The year is 2400 A.D. The place is Metropolis, a city on the remote planet
XK-120, or Nova Athens as it's known by its human inhabitants. Established
more than a century ago, it flourished as a center for learning, research,
and the arts. The Tzorgs, an alien race friendly to mankind, contributed to
the prosperity of Nova Athens. All seemed to be going well...perhaps too
The Tzorgs suddenly withdrew their ambassador in 2291, followed by attacks
on the outlying planets. The Tzorg Empire and the United Stellar Council go
to war after a failed summit meeting, and Nova Athens soon falls to the
Tzorg attacks. Martial law is imposed, and the Tzorgs continue to wage war
against mankind throughout the galaxy. Soon, they are forced to shift their
forces from Nova Athens to the outlying sectors, and they leave Metropolis
in the iron grip of their robot police force, with long jail sentences
imposed for those who break their strict laws.
A growing underground movement is established to find a way to defeat the
robot force, and they achieve limited success in creating a network of
information, and in supplying high-tech devices. Most of the underground
members are soon captured or forced into hiding, due to increased robot
enforcement, but not before they've completed a tunnel to the Tzorg
Authority Complex, and discovered the means for someone with the proper
skills and daring to deactivate the entire robot police force. This would
free Nova Athens and allow the USC forces access to a strategic base -- a
major advantage in the raging war.
You are a computer specialist who arrives with the latest shipment of
off-world workers imported by the Tzorgs. Having the advantage of no prior
police record, you are free to roam the central city, gathering information
and items with the help of the underground. You must find a way into the
Tzorg Authority Complex, reach the main control console, and end the robot
rule. If you can accomplish your mission, Nova Athens will be free, and the
citizens will walk the streets without fear.
When you create your character, you are given 99 points to distribute
among four attributes: Energy, Agility, Intelligence, and Affinity. These
stats can be raised in various ways as the game progresses, but a good
initial mix is important to surviving the first parts of the game. I
suggest allocating 30-35 points each to energy and agility, and dividing
the remainder equally between intelligence and affinity.
All your stats temporarily decrease when you're hit by robot forces. Your
energy will also dip when running, climbing ladders, pushing objects, or
breaking doors open. The doors marked with a "!" will sap 20 points of
energy, while the ones marked with red tags require 30-50 points. Later,
doors can be opened with the proper Passcard, or just blown open with the
If your energy drops below about 5 for whatever reason, you will pass out
and awaken in the Social Rehabilitation Center with all your possessions
confiscated. If you pass out with no contraband and sufficient funds,
you'll be taken to Metropolis hospital, instead, and charged a fee. Being
hit by a subway train costs you 2,000 credits, so be careful down there! If
you end up in the SRC, fear not: Your inventory can be recovered.
You will need to destroy many robots for two reasons: to earn credits by
searching the dead hulks, and to increase your attributes. For almost every
kill, a random attribute will be increased. Energy and intelligence may
also be increased for a stiff price in the booster labs located
underground. Affinity increases after almost every conversation with an
NPC. Booster pills will hike all your stats up to 99 temporarily; the
penalty is your normal stats will drop by a few points after the effect is
The game is action-oriented, and quick responses are needed at times. You
are required to report to the Public Tracking Office every 2,000 ticks.
Failure to do so earns you a Social Demerit. Being caught by a Checker
robot with contraband or in a zone that you don't have the proper ZAC (Zone
Access Card) for also gets you an SD. If you accumulate five SDs, you will
be targeted for capture by the robots, and sent to the SRC if you're
caught. If you fail to surrender to a robot or turn over contraband, you
will have to fight and run. If you lose the fight or surrender voluntarily,
you're off to SRC.
GETTING OUT OF JAIL
There are advantages (especially in the early game) to surrendering at any
time to earn a free trip to the SRC. It clears your SD counter and resets
your check-in timer, and also provides an easy access to the underground.
The escape tunnel is located right behind your bed: Just climb over it and
walk through the wall. The ladder will take you all the way down to the
first level of the underground. Your cell is on Level 3 of the SRC. In a
rubbish pile on Level 2 are booster pills. Through the east wall on Level 1
Guido is sitting out his sentence. Mention STUFF to him and he'll tell you
where the robots put your possessions.
From Level 1 of the underground, go all the way west past Virgil (he'll
tell you about Guido). At the far west end, a ladder leads up to Level 0 of
the Administration Building. Climb east over the computer there and head
out of the building. Walk east past the sentries (there shouldn't be
trouble; there are usually no Checker robots) into the Central Zone. You
can walk right through the front door of the SRC, past the robots, and turn
right at the end of the entrance hall. To the south is a storage room; on
the south wall is an open box containing your stuff. Walk out the back door
to the north, and you're back in business (until next time).
The ladder goes down one more level where you meet Tony. He and Horace
used to work in the Power Center in the Authority Complex. Horace is in a
room on the same level, amidst a mess of pipes you climb over. He tells you
the code for getting through the Power Center binary maze is DDDUD.
THE PERSONAL TRANSPORTERS
WARNING: In the IBM version, using the transporters occasionally messes
things up! If after a transport, things just don't look right, you should
reboot the system and reload the game. If you don't end up in a small
booth, that's a sure sign something's wrong. Don't yell at me: Talk to the
folks at Origin!
There are five "normal" transporters around the city. They can take you
into each of the zones a safe distance from the border checkpoints, where
the Checker robots are usually stationed. The access code is LETSGO
(obtained from Sid in the underground). The destination codes are 00 to 04,
and here's where they take you:
00 - Right next to the Public Tracking Office (Central Zone)
01 - Just south of Novue Apartments (Eastern Zone)
02 - University Main Building (Southern Zone)
03 - Administration Building (Western Zone)
04 - Megatech Building "B" (Northern Zone)
In addition, there is a booth in the underground that will take you to any
of the five above-ground locations. This is useful for getting back to the
Tracking Office in a hurry.
You begin the game in the Public Tracking Office, with a Gridread (legal)
and a Hand Phaser (illegal) in your inventory. Sitting to the east is
Eddie. Talk to him about SPIDER (Spider is the leader of the underground),
and Eddie will give you directions to Joe's bar where Spider hangs out. On
the way, charge your weapon and Gridread at the power node in the back
alley. In Joe's bar, climb over the counter, go through the door to the
northeast, then through the door to the southeast.
Spider is in the corner. As soon as you talk to him, he'll tell you to get
a password from Reggie who is on the second floor of Johnnie's Corner. You
can risk going there (it's in the Eastern Zone, and you don't have the
proper ZAC yet); the password is MADEIT. Talk to Spider again, and he'll
welcome you to the underground and direct you to Harvey in the Novue
Apartments. If you want to go there (it's also in the Eastern Zone), he's
on Level 2. Talk to him about UNDERGROUND, and he will tell you that there
is an entrance behind the lift tubes on Level 0. Spider will also give you
a Hand Blaster and Passcard FR74, which opens the door to the underground
in the Novue Apartments.
Now that you have a better weapon than that dinky Hand Phaser, it's time
to try your hand at some combat. You need to increase your stats and get
some credits. You have no shield whatsoever, so you'll be lucky to take out
one or two robots, maybe more, before you get busted. Get used to the SRC:
You'll probably be going there a lot until you get some cash.
Your first target should be the isolated sentry robot outside the Tracking
Office. Charge your Hand Blaster at an isolated power node, then walk up
right next to the robot (your dexterity is kind of low, but you want to get
close). Blast away and ignore the alarms. If you kill it, immediately
search it, then run into the back alleys to recover. Wander around and look
for other easy prey. Your only realistic targets at this point are sentries
and police robots. If you are caught, read GETTING OUT OF JAIL. If you
manage to get at least 500 (preferably 875) credits, head for the
underground. After buying better armor and perhaps some devices (whatever
you can afford/carry), head back up and take on the tougher robots. You'll
just have to keep at it to build up your stats and credits.
If anything breaks, try several times to fix it yourself. If you succeed,
it will raise your IQ. If you can't do it, take it to Hugo's Fix-It Shop.
You will need 3,500 credits for Les to build the field disperser armor,
1,000 credits for a jet pack, plus credits to buy the parts to fix the
plasma rifle, and pay Hugo to fix it. More on this later; for this part of
the game, blast robots! Talk to everyone, because it raises your affinity;
in some cases, it also raises your IQ.
There are several entrances to the underground. The first one you are
likely to find is in the Social Rehabilitation Center (See GETTING OUT OF
JAIL). Head west from the ladder and turn south where the corridor
branches. Following this corridor, you will meet Fritz, who can tell you
how to get through the maze to the boost labs. Also, there's Jimmy, who
knows the access code for the terminals under the Administration Building.
These terminals give you the deactivation codes for the main control
console in the Tzorg Authority Complex.
Continue to follow the corridor, and just before it narrows, you'll find
Verne. Verne sells Plastiform, Booster Pills, Time Bombs, Detonators, Video
Scramblers, Disrupters, Scanners, and Heavy Shields. The door (nearby in
the red brick wall) leads to the maze of rooms where the boost labs are.
Another entrance to the underground is located in the Novue Apartments
(behind the door by the lift tubes). Either break the door or use the
passcard FR74 you got from Spider. On the first level down you'll find
Carlos, who tells you (in general terms) where Wes (weapons dealer), Verne,
and Nguyen (another gadget seller) hang out. Also on this level, in the
southern room, is Jeff. Jeff forges Passcards for 50 credits and ZACs for
Take the ladder down to the next level and head west to find a red brick
structure. The corridor on the east side leads through this structure. The
second door on the north is where Sid stays. He has the access code for the
transporters, LETSGO. At the end of the corridor there's a lab where Sybil
and Elroy are working. Sybil works with Hugo, and Elroy will tell you about
the Transporter Guidance Device he's working on. You need one in the
Authority Complex, but you'll need to get it elsewhere.
If you follow the north side of the structure, then head south, you should
find the other gadget seller, Nguyen. He sells Plastiform, Booster Pills,
Disrupters, Video Scramblers, Direct Overrides, Holo Projectors, Scanners,
and Light Shields (buy this if you only have 500 credits instead of 875 for
the heavy shield sold by Verne).
Proceed past the building to the north and you should meet Pinkie, the
resistance organizer. He'll direct you to four other people stationed
around the city who provide information: Mark at Administration, Robert at
Megatech, Sasha at Novue Apartments, and Richard at the University.
Continue west along the corridor to meet Alfonso, who will tell you where
some energy cells are. Further along the corridor, a pipe enters the wall
to the north. Climb along this pipe to find the room he told you about.
Search the cabinet for energy cells for recharging devices (although I
never used one). They can be sold to a dealer in the underground, but only
for 5 or 6 credits -- not worth the time or trouble.
Still further along the corridor, there's a ladder down to where Tony and
Horace are (mentioned in GETTING OUT OF JAIL), and still further along
you'll meet Harvey who will talk about the plasma rifle. He should be
standing very near the room where Wes sets up shop. Wes sells Hand Phasers,
Hand Blasters, Mini Cutters, Laser Cutters, Blaster Rifles, Pulse Lasers,
and Stun Guns. It is important to be a loyal customer, because after a few
purchases, Wes will give you the broken Plasma Rifle!
Yet another entrance is located in the Administration Building in the room
north of the entrance. There's a row of cabinets against the west wall.
Climb over the center one to reach the ladder down. Heading east, you'll
come to the junction that leads south to Fritz, Jimmy, Verne, and the boost
The last entrance to the underground (that I'm aware of) is reached from
the back room of Larry's Electronics shop. There are two 20-strength doors
that you can either break down or open with Passcards coded 9C59 and 9D63.
The ladder takes you down to a spot just west of where Tim has a shop. Tim
is the only person who will buy your used weapons and devices (say SELL).
East of Tim's shop and down a level you can go east to Wes's shop.
Heading west from Tim's you will come to a junction and some more NPCs.
Leroy will talk about the plasma rifle, and Melvin tells you about Tim. If
you take the south branch, you will meet Vince, who talks about energy
boost treatments. The south corridor eventually leads to Verne and the
boost labs. Taking the west branch leads to a dealer in energy cells, and
finally to a one-way transport booth -- handy for a quick return to the
Whew! That completes our tour of the underground. It's confusing, but you
need to know where to find the dealers -- especially Wes -- to equip
yourself for the assault on the Tzorg Authority Complex.
THE BOOST LABS
By the time you collect enough credits for the field disperser and to fix
the plasma rifle (as well as buy other goodies), your stats should be high
enough for the battle in the Tzorg Authority Complex. However, if you
really want to increase your energy or IQ and you have enough credits
(1,000 for IQ, 1,500 for energy), the scientists in the boost labs can do
the job. They will increase the stat by 15, and you automatically earn 1
Social Demerit. In addition, it takes 1,000 ticks for an IQ boost; 2,000
for an energy boost. This almost assures you another SD when you check in
at the Tracking Office. Not really worth it, but this is a walkthru.
The route is pretty simple, especially if you follow Fritz's instructions.
Enter the underground by either the Administration Building or the SRC (see
THE UNDERGROUND). Head either east or west (depending on which entrance you
took) and head south at the branch, past Fritz and Jimmy. Enter the door in
the red wall to the south and climb the ladder. Go through any door UNLESS
there is a door in a corner: Choose it over any other in that room. You
will come to a room with two corner doors. Take the one in the west wall
and keep taking corner doors to reach the IQ boost lab; the south door
leads to the energy boost lab. If you only open the doors along the way and
don't close them, the route back (after the treatment) is easy.
THE PLASMA RIFLE
The plasma rifle is the most powerful weapon in the game. I think it can
blast open any door with ease, and in my experience it never needed fixing
after the initial repair. You will need almost 2,000 credits to buy the
parts and to pay Hugo to fix it. Wes, the underground arms dealer, will
give you the broken rifle after you deal with him two or three times.
Go to Larry's Electronics and buy the Micro Stat and HV Oscillator. Then,
go to Gilbert's Electronic's and trade the Micro Stat for a Regulator.
Climb over the counter, break the door, and head out the south door to the
trash pile. Search there and take the Multitube. If you have to drop
something, don't worry: It usually stays put. Now, just head for Hugo's
with 550 credits and have him fix the plasma rifle. After charging it, you
can walk the streets of the city virtually without fear!
THE FIELD DISPERSER
The field disperser is the best armor available. It allows you to walk
through force fields with ease, and shrug off all but the toughest robots'
attacks. It must be charged, but the charge is only depleted when you walk
through force fields, or when hit by the most powerful robots. I believe it
can break, although it never happened to me.
First, you need the blueprints, located on the second level of Megatech
Building "B." Enter the building, climb over the counter where Mickey is,
and go up the transport tube. Either blast the 40-strength door open with
the plasma rifle (if you have it), break it, or open it with Passcard code
6534. Search the cabinets on the east wall to get the blueprints.
Now, go to Les (the fabricator) at Megatech Building "F." He will build
the field disperser (say PLANS) for a measly 3,500 credits. With the
disperser charged and the plasma rifle repaired, you have free reign of
TRANSPORTER GUIDANCE DEVICE
I'm told that the guidance device isn't really necessary if you assault
the Tzorg Authority Complex through the front doors. However, if you follow
the story line faithfully, you are going to take the tunnel entrance hidden
in the city dump. There is a set of four transporters there (not the maze
of transporters in the rooms that you explore first). The "funny"
transporters will just shuffle you around among themselves unless you have
the Guidance Device in your possession.
To get the device, you need the field disperser, and you will need the
plasma rifle (unless you have a time bomb or two). There are force fields
and four tough robots that can cause you some damage, even with the
Take the south transport tube down to the subway at the South Station.
Walk west along the south rail. Watch out for trains! If you see one
coming, climb onto the pipe in the center. Continue until you find the
40-strength door in the south wall, get through however you can, and go
through the door to the south. Head east, down the ladder, and stride
through the force fields to the south. After disposing of the robots, go to
the last door to the east and break it. The device is on the counter on the
THE TERMINAL MAZES
To deactivate the Tzorg robots, you must reach the main control console on
the fifth floor of the Authority Complex and input the three deactivation
codes. If you don't feel like negotiating the mazes located beneath the
Administration Building to reach the terminals and get the codes, skip
ahead to THE AUTHORITY COMPLEX AND ENDGAME: I'll give you all the codes.
The first terminal is located on the second level under the Administration
Building. Turn south at the entrance, enter the office, then follow the
hall at the south side of the room to the 20-strength door. Go through it
to the transport tube and take it down. On this level, the tube up takes
you back to a booth just inside the entrance to the Administration
Building. Don't take it: Break the 40-strength door to the east and
continue east to the tube down.
In the southeast corner of the room on this level, climb east along the
pipe, and the terminal is in that room. Talk to it and enter ACCTRM0 (Jimmy
in the underground tells you the code is "ACCTRM plus the number of levels
below ground minus 2"). Then, enter CODE, and it will respond with the
primary deactivation code.
Take the transport tube located next to the terminal down. Wow, a maze of
slidewalks! Here's where a jetpack and quick reflexes come in handy since,
generally, the slidewalks won't take you where you want to go. This maze
can be navigated without a jetpack, although the slidewalk maze in the
Tzorg Authority Complex cannot. The terminal is located in the far
northwest corner of this level.
Start by taking the east slidewalk. Switch to running mode, and ride until
the slidewalk branches north and west: Take the north branch. You usually
have to make your move slightly before the intersection, and try to stay in
Ride west, around the little loop, then south. Take the first west branch,
then the first north branch after that. Now, just ride west and you should
be dumped off right by the terminal. Talk to it and enter ACCTRM1, then
CODE, to get the secondary deactivation code. To get back afterwards, just
step on the slidewalk in the southwest corner, and you can coast all the
way back to the transport tube, except for one loop that you need to run
south to get past to reach the exit.
Next, climb south over the terminal and cabinet, then head all the way
south and east to the personal transporter. The access code is LETSGO, and
the destination code to the next level is 06 (to return, 05). This maze is
navigated by pushing the large cabinets around. The route to follow is:
West twice, south three times, push west twice, north six, west twice,
south nine times, and push west five times. Then, north five times, east
once, push east once, north four times, and west eight times. Go south
twice, west four times, push west once, and go south twice. Now, go east
four times, push east once, go south three times, west once, south once,
west once, and, finally, push north once.
This should put you right at the door to the third terminal. If you made a
mistake just retrace your steps back to the transporter, transport back to
level B3 (slidewalk maze), transport down again, and the maze will be
reset. At the terminal, enter ACCTRM2, then CODE, to receive the tertiary
Now that you've got all three codes the honest way, head back out to the
surface. The only tricky part is the slidewalk maze (see above).
THE AUTHORITY COMPLEX AND ENDGAME
So you're ready to fight your way to Level 4 of the Tzorg Authority
Complex, reach the main control console to input the deactivation codes,
end the robot menace, and free Metropolis? Let's review your equipment:
Plasma Rifle, Field Disperser, Transporter Guidance Device, Jetpack? These
items are required (except the Guidance Device, if you choose a frontal
assault). Maybe a Scanner and a Time Bomb? Direct Override or other fun
goodies? Are your stats (especially Energy and Agility) at least 80? Then,
let's go: The robots are waiting!
I'll deal with the sneak attack via the secret tunnel first because it is
the intended way to proceed. Enter the City Dump and follow the wide center
path east all the way to the end. Blast the two robots along the way (don't
pat yourself on the back; that's just a warm-up). Follow the garbage trail,
going due west whenever possible, until you come to a branch south that
meets a long east-west path. Now, follow either the east or west path (they
both lead to the same ladder down). Go down the ladder and all the way west
to a door that leads to the maze of transporters. Blast the door open and
enter the transporter in the first room to the south.
Inside the first transporter, enter LETSGO and destination code 18. That
takes you to another transporter completely enclosed. Then, enter LETSGO
and codes 09, 12, and 15 (respectively) at the other transporters. The last
transport should put you right next to a ladder that goes down to the
slidewalk maze -- also known as the "binary maze," for which Horace gave
you the code (DDDUD). I didn't recognize it as a binary maze at first,
until I realized that there were two slidewalks exiting each room: one in
the upper part of the room, one in the lower! So, step onto the southern
slidewalk (D), follow it to the next room, and step onto the south
slidewalk again (D). Ride it to the next room and again choose the
southmost path (D), switching to the one on the north side after entering
the next room (U). Finally, step on the south slidewalk (D) and just coast
into the next room. D-D-D-U-D!
Now, you're in a room with the four "funny" transporters. Without the
Transporter Guidance Device, you'll just flick around the four corners of
the room, never reaching the other side of the south wall. However, since
you do have the device (right?), just step into any transporter and enter
LETSGO to get to the other side of the wall. Go east, south between the
power plants to the wall, then west all the way to the 40-strength door.
Along the way you'll encounter three robots (more target practice). Catch
your breath and make sure your stats are at full strength: You're in for a
Blast the door and take out the two robots: They're not too tough, but the
worst is yet to come! The next room to the west is probably empty. Blast
the door and head west to the next door. Now's the time for strategy: No
more easy kills. In the areas behind this door are six of the toughest
robots the Tzorgs make. If you have any gadgets, turn them on, and blast
the door. Stay behind the doorway. That way, only one robot can get a shot
at you, and once he's dead his hulk makes a screen for you to fall back
behind and rest. The hall beyond runs north-south and is only one square
wide. If you climb over the hulk into the hall, it's very defensible.
It's important to get into the hall directly west from the door (you can
climb east behind your shield to rest). If you can't get in, retreat and
wait: The robots constantly move around and head back to the power nodes to
charge. Only two robots can attack in the hall, and once you take out one,
that side is defended. If you're lucky, some of the robots will run out of
juice before they reach the nodes. After you finish all the robots,
recharge your stuff and rest before going on.
Blast the west door and head west, follow the hall to the south, around
the corner to the west, then north along the west wall to an unsecured
door. Take another rest because there's eight of those same robots behind
this door. Walk up and down the hall a few times while the robots run
around. With luck, several will expire. After you clear this room, follow
the wall north, then go east to the 40-strength door.
Compared to your previous battles, this last one is a breeze: just two
cyborgs and a medium robot. Blast the door, dispose of the guards, head
east into the next room, then climb over the middle cabinet against the
north wall to the ladder. Just keep climbing up to Level 4 and go north
through the force fields to the Master Robot Recall Console. Talk to it and
enter the three deactivation codes. Don't make a mistake or you'll go
straight to SRC!
Now, just sit back and watch the action, read the epilogue, and receive
your congratulations. The fireworks will continue until you reboot.
Briefly, the frontal assault proceeds as follows:
Slaughter robots. Take the up transport tube on each level until you get
to Level 2 (third floor). Use the Jetpack to go against the conveyor belt
flow, then west to the up ladder, and all the way up to Level 4. Go north
to the terminal and input the codes. Explore Level 3 and Level 4 via the
transport tubes if you wish; there are down tubes. You cannot reach the
terminal from the room on Level 4. The door is blocked by trash and that
room has an ARMY of robots!
2400 A.D. is published and distributed by Origin Systems.