THEY came for outer space, from a twin planet system in a distant galaxy that was fast becoming a single planet system. Nasty, cream-
And like any intelligent alien force, they headed straight for the easern seaboard of the USA.
New York fell quickly. The humans that survived the holocaust were forced to wear long, brown, hooded robes. The penalty for talking was death.
The Orbs, being armless, built robots to carry out their dastardly deeds and selected a number of humans, including you, to police the population. These are the Manhunters and they hold the highest position a human can hold under the Orb Alliance.
But the Orbs hadn't reckoned on you. Using your high position to move around freely, it took you just three days to destroy the Orb HQ and free the city. It would have been a perfect ending had not a dangerous killer and Orb ally escaped and fled.
That was yesterday. Today you are chasing that killer, Phil Cook, in an alien ship that you can barely fly. Below you is San Francisco and it's obvious that the Orbs have landed here too.
Being unfamiliar with the ship's controls you crash land and stagger slightly stunned from the wreck. After a few moment to regain your senses, you see you have landed on top of another Manhunter. Closer investigation reveals his ID card and Manhunter Assignment Device (MAD). With these bare bones you can begin to track down felonous Phil and devise a plan to defeat the Orbs.
All humans, including Manhunters, have had tracking disks surgically inserted into the back of their necks. Using the MAD you can link to the Alliance computer and watch recordings of any criminal activity in the city that day. Limited information of all humans currently residing in the city is also available.
Under the guise of the flattened Manhunter you are authorised to travel to all locations visited by criminals and all addresses furnished by the database. By tracking each blip and typing each new name you discover into the MAD computer, you will gain access to all the locations you need to visit in order to complete each day of the adventure.
Clues are everywhere. It's important to track each criminal until he ceases movement, otherwise an important location may be closed to you. Luckily the day's tracking recording can be replayed as many times as you like, so if you seem to be up against a brick wall, use the MAD to make sure you've seen all there is to be seen.
You can't die in MH2. Well, you can, but you get re-incarnated, so making a fatal mistake is not the end of the game. Indeed, there are several occasions in the course of the three days when making a fatal mistake is essential to completing the day's assignment.
Those assignments are real tricky. The first day involves following in the footsteps of the tracked criminals, collecting objects and clues that will be useful over the next two days.
Every day there are a number of arcade sequences to be completed. Each ca be set to Easy, Normal or Difficult, but each needs to be completed, sometimes twice, before you can continue on your quest. Only the final one is particularly difficult, so hardened adventurers shouldn't let these arcade sequences put them off buying the game.
Day 2 and Day 3 dawn with the Orbs, who think you are the Manhunter you flattened on arrival in San Francisco, giving you assignments. These commands you must obey, although your real purpose is to continue to collect objects and clues to help you discover the whereabouts of Phil Cook, never forgetting that your ultimate aim is to destroy the Orbs.
The path to success is intricate and devious. Miss one clue and you'll never complete the game. MH2 isn't going to disappoint Sierra On-Line fans, even if the graphics and sound aren't up to Space Quest III standards. And if you bought and ejoyed MH1, then Manhunter 2 - San Francisco is a definite must.