The Story So Far...

You are Major Shawna “Hopper” Jemison, a pilot in the Interstellar Patrol Force for the United Human Planets. For the past four years, the once-peaceful Joint Federation of Sentient Races (of which the Humans were one of five member species, in addition to the three SapiAIs) has been embroiled in civil war, with no end in sight.

Four years ago, just before the dawn of the war, you were on patrol near the border separating Human space from that of the Trichords (a fellow member species of the JFSR), when you received an automated distress call from a remote research colony on the planetoid Zenith, home to hundreds of Human and Trichord scientists. As you set course for Zenith to assist them, the signal suddenly went dead. Whatever was happening down there, something had just destroyed their transmitter array--a bad sign.

The game begins as you arrive at the colony to find it badly damaged and apparently abandoned. You must explore Zenith to find and rescue the colonists, to determine what disaster took place here, and to discover the secret that would soon start a galactic civil war...


Azimuth is primarily played with the keyboard; you will use the mouse on the title screen and pause screen, but not during gameplay. There is no special support for gamepads, but any input device that emulates a keyboard should work fine.

The default controls are listed below; you can customize these controls from the title screen or pause screen by clicking on the “Options” button on either screen. From there, click the key name you want to change, then press the new key you'd like to use.

Up Arrow: Thrust
Hold this key to accelerate your ship forwards.
Down Arrow: Reverse
Once you get the Retro Thrusters upgrade, you can hold this key to accelerate your ship backwards.
Right Arrow: Turn right
Hold this key to rotate your ship to the right (clockwise).
Left Arrow: Turn left
Hold this key to rotate your ship to the left (counterclockwise).
C: Fire
Press this key to fire whatever weapon you have selected. Once you get the Charge Gun upgrade and have it selected, you can hold this key down to charge up your gun, then release it to fire.
X: Ordnance
Once you have rockets or bombs, if you're holding down this key when you press the fire key, you'll fire rockets/bombs instead of your main guns.
Z: Utility
Press this key while near a save point, recharge station, or communications console to use it. Once you get the Tractor Beam and/or Milliwave Radar upgrades, you can hold this key down to activate those items as well.
Escape: Pause
Press this key to pause or unpause the game.
To select different weapons (once you acquire several different weapon upgrades), you can either pause the game and click on the weapon name(s) to select them, or you can use the number keys to select them at any time (1 through 8 to switch guns, 9 and 0 to switch ordnance).


Different rooms in the colony are typically separated by doors, which can be opened by shooting them. Some heavier blast doors will require more powerful weaponry to break open.

White Doors
These doors can be opened with regular shots from your main guns, or by any other weapon.
Red Doors
These doors can be broken open by a rocket impact.
Blue Doors
These doors can be opened by a bomb blast.
Pink Doors
These heavily-armored doors will require a hyper rocket to open.
Cyan Doors
The very strongest blast doors in Zenith require nothing less than a mega bomb to break open.
Locked Doors
These doors cannot be opened by any weapon. However, often they can be unlocked by defeating a nearby enemy, finding the right switch, or entering from the other side. Once unlocked, they can be opened by your regular guns.
An energy forcefield that blocks any passage. Often there will be a nearby switch to turn it off; other times you may need to search farther to find a way to proceed.


Switches can be activated by shooting them with the right weapon. Similarly to doors, switches come in several colors, which hint at the right weapon to use. Activating switches that you find is almost always helpful to your mission, so be sure to shoot any that you come across.


Zenith Colony is home to many dangerous creatures and robots: from rogue security turrets, to wild animals, to alien monsters. Most enemies can be defeated with any weapon, but some enemies have armor that requires you to use a more powerful weapon, or to hit them in a vulnerable spot.

Below are a few of the enemies you will encounter while exploring the Zenith planetoid:

Security Turret
These turrets are supposed to keep the colony safe, but they seem to have gone haywire. Some have been damaged and will be easy to destroy, while others are armored and impervious to your starting weapon.
Cave Crawler
Crawls along walls and ceilings. Not too much of a threat, as long as you don't get too close.
Supply Box
Leftover supplies the colonists didn't have time to take with them when disaster struck. Blast these open with guns to refill your shields or ammo. Some boxes are armored, and will require explosives to break open.
Native flying creatures of Zenith, often found sleeping hanging from the ceilings of caves and tunnels. If disturbed, they will give chase at high speed.
These slowly-drifting creatures shoot spines in all directions if you get too close.
Mysterious invaders of unknown origin, unlike anything you've ever encountered. Extremely dangerous; engage with caution.

...and many, many more...

Tips for bosses

Each colored region on the map has a boss enemy that you must defeat to gain access to a major upgrade. The boss room will usually be marked on your map once you download map data for that region.

Some tips for defeating bosses:

Gun Upgrades

There are eight different gun upgrades you can acquire during the game. You can use up to two of them together at once, combining their effects. For example, using CHARGE and FREEZE together allows you to charge up a powerful shot that is extra effective at freezing enemies, while using HOMING and PHASE together allows you to fire shots that both seek out enemies and pass through walls. Using the right weapons in the right situations is key to survival!

Charge Gun
Allows you to charge up your gun to fire a more powerful shot. With the charge gun selected, hold down the fire key (C by default) for a few seconds until the sound changes, then release. Charged up shots can damage some armored enemies that are immune to normal shots. Some breakable walls can be destroyed outright by a charged shot; those that can't will flash a color when hit by a charged shot, hinting at what weapon is needed.
Freeze Gun
Allows you to freeze enemies in place in addition to damaging them. Frozen enemies can't move or attack, and won't damage you if you run into them. Weaker enemies can be frozen with a single shot; stronger enemies won't be frozen until most of their health has been depleted first.
Triple Gun
Fires a spray of three shots at once instead of just one, although each shot is slightly weaker than normal. Great for dealing with swarms of weak enemies, or situations where aiming accurately is difficult.
Homing Gun
Fires shots that automatically seek out nearby enemies; however, each shot is significantly weaker than normal. Try combining this with other guns to help offset this weakness.
Phase Gun
Fires a short-ranged shockwave that passes freely through walls, allowing you to hit switches and enemies that would otherwise be unreachable.
Burst Gun
Fires powerful shots that burst into shrapnel on impact, potentially doing even more damage to nearby enemies. This burst effect also gives you an indirect way to shoot around corners.
Pierce Gun
Fires shots that pierce straight through multiple enemies, penetrating most armor and inflicting a great deal of damage. However, it requires a lot of energy to fire.
Beam Gun
This devastating weapon fires a continuous energy beam, melting most enemies in seconds. Combine with other guns to vary the effect of the beam.

Ordnance Upgrades

When energy weapons won't do the trick, try explosives! You can use the 9 and 0 keys to switch between rockets and bombs. Then press the fire key (C by default) while holding down the ordnance key (X by default) to use the selected ordnance.

Rockets are very fast and pack a punch, but their ammo is limited and they can be hard to aim. Each rocket upgrade increases your maximum capacity by 5.
Bombs can deal a lot of damage to a wide area. Once you drop one behind you, it will detonate after a few seconds, or when an enemy gets close (for safety, the proximity detonator won't trigger if your ship is still nearby). Each bomb upgrade increases your maximum capacity by 3.
Hyper Rockets
With this upgrade, you can charge multiple rocket warheads into a single projectile with a more powerful explosive. With rockets selected, hold down the ordnance key (X by default) for a few seconds, then press the fire key (C by default) to fire a hyper rocket. Each hyper rocket uses three rockets.
Mega Bombs
With this upgrade, you can charge multiple bombs together to create a single, titanic blast. With bombs selected, hold down the ordnance key (X by default) for a few seconds, then press the fire key (C by default) to drop a mega bomb. Be sure to move away immediately--the blast radius is very wide and the explosion is very damaging! Each mega bomb uses three bombs.
High Explosives
Upgrades all of your ordnance--rockets, bombs, hyper rockets, and mega bombs--to deal even more damage.
Attuned Explosives
Carefully shaped charges allow your ordnance to have a wider blast radius, while simultaneously shielding your ship from the brunt of the blast (should you be caught in the explosion by accident), reducing the damage you take from your own explosives.

Shield Upgrades

Your gunship is a highly versatile design, but it wasn't really built for heavy subterranean combat. Fortunately there are a number of upgrades you can find to help protect you from the various dangers you'll encounter on Zenith.

Shield Battery
Your ship starts out with a maximum shield power of 100. Each shield battery you find increases that maximum by 25, allowing you to survive that much more damage before needing to repair.
Hardened Armor
While the smooth surfaces found in the habitation section of the colony don't pose a threat, bumping into rocky cave walls deeper within Zenith can drain your shields quickly. This upgrade greatly decreases the damage you take from bumping into rough walls, and decreases all other kinds of damage a little bit too.
Dynamic Armor
Even in its base configuration, your gunship can survive the pressures of an underwater environment, but it won't be very maneuverable. This upgrade reshapes your hull to make it much more hydrodynamic, as well as better protecting you from all forms of damage.
Thermal Armor
Extreme ambient temperatures pose a threat to your ship, and will drain your shields continuously without this upgrade to protect you. In addition to allowing you to safely explore high-temperature areas, it also reduces all other forms of damage a little bit.
Reactive Armor
The ultimate defensive upgrade: it not only reduces all damage you take, but also redirects that damage back outwards. With this upgrade, enemies that collide with your ship will take damage themselves.

Energy Upgrades

Your primary guns require energy to fire. Your ship will automatically recharge its energy over time, but some of the later weapons you can get will drain your energy even faster, so upgrading your energy systems will allow your weapons to handle a heavier duty cycle.

Your ship starts out with a maximum energy capacity of 100. Each capacitor you find increases that maximum by 25, allowing you to fire your guns a little longer before stopping to recharge.
Fusion Reactor
As you collect more capacitors, you may find your ship's energy takes quite a long time to recharge completely. This upgrade will significantly increase the rate at which your energy recharges.
Quantum Reactor
This upgrade increases your energy recharge rate even more than the Fusion Reactor.

Engine Upgrades

Although your ship's standard engines are well up to the task of navigating deep space, there's still room for improvement when it comes to terrestrial navigation.

Retro Thrusters
These forward-facing engines will allow your ship to reverse thrust when you need to. Once you get this upgrade, you can use the reverse key (down arrow by default) to accelerate backwards.
C-Plus Drive
This device lets you achieve super-luminal speeds without needing to be in deep space. Fly in a straight line for several seconds without stopping to charge it up; you'll know it's ready when your smoke trail turns green. Once charged, double-tap the thrust key (up arrow by default) to dash. While dashing, the tachyon field around your ship renders it impervious to all damage, and can destroy most enemies and even some walls just by colliding with them.
Orion Booster
When you need to achieve high speeds in a space too cramped to charge up your C-plus drive, you can use this upgrade. Select bombs, hold the ordnance key (X by default) for a few seconds to charge up, then double-tap the reverse key (down arrow by default) to drop an orion charge. Your ship will ride the shockwave from the blast, quickly accelerating you to a high speed. Each use consumes two bombs.

Utility Upgrades

Exploring Zenith isn't just a matter of weapons and combat--you'll need all manner of other tools as well. Below are a few such upgrades you can find that will help you during your mission.

Tractor Beam
Once you have this upgrade, hold down the utility key (Z by default) to lock onto nearby flashing tractor nodes, allowing you swing freely around them at a fixed distance. This tool has a variety of uses, for example allowing you to maintain your speed while turning corners, or letting you hitch a ride from one of the automated transport rigs still running throughout Zenith.
Tractor Cloak
This experimental cloaking device allows you to hide from enemies or motion sensors. It must be charged up from a tractor node; lock on to any tractor node for several seconds, and the cloak will automatically activate. Once you disconnect from the node, the cloak will last for several more seconds, or until you fire your weapons.
Magnet Sweep
Once equipped, this upgrade will automatically pull all nearby shield and ammo pickups towards your ship. Very helpful for restocking your supplies quickly in a high-pressure situation, without taking away your focus.

Sensor Upgrades

As you search all over Zenith to find the surviving colonists, you will need to upgrade your sensors to help find them.

Some areas on Zenith are extremely dark in the visible light spectrum; this infrared sensor array gives you increased visibility in those areas.
Milliwave Radar
Many of the upgrades and passages on Zenith are hidden behind obstacles. With this upgrade, you can hold down the utility key (Z by default) for several seconds to start scanning for these hidden locations. If there is something to be found in the room you're in, the arrow that appears will slowly move to point towards where you need to search.

Hint System

Part of the fun of Azimuth is exploring and discovering on your own. However, if you become frustrated because you really can't figure out where to go next, there is a built-in hint system that can help.

To enable the hint system, click on the “Options” button on either the title screen or the pause screen, and check the “Enable hint system” box. Once the hint system is enabled, a new button will appear on the Options pane of the pause screen that says “GET HINT”. If you click this button, it will reveal the next location on the map that you should attempt to reach (usually either the next upgrade that you need to acquire, or the next story element that you haven't seen yet).


Azimuth is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Azimuth is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.