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Tai-Pan

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TAI-PAN

PUBLISHER
Ocean Software Limited

AUTHOR
Sentient SW Ltd.

YEAR
1987

CATEGORY


CONTROLS
Joystick: Keyboard:
Kempston, Sinclair, Cursor.
Q     -UP
                 UP                     Z     -DOWN
                /|                     I     -LEFT
                 |                      P     -RIGHT
      LEFT  <----+----> RIGHT           N     -FIRE
                 |                      SPACE -TOGGLE ICONS
                |/                  
               DOWN                  

FIRE - FIRE
SPACE - TOGGLE ICONS

SCORES RECEIVED
93% (CRASH #43, August 1987)


INSTRUCTIONS

STORY
-----
The year is 1841 . . . The traders of Britain, Europe and America
are sailing the waters of east in search of their fortunes.

Twenty years earlier the Emperor of China had decreed that the
purchase of China's goods could only be paid with silver bullion.
The demand for Tea, Silk and Jade was causing a massive balance of
trade deficit almost bankrupting the Trading Nations. Then a lone
ship "The Vagrant Star" under the construction of The East India
Company sailed to Canton with a cargo of illicit contraband. The
Chinese traders bought the cargo and paid for it in silver bullion.
A way had been found to reduce the deficit. Over the twenty years
the trade in contraband grew so much that the revenue from its sale
outstripped the need for silver bullion to buy legitimate goods.

Trade was once more balanced. The independent traders began to amass
great fortunes and fleets of ships and the leader formed their own
trading companies and began to monopolise the trade. The chinese
named these men Tai-Pan (Supreme Leaders) and the greates of these
was THE TAI-PAN.

The waters of the China seas were hostile, with both weather and
pirates taking their toll of the traders ship and profits. The
weather held its own dangers; at certain times of the year TAI-FUNG
(Supreme Winds), known to the traders as Typhoons became terror
incarnate. There was a little or no escape form the raging winds,
the driving rain and waves in excess of hundred feet. Ships were
thrown off course, battered to pieces on the merciless, hazardous
coastline or just swept under, never to be seen again.

As trade between the many ports in the China seas was increasing all
the time, the merchants used the natives and their towns as safe
havens from the terrible storms and scondary trading posts between
Europe and the Far East . . .

Now the stage is set for you to make your fortune and become the
Merchant Prince . . . THE TAI-PAN.


THE GAME
--------
You enter the game penniless, no money, no ships, no assets. Your
ambition is to become THE TAI-PAN. You begin in the town of
Guangzhou and must try to find someone to lend you enough money to
buy and equip a ship and still leave you enough to get a crew and
buy goods to trade. The money lent to you must be repaid within six
months or your benefactor will lose face and you will lose your
head!

Your assets an status are displayed in the message window beneath
the icons.

This area is also reserved for displaying the current item in your
possession.

SHIP
You have one follower, your son, he will fetch and carry things for
you but you must do everything else. You must wander the town to try
to find a friendly benefactor, havin raised a lon of $ 300,000 you
must go to the bank and buy a ship. You will be given a choice of
three :

LORCHA - $ 150,000 - a smugglers ship, (fast), cargo space = 10
units, 2 cannons, 6 crew

CLIPPER - $ 250,000 - Standard traders ship, (moderate), cargo
space = 30 units, 4 cannons, 12 crew

FRIGGATE - $ 400,000 - Gunship, used by the Navy and the Pirates,
(slow), cargo space = 30 units, 8 cannons, 24 crew members

The way you wish to fulfil your ambitions should determine your
choice of ship. If you wish to smuggle contraband, then you should
choose the Lorcha.

If you wish to trade peacefully with the Law (appart from the
indiscreption), you should choose the Clipper. If you wish to
become a Privateer, then you should choose the Friggate. You can
still pirate in any of the ships but because of the lack of fire
power in the two smaller ships, it is advisable that you use the
Friggate. Conversely you can use the Friggate for trading or the
Clipper for smuggling but their lack of speed makes them unsuitable
for these tasks.

CREW
Once you have purchased your ship, you must find a crew. These can
either be emploued (found in the Inns) or if you wish to conserve
your money, they may be press-ganged. Remember, paid crew is liable
to be more loyal to you than a forced crew.

To be successful at press-ganging it is suggested you only attempt
it on drunks and exhausted men, with a truncheon. If you attempt it
on a fit man he is liable to fight back or call the Bannermen.

If you are arrested by the Bannermen you wil have to spend 30 days
in jail and if you are caught three times you will be beheaded.

When you are successful in the press-ganging, your follower(s), your
son at the beginning, will take them to the ship. If you do not
have a follower with you then you will be unable to press-gang as
carrying the body will prove impossible alone. Once you have enough
crew to sail your ship, you must buy stores, arms and goods to
trade with. These can be bought at the differing locations in the
town.

GAMBLING
You may find a gambling den (in certain buildings) and be invited to
take part. The game is based on a reace between the chinese mythical
beings represented by their years. These are: Deer, Horse, Fish,
Cow, Sheep and Dragon. The tiles represent the different creatures
and odds are given on each of the creatures gaining enough of the
tiles to win the race.

When you enter the Den you will be asked if you wish to play; if you
agree, then you will be asked to choose which creatures you wish to
back (the odds are displayed beneath each tile), moving the joystick
left or right will highlight the options and pressing will make you
choice. You will then be asked the amount of stake you wish to
place. A counter will start at $ 10 up to $ 1000. Pressing fire
will stake the bet and also start the race.

The tiles at the top of the screen will rotate and stop randomly,
each time they stop the tile shown will be added to the pile of that
creatures tile.

Then one of the piles reaches 10 tiles they are the winner. If you
have won you will be credited with your winnings and asked if you
want to continue playing. If you say yes you will be able to choose
again, if you say no, you will be placed outside the building.

SMUGGLERS
You might be approached by smugglers within the towns, or you could
discover a smugglers den. They might try to sell you contraband,
this is very dangerous to trade in but very profitable. If the
police catch you with contraband you will be imprisoned and your
goods forefitted. The smugglers price is fixed for buying and
selling when in town but marked changes will vary the price at each
port visited.

CARGO
Certain items you have to buy will also take up cargo space. 1 unit
of cargo space = 1 unit of food (20 man weeks supply, you cannot
split the units) 1 unit of cargo space = 1 unit of cannon shots (12
shots)

Once you have your supplies and goods you must find your ship and
set sail.

When on board you will be able to choose your course, assuming you
have bought the equipment and maps, to travel to the myriad of ports
available to you to trade.

SHIPPING ROUTES
When choosing your shipping routes you should take note of the time
of year (the weather) and the safety of certain routes. If you
follow the safest routes there is little chance of meeting pirates
but the less safe the route the more chance of being attacked.

The safer routes are longer and these routes only allow you to trade
along the coasts. To trade further afield you must accept the
possible consequences of sailing across the seas. When using the
map, as long as your ship follows a shipping route, time will be
represented as passing quicker (as shown on the calendar). This is
to avoid long stretches of time when little is happening. If the
wind direction changes or the weather alters or ship enters a play
area, you will be returned to real time.

To start sailing, press space and select RAISE/LOWER SAILS icon,
raise the sail and that's it! To speed up or slow your ship down
you must select the sails icon by pressing fire, then moving your
joystick up/ down will raise or lower sails as necessary. This will
affect you travel time when using the map.

To steer your ship you must be in steering mode (Ships weel icon,
this is the default). When in this mode moving left or right will
make the ship turn.

Remember these are sailing ships and therfore to gain their maximum
speed they must have the wind at their stern.

ISLANDS
You will be able to land on an Island when at sea. (These will not
be shown on the maps but will show up on the screen when in plan
mode). Sail into the islands and deposit goods which may not be
wise to carry (i.e.  contraband to one of the ports that will not
tolerate it), or arrange to meet smuggler there to arrange larger
deals.

FOOD SUPPLIES
You must feed your crew throughout the journey, this is done by
selecting the "feed" icon. When you will be presented with a menu,
telling you your current food stocks and your crew numbers. You will
be asked to choose the level of rations you wish to issue. (Remember
to maintain full stamina levels your crew should be fully fed; If
you do not feed your crew, there is a possibility that they may
mutiny). If you have underestimated your travelling time, it may be
necessary to give reduced rations towards the end of a journey, but
this should be done sparingly. Food is not transferable from one
journey.

COMBAT
If you choose to become a Privateer you will be able to sail the
seas and pick and choose the ships you wish to attack, which is
achieved by selecting the combat icon. Then when some other ship is
near (in sight) you can press fire. This will give you control of
your cannons as you sail your ship into an attack position. Then by
pressing fire, the screen will clear and you will be shown a
display depicting your cannons and the enemy ship on the horizon,
by moving left or right you will be able to choose the cannon you
wish to fire, by moving the joystick up and down you will be able
to alter the evelation of the cannon, pressing fire to shoot from
the nominated cannon. As this shot travels you will be able to
prepare another cannon (if you have more than 1 on that side) and
will be able to fire a broadside of shot using this method.

If the ship moves out of range, pressing space will drop you into
plan mode to allow you to manoeuvre to continue the attack. When
you have disabled the vessel or it has stopped of its own accord
you'll be able to board, (remember if you wish to capture the ship
intact to increase your assets you should be careful with your
shooting).

BOARDING
Boarding is accomplished by sailing alone-side, when you are close
enough you will be place on the boarding screen and the object is to
secure the ship, by killin the Captain. You will represent each
member of your crew, as you lose a life you will lose one of your
crew members, lose too many and you will be unable to sail your
own ship. Each crew of the opposing ship is a representative of
that ships total, therefore the less crew you kill the more chance
you have of leaving a crew to man the ship for you (once you have
captured the ship, if you spare their lives they will be loyal to
you).

If you capture the ship intact you will be able to command it to go
to port on your behalf and its assets and worth become your
property. If you have severely damaged it or killed to many crew
members for it to be sailed, then you will be able to offload the
cargo, and anything else you can carry onto your ship. If U are
being defeated on the enemy ship you will be able to retreat to
your own ship and by selecting the QUIT icon (represented by a
ship) you will abandon the attack.

When you are fighting you will have a choice of 2 weapons (assuming
you have purchased muskets and shot). The sword (which cannot be
lost) is used in hand to hand fighting and the musket for long
range shots (the amount of musket shot you can use is dependant of
the amount you bought when in port). As you fight you will lose
stamina (represented by the bar on the screen), when you run out of
stamina your man dies. If you have not fed your men poperly this
will show on their stamina rating.

NOTE
When you capture a ship and send it to port, there is a possibility
that the ship may be lost in bad weather or it might be attacked by
another ship, this is a gamble you will have to accept if you wish
to increase your assets.

There is a possibility that you may be attacked by other ships, they
could shoot at you and also if they have a faster ship they could
pull along side and attempt to board you. When they attempt to
board you, you must endeavour to kill as many of the enemy as
possible, if you manage to eliminate a major part of the crew then
you will have repelled the boarders and they will leave. If they
manage to over-run your ship you will have lost. If this is your
only ship the game will end, if you have more than one ship a
random element "JOSS" (luck) will decide whether you survive.

PORT
To enter port after a voyage you will see Harbours on the sea
screen, by sailing into these harbours you will be taken into port.
Once in Port you must find the warehouse and bank to trade the
goods and ships you have acquired on your voyage. Then you must
re-stock and set sail. If you have more than one ship in port when
you return to Macau, you will be able to choose the ship you wish
to sail next and then send the ohter ships to sea.

They will trade in legitimate cargo and their purchases and sales
will be debited and credited to your account as they trade.

Remember even if you do not send the ships to sea they will continue
to cost your wages and food bills.

When the loan is due, you will return to Guangzhou where you must
repay it all or lose your head. Now with your own assets, set sail
again and endeavour to your increase your wealth and status until
you reach the pinnacle of your ambition. . . to become THE TAI-PAN.


PLAYING HINTS
-------------
Tai-Pan can be played in a variety of ways, depending on your
wishes. It can be played as a straight game, by concentrating on
the trading element and avoiding all other contact. It can be
played as an arcade adventure with all the relevant puzzle solving
or it can also be operated virtually as a shoot-em-up, by buying a
Clipper, press-ganging a crew and pirating the seas.

Tai-Pan is best enjoyed as a mixture of all these elements. When in
port at the start of the game we suggest that you purchase the
sextant, compass, maps and telescope, otherwise various options will
not be open to you and sailing will take a long period of time.

When partaking of the ports delights it may be worth while
remembering that if you become drunk or exhausted you may also be
liable to be press-ganged and end the game.

When you buy your first ship we suggest you buy the Lorcha. If you
attempt to trade with the Clipper you will be unable to buy stocks
and the only way to amass stores will be to pirate other ships.

STATUS
When you end the game, either by choice or by getting killed, you
will be informed of your final status, which is determined by the
amount of cash and assets in your possession at that time.

In ascending order these are:
Slave - Drunk - Bankrupt- Peasant - Cabin Boy - Oarsman
Rigger ($ 100,000) - Deckhand ($ 150,000) - Lookout ($ 200,000) -
Steersman ($ 300,000) - Cadet ($ 350,000) - 2nd Mate ($ 400,000) -
1 st Mate ($ 500,000)        - Captain($ 600,000) -
Shipowner ($ 750,000)        - Trader ($ 1,000.000) -
Merchant($ 2,000.000)        - Master Merchant ($ 4,000.000) -
Merchant Prince ($ 5,000.000)  - TAI-PAN ($6,000.000+)


TOWN SCENE ICONS

BUY               - Money bag down with down arrow
SELL              - Money bag up with down arrow
PICK UP/DROP      - Hand with arrow
SAVE              - Tape with down arrow
LOAD              - Tape with up arrow


SAILING SCENE ICONS

MAP               - A map
COMBAT *          - A cannon
RAISE/LOWER SAILS - A ship with sail
FEED CREW         - Big Chicken
TELESCOPE         - Sort of pipeline in 3D
WIND DIRECTION    - Text "WIND" and an arrow
STEER *           - A steering wheel

* combat/steer icons alters each other


COMBAT SCENE ICONS

SWORD             - A sword
MUSKET            - A musket
ABANDON BATTLE    - Big ship with cannon at ocean next to another.


TAI-PAN
This software product has been carefully developed and manufactured
to the highest quality standards. Please read carefully the
instructions for loading, IF FOR ANY REASON YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY IN
RUNNING THE PROGRAM, AND BELIEVE THAT THE PRODUCT IS DEFECTIVE,
PLEASE RETURN IT DIRECT TO:  MR. YATES, OCEAN SOFTWARE LIMITED,
6 CENTRAL STREET, MANCHESTER M2 5NS.

Our quality control department will test the product and supply an
immediate replacement if we find a fault. If we cannot find a fault
the product will be returned to you at no charge. Please note that
this does not affect your statutory rights.

*********
The instructions are taken from "The Project 64" page (yep, that's
c64 site, sometimes these people can be usefull ;-)
'Speccy adaptation' is done by Aleksandar Lukic, alexlux@eunet.yu .


The Project 64 etext of the ~TAI-PAN manual~, converted to etext by
Mikkel Hastrup .