Hell Fighter need-to-know's

For Hell Fighter v21.01, text: v1.4

Notes: I use the shortened name of HF for Hell Fighter. In my native language, there are no difference with the words 'He' & 'She'. For simplicity, I will use 'He' for all your reading needs. ;-)

#1 Starting the Game:

After installing Hell Fighter[shortened as HF], you see two windows opening one on top of the other. Let's start with the startup screen, however.

If you press Single Player, you get to play the game without net connection. This mode is simpler and can be learn with ease by testing things. This will not cause ill feelings towards other players.

By pressing Directory Listing, you reviece a list of servers. It might take a few pushes to get it, and there may not be any game servers up. However, almost always the Dark Bot server is up. This server is not for playing, but to provide newer battles to players. However, its main purpose is to let people know that the list is actually working, and it ain't the player's fault if he sees no other servers. And conserning that, the truth is that there just are no servers online most of the time.

There is the possibility that your connection is so screwed up that you can not see the list. If so, ask someone with another connection to see if the list is up. If this is not the case: To see if the list is working or not, start Hell Fighter and host (with the 'List my Server in the Directory' cross marked). Then start another Hell Fighter and try to check the Directory List with that window. If the List is indeed functional, you should see at least your own game on the List.

When you see a server you can join it by clicking the server's name twice. If you press only once, you should recieve the server's IP address in the 'Address' space. This can be used to connect to the game by pressing 'Join Game'. This is usefull if you have gotten word that some server with the IP you have is online, but the list isn't working. If the server has 'P' in the flag section, it needs a password and if you know it, you can enter the password in the 'Password' space.

If you can't connect, 1) the server might already have left 2) the server has a firewall or other problems that unables you to join. Look at topic #2 for more information on problems.

If you do not see any other servers running than Dark Bot's, and you have a good connection [above modem(56k), preferrably above ISDN(64k-128k)], then please host a game yourself with the 'Host a Game' button. There should be players ready to play, but you might have to wait a while. If you want others to join, or you haven't given anyone your IP Address to join, then keep the 'List my Server in the Directory' cross marked. If you remove it, your server will not show on the Directory Listing and so people won't know your server is up.

Before doing anything however, it is suggested that you have the newest Hell Fighter when playing online.

Currently this is version 21.01. The newest version and a bunch of other things are available at the main site, http://www.dracova.com/hellfighter/. Also, http://www.hellfighterdatabase.com and http://www.oocities.org/de/bodydrive/hfbg/ or important places to look for Hell Fighter information. If you are interested in organised battles, you might want to look at http://www.hfbattlestation.com
For more help go to: http://zibzib.sandwich.net/hf/newbfaq.html & http://www.oocities.org/greener555/

#2 Problems:

Don't have anything downloading, and keep the amount of programs running at a minimum.
You should also have the latest DirecX to play the game. Currently this is version 8.1.
After those are checked, we can see about your problems. ;-)

If you have problems connection to Dark Bot's server, or you cannot see any servers any day, then your connection is probably the wrong kind. Routers, firewalls, and some netcards have been known to cause a lot of grief to their owners.

If you can not join a server, 1) the host may have already left, 2) the server has firewall, or 3) the server has otherwise a bad connection. Although not often, sometimes even the player connecting can't connect because of _his_ bad connection.

Among HF players, we only know what should be done to firewall: put it to listen to port 10666. The writer of this doesn't have a firewall, so I have nothing else to give you on this matter. All other problems than firewall are often individual cases and we players often and unfortunately cannot help you with these. My suggestion is to get a better connection if you want to get the thrill of online gaming in HF.

#3 Information:

To get good games and a fair gaming session, go to Settings and put in your Location(Country, State, whatever you feel is appropriate) and Connection. This will help players go to the servers in which they get good ping and good games and it is considered as good behaviour.

You should have a unique nickname. Two same nicks are not allowed at the same time on one server. This also means that you can't open a new window and join the same game with the new one, unless you change your nick on the new window. Btw, playing with a new window and you yourself hosting the game is... funny. ;-)

Ping means latency, it is how long it takes for your control commands to reach the server (and back?). Host has usually under 10ms ping because the Host's ping is the time that it takes the data to go from his computer to his computer. Why this is more than 1ms I'll never know... If the host has more than 10ms [as in 30ms] then your lag is probably because of the host.

Drops are how many packages have been lost during the time you have been on the server. Ingame drops are shown as jumpiness called Lag spikes (also known as Ping spikes...whatever does it for you).

Lowering your FPS has reportedly no affect on your latency(ping). If your computer is man enough, you might as well keep it at 75.

#4 Chat:

To give everyone a nice gaming session, please refrain from excessive use of profanities. Also, shouting(saying everything in caps and/or excessive use of '!') is not nice for other players. I would imagine that everyone knows how to talk like humanbeings so let's all have a nice chat.

If someone is not in Ready mode, you can of course try to indicate that he should go to ready mode, so the game can commence, but please, don't start harrasing him and your fellow players by repeatedly trying to get him to ready up. If he doesn't indicate a need for help or doesn't answer anything at all, then it may be best to just go without him. He may just be occupied and can't come along that time. It shouldn't hurt you if he skips a battle or two.

The chat is recorded into HellFighter.log in your main Hell Fighter folder. If you restart your Hell Fighter or open a new HF window, the log will be deleted, so be carefull. In Settings you can choose how much is recorded. I prefer to keep it in Standard.

#5 Playing the game:

When online, by pressing 'Ready' you put yourself on ready-mode, which is shown on the top list under Status. This tells the host that you are ready to play. If you do not press Ready, you cannot play. When hosting, the Ready button has an even more important job, explained later on in topic #8.

If you are stuck in xFer, ask the host to refresh the game with Ready a couple of times. If your xFer is persistant, ask the host to hold on a sec and try reconnecting to the server. The ask to wait is because xFer is less likely to appear when connecting to a server that is not at that time playing a game.

Basic keys for keyboard are as follows: ctrl, alt, space and arrows. Ships have different functions for the fire buttons, so you have to test which do what for each ship, though main guns are usually space.

By pressing Tabulator once ingame, a chat screen will appear. This is just a crude hack, but it does its job well. Enter to send the message. Press Tab again to get rid of it. Note: Don't forget that Tab gets rid of the chat and not Esc. Even among us experienced players, this happens sometimes.

Esc is of course End. When you are hosting, it also ends the whole game. For everyone.

With 'numpad 5' you can cycle through ships when you are dead and in observer mode. Also, arrow keys move the view when you are dead/have jumped.

Do not press F1 ingame, or Hell Fighter might(probably will) crash. This should point to Hell Fighter Help, but in version 21.01 this does not work. Also, Alt+Tab(or other windows changers) will not work with HF if you are ingame. They will crash the game or at the least end your gaming session.

Autozoom is on ingame by default. To disable it and use your own zoom of choice, use the - and + on the numpad. With these you can zoom your screen closer or further away from your ship. In my opinion, autozoom is of no use. If you feel differently, then don't bother with it and use it by all means.

Don't worry, the first game played is always the laggiest one. Unless of course you or the host start downloading something, but I take it you guessed that.

#6 Battles:

If you go through a jumpgate you end your game, Period. It does not move you to another location. If you like, you can try jumping through the JG at the end of the battle, or escape through it when in trouble.

When jumping through a jumpgate, you may not disappear like you should. You will fly normally for a while more and then suddenly disappear. It has been known to happen. If you die because of this, just deal with it. ;-)

In your main HF folder you see the file "current.hfb". That is the battle you see in Hell Fighter's Battle window when you play. Copy that and change its name to your liking if you want to save the currently played battle.

Hell Fighter version 21.01 doesn't have AIs under 4. You can see this when you load a battle and look at the current.hfb with a text editor. All the AI 3's and 2's have turned into 4...

#7 Music:

There are two choices in the Settings Menu: MP3 or CD music. By picking the CD option, you can play music by simply placing a music CD in your CD drive. If you choose MP3, then go to your Hell Fighter main folder and make a new folder called music. Put mp3's, that you want to listen to when in the game, in this folder.

By pressing two number keys(not numpad, though I'm not sure) you can pick which track/file you want to listen to. 01 is track 1, 02 track 2 and so on and the same goes for mp3, though I'm not sure about the order on which number is for what track. 00 is randomizer, which selects a track at random.

#8 Hosting:

This one's quite a wide area to cover. Firstly, incase you missed it, you can Host by pressing 'Host Game' in the startup screen.

Ready button: When host presses the Ready button, all changes to the battle are shown to other players. This also lets them know that you are ready to start the game, and that they should say something if they don't want the game to start. Currently, ready is used freqently as a refresh button, meaning that it isn't used so much as a 'start game'-warning. Remember that if you for example give someone another ship, they won't see it until you have refreshed the battle with Ready.

If someone is not in ready mode, it could mean the following:
1) He is unaware that he is not in Ready mode.
2) He doesn't know how to get himself in Ready mode and what it means, so teach him.
3) He can't speak english (or the language other players are talking) and thus can't understand anything that is going on, and if you don't know what language he speaks then there is little that can be done to help him. If he seems to be doing this on purpose without good reason, then I'm sure you know what choices you have after reading this topic through...
4) He doesn't want to join you ingame for some reason or another, but this, like below, should be explained if it takes too long.
5) He wants to indicate that he doesn't want the game to start just yet. If questioned about not being ready mode, he should give an explenation to this in a timely manner.

Start Battle button: When you, host, have ready on the top list, the game can be started imediately by pressing Start Battle. However, before you do start the battle, make sure the other players are also in ready mode. If those who are not in ready mode and don't respond to your 'hurry up'-messages in a timely manner, you can go without him so that the other players don't have to suffer because of that/those individual(s).

If someone does not behave like is expected of them in the name of good gaming/chatting then you have the options to leave him without a ship, kick him, or kick and ban him. If you wish to have him possibly stay in the game, but not play with you, then you can take him out of the pilot list. He can still watch the game, but it will be buggy(as in him being a missile every once in a while and such), but it won't affect the game for the rest of you.

Kicking seems drastic, but it is a way of telling the player that he is not wanted if he keeps doing what he has been doing. You should however explain to him what you think he is doing wrong, and if he keeps doing it, then kick him. I however suggest trying to keep an open mind, and not kick for every little thing. If you believe someone is not anymore in the game, but his nick seems to be stuck in the list, then kick just might free you of the 'ghost' so the list shows the true players.

Kick & Ban. Now this is drastic, but if the player is not wanted at all in the game after him being warned by chat and even when kicking him a few times, then I'm affraid you don't any other choice but to ban him, so the rest of you can get some peace and a good gaming session at last. It should keep the player away atleast until the server is closed, but kicking is quite rare, so I cannot be sure how well it works.

Remember that the same person can change his nick and other information and then come back to the game pretending to be a different guy. Of course, the use is practicly nil currently with so few players playing at one time, that his personality is usually the same.

Making new ships is done by clicking on the right side Battle Screen with your mouse's left button. The new ship's type can be changed from Battle -> Select Ship Type to Add... However, it is quicker just to change the ship's type after putting it on the Battle Screen.

Ship Type can be changed by click on the ship on the right list two times with the mouse's left button. A popup window will appear from which you can change such things as side, ship type, and who is piloting it. Deleting a ship is done by clicking with the mouse's right button once on a ship on the Battle Screen.

You can load battles from your harddrive(with the .hfb ending) with Battle -> Load Battle... Fairly simple isn't it?

There is a great external editor for Hell Fighter by BodyDrive, so the actual HF editor was made quite simple. It is preferable that you use BodyDrive's editor instead of trying anything too fancy with HF's on your own. After you have gotten the editor from http://www.oocities.org/de/bodydrive/hfbg/ and installed it properly, then you should be able to do quick editing from Battle -> Edit Battle...

#9 Battle Editing:

Just use BodyDrives most excellent Hell Fighter Battle Generator at http://www.oocities.org/de/bodydrive/hfbg/ All help relating to this topic should be found in the program.

If you have a question on something conserning HF that was not listed on this file, please email me at greener555@yahoo.com

Back to Main Hell Fighter Page
Back to Main Page