Table of Contents
1.1. VERSION NUMBER, AUTHOR, MAINTAINER
1.2. PLEASE NOTE!
1.3. THANKS TO ...
2. NON-SPOILER SECTION
2.2. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
2.2.1. IS THERE A PATCH?
2.2.2. I SOMETIMES GET WEIRD ERRORS.
2.2.3. ONE ADVISOR SAYS ONE THING, ANOTHER SAYS
SOMETHING ELSE. WHO DO I LISTEN TO?
2.2.4. I'VE SEARCHED EVERYWHERE FOR CLUES, AND I'M NOT
FINDING ANY MORE.
2.2.5. WHY DO I GET SILLY OR NON-HELPFUL MESSAGES
DISPLAYED IN PDA:LOG?
2.2.6. IS THERE A GOOD REASON TO PROBE EVERY PLANET?
2.3. POINTERS AND NEAT TRICKS
2.3.1. BUG! (OR IS IT A FEATURE?)
2.3.2. BUG! (BUT USEFUL!)
2.3.3. DO I REALLY NEED TO BUILD LOTS OF RESEARCH
2.3.4. STRATEGY, ANYONE?
2.3.5. HOW TO GET LOTS OF VEHICLES.
126.96.36.199. HOW DO I SEND AN ADVISOR SOMEWHERE?
188.8.131.52. HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO SEND AN ADVISOR
184.108.40.206. [ANY] ADVISOR TOLD ME [ANYTHING]. WHAT DO I
2.3.7. GRUMBLE, GROWL
220.127.116.11. WHY WON'T THEY LET ME SORT THE COLONIES IN
THE COLONY MANAGER?
18.104.22.168. I SURE WOULD LIKE A WAY TO QUICKLY ``FILL
UP'' VEHICLES' CARGO HOLDS.
3. SPOILER SECTION (SPOILERS DELETED FROM THE TABLE OF
3.2. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
3.3. POINTERS AND NEAT TRICKS
1.1. Version Number, Author, Maintainer
Version Number: 95.02.03 (First release)
Previous release: 95.02.02
Any Changes? Yes.
First release: 95.02.03
Author/Maintainer: Michael Andersson
1.2. Please note!
This is a work in progress. I want your input.
If you feel I have left something out, tell me. If I
have misspelled something, tell me. If you have a
question you think should be included, tell me. If I
have made a flagrant mistake, tell me. In other
words, tell me anything you can think of to make
this a better document. My email is .
I will NOT cover material that is already covered in
the game's manual. Really! The manual is only 92
pages long, including the Index and Table of
Contents--SO READ IT! There even is a small
troubleshooting section, and I do not want to
duplicate what has already been done. If there is a
question that is frequently asked, and the answer is
in the manual, I will put ``RTFM'' as an answer.
Maybe if I feel nice, I'll put a page number.
I will not tell you how to play the game. RTFM. And
if people send me email asking stupid questions, I
will either tell them to RTFM or RTFfaq. Other than
that, I'm a real nice and helpful kinda guy.
Also, I have tried to be extremely careful about
spoilers. The ``Non-Spoiler'' section has nothing,
not even plotline elements that come out later in
the game. The ``Spoilers'' section is a free-for-all-
-any information could show up anywhere.
1.3. Thanks to ...
Michael Lewchuk , for his
initial questions, subsequent help and
e-conversations, and especially his detailed
analysis of various installations' effectiveness.
Thomas Ruschak , for his
Lab Master , for
assimilating much of the start-up information and
volunteering me for this job.
about the patch.
Also to the following people, who posted articles
that I found useful: Guy William Bailey, Igor Nosov (also at until
95.02.28), Kristin Mennie, Beaulieu Sebastien,
Stuart L. Flicker, and Mike Peele . [People I was unable
to contact or who requested such have had their
email addresses omitted.]
You are the captain of an interstellar seedship, the
Calypso, sent out to colonize the Beta Caeli star
system. Why? Because the Alpha Centaurians are
attacking Earth, you're humanity's last hope, yadda,
yadda, yadda, and it makes the game possible. Your
mission is a follow-up to a previous ship, sent to
arrive at Beta Caeli 21 years before you, but which
seems to have completely disappeared. You and your
advisors are in charge of setting up and maintaining
vibrant, growing, and productive colonies around the
new star system.
During the game, you'll need to find clues as to
what happened to the Tantalus, find things that help
you develop new technologies, and just generally
deal with whatever unexpected things any old
seedship captain might have to deal with.
Tom Ruschak puts it this way:
``What you got here is a combination Sim-
City/Starflight type game. This comes as no shock,
since it was done by Joe Ybarra, who wrote
Starflight 1 & 2. If you played & enjoyed either of
those game, buy this one now.
``OK, a basic synopsis: you're the 2nd colony ship
entering an unexplored new system. The nasty aliens
have destroyed Earth, so you need to get this right,
or there'll be no more human race. Unfortunately,
you arrive some time after the other colony ship,
and when you get there, you don't see a 'Welcome'
``You need to establish colonies (which run with a
very simple sort of Sim-city sim), try and find out
what happened to the other colonists by exploring,
and research new and interesting things to help you
to do these two things. Along the way, [spoilers
deleted] and generally wander around the planetary
system. BTW, just watching the planets & satellites
go around the sun in the observatory is fun, and you
actually need to plan trips for closest approach, a
``Anyway, I won it in about 50 hours of game play. I
paid $48 or so, and I feel I got maybe $65 in fun
from it, so it was a good deal for me.''
And Michael Lewchuk responded to Tom's description
``You must research tech to stay one step ahead of
total disaster. There are many and various ways to
end the game, most of them unpleasant. Researching
ways to avoid disaster is very beneficial.
Researching them before you come upon the disaster
is even more beneficial.
``You build colonies out of 4 types of buildings:
habitats, power plants, factories, and laboratories,
plus a few special buildings later on once you've
researched them. You explore the planets and make
discoveries as to the fate of a previous
colonization attempt. You basically try to survive
long enough to win the game. You have two goals:
survival (if you die, that's bad) and points (based
on how many colonists, materials, colonies,
buildings, and spacecraft you have). You will face
several challenges. The interface is a menu-driven
system to select what you want to do, and a tile-
based graphics screen for colony building, and a 3D
(well, 2D, since you maintain a constant height
above the ground) flight mode for exploration of
surfaces of planets, moons, and asteroids. You will
need to explore various planetary surfaces for clues
to the fate of the old expedition and for
interesting scientific curiosities which can
increase the likelihood of you surviving.
``Add to this, 5 different advisors, each of them
wanting you to run things the way they want them
run. :) Will you be invited to the engineer's condo
on Ares when he retires, or will you end up being
[spoilers deleted]? Your actions determine your
2.2. Questions and Answers
2.2.1. Is there a patch?
YES! It is available online at Sierra's BBS, on
Compuserve and AOL (I think). If you can't get
it there, try here: http://22.214.171.124/alien/alienleg.htm. It's
just a patch, not the whole game, so don't
think you're getting away with anything
(translation: without the game, it does you no
2.2.2. I sometimes get weird errors.
There seem to be several ways to get them. Mine
usually happened when the save-file became
corrupted (while on a floppy on the way home
from work—yes, I play in both places). Certain
points in the plotline seem to also trigger
this type of error. Somebody else said they got
this error by pressing the [esc] key too much,
or at inopportune moments. So don't press the
[esc] key so much. :-)
Try upgrading to version 1.01. They say that it
is supposed to take care of many of the
errors/problems. I don't know, I didn't have
that many problems to begin with.
2.2.3. One Advisor says one thing, another says something
else. Who do I listen to?
Do everything your advisors advise. If they
disagree, ignore (or postpone following up on)
the military advisor.
2.2.4. I've searched everywhere for clues, and I'm not finding
That's because your advisors and the other
humans are not perfect. Some of them don't
initially see everything, and some of them
withhold information. Eventually, you'll get a
message to the effect of ``Oh, we overlooked
this before, but check it out now.'' And have
you really searched everywhere, including the
outer planets/moons? There are some interesting
things out there!
2.2.5. Why do I get silly or non-helpful messages displayed in
Game programmers are silly. Delete them [the
messages, not the programmers].
2.2.6. Is there a good reason to probe every planet?
I don't think so.
2.3. Pointers and neat Tricks
2.3.1. Bug! (Or is it a Feature?)
For every single planetside sector you explore,
the ``day'' counter advances by one. But
nothing else happens--meaning that none of the
time-dependent processes (building, mining,
producing, voyaging) do anything, just that the
counter advances by one. In other words, it is
nearly useless to talk about ``what turn are
you at.'' Instead, you'll get a better idea by
asking ``Where in the plotline are you?''
2.3.2. Bug! (But useful!)
When dismantling colonies (there are various
reasons you might want to do this), you will
reach a point where you can leave several
humans, and still dismantle their last
remaining habitat (everything else should
already have been dismantled). This leaves you
with a colony with several (I've done up to 27)
humans. Now, send a vehicle there, and pick
them up--send them somewhere that you need
them. Leave the colony, go to the Colony
Manager, and look at the colony you just
removed the humans from--more humans! Set up
what I call a ``Human Mine'' (pipeline to some
nearby colony). Be careful, though, you may end
up with more humans than you know what to do
2.3.3. Do I really need to build lots of Research Facilities?
Well, the jury's out on that one. I think so,
but others think not (see 3.3.9). It is
possible to get all the research points you
need simply by exploring the surface--but the
biggest drawback (IMO) is that it takes way to
long. Basically, if you tend to do a lot of
surface exploration (to get ore/energy), you
will end up with a lot of research points,
anyway. You do need to have some Research
2.3.4. Strategy, anyone?
Try to keep most of your installations at about
the same level. If you don't, things get out of
whack. As far as how many of what, since you're
allowed 16 installations per colony, try 5
habitats, 5 factories, and 5 power stations.
This lets you add one other installation of
your choice. My favorite factory distribution
consists of 2 mines and 3 robot factories, but
your mileage may vary.
To win a Grand Strategic Victory, you need to
maximize your points: make lots of colonies.
2.3.5. How to get lots of vehicles.
Thanks to Michael Lewchuk for telling me how to
do this: When you build new factories, set them
to ``vehicle'' construction. When they are done
building, allow one more turn. Presto, (almost)
instant vehicle. Now, change the factory to
whatever you want it to do (2 mining, 3 robots
is good, I think). If you keep doing this,
you'll eventually run out of engines (the game
only allows 148 vehicles).
Igor Nosov suggests having a vehicle-producing
factory, switching it off-line, and going back
on-line at the next turn. He says that it does
consume the necessary resources, but that the
vehicle is produced in that one turn. I haven't
In the back of the manual, there are
biographies for each of the Advisors. It was my
biggest disappointment to discover that each
position (not each person) has a script, and it
makes no difference as to who does what. I
figured that if they had gone to the trouble of
putting biographies, one should have to weigh
and balance each person's advice based on their
experience, competence, and capabilities. But
that's not what happened.
126.96.36.199. How do I send an advisor somewhere?
RTFM, p 39.
188.8.131.52. How do I know when to send an advisor somewhere?
RTFM, p 40.
184.108.40.206. [Any] Advisor told me [anything]. What do I do now?
RTFM, and check out your PDA:Log.
2.3.7. Grumble, growl
220.127.116.11. Why won't they let me sort the colonies in the Colony
Build the colonies in the order you want
them to appear. (Even so, in my
experience, the newer ones don't always
get added at the bottom.)
18.104.22.168. I sure would like a way to quickly ``fill up''
vehicles' cargo holds.
Wouldn't we all?
During your travails, the flora and fauna on Gaea
and Rhea go from being docile to being a royal pain
in the rear. This is due to the fact that they're
controlled by a yet-to-be-discovered H'Riak seedship
hiding in the Beta Asteroids. Also, there are
Empiants living in Cronus, and they don't like us,
'cause ``our thoughts hurt their heads.'' Then you
get a rebel colony that you have to deal with, and
finally you cooperate with the Empiants to build a
new type of interstellar drive, ensuring humanity's
forever expansion out into the stars, with the
Empiants at our sides. But we never hear what
happened to Earth.
3.2. Questions and Answers
3.2.1. My [Blank] Advisor wants to go do something at Gamma1.
Do I have to create a colony there first?
No, just send him or her (along with whatever
help they need) on a Probe Mission. Then leave
them there until they report finished. Note
that when the Navigator wants to go, he or she
will want some robots along--you have to
somehow stop the robot-destroying signal from
Gamma1 before sending the robots. See also the
strategy section (3.3.3)
3.2.2. Is there more after the H'Riak Sporeship is destroyed?
Yes, much more.
3.2.3. How do I deal with the hostile biota on Gaea and Rhea?
Thanks to Guy William Bailey for the
inspiration for this section.
22.214.171.124. Blowing up pylons on Gaea/Rhea
If you destroy the pylons on the either of
the two planets, the biota threat is
eliminated but Gamma1 will suddenly roar
to life and start plummeting into the sun.
You have 1000 turns until it hits the sun
and another 80 turns after that before the
sun goes supernova and you lose the game.
126.96.36.199. Blowing up pylons on Gamma1
Identical results as above.
188.8.131.52. Muffle the signals from Gamma1
Identical results as above.
184.108.40.206. Create a plague to destroy the biota
When your advisor suggests this, it seems
like a good idea--of course, when they say
that it might be harmful to your own
people, they're right. The plague is
effective for a little while, then it
starts killing your own people--now you
need to research a cure.
THIS JUST IN! If you only set off two of
the three Antigen Inhibitor bombs, the
biota disappear but your people will not
get the plague! This seems to be the best
Any of the first three solutions above
works fairly well, provided you have
researched the necessary technologies--
especially the Inverse Fusion Reactor
(although someone maintains that you find
the IFR on Gamma1--I don't remember).
220.127.116.11. Do absolutely nothing
Your advisors will tell you that you can't
start any new colonies on Gaea or Rhea
until the biota are calmed, but they're
wrong. You need to send over some vehicles
with enough supplies to build a few
habitats. Then send over some humans, then
quickly build a force shield. Now you're
set to build up the rest of the items you
need to run a colony. Note that you WILL
lose things in the construction process,
especially humans. Also, once the shields
are up, you will continue to lose things,
but at a slower rate--you can try to keep
the biota away from your colonies by
spotting them from the Mercator Map.
There is an unconfirmed report that the
biota don't attack vehicles at Gaea_7 and
Gaea_8. Anyone care to confirm?
By using this method, you can build up
lots of colonies/vehicles/supplies before
you ever need to deal with Gamma1--but
eventually you must!
3.2.4. Is it possible to wipe out the biota with vehicles?
Maybe? It's possible to remove all the
``green blobs'' on the mercator map, but I
don't think it's possible to remove the
3.2.5. Do I need to colonize the asteroids?
Depends. The Alphas are great sources of ore,
except for Alpha1, which is easily over-mined.
The Betas are much to easily over-mined to make
colonies there worthwhile, IMHO.
3.3. Pointers and neat Tricks
3.3.1. The Chase
When the colonists rebel, you will eventually
be told to investigate Gaea:G30, which will
lead you on a trail of clues, with the rebel
governor taunting you along the way.
Eventually, the clues lead to diverging paths,
with some paths leading to dead ends; here's
the proper path: Gaea:G30, Hermes:E4, Ares:I20,
Hera:I21, Hades:D10, Hades:H12.
I can't remember if they make their demands
before or after you find them, but they demand
that you build habitats at a new Hermes
location. Build enough habitats for all of them
(over 1000?). They start voyaging from Hades to
Hermes, and eventually your Military Advisor
will intercept a message from their leader
saying that she's stuck in the bunker (her
vehicle won't start). Then, take your nearest
vehicle (I like SSHades, but Hades_1 works just
as well), and bomb the living daylights out of
the bunker (which is unprotected because you
destroyed their armaments before they could
finish building them, just like I told you to
do, right?). Remember not to bomb the bunker
until it says you're cleared to do so... well,
all right, if you really must, go ahead, but
read section 3.3.2 first.
3.3.2. Cool ways to die (Disastrous Losses)
At the very beginning, don't create enough
habitat space for the emergency-awakened
colonists. (Lab Master)
Bomb the rebels' bunker on Hades before it has
been emptied. (Mike Andersson)
Don't do anything when Gamma1 flies into Beta
Caeli. (Lab Master)
3.3.3. Strategy, anyone?
Early in the game, you'll need 3 research
stations on Calypso, 1 studying Biology, and 2
Michael Lewchuk suggests the following research
strategy: (Early in game) Calypso--1 Biology, 1
Physics, 1 Math; Gaea Surface--1 Biology.
(Later in game) orbiting Gaea--2 Biology, 2
Chemistry. He says, ``After this, I turned the
labs on Gaea off, and produced mainly
mathematics and electronics at the space
stations and Calypso. Ever try to find math and
electronics? It's hard compared to geology,
physics, astronomy, chemistry, or biology!
Anyway, after getting to the sporeship, I
turned the labs on Gaea back on to produce even
more math, electronics, and the odd physics.''
Don't destroy any of the pylons until you have
your Inverse Fusion Reactor (or Big Bomb, as I
like to call it). Destroying pylons sets Gamma1
in motion, and you need Big Bomb to destroy it.
If you have the Inverse Fusion Reactor, and you
still haven't located Gamma1 (i.e., you haven't
set up your 3 electronics labs to triangulate),
blow up all the pylons on Gaea or Rhea. Your
advisors will find Gamma1 real quick! And you
have 1000 turns to do your stuff on it. Would
someone confirm to me whether or not the IFR is
found on Gamma1, or can it be built before
Much, much later in the game, you will need
SSCronus. It will need 6 research stations,
fully upgraded (level 6); 2 each researching
Math, Biology, and Physics. It will also need
to have on hand 3000 ore, 3000 energy, and 300
robots. Why? When you start cooperating the
with the Empiants, they need these items to
research the new interstellar drive.
3.3.4. Are the Biota Shield, Mass Driver, and Anti-Meteor Gun
According to M. Lewchuk, ``Build one. [Mass
Driver] It's resource consumption is
laughable.'' The Anti-Meteor Gun is only useful
on Ares, when Gamma1 tries bombarding as it
flies by on its way to Beta Caeli, although I
suppose one could avoid that by blowing Gamma1
up before it gets close enough.
I think that the Biota Shield are effective.
You would certainly not be able to keep any
colonies on Gaea and Rhea without them. True,
you keep losing things, but they tend to be
minor losses (except the vehicles), in my
opinion. You can minimize (eliminate?) those
losses by attacking the biota in the big-green-
From another source: The Mass Driver is not
cost effective, but useful to supply ore to
See also section 3.3.9.
3.3.5. Is there a real use for missiles?
One source suggests that several ships on
Missile Missions, orbiting Cronus, keeps the
Empiants confined. I have not confirmed this.
3.3.6. Is there a good reason to set up siphoning stations?
If you need energy, they are really good
sources of it, but they become really costly to
maintain once the Empiants start attacking.
Siphoning stations are much more cost effective
once you've made peace with the Empiants. It
would seem that not setting up any SStations
(for any reason) above gas giant planets keeps
the Empiant attacks at an ``irritant'' level
rather than a ``war'' level.
3.3.7. The scientist says he wants to research the pylons, but
he never goes out and does it.
I believe that unless an advisor specifically
requests to be sent somewhere, the
investigation kind of automatically happens.
3.3.8. M. Lewchuk's detailed charts on everything
Quoted directly out of his email message, no
Notice that most of the better buildings are
generally slightly less efficient at producing
stuff. In other words, having 20 class 1
buildings is generally better than having 10
class 2 buildings or 5 class 4 buildings. Also
note that having 100 class 1 labs is roughly
equivalent to having 50 class 6 labs for
producing most tech, at a fraction of the
resource cost. The exception is factories,
which produce more ore at a relatively cheaper
Number of ground colonies possible:
Alpha, Beta, Gaea : 8
Rhea : 7
Ares : 5
Prometheus, Hermes: 3
Hebe, Hades, Tethis: 1
Required space platforms:
3.3.9. L. Master's list of clue locations
L. Master seems to think that all clues are at
the same location every time, however, there's
at least one message that disagrees. I'm too
lazy right now to find out; somebody help?
Here's his latest list:
Alpha 2 A 3 clue: Beta 4
Alpha 3 A 2 clue: Hebe F11
Alpha 5 A 4 Red metal (absorbs energy)
Alpha 7 D 7 Yellow metal alloy
Ares H 2 clue: Prometheus B10
Ares K 9 clue: Gaea *19
Ares B 11 Petrovski Radio
Ares F 19 clue: Rhea C42
Ares J 22 clue: Beta 7
Beta 4 D 0 clue: Hermes C0
Gaea D 0 clue: goto Gaea:I9
Gaea C 1 coax cable (& robots)
Gaea E 7 gem for Eco-Scope
Gaea I 9 W.Lemfort's work
Gaea G 10 red crystal
Gaea E 13 comm center (TANTALUS)
Gaea G 13 clue: Rhea I27
Gaea D 15 24 robots
Gaea F 30 1 vehicle, radio center
Gaea I 33 Ramikin II Engine
Gaea K 34 alien language decoder
Gaeaequator 26 27
Hades F 3 mushroom crystals
Hades H 17 crashed Empiant ship
Hades G 20 green metal
Hebe A 9 45 robots, admin bldg
Hebe F 11 blue quartz
Hera F 22 clue: Ares *19
Hermes ? 0
Hermes C 0 screen
Hermes F 4 clue: goto Hebe F2
Hermes J 13 clue: Alpha5:A4
Hermes D 22 clue: Prometh *7
Prometheus I 0 isolinear chip
Prometheus D 2 laser focusing crystals
Prometheus C 2 clue: Ares B11 (Petrovski)
Prometheus A 9 clue:
Prometheus F 5 clue:
Prometheus H 2
Prometheus I 7 yellow quartz
Prometheus L 7 crashed ship—hullmetal
Prometheus B 10 green metal
Rhea C 20 rocks from Alpha3
Rhea I 27 control panel module
Rhea J 31 ``Ore Magnet'' J
Rhea C 42 alien obelisk translation
Thetis C 3 robot brain
Thetis G 8 clue: ??? G20
Thetis A 11 clue: Sporeship target
Gamma1 A 0 pylon
Gamma1 F 0 gun turrett
Gamma1 G 0 pylon
Gamma1 A 2 (engine improvement)
Gamma1 C 2 pylon
Gamma1 E 2 bifocaline improvement
Gamma1 G 2 explosion/hole
Gamma1 F 3 pylon
Gamma1 D 4 missile strikes
Gamma1 G 4 H'Riak secret
Gamma1 F 4 pylon
Gamma1 C 5 pylon
Gamma1 G 6 dark room (power improvement)
Gamma1 A 7 pylon
Gamma1 B 7 Tantalus marker
Gamma1 G 7 pylon