MIKE STACKPOLE
                                     BRIAN FARGO
                                     TROY A. MILES
                                     BRUCE SCHLICKBERND
                                     TOM DECKER

Special thanks to Timothy Leary for all his help and inspiration for making Neuromancer a reality.

scanned and compiled by Underdogs for Home of the Underdogs.

converted into the HTML by Dimouse.

Table of Contents

The Real World
Your Purpose in Life
Basic Decks and Comlink Access
ICE and Icebreakers
Cyberspace Survival
Limitations on Cyberspace Travel
Cyberspace Decks
Skill Chips
Body Shop
Life and Death
A Note about Taking Notes
Your Credit Chip
Using the PAX System
Basic Deck Operation
Cyberspace Deck Operation
Action Examples
Appendix A: List of Skill Chips


He closed his eyes.
Found the ridged face of the power stud.
And in the bloodlit dark behind his eyes, silver phosphenes boiled the edge of space, hypnogogic images jerking past like a film compiled from random frames. Symbols, figures, faces, a blirred, fragmented mandala of visual information.

Please, he prayed, now-

A gray disk, the color of Chiba sky.


Disk beginning to rotate, faster, becoming a sphere of paler gray. Expanding And flowed, flowered for him. fluid neon origami trick, the unfolding of his distanceless home, his country, transparent 3D chessboard extending to infinity. Inner eye opening to the stepped scarlet pyramid of the Eastern Seaboard Fission Authority burning beyond the green cubes of Mitsubishi Bank of America, and high and very far away he saw the spiral arms of military systems, forever beyond his reach. And somewhere he was laughing, in a white-painted loft, distant fingers caressing the deck, tears of release streaking his face.

-jacking into cyberspace: from the book NEUROMANCER by William Gibson

"The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games," - said the voice-over, - "in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks." On the Sony, a twodimensional space war faded behind a forest of mathematically generated ferns, demonstrating the spatial possibilities of logarithmic spirals: cold blue military footage burned through, lab animals wired into test systems, helmets feeding into fire control circuits of tanks and war planes. "Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...."

-a kid's show describing cyberspace: from the book NEUROMANCER


Neuromancer is a science fiction role-playing game set In the year 2058. Your real world location is Chiba City, by Tokyo Bay in the Kanto District of south-central Honshu, Japan. Chiba Is a magnet for the Sprawl's techno-criminal subcultures, notorious for its shadowland of black medicine and Body Shops. Criminal activity in Chiba is a constant subliminal hum, and death is the punishment for laziness, carelessness, lack of grace, or the failure to heed the demands of the intricate protocol. At one end of the city is the towering hologram logo of Fuji Electric, dominating the skyline over the high-tech zone. At the other end is the Chiba Spaceport, gateway to the orbital colonies of Freeslde and Zion Cluster.

Since Neuromancer is a role-playing game, you'll start the game by maneuvering your character through the "Real World" areas of Cliba City.

Skills, in the form of "skill chips" implanted directly into your brain jack must be purchased and developed to ensure your continued survival in this complex world. Skills will be discussed later in more detail.

In the Real World, interactions with the citizens of Chiba are important. Through dialogue, you can make friends or enemies. Some people can be very helpful, going so far as to give you things you need. Others can be downright unfriendly, keeping vital information from you if you say the wrong thing. Information is power - and you don't have much when you start the game.

Another important source of information is the PAX. Public Access booths conveniently located around the city, providing private citizens with the means to stay current with the rest of the world. The PAX offers a newspaper, the Night City News; a Public BBS (Bulletin-Board System) for personal messages; and friendly Banking services (yes, money is important to your survival). The Night City News is updated daily, so it's a good idea to refer to it at least once every 24 hours. The PAX BBS will remind you that you're not alone in this world - you have friends who are happy to help when they can.


And what about your friends? Curiously enough, you seem to have fewer of them these days. Is it because of your breath? Maybe it's because you haven't taken a bath recently? Or in Chiba City, is survival more valuable and less costly than friends? You've heard rumors that several cyberspace cowboys have disappeared - and not all of them were your friends. Where have they gone? You suspect that the answer lies in cyberspace, but you've fallen on hard times. You had to pawn your deck for some cash as soon as you arrived in Chiba City. You've spent the last two days in a drunken stupor, wondering what to do. Now it's time to act. The fate of your remaining friends, and yourself, depends on your successful solution of this bizarre mystery.


The best way to get started in your quest is to locate the basic hardware - your cleck - and the software needed to jack into the public computer network. Having already spent a short time in Chiba before the game begins, you'll find a basic deck with Comlink software waiting for you right where you left it, wherever that is...

Deck hardware and software can be upgraded at several locations in the city. Money is the key factor. Better equipment means better reliability and the capability to carry and use more software - but the price goes up accordingly. Most people in Chiba end up buying their equipment from the used equipment stores, such as Crazy Edo's Used Hardware Emporium. But Edo has a limited stock, so serious cyberspace cowboys buy from Asano Computing, the only local dealer who carries full-blown matrix simulators called "cyberspace decks".

Normal Comlink access requires the use of one of the cyberspace jacks scattered around the city. With a basic deck and Comlink software, you can use these jacks to access computer systems ("bases") all over the world. If you know the Comlink access code for a particular base, you can reach it with the proper level of Comlink software. Low security bases require only Comlink 1.0 for access, but the corporate and government bases with the highest security require Comlink 6.0 to make a connection. Keep in mind that the cyberspace jacks are used for both Comlink and cyberspace access. Comlink software can get you there, but most bases are protected by passwords. Certain bases will give you a visitor's password in their introductory message, but most passwords must be located by you. Some passwords that you come across will be coded, requiring the use of the Cryptology skill chip to decipher them before they can be used for entry to a base.

As rumors have it, bases can often be penetrated at the lower levels with a new kind of software that allows you to bypass the simpler password systems.

Once you've been admitted to a base at a given level, you have access to everything contained in that level of the base. Many bases have multiple levels of access, each level requiring a different password. If you can log onto a database at a higher level after finding its password, you will have access to more of the contents of the database - including secret information. Valuable software can also be downloaded from some of these bases.

You will be automatically charged for your Comlink access time, so use your time wisely because it will be limited by the amount of money you have on your credit chip. When you are logged onto a database, time passes at the same rate that it does in the "real world".


Once you get a cyberspace deck, you'll want to access the "matrix" itself, also known as cyberspace. Hidden from the common citizen who is limited to accessing bases through the Comlink system, the cyberspace grid represents information in its pure form. All of the private, corporate, government, and military bases can be reached in cyberspace. Many of these bases can be reached only from cyberspace because they are isolated computers with the highest levels of protection. Visually, cyberspace is a three-dimensional representation of all the bases, which look like geometric shapes. These bases are laid out in specific zones of the horizontal cyberspace grid. In actuality, cyberspace is just an image generated in your brain by your cyberspace deck. Without the deck, cyberspace would just be a complex sea of information that humans would never be able to understand.

In operation, you might compare travel in cyberspace to driving around in a city. The streets are represented by the lines of the grid. The buildings are the geometric shapes of the bases. Your car is your cyberspace deck. As with moving around a city, you can keep driving past the buildings or stop and enter them (if you can get past the security guard).

Speaking of security guards, you may have guessed that you can't just waltz right into a base, even though you're entering from cyberspace. Each base is protected by ICE, which is designed to keep unauthorized users from accessing the private information contained in the base.


Bases are protected by ICE-Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics - which acts as an independent, semi intelligent barrier, keeping cowboys like you from getting inside the base.

However, cowboys do manage to break in with their specialized icebreaking softwarez. The trick is finding the appropriate versions and types of softwarez to break through the ICE before it can adapt its defenses to the attack. There are subtie, slow-acting viruses that sneak up on an ICE layer and destroy it gradually, as well as brute force icebreakers that can crush an ICE layer all at once. There are many different kinds of icebreaklng programs - some good and some bad. You'll also notice that icebreakers vary in their effectiveness, but you'll have to experiment on your own to learn more about each one.

You'll find that the low-security bases are protected by the weakest ICE. By breaking into these, you can develop your abilities, test your softwarez, and generally prepare for stronger and deadlier combat with medium and high security ICE.

And there's one more minor point you need to know. ICE has an annoying tendency to fight back. In fact, it can kill you.


Certain bases contain a second line of defense - an AI. which stands for 'Artificial Intelligence." Beginning with primitive 20th century attempts to model human intelligence in computer programs, modern day AIs have developed into individual entities capable of being granted citizenship by certain countries.

Specially programmed for the military and for corporations that can afford them, modern AIs have personalities and mental capabilities far beyond the humans that originally created them. Among other tasks, AIs run large corporations and design the ICE that protects bases in cyberspace.

Because of the potential threat of such an intellectual power, a government agency was formed to keep the AIs under control. The Turing Registry has the responsibility of watching for signs that any AI might be developing into a dangerous, ultra-intelligent program. While this is impossible with the limited computing facilities available to a single AI, the Turing Registry makes certain that the AIs are unable to communicate as a group. As soon as an AI is created, the manufacturer is legally bound to register its name, number, and citizenship with Turing. Turning also keeps track of humans suspected of illegally helping AIs. So far, this has been sufficient to restrain the AIs.

AIs are fully capable of defending themselves. Sane cowboys avoid combat with these formidable entities, because icebreaking softwarez can't harm them. An AI attack is a unique experience. Cowboys refer to this type of battle, which is aimed directly at the brain, as "flatlining." The AI feeds a neural shock into the victim's brain, keeping the cowboy braindead long enough for his physical body to stop functioning.

While it's rumored that there are skill chips available which allow mental combat with AI's, no one has lived long enough to talk about the details. The late McCoy Pauley, a.k.a. "Dixie Flatline", is said to have run into AIs in three different bases, and supposedly only survived because he found a weakness in each AI. His "joeboy" assistant managed to jack Pauley out of cyberspace during three flatlining attacks before his body died. The fourth time, Pauley's heart just gave out, and he went to cyberheaven. But he was paid handsomely for his liver.


Survival in the cyberspace environment depends on the skills, equipment, software, and information you've acquired in the earlier phases of the game. You may often find it necessary to return to the Real World, because you've run out of money or need a new deck, more software, more information, or you need to move to a new jack location to reach another area of cyberspace.


There are two primary factors governing the distance that can be travelled at any one time by a cowboy in cyberspace:

JACK RANGE LIMIT: There are several cyberspace jacks available in Chiba City. Physically connecting your deck to one of these jacks ("jacking in") determines where you will be located when you enter cyberspace. Most jacks can access only a limited area of cyberspace, called a "zone". Normally, you can only access areas of cyberspace within the jack's zone limit.

CONNECT TIME: Few things are free in Chiba City. Using a cyberspace jack costs money just like the long distance telephone charges of the 20th century. This creates another limit on how far you can travel when you're jacked in - if you run out of money on your credit chip, your connection is broken, putting you back in the Real World.


Cyberspace decks, also called cyberdecks or matrix simulators, are illegal for private use, but certain dealers have a liberal definition of private use, and continue to sell them to "independent agencies." Most cowboys define themselves as independent agencies. If a cowboy can afford it, there are a wide range of matrix simulators available. So many, in fact, that an independent reviewing service known as Consumer Review exists to help people decide which deck to buy.

There are a number of differences between the standard deck, which is legally available to the average consumer, and a deck with cyberspace-capability.

SHIELDING: Cyberdecks have built in combat shielding which protects the cyberdeck and its software from ICE attacks.

RAM LIMITS: The programs that drive the operating systems in both types of decks, as well as icebreaking and other application softwarez, are enormous in comparison to the size of programs in archaic 20th century computers. Modern deck RAM (Random Access Memory) is highly efficient and can handle a number of these programs with remarkable speed. Decks are continuously powered by an internal power supply so that the memory is non-volatile. Once you've downloaded a program, it stays in memory permanently unless the deck is damaged or you erase the software. Some softwarez, however, are one-shot programs, consuming themselves after you execute them. Each deck has its own limit of the number of softwarez it can handle. Top of the line decks, such as the Ono-Sendai Cyberspace Seven, can manage up to 25 programs simultaneously.

ROM CONSTRUCTS: Highly illegal and not available to private citizens, cowboy or otherwise, are the ROM Constructs. Each ROM Construct is a recording of an individual human's personality, responses, knowledge, and memories. Constructs are occasionally used by cyberdeck operators in the government and large corporations, which is why top of the line cyberdecks contain a slot for a ROM Construct cartridge.


Skills, in the form of "skill chips," are available for purchase in Chiba City. Skill chips are implanted directly in the brain jack on the side of your skull, giving you instant access to that particular type of knowledge. For example, the Cryptology skill chip gives you the ability to decipher certain types of coded passwords. Skill chips cover a wide range of abilities, ranging from foreign languages to high-tech cyberspace skills.

Skills can be improved through tutorials found in bases and training from knowledgeable Chiba citizens. Some skills are improved with experience in using that skill. In general, skills improve your chances of success both in the Real World and in cyberspace. Once you learn a skill, you remember it permanently. When you want to use a skill chip in a room in the "Real World," you should always use the chip just after you enter the room, before doing anything else - including talking with other people.

A list of skill chips can be found in Appendix A.


The Chiba City Body Shop selves two major functions - body part sales and "re-animation." If a wealthy cowboy is unfortunate enough to get killed, and his body is found before it rats, it may be taken to the Body Shop for re-animation. This is an expensive process, but the dead cowboy rarely has any say in the matter.

By sheer coincidence, the cost of re-animation almost always equals the amount of money the cowboy was carrying on his credit chip when he died. That's why smart cowboys keep a little money stashed in their bank accounts.

Body Shops are also handy places to pick up cash. Of course, the drawback is that you have to sell one of your body parts to get the money, but who needs a spleen anyway?

Important body parts, as determined by the Body Shop, will sell for more money. Curiously enough, you'll find that the important body parts tend to be the same ones that most affect your Constitution level if you sell them off.

As a public service, the Body Shop replaces any part you sell them with a cheap plastic replacement. Replacement parts are almost as good as the real thing, except for their short life. Fortunately, you can buy your parts back when you get the money together... for a higher price... if they're still available...


A wise philosopher once said, "Death is when your constitution hits zero. Life is anything above that." While walking around the Real World, there's little chance of losing your constitution, but in cyberspace it can get whomped on by killer ICE. If you find yourself selling off lots of your flesh at the Body Shop, keep in mind that cheap plastic replacement organs don't suit your system very well, and you won't ever have as high a constitution as you would with good, natural body parts. You can monitor your constitution by using the "Mode" command icon.


You'll discover many passwords, link codes, ID numbers, and other bits of data throughout the game, and you'll have to thresh through the information yourself and decide what's important enough to write down. We've provided pages in the back of this manual for notetaking purposes.


In Talk mode, you can carry on a conversation with other characters in a room through the use of "word balloons." Word balloons allow you to choose among several responses or questions hat are appropriate to the situation in that room. In some cases, you will find an option that reads something like this:

"Tell me about--------------."

If you think the character you're talking to knows something about a particular subject, you can ask them about it by typing a word describing that subject. For example, if you want to ask Julius about skills or skill chips, you could type:

"Tell me about SKILL."

Keep in mind that not everyone in Chiba City will want to or be able to answer all of your questions.


When the game starts, your Orient Express Credit Chip will contain only six credits. Your credit chip acts like a wallet - it contains the money you want to carry around with you in the city. Your bank account holds the remainder of your funds, which can be downloaded to your credit chip through any of the PAX terminals in Chiba City. While it's tempting to download all of your funds to your credit chip, it's not always a good idea - see the "Body Shop" section.


PAX booths are conveniently located around the city, providing private citizens with the means to stay current with the rest of the world. The PAX offers a newspaper, the Night City News; a Public BBS (Bulletin-Board System) for personal messages; and banking services through the First Orbital Bank of Switzerland.

When you operate a PAX terminal, you will be given three access codes and asked for a verification code, which is obtained from the PAX Verification Codewheel included with the game. See your reference card for details.

Once you are identified, the PAX Main Menu will appear, listing your options. You can always exit from any menu by selecting the EXIT option or by typing "X" on your keyboard. The Main Menu lists the following services:


Make your selection by typing the option number on your keyboard, or by selecting it with your joystick or mouse.

A brief history of the PAX network.

This option brings up the Banking menu. At the top of the screen, your name is displayed along with your BAMA account number, the amount on your credit chip, and your current bank account balance.

The DOWNLOAD CREDITS option lets you transfer a specific amount of credits from your bank account to your credit chip.

The UPLOAD CREDITS option lets you transfer a specific amount of credits from your credit chip to your bank account.

The TRANSACTION RECORD option lists the four most recent transactions in your bank account - downloads, uploads, and official government fines.

This option puts you into the Night City News system.

To read an article, select one of the listed headlines with your joystick or mouse, or by typing the headline number. The MORE option should be used to view headlines that have appeared after the first screen fills up.

This option puts you into the personal message system on the PAX. You can view the daily messages or send one yourself. If you select VIEW MESSAGES, a message menu will appear.

To read a message, select one from the list with your joystick or mouse, or by typing the message number. Be sure to read all the messages by using the MORE option.


The given examples use keyboard commands, but these steps can also be accomplished with a joystick or mouse.


If you're in a room with a cyberspace jack and you've learned some database link codes, you can use your deck to "dial" into the database using this procedure (if you have the proper level of Comlink software):

1. Type "I" (for Inventory). The Inventory list will be displayed.
2. Select the "UXB" or whatever deck you have with you by typing the corresponding number from the list. The Operate/Discard/Give/Erase menu will be displayed.
3. Type "0" to operate the deck. A list of software will be displayed.
4. Select your highest level of Comlink software (Comlink 1.0. for example) by typing its number. You will be asked to enter the Comlink code for the database you wish to access.
5. Enter the Comlink code. A proper code (such as "CHEAPO" for the Cheap Hotel database) with the proper level of Comlink software will jack you into the database. If you enter an incorrect code, you can keep trying again until you press Return to exit. If you make a mistake while typing the Comlink code, just backspace and type over your mistake.
6. Press the space bar to bypass the database's introductory screen, and then type the password for the database when requested to do so.


If you have a cyberspace-capable deck, you can either use it to log onto a database in the usual way, or you can enter cyberspace. You need Comlink 6.0 to access cyberspace. Follow this procedure for cyberspace access:

1. Type "I" (for Inventory). The Inventory list will be displayed.
2. Select your cyberspace deck by typing the corresponding number from the list. The Operate/Discard/Give/Erase menu will be displayed.
3. Type "O" to operate the deck. A list of software will be displayed.
4. Select your Comlink 6.0 software.
5. Comlink 6.0 will give you the option of either entering a link code or entering cyberspace. Select the Enter Cyberspace option. Your screen display will be altered to show cyberspace and your cyberspace deck controls. Your initial location in cyberspace is determined by your cyberspace jack location. If you're using the cyberspace jack at Cheap Hotel, you will enter cyberspace beside the geometric form that represents the Cheap Hotel base.


Note: The given examples use keyboard commands, but these steps can also be accomplished with a joystick or mouse by pointing to the desired option and pressing the joystick/mouse button.


1. Display the Inventory list by typing "I".
2. Type a number on the keyboard to select the item you want to give. You may give anything away, including credits.
3. The Operate/Discard/Give menu will be displayed. Type "G" for Give.
4. If you selected "credits" to give away, the amount of credits you have on your credit chip will be displayed, followed by "Give how much?". Type in the amount you wish to give (46, for example), followed by a Return. The amount will be deducted from your credit chip.
5. The item or number of credits you specified will be given to the other person in the room.


When you acquire a skill chip, you carry it in your Inventory until you implant it in your skull using this procedure:

1. Type "I" to display the Inventory list.
2. Select the skill chip you wish to implant by typing the corresponding number from the list. The Operate/Discard/Give menu will be displayed.
3. Type "O" to operate the skill chip. The skill chip will disappear from your Inventory list since it has been implanted in your skull and is now available for your use. You may now select the Skills icon to use the skill.


You can only use a skill after it has been implanted in your skull.

1. Type "S" for Skill. Your implanted skills and skill levels will be displayed.
2. Select the skill you wish to use by typing the corresponding number from the list. For this example, we'll select "Cryptology." The Cryptology window will appear, asking for a word to be decoded.
3. Type the word to be decoded and press Return. The answer wall be displayed.
4. The Cryptology skill can be used repeatedly, so it will ask for another word to be decoded just hit Return to exit.


When you're in the software library of a database, viewing a list of programs, you may wish to download (transmit) some software to your deck. This is accomplished by selecting the software you desire, by its corresponding number. You will receive a "download complete" message when the transmission is finished. The software is now available to you when you operate your deck.


1. Type "I" (for Inventory). The list of your softwarez will be displayed.
2. Select the software you wish to use by its corresponding number.

1. Type "R" (for Rom Construct). The Rom Construct options will be displayed:

Exit Rom Construct
1. Software Debug
2. Software Analysis
3. Monitor mode

When you select the Software Debug or Software Analysis options, you are making use of the Rom Constructs skills in those areas. Once selected, they each display your software list. Select the software you want to debug or analyze and the Rom Construct will go to work.

The Monitor option must be activated if you want the Rom Construct to be aware of your current activities. This is useful when things are happening so quickly that you may not be aware of certain things... such as your impending death. In monitor mode, if the Construct realizes you're about to die, it won't hesitate to let you know about it.


1. Type "I" (for Inventory). Your list of items will be displayed.
2. Select your deck by pressing its number.
3. The Operate/Discard/Give/Erase menu will appear. Type "E".
4. A list of software in your deck will appear. Type the number of the piece of software you want to erase. It will be erased, permanently. The only way to get it back is to download it again from the place you got it.
5. You can keep erasing softwarez one at a time. Type "X" (for Exit) when you're finished.


(See the "SKILL CHIPS" section on page 7 for a general discussion of this subject.)

COPTALK: Used in the Real World to disguise yourself by talking like a cop with an Irish accent. This can be useful for interrogating the right people.

BARGAINING: Used before purchasing things in the Real World, this skill can bring the price down. Most people already know this trick or they have a Bargaining skill chip of their own, so it won't always work.

CRYPTOLOGY: Used in the Real World to analyze passwords and decode them. You may occasionally come across a password that can't even be decoded by the highest level of this skill chip, in which case you'll have to figure out where to go to decode it yourself.

MUSICJANSHIP: Used in the Real World to play various styles of music for amusement.

SOFTWARE ANALYSIS: Finds out and tells you the function of your software.

DEBUG: Repairs damaged software in your deck.

HARDWARE REPAIR: Locates and repairs problems with your deck.

ICE BREAKING: Used at the beginning of an ICE combat session in cyberspace, this skill applies your previous experience with ICE breaking to locate weaker points in the ICE protection, making it easier to break in.

EVASION: Gives you a chance to retreat from combat with an AI when you realize you're not prepared yet for this particularly horrible form of suicide.

ZEN: Calms your mind after mental shocks. It's said Dixie Flatline was a Zen master.

You'll find other skill chips throughout the course of the game, but you'll have to find out about those yourself. Try as many as you want - if you can afford them.

original file date stamp: 7/10/1989