INTRODUCTION ............................. 1
The game disks ...................... 2
1 GENERAL INFORMATION ...................... 3
The controls ........................ 3
The playing field ................... 7
2 THE HIT RULES ............................ 8
When you are allowed to hit ......... 8
Hits during a run ................... 9
Hits during a pass .................. 10
Hits in the breakthrough zone ....... 11
Hits during a pass rush ............. 11
Hits when rushing a kick ............ 12
Summary ............................. 12
3 OPTIONS .................................. 13
Automatic signal calling ............ 13
Automatic tackling .................. 13
Game speed .......................... 13
The hit-sound option ................ 13
Pursuit ............................. 14
Blocking ............................ 14
Block handicap ...................... 14
Automatic blocking .................. 15
Left-right motion ................... 15
Playing against the computer ........ 17
How to change options ............... 18
Skipping the speed test ............. 18
4 DEFENSIVE SIGNAL CALLING ................. 19
If you want no rush ................. 19
If you want a rush .................. 20
The defensive menu .................. 22
5 OFFENSIVE SIGNAL CALLING ................. 25
6 THE PLAY ................................. 27
Starting the play ................... 27
The running play .................... 27
The pass play ....................... 29
Draw play ........................... 31
Fieldgoal attempt ................... 32
Punt ................................ 32
Kickoff ............................. 33
On-side kick ........................ 33
Scoring ............................. 34
7 HOW THE COMPUTER KEEPS TRACK OF THINGS ... 35
The score board ..................... 35
Time ......... ...................... 35
8 PENALTIES ................................ 37
9 HUMAN AGAINST COMPUTER ................... 39
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE GAME OF DEFENSE
These are the directions for playing DEFENSE, a new concept in
electronic football. It is a concept that allows the best
simulation of real football that has ever been made. It is to
other games what chess is to checkers. Because it is more than
the normal chase-game, you will have to do a little reading and
practicing. Between these instructions and the PRACTICE disk, you
should have no trouble becoming a pro.
The main difference between this game and the others is that YOU,
not your computer, do the tackling and blocking, cause fumbles,
interceptions, etc. How well you call a play or a defense
determines what your chances of success are. Then your skill
and your reflexes let you improve those chances.
There is little that can be done in a real football game that
cannot be done in this game - runs, passes, screen passes, draw
plays, fieldgoals, on-side kicks, blitzes, sacks, interceptions,
fumbles, blocked kicks, and penalties.
This game offers a range of levels of difficulty through which
players can progress. It can be played by two or four players
and by a humans against the computer.
In order to get all of the advantages that this game offers, the
playing field has to be seen from a fair distance above the
ground. That means that you can't have the beautifully animated
little men that run around other electronic football games. Just
remember that those games have very realistic graphics but we
have a very realistic football game.
In the interest of saving many bytes of disk space and many pages
that you would have to print out, the word "he" is used in this
booklet to mean "he or she". There are no sinister chauvinistic
motives involved - only economy and conservation.
We suggest that you go through the PRACTICE program to get an
idea of what the game is about. Then use these instructions to
get a deeper understanding. Next, use the PRACTICE program to
develop your skills. The last step in your training should be
playing the real game, the DEFENSE program, against the computer.
Then you should be ready to take on a human opponent.
THE GAME DISKS
The game comes on two low-density diskettes or one high-density
diskette. The main program is DEFENSE.EXE. Just put the disk into
drive A of your IBM PC (or compatible) and enter GO or DEFENSE.
You will first get a chance to set up the game the way you want
to play it. Then the game will start.
A tutorial program PRACTICE.EXE teaches you the game and lets you
practice the basic skills. Just put that disk into drive A and
The disks also have a file DEFENSE.TXT which has this instruction
booklet in it. If you can, you should print it out. The booklet
is for those who want the game explained in much more detail than
the PRACTICE disk does.
Both DEFENSE and PRACTICE need the file SYMBOLS.PIX. It must be
present on whichever disk you use to store these programs on.
CHAPTER 1. GENERAL INFORMATION
The game can be played with several combinations of keyboard,
joysticks, and mouse.
* Two joysticks and the keyboard. The keyboard needs to be used
only for things like entering plays that are not on the menu or
to call time and accept or refuse penalties. The set-up sequence
gives you a chance to check which joystick controls which team.
See the picture below.
* One joystick or mouse and the keyboard. If two humans are
playing, the joystick or mouse controls the red team on the left.
The player with the blue team on the right must use the arrow
keys of the keyboard. If a human is playing against the
computer, the joystick or mouse moves to the blue team on the
right. The player can use one of them or the arrow keys. The
computer always plays the red team. See the picture below.
* Keyboard only. This mode works well when a human is playing
against the computer. The human must then use the arrow keys.
It is not the recommended way for two humans to play but it can
be done. The player on the right must use the arrow keys to
control the blue team. The player on the left must use the Q, A,
S, and Z keys to control the red team. The player on offense
must enter his signals after the defense. When two humans use
the keyboard, the block handicap does not work and the first
player to push a HIT button succeeds. It is also possible for
other button pushes of the two players to interfere with each
other. (Players should make pushes short. No holding down a
* Two players on a side. If you have a mouse or a joystick
controlling either team, two players can play on one side. One
player uses the joystick and one, the keyboard. With two
joysticks, two players can play on each side. On a team of two
players, one might be responsible for calling plays and directing
the left/right movements. The other might do the blocking and
-------PICTURE OF KEYBOARD, MOUSE, AND JOYSTICK MODES---------
The pictures below show which side the keyboard (KB), joystick
(JS), and mouse (M) are on in the different modes.
COMPUTER vs. HUMAN HUMAN vs. HUMAN HUMAN vs. HUMAN
------------- ------------- -------------
/ <-KB \ / KB-> <-KB \ / KB-> <-KB \
/_________________\ /_________________\ /_________________\
<-JS JS-> JS-> <-JS
The Joystick or Mouse
With a joystick, the player should make a short move of the stick
and let it return to the middle. With a mouse, he should make a
short movement and stop (no return to the original position).
Each such movement is equivalent to one push of a keyboard
button. Left or right movements during the play let you control
left/right motion of your players.
You can use any button on the mouse or joystick as a HIT button
to make hits for blocks or tackles. The computer looks at each
button several times each second to see if you are pushing it. If
your push is very short, it is possible for the computer to miss
it. On the other hand, you can get into foul trouble if you push
it too long. A little practice will teach you how long to push.
(The keyboard doesn't have that problem. A short push will do.)
I you're ever not sure which team your mouse or joystick
controls, it will help you to know that if you do anything with
it while the play menu is on the screen, a small dash will
appear under the bottom corner of the menu box on the side that
it controls and in the color of its team.
When using the menu to call signals, the right motion lets you
move from one sub-menu to the next. At the last sub-menu, it
also signals the computer that you have finished.
A down movement when you are calling signals tells the computer
that you want to use the sub-menu to make a selection. The
colored pointers will then appear. After that, short up or down
movements move the pointers up or down. Longer mouse movements
can be used to move the pointer over several selections.
The mouse or joystick buttons can be used instead of right
movement to go to the next sub-menu. After signal calling, the
offensive button can be used to begin the play.
If a software mouse driver is installed on your computer system,
the game will respond to a mouse (even if a joystick is also
installed). If no mouse software is installed, the game responds
to any joysticks that are properly installed.
During the set-up procedure you get a chance to adjust the joy
sticks. The X and Y controls or tabs on the sticks should be put
about in the center. The screen shows you the X and Y readings
the computer is getting from the sticks. Move the stick all the
way to the right and note the X reading. Move it all the way to
the left and note that reading. Then let the stick return to the
middle and adjust the X tab so that the X reading is half way
between these two readings. (The numbers will move around a
little.) Do the same thing for the Y (up and down) direction.
If, during the game, the sticks begin to behave strangely, get
back to the set-up sequence and repeat the adjustment.
After the adjustment, you get a chance to test the joystick or
mouse. Pushing right should make an arrow appear that points in
the correct direction. (If a joystick is not behaving correctly,
it might not be adjusted well. Pushing X takes you back to the
adjustment procedure and lets you try again.) Pushing any of the
buttons should make a sun appear. All of these characters appear
on the left in red and on the right in blue, depending on which
team the device controls. The device should, of course, be moved
to the side that it controls. During the play, you might want to
slant it toward the screen so that right and left movement
corresponds to right and left movements of your players.
\ \ <- joystick or mouse
Whether you have a mouse or joystick or just a keyboard in your
system has some affect on the speed of the game. You can
compensate for this with the speed setting. Also, in some
situations, the computer gives the joystick a little faster
control of left-right movement to make up for a little slower
response to your pushing it.
The things that can be done with the joystick or mouse can also
be done from the Keyboard. There are also some things that can
be done only on the Keyboard. These things are calling signals
with the number keys instead of the menus, accepting or refusing
penalties, and freezing the screen.
The following is a list of keys and what they do.
A - - - - HIT-button for red (left) team.
- Starts play when on offense.
- Accepts penalty.
F - - - - Freezes action on screen. Second push un-freezes it.
H - - - - Makes a hit and stops play even when not legal.
L - - - - Shifts formation left in signal calling.
M - - - - Shifts formation to middle in signal calling.
N - - - - Answers "no" to question in set-up sequence.
Q - - - - Causes left motion on red (left) team during play.
- Moves pointers up during signal calling with menus.
R - - - - Shifts formation right in signal calling.
- Refuses penalty.
S - - - - Moves to next sub-menu during signal calling.
T - - - - Time out.
X - - - - Calls set-up sequence.
Y - - - - Answers "yes" to questions in set-up sequence.
Z - - - - Causes right movement on red (left) team during play.
- Moves pointers down during signal calling with menus.
0 to 9 - Used to call signals when not using menu. *
- Used during set-up sequence. *
Up arrow- Causes right motion on blue (right) team during play.
- Moves pointers up during signal calling with menus.
Dn arrow- Causes left motion on blue (right) team during play.
- Moves pointers down during signal calling with menus.
Lft arow- HIT-button for blue (right) team.
- Starts play when on offense.
Rit arow- Moves to next sub-menu during signal calling.
RETURN (or ENTER)
- Calls default play if used instead of signals.
- Marks end of signal calling when using number keys.
- Starts play if playing against the computer.
Space - Can be used as HIT-button against computer.
* Note: To enter numbers, use the row of numbers at the top
of the main keyboard. That way you can keep NUM LOCK
off which lets you use the arrow keys on the numerical
key-pad. (If you have separate arrow keys, it doesn't
THE PLAYING FIELD
There are two things about the playing field that are peculiar to
this game. The home (red) team always defends the left side and
the visiting (blue) team, the right. The blue team always kicks
off first. There is no changing of sides between quarters.
The top part of the screen is the playing area looking down on
the field. Only a part of the football field can be seen in this
view. It goes from sideline to sideline and covers about 54
yards in the down-field direction. During a play, a black number
near the line of scrimmage shows what down it is. On the bottom
of the screen is the side-view of the entire field. It shows
where the ball is at any time. There is a first-down marker and
a dot that marks the line of scrimmage. If you can't see the goal
posts on the normal field and you are trying a fieldgoal, you can
watch that view to see whether the ball goes over the bar.
The playing area is divided into defensive zones. Figure 1 shows
The Rush zone is the offensive backfield zone. All plays begin
in this zone. Rushing defenders to get into it if the play is a
pass, a draw, or a kick.
The line zone is where the defensive linemen are. There can be
from three to nine of them.
The linebacker zone is where the linebackers play. You can have
from none to four linebackers.
The safety zone is where the safeties are. Again you can have
from none to four of them.
If a ballcarrier is allowed through the line, linebacker, and
safety zones without being stopped, he is in the breakthrough
zone. In that zone, Only the closest defender still has a chance
to catch him.
Figure 1. Defensive Zones on the Screen
Red on offense >>>>> <<<<< Blue on defense
RUSH LINE LINEBACKER SAFETY BREAKTHRU
Red on defense >>>>> <<<<< Blue on offense
BREAKTHRU SAFETY LINEBACKER LINE RUSH
CHAPTER 2 THE HIT RULES
The main idea of the game is that the more defenders are in the
zone that the ballcarrier is in, the better are the chances of
stopping him. The hit rules of the game were designed to make
these chances be close to what they would be in a real game.
They govern tackling and blocking and things like fumbles,
interceptions, blocked kicks, and sacks.
Tackling and blocking are done with the HIT buttons. The HIT
buttons are the buttons on the joysticks or mice. On the
keyboard, they are the left arrow on the right side and the A key
on the left. The space bar can be used against the computer.
WHEN YOU ARE ALLOWED TO HIT
During the play, you will hear beeps. At each beep, the computer
selects one defender in the zone that the ball is in. This is
usually the defender closest to the ball when the ball first
enters the zone, then the next closest defender, and so on. the
computer then decides whether or not to give the selected
defender an OPPORTUNITY to make a hit. That is, it gives you a
signal that tells you whether or not you are allowed to push the
HIT button. (The computer makes this decision by rolling its
electronic dice. But the probability of it coming up saying
"hit" depends on how many defenders are in the zone that the ball
is in or how close the ballcarrier is to the nearest defender.
We will learn more about that later.) What is the signal that
the computer sends you? The selected defender will turn some
color. Well, actually his pants will turn some color. If that
color is the color of the defense, you can hit. If it's some
other color, you can't hit. That rule applies to the player on
offense as well as the player on defense. So if the red team is
on defense, both players can hit their HIT buttons only if a
defender turns red at a beep. If the blue team is on defense,
they can hit only if the defender turns blue. If the player on
defense pushes his button first, it's a good hit. If the player
on offense hits his button first, it's a block. A player who
makes a hit on the wrong color gets a penalty.
< From now on, we will call it an OPPORTUNITY when the computer <
< flashes a color that you can hit on. <
That is the hit rule in a nutshell. Let's now cover it in more
detail and see how it applies to different situations.
HITS DURING A RUN
This is how the hit rules apply when a ballcarrier is running on
the ground in the line zone, the linebacker zone, or the safety
The defense gets three chances in each zone to stop the
ballcarrier. That is, there are three beeps in a zone as long as
the ballcarrier is not stopped. At each beep, the computer
selects a defender, starting with the defender who is closest to
the path of the ballcarrier. The computer controls the odds of
being able to make tackles by how it decides on whether to give
designated defenders opportunities to hit. This decision is
different on the first beep in a zone than on the others.
On the first beep in a zone, the computer rolls its electronic
dice to determine whether to give the first defender an
OPPORTUNITY. It sets the odds that he will get one by how close
the ballcarrier is to the defender. (Closeness is measured in
the vertical direction only no matter in which direction the
runner is going. In other words, if the runner were running
straight down field, how close would he come to the defender? See
the illustration in Figure 2.) If the runner is facing the
defender head-on, the chances of the computer giving the
designated defender an OPPORTUNITY 100 percent. The chances drop
off as the distance to the defender gets bigger.
Q Q Q
0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 XXXXX 100%
0 0 0 0 0 0 XXXXX <-------------- Center of Ballcarrier
0 0 0 0 0 0 XXXXX
0 0 0 0 0 0
Q Q Q
0% in line zone
Figure 2. Chances of getting an OPPORTUNITY at different
distances from defender (on first beep in zone
On the beeps after the first one in a zone, the computer again
rolls the electronic dice. But this time it sets the odds of
giving an OPPORTUNITY by how many defenders there are in the
zone. The more defenders there are, the better the chances of
him being given an opportunity.
You can see that the odds of getting an OPPORTUNITY on any beep,
even the first one, improve with the number of defenders in the
Of course, a defender's getting an OPPORTUNITY doesn't stop the
ballcarrier. It only means that he is eligible to hit. It means
that the players are allowed to push their HIT buttons. The
player on defense must then push his HIT button before the next
beep. The player on offense can also push his HIT button and, if
he hits it first, can block the player on defense. If the
defense can make a hit without being blocked, the progress of the
ballcarrier is stopped. If the hit was made on any beep other
than the first beep in the zone, the play ends and there are no
more beeps. If the hit was made on the first beep in the zone,
what happens next depends on the zone.
If a successful hit is made on the first beep in the line zone,
the ballcarrier is stopped but not down. He can no longer make a
gain. He can only try to keep from being thrown for a loss. So
he keeps on probing the line. The beeps continue for two more
beeps or until the player on defense cannot make a successful
hit. For each successful hit, the ballcarrier can be pushed
pushed back a little, depending on how fast the hit is made. If
the defense can make three hits in a row, there is a fourth beep.
If the defense can make a successful hit on this beep also, the
ball is fumbled and recovered by the team on defense.
If a successful hit is made on the first beep in the linebacker
or the safety zone, the ballcarrier is stopped. The beeps
continue for three more beeps or until the defense fails to make
a successful hit. On the third hit, the ball is knocked loose.
If the defense can make a fourth hit, the ball is recovered by
the team on defense. Otherwise, the offense retains control.
HITS DURING A PASS
In a pass play, the ball is passed from the rush zone to the
reception zone. The reception zone is the line zone on a screen
pass, the linebacker zone on a short pass, and the safety zone on
a long pass. As the ball approaches the reception zone, there
is a beep and the nearest defender is selected. Just as in a
run, the computer rolls its electronic dice to determine whether
to give him an opportunity. It sets the odds that he will get one
by how close to the defender the ball will come down. (If the
left-right option is off so that you cannot move the defenders,
the odds are set by how many defenders are in the zone.)
If the defense gets an OPPORTUNITY, the HIT button can be pushed.
Again, the player on offense can push his hit button to block the
If the defensive player's hit is successful, the pass is
incomplete. The beeps will then continue for three more beeps or
until the defense cannot make a successful hit. If the defense
can get hits on all four beeps, the pass is intercepted. In that
case, the direction arrows change, the defenders are removed from
the field and replaced by the other team's defenders, and play
continues as a run with the intercepting team doing the running.
If the defensive player cannot make a hit on the first beep in
the reception zone, the pass is complete. In that case, the play
continues as a run. The defense gets two more beeps in the zone
and the rules are those of the run.
HITS IN THE BREAKTHROUGH ZONE
If a ballcarrier can make it all the way through to the end of
the safety zone without being stopped or crossing the goal line,
he enters the breakthrough zone. Only the nearest defender in
the safety zone still has a chance to catch him. Until the
ballcarrier reaches the goal line, there will be beeps and the
nearest safety will be selected over and over. The computer sets
the odds of his getting an OPPORTUNITY to one in six. If the
player on defense can make a successful hit, the ballcarrier is
stopped and the play ends.
HITS DURING A PASS RUSH
During a pass rush, a number of defenders enter the rush zone in
pursuit of the passer. The computer beeps and designates
defenders one at a time. The odds of each defender getting an
OPPORTUNITY depend on how many rushers there are in the rush zone
(even on the first beep).
When one of the defenders gets an OPPORTUNITY, the player on
defense can push his HIT button. The player on offense can block
with his HIT button. On a pass rush, a single successful hit
does not stop the passer. It takes two hits to make a sack.
What's more, on a screen pass, the passer fades back only long
enough to get one beep before he throws the ball so that he
cannot be sacked. On a short pass, the passer fades back for
only two beeps. So the defense must make a successful hit on
each beep. On a long pass, the passer fades back for three
beeps. In that case, the defense gets three chances to make two
hits. If the defense can make two successful hits during the
rush, the passer is sacked. If the defense can make hits on the
first two beeps, the computer continues to beep for two more
beeps or until the defense cannot make a successful hit. If the
defense can make a hit on all four beeps, the passer is not only
sacked but fumbles and the ball is recovered by the team on
By the way, you will see later that the player on offense can
change the direction of the pass during the fade-back to take
advantage of holes in the defense's coverage. If the defense can
get even one hit during the pass rush, the offense can't continue
changing the direction and its aim could be spoiled.
HITS WHEN RUSHING A KICK
During the rush of a punter or fieldgoal kicker, a number of
defenders enter the rush zone. The computer beeps and designates
defenders one at a time. The odds of a defender getting an
OPPORTUNITY depend on how many rushers there are in the rush zone
(even on the first beep).
When one of the defenders gets an OPPORTUNITY, the player on
defense can push his HIT button. The player on offense can block
with his HIT button. It takes four successful hits in a row to
block the kick. The computer beeps three times and adds a fourth
beep if the defense can make hits on the first three. If the
defense can get four successful hits, the kick is blocked and,
except for a point-after-touchdown attempt, is recovered by the
team on defense.
Here is a summary of the hits required for various results.
HITS < ON THE GROUND >
< ON A PASS >
1 Incomplete (on first beep in reception area)
< ON A RUSH >
1 Stop aiming of pass
4 Sack and fumble
4 Blocked kick
CHAPTER 3. OPTIONS
You can make this game very easy or so hard that it's impossible
to play. You decide how hard you want to make it by the computer
options you choose and the rules you play by. In this chapter we
tell you what your options are and how to set them up. One
option you have is whether to play against the computer or
against another human. We'll start with the game against the
AUTOMATIC SIGNAL CALLING
By not selecting a defensive formation or an offensive play
before pushing the START button, you tell the computer to select
for you. The computer also selects your play if you go through
the play menu without making a selection. Either player can use
automatic play calling at any time if you elect to allow it. The
plays that the computer selects are not the smart plays it would
select if it were playing against a human. All it does on
defense is call the standard 533 defense with two linemen
rushing. On offense, it selects a play at random from the
running and passing plays that are available.
You can set the computer to push the HIT button for the player on
The speed of the game can be set to from 0 to 9 (9 being the
slowest). The speed setting affects the running speed of the
ballcarrier, the speed of the ball in the air, the speed of the
defenders, and the time interval between beeps. The setting does
not affect the game clock.
THE HIT-SOUND OPTION
If this option is on, the computer modifies its beeps by adding a
short beep an octave higher than the main beep if the computer is
giving you an OPPORTUNITY to hit. This option makes the game
much easier to play because you don't have to watch for the color
of the defender. You can use your ears and let your eyes watch
other things. On the other hand, it removes much of the
challenge from the game.
With the pursuit option on, the defenders in the zone the
ballcarrier is in pursue him just as real players would. With
pursuit off, defenders stay put. That makes the game look less
realistic but for a beginner it might be less confusing because
there is less movement. As far as the progress of the play is
concerned, it makes no difference whether pursuit is on or off.
COMMENT: Up to this point, without use of the options that we
will get to next, the game is strictly a game of probabilities.
That is, the players call the signals and start the play. Except
for pushing the HIT button (if the automatic tackling option is
off), the computer runs the play. Chances of stopping the
ballcarrier in any zone depend on how many defenders are in it.
This mode is also the easiest to play. It tests only the
players' play calling skill. The next group of options make the
players' reaction times a factor and add excitement to the game.
They allow players to shift the odds their way with their skill.
They also make it harder to play.
To use the blocking option, the players only have to agree that
blocking is to be allowed. If the player on offense can push his
HIT button before the player on defense can hit his, the
defense's button is blocked and the defender on the field is
knocked down with the appropriate sound effect. A legal block
can be made only if a defender has been given an OPPORTUNITY. An
illegal block draws a penalty.
The block handicap is the amount of time by which the player on
offense must beat the player on defense to the HIT button in
order to block successfully. (Actually, the interval is measured
in the number of steps that the ballcarrier or pass receiver
takes so that it is not always the same amount of time.) The
block handicap can be set in the set-up mode to be between 0 and
3 steps. If the setting is very low, a player with slow reflexes
would have no chance to ever make a tackle against a player with
fast reflexes. A higher setting can reduce such an advantage.
If both players are using the keyboard, the block handicap
setting has no effect. In that case, the player who hits his HIT
button first wins.
If a human is playing against the computer, the block handicap
determines how long the computer waits to block and also to
tackle. The higher the setting, the more chance the human has to
beat the computer to the punch on offense or on defense.
You can set the computer to push the HIT button for the player on
offense. The effect of this is that the defense would not have
the entire interval between beeps to push the HIT button, but
only a short blocking-time interval. You cannot have both
automatic tackling and blocking. The computer could develop a
Selecting this option gives both players the ability to move
things right or left. The players can use right or left movement
of the joystick or mouse for this purpose. With the joystick,
moving it right or left and returning it to the center is
equivalent to one push of a button of the keyboard. With a
mouse, it's one short motion to the right or left without
returning it to its original position.
If the players are using the keyboard, the player on the right
can use the up and down arrows for right and left motion,
respectively. The player on the left must use the Z and Q keys.
The things that you can do with the right-left controls are
Moving the defenders
The player on defense can move the defenders right or left. Only
defenders in the line, linebacker, or safety zones can be moved.
And only the defenders in one of these zones will move. When the
ball is being run on the ground, the defenders that move are the
ones in the zone into which a ballcarrier will run next. If the
ball is in the air in a pass play, the defenders that move are
the ones in the reception zone. (The reason why defenders stop
moving when the ball enters a zone is that it no longer matters
how close defenders are to the ball. That only matters before
the first beep in a zone. The player on defense needs to move
the defenders in the next zone into position for the first beep.)
The player can begin the movement of defenders when a runner has
started to run with the ball or when a pass is in the air.
(If this option is not on, the computer gives "opportunities" to
pass defenders based on how many defenders are in the reception
zone rather than how close they are to where the ball will land.)
An example of how the controls work: Pushing the defensive R
control starts the defenders moving to the right. Pushing the R
control again makes them move faster. The control can be pushed
three times for maximum speed. After that it has no affect.
Exceptions to the rule are the pass defenders when the pass is in
the air and linemen before a ballcarrier turns toward the line.
In those cases, defenders move at only one speed. Once the
defenders are moving to the right, pushing the L control stops
their movement. Pushing L again, starts them moving to the left.
When moving defenders reach a sideline, they don't go out of
bounds. They merely bunch up.
There is a drawback to using this option if the ball is being run
on the ground. It diverts some of your attention from tackling.
You are moving the defenders in the next zone into the path of
the runner while you want to be watching for chances to make hits
in the zone that the runner is in.
Moving the ballcarrier
When the ball is being carried on the ground, the offense's right
and left motion can be used to change the ballcarrier's direction
in order to try to avoid defenders. For example, pushing right
causes him to veer to the right. Each push of right makes the
angle greater. After three pushes, the control has no more
affect. Pushing left causes the runner to go straight down-field
again. Another push left makes him veer to the left. You have to
be careful near the sidelines. A ballcarrier can be made to run
out of bounds.
Left/right motion of the ballcarrier can be begun even before he
turns toward the line but not until he gets to about the position
of the tackle in the line. With these controls you can change
the area that he was supposed to attack. But if you make him go
faster toward the sidelines, you could run him out of bounds. (If
his motion is not controlled, he will not go out of bounds.)
The drawback of using this option is that it diverts some of your
attention from blocking. You are moving the runner to avoid the
defenders in the next zone while trying to block tackles in the
zone you are in.
Changing the pass
While the passer if fading back, the player on offense can use
the right and left controls to change the reception area. (There
are ten reception areas in a zone. They are numbered from 0 at
the top of the field to 9 at the bottom. During signal calling,
the player on offense should designate one of these reception
areas when he calls for a pass play.) Each left or right push
moves the reception area to the next area. The controls work
only while the passer is fading back. When the ball is thrown,
it is too late. Be careful. You can throw the pass out of
bounds if you push too often. The controls also work only as
long as no rushing defender has made a successful hit. After
that, they have no effect.
CAUTION: You can begin re-directing the pass as soon as the ball
is snapped. But there is a very short time interval after the
quarterback's first steps back (4 yards) and before the start of
his fade-back when the computer can miss a mouse movement.
Solutions: 1. Don't worry and take a chance 2. Try not to move
the mouse at that time. 3. Use the keyboard for re-directing
Here is an example. You are the red team, going from left to
right. You have the ball and you called for a short pass to area
4. You see that the left linebacker is blitzing and leaving a
big hole at the bottom of the playing area. So you quickly push
right 5 times as you say to yourself, "5, 6, 7, 8, 9". The pass
goes to your right sideline (area 9). The defense doesn't have a
chance. (If you had counted wrong and pushed right six times, you
would have passed out of bounds.) Another good reason for using
this option is that the passer fades back in the direction of the
original passing zone so that the pass tends to go straight down-
field. Changing the passing zone during fade-back makes the pass
slant. It's much harder for the defense to line a defender up
with a slanting pass.
The drawback of using this option is that it diverts some of your
attention from trying to block any defenders that are rushing.
(A good reason why the defense should often have some kind of
pass rush. If there are no rushing defenders, the player on
offense can focus all of his attention on picking the best spot
to pass to. Of course, if you rush too much, you leave yourself
open to the draw play or screen pass.)
PLAYING AGAINST THE COMPUTER
Another option is to let the computer be your opponent. This is
a good way to practice the game. The computer always plays the
red team. It always uses the blocking option and the left-right
motion option. The computer doesn't cheat. It calls its plays
without looking at your play call. But it does re-direct its
passes to take advantage of any holes in your defense just as a
good human player would. The computer always kicks on fourth
down. The space bar can be used as another HIT button.
When playing against the computer, the block handicap setting
sets the delay before the computer blocks or tackles. The bigger
the handicap the easier it is for the human player to beat the
computer to the punch on both offense and defense.
HOW TO CHANGE OPTIONS
At the beginning of the game, you are taken through the set-up
procedure that lets you set the options. If you want to make
changes during the game, you can call up the set-up procedure by
pushing X on the keyboard or by selecting the "Special" menu
before calling a play. This menu lets you either call time out
or get the set-up mode. When you are in the set-up mode, just
follow the instructions on the screen.
SKIPPING THE SPEED TEST
When either DEFENSE or PRACTICE is started, the program tests
the speed of your computer. It has to do that so that the
game will run at the proper speed. If you get tired of waiting
through this test each time, you can make the computer skip it by
telling the program what the speed is. If you let the computer
do the speed test, it will write in the lower left corner of the
screen what it measured. (Example: Speed is 69) Once you know
that number, you can enter it when you start the program. Just
type it after the word DEFENSE or PRACTICE whenever you start
one of these programs. Be sure to leave a space. If the program
sees a number there, it won't do the test.
Example: DEFENSE 69
CHAPTER 4. DEFENSIVE SIGNAL CALLING
The player on defense must call defensive signals before every
play except a kickoff. A joystick or mouse can be used to select
a formation from the menu on the screen. Keyboard keys can also
be used for that purpose. The player can also use the keyboard
to make up a formation that isn't on the menu. Pushing the HIT
button or the ENTER (or RETURN) key on the keyboard tells the
computer that the signals have been entered. If one of these
keys is pushed without first entering signals, the computer will
put in a 533 formation with two linemen rushing. A delay-of-game
penalty is called if signals aren't called in 30 seconds.
You will be able to pick most any formation that you might want
from the menu. But in order to understand the defensive signals
and to be able to enter formations that aren't on the menu if you
should ever want to do that, you should read the next three
sections that tell you how to enter defensive signals with the
First you should decide on whether or not you want to call for a
pass rush (or kick rush).
IF YOU WANT NO RUSH
If you don't plan to rush, all you need to do is enter your
defensive formation. You must enter three numbers. They
represent the number of linemen, linebackers, and safeties, in
that order. But there are limits to how many players you can
have in the zones. (The computer doesn't let you enter numbers
outside the limits) Here are the limits:
Number of defenders allowed in the zones
Line zone 3 to 9 defenders
Linebackers 0 to 4 defenders
Safety zone 0 to 4 defenders
So, if you enter 632, you will have six linemen, three
linebackers, and two safeties on the field. That adds up to
eleven. You get only one chance. There is no way to erase a
number once you have entered it. If you don't enter enough
men, you penalize yourself. If you enter too many, the referee
will penalize you five yards.
If an opponent always attacks the same area of the line, you can
shift the linemen into that area. Entering L, R, or M before the
number of linemen shifts them left, right, or toward the middle.
For example, entering M632 will give you the 632 formation with
the linemen shifted toward the middle.
You can still change your mind and call for a rush but if you
still want to do without one, push the HIT or ENTER button to let
the computer know that you have finished.
IF YOU WANT A RUSH
If you want a pass rush, things are a little more complicated.
First you must enter your defensive formation just as you would
for no rush. But you can, if you want to, precede any of these
numbers with a letter-button R, L, or M. If you enter an R
before the number, the formation will appear on the screen
shifted to the right. An L gives you a shift to the left. If
you enter an M, the formation will be shifted toward the middle.
The main reason for this option is that it lets you blitz
linebackers and safeties without leaving big holes that the
offense can pass into. For example, suppose you want to blitz
the middle linebacker and the right safety in a 434 formation.
Instead of entering 4 3 4, you could enter 4 M3 R4. Your
defensive formations would then be more evenly spread after the
blitzing defenders leave.
After your formation is entered, you can set up your rush.
Pushing the B key (for "Blitz") or any function key tells the
computer that linemen are to rush if the play is a pass. Only
some of the linemen penetrate the offensive line. The number of
linemen who penetrate depends on the total number of defensive
linemen. Once you pick the number of linemen, you have no more
control over how many will penetrate and which ones they will be.
The computer decides.
Rushing linemen who will penetrate the line
if a rush is called.
3-man line 1
4-man line 1
5-man line 2 Note: The linemen who penetrate
6-man line 2 are selected randomly
7-man line 3 by the computer.
8-man line 3
9-man line 4
Next you can call for linebackers to blitz. You can blitz with
any or all of the linebackers. Whereas you have no control over
which of your linemen will get through into the rush zone, you do
control which backs do the blitzing. You designate any
linebacker with his number counting from the top of the field and
enter his number if you want him to blitz. For example, if you
want the top two linebackers in your 434 formation to blitz, you
would enter 1 2. If you wanted just the bottom linebacker to
blitz, you would enter 3.
Next you can call for safeties to blitz by pushing the B or a
function key a second time. Blitzing safeties are then
designated the same way as linebackers are.
When you have finished, push the HIT or ENTER button. The
selected defensive formation does not appear on the screen until
both players have pushed their HIT or ENTER buttons. The play
begins when the player on offense pushes his HIT or ENTER button
When the play begins, blitzing linebackers and safeties move up
to the line. If the play turns out to be a run, they will become
linemen and no defenders penetrate the line to get into the rush
zone. If the play turns out to be a pass or a kick, blitzing
backs and the rushing linemen penetrate into the rush zone and
can make hits. If the play is a draw, blitzing backs and rushing
linemen penetrate the line but, because the play is a run, have
no chance to make hits.
If you just push the HIT or ENTER button without first entering
your signals, the computer will call the standard 533B defense
for you. But first you should get you opponent to agree to allow
Here are some examples of defensive signals that the Blue team
(defending the right goal line) might call.
A 533 formation with no rush
5 3 3 HIT (or ENTER)
A 443 formation with one lineman rushing
4 4 3 B HIT (or ENTER)
A 920 formation with five linemen rushing
9 2 B HIT (or ENTER)
A 443 formation, one lineman and bottom
4 4 3 B 4 HIT (or ENTER)
A 443 formation, one lineman and bottom
linebacker blitzing (will leave smaller hole)
4 L4 3 B 4 HIT (or ENTER)
A 344 formation, one lineman and both outside
3 4 4 B B 1 4 HIT (or ENTER)
A 533 formation, two linemen, middle linebacker,
and middle safety blitzing
5 3 3 B 2 B 2 HIT (or ENTER)
A 533 formation, two linemen, middle linebacker,
and middle safety blitzing (leaves smaller holes)
5 M3 M3 B 2 B 2 HIT (or ENTER)
A 920 formation, five linemen and both linebackers
9 2 0 B 1 2 HIT (or ENTER)
Maximum rush. One lineman and all backs blitzing
3 4 4 B 1 2 3 4 B 1 2 3 4 HIT (or ENTER)
THE DEFENSIVE MENU
Using the defensive menu is easier than using the keyboard. The
menu has three sub-menus (the special menu, the color menu, and
the play menu). Push right on the joystick or mouse to move from
one of these sub-menus to the next. Or use the right arrow or
the S key on the keyboard. We will call that "pushing RIGHT".
You can only go right. You can't go back.
The special menu
The special menu has two items - Time, and Set-up. Time stops
the game clock and Set-up puts you into the set-up mode. Push
down on the joystick or mouse to use this menu. Or use the down
arrow or the Z key on the keyboard. Since you have to go through
Time to get to Set-up, time-out is automatically called if you
select the set-up mode.
The color menu
To prevent your opponent from reading your signals, the game
provides you with ten colored pointers to your menus. You can
decide which color to use for your real pointer. The others are
dummies. When the game begins, the white pointer is the real
one. You can use the color menu at any time to select a
different color. Use the up or down motions of the joystick or
mouse to move the pointers up or down. Or use the up and down
arrows or the A and Z keys of the keyboard. We will call that
"pushing DOWN" or "pushing UP". Whichever pointer is on top -
opposite the single black pointer - when you quit the color menu
will be your real pointer until you change it again. Of course,
you should make your opponent look away when you do this.
The play menu
The defensive play menu gives you a list of twenty defensive
formations to choose from. You see them ten at a time. Every
time you move the pointers ten times in either direction, you get
to see five other formations. An example of a formation is
4R4L3B1B3 632 3<332
On the left, you see the formation as you would enter it if you
were using the keyboard (except that arrows and diamonds replace
the R, L, and M keys that you would use to shift the formations
right, left, or center). In this example, you are calling a 443
formation with one linebacker and one safety blitzing. The
linebackers and safeties are shifted so that the blitzing backs
won't leave big holes. The middle column shows where the
defenders will be if the play turns out to be a run. That is,
all blitzing backs will be in the line. In the example, you will
have six in the line, three linebackers, and two safeties. The
column on the right shows what will happen if the play is a pass
or a kick. In the example, three defenders will be rushing and
you will have three in the line, three linebackers, and two
safeties. You will probably ignore the left column and use only
the two columns on the right to make your decision. To select a
defense, move your pointer to it and push RIGHT again.
If you select a formation with no safeties against a punt, there
will be no runback. You will get the ball where it stops.
If you push RIGHT without ever pushing DOWN and getting the
pointers, you will get the default formation which is a 533 with
two linemen rushing. You also get the default formation if you
push ENTER before finishing the menu selection.
The entire menu of defensive formations is shown below. Because
we can't make arrows here, L, R, and M are used in place of
arrows and diamonds (which is strictly correct only if the blue
team is on defense).
FORMATION RUN PASS
3 4 4 344 344
3 4 4B 344 1<244
4 3 4B 434 1<334
4 4 3B 443 1<343
5 3 3 533 533 _
5 3 3B 533 2<333
3R4L4B1B4 533 3<233
6 3 2 632 632
3M4R4B23B1 623 4<223
3L4R4B4B13 632 4<232 _
7 2 2 722 722
4M3M4B2B14 722 4<322
3R4L4B13B24 722 5<222 Good against punt
8 2 1 821 821
7 2R2BB1 821 4<421 _
7 4 B 740 3<440 For inside 8 yardline
8 3 830 830 For inside 8 yardline
9 2 B 920 4<520 For inside 8 yardline
9 2 B12 1100 6<500 For fieldgoal rush
7 4 B1234 1100 7<400 For fieldgoal rush_
CHAPTER 5. OFFENSIVE SIGNAL CALLING
The screen will tell you when you should call your next offensive
play. The player on offense has to do that before every play
except a normal kickoff. If time is in, you have to be finished
before the 30-second clock times out. In this chapter we tell
you how to call plays. In a later chapter, you will learn about
Calling offensive signals from the keyboard is a matter of
entering two numbers. If you use the numeric keys and not the
menu and you are playing against a human, you MUST WAIT UNTIL THE
PLAYER OF DEFENSE HAS FINISHED CALLING SIGNALS.
The first number selects the play. You have nine plays to choose
from. They are numbered from 1 to 9 as shown in the table below.
THE OFFENSIVE PLAYS
1 - run
2 - draw
3 - screen pass
4 - short pass
5 - long pass
6 - fieldgoal kick
7 - punt
8 - kickoff*
9 - on-side kick
* kickoff play is automatically
set by the computer
You do not have to enter the play on a kickoff. The computer
does it for you.
The second number you enter designates a target area. Imagine
the field divided into ten equal horizontal strips or target
areas as shown in Figure 3. They are numbered from 0 at the top
of the field to 9 on the bottom. You need not enter a target
area if the play is a kick of any kind. If you do, the computer
will ignore it anyway. If you forget to select a target area on
a run or pass play, the computer will select one for you. After
you have pushed one or two numbers, push the HIT or ENTER button.
If you push the HIT or ENTER button without entering a number,
the computer will select a running or passing play at random.
Using the menu is just as easy except that you don't need to wait
until the defensive signals have been called. Just move your
pointer to the play that you want. Then push RIGHT. Pointers
will then appear by the list of target areas. Select one of them
and push RIGHT again.
When a player has finished entering signals the word DONE appears
on the appropriate menu. When both players are done, the
formations appear on the screen. The play begins when the player
on offense pushes the HIT or ENTER button again.
Your selection is not final until you push the RIGHT control and
get the "DONE" message on the screen or the menu disappears.
Likewise, if you use the keyboard to call signals, the choice is
not final until you push the RETURN (ENTER) key. That means
that, if you entered a play and realize that you made a mistake
and can't go back and fix it, you can stop and switch to the
other method of calling signals. This works only on offensive
FIGURE 3 The target areas
0 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
1 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
2 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
3 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
4 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
5 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
6 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
7 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
8 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
CHAPTER 6. THE PLAY
STARTING THE PLAY
When both the offensive and defensive players have entered their
play signals, the defensive formation appears on the field. Play
begins when the player on offense pushes the HIT button. If the
clock is running, players have thirty seconds from the end of the
last play to start the next one. (There is a 30-second clock
that runs between plays when time is in.) If the 30-second clock
runs out, a "delay of game" penalty is called on the player who
didn't get his signals entered. If both players let the clock
run out, time-out is called and no one gets a penalty.
Either player can stop the game clock by calling a time-out with
the T key on the keyboard or by selecting TIME on the "Special"
menu. Players must keep track of the number of time-outs called.
Each player gets three per half. Additional free time-outs can
be called by mutual consent of both players.
Beginning the play starts the ball moving on the field and the
bottom-display. The yardline and gain displays also keep track
of the ball location. The gain display shows gains as positive
numbers and losses as negative ones.
THE RUNNING PLAY (play 1)
At the start of a running play, the quarterback runs backward
about four yards, then hands the ball of to a running back who
runs sideways toward the target area. At that point, the
defenders can be moved right or left to intercept him. The
offensive right/left movement can be started when he gets past
the position of the offensive tackle. When he gets to the target
area, he turns down-field and runs toward the line. That's when
the player on offense should begin left/right movement. Remember,
the chances of being hit when he gets to the line get smaller
the farther away he is from a defender.
At the same time, the defenders in the zone that the ballcarrier
will be entering next (in this case, the line) can be moved
sideways by right/left controls of the player on defense.
When the ballcarrier gets to the line, a beep is heard and the
defender nearest the path of the ballcarrier turns some color
(at least his pants do). If it is the color of the defense, the
player on defense has the OPPORTUNITY to push his HIT button to
try to stop the progress of the ball.
If the player gets a hit, the ballcarrier's progress is stopped.
But if player on offensive is able to push his HIT button first,
the defender is blocked and the ballcarrier continues to run. If
either player pushes the HIT button on the wrong color, a yellow
flag appears and a referee who points to the offending side. In
that case, play goes on and a penalty will be called when the
play is over. If neither player pushes a HIT button, the ball
carrier just goes on until the next beep is heard.
When the second beep is heard, the next nearest defender to the
path of the ballcarrier gets a color. This time, the
probability of his getting the OPPORTUNITY to hit depends only on
how many defenders there are in the line zone. Again, the
players can use their HIT buttons according to the hit rules.
If the ballcarrier is not stopped at the second beep, there is a
third beep and the next nearest defender gets a chance. Again,
the chances of him getting an OPPORTUNITY depend on the number of
defenders in the line zone.
In the line, the ballcarrier advances two yards between beeps.
While the ballcarrier is running through the line, the player on
defense can move the linebackers sideways with the right/left
controls in case the runner makes it through the line.
If the ballcarrier gets through the line (three beeps) without
being stopped, he enters the zone of the linebackers. Here, the
action is similar to that in the line. Again there are three
beeps. On the first beep, the chances of the closest defender
getting an OPPORTUNITY depend on how close he is to the
ballcarrier. On the other two beeps the chances depend on how
many linebackers there are. The number of yards gained by the
ballcarrier between beeps is three yards in this zone.
If the ballcarrier makes it through the linebacker zone, the
same process is repeated in the zone of the safeties except that
the ballcarrier makes five yards between beeps. If he makes it
through that zone, only the closest safety continues to chase him
until the goal line is reached. During that chase, periodic
beeps are heard. The chasing defender has only a low probability
(1 in 6) of getting an OPPORTUNITY. The runner makes six yards
each beep in this zone.
If the player on defense has put no defenders in one of the
zones, there will be no beeps. The ballcarrier can cross that
zone with no chance of being stopped. If it is the safety zone
that has no defenders in it, there are no beeps in the
breakthrough zone either. That is, there is no defender left to
chase him to the goal line if he gets through the safety zone.
If the ballcarrier reaches the goal line at some earlier point
in this process, play is, of course, halted and a score is
recorded with appropriate sound effects.
So you can see that the probability of getting a chance to stop
the ballcarrier in any zone depends on how many defenders the
player on defense has put into the zone. Whether he can
capitalize on an OPPORTUNITY and actually make a hit depends on
his reflexes and those of the other player.
In addition to the basic scheme we have just described, the
defense can get other bonuses.
If a hit can be made on the very first beep when the ball first
enters the line zone, forward progress is stopped at the line,
but the runner still tries to find a hole. For each additional
hit that can be made in succession, the ballcarrier goes back a
yard or two. If the defense cannot make a hit on one of these
beeps, the ballcarrier is down and the play ends with no gain or
with a loss. If three hits in a row are made, the computer gives
the defense a fourth beep. If the defense can make that hit too,
the ball is fumbled and recovered by the defense. Otherwise,
play stops when no hit is made after a beep.
In any zone other than the line, the defense is also given a
chance to cause a fumble if a hit can be made on the first beep
in the zone. After the defense makes the hit, ball movement is
stopped but beeps continue. As long as defenders keep getting
opportunities and the player on defense makes hits without being
blocked, the beeps continue up to four. That is, if the defense
can make four successive hits, the runner fumbles and the defense
recovers. When the play finally ends, the runner is down and a
whistle is heard.
Here is a table that shows how many yards the ballcarrier makes
between beeps in the different zones.
Yards Gained Between Beeps
line zone 2
linebacker zone 3
safety zone 5
breakthru zone 6
THE PASS PLAY (play 3,4 or 5)
When a pass begins, the ballcarrier (quarterback) again goes
back about four yards. Then he fades backwards and sideways in
the direction of the target zone. At the same time, defenders
that have been picked to rush the passer move across the line of
scrimmage and follow the passer. Beeps are heard, as in the
running play. After each beep, a rushing defender turns a color.
The probability of his getting getting an OPPORTUNITY to hit
depends on the number of rushing defenders. If he gets an
OPPORTUNITY, the player on defense may push the HIT button and
the player on offense may hit his HIT button to attempt to block.
But the ballcarrier is not stopped by a first hit. It takes two
hits to sack the quarterback. (The first hit does stop the
player on offense from changing the target zone.)
What's more, the quarterback passes the ball after only one beep
if the play is a screen pass. For a short pass, the quarterback
fades back for two beeps. For a long pass, he takes three beeps.
That is, the defense has no chance to sack if the play is a
screen pass, only two chances on a short pass , and three chances
to make two hits on a long pass. If the defense can make three
hits in succession they are given one extra chance. If four hits
can be made in succession, not only is it a sack, but also a
fumble recovered by the defense.
During the fadeback for a pass, the player on offense can change
the target zone. Each move of the right/left controls raises or
lowers the target zone by one. It is possible in this way to
pass the ball out of bounds.
HINT: It is easier for the player on defense to move a defender
directly into line with a long pass if the pass goes straight
down field, as it is likely to go if the target area is not
changed during the fadeback. Changing the target area during the
fadeback not only allows the offense to pick a reception point
that is far from a defender but makes makes the pass slant across
the field and makes defense more difficult.
When the ball is thrown, a ball appears on the screen and moves
to the target area. During the flight of the ball, the player on
defense can move the defenders in the reception zone left or
right with the left/right controls. (The computer knows which is
the reception zone and moves the correct defenders.) The
reception zone for a screen pass is always the line zone (about
one yard from scrimmage). A short pass goes to the linebacker
zone (about eight yards from scrimmage). A long pass goes to the
safety zone (about eighteen yards from scrimmage).
When the ball approaches the reception zone, the closest defender
in that zone is selected. The probability of his getting the
OPPORTUNITY to hit depends on how close the defender is,
vertically, to the destination of the ball. If the defender gets
the opportunity and the player on defense pushes the HIT button
without being blocked, the pass is incomplete. Otherwise, the
pass is complete, the ballcarrier appears where the ball lands,
and begins running down field. Play continues from that point
as a running play.
The game also allows for interceptions. If the pass is
incomplete (by virtue of a hit on the first beep in the reception
zone), beeping continues for up to three more beeps. If the
defense can get three more hits in succession, the ball is
intercepted and a running play starts in the opposite direction
with the other team's defenders now appearing on the field. If
the interception is in the endzone, it's an automatic touchback
and the intercepting team gets the ball on the 20.
Below is a table that shows the lengths (in yards from the line
of scrimmage) of the different kinds of passes. These are the
minimum gains that can be made if the passes are completed.
PASS YARDS FROM LOS
If the passing team is any closer to the other team's goal line
than the 8-yard line, a long pass will go over the end of the
endzone. If you are on defense, this also means that you don't
need to have any safeties at all if the ball is closer than the 8.
In fact, you would be wasting defenders if you left them back
If the passing team is closer than the 5-yard line to their own
goal line, the passer will go out of the endzone if a long pass
DRAW PLAY (play 2)
A draw play is a running play in which the defenders that were
picked to rush are purposely allowed to penetrate the line of
scrimmage, but have no chance to hit the ballcarrier because
there is no fadeback.
If the offense calls this play and the defense is not rushing,
the statistical formula that decides whether to give an
OPPORTUNITY adjusts the probability in favor of the defense (as
if there were two more defenders in the line than there really
are). If it were not for this penalty, the player on offense
would be tempted to use a draw play in place of every running
play instead on only when he expects a heavy pass rush.
So if this play is called in anticipation of a heavy pass rush
and there is a rush, the play should make good yardage. But if
there is no rush, the chances of making a gain are smaller than
they would have been on an ordinary running play.
FIELDGOAL ATTEMPT (play 6)
A fieldgoal attempt begins like a pass except that the ball goes
straight back for 9 yards. Rushers are allowed to cross the line
of scrimmage and given chances to make hits. Four successive
hits must be made in order to make a block. A blocked kick is
always recovered by the defense at the point where it is blocked.
When the kick is made, the small ball on the bottom-display flies
toward a goal post. If the ball clears the crossbar, the kick is
good. If the line of scrimmage is close enough for the goal
posts to be seen on the screen, you can also tell by watching the
ball on the field whether the kick is good. The processor sets
the probability of a successful attempt depending on the distance
to the goal posts. The probability is 95 percent if the line of
scrimmage is the three yardline and zero at the fifty yardline.
The defense is not penalized for a heavy rush, as it is on a
punt. The only reason for caution is that the offense might do a
draw or a screen pass play (fake kick) if they expect a maximum
After a touchdown, the scoring team can try for a conversion from
the three-yardline. The normal way is to do a fieldgoal attempt
for one point (point-after-touchdown). The team can also try for
two points by doing a running or passing play.
PUNT (play 7)
A punt begins like a fieldgoal attempt. The ball goes back about
10 yards while rushing defenders are allowed to penetrate the
line and are given chances to hit. If four successive hits can
be made by the defense, the kick is blocked and recovered by the
defense. If not, the little ball kicked and can be watched best
on the bottom display. If not a touchback, the kick is turned
into a running play for the receiving team when it lands.
In a real game, if the receiving team rushes with more defenders
to try to block the kick, there will be fewer of them to block
for the receiver. This is simulated in this game by placing the
new defenders on the field by turning around the receiving team's
defensive formation. Linemen and blitzing backs will then be in
the zone closest to the receiver when the runback begins. (If
the receiving team does not intend to try for a block, they will
have a better chance for a long runback by putting fewer men on
The distance of a punt is randomly chosen by the processor
between 30 and 50 yards from scrimmage. If the kick lands more
than about two yards into the endzone, it automatically becomes a
touchback and is placed on the 20 yardline.
If there is a runback, defenders are placed on the field by the
processor in three zones that the ballcarrier must run through
just as in a running play.
KICKOFF (play 8)
A kickoff is also seen best on the bottom-display. The processor
places the ball on the 35 yardline and automatically calls the
defensive formation and the kickoff play. The player on offense
need only push the START button. (If he enters any play other
than a kickoff or a short kick, a penalty will be called.) The
ball then flies toward the other team's goal. If the ball lands
more that about two yards inside the endzone, it is automatically
a touchback. If not a touchback, the kick is turned into a
running play for the receiving team when it lands. The length of
the kick is randomly selected by the processor between 55 and 75
If there is a runback, defenders are placed on the field by the
processor in a 5,3,3 arrangement, so that the ballcarrier must
run through zones of 5,3, and 3 defenders. Except at the first
beep in a zone, when the proximity to the nearest defender
counts, the chances of getting an OPPORTUNITY are 50% in all
zones. (That's true for all run-backs.) Both players can use
right/left controls to move the ballcarrier and the defenders.
If the defense has no safety at all, there is no one to catch
the ball and the receiving team gets the ball where it lands.
ON-SIDE KICK (play 9)
Normally, the player who is kicking off does not have to enter a
play selection for a kickoff. But if he enters a 9 before he
pushes the start button, the kick will be a short kick. Such a
kickoff travels about 15 yards. Nine defenders will appear in
the first zone into which the receiver must run. The kicking
team's chances for getting the ball back by getting four hits in
a row and causing a fumble are about 12 percent. Watch out! The
first beep comes very quickly.
Points are scored in this game just as in a real game. Here are
the ways to score.
o Touchdown (6 points). The ball is carried or passed into
the defense's endzone. A fumble or blocked punt is recovered in
the offensive team's endzone by the defense.
o PAT (point after touchdown) (1 point). The team that scored
a touchdown place-kicks the ball over the goalpost from the three
o Two-point conversion (2 points). The team that scored a
touchdown runs or passes the ball into the endzone from the
o Fieldgoal (3 points). The ball is place-kicked over the
goalpost on a normal down (not after a TD).
o Safety (2 points). The offense's ballcarrier or passer is
tackled in the offensive endzone.
CHAPTER 7. HOW THE COMPUTER KEEPS TRACK OF THINGS
While you run all of these plays you just learned about, the
computer keeps track of possession, down, yards to go, yards
gained, scores, time remaining, the 30-second clock, quarters,
and all other aspects of the game. These things are displayed on
a scoreboard screen that alternates with the play screen. The
scoreboard appears after the play ends. It goes away after the
signals for the next play have been called. The bottom-screen
display that shows the cross section of the field with the ball
location, the yardline, gain, and number of hits stays on the
screen all of the time.
The game clock works much like that of a real game. The clock is
started when a play begins. The clock is automatically stopped
when any of these things happen:
* first down * penalty * missed fieldgoal
* touchback * out of bounds * 2-minute warning
* score * incomplete pass * end of quarter
* Time-out is called
* Both players let play clock expire
In all of these cases, the clock will not start again until a
new play is begun. If no play is in progress, the players can
tell whether or not the clock is running by looking at the time
display or the 30-second clock. If they are not running, then
time is out.
The 30-second clock starts running down when the scoreboard
screen appears unless the game clock is stopped. If the clock is
running, players have 30 seconds to start the next play or a
"delay-of-game" penalty is called. If neither player calls
signals in time, the game clock stops and no one is penalized.
The game does not keep track of time-outs taken by the players.
The players must keep track of them themselves. Each player is
allowed three time-outs in each half with additional time-outs
allowed by mutual consent which are charged to neither player.
After four 15-minute quarters the game ends unless the score is
tied. In that case another quarter starts with the blue team
kicking off. It is up to the players to decide whether overtime
will last one quarter, five minutes, or until there is a score
(sudden death). At the end of the fifth quarter, the scoreboard
flashes the END OF GAME message and you are instructed to quit
the game and start a new one. These messages can be ignored and
you can play on if you want. The only way to start a new game is
to quit the program and start again. To quit, type X to get the
set-up mode and then type Y twice. Or you can push Esc.
CHAPTER 8. PENALTIES
The computer detects fouls such as illegal hits, calling illegal
formations or plays, and not getting the play started on time.
It calls appropriate penalties and, if the play was allowed to
finish, tells the players of the consequences of accepting or
refusing the penalties. This information is printed on the
screen. It then waits for the player who was fouled to push
the A for ACCEPT or the R for REFUSE. Here is how a typical
penalty message might look:
HOLDING - RED
ACCEPT: 1 down and 10 on the blue 35
REFUSE: 2 down and 8 on the blue 27
ACCEPT OR REFUSE? Blue push A or R
The severities of the penalties depend on the phase of the play
when the infraction occurred. If the foul happens early in a
play, the penalty is lighter than when it happens later. An
illegal hit can be made by either the offensive or the defensive
player. After a play, players can usually see where an illegal
hit was made because there a defender of the wrong color can be
seen to have made a hit or to have been blocked. (If you want to
keep the field screen from disappearing after a play, try to push
the F key as soon as possible. Push it again to let the game go
Although most penalties are actually for illegal hits, they are
given names like "holding", "unnecessary roughness", or "offside".
The main categories of penalties are as follows:
* Delay of game (not getting signals called on time)
This infraction is called before a play begins and results in
a 5-yard penalty from scrimmage.
* Illegal procedure (calling illegal signals)
This infraction is called before a play begins and results in
a 5-yard penalty from scrimmage.
* Illegal hit during a rush (pass, fieldgoal, or punt)
This infraction stops the play as if the foul occurred
before the snap of the ball. The penalty is 5 yards from
scrimmage (except that an offensive penalty on a kick for
the extra point after a TD is 15 yards).
* Illegal hit at pass reception or during a run
The penalty for this infraction depends on where the foul
occurred. It varies from 5 yards from scrimmage to 15 yards
from the point where the play stopped.
* Illegal hit during a runback (interception, kickoff, or punt)
This penalty is always 10 yards marked from the point at
which the play stopped.
* Offsetting penalties (both players making illegal hits)
If the infraction occurred during a runback, the penalties
cancel each other and play continues as if there were no
penalty. If the foul occurred at any other time, the
penalties cancel each other and the down is replayed from the
previous line of scrimmage.
CHAPTER 9. HUMAN AGAINST COMPUTER
In this chapter, we talk about the differences between the
computer game and the human game and what the computer as an
opponent does differently from a human opponent.
The computer always defends the same goal (the left one). It
controls the red team. You control the Blue on the right. You
can use the space bar as another HIT button.
The human player kicks off at the beginning of the game.
The human player always pushes the start button to begin a play,
even if he is on defense. He pushes it when he has finished
calling the signals, which puts the formations on the screen. He
pushes it again to begin the play. If the clock is running, he
has 30 seconds to start a new play. (Almost any key can start
the play when playing against the computer.)
The computer uses all available options. That is, it uses
right/left motion and it blocks on offense.
The computer calls its signals very quickly so that the human is
the last to enter signals. (No, the computer doesn't cheat by
looking at what play the human is calling before it calls its own
Because the computer's reflexes are much faster than yours the
computer's maximum left/right speed on offense and defense is
made slower and its reversing speed on offense is also made
slower than that available to the human player. It wants to give
you a fair chance.
When you are playing against the computer, the block handicap is
no longer a handicap put on the offense. It is a handicap that
is put on the computer whether it is on offense or on defense.
The handicap can be set from 0 to 3 steps. The bigger the
handicap, the longer (the more steps of the runner or receiver)
the computer delays before making hits.
The computer does not commit infractions. It gets no penalties.
It is not sporting to rush against the computer when it is
punting or kicking a fieldgoal with more than six defenders. (The
computer always kicks on fourth down. It is not smart enough to
try a fake kick when playing against a madly rushing opponent.)
If the human rushes with more than six, the probability of
getting an OPPORTUNITY to hit is limited to 50% for each hit.
That is, he gains no advantage by rushing more than six.
How does the computer stack up against a human? Under normal
circumstances, the computer picks its plays and defenses with as
much intelligence as a human player would (sometimes more). It
does not normally take into consideration the time left to play
or the score. When these things become important, the human
would probably call more sensible plays. But after a play
starts, the computer is probably faster at picking out the holes
in pass defenses and taking advantage of them. When it comes to
avoiding defenders or moving defenders in the path of the
ballcarrier, the computer is probably not much better than a
human at normal game-speeds. It does have one big advantage. It
doesn't have lapses of concentration. You won't catch it missing
a chance to hit because it wasn't paying attention.
In addition the the block handicap, game speed is what determines
whether you can beat the computer. At a very low speed, you can
beat it hands down. At a very high speed you don't have a
chance. Unless you get a kick out of beating up on computers or
vice versa, you should set the speed and handicap in the middle
so that you have a fair contest.
Enjoy the game.