|Ozyr's Vectrex Archive|
Seek out the survivors on your sonar screen and pilot your sub to their rescue! To complete your mission, you must avoid deadly mine fields, enemy submarines and the terror of the maelstrom! Monitor your oxygen supply carefully and hurry! Lives are at stake!
Polar Rescue is played with the built-in control panel only. The functions of the controls are:
Push forward to dive, backwards to surface, left to rotate your sub left and right to rotate your sub right.
Pause (button 1)
"Freezes" all action. Pauses and holds the game until you're ready to come back to it. Press again to resume game.
Reverse Thrust (button 2)
Engines full Reverse.
Forward Thrust (button 3)
Engine full Forward. (Note: Press Buttons 2 and 3 at the same time will maintain your sub's current speed.)
Torpedo Fire (button 4)
Fires torpedoes at enemy subs, mines and ice chunks.
Polar Rescue can be played as either a 1 or 2 player game. When 'PLAYER 1 - GAME 1' appears on the screen, press Button 1 once to switch to a two-player game. 'PLAYER 2 - GAME 1' will then be displayed on the screen. When played as a two-player game, use only the built-in control panel and simply take turns with the controls. You can return to a single player game by pressing Button 1 again before starting game play.
Skill Level Selection
You can begin Polar Rescue at any of four different skill levels. Level 1 is the least difficult; Level 4 is the most difficult. To select the skill level, press Button 2. This option allows you to skip past levels you have already mastered.
Starting Game Play
Once you have selected the number of players and the skill level, press Button 4 to begin your rescue mission.
Your goal in Polar Rescue is to successfully maneuver your submarine in the icy waters beneath the North Pole and rescue the survivors of an ill-fated mission. You'll battle enemy subs, blow up and avoid mine fields and ice chunks, even experience the powerful maelstroms - turbulent underwater whirlpools that throw you off course. There's no escape from a maelstrom... you get out only when it throws you out of its powerful center! As you become more proficient and advance to higher skill levels, your sub will have to travel further to get to the survivors and you may encounter more and more enemy subs!
The sonar display at the bottom center of the screen is used to locate the survivors, maneuver around obstacles and detect enemy subs. Your sonar range is about twice as far as you can see out of your viewing window. Your viewing window is represented by the 'V' portion of the sonar screen.
All obstacles within your sonar range are represented by blips of light that reach full brightness when passed by the rotating scanning arm of sonar, and then reduce in brightness. There is one exception to this rule: a blip representing an enemy sub always remains at full brightness. This is how you'll be able to tell the difference between an enemy sub and another object.
The survivors' pod is represented by an arrow rather than a blip of light. The brightness of this arrow will pulsate and you will hear a series of beeping sounds that will get faster as you get closer to the survivor's pod. To head toward the survivors, use the joystick and buttons 2 and 3 to maneuver your sub so that the arrow appears at the top center area of the sonar screen.
At the beginning of the game, you are provided with a full tank of oxygen. During the game, you constantly use oxygen. The faster you travel, the more oxygen you use... so keep a sharp eye on your oxygen supply on the instrument panel. Oxygen may be replenished when you destroy enemy subs (see Enemy Subs). If you run out of oxygen, you will lose a sub.
Speed and Direction
You can control the speed and direction of your submarine's movement with buttons 2 and 3. Press and hold button 3 to increase speed in a forward direction. Press and hold button 2 to increase your speed in a reverse direction. If you release buttons 2 and 3, your sub will soon come to a standstill. By pressing buttons 2 and 3 at the same time, you can maintain your current speed. Your speed and direction are shown on the instrument panel - the center line indicates no movement, forward speeds are to the right and reverse speeds are to the left.
Use your joystick to maneuver your sub - push it forward to dive deeper into the water, push backward to surface, push to the right or left to change the direction of your heading.
Mines are stationary... but very sensitive as you draw close. If you pass mines too closely, they will explode and destroy you instantly! You can shoot and destroy a mine with your torpedoes, but if you are too close to it when you shoot, you'll get damage points. (See Damage Points).
If you collide with an ice chunk, damage points are collected (see Damage Points). The number of points against you is determined by the speed of the collision. If you 'bounce' off an ice chunk, your direction of travel is reversed. Watch out for ice chunks directly overhead... if your sub sits under one, it will continuously 'bonk' on top of your vessel, causing continuously increasing damage. You can disengage yourself from this 'bonking trap' by simultaneously diving and moving either forward or backward. You can also shoot and break up ice chunks with your torpedoes.
Maelstroms - turbulent underwater whirlwinds - always throw you off course. There's no way to avoid a maelstrom. All you can do is wait until it hurls you out of its powerful swirl!
Each enemy sub has five torpedoes, so it can fire at you only five times. When you shoot and destroy an enemy sub, you receive all the enemy's torpedoes remaining at the time you fired the hit. You also receive extra oxygen! Plan your strategy and shoot enemy subs when your oxygen supply and your torpedoes are low, as shown on your instrument panel.
If an enemy sub becomes 'aggressive', you will enter into Battle Mode (see Battle Mode). An enemy sub will become aggressive if you shoot one or more of your torpedoes at it while it is in your sonar range. An enemy sub can also become aggressive if you are traveling at high speed within its range... or even if he sights you in range without any provocation at all!
Damage points are collected when objects are struck by your sub. The number of points increases with the speed of your sub on impact. Damage points are also collected when objects explode within close range of your sub and when you shoot a mine at close range. As you collect damage points, some of your sub's functions become non-operational. These are as follows:
|Damage Points||Resulting Damage|
|10-19||You lose your upper left torpedo tube|
|20-29||You lose your upper right torpedo tube|
|30-39||You lose your lower left torpedo tube|
|NOTE: If you have 40 or more damage points,
it is impossible to dock with the survivors' pod.
|40-49||You lose your lower right torpedo tube|
|50-59||You lose your survivors' pod Arrow
on the sonar screen
|60-69||You lose your Sonar Display|
|70-79||You lose control of speed|
|80-89||You completely lose your engine speed
and you're dead in the water
|90-99||You lose your sub|
Your crew repairs the damage over time, so your damage points will get lower if you are able to stay alive.
Battle Mode is entered whenever there is at least one aggressive sub in your sonar range (see Enemy Subs). While in Battle Mode, the words 'BATTLE MODE' will appear on your instrument panel, and your maximum speed is greatly reduced. An aggressive enemy sub will try to destroy your sub but will not fire until he is in front of you and is pointing at you. Be extra alert in Battle Mode because the enemy sub can fire even if he is too far in front of you for you to see him from your viewing window. Aggression is canceled when an enemy sub fires... but it may be re-triggered immediately, so be careful! Docking with the survivors' pod is not possible while in Battle Mode (see Docking Mode).
Docking Mode enables you to successfully reach the survivors. You enter Docking Mode when the survivors' pod is in sight of your sub. While in Docking Mode, the words 'DOCKING MODE' will appear on your instrument panel and a new sonar display, which shows a 'cross' and a 'sight', will guide you in this very sensitive docking maneuver.
In order to successfully dock with the survivors' pod, you must line up the 'cross' in the exact center of the 'sight'... WHILE MAINTAINING A VERY SLOW SPEED. If you are successful, you will see a special docking sequence on the screen during which the survivors will return to your ship. The game will then continue with a new search and rescue mission.
Number of Submarines
In each game you start with 5 submarines. A bonus sub is awarded when you score 25,000 points.
Points are awarded as follows:
|Destroying an Enemy Sub||1,000|
|Destroying an Enemy Torpedo||
|Destroying a Mine||
|Destroying an Ice Chunk||
As long as your machine is on with the Polar Rescue cartridge in place, the high score is retained. Once the machine is turned off and the cartridge is removed, the high score is lost. To check the high score, press the Reset Button on the console.
To restart after a completed game with the same number of players, simply press any of the buttons on the control panel.
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