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Blue Lightning - Atari - Atari Lynx    Manual Scan icon HTML Manual   

Copyright c 1989, Epyx, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright c 1989, Atari Corporation. All rights reserved.


The top secret Blue Lightning combat jet has never been tested. The 
jet was still in the early stages of development when this war broke 
out. Now the allies are losing and the Pentagon is desperate.

The President ordered the Air Force to prepare Blue Lightning for 
action. Flight Command chose you to man the first combat flight. You
weren't chosen because you are the best pilot in the Air Force. You
were chosen because you are the class clown and frankly, you're expendable.

You look around you as you approach enemy territory. A trail of smoke 
warns you of an oncoming missile.  You make a quick barrel roll and the
missile misses your plane by inches. Now here come the jets! Hundreds
of them. With guns blazing you fly into the thick of the enemy formation.

Can you penetrate enemy territory and successfully complete nine crucial
missions? If you can, the Allies will win the war and you'll be a hero.
If you fail, the enemy will win and no one will ever remember your name.


Blue Lightning is an airplane combat game for one player.

NOTE: To PRESS a button, press and release quickly. To HOLD DOWN 
a button, hold the button down for at least one second.

Follow the steps listed below to start the game.

1.  With your system switched off, insert the game card as described 

WARNING: Do not touch the game card connector pins. Do not expose 
the contacts to static or extreme heat. Do not bend, crush, or attempt 
to clean the game card.

2.  Press ON. The Blue Lightning title screen appears.

3.  Press A or B twice to bypass the title screen and credits. 
The Secret Code screen appears.

4.  Flight Command requests a mission code name. To begin at the 
first mission--a good idea since you don't know how to fly Blue 
Lightning yet--accept the AAAA code name by pressing A. To begin 
with a later mission, enter the correct code name. Of course, Flight 
Command will not reveal the secret code name of a mission until you 
complete the previous missions.

Use the joypad to enter a code name. Press left to move to the previous 
space. Press right to move to the next space. Press up or down to scroll
through the letters. To begin the game, press A after entering the code.

5.  When the game starts, flight crews attend to Blue Lightning 
on the landing strip.  Press A to take off. Blue Lightning speeds 
down the runway and automatically ascends into the hostile heavens 
after gaining enough speed.

To enhance play, the following optional game controls allow you to 
modify the display, pause, and restart the game.

To flip the screen 180 degrees and reverse the controls, press 
OPTION 2 and PAUSE at the same time. 
To pause the game, press PAUSE. Repeat to resume play. 
To return to the title screen and restart the game, press OPTION 1 and PAUSE. 


The object of Blue Lightning is to penetrate enemy territory and 
complete nine missions without getting shot out of the sky.  There 
are six Blue Lightning prototypes. Since you are the only one foolish 
enough to try to fly an untested plane, your allies rescue you and 
return you to the landing strip after each of the first five crashes. 
But if you let the enemy destroy all six prototypes, Flight Command 
would just as soon never see you again.

[ Screen display showing screen indicators.  From the left: Afterburner 
indicator, Missles, Planes remaining, Score. ]

Use the joypad to control Blue Lightning's flight direction as shown 
in the diagram below.

[ Left - Turn Left; Up - Descend; Right - Turn Right; Down - Climb ]


Almost as soon as you hit the skyways, the enemy attacks. Watch for 
planes and missiles. Success depends on a quick trigger finger and 
good flight instincts. (Of course, if your flight instincts were 
really that good, you would never have agreed to fly this mission.) 
Use the buttons as shown in this diagram to control the plane and 
fire at enemies.

[ A - 81mm cannon; B - Guided missiles ]

Using Missiles and Cannon

Guided missiles allow you to destroy distant enemy planes. As soon 
as the computer locks on to a target, press B. The missile flies 
away. If the computer locked onto a target when you fired, the missile 
will hit the target.

When Blue Lightning's computers lock on to a target, a square appears 
on the screen. Fire your cannon and missiles at the enemy units before 
they move out of range or evade the missile lock. If your missile 
successfully locks on to the target, the square will turn red.

Blue Lightning can carry 40 missiles. That's a lot of fire power,
but don't go nuts. With all those jets coming at you, 40 missiles 
won't last long. Use the cannon to knock nearby jets out of the sky.

Watch for targets on the ground in some missions. Fire a missile 
when the computer locks on to the target. Sometimes your radar will 
lock on to targets hidden behind hills, mesas, or other terrain. 
If you fire a missile at a hidden target, the missile will not penetrate 
the terrain. In other words, you've just wasted a missile, hot shot.

You can also destroy ground targets by strafing them with cannon 
fire. Strafing often requires that you fly very close to the ground 
and increase the risk of getting shot down or crashing.

Afterburners and Barrel Rolls

The afterburners are essential for chasing down enemy planes and 
avoiding missiles. However, once you activate the afterburners, press 
OPTION 1, you hit top speed for a full 10 seconds. Watch where you're 
going. You wouldn't want to explain to Flight Command why you destroyed 
a Blue Lightning prototype by rear-ending an enemy jet.

Afterburners kick in for 10 seconds then shut down for another 10 
seconds while they recharge. When the atterburners are charged and 
ready, a blue light appears at the top left of your control panel. 
When the afterburners are in use, a yellow light appears. You can't 
activate the afterburners it they are not fully charged.

To do a barrel roll, hold down OPTION 2 while pressing right or left 
on the joypad. A barrel roll is a complete roll right or left, depending 
on which way you press the joypad. A good roll can cause an enemy 
missile to lose its radar lock on your jet, an obvious advantage 
when the sky is filled with missiles.

The Flight Computer

You can fly Blue Lightning close to the ground, above the clouds,
or anywhere in between. The sophisticated flight computer will not 
let you hit the ground. However, the computer can't stop you from 
hitting things that come out of the ground, so watch out for trees,
mesas, buildings, and similar obstacles.

The computer is programmed for each mission. If all your targets 
for a particular mission are on the ground, the computer won't let 
you fly above the clouds.

The computer gives instructions concerning your next goal. You must 
complete the assigned goal before you can move on to the next objective.

The computer will not guide you toward targets. You have to find 
them yourself. However, the computer may lock on to a target before 
you can actually see it. Use target sights as a guide toward the 
targets. In some missions, such as the first mission, you don't have 
to look far--the targets come to you.


Blue Lightning must successfully complete nine different missions. 
Each mission has different objectives and requires different skills. 
You must complete a mission in order to receive the secret code name 
of the next mission. You do not need to enter the code for each mission,
but write down the code names on a piece of paper. Then, if you want 
to start a future game with the highest level you have achieved, 
enter the code name for that mission in the spaces provided at the 
start of the game.

Each mission has a specihc goal. You must accomplish that goal to 
successfully complete a mission. In other words, it does not matter 
how long you stay in the air; if you don't complete the assigned 
task, you will not complete the mission.

When you successfully complete a mission, you return to the landing 
strip and receive new mission instructions and a full load of missiles. 
At that time, Flight Command reveals the code name of the upcoming 
mission. Write down the code name if you would like to start the 
game at that mission later. As always, press A to take off.

If you crash or get shot down, you begin again at the start of the 
current mission. Your new Blue Lightning prototype is fully stocked 
with missiles. When the last Blue Lightning jet crashes or explodes 
the game ends.

Below is a list of the missions and a brief description of each mission. 
Remember, you must complete one mission to get to the next.

Mission One: DOG FIGHT

The enemy air force has been the bane of the allied war effort. It 
is essential to the success of the allies that you destroy as many 
planes as you can. Cruise through the hostile skies, destroying planes 
and missiles as you go. Use your afterburners to catch distant planes. 
Keep your eyes open and your trigger finger ready.

Mission Two: BOMBING RUN

One reason behind the enemy's success in this war is that they have 
twice as much equipment as the allies. It is your lob to fly through 
hostile territory and destroy as much equipment as possible before 
the enemy invades allied soil. Destroy tanks, ships, and other weapons 
as you fly through various terrains. One more thing. The enemy does 
not take kindly to losing such valuable equipment. Watch out for 
missiles. You'll see plenty of them.

Mission Three: CONVOYS

The enemy is moving equipment and troops into position for a massive 
assault. You must engage and destroy enemy convoys as they move through 
dangerous snowcovered mountains, farmlands, and other terrain. Of 
course, the convoys are all very well protected. You will need quick 
reflexes to fly low enough to attack the convoys and avoid getting 
shot down or crashing.

Mission Four: CANYON RUN

A scenic desert canyon provides the perfect hiding place for enemy 
tanks armed with missiles. No allied plane is capable of flying through 
the narrow twisting canyon and destroying the tanks. No plane except 
Blue Lightning. Maybe. Flight Command considers this a suicide mission,
so of course they expect you to fly Blue Lightning through the canyon. 
It takes timing and quick reflexes to avoid missiles and mesas while 
destroying tanks hidden in the depths of this canyon maze.

Mission Five: ISLANDS

The allies can't win this blasted war when the enemy's numerous radar 
installations track the allies' every move. Flight Command wants 
you to fly over the island chain where the enemy radar installions 
are hidden and destroy all the radar equipment. The enemy does not 
approve of Flight Command's ideas, so they've posted a large fleet 
of warships, swarms of planes, and tons of tanks, all meant to discourage 
your attempts by blowing you so far out of the sky that no trace 
will ever be found.

Mission Six: COURIER

Flight Command needs to deliver vital documents to secret airfields 
located in enemy territory. Without these documents, allied intelligence 
agents can't successfully spy on the enemy. The problem is, enemy 
advances have left the airstrips so deep in enemy territory that 
only Blue Lightning can reach them. Fly through enemy territory, 
find an airstrip, and land the plane. Then take off and look far 
more airstrips.

Mission Seven: TOP SECRET

Once again, you must fly deep into enemy territory. That's what you 
get for living this long. Your primary targets are secret radar installations 
hidden throughout enemy lands. While you're at it, Flight Command 
wants you to bomb railroads, sink ships, and destroy planes. This 
mission is so top secret that enemy headquarters found out about 
it weeks ago and has prepared for your attack. While Flight Command 
tells you it has complete confidence in you, the chaplain picks up 
a phone to call your next of kin.

Mission Eight: NIGHT RUN

The enemy is on the run. The allies may actually win this war. All 
you have to do is fly over enemy cities and mountains in the dark 
of night without being detected so you can knock out the last remaining 
radar installations in the heart of enemy territory.

The enemy expects the allies to attempt this mission. Every plane 
the enemy has is patrolling the sky looking for you. They know you'll 
be hard to see, so they're firing missiles at random, hoping to destroy 
Blue Lightning. If you shoot back they'll see you for sure. The entire 
war depends on your success.


The war is almost over. Allied troops have pinned down the last enemy 
camps but the battle rages on. Even though your prematurely gray 
hair is falling out in clumps and the Air Force shrink recommended 
that you avoid the stress of combat, Flight Command has ordered you 
to complete one more mission. This one could win the war.

You must fly over the battlefields and destroy enemy camps, without 
accidentally destroying friendly outposts. Lucky for you the allied 
forces are painted blue. Unfortunately Blue Lightning's computer is
color blind and locks on to friendly units as well as enemy units.
Destroy the enemy but don't help them by shooting allies. How's that 
tar stress?


Use the first mission to become familiar with Blue Lightning's controls. 
Learning to fly and shoot with split-second timing is essenhal to 
survival. Spend some time flying around and between ground obstacles. 
You will need these skills to complete certain missions.

Fire missiles as soon as the computer locks on to a target. The computer 
may actually lock on to several targets at once. In that case, fire 
as many missiles as necessary. Obviously, this is not necessarily 
the best plan of action in some missions.

Don't waste missiles on targets you can shoot with the cannon. Running 
out of missiles may cause you to miss an important target.

Fire your cannon when enemy jets appear from behind you. Try to blast as
many jets as possible out of the sky before they have a chance to attack.

Learn to use your afterburners to catch up with enemy planes or get 
away from enemy missiles.

Pay attention to the movement patterns of enemy jets. Learn to predict 
the direction an enemy jet will fly so you can quickly blow it out 
of the sky and concentrate on your next target.


You receive points for everything you blow away. The targets vary 
from mission to mission. The list below contains the most frequently 
seen targets and their point values.

Missile .......... 200 points
Artillery ........ 350 points
Plane ............ 500 points
Tank ............. 750 points
Ships and subs ... 750 points
Radar bases ...... 900 points

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