Monday, June 08, 2009


Wrote this in a burst of inspiration last night, then decided that it was worth blagging.

Hello! WELCOME to the instructional guidebook for Arcturus Systems' M-series; the #1 premier exo-suits available, from Old Terra to the far moons of Sirius IV! These instructions are designed for the M-2c, the most affordable economy suit available, equipped with an air tank capable of holding ONE FULL MINUTE of oxygen. That means that if you spend just SIXTY SECONDS outside a breathable environment, your air will run out; you will GASP, CHOKE, and STRUGGLE DESPERATELY on FAILING LIMBS to reach the NEAREST AIRLOCK, COLLAPSING just INCHES from the HATCH. As your consciousness FADES into the ETERNAL BLACKNESS of DEATH, your LAST THOUGHTS will be that you were TOO STUPID TO LIVE.

And you'll be right!

Arcturus Systems recommends that, for a HAPPY and FULLY SATISFYING USER EXPERIENCE, all extra-atmospheric jaunts be conducted with APPROPRIATE CAUTION.

All Arcturus Systems Exo-Suits are equipped with a fully functional o2 status light, indicating the current quantity of oxygen available. But perhaps you're too stupid to figure out what the pretty lights mean on your own. However are you to remember? Try memorizing this simple rhyme!
Light is Green: No Danger Seen
Light is Yellow: Turn Back Young Fellow
Steady Red: Feel Great Dread
Blinking Red: You Are Dead

Now you'll be ready for any circumstance! Arcturus Systems: Helping You, Tomorrow.



Arcturus Systems has given YOU, user of the M-2c exo-suit, an INNOVATIVE, GROUND-BREAKING new VISUAL SYSTEMS ARRAY. Using ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY, your suit visor will display a SYMBOLIC, BIRDS-EYE VIEW of your surroundings, allowing you a COMPLETE, 360-DEGREE RANGE OF VISION and letting you survey an ENTIRE REGION at a GLANCE. (Limited radius applies.) ENJOY!

(Unsubstantiated and scurrilious rumours claim that our choice of a tiny, purple dot to represent the user of the suit is intended to diminsh the user's ego, self-confidence, and sense of worth and/or meaningfulness in the universe. This is COMPLETELY FALSE. Most purchasers of our M-2c economy-line suit are simply WORTHLESS, and the display, per Arcturus Systems' REPUTATION FOR QUALITY, accurately reflects this.)


You may be CONCERNED about the fact that while wearing this suit, YOU CANNOT MOVE YOUR ARMS OR LEGS and seem to be trapped in a CRAMPED, METAL COFFIN. You are! But it's all right. By INFORMED USE of our WELL-DESIGNED SYSTEMS, you'll be TWITCHING YOUR LIMBS IN COORDINATED PATTERNS again in no time!


Take your cursor. Click on a point on your suit-visor's display. Watch as you move towards the point. Feel the suit lurch into motion as if you weren't even in it, forcing your arms and legs to follow its cybernetic whims. Well done! Now you're a MASTER of MOTION!

(You can also DRAG the cursor for continuous control of direction and destination.)


Is there an airlock near you? CLICK on it. Feel your suit manipulate your flesh-body like a MARIONETTE, automatically cycling the chamber and moving to the other side, stripping any pathetic vestige of control you had over your OWN BODY from you in the process.

Now you're outside! (And, assuming, you managed to follow the 21 simple instructions for properly sealing your suit, detailed on pages 8-13 of this manual, you are not currently dying of decompression.) Well done! You now know how to INTERACT with your surroundings.



You may, from time to time, wish to face in a different direction from the one in which you are moving. For instance: while admiring a sunrise over the rim of a canyon on an alien world, while simultaneously stepping AWAY from the rim of said canyon. Or, while in combat! (See COMBAT, below.) On these occasions, use either the ARROW keys or WASD to STRAFE. It's so easy, even a MOLLUSK could do it! (Users are recommended not to wait until they are at the rim of a canyon to attempt this technique, to prevent CONFUSION OF CONTROLS and accidental FALLING IN.)


Combat advice for users of the M-2c economy exo-suit follows.

DO NOT ENGAGE IN COMBAT. Your suit, a fine product of ARCTURUS SYSTEMS, is not rated for combat. Combat features include:
  • no armour.
  • no extra-visual (IR/UV/Echolocation) sensing suites.
  • no combat-drug dispensers/injectors.
If you engage in combat with any but the most pathetic of foes, you will likely either DIE or suffer a potentially fatal SUIT PUNCTURE. This is NOT RECOMMENDED.

In the event that you are forced to engage in combat, use the number-keys 0-9 to select a weapon. (0 will activate the built-in suit stunner; other numbers will activate weapons you have purchased or otherwise acquired.) Once you have chosen your weapon, RIGHT-CLICK to fire in the direction of your cursor. Results will vary by gun.

If you find you are unable to fire, don't panic! You are very likely just out of ammo. If you have more ammo for your current weapon, press 'r' to reload. (Easy to remember!) Otherwise, try switching to another weapon. Remember: your suit-stunner will NEVER run out of ammo. It's powered by bio-electric energy; in other words, it SUCKS THE LIFE FORCE OUT OF YOU to fire. It'll only fail once you're dead! Another fine ARCTURUS SYSTEM product.

Should you find yourself engaged in combat with armed enemies, RUN AWAY. Failing that, it may be advisable to STRAFE to avoid their fire. Ideally, this will allow you to evade some proportion of their fire, which would likely otherwise PIERCE your suit and induce PAINFUL DEATH. Failing that, it may at least CONFUSE YOUR FOES, causing them to FURROW THEIR BROWS (assuming they have brows) as they watch your sideways, CRAB-LIKE SCUTTLING.

(Do you actually want to survive a fight? Buy the Arcturus Systems M-17 Dreadnought: 5 tons of armoured might! Arcturus: Like a tank.)


If your suit is severely damaged, it will begin to LEAK OXYGEN, causing your already LIMITED RESERVES to deplete EVEN FASTER, and potentially consigning you to a LONELY DEATH. Luckily, all modern exo-suits, and the M-2c economy exo-suit, are equipped with an automatic SUIT-REPAIR FUNCTION for just such contingencies. In case of puncture, press 'p' to begin the auto-repair process, and your suit will AUTOMATICALLY STICH ITSELF TOGETHER over several seconds. You will be immobilized for the duration of the procedure, so if you are STILL IN DANGER, this may be a VERY BAD IDEA. Arcturus Systems recommends you exercise your JUDGEMENT. (Assuming user possesses judgement.)


IT IS POSSIBLE that YOU, purchaser of this M-2c ECONOMY-BRAND ARCTURUS EXO-SUIT, have for whatever reason embarked on a dangerous voyage to an UNEXPLORED ALIEN WORLD. What strange, alien creatures might you encounter there? Here are some possibilities!

ROLLING TURTLE. Protected by an ARMOURED SHELL, this THREE-WHEELED XENOMORPH is a PEACEFUL HERBIVORE, and poses NO THREAT to even someone like YOU. Excellent in a fricassee.

FLYING WATERBAT. Equally at home in the AIR, on the GROUND, or beneath the WAVES, this small NEO-MAMMAL prefers to prey upon SMALL INSECTS, and is only dangerous in FLOCKS. If attacked, try to repel it without damaging its CHEST MEMBRANES, as they secrete DEADLY ACID. Try it fried and breaded with chiles.

INTERGALACTIC DOOM-SQUID: I just MADE THESE UP. You're on an ALIEN WORLD. Why would I have any idea what's there?

Still: remember THIS. No matter what you find - no matter how strange it may look, how foreign to your experience it may be -

It will probably kill you.

Arcturus Systems enjoys your patronage, and hopes you return to one of our many emporiums soon.

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