nighthawk — strategic shoot 'em up inspired by Paradroid


nighthawk [-h|-s|-c shipnumber]


Nighthawk is a tribute to one of the most playable and contagious games ever written: Paradroid by Andrew Braybrook.

You are a droid out to save the universe. To do this, you must do more than simply blasting everything in sight. You have to transfer to better droids in order to conquer more advanced droids, and go through walls to reach parts other droids cannot reach.

You start out as a 002 Paradroid in a ship. You can destroy other droids, and you can also "transfer": this means transfering your identity to the other paradroid, so you'll have his "body", if you're succesfull. If you're not, you'll be destroyed.

These are the droid types:

0xx - Prototype Class
Experimental; vary in function; caution!
1xx - Cleaning Droids
Mindless, slow, low shielded, unarmed.
2xx - Logistic/Servant Droids
Brainless, vary in shield and strength.
3xx - Messenger Droids
Mindless, fast, low shielded, unarmed.
4xx - Maintenance Droids
Vary in shield and speed; may be armed.
5xx - Medical Droids
Hard to crack, armed, not hostile.
6xx - Sentinel Droids
Vary in shield/speed/fire; armed; will attack.
7xx - Battle Droids
Vary in shield/speed/fire; dangerous.
8xx - Crew Droids
Armed, not hostile.
9xx - Command Cyborgs
1 per ship; extremely armed/shielded/fast; deadly.

Notice that "not hostile" means the droid will not attack only until you attack them!

Key summary

cursor keys
left click
right click
burst fire
activate (lift, computer, boost)
toggle transfer mode
toggle heads-up display
display status


To open a door, either shoot it or move into it. Doors will close after a short time.

To move around the ship, you must use the lifts (these look like squares with a cross through them, you normally start on one). To use a lift, move over it and press space. A map of the ship will appear, showing all the lifts and a square dot which represents your droid. Press down until the square is over the level you want to go to, and then press space to exit the lift.

To shoot, click the left mouse button at the target you are aiming at. A right mouse click does a burst fire which sprays shots in all directions.

You won't get very far in nighthawk unless you learn to transfer to different droids. To transfer to a different droid, press "t" (white lights will start flashing and you will be unable to shoot) then click on a nearby droid (even one on the other side of a wall). The two droids will "negotiate" (what a euphemism!) to see which one lives. During negotiations, neither droid can shoot.

To find out information about your droid, go to a computer in the wall and press space.

See more information on how to play in /usr/share/doc/nighthawk/README.gz


Valid command line options:
Displays help info
Displays game scrolls
-c N
starts the game in the Nth ship. Note that the high score table will treat this as cheating.


Nighthawk was written by Jason Nunn <>.

This manual page was written by Jeronimo Pellegrini <>, using text from the README file by Jason Nunn, for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be used by others).