cargo of book to Oxford.  You will encounter five 
	Talons again.  Use missiles/photons to keep the Talons off the Merchant
	again.  Ram them if you can, if you get close to Oxford and the 
	Merchant blows up...look for the cargo of books and tractor beam them
	on board.  There again are two waves and the first ship you target on
	is coming after you.  Get the ones that are going after the Merchant

Q.  Is the any money cheat for this game?                                 
    A:  Yes, it involves using a debug command to get into the program to make
	changes.  This cheat was originally given to me by Toby Hauzeneder.
	   Begin a new game and buy some stuff to get a certain amount of
	   credits (e.g.:  1596 cr) (2000 is too usual)
	   Now save the game and go into debug and transform the number into
	   hexidecimal. (e.g.  1596 = 06 3c)
	   Flip the hex number (e.g.:  06 3c = 3c 06)
	   Search your savefile for this string (e.g.:  3c 06) and overwrite it
	   but don't write more than (ff 7f).  Just write (ff 50) and it will
	   be plenty
	   The commands to use are:
				   1.  debug privateer
				   2.  D (to display the hexidecimals)
				   3.  E (to edit)
				   4.  W (to overwrite)
				   5.  Q (to quit) 


The following is a listing and my opinion of difficulty level of plot missions:

On a scale from 1 to 10.... 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest.

ERNESTO SANDOVAL  (1)  Get artifact as collateral
TAYLA A           (2)  Cargo mission
TAYLA B           (2 or 3)  Militia can be fiesty
TAYLA C           (2 or 3)  Same as before
TAYLA D           (3 or 4)  William Riordion can be thorn in the side.
			    But you get secret compartment. :-)
ROMAN LYNCH A     (2)  Seelig is by himself....puppy chow!
ROMAN LYNCH B     (3)  Tougher primarily because of astroids.  Salman Kroiz
                       and his goons can be pests.
ROMAN LYNCH C     (2)  Afterburners...afterburners I say!
ROMAN LYNCH D     (2 or 3)  Don't be a sitting duck... move around.
E. MASTERSON A    (8 or 9)  Real tough mission.  Dogfighting skills really
			    tested.  Shoot quick....live hard.
E. MASTERSON B    (4 or 5)  Kill Black Rhombus fast.  Ram the talons
E. MASTERSON C    (8)  Tough mission because of the Demons
E. MASTERSON D    (9)  Escort mission.  Talons all over the place.
LYNN MURPHY A     (5 or 6)  TEN Demons?
LYNN MURPHY B     (7)  3 Demons and 4 Centurions...geez!  
LYNN MURPHY C     (1)  Land...not neccessary to fight.
MONKHOUSE A       (3)  Avoid astroids and mission is easy.
TARYN CROSS A     (4)  12 Talons in all.  
TARYN CROSS B     (1)  Garrovick is easy to kill.
TARYN CROSS C     (3)  A silver tongue is essential.
TARYN CROSS D     (4)  See previous.  Invulnerability can be used to get back  
		       to base... remember to get out of it before you land.
SANDRA GOODIN A   (1)  Land at mining base outside Rygannon and you're on your
		       way.  Use invuln. to get where you're going.
ADMIRAL TERREL    (9 or 10)  Kill the green drone.  Use all your dogfighting 
			     skills here and you'll be successful.


Any additional questions/comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Origin Systems = e-mail:  76004.2612@compuserve.com
                 PHONE #  (512) 335-0440

Life is a journey, not a destination...Aerosmith|   "Taste Righteous Fire!!"
Four years of college, and the one thing I      | ddm1196@dcsc.dla.mil (Robert) 
learned:  To make money in the world, you need  |A.K.A  "STINGER" current owner 
enough people to listen to your bulls**t <sigh> | PRIVATEER FAQ as of 06/02/94