CRIMSON'S QUEST - A HARDCORE INTRODUCTION TO SUNDOG
>Hello, Captain. Can I help you with something?<
As I'm not the type to walk into a bar without some specific goal
in mind, I figure his question sort of redundant. But I like the
way he addressed me as "Captain"; it makes me feel good. I order
>Here you are, friend. Do you want anything else?<
I decline, take my beer, and walk over to a booth to drink it.
It's been a long flight over from Jondd, and Malesti has a name
for its hospitality to travellers. I join someone at his table.
>Sorry, pal - I was just leaving.<
So what, there's more where you came from. I move to another
>Hello, Captain, would you like to talk?<
Now that's more to my liking. I relax and start sipping the local
variant to a good cold beer. My partner - he's humanoid, probably
part KalManDaa, and looks like he's been raised somewhere between
Hell and Heavy - eyes me expectantly.
>I just delivered some organics to Enlie last week.<
So what, you're a pro - I've been there. No problem with the
right boost installed. Still, if you want some kind of answer,
I'll accomodate you.
My eloquent response puts him at ease. He smiles at me.
>How many bureaucrats does it take to change a glow-globe?<
Now where did I hear that one before?
>Two, one to screw it in, and one to screw it up. Har, har.<
I laugh along; it's the only show in town.
>Say, your ship is the Sundog, isn't it?<
>You need anything?<
Lookie here. I thought he'd never come 'round to it.
>Are you buying or selling?<
If I wanna buy a weapon I'll go to a shop, Jim.
>What do you want to sell?<
I point at my arsenal.
>I'll give you 4,950 for your scattergun.<
No need to hassle, his price is right.
>Excuse me, friend, I must leave.<
Nice talking to you. Well, that was the last of my
scatterguns - except for the one I keep handy - so let's see what
they're asking for a good ground scanner these days. It's the one
thing I need to make my ship complete again; cloaker, decloaker
and concentrator are all installed
--- continued on page 6 ---
Hello and a good day, night or whatever to you all in Part One of
Crimson's Column; where this time we'll have an in-depth look at:
Sundog - The Frozen Legacy (FTL games)
As you may have guessed, I'm not into writing long and, in my
opinion, boring articles about an adventure game. The regular
kind of introduction where every command, structure or goal is
explained in detail and taken on in a start-to-finish, A to Z
style, all in order to make it easy for someone to play the
relevant game or scenario in a step-by-step fashion, is not my
objective. My approach is a more or less descriptive account in
novel-formula, where bits and pieces of the most essential
strategies (in my mind, that is) are illustrated or hinted at.
This means that you will never start or finish any adventure-type
game by simply typing in my instructions. I won't give any; what
I'll do is hand you a story and leave it up to you to find out
what the possible hints, tips and guidelines are. Once you've
done that, it's up to you to finish the game - and I'll tell you
right now that if you bring a game to a good end, it'll be
through your own doing. I won't take credit for anything as
boring as a new high score; that's the Arcade department (sorry,
boys & girls). So you see, the only thing I promise you are some
more or less hidden hints and tips, for you to discover, and
maybe, hopefully, some fun in reading the respective articles.
May your character(s) always have the will to continue, the
wisdom to survive and the wit to enjoy.
REMARK: All words/sentences between ">" and "<" symbols are
taken (almost) literally from the game. In Sundog, these texts
are found either in dialog (alert) option boxes or in the
relevant dialog information windows.
--- continued from page 3 ---
My ground scanner is gone; some asshole pirate nearly got my
tail the other day when I was bringing some goodies (biochips and
cryogens I think it was) down to Jondd. I needed the cryogens
for my mission, and biochips make a good price there. I figured
it was worth the risk, but I know now I never should have taken
on that Annihilator, not even with a concentrater installed.
Let's face it, I'm a good trader and my reputation as a weapons
dealer is solid - but it's no use taking on an expert just for
the hell of it when all you want to do is get from a to b. Okay,
so I did send that joker behind the red and into a zillion
fragments of endless eternity. You should've seen my bill;
ship's repairs are mighty expensive these days.
From now on, it's back to the original strategy: I'll take
along some extra fuel and put on my cloaker. 'Cause I'm not the
all-time greatest laser-crack in the galaxy, that's one thing
I'll tell you for sure.
I walk over to the bar and wait for slow-joe to come around
and attend to my wishes.
>Do you wish something else?<
>Information,< I say.
>How much is it worth to you?<
One of those, huh? No bribes on my money.
>If you'll excuse me...<
Damn groundhog! Well, no use pushing a barman. I check the
time, inspect my currency situation, and decide there's more than
one place to get a scanner - cheaper, too. Where? Listen, fly
boy, that's for me to know and for you to find out. I hear a
rumbling in my stomach and realise it's been a long time since
I've had anything to eat. I go back to the bar, swallow the
insult of being called "Pal", and order three burgers. I eat one,
and take two along for storage in the pod. Better check those
extra nutrapacks when I get back shipside; you never know when
there's a long ride ahead. I mean, I know there's only one place
a ground scanner won't get you, but I like to be on the safe
Trying to decide on the best place for the purchase of an
inexpensive scanner, I leave the bar - and guess what. Halfway to
the pod (it's waiting for me in the nearest parking lot; I've
seen that Planetary Ordnance VC 8791.3 once too often) this guy
comes up to me.
>Excuse me, sir. Can I talk to you?<
>I'll sell you a scattergun for 6,125.<
Keep up the good work, mac - it's people like you who keep this
planet an interesting market.
>Evidently, I am waisting my time. Good-bye, pal.<
How-do ah. I walk along to the parking lot. Just before I get
there, a shy looking boy appears.
>Would you spare 9 Cr for a poor orphan?<
I'm a sucker for orphans. >Yes.<
>Boy, what a sucker!<
And a good day to you too.
I enter my pod, check supplies, and realise I haven't paid a
visit to the Uniteller's yet. Driving around town, I see there's
none of them near a parking lot - but there's one nearby a public
teleport, and I remember another teleport close to my ship. I
drive around town, enter the depot across from the ship, order
refuelling of the Sundog and subsequently drive the pod back in
the mother ship. I put one of those burgers in the pod and the
other one in the ship's stores, take a small nap and exchange my
old shield, which has been subjected to four hits, with the new
one I always have stored. Feeling good, I leave the ship through
Halfway to the teleport I meet another beggar, but this one's
an old cripple and he's just asking too much and looking too sly.
I refuse, get a warning >We'll see who laughs last< and walk on.
I use the teleport to put me smack in front of the bank, enter,
and transfer all but a token 4,323 Cr back to Jondd, my good old
mother base. I leave the bank, take the teleport - and get mugged
by that same old cripple, accompanied by some of the ugliest
mothers in space, who materialise right in front of me.
>Hand over your cash or die.<
Now I don't know about you, but I'm not in the habit of
surrendering my hard-earned money to the first gang of thugs with
stingers. On the other hand, I think littering the streets of a
friendly town with the corpses of a half-dozen muggers is bad
manners. So I talk.
>What's there to discuss?<
I take out a scattergun.
>Okay, moon man - warp off!<
I leave, chuckling.
Back on board, I take my seat behind the controls and check if
everything is in order. No lights are out, not even yellow (I
dislike shunts, they're not half as reliable as the real things),
so I switch on my navigation panel in order to leave.
I order >Navigate<, then: >Liftoff<
>Switching to viewscreen.< I'm on my way.
Going through the routine of travelling, I use the ship's maps
to determine the best warp point for an interstellar trip to
Woromed, and decide on Warp Point 224. I activate the sub-light
engines, and select >set warp,< choosing the Woremed system. I
know it's going to be a while before we get there, and as the
absence of any cargo in the pod makes it very unlikely for any
pirate to attack me (these guys must have a very special kind of
I take a nap.
The ship's computer wakes me with a friendly alarm, indicating
we're at the selected warp point. I feel hungry, but figure it
best to finish setting the controls. I select >do warp< and watch
the always fenomenal spectacle of passing through the barrier of
light. As there are no interfering planetary gravitational
forces, the trip succeeds and I arrive at Woremed's 224 Warp
Point. I set the sub-light engines for W'orrad and search my ship
for some lunch. Checking the hour of day, I decide there's just a
little time left for a nap, and lie down until the alarm once
more wakes me to indicate that we've arrived in a low orbit
I touch down in Sheshco, the starport, and walk the little
distance to a local arms dealer in order to buy a fresh spare
shield. Concluding my business there, I go to the building next
door and enter one of the Best Bars in the Galaxy. In this place,
you can get almost anything. No use looking too anxious, so I
waste some money on the fruit machine; almost playing even. I
look around, figure there's enough people inside, and order a
burger at the counter, which I eat without thinking. Hoping this
example of sheer outrageous courage will have made an impression
on the bartender, I wait until he comes back again.
>Can I get you anything else, Sir?<
He asks me what I want, I say >a charmer<, and he tells me to
wait in a booth. I do so, wait for a lady to come around, and
accept the price she asks without hesitation. I go back to the
>Do you want anything else, friend?<
He looks at me, and I see him think, "Now what does this guy
need a charmer for? One thing fer sure, I betcha it ain't cheap."
>How much is it worth to you?<
No use to discuss it, he's made up his mind. I try to bribe
him, and offer 200 Cr.
>What kind of information do you want?<
>What would you like to buy?<
>Ground scanner,< I tell him.
>Wait in a booth, I'll send someone over.<
On my way over to a table, I swallow that charmer and start
feeling like something between Errol Flint and James Garlic. Half
a minute later, a young man comes over and asks me the right
question, with the wrong price. I say no, he drops his tag. I
start to discuss things, and before you know it I walk out of
that table with a ground scanner for 4,000 Cr under the original
price. So who cares if you need to bribe a bartender?
Back on board, I replace one of my ordinary scanners with the
new gadget and check the control screen. Everything's alright, so
I'm finally back where I wanted to be. I take out the scrap of
paper I use as a shopping list, and see there's only two more
things to deliver to Banville for this Phase. All I need is
another load of cryogens and a load of Synthesizers. Which I
might as well try to get on this planet, now that I'm here.
I take my pod, enter the city's exchange, and check it's
No cryogens stored. I enter the exchange itself and see what's
selling - then, according to philosophy that everything expensive
is commercial (as long as you're taking it into smaller business
centers), I buy some Rare Earths and some Art Objects, feel my
credit shrink, have them store the goods in the pod and drive it
back into the Sundog.
Once behind the controls again, relieved I won't need to
travel all over the planet's surface anymore, I make a short &
fast intercity hop and touch down in Alram. Using the teleport
maps to locate the town's exchange, I drive over and make a good
price for my luxuries. I check the warehouse, find my cryogens,
and have them stored in the pod. This leaves me with one free
cargo hold, which I fill with Gems and Crystals to sell in the
next town. In this way I hop from city to city until I finally
sell this extra load for the last time in Aylika, where I also
find some (expensive) sythesizers. Now all I need to do is get my
cargo back to Banville, Jondd, Jondd. Which is a piece of cake,
if you know how.
See you in Tuie, pod-boy!
Excerpt from the Private Log of Cpt. Jonathan L.B "Laser Brain"
So far for the flight-log. As I said before, I don't intend
to give a step-by-step playing instruction. On the other hand, I
realise that my descriptive approach doesn't cover the basics;
and what's the good of a great adventure if you just don't know
how to get started? So, for all those who just don't know the
first thing about Sundog, here's a brief introduction to the
mechanics of playing.
Start: After disk boot (your Sundog disc may NOT be write
protected; if you have an adequate copying program I suggest you
make a backup of your disk) you get two options (three if there's
a game in progress; but I'm talking to newcomers here so keep out
of this, vacumm head): >About Sundog< and >Select Game<. Take the
latter. Now, on the next "page", will be a large window titled
>No game in progress< andf a small one on the right with the
options >New Game<, >Make Library< andand >Load Game<. The last
of these can only be used if you've played before. >Make Library<
is only useful if you intend to play with different characters.
Choose >New Game<.
The next step is easy; click on the appropriate boxes to make
a name for your character. Then click on >+<, and subsequently on
>Yes<. A new game is initialised.
Now, you will get some instructions. Don't worry if they
disappear before you've read them; I will explain. In the
little window that appears you now see you attributes:
>Strength<, >Intelligence<, >Dexterity< and >Charisma< are all
set to thirty (the blue histograms illustrate their relative
level), whereas >Luck< is on zero. On the bottom line is
>Points:< at 440.
The meaning is simple: you can use your remaining points (440)
to add to any or all attributes until they're all used up. Do
this by left-clicking on the appropriate attribute. Two arrows
will appear, click on them to decrease or increase your
attribute. (But keep in mind that only >Luck< can be brought
under 30). One more thing: the higher you come, the more
points you'll need to increase your attribute (i.e. bringing
>Charisma< from 30 to 40 costs only 20 points, but bringing it up
from 70 to 80 costs 80. So >Don't waste!< is sound advice. Once
you've selected your attributes, a right click will bring a
verify-box, where you can click on >Done< to set them. If you're
satisfied, you will then click on >Yes< to keep your game.
Now, the large window on the left-hand side (Game in progress)
is filled with information about your current situation: Name,
what Phase you're in (Find Colony), your Score, cash (Credits) on
hand, time & location, and also your health and attributes. All
these pieces of information are needed in the game, and most can
be reached in the adventure itself by the appropriate
In the small window on the right hand side there are now six
options: the three initial items are joined by Load, Store and
Delete game (Load from or store on Library disc; Delete from
Library disc or memory (current game)). Choose >Play Sundog<.
And there you are: playing the game. You are the small person
in the ship. Your cross-hair mouseform can be used as a magnet
(left click press) to move around the ship; anytime you run into
something - engines, lockers or control panel - you leave by
pressing the right mouse button. The only two exceptions are the
exit (the red part in the front side) or the pod's controls (the
rightmost seat). Let's look at our condition. Click on the
right button: you will see several icons, some of which you
recognise from before (Dollarbag for cash on hand, Compass Icon
for current location and Watch for time). The trashcan is meant
for dropping things you don't want or need, the disc for saving
or pausing the game. If you left-click on the >+< in the middle
of the silhouette (near the heart) you'll get to see your
attributes in the right hand dialog window; these can change when
you take certain goodies available in the game. Otherwise the
right-hand side will show your current Vigor, Rest, Health and
Nourishment. As time moves on, these attributes will change. The
longer you continue without food, the weaker you'll get. And
finally, unless you eat something, you'll die. You can also fall
asleep due to lack of rest; very annoying if you're standing in a
bar because everything you have will be stolen - don't say I
didn't warn you! Keep an eye on these attributes; they're
The only thing left here are the five >+< signs outside the
silhouette. The one near the head is used for eating and
drinking; i.e. consumption of foodstuffs. You can take a burger
with your left mouse button, drag it over here and let it go,
thus bringing your nourishment situation back into the blue. The
other four are use for holding things, such as a shield, a
stinger, a rapidheal (which you should inject in the >+< near the
heart if you're wounded) or some piece of ship's equipment. You
can never walk around with more than four different objects, but
you can store many times this number in various places around the
Next, walk around the ship. Find the machinery, take out all
dead parts and throw them in the thrashcan. Each of these parts
should be replaced before you go into the sky - but that's a
later worry, and I'm not going to tell you how to do it anyway.
Another hint, though: if you sit on the righthand seat you can
take the pod out of the ship and drive around town; this is safer
than walking, but you won't get into many different buildings.
You can leave the pod (right hand click) by walking out the top
left exit. You should try this once, and walk back to your ship.
See the difference? One final tip: You're supposed to >Find a
Colony<. You can use your pod to do this; it's always somewhere
on Jondd's surface. Once you find it (I can't say where it is, it
changes with every new game) you should take down the goods
they're asking for: find them, and deliver them to the colony.
Before you know it, you'll be building your own - beautiful! -
Have a good time and lots of luck in Sundog - the Frozen
All correspondence (discs, letters, phonecalls, donations
over $5,000, review requests etc.) connected with this and
other ARAD's (ARcade ADventures) is appreciated by:
Lucas van den Berg
6511 RL Nijmegen
-- The Netherlands --
A word of warning. The Netherlands means: Dutchie timetable. I
deem it my duty to inform you that my awareness of the need for
good manners tends to be inversely proportional to the
viciousness of my temper. Wake me up some time and you'll see
what this means.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.