MechWarrior (1989 Video Game Resource)

Strategy Guide[edit]

Gameplay for MechWarrior basically involves 2 major goals:

  • a) Progressing and completing the storyline.
  • b) Performing missions.

There is only 1 overlap of the two, where you must defeat the Dark Wing in a 2 stage mission in order to win the game. Other than this 1 mission, missions only serve 3 purposes:

a) To increase your funds. b) To increase your reputation, which allows you to hire better lancemates c) To train your lancemates (which is an inferior method to simply firing them and hiring better lancemates)

This guide will therefore be broken up into storyline requirements and how to complete the game, followed by a section with general tips for combat and missions.


A. Advancing and completing the game.

Note that several destinations are randomized. When this occurs, I will tell you to 'Note XXXX'. Whereby XXXX is not really the name of the planet, it is just what I call the planet as a reference. You will have to travel to this planet, so don't lose the name!

A1. Bare Bones, spoiler free walkthrough.

Go to Land's End. Order Drink. Sell your Jenner. Order Drink. Note GRIG. Go to GRIG. ACCEPT.

Go to Luthien. Buy the largest 'Mech you can afford. Go to Dustball. FIGHT, RUN. Order Drink. Sell the mech. Order Drink. Note PURI.

Go to Tharkand. Buy largest 'Mech. Go PURI. Sell Mech. NOTE JACK. RUN.

Go New Avalon. Buy. Go JACK. Sell. Order Drink. FOLLOW ADDRESS. FIGHT. Go New Avalon. Buy. Read News Net. Note WIDOW, the planet that the Widows are on. Go WIDOWS. Sell. Order Drink. CHALLENGE STORY.

Luthien. Buy. Read News Net. Go Albiero. FOLLOW HER. TRUST TASHA. Note WING. Sell.

Now go to Tharkand. Build up your lance. Refer to the Combat and Missions Section for tips.

When you have a sufficiently strong force, Go to WING and beat the 2 stage mission.

Optional (recommended): After completing the game, go to GRIG. GO ON. MAKE A DEAL. WAIT. STRIKE NOW. PULL THE TRIGGER.


A2. Longer Walkthrough.


B. Various Mission tips.

  1. Give your henchmen the biggest & toughest you can afford (BattleMasters, etc.). Take only a Locust for yourself (Maybe a Jenner or Phoenix Hawk if you want more of a challenge). Take only defensive missions against heavy/assault 'Mechs if possible. Tell your flunkies to guard whatever, or otherwise just be defensive. You are going to take point (sort of). Race out around the enemy's flank, zip in right behind them (don't crash). Use the TAB key (I think) to fire continuously with your Med-Laser & MG's and kneecap them. (Sometimes being short isn't all bad ;-). Repeat as necessary. Rarely they may turn on you, just back off if they do, but you should be able to stay behind them.
  1. A word of caution: The Dark Wing will be tougher to take down in this manner because they are more likely to turn on you (maybe 50%) and they WILL back each other up. But by then you should have lots of practice.
  1. Last Resort: This one is kind of fuzzy, I have rarely had to do this. If you HAVE to take an offensive mission (recover hostages/stolen property, etc.) you can send the flunkies in while you circle around to the "Back door". Wait for the defenders to go for your guys, then kneecap 'em or just blow up the building. Taking out the Dark Wing unfortunately rates as one of these "Offensive" missions.


  1. Revisiting Grig Griez only gives you 200,000 C-Bills. It's not worth your time doing this since the 5 years just fly by quickly. However, you can just come back and kill him AFTER winning the game!
  1. The missions offered to you will be based on what mechs your lance is pilotting when you arrive on planet. If you remove everyone from their 'Mechs before you arrive on planet, you will be offered missions where you have to fight 1 light 'Mech, or similiarly pushover missions. Just remember to reassign everyone back to their respective 'Mechs for a 4 heavy vs 1 light... you can combign this with extended campaigns to get very easy yet high paying missions.
  1. When Bargaining for contracts, remember that the maximum you can get for any contract is 9990K cash. Also for some reason, the total salvage seems to be capped at around 5 million C-Bills. This means that no matter how many 'Mechs you disable, you will usually not get more than approximately 5 million x 30% = 1,500K for salvage payout. Usually less. Though I got over 2 million in salavage just ONCE. Bargaining with Kurita and Marik is ridiculous, since they get fed up with negotiations really quickly. Liao has a NASTY habit of breaking contracts. Davion will give the best payouts. Do not be fooled by their pathetic starting offers! They are usually willing to raise the price by around 3 times or more, so when they offer 900K, feel free to barter your way up to 3000K, they won't get mad. Because of this, I don't bother with Extended Campaigns, since even a normal campaign can get an offer of 2450K, which I raise to 7000K.
  1. Next, go to New Avalon. Hire 4 crew members, it doesn't matter who. Buy 4 'Mechs, prioritising BattleMasters and 1 Marauder/Warhammer for yourself. The reason for this is so that you will be offered the bigger juicier contracts instead of those puny 100k 1 Light 'Mech missions. If you don't like your offered missions, save game and go to Galax and try your luck there. You can reload if you STILL don't like the choice of missions. New Avalon-Galax is a great choice of base because you can just travel in between the 2 planets to get a new choice of missions, cheap BattleMechs for sale, and crew members.
  1. If playing on DOS-BOX or MOSLO, remember to speed up the game when you are just walking towards a far off location, and slow it back down before the action starts. Saves you minutes of boredom. If you wanna cheat, you can slow it down a LOT, and snipe slow motion 'Mechs.
  1. The AC-5 is weird, in that it hits whatever is under your reticule. That means it is almost as accurate as a beam weapon. When you use it at long range on a 'Mech just as it jumps, watch as the bullet curves up and smacks the 'Mech in mid-air instead. HILARIOUS, the AC-5 actually launches guided missiles in this game!
  1. It makes a LOT of difference between your lancemates having "Average" and "Excellent" gunnery. Average can barely hit a 'Mech right next to them. Literally. Excellent hardly misses. SCARY. 1 excellent/excellent lancemate is worth more than 3 average/average lancemates. I'm not exaggerating at all.
  1. Family Attitudes reflect how much you will be offered for your missions. Reputation affects which pilots offer to work for you. Risky -> Poor Gunnery pilots will sign on with you. Worth Watching -> Poor and average gunnery. Veteran -> Good+Average. Elite -> Excellent+Good. Pilot pay is based solely on Gunnery skill. Poor = 400, average = 600, good = 1000, Excellent = 2000. BTW, it should be obvious to you, but EXCELLENT gunnery is imperative and 2000 is very cheap to get it! Your pilots WILL improve in gunnery rating... but very VERY slowly. As Rick Steele said, you can't really afford to wait for them to improve on their own, just hire a new one.
  2. If you MUST have certain lancemates on your team, be aware that you will no longer be able to hire certain pilots when your reputation hits certain thresholds. To keep D. Sajak and Taris Ren on my team, I had to keep them from the start to end of my campaigning career. It took them (and Gideon) almost 10 years to get Excellent/Excellent.
  3. A drink costs 5 C-bills, if you get a line of unique text, otherwise it's free. Except for one drink that costs you triple (15 C-bills)
  4. Defense missions against jumping 'Mechs can be impossible, since they can just jump over everything and blast the target to dust. Similiarly, certain missions where you have to stop 'Mechs running away can become impossible if your targets just decide to flee at top speed. Try to avoid these type of missions.
  5. You can actually continue playing after winning the game... BUT... if you ever return to the Dark Wing base after April 3029, DESPITE winning the game, you will still get a line of text about how you are too late and McBrin has brought the chalice to Ander's Moon and is the new duke. Looks like the programmers forgot to write a line of code there... also, you can continue playing past December 3051, despite Gideon dying on this date in BattleTech 2.


The basic premise behind MechWarrior is that you're the only surviving son of the leader of the planet Ander's Moon. A group of 'Mechs known as the Dark Wing attacked the planet, killed your family, and installed a new government on the planet. They also stole a valuable chalice whose possession entitles the owner to rule Ander's Moon. Your job is to track down the killers, find the chalice, and restore your family to power on Ander's Moon.

When you start out, you will usually be on one of the Davion planets, but might start out on a Kurita planet. Travel immediately to the Kurita planet of Land's End.

When you get to Land's End, enter the bar and order a drink. The barkeep will tell you to come back later. Go to the 'Mech complex and sell your Jenner, as you won't need it for a while, and can make a nice profit here. Besides, it will be a lot more expensive to haul it along with you where you're going.

Go back to the bar. The ruffian you meet there will tell you "Grig can be found on...". Make a note of the planet he gives you and go there. I have seen New Samarkand, Tabayama, and Delacruz often. It will always be a Kurita world.

When you get there, you will meet Grig. Accept his mission to deliver a packet to his agent on Dustball, and go there. Dustball is a Steiner world.

When you get to Dustball, there will be a little scuffle. You can either FIGHT then RUN, or RUN then RUN. Just make sure that you RUN the second time. After that, go to the bar and order a drink. The barkeeper will tell you to return later, but you can just order another drink and he'll give you some information and the name of a Marik planet, such as Gibson, Mosiro, or Sadurni. Travel there.

When you arrive on the Marik planet, go to the 'Mech complex. The man there will tell you that you might find Kangaroo Jack on Tancredi IV or Okefenokee (Davion planets). When you leave, you will be shot at by a sniper. RUN.

When you get to the Davion planet, go to the bar. Order a drink, and you'll be introduced to a guy named Kearny. He'll give you some information, and a scrap of paper with an address on it, telling you to meet him there. When you leave the bar, go ahead and follow the address. Then HIDE and FIGHT.

When you finish that, read the news net. You'll note a few news items in which you were involved. You'll also get a message from Jordan Rowe, telling you where the Black Widows currently are. That's your next destination. It will be a Kurita world like Thestria or Proserpina.

When you get there, go into the bar. You'll see some of the Black Widows, and get a story. CHALLENGE it.

You'll get in a fight, and some woman named Tasha will save you. She'll tell you that Matabushi is your enemy, not the Black Widows, and that Kearny was just trying to get you killed. Go ahead and leave the bar.

If you read the news net, you'll see that Tasha gave you some files supposedly from Matabushi telling about your family's execution. Read on, and you'll find something about Matabushi announcing a new commercial strategy. Another news item from Jordan Rowe will tell you to meet up with Kearney on Albiero. Go there.

When you get there, you'll land in the middle of a battle, and see Tasha. Follow her. You will see Tasha and Kearny confronting each other, and have to decide whom to trust. I would suggest you trust Tasha.

When the smoke clears, Tasha will give you a data disk explaining the action which killed your family, and who was behind it. She'll also give you five million bucks, which isn't too bad. She'll tell you that the chalice you're after is on a Kurita planet called Kirchbach or Albiero guarded by four Battlemasters and one Warhammer.

Another loose end to tie up is Grig. Head to the planet where you first found him (New Samarkind, Delacruz, or Tabayama) and you'll meet a vagrant. Ask him to GO ON with his story. Make a DEAL with him.

When you see Grig, WAIT for the situation to improve. You'll get a chance when there are only two guards with him, STRIKE now. He'll try to make a deal with you. Don't go for it, and PULL THE TRIGGER. You'll pocket some easy cash.

You've now done everything you need to do except get the chalice back. The above actions should have taken about a year of game time, meaning you've got about four more years to go. Save the game now, and also try to save the game after every two or three missions since it is easy to forget that you only have five years from the start of the game to reclaim the chalice. Remember that travelling to and from missions takes time, as does travelling to the planet where the Dark Wing is hiding.

You should have about 10.5 million C-bills, so go ahead and invest in some 'Mechs and crew. SAVE THE GAME before you try to hire any crewmembers, because the game will sometimes crash when you do. You'll want to end up with a good crew and some good 'Mechs, I would suggest you get four BattleMasters. You'll need money for this, and there are three ways you can get it:

  • Go around buying 'Mechs at industrial planets and 'Mech-manufacturing planets (such as Alshain (Kurita), Herperus II (Steiner), Calloway VI (Marik), Ares (Liao), and Marduk (Davion). Other good planets include Amity, Alderbaran, and Galax. Buy 'Mechs at these planets, and travel to various backwater and out of the way places like Land's End and Baxley. There are a huge number of these planets. Anyway, you can sell 'Mechs at these places for a nice profit.
  • Take missions for House Davion and quickly build up your experience and lance status. Once you have a lance of four heavy 'Mechs, you should start being offered extended contracts (usually to fight 12 enemy 'Mechs of varying weights). You should be able to negotiate a deal that'll give you 9990-K C-bills, 27-30% salvage and around 30% upfront. Before you take launch on an extended contract, buy enough ammo to fully reload your 'Mechs twice. A few extended contracts should soon see you with enough money to afford Battlemasters for your entire crew.
  • Norton Utilities. Save the game, NU it, and give yourself some cash. Money is offset 73 (49h). Fill the three bytes with $FF, and you'll get about 16.7 Million. Or if you're REALLY greedy, go to byte 76 (4Ch), and change that one to 01h to 0Fh (0Fh will give you about 250,000,000).

If you only traded 'Mechs to build up your cash (or cheated), you'll probably have to train up your crew to have a chance of beating the Dark Wing. I recommend fighting for House Davion as they tend to pay the most, not only in direct payments but in salvage (once you and your crew start getting experienced, you should be able to demand 27-40% salvage rights and around 30% of the contract upfront. The actual contract amount varies depending on the number of enemy 'Mechs expected and their weight.

When your crew gets good enough, go to Kirchbach (or wherever the Dark Wing is located) and reclaim your chalice.

Provided by Rick Steele RRemer@Westernplows.com

Do what the other strategy guide says, It works. This will get you off to a good start.

  1. Don't wait for your pilots to improve on their own, fire one as soon as you can replace him with someone better. Just watch out for certain pilots who sound reckless. Also I have seen a few rare cases where a pilot will run away with your 'Mech (I repeat very rare cases). Unfortunately I haven't played in so long that I can't remember who is good and who is bad.

Cheat Codes[edit]

On the copy protection screen, APPEND "PFJS" (no quotes) to the protection code to get 500 million C-Bills.

For example: The 'Mech is a Jenner, and the code is "Sierra Echo Xray". The proper code to enter would be "Dragon Tail", so you type in "Dragon TailPFJS".

Copy Protection Codes[edit]

Mech Displayed Callsign Protection Code
Locust Whiskey Delta Tango Nightstalker
Xray Zulu Charlie Future Guard
Foxtrot Echo Delta Red Dawn
Jenner Foxtrot Oscar Xray Duck Soup
Sierra Echo Xray Dragon Tail
Juliet Alpha Sierra Yellow Bird
Phoenix Hawk Papa Foxtrot Tin Man
Echo Golf Alpha Black Witch
Victor Victor Red Arrow
Shadow Hawk Lima Golf Slasher
Romeo Alpha Zulu Glory Boy
Foxtrot Alpha Delta Bad Dream
Rifleman Charlie Charlie Black Jack
Hotel Oscar Tango Glory Boy
Foxtrot Alpha Romeo Bad Dream
Warhammer Tango India November Grave Walker
Papa Bravo Mad Dog
Whiskey Alpha Romeo Silver Hawk
Marauder Bravo Alpha Delta Renegade
Mike Alpha Sierra Small Room
Zulu Alpha Romeo Black Baron
Battlemaster Charlie Alpha Tengo Snow Fire
Hotel Oscar Tango Screaming
Bravo Alpha Bravo Grim Jim

Keyboard Controls[edit]

Targeting[edit]

Key Effect
Space Fire weapon
Tab Fire all weapons
Enter Select target in crosshairs
0-9 Select weapon
M Crosshairs up
N Crosshairs down
O Activate automatic weapon selection
W Toggle automatic weapon selection on/off

Movement[edit]

Key Effect
Left/Right Turn 'Mech left/right
Up/Down Increase/decrease speed
< Torso twist left
> Torso twist right
A Align torso with feet
J Jumpjets
U Get up after falling

Other[edit]

Key Effect
C Command Screen
T Map
D Damage Report
E Target's damage
H Change HUD color
Escape Eject
P pause
Q Quit to cockpit
R Radar range
S Toggle sound
Z Zoom level