By Kirm

One evening in October, whilst thumbing through old computer magazines, I spotted a small advert for the "On-line" bulletin board, and so I was introduced to my first experience in Multi-User-Games - or MUGs as they are called by their pals. Federation II was like nothing I had ever played before, and was to become my blinding addiction.

This text only MUG begins by asking you to select a name and sex for your player as well as vital statistics, specifically Strength; Stamina; Intelligence and Dexterity. The values you choose for these statistics will dictate what tasks your player is capable of performing - but, as with all things in Federation, statistics can be improved with sufficiently LARGE amounts of hard cash.

The aim of Federation II is beautifully simple - to become the wealthiest of the wealthy. With wealth comes power, and with power comes more power. A table of the six most powerful players (the conclave) is automatically maintained, so that all other players know upon whom they should impress their grovelling.

When you first enter Federation Dataspace, you will be the lowliest of the low, in the gutter, and virtually penniless; a Groundhog. Your first task is to get yourself a spaceship in order to get promoted to a "Not so lowly, but very overdrawn" Commander. Now the game starts properly - you must earn enough money (Imperial Groats) to repay the loan for your well loved spaceship, in order to become "an almost acceptable" Captain.

In the early levels of the game, money can be made by taking "jobs" transporting goods from one of the seven planets to another. Jobs are advertised in all cafes and bars on each of the planets in Federation Dataspace. Also, you may have the fortune of being offered a contract by a wealthier (and therefore truly great) player.

As you progress through the ranks of Commander, Captain, Adventurer, Trader, Merchant, Journey Person and Guild Master (or Maitreusse for the females out there) - you will find that you are gradually allowed to do more and more. For example, Traders can visit the Trading exchanges on each planet, buying commodities cheaply; storing them in their warehouses, and selling them elsewhere when prices are high, while Merchants have the power to start up their own company; build factories and produce their own commodities to be sold in the Exchanges.

When you reach the soaring height of (GASP... shock) Explorer, THEN the fun starts! This is where you can "build your own planet", complete with bars, trading exchanges, hospitals, shipyards, insurance brokers and on and on... Obviously, planets take a fair old wadge of groats to pay for, BUT if you get it right and enough people visit, your investment should be fully repaid. Meanwhile, you can happily concentrate on becoming the one true political supremo in Federation Dataspace... "but that", as they say, "is another story"!

The challenges in Fed should not be viewed in isolation. Every MUG is ultimately judged by the level and friendliness of players regularly participating. Fed is not short on helpful players. Experienced players will always be looking out for newbods (Groundhogs) to help along and mould into images of themselves, so expect lots of offers of help. Indeed, many puzzles In Fed require two, or even THREE players to solve, so it is heavily in your interests to be a good, friendly dude!

Federation has a strong social side. "Chez Diesels", (CDs to friends) on Mars is THE social centre of the universe, and is the perfect place to meet experienced Federans. It is a good idea to buy copious amounts of Ale and Pizzas for your pals, as well as sharing lots of kisses, cuddles, gropes and fondles. Sex is not a barrier in Fed. If you feel like kissing a Federan of the same sex, go ahead and kiss them! They'll enjoy it! Fed is a fun and friendly place to be (mostly)!

Federation II provides an ever-changing challenge. As soon as you find you have become proficient at one skill you discover that you now need to learn another. There are many hidden doors in Federation II, and after 3 months of playing - some of those doors have only just become apparent to me. Although there are many difficult puzzles to be solved in order to progress through the 17 ranks in Federation II, it is not imperative that you solve them all... always remember your rich money grabbing buddies in the Conclave... if you are rich enough then you may be able to bribe one of the Conclave to tell you their secrets and save you a lot of bother - but then WHO'S THAT RICH?! Alternatively, you could seduce one of the conclave to help you, or perhaps cash in a previous favour!

Newbods, type: COM HELP ME PLEEEEEZE!! when you first arrive! Cya soon pals! :-)

Red Herring subscribers are offered one free hour's play... all you have to do is log on and identify yourself.


Federation is now over 4 years old. It originally appeared on Compunet, and has also appeared on (the now defunct) Microlink; (the now defunct) Matrix; the huge GEnie service in the US; CIX; and now the "On-line" system. The On-line system is run by the people behind Federation from the early days. You can play Federation II on the On-line system by dialing 081 539 6763, 24 hours a day. RS232 settings are a standard 8-N-1, and you will find that most baud rates are accepted.

Richard A. Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk)
21st January 1999: rhjun92.htm