by Kyzrati on , under

(Contents from manual.txt included with game.)

 Cogmind (7DRL 2012) Manual                        version: fix12

This file contains information regarding gameplay. For general information about running the game see README.txt. Advanced players can also read the Advanced Player's Guide (manual2.txt) for more details.


Escape the city. Look for up stairs ('<') to advance to the next level. After entering a new area you won't be able to return to the previous one, so be prepared!


The most vital component of any robot is its "core". Once a core's integrity is reduced to zero, that robot is destroyed. Cogmind is no exception.

Different robot cores are designed to interface with a unique set of parts. Parts fall into one of four categories: Power, Propulsion, Utilities, Weapons.

The Cogmind is special in that it can dynamically bind and interface with any type of part by expending an amount of matter and energy. Over time Cogmind's core will evolve, gaining both integrity and more interface slots.

Aside from integrity damage, robots are also prone to system corruption. The most common cause of system corruption is electromagnetic weapons.


Energy is generated by power sources, and is necessary for moving, firing energy-based weapons, and sustaining the operation of some utility systems. Robot cores also generate some energy of their own, though not enough to support significant activity.

Matter is used to fuse components, and is consumed by ballistic weapons and launchers, which convert it to the appropriate type of ammunition. It is usually salvaged from robot remains, though the available amount can vary depending on how the robot was destroyed. Cogmind automatically recycles 5 matter from each attached part that is destroyed (more if he has a recycling utility).

While active, some parts may consume energy (or more rarely, matter) every turn. Utilities and hover/flight units are the most common parts to require upkeep.


 Power Sources
Engines, power cores, and reactors supply the power necessary to run other systems. Be aware that most power sources will shut down temporarily when they overheat.

Treads, legs, wheels, and hover/flight units enable a robot to move more quickly. The list is a spectrum from greater mass support and slow speed to lower mass support and fast speed. Exceeding the mass limit provided by active propulsion units will slow movement. Only one type of propulsion may be active at one time (different variations of the same type will use the average of their stats). Cores that have no active propulsion at all will rely on their own tiny hover system, which is both slow and inefficient when weighted down, but relatively fast otherwise. Check Cogmind's status screen to see his relative speed, where 100% is average (higher = faster). Note that while flying Cogmind can rush directly past blocking robots.

Includes special devices, processors, storage units, and protective gear that provide a wide range of benefits.

Guns, cannons, and launchers are for, well, you know.

Most parts must be activated in order to use them. Others are permanently "active" (usually when the state has no meaning for them, as with various storage units). Activating/deactivating parts are both free actions (i.e., take no time to perform).

Robots can generally carry a few items, but inventory space is very limited unless expanded through utilities. Items contained in inventory do not count against the robot's mass limit for movement speed calculation purposes.

Newer, more effective part designs may be found throughout the city, but without testing or prior knowledge it is impossible to identify and distinguish between working versions and their more dangerous faulty counterparts. Faulty prototypes will almost always malfunction and have serious side-effects when attached.


When attacking, all active weapons in range of the target are fired at once. Firing a single weapon takes twice as long as a standard action, and subsequent weapons fired in the same volley will take less and less extra time, hence firing more weapons at once is always more time efficient. See the volley analysis readout to check the relative firing speed (where 100% is firing a single normal weapon), as well as the total resource cost of the volley.

Targeting is actually tested on a finer grid than is visible onscreen. Each map space is divided into a 9x9 grid of squares, and as robot sizes vary (S/M/L), they may take up more or fewer of these squares. This has several implications, e.g. you may be able to hit a larger target before it has completely rounded a corner, while smaller targets may require a more direct line-of-sight. It also means that smaller targets are actually easier to shoot around than larger ones. As long as the targeting line is green Cogmind has a clear LOF to the target, even if it looks like it passes through another robot or obstacle.

 Hit Chance
Many factors affect the chance to hit a target (the Advanced Player's Guide has a complete list). The chance shown in the scan readout takes into account all factors except those which affect individual weapons in the volley.

Each part has a "coverage" rating which determines its likeliness to be hit by an incoming attack. Values are relative, so attacks are weighted towards hitting parts with higher coverage. Robot cores also have their own "exposure" rating which determines their likeliness to be hit; this value is considered along with part coverage when determining whether an attack will strike the core. The exact chance of a core/part to be hit is shown in parenthesis after its exposure/coverage on the relevant info screen.

Movement, firing weapons, and running power sources and some utilities generates heat. Some of this heat is naturally dissipated by the core's own heat sinks (and Cogmind's core dissipation increases by a small amount each evolution), but not enough to deal with heat generated by numerous/large energy weapons. Heat sinks and cooling systems can be used to avoid overheating, which can have a wide range of negative effects. Heat is only a significant issue for robots that rely heavily on energy weapons.

* Thermal energy weapons generally have a shorter range, but benefit from a more easily-predictable damage potential and little or no recoil. Thermal damage also increases target heat.
* Electromagnetic damage has less of an impact on integrity, but is capable of corrupting the target's computer systems.
* Ballistic weapons that deal kinetic damage have a longer range and higher chance of critical strike, but suffer from less predictable damage and high recoil.
* Explosive damage, while powerful, is less likely to achieve a critical strike, spreads its damage over the target, and leaves less matter to salvage.

 Hints (incl. some spoilers!)

* Don't forget to activate parts after attaching them
* Activating/deactivating parts is still possible while the status screen is open, and since it's a free action you can use this to immediately compare the effects of having certain parts active/inactive (direct switching back and forth between inventory/equipped items is also a quick way to compare their stats)
* Inventory items don't count against your weight limit, so always carry around important spare parts like power sources and weapons
* Treads/legs/wheels are the best propulsion for beginners--hover/flight are generally only recommended for special builds
* Non-combat robots can be a source of matter and useful parts. It is strongly recommended that you farm the scrap yard for what you need before leaving, and periodically harvest more parts from helpless robots as necessary.
* Don't be surprised if later on you no longer recognize an item you once knew about and it appears as a prototype--this is one type of data loss resulting from system corruption

* Don't try to fight everything you meet; running is sometimes the best option.
* Especially avoid taking on large groups of enemies unless you have lots of armor or other defenses, otherwise they'll probably tear you to pieces faster than you can rebuild yourself, much less return fire. (Now if you have a Point Singularity Launcher, that's a different story...)
* Manage resources carefully: If you're going to rely more on ballistic weapons, equip matter storage units; if energy, definitely use heat sinks and carry spare power sources. For obvious reasons, you don't want to be unable to attack during a firefight.
* If your target is almost dead, firing a huge volley of weapons could be a waste of both time and resources
* Because all attached parts provide coverage for the core, it's usually in your best interest to keep as many equipped as possible, even if you don't need them, just to block hits. Even in the middle of a pitched battle, it might be a good idea to quickly attach a few things from your inventory to fill any newly emptied slots.
* Although tempting, overuse of explosives will result in little or no salvage from battles, and you can run low on resources pretty quickly--use them sparingly!
* Tactical positioning is everything! Retreat around corners to fight enemies one-on-one as they approach (close range is especially useful against dodgy swarmers), take advantage of enemies with poor aim by putting yourself in a position where they're likely to kill each other with badly aimed shots, etc.

* Staying in any given area too long will tend to draw attention, as will engaging in drawn out battles. Don't forget you're trying to escape, not destroy everything out there! Using a variety of sensors to find your way around most enemies, and fighting only when necessary, is probably the "least difficult" way to win.
* Think ahead when you're about to advance a level: remember that you'll have new slots available, so be sure to bring some parts you can equip immediately to take advantage of those.
* Don't underestimate the importance of sensor data. Improving your sensors can help avoid large groups of difficult enemies if you're not up to the task of fighting them. A complete stealth build decked out with sensors, ECMs, and cloaking devices could probably beat the game without much destruction at all, actually.
* Intercept haulers in the open to make sure there is enough space for them to drop their contents. Items without an adjacent open and empty location to drop to are destroyed! (For the same reason, repeatedly fighting groups of enemies over the same small area could result in loss of useful parts as well.)
* Don't necessarily wait until a part is completely destroyed to replace it; take advantage of a lull in encounters to swap out heavily damaged parts.
* Remember to replace older weapons with better ones as you explore new levels, since you may have used a certain loadout to crush robots from the previous area, but it might not be up to the task once you encounter more dangerous enemies (this includes replacing spare parts in your inventory, which can be easy to forget about until you need them and find out they aren't so great any more).
* By the mid-game, you should probably carry around a launcher type weapon and immediately use it on any groups of enemies you might otherwise have trouble with, especially Swarmers, before they have a chance to overwhelm you.
* Many enemies are somewhat weaker or stronger against certain damage types, but you'll need special scanners to learn what those are.
* Don't give up immediately when the situation looks hopeless because you're outnumbered and being blown to pieces! When things look like they're about to go bad, start to plan your retreat early (begin moving towards an escape route), and remember that an unburdened core can actually move pretty swiftly--just make sure to always save some matter to equip at least one weapon and build yourself back up by harvesting parts from helpless robots. And never flee into unknown territory unless you have no other choice.
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