What do you need help on? Cancel X

BOOKMARK
Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

FAQ by PKarsanow

Updated: 10/12/02

INTRODUCTION
This is information (call it a guide but not a walkthrough) for the 
"Mines of Titan" (aka "Mars Saga") CRPG for the PC, Amiga and Apple 
][. It's an old (1989) game that goes back to the last days of 
Infocom, and the early days of Westwood Associates. When released for 
the Commodore 64/128 by Electronic Arts, it was titled "Mars Saga", 
but there are few other differences besides the title and moving the 
action from Mars to Titan (a moon of Jupiter). You can see images of 
the covers to both games, and a screen shot of the Commodore version 
at:
http://www.thelegacy.de/Museum/4821/

This game can be classed as "abandonware" now, but I got it as one of 
5 titles in the "Powerhits SciFi" package by Activision. Aside from 
downloads of the game, a transcription of the pitiful walkthrough in 
"Quest for Clues IV" (QFC4), and a character editor program (MTHACK), 
there's very little out on the net about this game. [better check 
yourself!]

Assuming that you've seen the QFC4 walkthrough at 
http://www.the-underdogs.org/
and have a copy of the game, what follows is my contribution, 
specifically for the PC version. It assumes that you follow the 
gambling procedure under CHEATING below, so you basically don't have 
to worry about money for the rest of the game. You also have to READ 
THE F* MANUAL.


GAME INTERFACE
- You can save anytime you're not in combat or inside a special 
location (like a store). Remember to save before you leave a city. 
There are 5 save slots which can be named (yay!), and a 6th "auto 
save" that can be turned on/off.
- Press the space bar or Enter while walking around to bring up the 
main menu. Ctrl-C at any time to exit the game; I hope you saved first!
- Don't recruit more than one character at the start of the game, even 
if you can get more. You may not even want to recruit until you've 
gotten decent weapons and armor. The number of enemies in combat 
depends on how many people you have in your party (maximum of 6), and 
you also may not get any interest if you haven't done much since you 
got the last recruit. You can read through the interview, but what 
matters is the short description (words like "scrawny" and "out of 
breath" are bad) and the view of the statistics and skills. It may 
take lots of tries to get the person (actually collection of values) 
that you want. In general, the older ones have more/higher skills. See 
CHARACTERS below for what the different types (Army, Police, etc.) 
start with.
- While "inspecting" a character (full screen of character info that 
looks like that old green and white paper), you can press the number 
keys 1 through 6 (or however many characters you have) to switch to 
another character quickly.
- The game will not let you take money away from newly recruited 
characters, but you can give money to them.


COMBAT
- The "computer move" AI is sometimes brain-dead, trying to make 
characters behind the front 2 or 3 move around the back. 
Unfortunately, most of the time the map is so big, and movement is so 
slow, that they just end up running away from the battle. In a few 
rare cases, it makes sense for them to run around small blocks, and 
shoot through the cracks between blocks placed diagonally. Your 
biggest problem will be making sure that your worst characters don't 
stay put in the way of all the enemy firepower, and your best 
characters run off so they can ambush the enemy long after the battle 
is over, with anyone else who moves getting stuck in another 
character's way. You'll just have to rely on superior armor, weapons, 
and skills to get you through. Once you have lots of long-range 
weapons like rifles, you want combat to occur with no terrain around 
to confuse the issue.
- Your characters should always have the best weapons they can use. 
But the different types apparently have range limits, and you can't 
carry one of each type, and everything else you need, in your limited 
inventory. In practice, only carry the best (most expensive) of a 
distance weapon and a close-in weapon. If all else fails, you've got 2 
Fists (which you can't get rid of). I suggest one of 
Auto/Rifle/Arcgun/Missile/Handgun and one of Blades/Cudgel. Thrown 
weapons are used up in combat, unlike ALL the other types which have 
unlimited ammunition.
- When roaming around in the tunnels to get to the end of the game, 
you will find a lot of items. Since I was cheating with maxed-out 
characters, I can't give really good advice on what to keep. However, 
assuming that the game uses the best weapons available in "computer 
move" mode, the Buzz gun was seen to be used by characters that had 
them.
- QFC4 makes the endgame sound more complicated than it was for me, 
but you may need to follow their advice if you play with "real" 
characters. In practice, if you can get through all the random combats 
in the tunnels and mines without losing anyone, you'll do just fine.
(I personally did lose 3 characters in one strange combat where the 
computer made 2 characters stand up to a bunch of hunters, and the 
other 4 ran away. But for me, the 4 blobs at the end were easy.)


EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
- I didn't figure out exactly how characters get enough experience to 
learn new skills, but it seems to help if they are good in combat and 
have high Education and Wisdom. Check after every fight for "<name> is 
eager to learn"; then that character can learn at least once. The 
Munitions Shop will sell you better weapons as your skill improves; 
you can trade them to a character with insufficient skill, but he 
won't use them in combat.
- Either some things are very easy to learn and others are really 
tough, or characters can get a wide range of invisible "learn points" 
to use. I swear I've seen Jetland go 5 or 6 times in the War Games 
room one time, and the next time stop after only once.
- Similarly, getting "learn points" seems to be a function of activity 
in combat, character statistics, and some random "you just got a bunch 
so you don't get any for a long time". The experience points in this 
game are completely hidden from a player's view.
- "Mars Saga" mentions several skills not present in "Mines of Titan". 
These are: Electric, Language, Mechanic, Strategy, and Tactics; I 
guess they were taken out of the play of the game. They're actually 
still in the game (you'll see them if you cheat with a hex editor), 
but I didn't see anywhere in the game to learn them or train these 5 
skills up.
- Character statistics can be raised, but only a little bit. Might, 
Agility, Stamina and Charisma can be raised at a Personal Development 
Center. Wisdom and Education can be raised at the University. But 
after a relatively small amount, you can't do any more without 
cheating.
- Charisma does affect the cost of buying or selling items, but it 
doesn't matter if you go the gambling way. In practice, Jetland will 
have the highest Charisma, and it seems that a combination of that 
and/or "street" can sometimes talk you out of combats with nasty 
hitmen and hunters. There's a strict threshold though; either you 
always fail or always suceed, and since I don't see "street" going up 
I guess that character equipment or experience is somehow affecting 
the decision.
- List of Skills
  administ: Administration. Apparently linked to Charisma, may let 
     character talk his way into or out of things involving 
     bureaucrats. I suggest specializing only Jetland in this.
  arc gun: Arc Guns. Skill available only in War Games room. These 
     weapons have an area effect on the 180 degrees in front of the 
     character. However, enemies killed by an arc gun don't leave 
     items behind.
     Weapons of this type available, from worst to best, are:
     Arc gun, Freeze gun, Synapser, Chem gun, Flm throwr, Stun gun, 
     Paralizer, Mind blast (last 2 not sold in stores).
  auto: Automatic firearms. Although these should have less range 
     than rifles, the game will use these over rifles if the character 
     has one in inventory, and any skill at all. Combat graphics show 
     multiple shots at target. Must have access to the War Games room 
     to initially learn or improve this skill, although some 
     "military" types of recruits may know it initially.
     Weapons of this type available, from worst to best, are:
     Model 10, Uzi, Aslt rifle, Auto carb, Pulse lzr, Part beam, 
     Buzz gun (last one not sold in stores).
  blade: A low-priority combat skill that only becomes necessary if 
     enemies get too close. Strangely, the Energy Blade - the most 
     expensive weapon in the category - is available at the lowest 
     skill level, but the Light bld isn't.
     Weapons of this type available, from worst to best, are:
     Pckt knife, Switch bld, Combat bld, Short swrd, Light bld, 
     Energy bld, Render (last one not sold in stores).
  bttl arm: Battle armor. Character must have some level in this skill 
     to be able to buy armor better than "Reflect". Higher levels 
     should allow better maneuvering in combat, but it can wait until 
     you're ready to go outside. Recruits from Police usually have 
     this to start with, otherwise you have to get this skill from the 
     War Games room.
  cudgel: Like Blades above, a low-priority combat skill that only 
     becomes necessary if enemies get too close. Much like in Blades, 
     the most expensive "Pulse prod" is available at the lowest skill 
     level, but Lead pipe isn't!
     Weapons of this type available, from worst to best, are:
     Rubber hos, Bat, Night Stick, Blackjack, Lead pipe, Pulse prod, 
     Marrow bat (last one not sold in stores).
  gambling: See below under CHEATING to see how this is used to get 
     you all the money you'll need in the game.
  golum: Golum armor. Need to hack System on a terminal twice, once 
     for Golum C++, second time Tuner, to get initial skill. Then 
     fight police officers (start with rookies) to get Golum armor. 
     Wait until everyone has Battle Armor and you're using automatic 
     weapons and the best rifles before you start fighting cops, 
     though.
     To raise the golum skill, "offer credits" to the clerks in ALL 
     the Repair Shops. One of them will tell you to say "Gecko sent 
     me" at the Combat Training Center in Parallax. When you do that, 
     you can finally raise golum skill above initial level.
  handgun: Jetland and most other recruits start with this. Raise this 
     skill, and the Munitions Store will let you buy better guns. 
     Concentrate on this or Rifle near the start of the game, until 
     you have access to the War Games room.
     Weapons of this type available, from worst to best, are:
     .22 pistol, 9mm pistol, .357 rvlvr, .45 calibr, .44 magnum, 
     Mazer, Phazer, Synapse bm (last one not sold in stores).
  medical: Only characters with some level of medical skill can buy 
     medical supplies (bandages, injections, compresses, etc.) at 
     Hospitals. Get at least one character up to the level where 
     Medkit C is available. Characters with medical knowledge and 
     supplies will sometimes heal themselves in combat automatically 
     (under computer move), but you may need to heal other characters 
     manually. Do healing after combat on everyone showing red, or run 
     to the nearest hospital.
     Maximum level in Medical is equal to the character's Education. 
     At high levels, characters can get Medkit C, which doesn't run 
     out and is automatically used to heal everyone still alive after 
     combat. Don't go out on the surface without one!
     Healing items available, from worst to best, are:
     Bandages, Injections, Compresses, Heal Salves, Melder, Medkit A, 
     Medkit B, Medkit C.
  melee: How well you fight with Fists, 2. Used when all else fails.
  mining: Should have this at a decent level before going underground. 
     Use the maps in the manual and QFC4 to avoid what you can.
  program: Computer Programming/Hacking. Must have at least one 
     character with high or maximum level in this, in order to advance 
     in the game.
  rifle: Rifles should have a longer range but slower rate of fire 
     than handguns. Many "military" types of recruits start with this 
     skill. Raise this skill, and the Munitions Store will let you buy 
     better guns. Concentrate on this or Handgun near the start of the 
     game, until you have access to the War Games room.
     Weapons of this type available, from worst to best, are:
     Target rfl, Sport rfl, Sniper rfl, Carbine, Magnum rfl, Lzr 
     crbne, Blaster, Reaver rfl (last one not sold in stores).
  street: The "Mars Saga" manual says this skill is what lets you talk 
     your way out a fight with thugs on the street.
  throwing: Thrown weapons (Rocket Launcher at War Games room) and 
     missile weapons (bows and grenade launcher). "Thrown" lets you 
     pitch things like Molotov cocktails and grenades at enemies. 
     These have an area effect on multiple enemies. Also get missile 
     weapons and bows, which are probably not as good as the firearms. 
     The grenade launcher has unlimited ammo, so use this instead of 
     grenades that are used up in battle.
     Weapons of the "Thrown" type, from worst to best, are:
     Barb dart, Throw knif, Shuriken, Molotov, Hand gren, Shock sphr, 
     Mind melt (last 2 not sold in stores).
     Weapons of the "Missile Launcher" type, from worst to best, are:
     Blow Gun, Bow, Comp bow, Crossbow, Gren lnchr, Acid jet, Flichet 
     (last 2 not sold in stores).
- Places to learn: (* means limited increase possible)
  Combat Training Center (only one in Primus) - Blades, Cudgels, 
     Handguns, Melee, Rifles.
  University (ditto) - Wisdom*, Education*, Administ, Mining, Program.
  Personal Development Center (several in Primus) - Might*, Agility*, 
     Stamina*, Charisma*, Blades, Melee.
  Casino (several in Primus) - Gambling (have to play and win to raise 
     the skill, Keno has better payoffs).
  Hospital (several in Primus) - Medical. Only characters with some 
     level of medical skill can buy medical supplies (bandages, 
     injections, compresses, etc.) here too.
  Computer Center (one in Primus) - Program.
  War Games room (one in Primus) - Battle armor, Auto, Arc guns, 
     Throwing (Rocket launcher). Must have a high Program, and hack 
     into System, War Games once to get use of the room. No charge to 
     learn, but character must be "eager".


QFC4 WALKTHROUGH COMMENTS
- See below under CHEATING about getting a lot of money at the 
beginning of the game. After doing that, Save the game, then go next 
door and get the best weapons available. Walk carefully back to the 
only Armor Shop in Primus, get the best, and then start looking for 
trouble (beggars and razorbacks to start with).
- If you have enough money already, don't worry about picking up the 
combat booty. Each character can only carry 8 items (it says 9, but #1 
is always 2 Fists), and you need all of it for weapons, armor, medical 
supplies, and miscellaneous. There are only a few items that you have 
to pick up after combat, and there are usually alternative ways to get 
them.
- The Munitions Shop will only buy weapons. The Armory will only buy 
armor. A Repair Shop will let you pawn everything, including medical 
supplies, except special items like the "mining lzr".
- Do NOT go to the corner just northeast of the Combat Training Center 
until you can survive the combat with the agents without any 
characters getting killed. You won't get any reward, no matter what, 
so there's no point in doing this early in the game. Even if you 
ignore the rest of the booty, make sure you get the "mining lzr" from 
this combat. It's not a weapon, but you'll need it (or one like it) 
later.
- If you had to worry about money while playing this game, you'd be in 
a hurry to get out on the surface to do that job for Cybil, or get 
bounties from the Police (check a Police Station for the current 
list). But playing the gambling way, you don't worry and you don't 
rush.
- "Vac Suit" or better armor is needed for each character to go on the 
surface.
- Stay out of Police Stations once you take the interface card. You 
can clear the warrant by hacking the police records.
- How do you get around a cave-in? If you can't walk around it, try 
changing the combat order of the party so the characters now can!
- "Compared to the human enemies, the creatures are incredibly tough! 
10 mine cops are easy compared to the 4 slimy things at the end of the 
game." (found on a former web page for the game)


ITEMS
- The only ways to tell how good a weapon is in this game are price, 
how skilled a character must be to buy it, and battlefield 
effectiveness. But combat is usually over rather quickly, so I'm 
assuming that price and skill are everything.
- Many "small" items don't take up a full slot in a character's 
inventory all by themselves. You can put up to a known, fixed number 
in one slot, and the next one will start another slot. Some screens 
will show you the total amount of an item in your inventory, others 
will show you the amount in each slot. 
- Armor types as listed in the game executable: Flak jackt, Vac suit, 
Reflect, Mesh armor, Hydro armor, Battl armor, Armor?, Golum armr.
- Medical supplies as listed in the game executable: Bandage, 
Injection, Compress, Heal salve, Melder, Med kit A, Med kit B,  
Med kit C, Mind mend.
- Misc. items as listed in the game executable: Wallet, Watch, Tools, 
Rifl sigt, Mining lzr, Dynamite.


CHARACTERS
- The characters that you can recruit are generated randomly from 
"base" types. In something like a "Traveller" system, each character 
starts at age 18-21 and goes through 4 year stints where they may 
learn more skills and increase statistics. They all start with some 
money, but no equipment.
- Army knows blade, handgun, melee. May know rifle, gambling.
- Marines knows auto, handgun, melee, rifle. May know blade, medical.
- Police knows battl arm, cudgel, handgun, melee. May know blade, 
  rifle.
- Mining knows gambling, melee, mining. May know blade, cudgel, street.
- Merchant knows administ, street. May know blade, melee.
- Underground knows cudgel, gambling, melee, street. May know auto, 
  blade, rifle.
- Scientist knows program. May know handgun, medical.
- Medical knows medical. May know administ, program.
- Only the first 5 are available in the bar where Jetland starts the 
game. Go to the Restaurant nearly due south from where you start to 
get the other types. Mining usually has pitifully low amounts of money 
to start with, Merchants a lot. Scientists and Medicals usually have 
even more, but it doesn't matter with gambling!


CHEATING
- Here's a more understandable way to get lots of money near the start 
of the game. Like QFC4 says, at the start of the game recruit a Miner 
or another character type with some level of Gambling skill. You may 
not have enough money to buy a flak jacket for anyone though, so I 
wouldn't bother - you're too weak to take on anyone right now anyway. 
Use the map of Primus in the manual (you start in the upper left 
quadrant of the map) and make your way to the Munitions Shop (only one 
in Primus). Save every few steps, and don't fight anyone if possible; 
backtrack and try another way (or flee) if you keep running into 
someone nasty. When you get all the way to the Munitions Shop, talk to 
Cybil Ward and get the $1000 advance money. There's a Casino next 
door. Save outside. Transfer/Distribute all the money to the gambler 
once you get inside. Inspect the gambler character so you know what 
the gambling skill level looks like right now. Have the gambler play 
Keno for $01, bet on one number, and Play. If you lose, remember what 
one of the winning (lit up red) numbers was, exit the Casino, load 
your saved game, and try again with that number. It should win this 
time. If not, keep trying from a saved game; you've got a 1/4 chance 
of winning even if the numbers do change. Each time you win, the 
gambling skill should go up (inspect to check), and if you keep losing 
it will go down.
Repeat this tedious process until the gambler has reached maximum 
skill in gambling (there will still be a small space around the black 
bar). Save one more time outside the Casino, and now prepare to make 
major bucks! You should have at least $1500 left. Now set up Keno to 
bet $20, and choose 7 numbers (QFC4 has a specific bunch of numbers, 
but I don't think it's necessary; the high gambling skill makes this 
work). Put something on the space bar of the computer keyboard, and 
let it ride. On average, you should make lots of money over time. I 
went away for about 2 hours, and found "XXX" displayed instead of the 
2.9 million or so that I really had, so don't get freaked out about 
the screen display. If you do this once, you should be able to afford 
all the training and equipment you need for the rest of the game.
- You don't even have to have the Gambling skill initially. Just go in 
and play a few times, and a win will give the initial low value in the 
skill. Thereafter, it's as above.
- You can use the character editor MTHACK if you like.
- If that's not enough, you can use a hex editor on the SAVEGAME.DAT 
file, and raise the characters' skill levels too. They're the 20 bytes 
right after the 12 bytes that MTHACK sets to "0F" (the max and current 
stat values). Do all of them, and you'll see the 5 skills not 
officially in Mines of Titan that were in Mars Saga.


Author is Peter Karsanow (karsanow[AT)dellepro{DOT)com).
The latest version of this file can be found at:
http://www.geocities.com/hentaihelper/mines_of_titan.txt
This document Copyright 2002 Peter Karsanow.

View in: