XF5700 Mantis (or XF5700 Mantis Experimental Fighter, its full name), is a space combat simulator made by MicroPlay Software in 1992.
Based on Warhead
by Glyn Williams, Mantis
takes the plot further by using 90 missions.
In what is possibly a rewrite of Williams's game, the invasion by the Sirian aliens (now dubbed "Sirians") takes place on March 16, 2094, leaving 3 billion humans dead. Earth was unprepared for the attack due to a recent war in the Middle East (Eurisian War) that took place thus exhasting the resources for defense against aliens. After Earth was devastated, the governments were dissolved in favor of a unified power called the Fist Of Earth. FOE is Earth's final hope to eliminate the Sirian threat. FOE's defenses is SolBase and the XF5700 Mantis. "Viper" (the player) is a Mantis pilot who was enlisted by FOE to fight the Sirians.
The aliens, which are now called "Sirians", are bug-like creatures which look like giant cockroaches, but have a strong collective group mind using telepathic messages when in groups. At first the Sirians were tiny "roaches" on their home planet, but as time passed, they evolved and eventually took over the dominant race on the planet Siria, wiped them out, and assimilated their technology. Siria later became uninhabitable. Sirians need vertebrate creatures in which to lay eggs to produces new Sirians; this is why the Sirians targeted Earth after searching for a new home planet.
had a advertising blurb which said "If you liked that other
space sim, you will like Mantis!. The statement summed up the gameplay as playing Mantis
is very hard to get used to. Using what was dubbed "real physics", the XF5700 Mantis
could be flown in space as if it were real space physics. 90 missions were loaded into the game. The AI was faulty at times, Sirian craft would always target the player and plot a suicide course against the player rather than trying to kill his/her wingmates. Some missions tended to be repetitive
Many of the game's ships were majory different than shown in the manual, such as the Mantis not being the ship shown on the box, but rather a streamlined fighter jet.
- XF5700 Mantis, the main starfighter of FOE.
- Behemoth, the appearance suggests the Behemoth is presummed to be captured Sirian freighters. Is used by the humans as a Superfreighter.
- Palamino, small utility craft used by FOE.
- Kangaroo, a small but wide cargo ship used by FOE.
- SolBase, FOE's large starbase for defending Earth. Holds 1200 humans.
- Sirian Attack Vessel (SAV), the main invasion craft used by the Sirians. The SAV is a carrier vessel, can hold up to 20 Drones & Dragonflys.
- Drone, small Sirian scout craft.
- Dragonfly, larger Sirian starfighter.
- Wasp, the Sirian's heavy attack craft, this is classified by FOE as a "Large Attack Ship", or Large Starfighter. The manual shows the Wasp as a smaller version of the SAV, with only one tail instead of two.
- Hornet, the Sirian's large assault craft.
- Mass-Driver Cannon
- Point Defense Cannon, Anti-Missile weapon
- Stinger Missile, first missile developed by FOE. Equipped with a 100kg warhead. Destroys a Drone in 1 hit.
- Nuclear Missile, equipped with a 200kg warhead. Can disable Sirian propulsion & weapon systems.
- Pseudostellar Missile, the most destructive missile weapon. It destroys everything within a 5 km radius.
- Proximity mine, detonates close to its target.
- X-ray Laser mine, a small "mine" that shoots a high energy X-Ray laser at a target. Can be used 3 times.
The files running the simulation were named after a few things in real life, for example the file than runs the Mantis in-game was called "NASA.DAT", the file that ran the menus was called "SOLBASE.DAT". There were also 3 files in the root directory called:
Hidden references to the 1991-1992 NHL Season. It also referred to Paragon Software, who were based in Greensburg, PA.
"Viper", the main character also came from Pittsburgh, PA.
Copy Protection was the Manual, which was required to play the game. Typing in the wrong thing ment being ejected from the game back into DOS.
Most of the information comes from the game's "Pilot Manual".