AtariAge Logo 2600
  Have You Played Atari Today? 2600|5200|7800|Lynx|Jaguar|Forums|Store  



Stellar Track - Sears - Atari 2600    Manual Scan icon HTML Manual   

Stellar Track
Stellar Track

Game Instructions


1. History of the Interstellar Conflict
2. Mission Objective
3. Console Controls
4. Using the Joystick
5. Mission Overview
6. Galaxy Map
7. Long Range(LR) Scan
8. Short Range(SR) Scan
9. Warp
10. Photon Torpedo
11. Phasors
12. Damage
13. Status Report
14. Starbase Docking
15. Aliens
16. Mission Summary
17. Command Summary

1. History of the Interstellar Conflict

It is 2000 years since the unification of our planet and we "Terrans" have 
peacefully excelled in art, philosophy, and science.  Our technology has 
mastered all but one problem, the hyperwarp drive (which would allow us to 
travel to other planets).  Trapped in our own solar system for lack of the 
hyperwarp drive, there seems to be no way out until we are discovered by 
extraterrestrial life.  These "Aliens" are anxious to trade their hyperwarp 
technology for Terran art and science to revitalize their stagnant culture.

As time passes we Terrans expand out empire through interstellar trade and the
use of hyperwarp technology.  Increasingly the Terrans and Aliens compete over
the riches of the universe.  We develop phased energy weapons (PHASORS) and 
force shields, while the Aliens insist on escorting their merchant envoys with
warships.  Tension begins to grow.

The Terran government, directed by the House of Viceroys, decides to build and
indestructible Starfleet and two Galactic Starbases to insure cosmic military 
supremacy.  With the invention of a deadly photon-launcher and the virtual 
invisibility of the starbases (their location is a closely guarded secret), we 
Terrans feel that a single Super Warship can keep the scattered Alien fleet in
check.  You are the captain and sole commander of that warship.

While the Viceroys are relaxing and confident of our military superiority, the
Alien Council of Elders rule that the Terran culture has to be destroyed.  This
is to be done before Alien dominance in the heavens is lost.  As the commander,
you must throw back the Alien invasion.

2. Mission Objective

The object of your mission is to destroy the Aliens in the galaxy with PHOTONS 
or PHASORS before they destroy you.  If you run out of time (STARDATES) or fuel
(ENERGY), we Terrans are lost!

NOTE:  The complexity of STELLAR TRACK will make it necessary for you to 
periodically refer to this manual during your first several missions.  It's 
also a good idea to use a note pad and pencil to keep track of vital 
information during each mission.

3. Console Controls

GAMES SELECT/GAME RESET:  These switches both have the same function, which is
to randomly select the size of a new mission.  There are two factors which 
vary with each mission.  One is the number of STARDATES you have and the other
is the number of Aliens you must destroy to win.  Press down either switch to 
change and/or select the size of each mission.  Continue depressing either 
switch until you select the size mission you want.

NOTE:  The best missions to start out with are those with approximately 25 to 
35 Aliens, and the most STARDATES you can find.


RIGHT PLAYER SKILL switch:  This switch controls you shield strength of damage
probability.  In the NOVICE position, the probability of damage is lower.  In 
the EXPERT position, the probability is twice as high.

LEFT PLAYER SKILL switch:  This switch controls your phasor strength.  In the 
NOVICE position, your PHASORS, or energy units, are twice as powerful as the 
Aliens phasor strength.  In the EXPERT position, you PHASORS are equal in 
strength to the Alien's phasors.

4. Using the Joystick

Use one of your Joystick with this Tele-Games(r) Cartridge.  Be sure to plug 
the controler cable firmly into the left jack at the back of your Video 
Arcade(tm).  Hold the controller with the red button to your upper left toward
the television screen.  See page 4 of your owner's manual for further details.

Once you have selected the size mission you want, press the red controller 
button to start.  The GALAXY MAP command will appear (flashing) toward the 
bottom of the screen.  In total, there are seven commands available.  These 
commands are selected with the Joystick, then entered with the controller 
button.  Each command is displayed (flashing) on the screen as you move the 
joystick right or left.
         MOVE LEFT                         MOVE RIGHT
         ----------                        -----------
         Galaxy Map                            Galaxy Map
         Warp                                      Warp
         Status                                    Long Range(LR)
         Short Range(SR)                       Scan
             Scan                                  Phasors
         Photon                                    Photon
         Phasors                                   Short Range(SR)
         Long Range(LR)                        Scan
            Scan                                    Status

You won't know which commands to use (and especially in what order to use 
them), until you learn more about each one through these instructions.  
Remember for now that when the command you want to use is displayed on the 
screen, you must press the red controller button to enter it.

NOTE:  Also keep in mind that you must press the red controller button whenever
you are finished reading a particular display and are ready to continue with 
another command.

5. Mission overview

So far you've been given some basic information on (1) the history of the war;
(2) your overall mission objective; (3) how to select the size of a mission; 
(4) how to get the mission started; and (5) how to use the Joystick to display 
the various commands.

This information alone addresses only the beginning of your mission.  Now you 
must learn how and when you use each command.  You must also learn how to deal
with other mission factors, such as the difference between a quadrant and a 
sector, what a starbase can do for you, and so on.


The galaxy is divided into 36 quadrants, and each quadrant is divided into 64 
sectors.  It may help to think of the quadrants as states, and the sectors as 
cities within those states (quadrants).

The general flow of you mission is as follows:
    1.  Use the LONG RANGE(LR) SCAN to see which quadrants contain Aliens 
          and/or starbases.
    2.  Use the WARP command to travel or jump among the quadrants and sectors 
          as you go after Aliens and starbases.
    3.  Use the SHORT RANGE(SR) SCAN to see which sectors contain Aliens and 
    4.  Use PHOTON/PHASORS to destroy Aliens.
    5.  Use the STATUS command to keep track of Aliens remaining, time left 
          (STARDATES), ENERGY remaining, and damage to your ship.
    6.  Use starbases to refuel and repair damage to your ship.
    7.  Use the GALAXY MAP to coordinate the entire mission.
    8.  Use a note pad to keep track of all of the above.

NOTE:  All commands and other mission detail are explained in greater detail 
  later in these instructions.

If you destroy all the Aliens, you mission is successful and you receive a 
is based on how much time and energy it takes you to destroy the enemy.  The 
less you use, the higer your ranking.  You're ranked at the end of a mission 
regardless of how it ended.  Naturally, if you saved the galaxy, your rank 
tends to be higher.  However, if you waste resources to win, you might still 
be reduced to CADET!

If you run out of time (STARDATES) or fuel (ENERGY), the Terrans must surrender
to the Aliens.

IMPORTANT:  The color of the screen tells you who or what is in the quadrant 
you are currently occupying.
    GREEN   = empty
    RED     = Aliens
    GREY    = starbase

When you are in a quadrant containing both Aliens and a starbase, the screen 
will be red.  Once you destroy the Aliens in that quadrant the screen will 
turn grey.

6. Galaxy Map

The GALAXY MAP is a 6x6 chart which starts out empty at the beginning of each 
mission.  Each time you scan on of the 36 quadrants, that quadrant will show up
on the GALAXY MAP the next time it is displayed.  A scanned quadrant shows a 
two-digit number on the GALAXY MAP.  The left digit indicates the number of 
Aliens in that quadrant.  The right digit tells you whether a starbase exists 
in that quadrant (See Figure 2 [screen shot omitted]).

As an example, an entry of 21 indicates two Aliens and a starbase in the 
quadrant.  Keep in mind that although some commands use time or energy, 
calling the GALAXY MAP is completely free.

7. Long Range (LR) Scan

CAUTION:  The LR SCAN looks similar to the GALAXY MAP, and it is easy to 
confuse the two of them.

The LR SCAN is a 6x6 chart which shows the contents of the quadrant you are in,
plus all adjoining or adjacent quadrants.  As with the GALAXY MAP, the 
information is presented as a two digit number.  The left digit tells you the 
number of Aliens in the quadrant; the right digit tells you whether a starbase
exists in the quadrant.  (See Figure 3 [screen shot ommitted])

The LR SCAN does not use energy or startime.  However, when you are in a 
quadrant with Aliens, they will fire at you (one by one) after you use the LR 

Note that the LR SCAN shows adjacent quadrants while the GALAXY MAP 
cumulatively displays all the quadrants you have scanned.

8. Short Range (SR) Scan

Each quadrant contains 64 sectors.  The SR SCAN is an 8x8 chart which enables 
you to see exactly what is contained in you quadrant by showing you what is 
in each of the 64 sectors.  Figure 4 [screen shot ommitted] shows you what you
might find in a typical SR SCAN, as well as what the various objects look like.
A SR SCAN fills in the GALAXY MAP for the current sector only.

[NOTE-- You look similar to the Enterprise, Aliens similar to X-Wing fighters,
Stars look like asterix, and starbases look like circles with dots at their 

You must use the SR SCAN to find out exactly where the enemy is, or where a 
starbase is.  It does not use energy or startime, but like the LR SCAN, any 
Aliens in your quadrant will fire at you (one by one) after you use it.

9. Warp

The Warp command is used to move your ship from one quadrant to another, or 
from one sector to another.  Using the WARP command is expensive - it uses 

Warping among quadrants -- STARTIME used = one STARDATE for each quadrant jumped
                             ENERGY used = 100 units for each quadrant jumped
Warping amoung sectors   -- This manuever costs 10 units of ENERGY for each 
                            sector jumped but uses no STARDATES.

How to WARP:
  1. Using the Joystick, display the WARP command on the screen.
  2. Then enter the COURSE number which is the direction you want to travel.
      This is done by moving the Joystick right or left.  There are eight 
      possible directions to move (with corresponding numbers), as shown in 
      Figure 5.  When the number you want is displayed (flashing) on the 
      screen, press the red controller button to enter it.
  3. Next enter the FACTOR numbers, which represent the distance in quadrants 
      and sectors you want to travel.  Move the Joystick right or left to 
      change the numbers on the screen.  Then press the controller button to
      enter the numbers.  The first (left) number indicates how many quadrants
      to jump.  The second (right) number indicates how many sectors you want 
      to jump.

      Remember, when moving within the same quadrant (sector to sector), you 
      must enter "0" for the first number since you do not want to move 
      quadrants, only sectors.

            FIGURE 5:
               8  |  2
                \ | /
              7 - O - 3
                / | \
               6  5  4

WARNING:  You cannot WARP through a star in your quadrant.  If you try, you 
will lose the stardates and energy required for the WARP.

When you successfully WARP into another quadrant the STATUS report 
automatically appears on the screen.  If you fail to WARP successfully, you 
will hear a loud buzz sound and the screen will remain unchanged (you tried to
warp through a star).

10. Photon Torpedo

Your PHOTON Torpedoes are one of two weapons you have to destroy Aliens.  The 
other weapon is your PHASORS, explained in the next section.

You start with nine torpedoes.  All nine torpedoes are automatically replaced 
whenever you dock at a starbase.  See Section 14 - STARBASE DOCKING.

There are eight different directions (COURSEs) you can fire PHOTON Torpedoes 
(see Figure 7 [same as figure 5]).  Your ship must be directly in line (right,
left, up, down, or diagonally) with an Alien to successfully hit it with a
torpedo (see Figure 8 [screen shot ommitted]).  You cannot shoot through a 
star or out of one quadrant and into another.

How to Use:
   1. Select the PHOTON command using you joystick.
   2. Enter the COURSE (direction) number in the same manner you enter the WARP
       COURSE number.
   3. Press the red controller button to fire.

Using your PHOTON Torpedoes requires no ENERGY or STARDATES.  The Alien is 
always destroyed when hit by a PHOTON Torpedo.  Any undestroyed Aliens in the 
quadrant will fire back after you use a PHOTON Torpedo.

11. Phasors

Your PHASORS are an energy weapon.  A PHASOR blast can cause damage, or 
destroy an Alien if strong enough. You must hit an Alien with more energy than
he has to destroy him.  (All Aliens start with 99 units of energy, see Section 
15 - ALIENS.)


The power for your PHASORS comes from your ENERGY supply.  Think of your 
PHASORS as a flashlight beam with great power close and less power further 
away.  The close the enemy, the less power you need to destroy him.

How to Use:
   1. Select the PHASORS command using your Joystick.
   2. Assign the energy (PHASOR UNITS TO FIRE?) using a three-digit number.  
       You must enter three numbers for it to work.  The energy fired will be 
       deducted from your ENERGY supply.
   3. After entering the last (third) number by pressing the red controller 
       button, the PHASORS will automatically fire.
       You must fire once (press the red controller button) for each Alien in 
       the quadrant.

After firing your PHASORS you recieve a message saying ALIEN DESTROYED, or, 
  1. How much energy hit the Alien (UNIT HIT).
  2. The coordinates of the Alien that was hit.
  3. How much energy the Alien has left.

NOTE:  If more than one Alien is present, the energy will be divided between 
  them.  Any undestroyed Aliens will fire back at you.

HINT:  Use a note pad to calculate the minimum energy required to destroy 

12. Damage

Aliens in your quadrant will fire on you only after they detect a maneuver on 
your part.  Teir sensors are unable to detect when you use the STATUS or 
GALAXY MAP, so these are the only "free" moves.  All other actions antagonize 
the Aliens to return fire, which can damage one of five ship functions:

Your STATUS Report will show "OK" if a function is undamaged, a negative number
will show how many STARDATES must be used up before that function is repaired.
For example, if a ship function shows -3, then three STARDATES must be used up
before you may use it again.

Docking at a starbase repairs all damage to your ship, regardless of STARDATES.
If you try to use a ship function, the computer will respnd with a buzz and 
the command will not be entered.

Your ENGINES are a special case when it comes to damage.
  1. You cannot leave a quadrant with damaged ENGINES.
  2. To fix damaged ENGINES, enter a WARP command for the same number of 
      quadrants as STARDATES needed to repair the damage.
  3. Instead of moving quadrants, your ship will move only the number of 
      sectors entered for quadrants.
  4. Although STARDATES and ENERGY will be deducted, your ENGINES will be 
      repaired and you can leave the quadrant.

13. Status Report

[table describing a typical status report ommitted. If you need help with this,
 you probably will have trouble with the game anyway.]

NOTE:  Calling up the STATUS Report does not use any ENERGY or STARDATES.

14. Starbase Docking

Docking at a starbase repairs all damage to your ship.  This procedure provides
you with a new supply of ENERGY(3000 units).  It also replaces all 9 of your 
PHOTON Torpedoes.

To dock at a starbase, WARP to the same quadrant and sector as the starbase.  
This places you virtually on top of the starbase.

There are always two starbases in the galaxy.  Starbases are randomly placed at
the beginning of each mission.  They never move and are never destroyed.

If your ship recieves damage while you are docked, you must back off the 
starbase and then back on to it for repairs and refueling.

15. Aliens

All Aliens start each mission with 99 units of energy.  If you leave an Alien 
in a quadrant and then return later, he will be refueled to 99 units of energy
(if damaged) and it is very likely the he will have moved.

When you are in a quadrant with an Alien or Aliens*, you and the enemy take 
  1. You WARP into a quadrant containing an Alien, then you use your SR SCAN 
       to find him -
  2. The Alien will then fire at you.
  3. You execute another command -
  4. The Alien fires again.
  5. You execute another command -
  6. The Alien fires again, and so on.

Each time an Alien fires at you, you recieve a report on how much of a hit you
took as well as how much ENERGY you have left.

*If there is more than one Alien in a quadrant with you, each Alien takes his 
  turn before it becomes your turn.

16. Mission Summary

You now have all the vital information necessary to begin your first missions 
into space.  Remember that STARDATES are finite or limited for each mission.  
If you run out of STARDATES without destroying all the Aliens, your mission 
will be unsuccessful.

Along the same line of thought, don't waste your WARPS.  They cost you 
STARDATES, which are one of the most important miussion factors you have to 
deal with.

Check your STATUS Report and GALAXY MAP often.  They do not cost you any time 
(STARDATES) or ENERGY, and they are important sources of information.

Keep in mind where the starbases are and use them strategically as you journey
through the galaxy.  Also, don't be in a hurry making your commands.  Careful 
thought along with some minor calculations will be valuable assets in your 
missions.  Good luck and see you in space.

17. Command Summary

Ship Function              Cost
------------            ----------
GALAXY MAP                 FREE
STATUS                     FREE
PHOTON                     PHOTON & TURN
PHASORS                    ENERGY & TURN
WARP                       ENERGY, STARDATE(S) & TURN
SR SCAN                    TURN
LR SCAN                    TURN

[course directions and screen colors ommitted]

-------------------Atari 2600 Instructions Archive-------------------

This document obtained from the History of Home Video Games Homepage, �1997-1998 by Greg Chance