Welcome to Super Tour 3, a road cycling videogame for PC. With it we can dispute cycle races of one or more stages, like existing competitions as Vuelta a España, Giro d'Italia or Tour de France. We are going to take direct control of an only rider or an entire team of cyclists and try to win stages or be the best at the general classifications (times, mountain, regularity, teams). We can compete against computer controlled cyclists or against other people (all in the same computer), personalize teams, watch the race from several cameras with a modern interface for executing our strategies, play seasons, and much more. Next you can read some features availables in the game:
If you don't have time to read and want to start playing NOW then: choose START GAME option, NEW GAME, PERSONALIZED, in the race options menu is prepared a race for one player with 10 stages and 60 riders in 10 teams so choose ACCEPT, select 6 cyclists and ACCEPT, select a control mode, you'll see the profile of the stage and choose START STAGE, and the game starts. Press [SPACE], the bottom zone of the screen contains information and buttons for giving orders. The race starts after crossing the starting line. Press [ESC] if you want to exit. Confused? Do you want to know more? Keep reading this manual.
We can use these controls to navigate through menu options:
|RETURN/Left mouse button||Press.|
|ESC||Cancel / Back to previous menu.|
Here we can edit and load or save the teams data.
The load / save teams menus allow us to save and recover from disk all data of every team with their names, personalized colours and attributes. There's a maximum of six saving files, and at the saving process we can introduce a text that identifies the saved file; also it incorporates the date of the recording. So we can adjust the game at our own with our real favourite cyclist names, teams, colours and characteristics. (Note: This files are not compatible with previous versions of Super Tour.)
With the edit option we have access to data from the 22 available teams in the game (each team is composed of a maximum of 9 cyclists). We'll see the names and jerseys of every team, and selecting one we'll enter in a menu with more details about the team: name, director, cyclists and colours that they wear. The riders show their inner characteristics and have one star indicating their quality in short, besides their nationality (in smaller letters). We can change all the names at our own, simply selecting the corresponding option.
If we select a rider then we'll enter in his menu where we can change his name, nationality, and characteristics. The characteristics have values from 1 (minimum) to 9 (maximum) and are described with icons (from left to right: plain, mount, descending, sprint, time trial, endurance, intelligence). The game allows changing them freely for defining the riders like our real-life favourite cyclists, but using this possibility for making the game easy to win could destroy the entertainment and equality between teams.
If we choose to change team's colours we'll enter in other menu where is shown the present equipment. Selecting any of the little squares will open a palette to change the colour of the selected section. These changes can be saved with the Save teams menu.
Here we can edit and load or save the data that configure the season.
The load / save season menus allow us to save and recover from disk all data of every race of the season and its characteristics. There's a maximum of six saving files, and at the saving process we can introduce a text that identifies the saved file; also it incorporates the date of the recording. So we can prepare kinds of season at our own.
With the edit option we have access to data from all the races that constitutes a season. The season is formed by the races marked in blue, those in red won't be played. If we select a race then we'll enter in its menu where we can change its name, number of stages, if it's or not included in the season, and its rank. If we change its number of stages then automatically will receive a new rank, but later we can correct it if we want. The rank of a race determines the awarded points for the world classification, and the money that can be won, and there are six ranks: A(maximum), B, C, D, E, F(minimum).
In this menu we can define the random ranges that are used to define stages at random. Before starting the game there's a menu where we can detail the stages and we can decide that will be randomly generated by the computer; if we do this way, the percentage of each king of stage (plain, mountain, time trial) applied is that defined in this menu. Equally the maximum and minimum of kilometres that can possess every stage is the defined here (and the program will select a random value between that range for each stage). Also we can define the probability of rain and wind in each stage (if they are allowed in the race).
Other way for limiting the length of the stages is defining the % size of a kilometre, where the 100% value is a real size kilometre.
If we select start a new game we can choose between two kinds of race:
We access to this menu when from the main menu we decide to start game and in the next sub-menu we select new game option (no saved game) and personalized race. At the end of this section is comented a little difference when playing in season mode.
In this menu we establish general parameters of the race. We can define the number of stages of the race (and we'll be informed about its type and total distance in kilometres, the race cannot exceed of 30 stages, each in a range from 1 to 298 kms). With the DETAIL STAGES option we have access to a menu where we can detail stages individually. We'll see data from every stage (number, kilometres, type) and selecting any of them we'll enter in a more detailed menu with its profile. It's possible to change its length in kilometres and its type: flat (totally), flat (some mountain pass), mountain (normal), mountain (hard), ITT (flat), ITT (mountainous), TTT (flat), TTT (mountainous). We decide general characteristics for each stage and later the computer will generate stages observing the requirements (and always different, there's no two equal stages even if their type and distance are the same). If we don't like the profile, there's an option that allow us to GENERATE AGAIN the stage with that attributes, until we like the result. If we don't want to detail every stage of the race one by one, we can make the computer to define them at random, using values that are accesible in the Stages menu (see 3.2.3).
We also can decide the existence or not of a time limit for finishing the stage (see section 5.8. Time limit).
Another option allow us to decide if there'll be time bonuses for the first cyclists at the finishing line and at the intermediate sprint. We can choose NO time bonuses, YES in all stages, or until which stage will be applied. In the big races is applied the first days of competition to favour spectacle and contend for the jersey of times.
Besides we can choose if there'll be rain and wind (that can help or difficult running depending on its direction); if we deselect these effects they will not appear in any stage, if are activated they will be allowed in some stages according to the probabilities described in the Stages menu (see 3.2.3).
We decide how many players (with or without turns) and how many teams will compete (see 3.5. Participating teams menu). Also we can choose the number of riders that compose each team, between a minimum of two and a maximum of nine.
The colour of the jerseys for leaders can be defined as Vuelta a España style, Giro d'Italia or Tour de France, or personalized at our own.
When we have configured the race and select ACCEPT, every player will select their riders and numbers (only if there are human players, computer controlled teams make their own selection). The riders also show their characteristics with values from 1 (minimum) to 9 (maximum): plain, mount, descending, sprint, time trial, endurance, intelligence. If only plays a person, will have to choose the Control Mode: Individual or Team. In Individual Control only one rider is controlled by us and not the entire team. If there are several players all them will use Team Control.
When playing in season mode there's a little difference like that it's not possible to change the number of stages, neither the computer controlled participating teams, nor the number of riders that compose each team (nine).
This menu is for selecting which teams and players will take part in the race. Teams marked in red don't play, teams marked in blue are computer controlled, and teams in green (with a puppet near) are human players. To change the colour of a team simply click over it.
If we select more than one human player then we'll see a new option to especify the MULTIPLAYER OPTIONS (always in the same computer). We can opt for a game in turns or without turns. Length of turns can be choosen between 10 and 120 seconds, and the computer will display during the game which player owns the turn to play. If turns are not defined, all players will have control of their riders all the time.
Prior to start every stage we'll see information about it and its profile, together with an icon displaying the weather. From this menu we can see all classifications, start playing, or save the game at this moment.
Before starting each stage, or at any moment while playing, or in the season menus, we can save the game entirely, for playing it in another moment. For take up again we'll load the game with the saved game option that we see at the start of playing. There's a maximum of six saving files, and at the saving process we can introduce a text that identifies the saved file; also it incorporates the date of the recording and kind of race.
While playing, if we tap the [ESC] key (excepting when stage is finished), the race will freeze and we'll enter in this menu. Here we can resume the stage, save it, cancel it, and also enter in "accelerated time".
In accelerated time the race goes on without displaying graphics, and the game time passes much faster. Here we can't control the team, but this mode is useful if we think that nothing will happen in the race, or if we don't want to wait a lot for riders who are late at the finish line. During the accelerated time we can see the race time, and exit KEEPING pressed the [X] key.
Also can be specified the minutes of race that we want to accelerate.
In time trial we have a second option of accelerated time that stops it when a new player is ready to start. So the race will go on with computer controlled cyclists/teams starting to run, but when it's time to start for a rider controlled by human players the accelerated time will stop so we can enter the game and control it. If there aren't riders of players waiting to start (or all the teams are computer controlled) this option will do the same that the first accelerated time option. In time trial we can see the elapsed time of the game and three numbers below: riders waiting to start (in green), riders on the road (in white), and riders that finished the stage (in yellow).
All classifications menus show these buttons at the bottom of the screen to navigate thru data:
|Button "|<" or Home key||Go to the beginning.|
|Button "<<" or Page Up key||One page up.|
|Button "<"||One line up.|
|Button ">"||One line down.|
|Button ">>" or Page Down key||One page down.|
|Button ">|" or End key||Go to the end.|
After finishing every race we have access to the following menus:
In contrast to computer controlled cyclists, the players' riders are identified with a puppet near. Likewise is marked the rider (or rider's team) that owns some of the leader jerseys.
We'll have always the possibility of saving the results into a file (in the path C:\s_tour_3\ in the hard disk, with ".TXT" extension). This file can be opened with a text editor, printed, etc; if the file already exists the new data will be appended at the end.
The specific menus of the season are very similar to those described so far. Once we decide to play in the season mode we enter in a menu for selecting the teams of the participating players, those that aren't selected will be computer controlled.
From the season main menu we can access to: see the world classification, manage team, transfer market information, register team in the next race, and start the race or save the game. We can also see information about the next race and the engaged teams.
We can arrive to this menu from the season main menu and from the manage team menu.
The registered teams for the next race appear in green, and in red those that aren't registered. The little number that go with the teams of the participating players is their money. After registering the registration cost is deducted. If we don't register our team won't participate on this race.
Here we see all our cyclists; those that are in the transfer market for sale show their text in green, and the injured have an icon with a red cross. Clicking over any of them we can put him up for sale, remove him from the market, or dismiss him.
From this menu we can also register our team in the next race and change its colours.
Selecting the Money option we can see in detail the economy of our team, showing the recent income and costs and current money. (Note: The currency used in the game is fictitious and doesn't pretend to reflect any real currency.)
If we want to buy a rider from the transfer market we'll use the corresponding option. Every team has a minimum of 9 riders and a maximum of 12, so if you have 12 you can't buy more (and if you have 9 you can't dismiss/sell riders). Neither is possible buying riders having debts (though the game allows us registering in races even with debts).
After race starts we can give orders to our cyclists. We must be the fastest and be the first at the finishing line (and outdistance our rivals as much as we can). Besides time is not the only important, there are also points in mountain passes (placards on top of the mountains) and points for regularity (points in the intermediate sprint, if there is, and by the position at the finishing line), and classification by teams. How we run, what jerseys we pursue with our riders, etc, are personal decisions of strategy. In the next sections we'll see everything needed to know for playing.
The game interface is quite intuitive. The screen is clearly divided in two zones: in the lower zone we have information about teams, riders, time and stage profile; the remainder zone is dedicated to the cameras that show the race. The information in the lower zone can be shown or hidden pressing the flap that appears in the lower left corner or using the [SPACE] key.
The mouse pointer changes its colour when it's positioned over a zone in which is possible to press to do something.
Each camera has a window with a button in its upper left zone that allows us to modify its focus, and a description of itself in its lower left zone. If there's wind then will also appear an arrow indicating its direction (in green if the wind helps, red if harms).
If there are several players playing in turns, in the upper right zone of screen we'll see a puppet together with the name of the player that owns now the turn.
In the lower left zone of the screen we can see the cyclists of the selected team. The riders that finished the stage show their bar darker, and in time trial those that haven't started show their bar lighter.
In the stage profile we see all the mountain passes, sprint, feed zone, and intermediate time controls (in time trials). A little mark shows the position in the stage of the selected rider.
The lower right zone shows the selected cyclist and its classification. If this cyclist belongs to a player then appears more information: energy (horizontal bar from green to red), effort (a heart), water (test-tube), and buttons for giving orders.
The race time is displayed under the profile. If someone reaches the finishing line then we'll see in red the time passed since then. In time trial, if there isn't selected a cyclist, we'll see three numbers: riders waiting to start (in green), riders on the road (in white), and riders that finished the stage (in yellow); if there is a selected cyclist then we'll see its time (in time trial each rider has an individual time), and if the rider passed some intermediate time controls o mountain passes, will show its difference with the best time in that place until now (green if did it better, red if worse). If we select a rider that is waiting to start, we'll see in blue a countdown showing the time remaining to start.
Although the game has been designed for playing with mouse, it can be played using only the keyboard. Also there are some keys with special functions. We can use these controls during the game:
|RETURN/Left mouse button||Press.|
|Right mouse button||Cancel selection.|
|SPACE||Show/hide lower interface.|
|ESC||Stopped game menu / Finish stage.|
|+, - (numeric keypad)||Mark following / previous rider.|
|Home, End||Mark rider in first / last position.|
|1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9||Select cyclist (from the selected team) with number xx1, ..., xx9.|
|TAB||Center camera (that is under the mouse) in the marked cyclist (if there is).|
|Insert||Bring near the focus of the camera under the mouse.|
|Delete||Move away the focus of the camera under the mouse.|
|H||Display next human player team (if there is).|
|J||Display next team, human or not, if there is.|
|Page Up, Page Down||Backward / forward movement on the road in a camera selected by the profile, if there is.|
|A||Increase rhythm of the selected rider / Attack.|
|Z||Decrease rhythm of the selected rider / Fall behind.|
|N||Move left the selected rider.|
|M||Move right the selected rider.|
|F9||Show/hide numbers or names of cyclists near to the camera.|
|F10||Change graphics detail.|
|F11||Recover image (see 6).|
In the lower left zone of screen we can see (and select) riders from the selected team. If we want to see riders from another team then we have to push the little button with a jersey and a question-mark, after it we can see a list with all the participating teams jerseys and select the desired one. We can also use the [H] and [J] keys (see 4.2).
For displaying data of a cyclist, giving orders or following it with a camera, is neccesary selecting it previously. We can select a rider in two different ways:
We can also use the [+] and [-] keys (numeric keypad), [Home], [End], , , , , , , , ,  (see 4.2).
Provided that not time trials stages are different from ITT and TTT, the orders are also different. In fact, every type of stage is like a sub-game inside the program, with its peculiarities, and require different ways of playing and strategies.
Remember again that if we choose the Individual Control mode only one rider is controlled by us and not the entire team, and that if there are several players all them will necessarily use Team Control .
In any kind of race we can use the yellow buttons for moving left or right our selected rider, or using the [N] and [M] keys instead.
GIVING ORDERS IN NOT TIME TRIAL STAGES:
Every player can give orders to the riders of its team, first has to select the cyclist that receives the order, then has to press the ORDERS orange button and will see these possibilities in red:
The cyclists automatically detect when they go alone and when they go in group. When a cyclist goes alone we can easily increase or decrease his rhythm using the orange buttons with arrows (or the [A] and [Z] keys). If the cyclist goes in group his rhythm will be the rhythm of the group. Maybe we don't want that the rider joins to groups we don't like, or simply that we prefer going always at our individual rhythm, so we can hold fixed this state if when we see "Going alone" we press over this text, then the text will turn to ">Going alone<" (in red) and from now the rider will always go in this state without joining in groups until this option gets cancelled pressing again over it. Anyhow, going alone will never have all the advantages and possibilities that going in group offers (better when bigger is the group), and in Super Tour 3 the computer controlled cyclist are very competitive and can be very hard going forward alone, or recovering distance from behind if we don't go in good groups.
Notice that sometimes the rider won't carry out our orders (or will cancel them) by different reasons: if finished the stage, is exhausted, the order doesn't make sense (e.g. pursuing a rider that abandoned the race), etc.
All orders given in the zone prior to the start line won't execute inmediately, but the riders remember them and will be carried out when the race starts and time is passing.
GIVING ORDERS IN ITT:
In individual time trial stages each rider runs alone. To give orders to a cyclist we'll have to wait until is given his signal to start.
Riders always go alone and we can increase or decrease their rhythm using the orange buttons with arrows (or the [A] and [Z] keys).
In ITT we can put a rider in AUTOMATIC mode, can be useful if we play with several of them and don't want to control all, but in this mode its performance won't be the best possible.
GIVING ORDERS IN TTT:
In team time trial stages each rider can carry out these orders:
When a rider gets tired can go down out of his group, then will go on riding alone (we can increase or decrease his rhythm using the orange buttons with arrows or the [A] and [Z] keys) while he doesn't succeed in reaching his group.
Riders spend more or less energy during the stage because of the effort they realise at each moment. There are three indicators that summarize the status of each rider: an horizontal bar with colours from green to red that represents the energy, a heart that shows a rhythm and colour stands for the effort, and a test-tube representing the water.
Rider's energy shows its capability for acting inmediately. It will decrease when the rider is making hard efforts and will increase after some recuperation under low efforts. Overstraining and accumulated fatigue could lead to a loss of the recuperation capacity of the rider.
Rider's effort depends on: its rhythm (speed), wind (can increase or decrease it), if the rider is in the rear of the precedent cyclist (decreasing it), the terrain (climbing is harder than descending), and the particular characteristics of the rider. The effort also depends on the type of order that is executing, for instance, riders that are leading a group make more effort than those that are carried.
Rider's water drains in the long term. For recovering energy and water the riders will have water bottles. Each rider will start the stage with two bottles, one, or no-one, according to the length of the stage. If the stage is quite long the riders will take another pair in the middle of the route under the placard of victualling (the feed zone is marked in the profile with an icon showing a spoon and a fork). To see the bottles that has our rider we must select him and press the orders' button, and we'll see if he has or not. To take a bottle, simply click over it. Actually it's not necessary being obsessed with the bottles because they are enough for any stage, moreover, our riders will automatically take them if we forget it and they need them.
If the exhaustion is excessive, the rider could retire from the race. At the end of the stage all riders recover energy because of the repose between stages and their own recuperation capacity.
Riders involved in falls will suffer an important loss of energy and water, besides of the possibility of being left behind his group.
Riders, logically, run much better in groups than alone, and this is a very important aspect of the game.
In TTT stages is possible that a high speed provokes problems to some riders, and they are left behind. The player must decide between running to a slower speed for waiting other riders or not, but a solitary rider will run in worse conditions than in the group.
We have a lot of options for watching the race with the cameras. Each camera has a window with a button in its upper left zone that allows us to modify its focus, and a description of itself in its lower left zone.
We can unfold until a maximum of four cameras. For changing the number of cameras in screen we have to press over the button of any camera, choose the icon with the spanner, and select one between the five available configurations (if your computer isn't very fast, the action could slow down depending on the number cameras displayed). There's also an icon that allows to lift up the perspective.
We can choose the focus of any camera. We have to press the button of the desired camera and choose between the following possibilities (we'll see more or less options according to the type of the stage):
The game can be more interesting playing with other people. The program makes possible any number of players on a single computer (up to fill all the teams).
The race will be multiplayer if we select more than one human player in the participating teams menu.
If we choose game without turns, all the teams and riders of any player will be accesible for receiving orders all the time. Players will share the control at their whim.
If we let the computer to administer time turns, we'll see in the upper right zone of screen a puppet together with the name of the player that owns now the turn. Only that player can control its riders (and won't have access to riders that belong to other players), until the end of the turn. Five seconds before the end of a turn, the name of the player with the puppet will flicker. A player won't receive the turn if all its riders are across the finish line, or if in a time trial all its riders are still waiting to start.
During the season, besides of competing in races we must take other decisions. We choose the races that we'll want to dispute, buy and sell o dismiss riders, according to our interest.
Among the usual costs there is the pay of the riders, that depends on their category and if they are injured or not. A cyclist gets injured when he retires exhausted of a race, and will need resting for one race at least for a satisfactory recovering. We can force and participate with an injured rider, but his performance will be worse and even could decrease some of his characteristics. Anyway any rider can evolve lightly his characteristics from race to race.
The received money for competing in races depends on our results. The amount of money that can be obtained by race depends on its rank, just like the points for the world classification.
The game concedes when it's needed credits automatically for the player to make pays, charging interests by the loan. When the season is over the team must be without debts, if not you'll be dismissed from your team though maybe you'll have another chance and receive an offer to manage other team.
In Super Tour 3 there are three individual classifications to contend for: times, mountain, and regularity; and one classification by teams.
In not time trial stages the order of riders at start is aleatory.
In ITT the starting positions are inverted in relation to the positions at the general times classification, so the first rider to start is the last in the classification, and the last to start is the leader (this favours riders at the top of classification because they know the better times of the previous cyclists). Each rider starts race half a minute after other preceding.
In TTT teams start race inversely to their positions in the general teams classification. If any team is out of this classification for lacking of riders, will start first. Every minute a team starts racing.
It's calculated accumulating the time of the riders in every stage. So in this classification every rider seeks finishing stages with the lower possible time, and the winner is the rider with the lowest accumulated time. Except in individual time trials, the riders that cross the finishing line very continuous (with differences not higher than one second) take all the same time. The times at the finishing line can be reduced if there are time bonuses, in this way:
There are no time bonuses in time trials.
In TTT, the times of the teams determine which team wins the stage, and are accumulated in the teams classification, but each rider takes its time individually (not the time of its team) for the times classification.
In the mountain classification the objective is to accumulate the maximum number of points that are obtained being the first in the placards on top of the mountains. Scoring depends on the category of the mountain, in this manner:
In the regularity classification, like in the mountain's, the objective is to score the maximum number of points in the stages. Points are given to the first riders to finish each stage and the first riders at the intermediate sprint (if there is), in this way:
Competing in this classification is only possible for those teams with at least three riders in the race (a team that has less than three because of retirements, etc, will disappear of this classification). In every stage, the time accumulated for each team is the sum of the best three times from its riders (time bonuses aren't included). The best team is the one which accumulates less time.
The leaders of each individual classification wear a different jersey. In the event that a rider owns more than one, the rider will wear the most important (1st Times, 2nd Mountain, 3rd Regularity) and the remaining jerseys are for the riders that go immediately after in the corresponding classification.
In the race options menu we can decide the existence or not of a time limit for finishing the stages. This time limit is calculated applying a percentage over the time of the stage winner. Riders that don't finish within the time limit are disqualified.
These are the applied percentages according to the type of stage:
Time limit doesn't apply if the length of the stage is less than 10 Km.
So long as some hard stages can provoke that many riders finish the stage out of the time limit, the organization can decide to recover eliminated riders. This is the criterion: if the number of riders that finish out of time is higher than the 25% of the total riders, the 75% of those eliminated are recovered.
The world classifications by cyclists and by teams are only played in the season mode. Teams and cyclists obtain points after finishing each race of the season, depending on their position in the times classification. Extra points are scored for winning in the mountain and regularity classifications, also for stages won and for days wearing the leader jersey.
It's not recommended changing to another application of Windows (for example pressing [ALT]+[TAB]) while playing, but if it happens the image can fail and we can try to recover it returning to the game (clicking on st3 in the taskbar or returning with [ALT]+[TAB]) and pressing the [F11] key.
It can be very useful to know where the files with our personalized favourite teams and cyclists are saved, saved games, etc, so we can interchange them with friends, moving them to other PC, or store them. If you are insterested you'll see it's easy. Files are always stored in the in the path C:\s_tour_3\ in the hard disk, and each recording is composed of a pair of files, one ".dat" and one ".des", with a number from 1 to 6 that refers to the recording slot. The saved files with personalized teams are those "fge", the kind of season are those "fgt", and the saved games are "fgj".
For instance, if we want to pass to someone the teams we have prepared and saved in the first recording slot of teams, then we'll have to copy these files from "C:\s_tour_3\": "fge1.des" and "fge1.dat". And they must be copied in the directory "C:\s_tour_3\" in the other computer.
If the game runs slow in your computer, you can try some things:
If you think that long stages are boring then try making short stages in which sprinting is determinant; all the options are for using them in the way you enjoy more the game.
Some strategic tricks; if you are good player, or don't want any type of advantage, don't read this section:
Game design, programming, graphics and manual by Miguel Angel Haza Baena.
Super Tour 3 copyright © Miguel Angel Haza Baena.