Revision 206 (2007-02-04) - Preview Version

A powerful force of leviathan warships is spreading out across the galaxy, destroying every inhabited planet they encounter. With the aid of your specialised fighter bomber squadron, you must intercept the leviathan battle groups and strike at their weak points before they can reach your world.

It won't be easy. The leviathans are heavily armoured and studded with hull defences, and their escort fleet and fighter squadrons will be sure to give you a hard time.


About the preview version

I've been working on Phoenix Final for a bit over a year now, on and off, and I'm now at a stage where I'd like to show it publicly. However, it's still a long way from being finished. There's only one example level at present, and I've only included a small selection of the features I'd like to have in the final version.

Feedback about the gameplay would be very much appreciated. I would also be interested to hear details of how well the game performs on different hardware configurations. My contact details are here.

These features are planned for future versions:

Default controls

Arrow keys / mouse Pitch and yaw. If you start using the mouse, then decide to use the keyboard instead, just press a steering key to stop the mouse from turning the ship.
A and D Roll left and right.
W Boost. Hold to accelerate to full speed.
S Brake. Hold to decelerate to minimum speed.
Q Recall wingmen into formation.
E Order wingmen to engage the enemy.
Space Fire guns.
Control Fire a missile or torpedo. A homing missile is launched if there's a fighter in your sights; otherwise an anti-warship torpedo will be launched instead.
Tab Toggles scoreboard.
F1 Toggles inverted Y axis. This is saved as a preference.
1 Toggle between forward and rear camera views.
6 Toggle FPS counter. This is saved as a preference.
7 Toggle AI debugging display.
8 Toggle radar.
9 Toggle threats (disables AI).
0 Pause. If you want to get a screenshot in windowed mode, you can also hold the Command key at the same time to pause without the 'paused' message, or Shift to play in slow motion.

Joysticks and gamepads can be configured in the startup dialog.

Flying the ship

Your ship can pitch, roll and yaw freely. If you find it difficult to use all three degrees of rotation at once, you can adequately fly the ship with just two - pitch and yaw, for example.

Once launched, it always flies forwards, but you can control its speed by holding the boost and brake keys. The brake is most useful when approaching a target head-on, to reduce the closing speed between your ship and the target and to give yourself more time to fire.

Boosting is useful in situations where the enemy is too close. If a fighter is right behind you, or if you were strafing an objective on a leviathan and you overshot, it's much better to boost away and go back for a second pass than to try to brake and turn around immediately. Of course, you might also use boost to catch up with a distant target more quickly.

Your wingmen

You fly as the leader of a squadron of four ships. Your wingmen will fly in formation with you, ignoring threats and enemy fire until you order them to attack. They will then attack all enemy fighters, turrets and objectives in range. If you fly too far away, they will return to the formation. You can also recall them manually. This is helpful if they're busy tackling enemy fighters some distance away instead of covering your tail.

If you press the engage button a second time, it may cause some of your wingmen to choose a new target. If you press recall again, it will help to bring wingmen back on track if they were distracted while returning to the formation.

The display

Radar ring

This shows the direction you must turn to reach a particular target. For example, if an arrow is at the top of the radar ring, you must point the nose of your ship upwards to face it. If it's at the 8 o'clock position, you must turn left and point your nose downwards.

When a target is inside the circle, it is highlighted with a square marker instead.

Hostile ship. Red markers indicate ships which are targeting you directly. White ones may be attacking other friendly ships instead. The flashing arrow is the target you most recently scored a hit upon.
Current missile lock target. Missiles automatically target the enemy closest to the targeting reticle.
Objective marker. Everything which must be destroyed to complete the mission is highlighted in this way. However, some marked items are optional targets, and some optional destructible parts are not marked (these are usually small control systems which can be destroyed to disable turret arrays).

Objective markers only appear when you get close enough to them and when they are vulnerable to attack. You may have to destroy other objectives before they become vulnerable.

In order to reduce clutter on the radar ring, objectives aren't shown in the ring, except for the one you most recently hit, which is marked with a flashing inverted arrow.

Friendly ship.

Targeting reticle

This shows where your guns will hit if you press the fire button. Your weapons fire instantaneously, so there is no need to calculate lead on moving targets. Simply shoot right at them.

When you are within guns range of a large solid object, two small triangles will appear in the reticle. This will help you to avoid firing early when strafing the hulls of the leviathans.

When you fire a torpedo at a leviathan, it will target the point beneath the reticle. Torpedoes try to impact the surface of the target at a steep angle for maximum damage, so you should either fire them into the target head-on, or allow sufficient space for the torpedo to manoeuvre itself into position.

Hull and shield strength

When your shield is depleted, your ship's hull will be damaged directly. The shield will recharge after a few seconds, but the hull cannot be repaired. The shield is very effective, and it can always protect you from any single hit, no matter how powerful, while some charge remains in its batteries.

Your ship is only vulnerable to weapon impacts and the engine exhaust of larger ships. It can't be damaged by collisions.

If your ship is destroyed, control will be transferred to one of your wingmen. If no wingmen remain, it's game over.

Squadron status indicators

C represents your carrier, and the numbers 1 to 4 are your squadron of fighters. The indicators can have the following colours:

Yellow The ship which you're currently flying.
Blue Shields at full power.
Green Shields down.
Red Heavy damage. Blue and green status colours fade towards red as damage increases.
Grey Destroyed.
White The indicators flash white when a ship is taking hits.

In the current version of the game, the carrier is indestructible and its indicator does not change colour.

ICM indicator

When enemy ships fire missiles at your ship, the Incoming Missile indicator flashes red. It also tells you how many missiles are locked onto you.

If you see other enemy missiles (with blue trails) when your ICM indicator is not flashing, they may be locked on to your wingmen instead. You may want to change their orders to make them avoid the missiles.

Lock indicator

This flashes yellow when you are firing and within guns range of an enemy fighter. It tells you that auto-targeting has successfully locked onto the enemy ship.

Weapons status

These missile icons indicate how many missiles/torpedoes are loaded and ready to fire. Missiles and torpedoes share the same indicators as they are the same round fitted with a different warhead and targeting system at launch time.


Known problems

The release notes go over these issues in more detail.


Code and models by Neil Carter. ©2005-2007, all rights reserved.

More incriminating evidence can be found at

Made with Unity and coffee.

Thanks to everyone who gave feedback and helped with testing over the last year!