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ancipital, for the commodore 64, is one of llamasoft's most inspired and intriguing games. not many games play like it - which is why it can be very hard for someone without instructions to figure out how to play. here, then, are some basic instructions:

the ancipital is the little human/goat creature, and is controlled by the player. a joystick in port 2 moves it around, and pressing the trigger makes it fire. (...usually. sometimes it drops mines, or breeds watches that grow into wall clocks. or nothing at all.) the ancipital can travel along any wall. press away from the wall, it will leap into the air, landing on its feet on the opposite wall (and changing gravity).

to reach a different wall (the one to the left or right of the ancipital), the player will have to perform a "corner jump". while in mid-jump, press the trigger along with the direction of the wall you want to reach. timing is important, since touching a wall with anything other than the ancipital's feet will destroy it (as will walking into walls - use a jump instead).

ancipital takes place in a grid of one hundred rooms - the goal is to explore them all. to move from room to room, you'll have to open doors between them. the wall status indicator in the top right of the screen shows which walls can be opened, and how much damage each wall has taken. the white arrow points to an open door, and the green wall is damaged (and needs to be damaged some more before it will open).

each room has different requirements for opening its doors. the starting room, for example, contains green apples and brown apples (which will hurt the player - health is represented on the top left, in camels). the ancipital fires bananas - hitting a green apple transforms it into an apple core which falls to the floor (the wall the player is standing on), damaging it. enough damage will open the wall (and provide the player with a health bonus). in some rooms you'll have to collect things, or shoot the walls yourself, or drop toilet mines. you can press H in any room for a hint on it.

a timer counts down from the moment you enter a room. when it reaches zero, all the open doors in the room will begin to shimmer, and by jumping on them you can move to an adjacent room. you don't have to leave immediately - you can stay, to keep accumulating points and to unlock other doors. you'll want to unlock as many doors as possible, because after you leave the room, it will be empty when you return. usually there will be ways around walls that havn't been opened, but as a last resort you can "body bomb" by pressing B. the ancipital will explode, costing you a life, but all the doors in the room will be opened.

some walls are locked, indicated by a camel icon on the wall status indicator. to open these doors you must collect the appropriate "camel keys." there are six, each in a different color and found in a particular room. there are also five magic goats hidden on the map. when you've collected all five (completing the word "goats") the ancipital will be able to open walls just by stomping on them (necessary to achieve 100% completion).

good luck, ancipital!



   7/19/2005