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FAQ by blackbeardHAR
Version: 0.1 | Updated: 12/29/02
Mission: Thunderbolt FAQ Version 0.1 Copyright 2002 Mike Sheley (firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com) Mission: Thunderbolt is a sci-fi "roguelike" game, with graphics and sound. It was originally released and tested on DEC mainframes and was later ported to both Mac OS and Windows. Unfortunately, the game was not a commercial success and only parts 1 and 2 were released on the mac, and part 1 on the PC. The original game had 4 parts. It remains to this day a challenging, yet balanced game, filled with many secrets and very replayable. I wrote this FAQ because there's no FAQ out there, and since I get about 1 e-mail a month about it, I thought I would try to put a site on the internet where people can go to get information about these great games. Where can I acquire the game? Unfortunately, you can no longer purchase Mission: Thunderbolt or Mission: Firestorm. You can try contacting MegaCorp@aol.com (the game's author) and see if he is willing to sell you any spares he may have around his house, but as things currently stand the game is no longer for sale. Version History ----- 0.1 First release. Got sick of having all of this sitting on my hard drive, unfinished, so decided to release what I had and see if anyone is even going to read it. Table of Contents ----- 1.0 Statistics 1a Strength 1b Dexterity 1c Constitution 1d Speed 1e Wisdom 1f Intelligance 1g Charisma 2.0 Status Effects 2a Overburdened 2b Paint Splattered 2c Slimy 2d Poisoned 2e Irradiated 2f Speeded up 2g Weakened 2h Fuzzy 2i Ill 2j Clumsy 2k Spotted 2l Uncoordinated 2m Keen eyed 3.0 Traps 3a Gravity well 3b Air traps 3c Radiation Trap 4.0 Buildings 4a AutoDoc 4b Vending Machine 4c Bank 4d Library 4e Reclamation Center 4f MegaCorp Factory Outlet 4g Transmat Booth 5.0 Items 6.0 General Strategies 7.0 Secrets 8.0 Pills 9.0 Regions 9a Region 1 9b Region 2 9c Region 3 9d Region 4 9e Region 5 9f Region 6 9g Region 7 9h Region 8 9i Region 9 9j Region 10 9k Region 11 9l Region 12 9m Region 13 9n Region 14 9o Region 15 9p Region 16 9q DetCom1 9r DetCom2 9s Warren 2 9t Warren 3 9u Warren 6 9v Warren 7 9w Warren 8 9x Warren 12 10.0 Random Happenings 1.0 Statistics ----- 1a Strength (STR) - Determines how much you can carry and how hard your melee attacks hit. Your carrying capacity is 10*STR. You become overburdened at 9*STR. 1b Dexterity (DEX) - Nimbleness and coordination. Helps a lot with melee ability and several trap checks. The manual suggests a very high starting dex, as missing at melee at the beginning can spell an early death, as can falling down holes. 1c Constitution (CON) - General Health and heartiness. I believe it affects how quickly you recover from poison and radiation sickness. CON also determines the bonus to hps received each level (1 extra hp for every 2 point of CON above 10). The bonus is not retroactive, however, so having a high CON as early as possible for the quick and easy "early" levels is quite desirable. 1d Speed (SPD) - Quickness. Determines your run speed. A high speed is obviously useful for getting out of trouble. Supposedly a really high speed lets you get extra attacks in. 1e Wisdom (WIS) - Practical knowledge and common sense. I believe it may help with your "saving throw" when traps go off, or when a monster uses any kind of mind altering ability on you, but I am not totally sure. Together with intelligence determines what one sees when examining an unidentified strange device. 1f Intelligence (INT) - Book learning and reasoning ability. Together with Wisdom determines what one sees when examining an unidentified strange device. 1g Charisma (CHR) - Personal charm and general likeableness. May assist gaining friends, not sure though. If your charisma changes either through a pill of beauty or a pill of ugliness, any current friends you have made will no longer recognize you after several turns and have to be re-befriended. 2.0 Status ailments ----- 2a Overburdened - You become overburdened when you are carrying 9*STR weight in stones. This makes pretty much everything more difficult. Be very careful going down stairs or walking over holes while overburdened. If you do fall down a hole of the stairs there is a chance you will drop either your main weapon or your reserve. This can cause damage to the weapons. To cure this ailment, simply drop some weight until below 9*STR. 2b Paint Splattered - This occurs after getting shot by a kiddie kommando unit's paintball gun. When you are initially shot, there is a chance you will be blinded. I am not sure of the effects that being paint splatter have on you. I suspect it has a small effect on fighting skills, but am not really sure. To cure this ailment, have a utility bot scrub you clean. 2c Slimy - This occurs have getting slimed by a slimy thing. This prevents you from running (annoying). In addition, be careful walking over holes and staircases, as there is an increased chance of slipping, falling, and dropping your weapons. When you initially get slimed there is a chance 2d Poisoned - You've been poisoned, generally from a pill of poison, a viper, or a fangwing. Fangwing poison is especially deadly at the time it is encountered. Your choices are to wait out the poison, find an autodoc, or eat a pill of neutralize poison. 2e Irradiated - You've been exposed to radiation! This happens when you step into certain traps. Your only choice is to wait it out, though having pills of healing handy or an autodoc can make this easier. 2f Speeded up - You are FAAAST! When you first pop a pill of speed, it will speed you up a whole bunch in the short term! This allows you to get 2, sometimes 3 actions before opponents can respond. Great for those tough fights. Wears off by itself before long. 2g Weakened - Your str has been lowered from its natural maximum, thanks to a Giant Ant. You can get this fixed back up at an autodoc, or you can eat a pill of strength. I'd suggest getting things fixed up at the autodoc before eating any pills of strength, however. 2h Fuzzy - Drinking from a water fountain will clear this up. 2i Ill - 2j Clumsy - You are clumsy and tend to drop things. This happens after getting pricked by a prickly orb. Be very careful around holes, staircases, and industrial sludge. It is a good idea to unequip your weapons until the clumsiness has worn off, as you are quite likely to drop them. 2k Spotted - Strange spots cover your body. This occurs when you eat a pill of beastliness. I haven't determined what this affects, usually since I don't go around eating pills of beastliness. Maybe you can go into a berzerker rage and kill everything RAWWWWWRRR!!!!! Then again, maybe not. ; ) 2l Uncoordinated - Your dex has been lowered from its natural maximum, usually thanks to a ????. This can be fixed up at an autodoc. 2m Keen eyed - Occurs by munching a pill of keen sightedness. Allows you to see as far as a fully charged light globe. If, however, you combine it with a lit light globe.... well, then you can see a bit further. In fact, a lot further..... and walls? HAH! walls are nothing for your keen eyes lit up by the power of the light globe! 3.0 Traps ----- 3a Gravity well - "You are slammed to the floor by a gravity well!" Gravity wells generally are not deadly, but are almost always annoying. A gravity well prevents you from moving and from using a melee weapon. If you try to do either you get "slammed to the floor by the gravity well!" as well as a nice bruise or two. A gravbelt doesn't help with this. Basically, you have 3 options. 1) Disarm the gravity well. This is fairly difficult and will probably require a sonic screwdriver, though it may be possible with a crowbar at high levels of skill. 2) Destroy the gravity well. While it is impossible to move, it is still possible to attack the floor with a melee weapon. If one destroys the floor with several well placed attacks, the gravity well will explode and usually knock you around a bit, possibly dropping you through a hole in the floor. This is a bit risky, but can get you out. 3) Drop everything you are carrying. If you are carrying nothing (weight is 0 stones) you can usually squirm out after a few turns. This is usually the best option for getting out, but you have to be careful when dropping equipment on the ground in order to ensure that it doesnt fall down holes / stairs / radioactive goo. Also, at least 1 item must be dropped on the gravity well itself and will be unretrievable. 3b Air Traps - "A blast of cool/hot air drifts up from the floor" These traps are BAAAD news. They often destroy portions of your carried equipment outright. Whatever is not destroyed is often damaged. These traps are the main reason that it is important to have backup stashes of equipment handy. These traps are make it prudent to be very careful moving around the levels. AutoSearch is extremely handy when exploring a new zone for the first time. I must admit -- these traps are the ones that usually make me want to reload a saved game. It's very frustrating to see all of your favorite equipment go up in smoke, but despite the frustration it is usually not a game ending problem and keeps things exciting as you may be stuck using "sub-par" weaponry for awhile. 3c Radiation Trap - "Your skin feels flushed with warmth..." Raidiation poisoning! This sounds better, but its actually one of the better traps to set off, because it doesnt hose your equipment. Once this goes off its best to find a nice quiet corner to recover in, as there's no direct way to cure it. Just have to wait it out. A pill of healing or 2 will ensure you don't die. ; ) 4.0 Buildings ----- There are a wide variety of handy little shows in Thunderbolt and firestorm. Be sure to inspect them before using them, however, as a damaged shop can have some fairly adverse effects. While a few of the booths can be moved, you cannot enter a warren or another booth while you are carrying one. 4a AutoDoc - Your local chop shop! For a fee you can get health restored, poison cured, strength restored, dexterity restored, as well as constitution restored. If you have enough strength, you can pick up an AutoDoc and move it around. A damaged autodoc will ZOT you if you try to use it. Autodoc's are a dark blue. 4b Vending Machine - Ahhh, vending machines.... what would life be like without them? Here you can pickup gyrojets, flares, small powercells, large powercells, and the ever popular medicinal tablets. Vending machines do have a limited stock on hand, but it is difficult to scrounge up enough coin to buy out a vending machine until after one has found the reclamation center. Occasionally when purchasing a medicinal tablet, the vending machine will toss out a random pill instead of one of the set "healing" ones. Vending machines can be picked up and moved around with enough strength. Veding Machines are orange. The general pills a vending machine gives out includes the following: Pill of healing Pill of cure clumsiness Pill of neutralize poison Pill of good health Pill of cure confusion 4c Bank - Banks allow you to make deposits, withdrawals, and get the balance statement on your account. Service with a smile, citizen! If you happened to get captured and have your bank account closed, you can come here to open up a new account. Some places only deal with your bank account, such as libraries, reclamation centers, and the MegaCorp Factory outlet. Banks are yellow. 4d Library - Libraries are handy places indeed. For 50 coins a pop from your bank account, they will identify any one item and return a brief, albeit scientific, description of it. This is a great way to learn what pills do without having to result to experimentation or (boo!!!!!) save scumming. In addition, if you find a strange device and cannot figure out what it is for, a trip to the library can usually solve that problem. There is always a library on region 7. (figure out what the pills of cure poison are before the fangwings get you...) Libraries are a dark green. 4e Reclamation Center - Reclamation centers are wonderful places. This is where you can dump all of the extra trash you arent using in exchange for a nice boost to your bank account. Without a reclamation center it is virtually impossible to raise enough money to buy some of the more expensive things at the MegaCorp Factory Outlet. I've found that melee weapons and strange devices and armor tend to bring in the most cash. Ranged weapons offer much less. Scrap metal can be turned in for 1 coin per stone in weight. There is 1 reclamation center in the first 16 regions, and 1 more in the deeper (firestorm only) regions. These are a dark red. 4f MegaCorp Factory Outlet - The ultimate in 1 stop shopping. This place is like a vending machine that's been popping back the pills of learning. A wide variety of items are available here. If you dont find anything you are interested in, it can be a good idea to "buy out" the cheap stuff... If there are several slots out of stock the factory will often close and restock and then reopen with fun new toys to purchase! I haven't managed to get enough strength to life one of these badboys just yet ; ). There is 1 MegaCorp Factory Outlet in the first 16 regions, and at least 1 more in the deeper (firestorm only) regions. Factory Outlets are a bright green color. 4g Transmat Booth - Ah yes, transmat booths. These will teleport you to other regions at the cost of 1 coin per floor. Useful for moving quickly between regions... The only problem is that they are never located in the regions you want one in... Fortunately, Trasmat Booths can be picked up and moved around if you have enough strength. They are purple. 5.0 Items ----- The huge variety of items and creative ways of using them is one of the most appealing things about Thunderbolt and Firestorm. I will try to hit the high points here, feel free to mail me with missing information, as I am sure there is always more to learn. Dirty Rags - Radioactive rags that will kill you if you don't drop them. One of the first red herrings you will run into it. I haven't found a use for them, mostly because I havent picked them up since my first game. ; ) Soft Pillow - Doubles the rate that health is recovered while resting. It has to be dropped onto the ground to take effect. Gravebelt - when worn, charged, and activated, will allow the user to float above the ground, thereby avoiding industrial sludge and falls down holes. It also becomes possible to float up holes. Light globes - extends the range of vision around the user. When combined with a pill of keen sightedness, will allow the user to see twice as far as a light globe or pill of keen sightedness alone, as well as through wells. Can be charged by powercells, but not large powercells. 1 charge from the powercell = 30 turns of light. Generally found around region 2 or so. One of the first strange devices you will find. Weighs 3 stones and often comes with a hundred or so charges when found. Sonic screwdriver - A great device for disarming traps as well as repairing equipment. Each use expends a charge in the screwdriver. Can be charged by powercells, large powercells, and powerpaks. 10 charges from the powercell = 1 charge in the screwdriver. Weighs 2???(maybe 3) stones. Stasis bag - A great device for carrying around powercells and charged tools like panic buttons and sonic screwdrivers. Anything inside a closed stasis bag will not suffer from those mysterious power drains that occur all too often. Can be opened and closed. Weighs ??? stones. Holocube - A strange device used to create an artificial, indestructible wall. When activated and thrown or tossed on the ground, creates a shimmering, invincible wall. Not very useful in thunderbolt, but can be handy in firestorm. Weighs 3 stones. Crowbow - One of the most useful of all items. Can be used to jimmy locks, disarm traps, knock down walls (using your primary weapon for this dulls the edge) and even as a weapon early in the game. Always carry one as soon as you find one. This will be your primary means of opening locks for most of the game (if it says you aren't strong enough to force the lock, give the door/crate a few whacks with the crowbar and then try again, this should weaken the lock). Weighs 7 stones. Colns - Money! 1 coin weighs 1 stone. Some booths (AutoDoc, Vending Machine, and transmat booth) require you to have cash on hands for services. Some monsters (such as moppits) have an affinity for coins. Oddly Shaped Coin - The currency of the Zytts? These are, for the most part, worthless. Though moppits also have an affinity for oddly shaped coins. 6.0 General Strategies ----- Traps are DEADLY - In the later regions especially, it pays to tread carefully and slowly. If you are trying to win without "save scumming", this is especially important. Falling into a gravity well at the wrong time (especially in a warren) can really put a damper on things. Traps that destory your hardwon equipment can be equally frustrating. Stay organized - keep your equipment charged and carry tools with you. A light globe, panic button, crowbow, sonic screwdriver, gravbelt, forcefield pack, stasis bag, knife of some kind, can all come in handy, but generally don't do much if they aren't charged and ready to go. When entering unexplored territory, it is very helpful to keep your light globe up, and the forcefield pack active if it looks like you will be engaging in combat. Just remember to turn them off when you are done exploring / fighting and before resting. Don't get too attached to your equipment - There are many things that can mess up your equipment.... Traps, monsters, falling, getting captured, falling into radioactive sludge, etc.... Thunderbolt is not like most roguelikes where you can get the 'uber' items and then just coast through the game, pretty much invincible... Even if you are burning the monsters into slag with your Helgun and then chopping them into tiny bits with some SuperSlicerDicer sword, if you hit a trap, fall in some goo, or get a weapon stolen / knocked out of your hand, you'll need some backup items to fall back on. it can be a good idea to make a few "stashes" in out of the way areas with doors, where you gather up all the items in the region in case you need to come back for some new equipment. Know when to run - Oftentimes you will run into a monster (or sometimes even an entire region) that you can't handle. It can be good to run from the monster and ditch him somewhere (like a cleared warren or a region you don't go to much), or if its the region that is too nasty, make your own staircase with a hole in the floor and a stepladder underneathe. Come back once you find some better equipment, or never come back, if it is too risky. Completing the mission is your #1 priority, not exterminating everything in sight. Utilize the tools availible - Don't waste what's around... If there's a lot of loose change around, round it up and put it in a bank, or near a vending machine / autodoc. Make sure to identify all the pills you find as soon as you can. Clean up dangerous things like holes with utility bots. Pickup a few bones and keep them handy if you ever need to get a dog friend. If you're feeling lucky, find a mech and drag him on over to a broken piece of equipment. Prepare for tough battles - If you hear the imposing sounds of a dreadnaught nearby (walls and equipment disintergrating and such), it's usually a good idea to leave the region until you are ready for the fight. Eat a pill of perception if you can, so you know where the dreadnaught is. Take all those grenades you've been saving, activate them, and put them in an open container.... if you then throw this container, every grenade in it will go off in the time it would normally take to throw 1 grenade. 7 or so grenades can you can easily take down a dreadnaught, or at least soften him up for the melee.... ; ) If that fails, break out the ole stimmer, make as many friends as you possibly can, especially good melee friends like Giant Tentacular Horrors. They can prove a nice distraction while you sit back and take pot shots. If you are forced to melee, make sure you have all the best armor you can afford.... 3 towels, a trash can lid, a suit, and an forcefield pack. A high AC really does help a lot in those tough fights! 7.0 Secrets ----- Bug-Eyed Monster Alliance - It is possible to ally with the Bug-Eyed Monsters. You'll notice as a way to "attack", the BGMs sometimes shake your hand (sometimes causing you to drop things) and say "Taykk Mee Tu Yor Leedur?" (or something like that ; ) ) Well, if you use a stimmer on one to make it friendly (it can take awhile), they will stop attacking you and shaking your hand and instead occasionally tap you on the shoulder and again ask to see your leader. Run one back up to region one, then go up the stairs like you would normally do after winning or wimping out. You'll get whisked back to headquarters with your newfound friend and General Claibourne will want to have a few words with you.... Jaunt Troopers - Very rarely (I've only seen it happen once in about 10 years of playing t-bolt on and off, and it was about 9 years ago), when you push a panic button it will call up a squad of jaunt troopers into the region instead of teleporting you back to region 1. These fellows then proceed to blast all nearby baddies into pure slag. Very fun if it can happen.... Always raises the question, are they killable? And what do they drop if they are? =) If anyone finds out, let me know. 8.0 Pills ----- Pill Function Vending Machine? Notes: ----- ----- Healing Restores HP Yes Always useful to stockpile from vending machines Cure Poison Cures Poison Yes Very handy to have at least 1 before Region 7 (where fangwings become common) Cure Conf. Cures Confusion Yes Useful around lots of floating eyes (region 12+ or a warren) and around toxic waste / lots of traps / holes Good Health Increases Max HPYes Emptying out vending machine should provide enough of these to get another dozen max hps or so. Learning Increases Level No These give you enough EPS to increase your level by one. Generally worth saving until just after you gain a level normally in order to earn maximum EPS from them. Keen Sight Keen Sight 9.0 Regions ----- 9a Region 1: Where it all begins. This is a randomized region that can be different every time. Going up from here with the L.A.M.B. will complete Mission Thunderbolt, and going up after killing the Queen Zytt with complete Mission: Firestorm. This is where a panic button usually dumps you. There is often an AutoDoc and/or a Transmat Booth on Region 1. Possible warren enemies from here include Grekles, Vipers, Troglodytes, and Razorsnouts. 9b Region 2: This region has the same layout every time. Look for lots of giant ants and wild dogs on this region, as well as the occasional slimy thing. It is a good idea to find a small wooden crate asap to stuff your pills in, otherwise the slimy things will dissolve them away upon sliming you. There is often a Bank on this region. It is possible here for the warren to have fangwings (though quite rare). 9c Region 3: Another random region. The warren can have Troglodytes. 9d Region 4: This region has the same layout every time. Moppets show up here, as well as lots of kiddie commando units. 9e Region 5: 9f Region 6: 9g Region 7: Library. Needlenose warren. 9h Region 8: Random. Flutterbang warren is possible. 9i Region 9: 9j Region 10: 9k Region 11: 9l Region 12: 9m Region 13: 9n Region 14: 9o Region 15: 9p Region 16: The final region! This is considered a "warren" or "deep" region, panic buttons do not work here, pills of perception do not work here either. It is a good idea to use the pill of keen sight + light globe combination on this region to see as much as possible as soon as possible. Be careful where you throw grenades around here -- you do *NOT* want to set off the L.A.M.B. by accident. ; ) There are slews of antique swords, forcefield packs, and other items with great reclamation values. If you've had your eye on something on the Factory Outlet, this is a great place to raise the cash for it. This region is filled with GTHs, Zytts, as well as their mechanical servants. Make sure your forcefield pack is on pretty much at all times, and bring lots of pills of healing. There are plenty of powercells lying around to keep your equipment charged up. A neuro whip is especially effective against Zytts and the GTH's, as they can put your enemies to sleep. There are three Giant Zytts on this region. Be especially careful around them, they hit *HARD*. 9q DetCom1: Heh -- if you get here consider yourself lucky for not dying. 9r DetCom2: 9s Warren 2: 9t Warren 3: This warren has a nice vault to the south of the entrance, as well as a staircase to another warren. 9u Warren 6: This warren is the top of a 3 level descent. 9v Warren 7: 9w Warren 8: 9x Warren 12: This warren is filled almost to the brim with radioactive goo. It's tough to explore without a biochemical jumpsuit or a gravbelt. 10.0 Random Happenings ----- "You sense something ominous almost happened ..." "There is a sudden and mysterious energy drain on your equipment." "You have a nasty feelings about this place ..."