The Fanatasy Role-Playing Game of Medieval Germany



Playing Darklands


Universal Controls and Menu Bar


Mice In Darklands

Darklands is designed for use with a mouse. It has keyboard equivalents for all operations, for those who lack a mouse or prefer using keys.

When using a mouse with two or more buttons, the standard button is the left button for clicking and dragging. If your mouse also has a right button, hold down that button to show the menu bar; keep it down to select options from the menus. When you release the right button, the selection occurs and the menu bar disappears.


Keyboard Cursors In Darklands

The arrow (cursor) keys are almost always enabled in Darklands. You can use them to move the highlight or target pointer, instead of the mouse.

In addition to the left, right, up and down arrow keys on most keyboards, Darklands also supports cursor movement from the numeric keypad. The advantage here is that not only do 2, 4, 6 and 8 correspond to down, left, right and up, but 1, 3, 7 and 9 correspond to the various diagonal directions, which is very useful in movement.


Character Access/Information Controls

In Darklands you can examine the "character information" for any character, at any time.

CHARACTER BOXES: The left side of the screen shows five boxes. In the top of each is the character's nickname. Below, on the left, is an illustration of the character as he or she appears in battle, and beneath that a single letter indicating the current combat orders or attack, if any.

The remainder of the box has three bar graphs, with numbers beneath. The left bar and number represents the character's current endurance (End). The center bar is the character's current strength (Str). The right bar is the character's current divine favor (DF). The bar graphs show the current value as a percentage of the maximum; the numbers below show the current absolute value.

If potions or saintly miracles raise a character's current endurance or strength above the normal maximum, a small "+" appears above the appropriate bar graph.

The party leader is denoted by special colored text in the character box.

MOUSE: To see information about a character, left-click anywhere within the character's box. To leave the information and return to play, left-click again in the box.

KEYBOARD: Function keys F1 through F5 select one of the five possible characters in your party. Tap the key once for information. F1 selects the topmost character, F2 the next character down, etc. F5 selects the character at the bottom. To leave character information and return to the game, tap the same function key again.


The Universal Menu Bar

Once you begin Darklands, a hidden "Universal Menu Bar" is always available across the top of the screen. To see this menu bar, either hold down the right mouse button or tap F10.

To "pull down" a menu from the various options on this bar, simply move the mouse (with the right button still down) or move the highlight (with the left/right cursor keys). In either case, the appropriate pull-down menu appears under that title.

To select an item from the pull-down menu, move the mouse to that item (with the right button still down) and release the right button. With a keyboard, move the highlight with the cursor keys to the desired option and tap the Return key.

MENU BAR SHORTCUTS: Some menu options have special key combinations for shortcuts. These are listed after the menu item. A menu bar shortcut is used instead of highlighting the menu option. Standard shortcut abbreviations used on the menu bar include:

alt: Hold down the ALT key while tapping the letter.
spc: Tap the Space bar.
Rtn: Tap the Return key.
Esc: Tap the Escape key.


The "Game" Pull-down Menu

SAVE GAME (alt s): This allows you to save the current game. You can type a short remark about the game. In addition, for general identification purposes the saved game always appends the date and general location. At some points saving is prohibited. In these situations "Save game" is faded and unavailable.

LOAD SAVED GAME (alt l): This allows you to reload a previously saved game. Simply move the highlight to select the desired game and either left-click or press Return.

DIFFICULTY: There are three levels of difficulty, which control many aspects of the game, including the amount of help available. The three levels are shown by a sub-menu, with a checkmark showing which is currently operating.

Basic provides the greatest help, but character improvement and fame rewards are somewhat smaller. This is recommended if Darklands is your first fantasy role-playing game.

Standard provides modest help, with average character improvement and fame rewards. This is recommended if you are familiar with fantasy role-playing games.

Expert provides almost no help, but your character improvement and fame rewards are larger than normal. This is recommended if you want greater challenges, or seek the best characters and highest fame, regardless of risk or cost.

See "Help and Difficulty Levels," below, for a more detailed discussion of these options.

SHOW CHANGES (alt c): This turns on and off messages about temporary skill and attribute changes caused by alchemical potions or prayers to saints. By default this is "on," and all changes appear. However, a few saints can cause so many changes that you wish to turn it off temporarily.

Permanent changes are always shown (such as skill increases caused by experience), regardless of this setting.

MUSIC: This option toggles background music on and off. If you see a checkmark, then the sound effects are currently on.

SOUND FX: This option toggles sound effects on and off. If you see a checkmark, then the sound effects are currently on.

VISUALS: There are three levels of visual presentation, with the current selection shown by a checkmark. This choice affects the way pictures are shown with various menus and messages.

Full visuals are the default selection and strongly recommended. It provides the full flavor of the game, and helps you envision medieval reality.

Quick visuals instantly fade into the background, without requiring a left-click or return. This option is provided as a convenience for impatient "high-speed" players.

None means that the pictures are suppressed. This option is intended for extremely slow computers or hard disks. Suppressing the pictures significantly increases game speed, but also damages the game's appeal and "flavor."

PAUSE (alt p): This instantly pauses the game, stopping any and all action. This is only useful in battle. Tap any key to resume.

QUIT (alt q): This option exits Darklands, and returns you to the operating system. The game is not saved. Be sure to select "Save game" before you quit.


The "Orders" Pull-down Menu

This menu is only used in battle, to give orders to individuals or�the party as a whole. See "Battle" for more information.


The "Attack" Pull-down Menu

This menu is only used in battle, to tell specific characters about which fighting tactic they should use. See "Battle" for more information.


The "Party" Pull-down Menu

PARTY INFO (F6): This shows you general information about the entire party. Tap any key or left-click the mouse to leave. See "Party Information," {** "pp20,"} for additional details.

SET AMBUSH (F7): This option sets or removes an ambush. When an ambush is set, your party will wait in ambush for an enemy. See "Travel and Interaction," {** "pp27,"} for details.

CAMP (F8): This option is available only when traveling through the countryside. It allows your party to make a semi-permanent camp. See "Travel and Interaction," {** "pp27,"} for details.


Help And Difficulty Levels

In Darklands the difficulty level controls the amount of help available. The easier the game, the more help that is available. However, as a reward for selecting the more difficult levels, character improvement occurs somewhat faster, and fame rewards are larger. Of course, with less help, your risks grow larger too.

Frequent changes in help level are ignored in Darklands. Advancement and rewards are based on the easiest level selected over the past few days or weeks (the exact time period varies, depending on how fast your party achieves certain goals). Just a brief "peek" at an easier difficulty level penalizes you for the entire period.

The "help" provided mainly occurs during interaction. When you hold down the Shift key, appropriate help information appears. See "Travel and Interaction, Interaction Menus," {** "pp27,"} for details.



Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 by MicroProse Software, Inc. All rights reserved.