Manual last update: 28 Feb 2009


UnZip the archive in its own directory anywhere, keeping the directory structure.


The game does not use the registry, so you can uninstall by simply deleting the game directory.


The DOS version should run on anything whith at least 8 Mb of RAM and a VGA card. Minimum tested machine (my own) was a Cyrix P166 with 16Mb of RAM, S3 Virge DX video card, SoundBlaster 16. Even when using only Mode X, it ran flawlessly.

The Win version requires DirectX. The game is developped on a P3 600 / 256 Mb with GeForce 4 and a Soundblaster Live. Tested also on smaller machines such as P350 without 3D card.

Digital joysticks/gamepads are supported but not required (version 1.11 and upwards, DOS & Win)


Default keys are cursor arrows, CONTROL and SHIFT to hit, ESC for menus.

Menus and Options

Press UP or DOWN to select a menu item, ENTER to activate it (or LEFT or RIGHT to change the value, when available), and ESC to go back to the previous menu.

The "Kick" and "Punch" controls can also be used instead of "ENTER".


Game Mode: Arcade mode is classic-style action, with 2 credits of 3 lives, and an extra life after finishing each level. Survival mode gives you only one life for the whole game, but you slowly regenerate if you don't move at all. If you walk, you will regenerate also, but only half as fast. Jumping and using heavy weapons (chain, pipe) will tire you, requiring you to rest a few seconds before you actually start regenerating. Note: Since a pair of knife-men or punks can sometimes kill you outright in 3 seconds, survival mode is much more difficult during levels, but usually easier when fighting the boss. This mode is intended for experienced players only. Vampire is another mode for veteran players, you have only one life and regenerate when scoring points.

Skill: Overall game difficulty. It relates to how many enemies appear on the screen at the same time, and how quickly the Bosses regenerate. In easiest and easy settings, strong enemies fall after 4 and 5 hits respectively, instead of 6.

New game is normal play from the beginning.

Train brings you right away to any level of your choice, skipping intro sequences if any.. You got full credits and lives, and your score counts. You can only train a level if you reached it during a NEW GAME of normal difficulty or higher. Training does not unlock future levels!

The only difference between "NEW GAME" and "TRAIN LEVEL 1", is that the latter skips the intro, which can be useful to record demos of level 1.


This is the demo recording/replaying stuff. When you play, your game is internally recorded by the engine. Once the game is over, you can come to this menu and review your last game, and save it to disk. Only the last played game is kept in memory. Use PLAY to watch the current demo, LOAD / SAVE to read one from disk, or save the current one.

DEMO1, DEMO2 and DEMO3, which are shipped with the game, are the 3 internal demos that play when you stay idle in the main menu. You can overwrite them however. (They are only loaded at startup)

Demo files do not require a special extension, so if you don't specify one when saving (ie: "L1.DMO"), they will not have any.


Note that if you change the music list or the graphic driver, it will only take effect when you exit the menu.

Music list: If you downloaded one or more music packs, this is where you select the active one. Music packs are only a bunch of SoundTracker modules (.MOD or .S3M), with a playlist-like config file for bundling. If you have a collection of your own MODs, you can easily write your own music list, it's a very simple text file. If the MODs are not in the current directory or in \data, you have to specify a path: either relative (..\music\psyg.mod) or absolute (d:\music\mod\psyg.mod)

GFX Driver: This is the graphic driver used for display. You won't need to change the default setting, unless the game actually fails to load - the performance difference is usually not human-noticeable.
platform codename name in options description
DOS AUTO Autodetect This will try to find the most efficient driver, trying VESA3 first, then running the list down to Mode X, until it finds a supported one.


Mode X This one should work on any SVGA card (maybe even VGA)
DOS V1 VESA 1 These ones require a VESA-compatible graphics card. If you bought yours after 1994, it should be. Higher number is better, though the difference is completely invisible. Note that even recent 3D cards still support VESA - at least my GeForce can.
DOS V2B VESA 2 (Banked)
DOS V2L VESA 2 (Linear)
Win FULL Fullscreen (Auto) These will let the Allegro library find the best driver, either in full-screen, or as a window.
Win WIN Window (Auto)
Win DX Window (DirectX) DirectX, hardware-accelerated driver. Reliable, requires DirectX 3.0 or higher, if I remember well
Win DW Fullscreen (DirectX)
Win DS Fullscreen (DX Soft) DirectX, using only software calls. Slower than standard DirectX, useful only if the latter crashes.
Win GDI Window (GDI) This one should work on anything, even without requiring DirectX to be installed (supposedly, but I won't test that). It's the old Windows 95 graphics API, and has awful performances. Use only if all else fails :)

Keys: Change the keys you'll be using in the game. You may need this because all keyboards have different hardware limitations, for example on my keyboard, I can't press up + left + alt at the same time. The default keys may not be good for your keyboard. If you want to check, I recommend you start a game, hold kick and punch, then check you can still jump in diagonals, and turn around while crouching. If some of these moves are blocked, you better pick some other keys.
If you have a 4-button joystick/gamepad, you can use it to control the whole game, menus included.

Playing the game


Required keys

Use the keys from the "options" menu to move your character around.
Esc : quit to in-game menu (game is paused, you can change settings and resume)

Special moves

Not really a special move, but be aware you have two flying punches, depending on if you keep "up" pressed or not. One of these attack aims at head's height, while the other one hits higher (use only against TALL enemies)

Double-kick: (use it when enemies come from both directions) jump-kick one direction, when you "rebound" on your target, quickly move the opposite direction and press kick again, in order to try and kick the other way before landing. Actually, you should press right or left in advance, even before you actually hit your first victim.

Back-kick: stand still or walk, then kickly turn around and kick the other way. This has to be done very quickly. This attack does 166% damage (multiplied by 2, 3 or 4 if your kick was charged)

Whirlwind Kick: You can only do it when your kick is charged (at least x2). It's like a jump-kick, except you have to press kick very quickly after the up key. Vigilante will jump, do a 360°, and kick. This attack can hit both at head's height, and above.

Charging punches and kicks: If you keep the punch or kick key pressed, after about one second, you should see a "x2" sign on the top left of the screen. Keep pressed longer for x3 and x4. Anytime you can let go of the key. Now the next time you will press it, the hit will be much more powerful. This works separately with punchs and kicks: while you are charging punchs, you can kick like you want. If you are charging kicks, you can punch during the time. Now if you try charging BOTH, you cannot hit anyone, so be careful... Charge goes up very quickly if you stand (or crouch) still, slower if you walk, and not at all when you're doing something else. Charged kicks and punchs are not very spectacular. They make a different sound, look a little bit different, and are slower. However, in addition to the enhanced damage, hey stand a good chance of knocking your opponents to the ground: 50% for x2, 87% for x3, 100% for x4.

Other keys

Pause Pause/unpause game
F1 screenshot (vig???.pcx)
+ - music volume
PgUp PgDn increase/decrease game speed (also works during demo playback)
Home set normal speed:72fps

Cheat keys

Using any of these will mark your game as cheated: demo recording will stop, and your score will not count. It's for testing purposes. Cheat keys can only be activated after you've finished the whole game.

1-5 Jump to level 1-5
6-0 Jump to inter-level 1-5
P gives Pistol
N gives Nunchaku
B gives Bar (Pipe)
K gives Knife
C gives Chain
D gives Dynamite

Frequently asked questions

I've not received a lot of feedback, so most of this paragraph is imaginary :)

Q: The grunts keep catching me! How can I escape ?

A: Hit the right and left keys alternatively. On the arcade, there is no manual, but when your money is at stake, you learn fast :)

Q: How many times do I have to hit an enemy before he falls?

A: Grunts (the unarmed redheads who catch you) and Bikemen: 1 hit
Punks and Knifemen: 6 hits, they are though.
Other normal enemies: 4 hits
Bosses: depends. They also regenerate slowly...

Q: I've punched a group of enemies, and I feel I had to deal much more hits before they all went down

A: Yep. When one of your attack hits several enemies at a time, the first enemy takes the full blow, the second one 66%, the third about 33%. Your attack will usually not wound the extra ones, only push / daze theml. Grunts are an exception: they are so weak that any attack knocks them out, and they don't count in damage reduction.

Q: Do my different attacks cause different damage?

A: All punches and kicks do the same amount of damage, except for back-kick (166%). Note that a 4x-charged back-kick equals 6 hits, enough to take out any non-boss in a single blow...

Q: Do I cause more damage when using a weapon?

A: It depends on the weapon: Nunchaku does normal damage, Pipe does 133%, chain 166%, knife 200%, and pistol 600%

Q: The level 1 boss has caught me! Is he going to pound me three times ?

Yes, unless you hit "Left" several times to escape, and do it fast...

Q: Cool! does it also work for the level 5 boss ?

A: No, it's impossible: he strikes so fast, that you don't have a chance of avoiding it. It's so in the arcade, as far as I know. Now if you tell me (prove me - I can check with an emulator) that you can evade this hit in the arcade, I 'll implement it.

Q: Why is Boss 4 throwing candles at me?

A: It's not your birthday, these are dynamites, and they explode 4 seconds after he throws them. You can stay away, or hit them (even in mid-air). If you crouch on one, you'll pick it up, like a weapon. Be careful, it is still lighted and the countdown doesn't reset, so use the punch key to throw it. If you kick immediately after throwing, it will fly a bit higher and farther. The countdown on the weapon icon is in seconds, if it's a flashing zero, it's almost too late!

Q: Can I jump over the hole ?

A: Yes, if you time your jump perfectly. If you defeat the boss, you have some remaining time to practice :) Note that on the arcade, and on the PC Engine version, it IS also techically possible, I can do it 1 times out of 8. Actually, I don't think the designers did it on purpose, it's nearly impossible to do. Now in my version, it is quite easier.

Q: Will I die if I fall in a hole ?

A: In real life, maybe, but in Vigilante, you'll automatically hold on the border. In order to climb up, press "Up" several times. Now if an enemy comes close and hits you, you're gone, so you better climb very fast, because the boss is close...

Q: How smart is the Pistolman ? I'm having trouble with him.

A: The gun has only 6 bullets, and he shoots only when he has a clear line of sight between himself and you, with nobody in-between (at head's height anyway). When you hurt an enemy, he is considered "pushed aside" for this, for a half-second, so remember he doesn't shield you. Bullets hit anyone, so with a well-timed dodge, you can teach your enemies the meaning of "friendly fire"...

Q: How to kill the level <X> boss ?

A: I ain't tell you, pal. Discovering how to beat each boss requires time and practice, it's one of the game's main interests. Each boss is completely different, so try different things every time. Try aggressive, hitting everywhere. Try defensive, waiting to see how he first moves, and counter-attack. Most bosses watch you, and do different moves / attacks if you are standing or crouching. Note that a low punch and a low kick do not hit at the same height, so these two attacks have usually different results. When you know a flaw in the boss's defense, try hitting him with a charged kick/punch (x4), some bosses are very vulnerable to them. The most dangerous boss may be the level 3-4 fatman, since he "expects" your move; ie: If you walk in his direction, he will strike BEFORE you are in range, and if you keep coming you'll be hitten. If you walk away, he'll try to come very closer before trying to hit you, so that you don't evade his hit. Hope this bit of information helps a little.

Q: What counts in the score ?

A: All enemies give some points when knocked down. Finishing a level gives a bonus, depending on level and game difficulty, as well as a bonus depending on remaining time. Last, in survival mode, staying at top health gives 10 points per second.

Q: The game is too hard!

A: This is not a question.

Q: The game is too hard! What can I do?

A: Play in arcade mode, survival and vampire is only fun for very good players. Try playing on the minimum skill level, at least until you feel comfortable with the controls. Try slowing the game down a little, so you can better see what's going on (use -fps 60, or try PageUp / PageDown during the game). Watch the demos (wait a few seconds on the menus): I record all the demos in the hardest skill settings, so you can see how to survive the most difficult situations. Use low-kicks a lot, it is fast, has a long range, and high attacks will miss you. Remember that kicks push the enemies away, but punchs have the advantage of disabling though enemies in a short time, if you punch very quickly.

Q: It's too easy!

A: If you want an extra challenge, try the master difficulty settings by holding kick key while choosing difficulty.

Q: Why does the back-kick not do 200 or 300% damage, since it's a bit difficult to do?

A: I added this attack "recently", and I wanted it to be completely optional, so you can play the whole game, without ever using it: I hate these games where you do all levels with only your dragon-punch, or whatever. I didn't even add a special key for it in the controls. When you do this kick as a mistake, in the heat of the fight, I didn't want it to penalize you too much, so it's very close to a regular kick. When this happens, it hits in the intended direction, with a bit longer range (a few pixels!), a bit slower speed, but stronger. Use a back-kick only when it's good to use it: On punks, since they approach slowly, or on a pipe-man / knife-man, after several punches (so they are "dazed" and can't react). I don't recommend trying to use them on bosses, unless you really know what you're doing. It's not designed to be powerful, but good-looking and fun :)

Command-line options

Almost everything useful can be reached in the options menu anyway, so don't panic.

Syntax : VIG [options]
-? view available command-line options, then exit
-level <N> run a game immediately, starting at level (1-5)
-skill <N> skill (difficulty) level. Default is 5, range 3-7 is equal to the /- ///// range in the options menu. 8 or more is a "nightmare" setting.
-arcade set game mode to "arcade"
-survival set game mode to "survival"
-vampire set game mode to "vampire"
-record <FILE> run a game immediately, saving the recorded demo as a new file. Usually, you'll also use -start to begin on a level other than 1, and a game mode above.
-maxdemo <N> set demo buffer size, in bytes, default 65000 Kb or so.This should be much more than you need (full game-runs weigh only 20Kb) but if you ever see a "demo truncated" message, you'll need to increase it.

-play <FILE>

run a game immediately, replaying an existing recorded demo
-nostat draw the energy bar during demo playback
-start <N>

fast-forward N frames when playing back a demo. -start 720 will skip 10 seconds of "real-time" demo, and so on.

-card <CARD>

Change video driver. See the options chapter for platform-specific list.


disable sound routines, including music

-fps <N>

frames per second = game speed. Default is 72, higher is faster, lower is slower. fps of 65535 (910x) IS supported, though a bit fast for humans.
If you think the game is too fast, try -fps 60, or lower.

-mod <FILE>

play an alternate music file as background music. It has to be a Protracker/FastTracker module. Those files, well-known by Amiga veterans (yeah!), usually have the .MOD and .S3M extension.


Final Note

Thank you for downloading (and hopefully playing :) Vigilante.

If you enjoyed the game, please send me any demos of you playing. Single-levels, or full runs of the game (if you can finish it!), I would be very interested in SEEING how other people play this game. And many thanks to the people who already did!