Imagine yourself as a cattle rancher before the railroad came to Texas. To get your cattle to market in Kansas City and Chicago, you would have to drive your herd along a cattle trail, such as the Chisholm Trail. This trail extended from San Antonio, Texas, to Abilene, Kansas. From Abilene, the cattle were sent by rail to market in the East.
Although this sounds fairly simple, the cowboys on a cattle drive didn't have an easy time. Daily, they were besieged by perils, including rustlers trying to steal the cattle and steers straying from the rest of the herd. Often, these stray steers would join another herd, where they were branded by the wranglers driving that herd.
Now, with the Chisholm Trail Solid State Software™ Command Module, you can relive the excitement of this era. Become the foreman on a cattle drive attempting to get your herd to market along the Chisholm Trail. The module lets you experience, day-by-day, the thrill of accomplishment as you earn points by:
- Eliminating cattle rustlers who are after your herd.
- Avoiding, and possibly destroying, the wranglers who want to put their brands on your cattle.
In addition, each time you successfully survive a day on the drive, you complete another segment of the trail and add another steer to your herd.
Movement on the screen can be controlled by the Wired Remote Controllers or from the keyboard.
Beginning the Drive
After you choose the game from the master selection list, the Chisholm Trail title screen appears. Press any key within two seconds to go on to the level-of-play display, or wait for the title sequence to end and the next display to appear automatically.
To see a demonstration of the game, do not select a level of play. After a moment, a sample game begins. When you are ready to start your own game, press any key and the game's title screen reappears. Press any key to proceed to the level-of-play display.
You can choose any level of play from 1 through 9. The level you select determines the number of days you have been on the trail, the number of steers you have, the number of shots a steer can fire, and the number of rustlers you must eliminate. These values are listed here.
|Number of Steers
|Shots per Steer
|Number of Rustlers
Note that, with each successive day, the wranglers trying to brand your steer also become smarter.
Press a number from 1 through 9.
On the Trail
After you select the level of play, the cattle drive begins. Your herd is in a corral on the left side of the display. At the top, bottom, and right of the display are six branding chutes. The four wranglers trying to brand your herd come out of four of these chutes. Gathered in their campground in the middle of the display are the rustlers. However, only one rustler at a time leaves the camp to chase you.
Above the playing area, the day number, mileage (current score), and high score for this session are displayed. Finally, counters appear above and below your corral to tell you how many shots remain for your current steer.
The number of steers you have at the start of the game depends on your level of play. However, a maximum of four steers appear in the corral. If you have more than four, four are still displayed when one leaves the corral and moves into the playing area.
If you want to pause while playing a game, press P. The game in progress pauses indefinitely. Press P again to continue the game. After a rustler or wrangler catches any of your steers, you can either stop the game and return to the game's title screen by pressing BACK or begin the game over by pressing REDO.
As soon as the playing area appears, the game begins. One of your steers leaves the corral and is ready to begin the first day on trail, eliminating rustlers and wranglers. To move the steer around the playing area, press the arrow keys, ↑ (E), ← (S), → (D), and ↓ (X). Then, when you are ready to fire at a rustler or wrangler, aim the steer in the desired direction and press Q or Y. The steer has a limited firing range; therefore, you must be fairly close to your target before your shots can destroy it. (Note: If you are using the Wired Remote Controllers, move the lever to direct the steer and press the FIRE button to fire a shot.)
To survive from one day on the trail to the next, you must eliminate all of the rustlers before they destroy your herd of steers. The rustlers emerge from their camp one at a time. When one is eliminated, another one appears, unless your steer is in their campground. When the steer leaves the rustlers' area, the next rustler appears. The rustlers do not destroy your steer by shooting him. Instead, they "stomp" him when they are beside him.
In addition to the rustlers, four wranglers in the shape of brands are also after the steer. The wranglers try to "brand" your steer by firing at him. When you destroy a wrangler, it returns to its home chute, which is the same chute it comes out of at the start of the game. However, be careful after destroying a wrangler! If you are in line with a chute's opening when the wrangler is inside, the wrangler fires a high-powered rifle to eliminate the steer. After a brief delay, the wrangler moves back into the playing area. Destroying a wrangler adds to your mileage (score), but does not help you proceed to the next day.
As you move the steer around the playing area, you want to destroy all of the rustlers. For each rustler you eliminate, you receive 250 "miles"; wranglers are worth 150 "miles."
After you shoot all of the rustlers on the day in progress, the state of Texas is displayed to illustrate that you completed another segment of the Chisholm Trail. Press any key to continue. When the playing area reappears, another steer is added to your herd in the corral.
You also receive another steer each time you complete 10,000 miles.
End of the Drive
When your last steer is rustled or wrangled, the game is over. Press REDO to play another game on the same level. Press BACK to return to the Chisholm Trail title screen and select a different level of play. To end the session with the module, press QUIT to return to the master title screen.