Instructions for

Micronaut One

Nexus, 1987

Written by Chris Owen, HTML'd by Arnt Gulbrandsen.


Keyboard, Kempston

Aim of the game

Welcome to the Guild. Long live His Imperial Majesty Georgius IX. Now hear this: the Emperor has decreed that you, a member of our glorious Guild of Equalizers, shall do your utmost to maintain the Empire's Biocomputers and perform all the duties befitting a member of this, our Guild. (Imperial Decree LXXVII, dated 24.5.1290 A.O.)

As a member of the Guild of Equalizers, the biotechnicians responsible for maintaining the huge, asteroid-based Biocomputers, it's your job to keep these fragile organic machines from damage inflicted by parasites and simple entropy. The parasites in question are the Scrim, the mutated descendants of fruit flies which were accidentally introduced centuries ago. Now the tunnels of your Biocomputer are infested with Scrim eggs, larvae and their ultimate product, the Jellyfly...

Game play

Your craft is a sort of bidirectional skimmer which can zoom up and down the winding corridors of the Biocomputer. You've got a map to help you, and you can set up markers on it to act as homing points for your craft's Navigational Locking System. You can't actually turn round (not enough room in the tunnel); instead, slow to a halt and press down to switch to the rear view (or rather, the front view now). You can then go on as normal. Note though that you can only switch direction if you stop first!

You have two main problems: the Scrim, obviously, and the energy levels of the computer. Being parasites, the Scrim feed off the energy of the biomachine, which tends to cause serious energy imbalances in the circuits. Your craft is equipped with an accumulator which allows you to drain off surplus energy or otherwise top up the computer. You do this at one of the Energy Transfer Units (ETUs), which look rather like large winking eyes behind transparent sliding doors. The levels of the four ETUs (including the one at which you're currently at) are shown when you stop in front of the eye. Red is danger; green is safe. If the level of the current ETU is too low or too high, you can increase or reduce it. If the ETU level gets too low or too high, the computer will explode. You can only alter the level of the ETU at which you're currently "docked".

Your craft is equipped with an anti-Scrim weapon, a sort of giant Van der Graaf generator which spits out tendrils of energy. This, naturally, uses up a good deal of energy (which could leave you with too little to top up an ETU). However, you can recover this loss either by draining an ETU (not recommended) or catching one of the sparkling clouds of energy particles that coalesce in the corridors. Your weapon's power level is shown on the console of your skimmer (the second of the three bars), while above it is the craft's speed and below it a scrolling message bar gives information about the Biocomputer.

Your main enemy, the Scrim, have a three-stage lifecycle. (You can get more information on this in the INFO menu - having started the game, it's a good idea to explore the menu system a little. VIEW will take you to the action). The three stages, plus the accompanying webs, are as follows:

Too many webs can be fatal - you can be blocked in, or equally badly an ETU entrance can be sealed off. Either way, you'll be unable to correct the computer's energy imbalances. It's possible to get rid of a web if you can get to it before it's complete, but afterwards it's impervious to your efforts. You'll be informed of where a web has been strung - make a note of it on the built-in pad and program your NLS to guide you there before it's too late. The game is thus a constant race against the ETUs' energy fluctuations and the Scrims' lifecycle. To complete a level, you have to clear out all the Scrim on that level.

There's a built-in bonus game - a series of races against a computer- controlled robot (actually a maintenance droid, quite harmless, in the "real" game). To get to this, tick the RACE option on the SETUP menu (off the main menu) and go to PLAY. You'll get the chance to choose a track, pacer and speed, and race against the clock.


"Original, visually stunning, very playable and addictive".


92% (CRASH #43, August 1987)


The original comments above are still absolutely correct. One of the all-time (but under-sung) Spectrum classics. A prime candidate for updating - just imagine it with DOOM-style graphics...


Nettverksgruppa, 5/10-94,