4x4 Off-Road Racing
Copyright/Publisher: Epyx, Programmed By: Paul Nickels, Joe Simko, Ed Schoenberg,
Steve Thomas & K-Byte, Designed By: Ogdon Micro Design Inc., Artwork: Paul Vernon,
Theme By: Paul Jaquays, Release Year: 1988, Genre: Racing Sports, Number Of Players: 1

Put yourself and your driving skills against the clock and computer controlled opponents to challenge for the Victor's Cup. Off-Road Racing is a test of speed and survival. Customise your vehicle and prepare to race over some of the worlds toughest terrain.

Four of the toughest, roughest courses gives you the ultimate driving challenge the Georgian mud flat, the Michigan Winter Wreck-off, the Death Valley Trek or the Baja Challenge. Snow, ice, mud and desert all combine to make Off-Road Racing the most hazardous road game yet. It makes the Grand Prix look like child's play.

(C) 1987 Epyx Inc. All rights reserved. Epyx Inc. is a registered trademark ref. 1195270. 4 x 4 Off - Road Racing is a trademark of Epyx Inc. Manufactured and distributed under license from Epyx Inc. by U.S. Gold Limited, Units 2/3 Holford Way, Holford, Birmingham B6 7AX. Copyright subsists on this program.

4X4(TM) OFF ROAD RACING For Commodore 64/128, Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, IBM PC and compatibles.

Ready To Roll
Gear up and get ready. 'Cause this is rough and tumble, off-road racing at its grittiest.

You'll start by choosing from four torturous courses. Brave the rugged Baja. Belt through the sweltering Death Valley. Go "bogging" in the mudflats of Georgia. Or take on the treachery of Michigan in winter.

Once you've settled on a cause, you pick your rig. Choose between a big American beast, a classic pick-up, a Japanese import or a British millitary vehicle. Your choice might be determined by the terrain you're going to be travelling through. But then again, it might not.

Once you get your new 4x4 out of the showroom, bring it over to AUTOPARTS row. It's here that you'll make it all yours. Give it bigger and better tyres. Build in more power. And equip it with all the extras you'll need to get past the finish line.

Finally - when you're sure that it's all just perfect - you're ready to put your 4x4 to the true test: The Race. But it won't be all that easy. There'll be armies of obstacles along the way. Dodge 'em. Or use 'em to make your rig airbourne. There'll be rivers to cross. Ice patches to manoeuvre. And quick-sinking mud to worm your way out of. Plus there's the competition: the other racers. And some of them are downright impolite - and that's putting it politely.

So get it in gear and get your 4x4 on the off-road to victory.

Loading and Start Up

For Commodore 64/128 Disk
* Set up your Commodore Computer as shown in the owner's manual. NOTE: For Commodore 128, set system to C64 mode.
* Turn on your computer and disk drive.
* Plug a joystick into port #2.
* Insert the disk and type LOAD "*",8,1 and press RETURN.

With the EPYX FASTLOAD(TM) cartridge
* Turn on the computer and disk drive.
* Insert disk into the disk drive, label side up.
* Press the C= (Commodore) key and the RUN/STOP key to load the program.

For the IBM PC and compatibles
* Set up your IBM PC or compatible as shown in the owner's manual.
* Plug your joystick in as shown in the owner's manual or refer to the keyboard command card for keyboard controls.
* Insert your DOS disk into the disk drive (drive A on a two drive system), and turn on your computer.
* When DOS is loaded, insert disk into the disk drive, label side up. * Type the command 4x4 and press ENTER to load the program.

Commodore 64/128 Cassette
* Press SHIFT and RUN/STOP keys together.
* Press PLAY on your cassette recorder.

Spectrum 48/128K, +2, +3 Cassette:
* Type LOAD"" and press ENTER. Press PLAY on your cassette recorder.

Amstrad CPC Cassette
* Press CTRL and small ENTER keys together.
* Press PLAY on your cassette recorder.

Amstrad CPC Disk
* Type RUN "DISK and press ENTER. The game will load and run automatically.

Pick Your Own Torture Test
Once the loading sequence is complete, press the FIRE BUTTON to view the SELECT TERRAIN and SELECT LEVEL screen. It is here that you determine just where it is you plan to publish your customised super rig.

Choose between four types of treacherous terrain. To select one of the four areas, move the joystick FORWARD or BACK to highlight the TERRAIN of your choice. Then move the joystick RIGHT or LEFT to select your LEVEL.

1. BAJA - 1,000 miles of the roughest, toughest survival tests on earth. From dry dusty desert and caked, crusty lake beds to boulder-strewn mountain plateaus. Take it head on - if you can.

2. DEATH VALLEY - They don't call it Death Valley for nothing. This treacherous desert terrain will rip your spirit as harshly as it rips into your truck. So try to keep cool, no matter how hot things get.

3. GEORGIA - If you like mudbegging, you're going to go for this trip in a big way. Mile after mile of some of the slimiest stuff the Eastern Seaboard has to offer. So get out there and get in it.

4. MICHIGAN - Snow, ice, mud and winter madness. When it comes to finding nature at her worst, this place has got it. Make sure you've got the right tyres. (And make sure your heater works). Then punch it!

You can adjust your races for different levels of off-road prowess. Choose your LEVEL by pressing the joystick UP and DOWN to highlight your choice. When both your TERRAIN and your LEVEL have been selected, press the FIRE BUTTON.

There are the LEVELS you can choose from:
1. BEGINNER - This is a good place to start. At this level, you don't customise your truck. You go directly to the race. And your truck automatically has very high endurance.
2. AMATEUR - As you build in initial confidence, move up to this gear.
3. SEMI-PRO - For a true 4x4 Torture Test.
4. PROFESSIONAL - You've gotta be crazy to try this one!

Choosing Your Four Wheeler
There are four different types of basic trucks to choose from. They are:

The Stormtrooper, from Cox Motors - This big American workhorse comes with a built-on "cap". So you can save your money for some of those big American tyres.

Tarantula, made by Venerable Motors - A heavy metal American pick-up that's built for action. Any kind of action.

The Highlander, by Tartan Lorrie - from Great Britain, this military-styled, jeep-like vehicle was designed for the bleaker reaches of Her Majesty's empire.

The Kantana, from Cyama Motors Corp - Don't be fooled by the sleek styling of this peppy Japanese import. It's a tough as it is fun to drive.

Each truck is rated for these seven factors:
POWER - This is a combination of the truck's horsepower (how much it can handle) and gear output (how fast it accelerates).

WEIGHT - The lighter you rig, the better your speed, MPG, and manoeuvrability. A heavier truck burns more fuel - but it also takes more punishment.

GAS MILEAGE - This is your truck's estimated miles to the gallon (MPG). But remember: if your truck is weighted down with too much equipment, you'll burn petrol at a faster rate.

ENDURANCE - How much your truck can take before you have to take it in for repairs.

E.R.F. (Ease of Repair) - How long it takes to repair it.

PAYLOAD (VOLUME) WITHOUT CAP - How much your rig can carry without a camper back.

PAYLOAD (VOLUME) WITH CAP - How much your rig can carry with a camper back.

FUEL CAPACITY - How big your fuel tank is. Or, more importantly, how far you can go before you run out of gas.

To choose your truck - To view your options, cycle through them by pressing the joystick FORWARD and BACK. When you've reached a decision, press the FIRE BUTTON.

Outfitting Your Rig
Once you buy your basic truck, you're ready to equip and customise it. After you press the FIRE BUTTON to purchase your selection, you'll be whisked downtown to auto-parts row. It's here that you'll put those finishing touches on your 4x4 rig. And it's here that you choose exactly what you want your truck's speciality to be.

This is where careful strategy and planning play a part. The parts you choose have something to do with where you're going to be racing. (You're not as likely to overheat in a cooler climate. And be sure to keep an eye on your weight and volume!) And a whole heck of alot to do with what you like.

There are two different stores you'll want to check out. To do this, move your man up to the door or window of the store and press the FIRE BUTTON.

Here's what you'll find in each store:

The Custom Shop
This is where you buy the stuff that makes your truck totally unique. And totally yours. You'll find:

A WINCH - It goes on the front of your rig. And when you have to pull yourself out of a tricky situation - like a mud bog - it could save you valuable time.

EXTRA CAPACITY FUEL TANK - A handy item. Because when your first tank runs out of gas, you can just switch to this second tank. It'll save you valuable time in a race. And can be a life-saver if you're not near civilisation when your first tank runs dry.

A CAP - A camper that lets you increase your carrying capacity.

TYRES - Choose from standard, mudder and all-terrain tyres. Try to pick the right course. And remember to make sure your spares match up.

To purchase any of the above custom items - Use your joystick to move the 'hand' on to the item and press the FIRE BUTTON.

To return any of the above custom items - Use the same procedure as you used for purchasing them. NOTE: EXCEPT FOR TYRES. To return or change tyres, simply point to the tyre of your choice and press the FIRE BUTTON.

To leave the CUSTOM SHOP - Use your joystick to place the 'hand' over the 'EXIT' sign and press the FIRE BUTTON.

The Auto Mart
Here's where you gear up on essential items you'll need for your trip. Plan carefully, and keep an eye on your volume, weight and cash.

To buy these items - Use your joystick to place the 'hand' over the item you wish to purchase, then press the FIRE BUTTON to buy it. NOTE: The text at the buttom of the screen will tell you what the item is, how much it will cost, and much weight and volume it will add to your rig.

Here are some of the items you'll be able to purchase:
WATER - Some places need it more than others.

OIL - If you get a leak, you're gonna need this.

COOLANT - Consider the weather and terrain you'll be racing in. You may need coolant if your radiator gets smashed.

TRANSMISSION FLUID - You never know....

EXTRA BATTERY - Is it worth the added weight?

SPARE PARTS - Always handy.

SPARE TYRES - At least take one.

A MECHANIC - Heavy? Sure. But a real time saver when it comes to repairs.

A SIX-PACK - It's up to you.

A CAN OF GAS - It can't hurt to be prepared!

A MAP - It comes in handy when you want to see where you are in the race.

A FLASHLIGHT - saves time with under-bonnet repairs.

TOOLS - Just about a necessity.

To see what you've bought - Use your joystick to place the 'hand' over the 'MENU' box and press the FIRE BUTTON. Move the joystick UP or DOWN to cycle through all the items. When you're done, press the FIRE BUTTON again.

To return an item - Use your joystick to place the 'hand' over the 'REFUND' box and press the FIRE BUTTON. Move the joystick UP or DOWN to cycle through all the items. When the item you wish to return is highlighted in red, move the joystick RIGHT or LEFT to return the highlighted item. Then press the FIRE BUTTON to reactivate the hand.

To leave THE AUTOMART - Use your joystick to place the 'hand' over the 'EXIT' sign and press the FIRE BUTTON. This will take you back outside the shop.

The Race Is On
Once you've customised your rig and purchased your equipment, you're ready for the big race.

To start the race - move your 'man' (using the joystick) over to the far right of the screen. Then press the FIRE BUTTON. You will now be instructed to flip the disk over. Do so and press the FIRE BUTTON when prompted. (Follow screen prompts - cassette).

Go For It
The day you've been working and waiting for is finally here: the day of the race. It's the day you test your truck, your talents and your instincts against nature herself - and against the other 4x4s in your class. When the man at the start of the race waves the green flag, put the pedal to the metal!

To start the engine - press the FIRE BUTTON.

To steer right and left - move joystick RIGHT or LEFT.

To accelerate - press the FIRE BUTTON.

To slow down gradually - pull joystick BACK.

To slam on brakes - Push joystick FORWARD.

Warning: Crashing early in the race makes it difficult to catch up to the other racers.

The Dashboard
As soon as you start logging on the miles across the countryside, keep an eye on the dashboard. It can give you lots of valuable information.

The Dashboard Here's what you'll find:

Reading the condition of your engine parts Damage done to an engine part varies. It all depends on what exactly you did to it. And, of course, what shape the part was already in when the damage was done.

Your dashboard controls give clues to the degree of damage a part has suffered by colour. Here's how it works:

GREEN - low damage
BLUE - medium damage
YELLOW - severe damage

On trips like this, it's almost impossible to avoid some kind of damage or mishap. When the damage is major, a special DAMAGE SCREEN will show you where the damage is and what's needed to repair it.

The DAMAGE SCREEN will also give you clues as to how bad the damage really is. Because if time is starting to get tight, (near the end of a race) you may only want to repair whatever is absolutely necessary. Here's how to tell how bad the damage is:

QUESTION MARK - a general breakdown
LIGHTNING BOLT - an electrical problem
THE PART IS SHOWN - some damage

To make a repair with the right parts - using the joystick, point to the damaged area and press the FIRE BUTTON. The parts you need will appear in the lower row of boxes. The parts you have will appear in the upper row of boxes. To complete the repair, point to the necessary parts you have and press the FIRE BUTTON. If the gas icon appears, move the 'hand' over it and press the FIRE BUTTON to top off your tank.

To make a repair without the right parts - Point to the sledgehammer and press the FIRE BUTTON. NOTE: This type of 'make-do' repair will get you back on the road. But with reduced endurance.

To make a repair at CHECKPOINT - Throughout the course you'll encounter several CHECKPOINTS. The CHECKPOINTS are marked with orange pylons. When you get to a CHECKPOINT, you will automatically pull in for repairs. All parts and labour are FREE! You just have to decide if you can spare the time for repairs! To fill your gas tank before you head out again, place the 'hand' over the gas can icon and press the FIRE BUTTON.

To get back on the road - After your truck has been repaired, point to the crossed flags and press the FIRE BUTTON.

During the repair procedure, you'll be told how many other vehicles have passed you. And before you get back to the road, you'll be told how long your repairs took. NOTE: Certain items you may have purchased - like hiring a mechanic or carrying a flashlight - will help reduce repair time.

To get back on the road again without repairs - If you decide you can continue the race without repairs, press the FIRE BUTTON.

Vehicle Recovery
If you overestimate the prowess of your 4x4 - or underestimate the dangers of the terrain - you may find yourself immobilised. Or, in other words: STUCK. Here are two ways to get yourself out of such a mess.

1. To use your winch hold down the FIRE BUTTON. This will pull you out at about 5 miles an hour.

2. 'Rock' your way out. If your rig isn't rigged with a winch, you're going to have to 'rock' yourself out. It's not as fast as using a winch - but it does work. To 'rock', press the gas pedal (FIRE BUTTON) repeatedly, over and over again until you dislodge your rig. How long should it take? It all depends... On how thick the bag is. And on how fast you were going when you hit it. NOTE: 'Rocking' may cause damage to your 4x4 - but it may be your only option.

The Other Guys
Along the way, you may notice other trucks passing you. If you want to win, you've got to catch up and pass them as soon as you can. (There are up to 16 opponents on each course).

The Doombuggy
This is the most deadly obstacle in the whole race. He's not just another contender. No way. This guy is out for blood. You'll recognise his menacing looking back rig right away. And when he tries to ram and bump your truck off the road, you'll know for sure that its him. But try not to let him have a chance. Stay as far away from him as possible - no matter what it takes to do it.

Right Place At The Right Time
In a race as long as this one, it's often difficult to gauge how well you're doing. Your goal is to finish the race FIRST. So, you'll want to pass all your opponents and leave them in the dust!

To get an idea of when to be where for a shot at the victor's trophy, keep an eye on the dashboard clock. The race starts at 8.00 in the morning. In general, if you reach the first CHECKPOINT by 11.30 a.m., you are making good time. If you haven't reached it by 1.00 p.m. you should increase your speed.

If you reach the second CHECKPOINT by 2.30 p.m. you are making good time. However, your main goal should be reaching the CHECKPOINTS ahead of your opponents. If your opponents are having trouble on the track you may be able to afford more time for repairs!

The Party's Over
You begin the game with '3 lives' per race, which means you can total youself twice and still bounce back from where you were last seen. But the race is over when:

1. You lose your third rig - You'll be given a choice between starting the race over with the same rig, or you can go back to the beginning and build up a different one from scratch.

2. You cross the finish line - Your position in the race will be calculated based on the number of trucks you passed. A score screen will appear, showing your placement and race time. Excellent race times will allow you to enter your name on the Hall of Fame screen (available on Amateur, Semi-Pro and Professional levels only). To qualify for King of the Road, you must race on all four terrains in a level, and finish with the best times.

Hot Tips for Beating 'em Cold
Remember to pace yourself. The faster you go, the more fuel you'll burn. And it's a long, long way to the finish line.

* You know those irksome obstacles you're always trying to avoid? Well, they do come in handy sometimes. Use them to jump over rivers and mud bogs.

* Big boulders do big damage to even the heaviest metal. So avoid them at all costs.

* CHECKPOINTS are great - if you can afford the time. So don't make repairs unless it's absolutely necessary.

4x4 Off Road Racing and Fastload are trademarks of Epyx, Inc. (C) 1988 Epyx, Inc. All rights reserved. EPYX is a registered trademark ref 1185270. Manufactured and distributed under license from EPYX Inc by U.S. Gold Limited, Units 2/3 Holford Way, Holford, Birmingham B6 7AX