Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday
From Sega Retro
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|Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive|
|Publisher: Electronic Arts|
|Developer: Strategic Simulations, Inc.|
|Licensor: TSR, The Dille Family Trust|
|Number of players: 1|
Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday is a Sega Mega Drive RPG based on the Buck Rogers pen and paper RPG game which itself is based on same named TV series. The game is a port of the PC and Amiga game of the same name, with some elements removed and/or combined to make the game easier to play on a console.
It is one of the few games in the Sega game library to come with a strategy guide along with the manual.
- 1 Story
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Production credits
- 4 Magazine articles
- 5 Promotional material
- 6 Physical scans
- 7 Technical information
- 8 References
Taking place in the 25th Century, players are members of a secret military organization called NEO, the New Earth Organization, dedicated to fight against oppressive regime of RAM (Russo-American Mercantile) a ruthless mega-corporation that is ruling the Solar System with an iron fist.
Players are recruited into the NEO but during their graduation day, their base on the Moon is attacked by RAM and their genetically engineered Genie troops. After surviving the attack, players officially become members of the NEO and tasked with going around the Solar System and investigate rumors of a RAM superweapon called the "Doomsday".
The game is a RPG. In order to start the game, players must create a squad of six characters with different stats and skills.
In these sections, players can fly around the Solar System and travel to different locations. All planets and other large space objects travel in a clockwise motion. Players can be attacked by RAM space ships during this section.
Ship to ship combat occurs during space travel. Before combat, players can engage the enemy, evade or try to bluff the enemy ship. If bluffing is successful, combat will be avoided.
Space combat is turn based. Every member of the crew can use different commands during combat. These action include; firing selected weapon, reloading, applying medical assistance (Medic only). Pilot of the ship (Rocket Jock with highest piloting skill) can use these commands: closing the distance, running away, ramming the enemy ship or boarding. Rocket Jocks can also use "Jury Rig" command for quick repairs.
During combat, players (and enemy) can target different parts of the ship for different effects. For example destroying the engines will prevent the ship from moving, destroying weapons will prevent the ship from firing etc. Since the characters with the highest THACO will have best chance of hitting the enemy, it is recommended to use these characters for firing while allowing other characters to reload or render air or repairs when possible.
When boarding is successful players will engage the enemy in regular combat. Defeating the crew will end the combat will allow players to acquire spoils of battle.
In these sections, players will travel around the surface of the planet they are in with a vehicle, exploring the surface and visiting locations. When random enemy encounters occur, ground combat sections begin.
These sections take place inside the buildings or towns. Random events and enemy encounters may occur.
Ground combat events are also turn based. Players can target and engage an enemy, reload, move around the battlefield, hold their turn temporarily or render first aid. Selecting "Quick" option will allow selected character to engage and act autonomously for a while.
- Human: +1 to Con and TCH, no weaknesses, all classes avaiable
- Desert Runner: +2 to STR and DEX, +1 to CON, -1 to CHA, Rocket Jock and Warrior
- Tinker: +3 to DEX and TCH, -2 to STR and CON, Medic only
- Rocket Jock: 25th century term for "pilots". Rocket Jocks act as engineers and pilots. In space combat, crewman with the highest pilot skill will be a pilot. Rocket Jocks can also use Jury Rig command for on-site repairs during space combat. At least one (two is better) Rocket Jock in your squad is recommended. Special Skill: Pilot Rocket/Jury Rig
- Warrior: Dedicated ground combat personnel, Warriors have many bonuses that can turn the tide during battle. Warriors have gain more health when levelling up and can hit twice with close combat weapons. Warriors also gain a weapon skill for every second level (2nd, 4th, 6th etc.) to a selected weapon. (Maximum 3 for each weapon type) At least two is recommended. Special Skill: Battle Tactics/Leadership
- Rogue: Rogues are experts of stealth, intrusion and deception. They are the best candidates for bypassing security systems and fast-talking enemies. One (and only one) Rogue is recommended. Special Skill: Bypass Security
- Medic: Medics provide much needed medical assistance to team during and after combat. One Medic is recommended. Special Skill: Treat Wounds
In Buck Rogers, ability scores are createde by a "rolling" system, meaning a dice roll determines a character's stats. Players can "reroll" if they don't get desired scores.
- Strength (STR): Affects melee damage and movement range during ground combat. Should be high for all of your crew if possible. Especially for Warriors.
- Dexterity (DEX): Affects armor class, evading or reducing damage. Important for all.
- Constitution (CON): Affects Health Points. Must be over average for survival in combat.
- Charisma (CHA): Dump stat. Only seems to affect fast-talk skill. (NEEDS TESTING: Leadership?)
- Tech (TCH): Affects success rate of all skills, especially technology related ones such as Jury Rig or First Aid. Must be high for all members if possible.
Characters can gain new skill points when levelling up.
- Battle Tactics/Leadership: Successful check at the beginning of the battle gives bonuses to all friendly characters. You can also take command of allied units in the vicinity for the duration of the battle. Very important, max out with at least one character. Warrior only.
- Bypass Security: Disable alarm systems. Make sure your Rogue is skilled with it. Rogue Only.
- Pilot Rocket/Jury Rig: At least one pilot with this skill is necessary for space combat. Jury Rig allows quick repair on damaged equipment during space combat. Very essential, make sure all of your pilots are proficient with it. Rocket Jockey only.
- Treat Wounds: Recover health at the end of the combat and revive fallen characters back with little health. Very important. Medic Only.
- Climb: Allows characters to climb ladders or other hard to scale obstacles. At least one character should be proficient.
- Demolitions: Setting, detonating or defusing explosives. At least one character should be skilled in this as it can be a life saver.
- Fast Talk: Persuading or deceiving people. Character with the highest charisma, (possibly Rogue) should take this and max out if possible. Essential.
- First Aid: Allows stabilising (from dying to unconscious) fallen characters. All characters should take this skill. (NEEDS TESTING: Recover health at the end of the combat?)
- Library Search: You can search for information in the Libraries of the space stations. Sometimes you can discover new information which will give the user some experience points and even a few side quests. Not essential, spend points if you have spare. One person with some points should be enough.
- Perception: Ability to see things otherwise hidden. Helps avoiding traps and enemy patrols, and detecting hidden items. One person should take this and develop if possible.
- Programming: Ability to use computers or other high tech equipment. One person with the highest TCH stat should take this and be proficient with it.
- Repair Rocket: Repair Rocket Ship after combat. Not too essential (you can always return to Salvation III for repairs) but it would be nice to have at least one person with some proficiency.
- Stealth: Allows avoiding enemy patrols or getting first attack during combat. With high enough skill, attacking enemies with a melee weapon will get a backstab bonus. Nice but not essential compared to the other skills.
- Zero-Gravity Maneuvering: Used during ground combat in zero gravity enviroments, such as inside space ships or space stations. Characters who fail the skill check will receive severe penalties during combat. Very essential. All members should be proficient with this skill.
These stats cannot be modified by player and can be affected by Ability scores, skills and equipment.
- Initative: How soon the player will be able to act in combat. Initative is affected by DEX score, or special situations such as ambushes. It is very essential as low initative means the character will act much later compared to the other characters, including the enemies.
- Armor Class (AC): Armor class is affected by DEX and armor the character is wearing. Lower, the better.
- THAC0: "To Hit Armor Class Zero". Character's accuracy. Higher, the better. Can be modified by weapon, terrain, range and other effects such as zero gravity or weapon skills.
Weapons and Equipment
Quality of the equipment is designated by its color and title. While common (Blue) equipment can be found anywhere, some rare and powerful weapons and armor can be purchased from shops or acquired from enemies. These items have much better stats, such as damage, number of attacks and accuracy compared to the regular weapons. From worst to best: Regular (Blue) --> Martian (Red) --> Venusian (Green) --> Mercurian (Yellow) --> Lunarian (Gray) Statistics below denote default stats of the equipment. Overall stats will change depending on the character's ability scores and skills.
All melee weapons have 2 attacks, affected by STR stat x2 and range of 1. All grenades have 4 hex blast radius.
|Used when character is not equipped with a weapon. 1-2 damage x2.|
|A very common melee weapon. 10 THACO. 1-6 x2 damage
|A sword with a single synthetic diamond. Better than cutlass. 10 THACO, 1-10 damage x2
|Balanced but have trouble piercing the armor of some hardened enemies and can be blocked by Aerosol Mist Grenades. 10 THACO, 1-8 damage x3.
|Powerful with decent accuracy, especially when in zero-g enviroments. Many enemies are immune to it however, due to the ECM packs. Effective against monsters. 20 THACO, 1-10 damage x4.
|Very low damage but very, very accurate and fires a lot of shots. No enemy is immune to this weapon and therefore it is the best in the game. Master it with your Warriors and make sure all of your crew gets one. 20 THACO, 1-3 damage x 6.
|Powerful but has a low rate of fire. Often misses for some reason. 10 THACO, 2-12 damage x 2.
|Desert Runner Crossbow|
|Can only be acquired from dead Desert Runners in Mars. 25 THACO, 1-8 damage x2.|
|Not exactly a weapon but rather a tool that can allow you to throw your grenade much farther as long as it is in character's inventory.|
|A hand grenade causes damage to an area. Very useful. Stock up and use only when necessary.|
|Flashbangs. Blind the enemy and lower hit-rate and evasion. Mostly useless as pretty much all enemies have protective goggles during the latter part of the game.|
|Same as above but slightly more effective.|
|Aerosol Mist Grenade|
|Creates a dense cloud that will block laser shots.|
|Creates a dense clous that will block Rocket Pistols, Grenade Launchers and Rocket Launchers.|
|Has a very large blast radius but requires an entire turn to reload and severely reduces movement range. Be very careful with it as it can kill your allies as well. 10 THACO, 5-50 damage, 8 hex radius. Only two of these weapons can be found in the game. One from the Talon's Pirate Ship Armory, other from the final robot in the Juno sub-quest.|
|Can only be acquired from Mercurian Leaders. Causes less damage than Rocket Launchers but has a much larger blast radius. Be even more careful with it. 30 THACO, 4-40 damage. 10 hex radius. Can be looted from Mercurian Leaders.|
|Most common armor. Can be found anywhere. AC 6|
|Better than Space Suit but not much. AC 4
|Heavy Body Armor|
|Common armor for enemies during the later part of the game. Can also be purchased from Hielo for 6800. AC 2
|Can be found in Gradivus Mons on Mars and looted from Mercurian Leaders. AC 0.|
|Battle Armor with Fields|
|Can be found on Asteroid Base sub-quest in Psyche or purchased from Aurora for 12000. AC -2|
|Neutralizes the poison on an ally.|
|Required for blasting doors and other obstacles.|
|Lowers the effectiveness of Rocket Pistols.|
|Makes the character to immune to effects of the Dazzle Grenade.|
- Game Development: Tony Van, Bret Berry
- Lead Programmer: Michael McNally
- Assistant Programmer: Paul Murray
- Technical Assistance: Steve Hayes
- Encounter Design: Rhonda Gilbert, Dave Shelley
- Art Management: Tom Wahl
- Lead Artist: Laura Bowen
- Portrait Artists: Laura Bowen, Fred Butts, Maurine Starkey
- Large Graphics: Michael Provenza, Maurine Starkey, Mark Johnson
- Walls and Floors: Frank Saxon
- Space Combat Ships: Cyrus Lum, Michael Provenza
- Combat Figures: Frank Saxon, Scott Sava, Mark Johnson
- Music and Sounds: Jon Medek
- Playtesting: Chris Warshauer, Rob Lupo, Peter Winch, Jeff Walter, Jeff Shotwell
- Additional Playtesting: Phil Alne, Mike Balajadia, Glen Cureton, Cyrus Harris, Brian Lowe, Eduardo Trillo, Andre Vrignaud, Dennis Zahina
- Project Manager: Victor Penman
- Producer for EA: Keith Francart
- Game Creation: SSI Special Projects Team
- Game Development: Tony Van
- Producer (Electronic Arts): Keith Francart
- Technical Director (Electronic Arts): Steve Hayes
- Lead Programmer: Michael McNally
- Assistant Programmer: Paul Murray
- Encounter Development: Rhonda Gilbert, Dave Shelley
- Art Management: Tom Wahl
- Lead Artist: Laura Bowen
- Additional Art: Fred Butts, Maurine Starkey, Michael Provenza, Mark Johnson, Frank Saxon, Cyrus Lum, Scott Sava
- Music: Jon Medek
- Product Management (Electronic Arts): Chip Lange
- Project Management (SSI): Victor Penman
- Documentation: Rick Wilson, Marti McKenna
- Cluebook: Marti McKenna
- Documentation Layout: Evelyn Spire
- Testing: Jeff Glazier
- Quality Assurance: Michael Prince
- Main article: Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday/Magazine articles.
|Sega Retro Average|
ROM dump status
- GamePro, "January 1992" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 72
- Sega Power, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-06), page 10
- MegaTech, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-20), page 32
- File:Buck Rogers MD credits.pdf
- File:Buck Rogers MD US Manual.pdf, page 74
- 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-03-10), page 62
- Consoles +, "Mars 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 62
- Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 128
- Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 28
- Game Mania, "May 1993" (UK; 1993-xx-xx), page 80
- Game Power, "Luigio/Agosto 1992" (IT; 1992-0x-xx), page 38
- Games-X, "20th-26th February 1992" (UK; 1992-02-20), page 25
- Game Zone, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-20), page 20
- Joypad, "Avril 1992" (FR; 1992-03-1x), page 86
- Joystick, "Mars 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 142
- Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 90
- Mega, "August 1993" (UK; 1993-07-15), page 81
- Mega, "April 1994" (UK; 1994-03-17), page 71
- MegaTech, "June 1992" (UK; 1992-05-20), page 30
- Mean Machines, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-27), page 52
- Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 137
- Player One, "Mars 1992" (FR; 1992-03-10), page 48
- Play Time, "5/92" (DE; 1992-04-08), page 76
- Power Play, "5/92" (DE; 1992-04-15), page 144
- Sega Power, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-05), page 44
- Sega Pro, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-20), page 50
- Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 64
- Sega Force, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-20), page 62
- Super Juegos, "Mayo 1992" (ES; 1992-0x-xx), page 28
- Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 33
- Video Games, "2/92" (DE; 1992-04-06), page 31