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Pocket Taipan 1.06

Pocket Taipan 1.06

Pocket Taipan Publisher's Description

Fully functional trial version ends after 2 years. Complete version goes as long as you want. Taipan (or tai-pan): [pronounced 'dai-bawn'] is a game where you find yourself in the British crown colony of Hong Kong during the violent and turbulent years of the 1800's. You start indebted to a triad (secret society) moneylender, who charges you 10% interest per month. But you have a small boat, with a capacity of 60 units, and a small amount of working capital left over. You know that you'll have to start out by trading in the cheapest goods -- general cargo and arms. Only later will you break into the more lucrative jade and silk trades. The ultimate cargo, of course, is opium. Opium is a somewhat dangerous cargo to carry -- there's always a small chance that officials will seize it and fine you when you arrive in port. But there are even greater dangers: pirates! These pirates are almost unimpeded except by the greatest pirate of them all, Li Yuen. It is to Li Yuen that all wise traders on the China coast pay tribute. Independent pirates ply their trade despite the chance they'll be caught by Li. From time to time, if you have enough cash, you'll be offered the opportunity to trade up to a larger vessel, or to purchase ship's guns (not to be confused with the arms used for trade). If you decide to purchase ship's guns they will provide you with some added protection against pirates, and perhaps allow you to do a little pirating yourself! Each ship's gun adds 10 units of weight to your ship, and thus lowers the amount of cargo you can carry for profit. As you trade in for larger and larger ships, you will permit yourself to carry larger and larger loads. But -- a larger ship will attract greater numbers of pirates! Independent pirates will send a more or less (sometimes an emphasis on the 'less') fair number of ships against you. But don't count on Li Yuen to show you this courtesy. If you haven't paid Li off lately, he'll send plenty -- usually too many! You have a bank, a warehouse and a money lender in Hong Kong, where you have your headquarters. The bank will refuse to give you a loan -- you're not worth the risk. But funds deposited in the bank will earn interest at the rate of .5% compounded monthly. (a month is one game turn -- one move between ports.) You will find a bank deposit a fair investment, and safe, too. Your warehouse is considered to have a capacity of 10,000 units. When you are in Hong Kong, you will have a chance to transfer cargo between your ship and the warehouse. You may find that it is advantageous to 'hoard' some items in your Hong Kong warehouse, buying cheap and selling dear. It is wise to quickly settle your rapidly rising debt to 'Elder Brother' Wu, the triad moneylender, as soon as you can while retaining sufficient operating captial. But early in the game, it may be a good idea to actually borrow as heavily as possible for a time. Wu will lend you up to half the amount of cash you have on hand at any time. Some events are beyond your control. Storms may sink your ship, or send you off course, and toughs may beat you up and rob you. Officials may seize your opium cargo and fine you. These are simply risks you have to take. Trading should take into account the facts of market variations. The five items of trade, opium, silk, jade, arms, and general cargo, all vary in price from month to month and from port to port. Prices (as you well know) will generally increase as time goes on. Special events may occasionally cause great variations in the prices beyond the normal ranges. Your first goal in 'taipan' is to make a million. A check of your wealth is made only when you enter Hong Kong. The game has a built-in numerical rating system, based upon your net worth versus the time it takes you to earn it. If your wealth is over a million, you'll be given the option of retiring or continuing to raise your riches to even greater heights . . . . . . But beware the wages of greed! You need not retire after your first million. Some clever traders have made billions through crafty trading. Ship battles: during a ship battle, you have the following commands available: -- run from the pirate ships -- fight the pirate ships (if you have any ship's guns) -- throw cargo overboard (in an effort to gain more speed to escape from pirates!) Throwing cargo overboard gives you a greater chance of running away from the pirates. Of course, you could still get sunk by their guns. Also, any cargo thrown overboard is lost. As the ancient Chinese curse states: 'may you live in interesting times!'

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