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Centaurian Legacy

Authors: Bret Lusskin & Pamela Hung

Table of contents:

Section 1    .............    Introduction
Section 2    .............    Installation
Section 3    .............    Gameplay
Section 4    .............    Troubleshooting
Section 5    .............    Contact Us

 

Section 1
~~~~~~~~~

Introduction

Centaurian Legacy is an add-on for Tim Wisseman's ever popular play- by-mail computer game, VGA Planets.

Long ago, well before any of the eleven races had arrived in the Echo Cluster, the concentration of stars was populated by an incredibly sophistocated and benevolent race of thinkers:  The Centaurians... Born amidst the ion-rich star cluster of the Echo, the Centaurians prospered and grew into a mighty empire that spanned the entire sector.  Their mammoth starships would inspire awe among anyone who was graced with their tremendous visages.  For millenia, the Centaurians thrived in the Echo Cluster, a proud civilization and monument of intellect and ethics.

The seat of the Centaurians' magnificent domain was their homeworld, Centauri.  A planet referred to as "heaven" by some of its inhabitants, Centauri was a place teeming in all that is desirable, and devoid of everything that is not.  A perfect atmosphere, an internal core rich in every mineral necessary for an invincible fleet, and technology beyond anything that has yet been rediscovered, the planet did indeed deserve its nickname.  Even more impressive was the huge starbase that orbited the planet. The base, known as "The Pillar of Justice," bore the technologies that allowed the Centaurians to rule the stars unchallenged.

It remains unknown how the Centaurians disappeared from the Echo Cluster.  Various (and conflicting) speculations point to a myriad of different fates for the seemingly extinct people. Some say that another powerful entity came to the Echo Cluster and ruthlessly annihilated the Centaurians.  Others choose to think that the Centaurians finally discovered a way to transcend their physical selves and became something greater than mortal.  Regardless, all that now remains of the once magnificent race are mysterious obelisks that float in deep space.  While their true purpose is unknown, the obelisks definitely have profound effects on spacefaring vessels that visit them. One Federation captain has claimed that one of these obelisks emitted an overwhelming wave of positrons that pushed his starship a hundred lightyears off course.  Others have stated that the mysterious obelisks can enhance the technology of their own very ships.

Some superstitious believers think that the homeworld of the ancient Centaurians still exists .. replete with its advanced, yet now dormant, technologies.  To this day, however, the secrets of the Centaurian Legacy remain unknown.

 

 

Section 2
~~~~~~~~~

Installing Centaurian Legacy

Installation of Centaurian Legacy is simple.

First, unzip or place the contents of the Centaurian Legacy archive into the directory where HOST.EXE resides.

Now, to configure Centaurian Legacy, type
CLCONFIG [PATH]
Where PATH is the DOS path to your game data (eg C:\GAME3)

An explanation of the options in CLCONFIG can be found in section 3, Gameplay.

Now, once the options are saved, you must place the line
LEGACY [PATH]
into the auxhost2.ini file of your game directory.

Here, again, PATH is the path to your game data. This will cause Centaurian Legacy's primary executable file to run every time host is run, after the host's processing is complete.

Thats all!  At this point, you can run CLCONFIG [PATH] again whenever you wish to reconfigure the addon's options.

 

 

Section 3
~~~~~~~~~

Gameplay

There are essentially two parts to Centaurian Legacy. The first is the obelisks that populate the Echo Cluster, and the second is the Centaurian Homeworld.

The Obelisks

In CLCONFIG.EXE, the host can set the starting number of obelisks in the game, set the regeneration rate of obelisks, and set the maximum number of obelisks in existance.  When this maximum is reached, no new obelisks will be spawned until the players have triggered some so that there is space for more.

CLCONFIG.EXE also allows the host to enable, disable, and configure each individual type of obelisk, of which there are twelve.  While the behavior of the obelisks has not been officially cataloged, they all seem to carry a specific color pattern that matches the way they react to approaching ships.  To investigate an obelisk, a player need only fly one of his or her ships to its location in space, and it will activate.

The different types of obelisks are described here:

  • TECHNOLOGY ENHANCING:
    These obelisks will enhance all of the technology of the visiting ship
    up to the maximum set with CLCONFIG.EXE
  • TELEPORTING OBELISKS:
    These obelisks will teleport the visiting vessel to another location
    in the Echo Cluster.  The precise pattern for this teleportation is
    unknown.
  • DAMAGING OBELISKS:
    Their true purpose unknown, these obelisks detonate violently
    when a starship approaches them, inflicting light to serious damage
    to it.
  • ATTRACTING OBELISKS:
    When triggered, these obelisks emit a large wave of gravitrons and
    pull all ships within 150 lightyears to their location.
  • COPY OBELISKS:
    These obelisks, when visited by a starfaring vessel, create a precise
    duplicate of the visiting starship.  This vessel is crewed, and is
    immediately available for the arriving player's use.
  • REFUELING OBELISKS:
    These obelisks completely fill the triggering starships neutronium stores,
    regardless of size or remaining space.
  • REPELLING OBELISKS:
    When approached, these obelisks generate a massive positron wave which
    causes all ships not at the same location as the obelisk to be pushed
    up to 150 lightyears away from it.
  • DISCOVERY (conjuration) OBELISKS:
    Perhaps the most perplexing in nature, these obelisks seem to 'conjure'
    a new vessel, of random type and composition, for the arriving race's
    immediate use.  It is rumored that anything from a tiny freighter to
    a massive battleship can be conjured.
  • MEGACREDIT CACHE OBELISKS:
    These obelisks contain caches of obelisks, ranging from very few, up to
    the maximum set in CLCONFIG.  This is another perplexing breed of obelisk,
    as the Centaurians did not use the current monetary system,
    yet these obelisks have adapted it.
  • DRAINING OBELISKS:
    These obelisks, for one reason or another, completely drain the fuel and
    cargo from the visiting vessel, leaving it completely vulnerable.
    Investigating captains are advised to avoid these, as well as the
    damaging obelisks.
  • MINEFIELD OBELISKS:
    These obelisks, when visited, instantly deploy a minefield of variable
    size around its location.  The minefield will be friendly to whichever
    race discovers it.
  • MINERAL OBELISKS:
    These obelisks will deposit up to the maximum set in CLCONFIG of one
    random mineral into the cargo holds of the triggering vessel.

The Homeworld

Perhaps one of the most decisive possessions in the Echo Cluster is the ancient homeworld of the Centaurians.  When a player successfully lands at least one clan of colonists on the Centaurian homeworld (which is selected at random from the unowned planets in the cluster), he is alerted to the fact that he has found it, and all other players in the game are informed of the discovery, as news this critical cannot be contained.  In CLCONFIG, the host can configure the existence of the Centauri homeworld, as well as the many advantages that it offers.

These advantages include:

  • Starting number of mines/factories/defense posts. (default 200)
  • Starting tech of Centaurian Starbase, The Pillar of Justice. (default 10)
  • Fighter generation rate on Centaurian Starbase. (default 10)
  • Torpedo generation rate on Centaurian Starbase. (default 5)
  • Number of mines in Starbase-generated minefield. (default 500)
  • Bonus mining percentage of Centauri Mines. (default 100%, double mining)
  • Perpetual happiness for colonists on Centauri. (default YES)
  • Autorepair rate of Centaurian Starbase. (default 10% per month)

Notes:
-- Autorepair of Centaurian Starbase takes place IN ADDITION to any
   normal repairs commisioned by the player.

-- Perpetual happiness does NOT guarantee that colonists will never
   riot.  It simply guarantees that they will always be happy by
   the end of a turn.  This is justified by the fact that a 100%
   tax rate will always enrage the people, but they are quickly
   mollified by the protection and abundance of everything
   on the planet surface.

-- If the host wishes to disable one portion of Centaurian Legacy
   and not the other, he/she needs only disable the appropriate
   portion.  For example, if the host wishes to disable the Centaurian
   homeworld, he/she may set Centauri Exists to NO.  If he or she
   wishes to disable only the obelisks, simply disable every type
   of obelisk, and none will be generated until some are enabled.
   If Centauri Exists is disabled after the homeworld has been
   discovered, the planet will cease to have its enhanced features
   until it is re-enabled.

-- Disabling a type of obelisk after some of that type already exist
   does NOT remove those from play, it simply prevents the regeneration
   of NEW ones of that type.  This allows the host to introduce
   and filter out certain types of obelisks throughout the game as
   he sees fit.

-- If the Centaurian Starbase is ever destroyed, its technology is
   forever lost and no new starbase constructed there will have the same
   features.

 

 

Section 4
~~~~~~~~~

Troubleshooting

Problem:  "I received an error about not being able to open CLCONFIG.DAT!"

Solution:  You MUST execute CLCONFIG once to configure Centaurian Legacy before the program can be run.  This error results in not having previous configured the program.  Simply run CLCONFIG.EXE as explained in section 2, INSTALLATION, and the problem should be cured.

 

Problem:  "I received an error about not being able to open HULLSPEC.DAT"
          
Solution:  This error arises because LEGACY.EXE itself must reside in the directory where HOST.EXE exists.  If it does not, the program will not able to find this file.

 

Problem:  "I received an error about not being able to open one of the host files!"

Solution:  This problem comes about because LEGACY.EXE could not find the host game files in the path specified.  Double check in auxhost2.ini that the path for Legacy is correct.

 

 

Section 5
~~~~~~~~~

Contact Us!

If you have any further questions, suggestions, comments, or even if you'd just like to say hello, we can be reached at CentLeg@aol.com

Or visit our website at http://www.jhu.edu/~aw1/centaurianlegacy.html

In closing, thank you for downloading Centaurian Legacy v1.0, and have fun!

-Bret Lusskin
 Pamela Hung

 

 
 
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