August 1944. Occupied France is soon to be liberated by the advancing Allies. The German grip on Europe is crumbling and an evacuation of men, materials and plunder is underway. The prize and pride of France, its entire art collection, is to be expropriated and shipped by rail to Berlin. The German hope is to hold the art treasure for ransom, in the now inevitable surrender negotiations.
You and other members of the French Underground Resistance Movement must first "take" the heavily guarded train in the main yards at Metz. If you manage to escape and make your way onto the main line, then the real game begins. Casualties may be high. You must be prepared to engineer the train yourself but you will have help.
The train is on a siding, heavily guarded. The steam pressure is up, ready to go, awaiting orders to head east for Berlin at midnight (Daylight runs were suicide at this point in the war!) You must take possession of the train and head west to the border to meet up with the Allies by dawn. Your cargo: priceless Monets, Gauguins, Renoirs, Picassos, Miros - an unimaginable art treasure - is in your charge. On board the train, a Resistance crew will assist you in deciphering the whistles,
signals, lights and signs necessary to make your way safely on the line.
While on the train you will be receiving help from the underground movement. They will provide you with information updates and signals and assist you in track switching and support. However, due to bombing and sabotage the usual safety systems and track circuits may be damaged or be unreliable. Be careful!
Pierre LeFeu (played by you) who is a first-time engineer by circumstance, and his injured companion - Le Duc - who has had some previous experience as a fireman on a train. Both are members of the French Underground Resistance Movement.
Take the art train to Riviere to meet the advancing Allies.
Achieve a high score by:
shooting as many enemy fighter planes as possible,
taking as many enemy stations as possible,
taking as many enemy bridges as possible, and
protecting the train and its precious art cargo from damage.
Cab Signal Indicators
The cab signal box has three green lights that indicate the signals and semaphore
conditions on the line.
top light red = switch is set right
middle red = middle (left on double switches or middle on triple)
bottom red = switch is set left (only an triple switches).
To Switch Lines:
The Resistance will switch the line for the speeding train if you are near a switch. The light changes red as the train approaches a switch to show the current switch position.
Whistle once to light top position
Whistle twice to light the middle position
Whistle three times to light bottom position
Taking The Train
Use the game controls to aim your gun. Fire will shoot.
Use Space to duck enemy fire. If the trail of enemy fire should hit you the game will be over.
Le Duc will signal ... he runs as you give him cover. If you stop firing, he ducks for cover himself.
Use the left and right controls to select between the three levels, indicated bottom of the screen, when he reaches the switch.
Points are awarded for each hit.
Taking A Bridge
Firstly note that you must take enemy bridges! Attempting to run a bridge will end the game.
Use joystick to aim your cannon, fire key to shoot.
If the boat that is currently firing should fire seven shots before you destroy it, the game will be over.
If a station has been taken or is otherwise free, the telegraph may be used to send or receive messages to the underground Resistance. German intelligence reports and
previous communications will also be found.
To send communication to the Resistance select one of the option requests - take next station, next bridge or make repairs to the train. If there are two stations the "next" station name is given. You must choose one selection only.
After a message is sent a confirmation is received from the Resistance. If they cannot comply (the player has no more requests left) the player is informed. Repairs are made at the station indicated in the return message. You have two hours to reach the stop and enter the telegraph room there. "Making Repairs" is announced. Other confirmations are "Will take station or bridge at xx:xx hours: minutes." A station or bridge taken remains free for two hours. A station which is in Resistance hands is shown as a red dot on the map. A German held station is blue.
You are awarded points as follows:
soldiers at stations = 50 pts. each
boats sunk before they fire up to:
4 shells = 250 pts
5 shells = 200 pts
6 shells = 150 pts
7 shells = 100 pts
8 shells = 50 pts
9 shells = train destroyed
enemy fighters from front or rear = 300 pts. each
Damage to the boiler is caused by taking too much machine gun fire, excessive demands for speed and steam pressure.
Brakes are damaged from the misuse at high speeds.
You yourself may be shot in any of the firing sequences.
Damage to the art treasure is a direct reflection of the amount of fire taken or destruction of the train.
Repairs, Coal And Water
Repairs can be obtained from the Resistance repair crews. See telegraph for instructions.
Running out of water or coal slows the engine to an eventual standstill - as does damage to the boiler. Plan the station stops. If you must stop and either are uncertain whether a station is safe or not, you will have to be prepared to take the station by force if necessary.
Coal and water are supplied at each station.
Ending The Game
The game ends when you meet the advancing Allies line (eg. after you take the Riviere), damage is so excessive the train cannot move, the art car itself is hit and the mission lost, or you abandon the train in a hopeless situation. If you inadvertently shoot your companion the game is over.
The map show the position of the bridges marked in yellow. German held stations are
shown as blue dots while Resistance held stations are red. The main yard stations are labeled: Metz, Nancy, etc. The smaller "whistle stops" and stations are shown on the accompanying top map.
The Train And Cars
The train and cars consist of:
single piston type H engine
coal car with machine gun mounted atop
the three cargo cars with the art work
the mid-train cannon 155mm mounted on a flat car
the telegraph car or caboose - rear gun
Strategy And Tips
Remember, as a general strategy rule, that it is in both parties' interest to preserve the racks, bridges, etc. at all times. The Germans for instance will not outright bomb the train - as they need the lines for their impending retreat. The Allies need the track for their advance. The Germans do not want a derailment either!
The main line is vital. You may find that the Germans are more eager to risk the track on some of the minor rails and sidings.
The reverse lever allows you to back up if you miss a station or a switch. Stop near a switch to practise using the whistle to set and reset lines. Some crossings and siding lines simply join without switches.
O - Left, P - Right, Q - Up, A - Down, ENTER - Fire
R - Restart Game, S - Sound On/Off, 5/SPACE - Pause/View Status Screen
Note: You cannot view the status screen while taking a bridge or station.
While the train is running (if you are not at a bridge or a station) you may
press the number keys:
The following headings describe in detail how to operate the different elements
of the train. Remember, to operate any of the controls you must push and hold the
fire key, as well as pressing the appropriate directional key.
Throttle: Push and hold the fire key, then press Down to accelerate, or Up to brake.
Furnace: Push and hold the fire key, then press Down to open the door, release the fire key and push Right to shovel coal then push and hold the fire key, and push Up to close the furnace door.
Brake: Push and hold the fire key, then press Down to turn on the brake, Up to turn off the brake.
Forward Reverse Lever: Push and hold the fire button, then press Down to put the train into reverse gear, or Up to put the train into forward gear.
Steam Blowoff: Hold down the fire button then press Up.
Whistle: Hold down the fire button then press Down to blow the whistle once.
When you are on the cab screen, the left and right game controls move the cursor
(red triangle shape) to each of the various controls. The name of the control you
are currently at is printed at the bottom left, just above the time.
Spectrum and Amstrad programmed by: Nick Wilson
Spectrum and Amstrad graphics by: Imagitec Design Ltd.
Producer: Jocelyn Ellis
Assistant Producer: Kevin Shrapnell
Software (c) 1988 by Electronic Arts Ltd.
Manual (c) 1987, 1988 by Accolade TM. Inc. All rights reserved.
Licensed from Artech Digital Entertainments, Inc.
Published in Europe by Electronic Arts Ltd.
Amstrad is a registered trademark of Amstrad Consumer Electronics plc.
Spectrum is a registered trademark of Spectrum Consumer Electronics plc.
The following utilities are also available to allow you to edit the supplied screens of this game:
A digital version of this item can be downloaded right here at Everygamegoing (All our downloads are in .zip format).