Nova 9: The Return of Gir Draxon



You are captain John Alex. It has been two years since the disappearance of Draxon. Two years since the devastation of Stellar 7 in which your wife, Sarah, was killed. Now she only exists as an image in the Engram computer.
Reports have begun to come in from the unexplored system of Nova 9, telling of a man that has spread like a disease across the nine planets of the system, laying them barren one of another.

A new transmission comes in from Cyclloyd, inhabitant of Nova 9: they are under attack by Arcturans! After a short disruption of the transmission, Cyclloyd reappears and cancels the alert. Something seems off. You enter your combat vehicle, the Raven II, upgraded with new capabilities, and decide to investigate, expecting the worst.



After the opening scene, you will be on the bridge, facing S.A.R.A.H. (Synergistic Advanced Resource-Aesthetic Hybrid), the new Engram super computer, programmed by Sarah Alex, John's deceased wife. S.A.R.A.H.'s human-like interface is created in Sarah's image. From time to time S.A.R.A.H. will automatically provide a status report, but you can also activate her to repeat her latest update.

Turn right to see the other side of the bridge with Bridge Control Panel. Click on the control panel to see it up close.

Left section: click on the left section of the control panel to see the high scores of the game. It will also be displayed at the end of each game.
Center section: click on the center section of the control panel to see the game credits.
Right section: click on the right section of the control panel (or press F10 during game play) to open the preferences panel.

Preferences menu

Click on the right section of the control panel (or press F10 during game play) to open the preferences panel.

Detail levels: Adjust the three slider bars at the top to increase or decrease the shape detail, world detail or time scale. Adjusting the time scale will result in the game taking larger or smaller steps. On computers in the early nineties, depending on its speed, higher details could slow down the game. you can adjust the sliders by pressing RETURN or SPACEBAR and then using the arrow keys, mouse or joystick to move the setting.

In the preferences menu, you can also enable or disable the music (shortcut ALT+M) and/or sound effects (shortcut ALT+S) or enable/disable the joystick (shortcut ALT+J and/or mouse (shortcut ALT+D), set the difficulty level of the game and enable/disable the story panels (cut scenes).

There are 3 difficulty levels in Nova 9. On Easy, you have 3 opportunities to win on each world, on Regular there are 2 opportunities, and on the Hard level, you get only one chance. If you access the preferences menu during game play (by pressing F10), the difficulty level setting is not available and can therefore not be adjusted.

You can also adjust joystick calibration by pressing ALT-C.

When the settings are to your liking, exit the control panel and head through the right door towards the Terran Base Hangar.


In the hangar you'll find another control panel but that one is not accessible. Turn right to see your combat vehicle: The Raven II. By clicking on the Raven II, you'll enter it and start your mission - clearing each of the nine planets of Nova in sequence of Arcturan forces with each planet having a boss fight and occasionally puzzles.

Note that you can go directly from the bridge to the cockpit by pressing ALT-G.

After clearing a Nova planet, a yellow crystal-shaped portal will appear that will take you to the next planet. However, some planets also have a purple crystal-shaped portal that will take you back to the Terran base for repairs, vehicle upgrades and new status reports from S.A.R.A.H. Make sure to use the purple portals each chance you get and BEFORE warping to the next planet of Nova 9.

When you return from a Nova planet to the Terran base, you'll be greeted by Model SP1422-KE Robotic Unit "Sparky". Sparky is programmed to make repairs and install upgrades. However the more damaged the Raven II is, the less time Sparky will have to install upgrades. If the Raven II is very heavily damaged, he may not even have enough time to fix everything. So, the less damaged the Raven II, the faster you'll get all available upgrades. They are as follows:
- lasers (keyboard #3)
- rear-view camera (T): The rear-view camera monitor overlays the radar.
- high-velocity shells
- anti-tank shells
- engine turbocharged

While Sparky is fixing and upgrading the Raven II, S.A.R.A.H. will provide a new status report. After that you're free to return to the Nova 9 planet you warped in from to complete it and warp through the yellow portal to the next one. Note that you cannot use the purple portal again.


Raven II steering is controlled with the numeric keypad, arrow keys or with a joystick.

Current Weapon Display: shows the currently selected weapon. The Raven II starts out with 2 weapons: the cannon (keyboard #1) and mines (keyboard #2). Lasers (keyboard #3) and rockets (keyboard #4) are upgrades by Sparky. You can also toggle between weapons using the +/- keys. Press the Spacebar or joystick button 1 to fire the selected weapon.

Power Module Bank: Power Modules provide a temporary advantage to the Raven II, such as temporary stronger shells, or temporary increased speed. Power Modules, which look like colorful floating geometrical shapes, are available on each world. Some are generated when an enemy or object is destroyed, others are located within puzzles and can only be picked up when these are solved, and some are just there for the taking. When picked up, the Power Module is added in the Power Module Bank Slots. When the Power Module Bank is full, no more can be picked up until a slot becomes available.
Some power modules are immediately activated upon pick-up while others are simply collected and need to be activated manually when you feel it is the right time to do so. To activate a Power Module, press its respective character keys on the left-hand side of the keyboard, forming a square:
A (S) D

Power Modules that are highlighted in the Power Module Bank are currently active - when they expire they start blinking and then disappear. Dimmed Power Modules are in inventory and activate (and highlight) when you press their respective character key.
The Raven II can carry up to 8 power modules. After that you'll need to use Power Modules to make space for new pickups. When the Raven II gets damaged, some slots on the Power Module Bank may turn black - those slots can then no longer be used and the number of power modules you can carry reduces until it gets repaired. See more on Power Module types below.

Radar: essential tool to keep track of your enemy's location. You should be watching this nearly as much as you watch through the Raven's window. The Raven is the center point of the radar and the top of the radar corresponds to the direction the Raven II is facing. Red dots are enemies, orange dots are projectiles, and blue dots are terrain obstacles. When the Raven II gets damaged, the dots on the radar may move around frantically and then disappear entirely, rendering the radar useless.
One of the Sparky's upgrades is a rear-view camera. When activated with the T key, the rear-view monitor will appear where the radar is.

Planet Identification Screen: Displays the name of the Nova planet you are currently on.

Weapon Ready Indicator: you can only fire when it's yellow-colored.

Aiming Reticle: Helps you to aim. Will highlight when an enemy is in firing range.

Shield Status Display: Shows the condition of the Raven's shield. the light blue lines that surround the Raven will gradually disappear as the Raven gets hit.

Systems Status Indicator: "Engine", "Life" and "Shield". When colored purple the systems are in optimal condition. As the Raven II gets damaged, these lights will turn yellow (damaged) and then red (failure), starting with the Shield indicator. When the Raven II gets damaged, it will impact its functionality - the Raven may slow down, have difficulty turning, it's aiming reticle may disappear, it's radar may drop out, you may carry less Power Modules, and even its weapons may no longer function - making you a sitting duck.
The fourth indicator - the damage alert bar - displays the overall damage to the ship.

Score: Your current score. Note that, if the Raven is destroyed and you choose to try again (in easy or regular difficulty), that the score is reset to zero.

Views: Most of the time you'll be in cockpit view (F1), but you can also change the view to Outside Rear View (F5), Outside Front View (F6), Outside Left View (F7), Outside Right View (F8, or toggle Enemy Views (F9).
While in outside view, F toggles the Floating Camera View on/off. The Floating Camera is a mobile outside viewpoint. Move the camera view point by using the numeric keypad keys, the arrow keys or the joystick.
To zoom the camera in or out, press the Spacebar or joystick Button 1 while moving with the keys or joystick.
You can also Save the current outside view (CTRL-F1 through CTRL-F10 and restore the corresponding saved view (ALT-F1 through ALT-F10).

Other controls:
- Replace radar with rear-view monitor (upgrade): T
- Pause game: P
- Abort game: ESC, ALT-Q or CTRL-Q. You will be asked to confirm.
- Quit to DOS: CTRL-ESC or CTRL-ALT-DEL. You will be asked to confirm.


Some Power modules are automatically activated when picked up. Other need to be activated by pressing their responding key on the Power Module Bank.

Automatic activation:
Top speed of the tank temporarily upgraded.
Temporarily improves rotational thrusters, allowing sharper turns.
Temporarily increases reloading speed.
Temporarily increases shot velocity (shell speed).
Seek: Bombs temporarily track targets.
Shield Restore: Shields fully restored upon pickup (No icon in module bank).

Manual activation:
Smart Bomb:
3-way Shells: temporarily fires 3 shells in a spread.
5-way Shells: temporarily fires 5 shells in a spread.
Heavy Shells: temporarily fires heavy shells.
Exploding Shell: hold down the fire key when firing these. They'll explode when the fire key is released.
Shock wave: Causes a shock wave. Immediately used.
Thruster (presumably): speed boost when activated.
Surrounded by Tachyon field: Temporary invincibility.
Decoy: a transparent copy of Raven II rides along with you, distracting enemies.
- Electric Shield