Section 1 - The Basics
This section describes the basics of the game, how to get started and to hack successfully with out being caught.
The focus of the whole game, your Heads Up Display.
Along the top, you have the date, the IP you are currently connected to, the CPU usage and Time Controls, and the World Map. Underneath the CPU usage gauge is a list of all software currently running, amount of the CPU they are currently using, and buttons to increase or decrease the CPU usage of each program. The Time Controls are 4 buttons that allow you to pause, and speed up time, and of course, return it to normal. The World Map shows your current connection route, and by clicking on it, you get a large version that allows you to select bounce routes, and buttons to save the routes while the game is still running.
The Uplink HUD
At the Bottom of the screen there are 6 Buttons, and an area that holds any email/mission statements you have. The first, and largest of the buttons opens the software menu, allowing you to run any software you currently have in your memory. The rest of the buttons allow you to view your current hardware, files, Personal status, and to send email. When you click one of these buttons, the appropriate display appears to the right.
When you attempt to hack any server, you will need to bounce your connection through other servers otherwise you will be traced instantly, and disconnected before you've even gained access.
When you want to connect to a server, go to the World Map, and click on the other servers (Represented by White Squares) around the map before clicking on the machine you want to connect to. This will give you time to do whatever it is you need to do on the server.
The time you get depends on how many servers you bounce through, and what kind of access you have on those servers. A Regular account on a machine, like a Bank Account, (Indicated by the doted lines surrounding the server) will give you longer than a machine that you don't have an account on, and a machine that you have Admin access on (Indicated by the solid box surrounding the server) will give you even longer.
When you start to bounce your connection, it is a good idea to use InterNIC as the first bounce point (i.e. the first server you click on). This will be explained in the next section.
If you find that an area of the map is too cluttered to see what links you are clicking on, you can use the zoom feature to enlarge a section of the map, and make it easier to click the link you need.
Almost any server you connect to will try to trace you the second you start hacking their security. The time this trace takes depends on how you have bounced your connection, but in the end, the same thing happens. The trace finishes, you are disconnected, and most likely disavowed, or at least fined and having something added to your criminal record. It's part of your job to finish what ever you are doing before the time reaches 0. For this you need the Trace Tracker, to tell you how long there is before you are traced. You should always give your self enough time to do the job, there's nothing worse then getting half was through a job, to then have to disconnect because you don't have enough time left. The more experienced you become, the better your abilities will get, and the faster you will be able to do things, therefore needing less time. The only thing for this is practice. The more you do, the better you get.
Every time you connect to a server, you create logs. Using these logs, a Company/Hacker can do a 'Passive Trace' on you, by following the logs back through your bounce route and to your machine.
To prevent this, you need to clear your logs. The safest way to do this is to delete your logs from your first bounce point. Because InterNIC's password never changes, and they do not trace you, it is the best server to use for your first bounce point, as you can easily access the server's logs and delete them.
When you go to delete your logs, you must make sure you delete the right ones. The main logs you need to delete are the 'Bounce' logs, and the 'Password Accepted' logs, which look like the following;
'Connection from 127.0.0.1 routed to xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx' (Bounce Log)
'From 127.0.0.1: Password authentication accepted' (Password Accepted Log)
These are the logs you need to delete. It is important that you leave the actual connection logs there though, because you also leave logs when you disconnect, and it would look suspicious if there was a disconnection log but no connection.
By deleting these logs from your first bounce point after every hack, you should never be caught, as long as you aren't too slow in doing it.
Remember, everywhere keeps logs, including Voice Phone Systems. Just because you can't get to the logs, it doesn't mean they aren't there.
The main thing you will see when you aren't connected to a server is the links screen. This displays all the links that you currently have.
At the bottom of this screen, there is a filter, which allows you to type in a piece of text, and show only the links containing that text. This is useful if you have a large number of links and need to find a specific one.
At either side of each link, there is a blue box. The one on the left has a cross in it. Clicking on this will delete the link from your system, and will no longer show up on the World Map. The one on the right contains 2 circles. Clicking on this will make the box disappear, and then that link will not appear on the World Map, useful if the map is cluttered but you don't want to delete your links.
You can also connect directly to any server, simply by clicking on the appropriate link.
You can find a collection of most of the Links in the game at InterNIC. Connecting to the InterNIC server, and clicking on the Browse button will bring up a list similar to your own Link display, that contains a huge number of links that you can add to your own list by clicking the blue box with the + symbol in.
This is the most important server in the game, and should be the first one you connect to. This is where you get your Missions, Software, Hardware, Gateways, Agent Rankings and News. These are the guys that provide and maintain your Gateway and upgrade when required. The provide the ability to contact any employers you wish to speak to, in order to get more details on missions, or get higher pay. You will also spend quite a bit of time there watching the news.
When your agent is caught, or something else happens that stops him from working, when you try to log in with you character, the Game Over status screen will be displayed. This will contain the information of what you have done during your career.