BATTALION(1)                General Commands Manual               BATTALION(1)

       battalion - a giant monster game

       battalion [ -alone ] [ -backdrop ] [ -detail level ] [ -music ] [
       -sound ] [ -help ]

       battalion is a giant monster game where you are a giant monster
       fighting to survive against the military while causing as much
       destruction as you can.

       You can choose to be one of four possible monsters: Googelon, Techs,
       the Vapour or Flutter:

            Googelon        An idealistic young monster from Osaka bay heads
                            off to America to seek his fortune.

            Techs           A communications satellite gains consciousness
                            while broadcasting a Sam Peckinpah retrospective.
                            After several more hours studying the films of
                            Sergio Leone and John Woo, Techs heads down to
                            Earth, ready to integrate into society.

            the Vapour      A dangerous experiment on a college campus goes
                            terribly wrong an the vapour escapes from a dorm
                            room after a really excellent party.

            Flutter         A bug zapper is accidentally cross connected to
                            the atomic pile of a nuclear reactor. A thunderous
                            ZAP! The sky is filled with blue light ...  and
                            something else.

       Your sudden arrival caught the military off guard, but they're on their
       way.  The military is equipped with Tanks, Rocket Launchers, Maser-
       Tanks, Helicopters, Jet Fighters, and Bombers.  More powerful weapons
       are currently under development and will be deployed against you when
       available.  And if the situation looks hopeless ...

       Your current health is displayed in a coloured bar at the top left
       corner of the screen. You lose energy when you move, activate your
       weapon, or get hit. You slowly regenerate energy throughout the game.
       When your energy runs out, you die and the game is over.

       You get points for destroying military vehicles and buildings (but not

       -alone          Battle without the aid of other monsters.

       -backdrop       Run without the textual overlays, making battalion more
                       suitable for use as a backdrop or a screensaver.

       -detail level   Select the rendering quality from 0 (low) through 1
                       (med) to 2 (high).  The Mesa version of battalion
                       defaults to level 0 and the OpenGL version to level 2.

       -music          Turn on the background music at startup.

       -sound          Turn on sound effects at startup.

       -help           Show a listing of the command line options.

       Battalion starts out in demo mode, cycling through the monsters and
       unleashing them upon a small unsuspecting town. The monsters aren't
       very bright but demo mode will give you an idea what you are up
       against. When you want to get in on the fun, press the spacebar.  You
       can then choose your monster and start senselessly destroying things.

       The 1, 2, 3 keys control your view:

            1         Monster view. You see the battlefield from the monster's
                      point of view.

            2         Overview. You see an overview of the battlefield. The
                      i,j,k,l keys rotate the battlefield in this view.

            3         Army view. You see the battlefield from one of the
                      military vehicles attacking you.

       The mouse and the arrow keys move the monster:

            Mouse forward/up arrow        moves monster forwards

            Mouse backward/down arrow     moves monster backwards

            Mouse right/right arrow       turns monster to its right

            Mouse forward/left arrow      turns monster to its left

       The left mouse button and the 'ctrl' keys on the keyboard activate the
       monster's weapon.

       The 'a' and 'z' keys on the keyboard tilt the monster's head up and

            'a' key             tilts the monster's head down

            'z' key             tilts the monster's head up

       You can resize/iconify the battalion window as you like. The game is
       paused while it is iconified.

       The d (detail) key steps through the detail modes -1, 0, 1, and 2
       (vector, low, medium, high), and can also be set at startup using the
       -d option. Mode 1 is the default on SGI machines with mode 0 as the
       default on all other systems. Mode -1 (vector) simulates what the game
       would look like as a vector-graphics game. Mode 0 (low) removesd some
       detail to speed up the game. Mode 1 (medium) is the satandard graphics
       mode.  Mode 2 (high) will make the graphics look better (with fog,
       transparent explosions, and a bit of texture mapping) but will play

       The h key activates displays the showcase help file (which contains the
       same information as this man page, but with lots of pretty pictures.)
       The game is temporarily halted while you are viewing help.  SGI version
       only. If you are running battalion on a Sun or with Linux then you can
       view the help files as individual GIFs in the help directory.

       The g key can be used to toggle pointer grabbing, which keeps the mouse
       pointer inside the battalion window.

       The m key turns the background music on/off. Music will slow the game
       down slightly; and I wouldn't recommend running any other sound-
       intensive programs at the same time as battalion.  The Solaris version
       of battalion includes very basic audio support - the music samples are
       not synchronized, and battalion blocks the audio device while it is

       The p key turns pause on/off. Pause freezes the action (you can't move,
       and neither can the army) but the other controls (123,ijkl,dhmpsv) are
       still active.

       The s key turns the sound on/off. Sound will slow the game down
       slightly; and I wouldn't recommend running any other sound-intensive
       programs at the same time as battalion.  The Solaris version of
       battalion includes very basic audio support, and battalion blocks the
       audio device while it is running.

       The v key turns 3D video on/off. If you have a pair of 3D glasses
       attached to your computer and a capable monitor you will see the game
       in 3D. The size of the 3D area will match the size of your current 2D
       window, allowing you to speed up the 3D game by shrinking the size of
       your window before invoking 3D video. SGI GL version only.

       The high score file is kept in /usr/tmp/battalion_hiscore. If you wish
       to use a different directory, you can set it using the
       BATTALIONSCOREDIR environment variable.

       If the environment variable BATTALIONSCOREUNIQUE is set, the number of
       high score entries per user is limited to only one (the top entry).

       The networking code allows multiple monsters to collaboratively or
       competitively rampage through the same city. For a collaborative
       session there is a single server and multiple clients which can be
       started in any order. The server uses the -network parameter to declare
       itslef a server and the -port #### to declare what port number is being
       used (default is 6000.) The clients use the -client parameter to delare
       themselves to be clients, -host <ip address> to give the location of
       the host, and -port #### to match the server's port.

       For example the server could be started as "battalionO -net -port 6000"
       on machine akemi. A client wishing to join would be started as
       "battalionO -client -host akemi -port 6000". The host machine IP
       address can also be specified instead of its name.  SGI and Linux (and
       probably Sun) versions only.

       No giant monsters were harmed during the development of this game.

       Andrew Johnson

                                  August 1996                     BATTALION(1)