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Hard Nova


INTRODUCTION

     This  walkthru  of  HARD NOVA is divided into three parts. Part 1
contains  basic  game mechanics information and should be considered a
supplement  to  the  manual  Part  2  is the walkthru; Part 3 contains
location information for the hopelessly lost.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

     As  in  any role-playing game, character development is necessary
to  win;  however,in  HARD NOVA, the player has an additional problem:
You  cannot  dismiss  a  character  that has been added to your party.
Several  characters  you  find  are  duplicates of each other in their
abilities  to help you win. Others exist only for one mission and have
no other use. This means the player must decide what characters are to
be  developed.  All  characters  can  gain  experience points, but key
characters  need  to  be  sent  on  ground m issions to gain the extra
points needed to properly develop their abilities.

     Experience  points  can be gained only in combat.In ground combat
each   character  gains  points  by  just  inflicting  damage  on  the
attackers.  In  space  combat  every  character  shares equally in the
points  gained  by  damaging an enemy ship. Characters who are sent to
the  ground in an away team gain the most points due to ground combat.
Your  ground  squad is limited to three members,and Stark/Nova must be
the squad leader. You can have less than a full squad. There is a slot
(the  recruit slot) for a fourth characte r; however, any character in
that  slot remains there only until you return to the ship. This is an
important point to remember since it makes a significant difference at
one point in the game.

APTITUDE

     Each  time  your  character  reaches  a  new level, you are given
ability  points to spread around your abilities. The number of ability
points  your  character  gets  is  based on the Aptitude ability. When
Aptitude  is 8, your character gets 3 ability points. When Aptitude is
11,  your  character gets 4 ability points. So, you get one additional
ability  point  with  every  3-point increase in Aptitude. The maximum
level for Aptitude is 20. This is a very important ability to increase
quickly and early on.

AGILITY

     This  ability  determines  how  fast  your character can shoot in
ground combat.It is very important to increase this ability as soon as
you  can  for  characters  who  will  be sent on ground missions. This
ability  determines  the  Speed  as shown on page 31 of the m anual. A
Speed of 10 or better is needed; a Speed of 15 or better is preferred.

FITNESS

     This  ability  determines how many hit points your character gets
with   each  increase  in  level  and  is  crucial  to  ground  combat
successes.A  Fitness  of 10 or better is needed; however, this ability
can be increased gradually.

FIREARMS

     This  ability  determines your character's accuracy with Standard
Weapons.  It determines the "To Hit" value on the screen on page 31 of
the  manual. You want a To Hit of 50% or better.A To Hit of 95% is the
maximum  your  character  can  get;  there  is  no point in increasing
Firearms  once  your  character  reaches  95%.  Firearms  are the only
weapons  you  will find in the early part of the game, so this ability
should  be  increased early. This ability is only of use to characters
in your ground squad.

SPECIAL WEAPONS

     This  ability  determines  your character's accuracy with Special
Weapons.You  do  not have to increase this ability until you find some
Special  Weapons.When  you do find Special Weapons, it's better to not
use  them  until  a character has enough points in Speci al Weapons to
have a To Hit of 50% or better.

CLOSE COMBAT

     This  ability  determines  your  character's  accuracy with melee
weapons.  Melee  weapons  are  generally useless in this game; you can
ignore this ability.

TACTICS

     This  ability  is  added  to  Firearms, Special Weapons, or Close
Combat  to  determine the To Hit percentage.Increasing this ability is
not  as effective as increasing the actual weapon ability, but it does
apply to all weapons.

DEMOLITION

     This  ability  applies only to Nova or Stark and is generally not
necessary. It is used in conjunction with grenades.

STEALTH

     This  ability  generally  is not useful except for darcators; all
the  darcators  you  can add to your party have this ability at a very
high level already.

THE REMAINING ABILITIES

     The  Ship-Based  abilities are fairly straightforward.They should
be  at least 8 to be effective but are really only effective when they
reach  10 or better.The exceptions are Programming and Star Comm. Your
ship  starts out with Level B Programming. You cann ot safely increase
the  programming until Programming ability reaches 12. Thereafter, you
can  safely  increase  the  programming  level  one  level  for  every
additional  point.  You  cannot  do effective ship scanning until Star
Comm reaches 14 or better.

OTHER WEAPONS

     Close combat weapons are useless; ignore them. Upgrade weapons as
fast  as  possible.  There are three exceptions to this rule.First,the
SMG-70X  has  a  high rate of fire and can compensate for a low Speed.
Second,Special  Weapons  should  not  be used until a ch aracter has a
high  To  Hit  percentage;  otherwise,you  just  waste ammo. The third
exception  involves  ammo.  You  can  only  carry  a limited supply of
ammo.To  avoid  having one character run out of ammo,you should try to
have everyone use weapons that use the sam e ammo because then you can
share.Of course, if you find an exceptionally powerful weapon,then you
should  use  it  as  soon as someone has a high To Hit percentage with
that weapon.

ARMOR

     Upgrade  all  armor  as  fast  as you can. The only warning about
armor is that it can reduce your character's Speed stat.Your selection
of   who   wears   the  armo  may  depend  on  how  it  effects  their
Speed.Also,the  enemy  mainly  shoots  at  the lead character.That cha
racter  should  always  have  the best available armor and highest hit
points  or he will die early and often.Similarly,the lead character in
the ground squad should have the best medical lining you can find.

DROPPING OBJECTS

     Dropped  objects  do  NOT  disappear; they stay around for you to
pick  up  later. Pass cards are one-use items and should be dropped as
soon  as  they  are used. When in doubt, drop the object. Objects only
disappear when you sell them or give them away.

GIVING AND USING OBJECTS

     To  give  an object, make it the top item in the pool.Then,target
the  person  to whom you wish to give the object,go into the inventory
screen(shown  on  page  13  of  the  manual),and press "I" to give the
object.  It will vanish from the pool. Next, press "F7" ( Talk) to get
the  result  of giving the object.WARNING: Giving an object deletes it
from  the game. If you give something to the wrong person, it is gone.
So save before giving anything away!

     Only  the lead character can use an object. To use an object, put
it  in  the  inventory  of  the  lead character. The "Use" option will
automatically come up when you reach the place where the object can be
used.

SHOPS

     Different  shops  sell  different items at different prices. They
will also pay different prices for items.Be sure to keep good notes on
what  is sold where & for what price. Sold objects disappear,so do not
sell something unless you are sure that you no lon ger need it.

FRIENDLIES AND NOT SO FRIENDLIES

     In  general,any  character  that  shows  up  as  a  blue dot is a
friendly  and  should  not  be  killed. However, in some situations, a
blue-dot  character  is  really  an  enemy.  The  blue  dot is just an
indicator  that  you  should talk to the character first, then you can
kill him or her. This should be obvious from the story context.

THE ENDLESS HORDE

     In  most  cases, a dead enemy stays dead; however, in some mazes,
dead enemies regenerate. In these mazes doing ANYTHING that clears the
maze  screen regenerates the enemy.This includes pressing "F9" to view
data  disks.  Pressing  "F10"  and  immediately return ing to the game
without  doing  anything  regenerates  the enemy. Once you find such a
maze,  be very careful when you clear off the maze screen, or you will
have to refight the entire battle all over again.

Part 2

RECRUITS AND CASH

     Your  first  order  of business is to recruit a new crew and make
some money.

     Making  money  is  easy: Smuggle.At first,just smuggle to Tikorr.
The  payoff  is  low  but  the trips are short and easy. Ariel is very
dangerous  and should be avoided unless you are going there anyway for
other  reasons.  Ciberan  is  also  very dangerous but has a very high
payoff.Smuggle  to Ciberan as soon as you are ready for the big bucks.
The  key  to  being  a  successful smuggler is get in fast and get out
fast: don't stick around to fight.

     You  start  off  on  Mastassini  where you can easily pick up Ace
Elcator  in  the bar immediately.On Tikorr,there are two cities.In the
bar  of  one,  you  can  pick up Cerallon.Galejay is in the bar at the
other  city,but you need to get a Grav Blocker for him befo re he will
join. Galejay makes an excellent Gunner. These are the only people you
can  recruit  initially.  You  can pick up a Grav Blocker later in the
game.

     GET A'KRI JANR OFF THE GROUND SQUAD ASAP. You cannot win the game
if  he  dies.  He is useless in ground combat and is easily killed. He
cannot be replaced.

     The  robot  maze  on  Mastassini  is a safe way to get experience
points.  The  maze  is  also  a  long and boring way to get experience
points,but  its  usefulness  ends  quickly.  The maze is a multi-level
maze,so  search each floor carefully to find the entrance to th e next
level.  When  you  can  survive the fourth level, your characters have
exhausted the usefulness of the robot maze.

THE CIBERAN TANKER AFFAIR

     This is the first mission and rather tough if you jump right into
it.A  little  training in the robot maze is nice to have before taking
on  this  mission.It  is  also  a  good idea to upgrade your equipment
before heading out. Locating the shops is left as an e xercise for the
player,  but  you  can  buy  flak  vests,  rush  AMLs,  SMG-70Xs,  and
M23-30ARs; the prices are quite high.You will have to make quite a few
smuggling runs to afford everything.

     The  tanker  is  one of the ships hanging around the star gate in
the  Ciberan  system.Just target ships until you find a Ciberan tanker
that  you  can  board.If  you cannot board, you have the wrong tanker.
Good  tactics  are  the  keys  to  winning  this battle. Isola te each
hijacker  and overwhelm them with superior numbers. Trapping them in a
room  is  best, but if you can keep the other hijackers off screen,you
can isolate individual hijackers in the hallways. You need to give the
hijackers' leader's head to Kendal a s proof of your success.

THE LANTA DISPUTE

     You  get  this assignment at the same time as you get the Ciberan
assignment.It  is  an  optional side mission,but it also has the right
difficulty  level  for your characters at this stage of the game.It is
worthwhile  doing  this  assignment first. The mission i s simple: You
are given a location. Once you arrive, you are given another location.
From  that location you get the location of the Lanta leaders. Talk to
them  before  killing them for an interesting side story. The gems you
get as loot should be sold. Th e best price is found locally.

ROGER AMARO

     You are also given the location of Amaro when you get the Ciberan
assignment.  He is a good fighter to add your party,but you have to do
something  for him. What you have to do is obvious.Read the section in
Part  1  on  "Using  and  Giving Objects." Roger come s with some nice
weapons  that  he will share; however, at this point the best thing to
do with his weapons is store them for later use.

CIBERAN

     This  is  the  main mission that will lead to the endgame.It is a
long,  involved  mission  that will take several tries to complete.You
must  recruit  Janai  or  you  cannot  hope for success.Both Janai and
Cerallon  are  qualified to be the ship's Technician, but on ly one of
them  can  take  that  position. You have to chose how to assign these
two.

     The first step is to talk to Sebastian in Meridian city. He gives
the  first  location  to  go to. The first three locations are Ciberan
bases.  Help  the defenders clear out the invading Arielans, then talk
to  them  to find out where to go next. At the third C iberan base, an
Ariel soldier will tell you the location of the main Ariel base.

     At  the Ariel invasion base, you will find General Camede Rodgen.
Talk  to  her first before killing her.You must kill her to proceed to
the  next  step.She  has  the  pass  card  you  need  to see Damien on
Ariel.The  Ariel base is the largest and most complicated m aze in the
same. Part 3 contains information on how to get around the maze.

ARIEL

     To  find  Damien,you must show your prowess by killing his guards
in Ariel city (they're on the top floor)One of the Arielans is a rebel
spy  who will give you the location of the rebels' secret base. There,
you  will get the location of Damien's headquarter s. While you are in
Ariel  city,  talk  to  the  people  in  the  bar. Two of them will be
important  later on. You can find a Grav Blocker for Galejay somewhere
Ariel city.

     Taking out Damien is a two-part mission. First,talk to Damien.The
entrance  to  his office is in the northwest corner of the floor. Once
you  see  him,  you must fight your way past his guard because the way
you  came  in  is closed off. Remember the people you talked to in the
Ariel  city  bar?One  of  them is the key to defeating Damien. Recruit
that person and head straight back to Damien.That gives you four squad
members  to  fight  your  way  past  the guards again. An extra set of
kevlar  armor and rush AML is usefu l to have at this point.However,it
is  a good idea to hold off taking out Damien until you have seen what
is going on at Rouyn.

ROUYN

     Your  assignment  is  to  get  rid  of  the probes that have been
attacking  the  miner  at Rouyn. They will point you to a DSRE base on
Tikorr. Talk to the people at the bars on Tikorr.One of them knows the
location  of  the  base.The  DSRE base is a dead end for now , but you
learn the location of the Darcator base there.

     At  this  point  the  probes have turned into a major invasion of
aliens:  the  Typhon.Board  one of their ships and retrieve data disks
"R" & "S." With those data disks you can go back to Ariel and take out
Damien.  You  can  learn  something  interesting  about the disks from
Damien.  After  you  get that information, you can go back to the DSRE
base.

DSRE BASE

     You will find a Delta Coro force besieging the DSRE base.You have
to  kill them and find a way past the DSRE security robots. Locate the
blue  button  on  the  first floor before trying to enter the research
area. You cannot get past the stun level; you can o nly bypass it. The
first  trip  will  be a dead end but it's necessary. Once you have the
information  on the Typhon data disks from Damien, the DSRE scientists
will give you the solution to the Typhon problem.

     There  are  two  possible  endings  to the game based on what you
decide  to do at that point.You will find Alice and Waldro at the DSRE
base.  Alice is not worth recruiting; however, Waldro will lead you to
the Darcator base where you may pick up a very good e ngineer and some
really nice weapons.

BREMER SHIP

     The  Bremer ship is the asteroid that is farthest away from Rouyn
(outside  the  cluster  of asteroids near Rouyn).Find the data disk on
the  Bremer ship and you will know the name of the person on Ariel you
need to recruit to get the Bremers to help you. Tha t ends the game.

DARCATOR BASE

     This  is an optional side mission. Because of their stealth, only
one Darcator is visible at a time. The key to winning this fight is to
isolate  the  visible Darcator since that is the only Darcator you can
shoot  at.  Pressing the space bar will cycle throu gh all potentially
visible  Darcators.This  mission is worth doing for the loot. The only
thermocaster in the game is here.

DELTA CORO BASE

     There is no way to find this base except to stumble upon it. Look
for  a  shielded  area  on  Holbrook;  the base is somewhere under the
shield.Nothing  will  happen  here until AFTER you clear out the Delta
Coros  at  the  DSRE base. Then,a very interesting side st ory will be
revealed.

TYPHON WARSHIP

     You  need  to  board  one  Typhon  warship(not  a  probe ship)and
retrieve  data disks "R" & "S." Once you defeat Damien Altron, he will
translate the disks for you.

Part 3

ARIEL MAIN BASE

     The  Ariel  invasion base has four floors. The floors are usually
divided  into sections that cannot be reached from the same floor; you
need to go to another floor to get to those sections. The following is
a  rough  map of the floors.The number indicates th e floor number and
the  letter  is  a  section name.For example "2B"is Section B on Floor
2.This  section  can  only  be  reached  from  Section A on Floor 3 or
Section A on Floor 1. You enter the base on Floor 1.




          +---------------------------------------+
          |                                       |
     +---3A         +-3B-----------------------+  |
     |              |                          |  |
     |   +----------+             +---------+  |  |
     |   |  +------------+        |         |  |  |
     |   2A-+     +--2B  | +- 2C  | +- 2D   +- 2E |
     |            |   |  | |      | |   |         |
     +------------+   |  | |      | |   +---------+
         +------------+  | |   +--+ |
         |               | |   |    |
         1A          1B -+ |  1C ---+
         |            |    |  ||  1B to 2C elevator requires
         |            +----+  ||  the 391A pass card. General
         0A-------------------+|  Camede Rodgen is at 2C.
         |                     |
         +---------------------+


 The following is a list of pass cards used in the game:

 CARD   WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND    WHERE TO USE IT
---------------------------------------------------------------
 CIB    Given by Janai           Meridian City
 391A   Ciberan base at 747,348
         and Ariel City          Ariel invasion base on Ciberan
 174J   Ciberan base at 747,348  Ariel City
 942Z   General Rodgen has it    Damien Altron's secret base
 845B   Rouyn mining bases       Rouyn main mining base

ZERO-L BASES

     There  are  three  abandoned Zero-L bases on Holbrook at 790,408,
1309,409, and 1126,190. Visit them to grab some useful loot.

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