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Avara Newbie Guide




Welcome to Captain Canuck's Avara Newbie Guide. This document is designed to help newbies get off the ground (no pun intended).


The Game

Switches

In one of the first levels (Traing Grounds II), you will come across your first switch. This is that red-triangle-with-a-green-triangle-under-it thingy. Once your targeting cursor - the thing that looks like this: - is on the switch, it will turn red. Hit the spacebar or click the mouse button to shoot it. Once the switch is hit, there will be some type of action or movement (usually you can hear it). This can be anything from a platform moving, a door opening, anything. In the case of TGII, a platform descends. Many times the reaction is timed, and will only stay positioned in this new way for a fixed amount of time before returning to it's original position. This means you have to move fast to complete the level.

Doors

There's not much to say about doors (unless I've missed something). Basically they open on a signal (such as a shot or a switch) and close on a signal (such as when you reach a certain spot or after a certain amount of time). I've even heard of a door that is opened only by UFOs.

UFOs

These are the most hated things in Avara (at least by me). They have no apparent shape and can rotate easily. Because of this, it is very easy for them to quickly turn and target you, and therefore, are very capable of killing you. They also seem to get rather easily incited and will start flying all over the place trying to blast you. "Goodness," you may be saying, "what did I do?"

Anyway, the trick to finishing these buggers off is to keep moving. NEVER, and I mean NEVER stay still when you abruptly hear what sounds like a hurricane wind coming up (that's the sound of their shots). One strategy that I have learned from other pilots is that you can usually dodge their shots and avoid being hit. If you jump right when their fire approaches within a few meters, it will land harmlessly on the ground under you. I find it easiest, when playing the levels that have a lot of these psycho's, to have a light hull. It is much easier to dodge what the enemy blows at you from their noses. The downside to this is that you are carrying fewer missiles and grenades and are lessed armed...I guess a medium craft would be about right.

Actually killing these UFO's isn't all that easy, especially for a newbie. The first thing you can do is to learn to control the HECTOR on the keyboard with one hand, and use the other hand with the mouse. The best weapon to use on UFO's is the missile. Notice that once a missile is loaded and is targeted on a UFO, an "X" appears on that UFO. This means that you have locked the missile on the target. Now even if you drag the targeting cursor thingy off the UFO, the "X" will remain. This is where it gets good: shoot, and the missile will curve and hit the UFO. Do that a few times. Unless the UFO has extra armor or something, it will be destroyed. Play the UFO levels again and again until you get the hang of killing them.

Guards

I guess you could say that guards are miniature UFOs that are implanted in a wall, meaning they can't move, only rotate. Basically they guard a territory preset by the mapmaker. When you get in range, they blast you.

There are two main strategies I've learned for killing guards. The first is simply by smashing it with a missile. Sure, you'll take a few shots, but one missile almost always kills a guard. The second strategy takes advantage of the fact that guards can't move, and won't shoot unless they know they will hit you. With that in mind, try this: Find a wall near where the guard is. Align yourself behind it, like in the picture below(fig1).


Figure 1

Figure 2

Aim your HECTOR east (to the right), but face south (down). Now zoom in with the "z" key where you know the guard will soon be visible (fig2).

Next move forward slowly, so that you get to the point where only a little bit of the guard is visible. It should look like this:

Figure 3

Now you get to experience the joy of pegging it off - Note that the same can be done for guards in a tower, like this:

Figure 4

Parasites

Parasites are very annoying little creatures. They like to cling on to you and drain all your energy. If possible, try to shoot them before they get to you. If they do happen to stick onto you, try and shoot them off. If your guns can't reach, use a booster, and they'll fall off dead.


Multiplayer Strategy

You've decided to play against some real people, I see. Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Never stay still for more than 1 or 2 seconds. You'll be nailed real quick.

  2. Remember that it's pointless just to shoot your opponent with one missile and then walk away, simply because his shields will eventually recharge, everything will be as it was, with you minus one missile. Once you've attacked, try and stay on your opponent. Try to kill him with multiple missiles and/or grenades, and then, with cannon shots if necessary.

  3. Grenades are lethal if used right. A few fired in rapid succession will easily kill your opponent. Learn the firing distance of your grenade launcher. Edit the keys for multiple firing. Once you know your opponent is in range, hit the key and damaging multiple grenades will be launched.

  4. Make sure not to waste boosters. On the other hand, make sure that you use all of them before you die (no point in being wasteful).

  5. Use stereo speakers or earphones. It's easier to tell where a shot comes from with directional sound.

  6. If you hear a missile coming for you, duck, then when it is close enough, jump. It will smash harmlessly into the ground. Remember, you will get better at this with practice.

Well, that's about all. Good luck out on the battlefield!


Andrew Roth
aka Captain Canuck
cm479@Freenet.Carleton.CA





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