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Rescue on Fractalus - Atari - Atari 5200     HTML Manual   




  • All right! Listen up! you've got a right to know why you're here -- why they suddenly need us Air Pilots.

  • A life and death struggle is raging throughout this grubby galactic quadrant. It's us against the Jaggies and they've just upped the stakes. They've dug in on Fractalus, the most inhospitable planet this side of the Kalamar system. It's a neat trick. Our highly trained Ethercorp pilots were holding their own in space battles, but down on Fractalus it's a different story. We're losing anywhere from five to fifty Space Pilots at a clip. Our job's to rescue those spacers.

  • Go ahead--laugh. I admit it's funny. Five years ago, the Corps couldn't phase us out fast enough. "No need for Air Pilots in Ethercorps," they said. "Those dogs have had their day." Well, great, but those Space Pilots can ONLY fly space. To be fair, they'll save us in the end, but now we have to save THEM--especially those golden "Ace Pilots." We can't win without them!

  • Here's how it works. They've rigged up a Mother Ship to ferry us within booster range of Fractalus. That's where it gets sticky. The Jaggies have got defenses on that planet--gun emplacements, saucers-- the works. And Fractalus is one hot cauldron of craggy mountains and canyons, covered by the worst air you've ever flown in. It's thick cyantric acid--it'll dissolve your flight suit within minutes. Finally, there's the planet's hyper rate of rotation. The nine minute days have driven more than one pilot nuts.

  • But there's good to go with the bad. You'll have Valkyrie Fighters, the best pure flyers we've got. And don't call them V-Wings--that's not correct terminology. To make room for those Space Pilots they had to strip out a lot of the offensive weaponry. But they did install a Dirac Mirror Shield. It can take a big hit, but you pay for each one out of your energy reserve.

  • The one offensive weapon they left us is hot: the AMB -- Anti-Matter Bubble -- Torpedo. It'll destroy a target if it hits anywhere near it!

  • Finally, each Valkyrie's been fitted with the Etheric Navigation System, a computer-enhanced viewscreen which overlays your forward main window. It lets you see where you're going in Fractalus' acid fog atmosphere.

  • That's it. Get going. Forget the past--just go get us a future.


  • Sorry. No time for a briefing now. Ethercop pilots are down--out of action. They need help--fast!

  • First, we toss you out of the Mother Ship, straight down to Fractalus. That part's all automatic. But you're on your own when you hit the atmosphere.

  • Your job is to fight through the Jaggi defenses and find stranded pilots. They won't be jumping up and down waving at you. So, use your instruments and viewscreen to find their crashed ships. They'll wait inside until you land in range.

  • The rescue's a snap. As son as you shut down your engines, the pilot will come running and knock on your rear airlock door. Let the spacer in.

  • When you pick up your quota of pilots, or run out of energy it's back to the Mother Ship. As you get better, we advance you to higher Levels--the more hellish parts of Fractalus.

  • Got it? Prepare for Mother Ship Launch.


    1. Insert your cartridge for Rescue on Fractalus! into your Atari 5200 SuperSystem. Turn on your system and TV. Place the overlay on your controller and plug it into jack 1.

    2. Set the difficulty level: Use the Level # key to raise the level; the Level * key to lower it.

    3. Press START to begin the game. Your ship will be launched automatically.

    4. Use the joystick to fly the Valkyrie Fighter when you enter the atmosphere of Fractalus. You'll know you're on your own when the message MANUAL appears at the top of the screen.

    5. Jaggi Gun Emplacements appear as green domes on the mountain peaks. Watch for cross hairs to appear on the Main Window when an enemy is near. Line the enemy up in the cross hairs on the Main Window or Targeting Scope. Launch a torpedo by pressing any of the red fire buttons.

    6. Locate a pilot by watching for a "blip" on the Long Range Scanner or a flashing green beacon on the surface of Fractalus. Fly towards the pilot keeping your ship's altitude low.

    7. Pilot in range: Watch the Long Range Scanner on your instrument panel. When the pilot "blip" is centered near the bottom of the Scanner, press the LAND (1) key to land the ship. Press the SYSTEMS (2) key to turn off your engines and shields. The screens will display: PILOT IN RANGE. If the pilot is not in range the screen displays: PILOT TOO FAR. Take off again by pressing THRUST (6) and move your ship closer.

    8. Rescue the pilot: Press the AIRLOCK (3) key to open the airlock when the pilot knocks on the door. The air lock automatically closes after the pilot climbs safely inside.

    9. Take off: Press THRUST (6), and search for the next downed pilot.

    10. The Mother Ship will return to your sector to check on your progress. If you're in trouble--low on energy, taking a lot of heat--the Mother Ship will try to show up sooner. When it's near, the Mother Ship light on the control panel will begin flashing and the message MOTHER SHIP! will appear at the top of the screen. If you've rescured your quota of pilots or are low on energy press the BOOSTERS (7) key to fire the boosters. Your ship will automatically leave Fractalus and dock with the Mother Ship.


             Event                      Point Value
    Each second of flight.......................1
    Gun emplacement destroyed.................100
    Saucer destroyed..........................250
    Pilot picked up...........................200
    Ace picked up............................2000
    Pilot returned to Mother Ship (bonus).....500
    Pilot returned over quota (bonus)........1000
    Level Completed...................Level X 200
  • Note: If you return to the Mother Ship before you have rescued your quota of pilots you may continue at the same level, but you will not receive a bonus for completing that level. If you continue at a lower level, you forfeit your previous score.


    1. Score
    Resets automatically when you begin a new game.

    2. Compass
    Gives you a sense of direction when making turns or finding your way back to an overflown pilot.

    3. Wing Clearance Bars
    Shows how far the nearest mountain is to the tips of your wings. Helpful for making tight turns in canyons.

    4. Thrust Level
    Shows your engine thrust level. The more lights turned on, the higher the thrust.

    5. Dangerous Altitude
    This column lights up when your ship moves close to the ground. All lights are lit when you land.

    6. Artificial Horizon
    Indicates your ship's current bank (left/right) and climb (up/down)

    7. Altimeter
    The red bar represents the attitude of the terrain. The light blue bar shows your ship's altitude. Your altitude above the ground is determined by the amount of light blue showing. If there isn't any light blue, you've either landed or crashed (or you're about to).

    8. Targeting Scope
    Targets Jaggi gun emplacements and saucers, and downed ships. When there is more than one object, the cross hairs target the closest one.

    9. Main Window
    Enhances visible light with computer imagery.

    10. Cross hairs
    Appear on the Main Window to target any visible enemy. A second set of cross hairs on the Targeting Scope is always displayed.

    11. Enemy Lock-On Indicator
    These lights flash while the lock-on system is analyzing stray radiation. When an enemy gun emplacement begins to lock up on to your ship, these lights go out, then turn on again one by one, starting at the left. When all six lights are on, the gun emplacements will fire. You can cause the gun emplacements to "lose lock" by evasive maneuvering.

    12. Energy Level Indicator
    Displays the energy level and changes color as your energy level is depleted; flashes and beeps when it gets critically low. Additional energy is available from each rescued pilot's energy cell. Your energy cells will be completely recharged each time you return to the Mother Ship.

    13. Long Range Scanner
    The Scanner picks up the pilot's emergency beacon and displays it as a blip. The V shape on the Scanner shows the field of view in front of your ship; your position is at the bottom of the V. When you are within two units of a downed pilot the Scanner will begin flashing and beeping continuously. Then you can pick up the pilot.

    14. Shields On
    This light indicates when your Dirac Mirror Shields--a low power version of the Mother Ship's invisibility shield--are activated and drawing power. The shield surrounds your craft with a powerful Dirac wave which reflects all known forms of energy-- however, it can't handle the side of a mountain at full throttle!

    15. Mother Ship
    This light flashes, a bleep sounds, and a MOTHER SHIP! message appears at the top of the display when the Mother Ship is in range. You should pick up more than half your quota of pilots before the ship reappears.

    16. Air Lock Open
    Light indicates when the air lock is open.

    17. Range to Pilot
    Shows the relative distance to the pilot indicated on the Long Range Scanner. When no pilot is sensed, "0" is shown.

    18. Enemies Destroyed
    Shows the number of gun emplacements and saucers you have destroyed.

    19. Pilot Quota/Rescued
    Shows the number of pilots you must rescue and bring back to the Mother Ship in order to advance to the next level. Every time you pick up a pilot, this number is decreased. It flashes when you've reached your quota and counts the number of pilots you've rescued beyond your quota. An admirable feat!



  • You control your Valkyrie Fighter with the joystick and number keys on the controller. Since your ship is a true flyer, go easy on the joystick. Experienced pilots make small adjustments with the joystick rather than forcing it from side to side.
      - START Starts the game

      - RESET Restarts the game from the beginning. The current score is lost. During the game, RESET only works after pressing PAUSE.

      - PAUSE Freezes the screen during a mission.

  • You can select eight different engine thrust levels. The faster you fly, the faster the Valkyrie Fighter responds to flight control. And the higher the game level the faster you fly! After you've landed, this key becomes your "launch key"--press it and your engines will lift you off the surface.


  • Decreases your ship's thrust, but doesn't turn off the engines.


  • Fires the booster rockets to return to the Mother Ship if it's orbiting in your planetary sector. You can't leave Fractalus without firing your boosters--you will only get as far as the upper reaches of the planet's dense cloud cover.

    1 LAND

  • When a pilot is in range, this key will put the ship into an automatic landing maneuver. If your altitude is too high, the message TOO HIGH will appear. Fly to a lower altitude and try again.


  • After you land, use this key to turn all systems on and off. If you leave your shields and engines on, the powerful energy field around your ship will burn any nearby life forms to a crisp. Knowing this, the downed pilots will not leave their ship until your engines are off. Don't turn the engines on again until the pilot is safely inside and the air lock door is closed.

    3 AIR LOCK

  • You must open the air lock doors to let the pilot inside. The air lock will automatically close when the pilot is safely inside the ship, or if the engines are turned on.

    0 DEMO

  • Press this key to observe video recordings of missions flown by Droidcraft (the screen message will read DEMO DROID). These droids are not skilled enough to rescue pilots. They are only used to clear out the dreaded Jaggi gun emplacements.

    Good luck!

    Increases starting level of game.

    Decreases starting level of game

    All FIRE buttons = Launch AMB Torpedo

    Bank                  Bank
    Left    <--   -->     Right



  • When you first land, you will hover on your shields a few centimeters above the ground. While "hovering" you can turn your ship towards the pilot's crashed ship. If you've managed to land in range, turn your systems off and you'll get the message PILOT IN RANGE. The downed pilot will now run towards your ship, even if you can't see him (if you can see his ship, you'll see the pilot). If you turn your systems on again before the pilot is safely inside your ship, the shield's high energy field will vaporize him!

  • If you land beyond a downed ship, the message SHIP OFF SCOPE will appear on the screen. If this happens, turn your systems back on-- don't lift off--note the current heading on the compass, and execute a 180 degree turn. If you are still too far away, use the thrusters to move within range.

  • Before taking off with your pilot, it's a good idea to destroy the wrecked ship. This will keep the Jaggies from stealing our technological secrets.


  • If you see a pilot wearing a purple helmet running towards you, you've just rescued an Ace Pilot. Ace Pilots are worth ten times more than a regular pilot--2000 points vs. 200 points. They are also packing more power in their energy cells. And they're rare--not many get shot down. After all, they ARE Aces!


  • When you first begin the game, you may select a level from 1 through 16. After you complete a mission, you will continue at a higher level; in fact, you may skip up to three levels at a time if you are extremely brave. The bonus for completing a level will be higher if you skip levels.

  • Levels 1 through 3 are training levels. For Level 1, you enter a sector of Fractalus that has been cleared of the dreaded Jaggies by our Droidcraft.

  • On Levels 2 and 3, you enter the planet's atomsphere above a region which has only a few Jaggie gun emplacements.

  • The higher levels (4 and above) you have more emplacements, saucers, and pilots, and the Jaggies become even more aggressive, tenacious, and accurate.

  • Levels 1 through 15 will take place near Fractalus' South Pole where it's summer during this time of year. This will save you from the mindshattering short day ordeal since the sun never sets on that part of the planet.


  • On Levels 2 and above, you will find Jaggi Gun Emplacements on the peaks of some mountains. These automated emplacements fire high-energy ion beams at your ship. You can avoid being hit with some slick evasive flying or by knocking out the emplacements. Your Dirac Mirror Shield will reflect most of the enery from a direct hit but your energy level will drop and you will be thrown off course.

  • Since gun emplacements will still be able to hit your ship while you are on the surface, be sure to destroy any in the vicinity before landing to rescue a pilot.


  • On Levels 4 and above, the enraged Jaggies will fly their inertialess saucers directly into you. These "suicide" saucers can either be shot down with your AMB torpedoes or dodged. If they hit your shields, they will drain off more energy than a gun emplacement hit. The saucers tend to occupy the higher altitudes, although they have been known to dive into the canyons when especially irritated.


  • On Level 16 and above, you'll be dropeed closer to Fractalus' equator. Here--as you streak through the nine minute days and nights--you'll have a chance to work on your NIGHT FLYING skills. When night flying, you're "flying blind," so to speak--there's not enough light to activate your Main Window viewscreen. So, you'll have to rely upon your instruments and wits alone.


    Powered by:    Twin 27,000 kg F-27 Firedrake 
                   afterburning turboject engines.
    Boosters:      Twin 80,000 kg ARD/VARC anti-
                   matter reaction drives.
    Wing span:     12.8 meters
    Wing area:     67.1 square meters
    Length:        18.4 meters
    Mass:          20,315 kg
    Max Cruising
    Speed:         8,640 km/h (mach 7.2)
    Range:         2,150 km at mach 3.4 cruise/climb
    Accomodation:  Crew of 1; 20 passengers
    Shields:       Dirac Mirror Shield
    Sensors:       Long Range Etheric Navigation 
    Armament:      Anti-Matter Bubble (AMB) Torpedo 
    First Flight:  February 29, 2184
  • Progressive development of the F-27 Firedrake yielded a small family of twin-engined, twin tailed, V-Wing designs. The largest of these, the Valkyrie Class Fighter, was originally used as a light bomber and ground attack craft, but has been modified for behind-the-lines combat in the Jaggi War of '84.


  • Flying rescue missions means defeating the stubborn Jaggi defenses. So, you may wonder: "Who are the Jaggies? What are the like? What if I'm captured by them?"

  • First, the name Jaggi is a short, pronounceable word for J'hagga Ri Kachatki--an "intelligent" life form from the star system Tepdi Vad Neroleil Rahcre, located in the distant, outlying dark sector of our galaxy.

  • Second, don't worry about being capture--they don't take prisoners. That much we do know about them. Experience also teaches us they're tenacious, suicidal fighters, choosing to do battle in the most inhospitable environments. Fractalus is an ideal example.

  • Although the Ethercorps have yet to capture or recover a complete Jaggi, we do have this report from Ethercorps intelligence.

  • Twenty hours ago, Lieutenant Ace, Yolea Malura, crashed on Fractalus. This morning, her Commander made Etherwave contact with her. This is a transcript of her final transmission:

  • "Lieutenant Malura to Mother Ship. Hope you can read me. I've been down here in this atmosphere so long it's starting to get to me. I kept the air locks closed as best I could, but they were pretty torn up.

  • "During the nights I see brief flashes of other ships fall to the surface, but during the days there's nothing to see but this awful yellow acid--smog. I had my shields on for awhile, until I realized the Jaggies could still track me. I'd fry anyone trying to rescue me... so I turned them off and waited. You'll never believe how LONELY it is down here, waiting--but it's not quiet. The acid makes a continuous sizzling sound, very faint but always there, as it eats away at the hull of my ship.

  • "Hey, what's that! I think I see a pilot running towards me! I knew you guys wouldn't let me down! Wait. There's something weird here. He doesn't look quite right--his helmet's green? Commander! We don't have any...MY GOD! What's's going to.... [scream]."

  • There was nothing more except Etherwave static. And we haven't been able to raise her on the Emergency Frequency. Get those spacers off that hellhole and fast!


  • RESCUE ON FRACTALUS! was created by the Lucasfilm Computer Division Games Group. David Fox directed the project and created the concept, transition scenes, animation, and documentation. Loren Carpenter of the Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Project did the 3-D fractal landscape image generation and co-created the concept. Charlie Kellner was responsible for animation, music, sound, and flight dynamics; Gary Winnick provided animation; David Levine provided support; and Peter Langston, the Games Group Leader, contributed to the concept and designed night flying, music, and sound. Special thanks to George Lucas.

    * Trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and Atari Corp.
    (c) 1984 Lucasfilm Ltd. and Atari Corp. All Rights Reserved.

    Rescue on Fractalus!, Fractalus, Ethercorps, Etheric Navigation System, Etherwave, Jaggi, Jaggies, J'hagga Ri Katchatki, Tepdi Vad Neroleil Rahcre, Modified Valkyrie Class Fighter, V-Wing, Firedrake, Droid, Droidcraft, ARD/VARC, Dirac Mirror Shield, Anti-Matter Bubble (AMB) Torpedo, Kalamar and the names of all their characters and game elements are trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. Atari, Corp. authorized user.

    Trademark and (c) 1984 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

    Atari 5200 and 7800 are trademarks of Atari, Corp., Sunnyvale, CA 94086.


    Typed by Keita Iida

    Used with permission from Atari Gaming Headquarters