|Introduction Instruction game controls downloader|
Hello, and welcome to xchomp. Xchomp is a game closely patterned after Pac-Man(tm) that runs under the X window system. I've tried to make the game as close as possible to the original Pac-Man. However, I have not seen a Pac-Man arcade machine for years, so all the elements of the game have been recalled from memory. Also, I've added something which I always felt was missing from Pac-Man, namely several different mazes.
The point of this game, as in all arcade-style games, is to amass the highest possible score. However, some may find that the fun in the game is in trying to reach the highest possible level. At least, that's what I thought was fun about the original. You, the player, are the circular mouth moving around the maze. Your opponents are the four ghosts following you around. Touching a ghost will cost you a life. When you start each level, the maze is filled with dots. Eating these dots (by simply going over them), gives you 10 points for each. You must eat all the dots on a maze to advance to the next level.
On each maze, you will also find several large flashing dots; these are the power-dots. Eating one of these will add 50 points to your score, and temporarily give you the ability to eat the ghosts. While the ghosts can be eaten, they are white (transparent), they move at a reduced speed, and they try to run away from you. When they turn back to a solid color, they are back to their normal state, and they return to following you around. They won't become solid suddenly; they will flash for a couple of seconds to warn you. While they're flashing, you can still eat them.
Eating a ghost adds points to your score, and the number of points is momentarily displayed on the screen. This action turns the ghost into a harmless pair of eyes. In this state, the ghost moves very quickly, seeking return to the ghost box in the center of the maze. Once it gets there, it is "reborn", and goes back to chasing you around the maze.
The levels of the game are designated by symbols. The first few levels are "fruit" levels, that is, they are designated by little pictures of fruit on the bottom of the xchomp window. For example, the first level is the "cherry" level. Once in a while (twice on every level), the symbol corresponding to the current level appears in the maze. It will stay there only for a few seconds; eating it adds a number of points to your score. At the higher levels, this is a very significant number. In any case, when you eat a fruit, or other such symbol, the corresponding point value is briefly displayed on the screen.Reaching a score of 10,000 awards you an extra life.
This is strictly a keyboard-controlled game. The arcade game had very simple controls -- one four-directional joystick. In xchomp, all control is through the arrow keys. Hitting an arrow key in xchomp is equivalent to pushing the joystick in the corresponding direction and holding it down; the player on the screen will continue moving in its current direction until motion in the specified direction is possible, in which case it will switch to that direction, or until it hits a wall, in which case it will stop and wait for a key press corresponding to a valid direction. If this sounds complex, forget it, and just play the game. I believe you'll find the controls pretty natural. It can be thought of like this: the player on the screen will always try to move in the direction of the last key pressed, and if it can't, it'll keep moving in the direction it's moving until it can. Only one key press is remembered -- the last one. Don't hold down the keys; just hit them; otherwise, there may be times when you're pressing two keys at a time and the second one won't register.
The game can be paused by pressing the space bar or by iconifying the xchomp window (the latter definitely works on Sun and DECwindows servers). While the game is paused, you can abort it by pressing 'R'. This will return you to the title screen. Pressing 'Q' will cause xchomp to terminate. If you iconify the xchomp window, the game will be in the paused state when you de-iconify it.
|Jerry J. Shekhel||Waltham, MA 02254|