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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This ability determines your character's accuracy with melee
weapons. Melee weapons are generally useless in this game; you can
ignore this ability.
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.
This ability applies only to Nova or Stark and is generally not
necessary. It is used in conjunction with grenades.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
RECRUITS AND CASH
Your first order of business is to recruit a new crew and make
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
There are three abandoned Zero-L bases on Holbrook at 790,408,
1309,409, and 1126,190. Visit them to grab some useful loot.