Pressing the esc key or left-clicking on the top of any gameplay screen will bring up the VCR menu. This is the main menu from whcih all others are accessed.
Controls menu: here you can set the difficulty of the arcade sequences, the text speed and detail level.
Options menu: here you can enable or disable the joystick, mouse, sound and music.
Calibrate menu: set the button threshold, joystick calibration and mouse speed.
Files menu: in this sub-menu, you can save, restore or restart a game.
Clicking "Play" will take you back to the game and clicking "Quit" will make you leave the game.
Mouse control and Cursors
The cursor on the screen represents the world of William "Blade" Hunter. By moving the cursor around the world and clicking, you interact with this environment. The three basic actions are:
- right-click: look at the item or person on screen
- left-click: operate: these can be different actions - see below.
- Left-click, hold, drag, release: pick up/move/use an item
In addition to pointing in different directions, the cursor will at times completely change shape to inform you about items, places or people you can pay attention to. These cursors are:
- Exit cursor: Left-click to enter another room/area. Note that the exit cursor itself may point to a certain direction, which is useful when there are multiple closely-placed exits in a screen, such as elevator buttons.
- Conversation bubble: left-click to engage in a conversation with the person.
- Magnifying glass: Left-click to zoom and get a closer look at what the cursor is pointing at.
There are also a few special mouse commands:
- Aim and trigger: in Blade's inventory screen, use the gun on him for him to hold it in his hand. Then, in the game screen, right-click and hold the mouse button to display a crosshair. While still holding the right mouse button, left-click to shoot. This also applies to the automatic rifle and NaPent Aerosol Personal Protection Device.
Inventory and use of items
There are two types of inventory: the main inventory and the quick inventory. Left-click on on the character portrait in the bottom-right corner of the screen to access the quick inventory, or right-click it to access the main inventory. Essentially the only difference is that the main inventory also displays the character status in addition to the inventory items.
You can look at an inventory item by right-clicking on it. An enlarged more-detailed view of the item will be displayed, along with a description of the item. When you exit the zoomed view of the item, the inventory screen will be the main inventory screen.
To use an item in the game screen, you first have to drop it from the inventory screen to the game screen. To do so, select the item and click the drop button - the item will appear in the bottom-left corner of the game screen. To use the item in the game screen, left-click it, hold it, and drag the item to the person or item you would like to use it on. Note that, once picked up, Blade cannot drop his clothes.
Items on screen that can be placed in inventory can be grabbed and dragged with the mouse and will appear in the bottom left corner of the screen. However the item is not placed in the character's inventory yet. In order to add the item to a character's inventory, left-click it and hold the mouse button, drag it to the character's portrait and release it.
Some items can also be used or manipulated by the character himself in the inventory screen. For example to make Blade prepare his gun for a shoot-out, click and drag the pistol or rifle from his inventory items to his character (in the main inventory screen) - you will see the portrait of Blade change as a result.
Notice also the time indicators on the inventory screen. See more on that below.
To leave the inventory screen, click the exit button.
In Blade Hunter's world, time is an ever-present companion. People go to work and go home, buildings open and close and Blade needs to sleep when he's been up too long.
Note the clock in the upper right corner of the game screen. Although you can toggle it on or off by pressing "c" on the keyboard, it is recommended to keep a close eye on it - you wouldn't want to again miss the date with Karyn now, would you?
Located inside each of the inventory windows are also the Date and Time indicators. Along with the current date and time are controls for advancing time by minutes or hours. This may come in handy when at one point you need to wait a certain time for an event to happen. For example on Day 4 you may already have completed all task in the morning but need to wait until the evening to meet a person somewhere.
Meanwhile and story sequences
Rise of the Dragon operates in a living environment where events are happening all the time, whether you're present or not. When an event of interest occurs, somewhere else in Blade's world, a Meanwhile screen will pop up, introducing a sequence that shows you what is occurring.
Meanwhile sequences are intended to convey information that heightens the cinematic experience of the story. It's important to note that these sequences are not interactive, you can't affect them, and that the information given in the sequences are not known to your game alter-ego, Blade Hunter. It does however provide information to you, as a player, hinting at what lays ahead of you, which path may be best to follow, and how much time you have to avert disaster.
There are three arcade sequences in the game: two consist of crossing an obstacle course and shooting enemies in third person where the player has infinite lives. Depending on the course you follow in the game, one of these sequences may not be encountered at all.
In the DOS version, you can skip and automatically win the arcade sequence after 5 failed attempts, while in the Sega version it is obligatory to win in order to proceed.
Note that these arcade sequences have their own controls with either keyboard, mouse or joystick.
The third arcade consists of shooting enemies in first-person perspective. Here you only have one chance, so save in advance. If you lose the fight, you lose the game.
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