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FAQ by blackbeardHAR

Version: 0.1 | Updated: 12/29/02

Mission: Thunderbolt FAQ Version 0.1
Copyright 2002 Mike Sheley (mikesheley@yahoo.com / mrwiz@aol.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 ..."

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