Okay, so you've got your hands on a copy - now you're after all those extra things that didn't quite make it into the manual, right? Well, grab a pen, 'cause this is the definitive list!

Most of these things were put into Dark Reign at the last minute, but some of them have been hiding in there for ages - almost lost forever! However, before you get too excited, these aren't earth shattering goodies, just 'little extra thingies' that you might like to know if you're keen. If the explanation for something seems unclear, just go and try it in the game, and you'll probably be able to work out what it does in no time. Anyway, let's get on with it….

In-Game Larks
This is where the bulk of the goodies hang out - 'in-game' refers to when you are actually in the game, ordering your little guys about and stuff.

Unit Selection Stuff
There are three 'modifier keys' for unit group selection. Holding down the 'shift' key when doing a unit selection operation always adds the new units to the current selection. This works for basic click and drag selection, but more importantly it also works for the cooler methods we're about to explain.

Holding down the 'alt' key is the 'select unit type' modifier. You can 'alt-click' on a unit, and it will select all units of that type on the screen. This is especially useful for grabbing all your flyers when you're preparing to do an air strike, or grabbing all your infantry and telling them to run back into the safety of your guard towers. If you wanted to do an 'infantry only' attack, you could use the shift key as well to 'alt-shift-click' on both your Freedom Fighters and your Mercenaries and tell 'em to go kick some Imperium cabbage!!

The last modifier is the 'ctrl' key. This is an 'entire map' modifier, so if you 'alt-ctrl-click' on a unit, it will select all the units of that type on the entire map! It's great for rounding up all your Recon Drones, or bringing all those stray mechanics back to your base. (The simple 'ctrl-click' on a unit does not select all the units on the entire map; we felt this might interfere with the 'unload' operation that can work in a similar way.)

If you want a bit more power than the 'entire screen' or 'entire map' options, you can actually apply the above modifiers to custom group selection. For the 'alt' modifier, it uses the first unit currently selected (box is shown in a slightly brighter white). So if you want to select all the Cyclones in a particular region, you can select one, and then 'alt-drag' an area, and only the cyclones will be selected. (If you were being particularly tricky, you could 'alt-shift-drag' multiple areas! ;)

As you've probably seen in the manual, the 'E' key selects all the units on the screen. The above modifiers also work with it, and this is how you can select all your units on the entire map - just hit 'ctrl-E'! This is useful for quickly changing the behaviour settings (found in the 'orders' menu) of all your units, or (if you've just been slaughtered) for re-grouping those last few units spread over a large map.

And just before you say "enough already" - there's one more thing you can do with the 'alt' modifier. It works with the 'N' key (select next unit) - so if you want to step through all your construction crews, just click on one (or hit 'N' until you come to one) and then hit 'alt-N' and it will step through all units of that type.

You've probably noticed that you can't group select guard towers. This is because the guns on guard towers are actually 'fixed active units' attached to a building, and they are not included in group selection by default. However, you can select one and then 'alt-drag' or 'alt-E' and all guard towers of that type will be selected. It is probably best to always turn our guard towers to face the direction the enemy will come from, that way they blast faster!

Other Goodies:
Phew, enough of that unit selection stuff already! Here's some other cool in-game stuff…

You can hold down 'control' when your cursor is over an allied or neutral unit to force an attack.

You can hold 'shift' when your cursor is over one of your buildings, and if it can be selected as 'primary' then you will get a nice little cursor, and if you click then it will become the primary facility. (The alternative is 'double left click' but ya don't get the nice little cursor thingy ;)

Holding down 'control' when unloading units from a transporter or a building will spit them out one at a time. (Fill that tunneller up with spies and drop one off in each of your enemies' bases!)

You can 'shift-left-click' on the mini-map to force a jump to that location whether you have a unit selected or not. (Normally if you have units selected you will order them to move to that location.)

This one's essential - you can use the keypad number keys as shortcuts to the 'behaviour' settings in the Orders menu. They correspond directly with what is shown on the screen (switch to the orders menu, select a unit, and try it). You don't have to be in the orders menu to use them, so in the middle of a battle you can grab a heap of units and hit the '3' key to set a high independence for all of them.

There's something else you can do with the keypad (sorry notebook users, but hey, we were running out of keys ok!!). They can be used as a custom map-bookmark system. Here's the run down - scroll to somewhere on the screen that you want to be able to jump to quickly - then hit 'ctrl-#' where # is any of the keypad number keys. That location is now saved with that key, and when you hit 'shift-#' your view will jump back to that saved location. (The keypad is especially cool 'cause you can associate keys with their relative map positions, for example, '7' is 'top left' and '5' is 'middle'.)

The combination 'Alt-F2' saves the game 'quick.sav' and is loaded using 'Alt-F3'. These are strictly quick shortcuts that were put in at the last minute, there are no nice dialog boxes or anything.

When you're desperate for cash, you can click on either the 'credit display window' or the 'water bar' to force a water launch. This does the same thing as 'shift-L', so check it out in your manual.

If you've really gotta quit quickly, and you don't have time to click on the 'Menu' tab, you can hit 'ctrl-shift-Q' to exit directly to the operating system. (Whew, was that your boss?)

This one might be in the manual, but it wasn't in the 'help.txt' file. When you are using 'groups', hitting 'shift-group#' selects that group, and jumps the view to above the first selected unit.

Hmm, nothing you can really get from these, but what the hell. To turn on some debug info, including frame rate, hit 'ctrl-shift-/'. To see some network stats, hit 'ctrl-shift-\'.

You can hit the 'U' key when you have a building selected to upgrade it. (Same as clicking the 'upgrade' button, but for those speed freaks!)

Hitting 'V' displays your version string. This was mainly used during development, but we thought we might as well leave it in there.

I saw this in the 'help.txt' file, but it was slightly incorrect. The 'END' key sets the cluster location for repair and rearm facilities. This is the point to which units in a queue move before they get repaired - and only if the queue is quite full. This can be useful if you have a lot of units queuing up in a location that could be dangerous (for example - on the wrong side of your enormous line of guard towers!)

A number of people have asked us about the 'space' bar and what 'last game event' means. To be brief - there are these things called 'game messages' (configured in gamemsg.txt) and a large number of them are triggered with an associated 'x,y' map position. Hitting the space bar jumps you to the location of the last game message that was triggered with an 'x,y' position. An example of this is when the lovely calm computer voice says 'Enemy engaged' - you hit 'space' and your view jumps to the location of the battle. Of course, all your units may get blasted off the planet, and your view will be stuck in the middle of nowhere. So hit 'space' again, and the view will jump back to the position you came from. Neat eh!

One last thing for serious users only! If you hit 'ctrl-shift-c' during the game, the game message with the symbol "TESTBLweP" will be triggered at the current mouse position. If you're configuring scenario specific game messages, you may want to use it for testing - especially if your game messages are end-condition dependent, and only happen when you've played for an hour!

Config Stuff
These are some things to do with the file 'tactics.cfg' which is in the same directory as dkreign.exe.

In the 'EngineSetup' section you can set the variable 'SoundCache'. This is the maximum amount of ram that will be used to cache sound effects off your hard disk. You can change this to a higher value if you have lots of ram, and you may get better performance (especially if your hard drive is dead slow!).

The following are in the 'UserPreferences' section.

'DefaultFire' and 'DefaultMove' determine whether the interface will automatically change into move and fire mode when you have units selected.

'InfoDelay' sets the number of milliseconds before the 'tool tips' etc appear. If they bug you, then set this higher. If you hate waiting for em, crank it down!

'EnablePanning' is something that went in at the last minute and we didn't want to upset anyone by making it the default. It turns on stereo panning of location based sound effects. So when your tank gets blasted just off the left of your screen, you will hear it in the left speaker. This is probably best with headphones.

'EnableAdvanced' was another one that went in at the very last minute. If it is equal to '1' then the 'Orders' and 'Paths' menus will be in their advanced states when you enter the game.

That's all we can think of for now, that should keep you busy for a while! One last thing, if you're really keen, have a really bad memory, and have no paper left in your printer! - you can edit the file 'help.txt' in the ..\dark\local directory and add in any extra things you want to remember, and you can see it all by hitting the 'F1' key during your game.

Enjoy Dark Reign!