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Xerix

software


Xerix

By Brendan Reville

Game Documentation



Version 1.1

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Contents

Overview

System Requirements

Files

Getting Started

Configuration and Hard Disk Installation

The Story

Playing the Game

Credits and Acknowledgments

About the Author

Free Registration

Contacting the Author

Programmers' Information

Revision History

Disclaimer

Copyright Notice

Trademarks and Registered Trademarks

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Overview

Xerix is an arcade-style "shoot 'em up" game set in the

future. You must guide a space ship through a strange world of two

different levels and destroy or avoid the many enemy obstacles in

this place. Xerix features 256 colour VGA/MCGA graphics and sound

card support. Other features include multi-level/rate scrolling,

Expanded and Extended memory support, and the support of various

input devices.

The game is public domain, and may be freely and legally

copied in its original, unmodified form.

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System Requirements

Required: IBM AT (80286) or higher: '386/i486; or compatible

MS-DOS

VGA or MCGA video display

Hard disk or floppy disk with 500k bytes free

Recommended:

10 Mhz or faster processor speed

Hard disk

Supported: (optional)

Adlib sound card

Sound Blaster sound card

Microsoft Mouse or compatible mouse

Joystick

EMS (Expanded) memory

XMS (Extended) memory

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Files

The following files are part of the Xerix package. All files,

apart from XERIX.CFG, last on the list, should be on the disk or in

the archive which you acquired the game on:

XERIX .DOC This file - the game documentation.

XERIXREG.DOC The registration form.

XINSTALL.EXE The installation/configuration program.

XERIX .EXE The Xerix game program.

XERIX_GM.DAT A game data file.

XERIX_A0.DAT A game data file.

XERIX_A1.DAT A game level data file.

XERIX_A2.DAT A game level data file.

XERIX .CFG Default game settings file.

(Created by XINSTALL - not on

original disk/archive)

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Getting Started

To run Xerix, make sure you're on the same disk drive and in

the same directory as the game. To configure the game for your

computer initially, type XINSTALL to run the install program. If

you know that the game is already configured for your system, you

can simply type XERIX to begin the game.

Xerix Install - XINSTALL

From the main menu of the install program you can choose to

configure the default game settings, install Xerix to a hard disk,

or return to DOS.

Configuring the default game settings

Choosing 1 on the Xerix Install main menu takes you into the

default game setting configuration menus, which allow you to

configure Xerix for your computer. These settings will be saved in

the file XERIX.CFG in the current disk/directory, or on the

destination disk/directory if a hard disk installation is

performed, unless a problem in the hard disk installation occurs.

Firstly, you can choose whether Xerix runs with full 256

colour graphics, or with 64 grey-scale graphics if you prefer. The

grey-scale graphics will work with a full-colour monitor.

Next, you can choose the sound device Xerix will use.

The following options are available:

No sound:

The game is silent. The sound effects can also be

turned off during the game.

Adlib sound:

Using the original Adlib sound card's FM music and

sound effect capabilities.

Sound Blaster sound:

Using the FM music and sound effect capabilities of

the Adlib as well as digitised sound samples.

If you choose the Sound Blaster as the sound device

there will be two additional menus, in which you choose

the base memory address and interrupt number for the

card. For both menus, Auto Scan should work. If the

game locks up while loading or gives a Sound Blaster

initialisation error message, XINSTALL should be run

again and the Sound Blaster base memory address should be

specified. If the game still doesn't work, the interrupt

number should be specified as it is set up on your Sound

Blaster card.

IBM PC internal speaker:

Used for music and sound effects.

The next menu allows you to choose what memory the game uses.

Choosing conventional memory limits the game to using only the

basic 640k bytes of RAM, at most, of memory installed in your

computer. Choosing either EMS or XMS allows the game to utilise

the memory in your computer set up as either Expanded or Extended

memory.

The use of EMS (Expanded) memory requires an Expanded Memory

Manager (EMM) that conforms to the Lotus/Intel/Microsoft Expanded

Memory Specification (LIM-EMS) version 3.2 or later. The use of

XMS (Extended) memory requires an external driver that conforms to

the Lotus/Intel/Microsoft/AST eXtended Memory Specification (XMS)

version 2.0 or later, such as HIMEM.SYS.

The use of Expanded or Extended memory make subsequent

loadings of levels faster. Their use still requires adequate free

conventional memory.

The final menu allows you to choose the input device used to

control the game: either keyboard, mouse or joystick. A Microsoft

compatible mouse driver must be installed before running the game

if it is configured to use the mouse. A joystick must be connected

to Game Port 1 and centred when the game is loading if it is to be

used. The keyboard may also be used in combination with these

other input devices.

Hard Disk Installation

This option from the Xerix Install program's main menu will

copy the game into a subdirectory on your hard disk, as long as it

has enough free space for the game. The hard disk install option

will ask for the destination drive's letter, from C to F, then

check for adequate available space on the destination drive. If

there is enough space, the directory \XERIX will be created and the

game copied into that directory.

To run the game after installing it onto a hard disk, make

that drive the current drive by typing its letter followed by a

colon. For example "C:" (without the quotes).

Then make the current directory \XERIX by typing "CD \XERIX"

(again without the quotes).

To run the game, type "XERIX".

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The Story

Some time in the near future...

A massive, alien structure hurtles from deep space towards the

earth. Several days after first being discovered by a space-

tracking station in the desert of Egypt, two-thirds of the

population of Los Angeles and its surrounding area are killed by a

strange radiation. The radiation's source is tracked to the alien

structure.

Panic sets in on the earth in the hours that follow. People

don't know what to do or where to go. The governments of the

world, combined through the United World Council, try desperately

to find a solution to this problem.

The World Council sent up one small unmanned space-craft to

examine the alien structure at close range. Upon approaching the

structure, a large panel in its otherwise impenetrable wall opened.

The space-craft entered and reported a strange environment, an open

space, but nothing like the world of Earth. A fast-moving object

destroyed the space-craft shortly after it had entered, but the

object's speed was estimated to be at a rate which a human might be

able to respond to - either destroying with weapons or dodging.

You have been chosen to pilot a second earth-sent space-craft.

The project has been codenamed XERIX: the eXtended Enemy Response

and Infiltration eXperiment. Your mission is to destroy the alien

structure. How you will do so is not known. Your mission is a

difficult one, indeed seemingly impossible, but is of the greatest

importance. The earth's fate is in your hands. You must succeed.

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Playing the game

In the following instructions, "fire" refers to the space bar

and can also refer to either of the buttons on the joystick and

mouse.

Title Screen

To exit the title screen, hit fire. A text sequence (see

below) displaying the game's credits will begin when the title

screen is exited for the first time. After this, the title screen

will only displayed after the game is "won" or after the ESC key is

hit during a game (see below). It will be skipped after games in

which the player "loses".

The title screen will also fade off when the title music has

finished playing.

Hitting Control (Ctrl) and Q simultaneously will quit the

game. The title screen will fade off the and the program will exit

to DOS.

Text Sequences

At various times in the game, namely, the credits, before a

level and after a game, a text sequence will begin unless skipped

(see below).

To skip one of these text sequences, hit fire. The sequence

cannot be skipped for the first half second of running, to avoid

accidentally skipping a sequence. For Sound Blaster users, an

audio sample will be played when the text sequence begins to fade

off, either when skipped or when finished.

Hit P to pause a text sequence, and P again to unpause it.

Hitting Control (Ctrl) and Q simultaneously will quit the

game. The screen will fade off and the program will exit to DOS.

Controlling the space-craft

To control the space-craft with the keyboard, hit the

directional key on the numeric or arrow keypad in the direction

that you wish the ship to go in. The space-craft can also move

diagonally by hitting two directional keys at once, or by using a

"diagonal" key on the numeric keypad.

With the joystick, simply move the stick in the direction

which you want the space-craft to travel in.

When using the mouse, an on-screen pointer will appear. The

ship will always travel towards this pointer, "chasing" it. The

ship will cease "chasing" the mouse pointer once it reaches it, so

that you may control the ship with the keyboard as long as you

don't move the mouse pointer after the ship has reached it.

To shoot, hit fire. Rapidly hitting fire will cause the

space-craft to shoot more quickly than simply holding in fire.

Shots can not pass through the red remains of an alien.

You will have, initially, three "lives." Each "life" is

another attempt to continue in the current game, starting on the

screen where you got out. You will be given an additional bonus

life if you finish a level.

Other keys during the action sequence

ESC Escape

The escape key will end the current game. The screen

will fade off and the game will return to the title

sequence.

ENTER/

RETURN Skip

By hitting the ENTER/RETURN key while the screen fades

off slowly, either after hitting ESC, dying (by losing

all your lives) or winning the game, the losing sequence,

if it was to be played, will be skipped and a new game

begun immediately.

Ctrl-Q Quit

By hitting the Control (Ctrl) and Q keys down

simultaneously, the screen will fade off and the program

will exit to DOS.

T Toggle

By hitting the T key the outer scrolling regions will be

Toggled (switched) on or off. Users of slower computers

may wish to turn off these additional scrolling regions

at the top and bottom edges of the screen to speed the

game up.

S Sound

By hitting the S key the game Sound effects will be

toggled (switched) on or off.

The aim of the game is simple: make it through the game while

dodging or destroying the alien space-craft and "bombs" which spray

from certain objects on the screen. Then destroy the end of level

alien, a type of guardian of the alien ship, to advance to the next

level. It isn't easy, but sharp skills and fast reflexes will

serve you well.

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Credits

Design, Programming, Artwork, and Music by

Brendan Reville

Design contributions:

Marc Armansin and Michael Reville

Additional game testing:

Justin Reville and Michael Reville

Documentation:

Brendan Reville

Further Acknowledgments

The following helped, to various degrees, with the development

of the game, and deserve a word of thanks.

John Creasey

Paul Meiners

Tony Cook

Eric Poulsen

- for assisting in the development of the keyboard

reading routines (MultiKey).

Rhys Weekley

- for helping with the Adlib testing.

David Evans

- for the public domain program VGA Paint, used to create

the game artwork.

John M. Coon

- for the shareware Sound Blaster composer program

Compoz, used to create the game's FM music.

Mum, Dad, Justin and Michael

- my family, for all their interest, patience and

support.

And to all my friends at school and on the Bulletin Boards,

for their encouragement and interest: thank you.

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About the Author

Brendan Reville is a 15 year old student living in Sydney,

Australia. He enjoys ice-skating, basketball, tennis and swimming,

and plays the clarinet. Favourite writers include Philip K. Dick,

William Gibson and Barbara Hambly. He began programming while

around the age of 10, in BASIC, before moving onto C at the age of

13, and is now teaching himself Assembler. Xerix is his first

major production, and was contributed to the public domain as an

appreciation for the medium.

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Free Registration

This game is free, however, it is requested that the

registration form contained in the file XERIXREG.DOC is filled out

and returned to the author at the address given or sent by

electronic mail as described below. Registration is free, except

for the necessary postage, and is not required, but appreciated.

Consult your DOS manual for information on printing a file.

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Contacting the Author

The author can be contacted at the following postal address:

Brendan Reville

PO Box 304

Milsons Point NSW 2061

Australia

For users with a modem, the author can also be contacted via

GTNet electronic mail available through any GTPower Bulletin Board

System worldwide. Send a Private message to Brendan Reville at The

Poet's Dilemna, netmail address 302/000.

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Programmers' Information

Xerix was programmed in Microsoft C 6.0. Also used in the

development of the product were Creative Labs' Sound Blaster

Developer Kit and Ted Gruber Software's Fastgraph routines.

The author is happy to discuss areas of the game's programming

with other programmers, and can be contacted by the methods given

above.

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Revision History

September 1992 - version 1.0

Original release

September 1992 - version 1.1

"Lives" added

Title screen not displayed after every game

Documentation improved and updated

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Disclaimer

The author, Brendan Reville, and any other persons referred to

in this documentation or in the computer program "Xerix" accept no

responsibility for any loss of time, money or productivity, or

damage to any person(s) or computer hardware or software, as a

result of using the program "Xerix", even if the above mentioned

had knowledge or had been notified of the possibilities of such

events.

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Xerix - Program, Data and Documentation

(C) Copyright Brendan Reville 1992

All Rights Reserved.

MCMXCII

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Trademarks and Registered Trademarks

Adlib is a registered trademark of Adlib Inc.

Fastgraph is a trademark of Ted Gruber Software.

IBM, IBM PC/AT, are registered trademarks of International Business

Machines, Inc.

Microsoft, Microsoft Mouse and MS-DOS are registered trademarks of

Microsoft Corporation.

All other brand and product names mentioned in this document are

trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.


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