Provided by: xarchon_0.50-10.1build1_i386 bug


       xarchon - ARCHON clone for X11




       In  this  game,  the  Light  Side and Dark Side fight over control of a
       chess-like board.  Each side is composed of 18 fantastic  creatures  of
       myth and legend, which are represented by images (or icons).  While not
       identical, the opposing sides are balanced in strength.

       This manual page  is  composed  of  two  main  parts.   The  first  one
       describes  the  rules  of  X  ARCHON.  The second part describes how to
       interact with the graphical user interface.


       There are two modes of game play: board and field mode.  When in  board
       mode,  you select which creature (or piece) you want to move, and where
       to move it to, in a way somewhat similiar to chess.

       However, in X ARCHON, merely moving a creature onto a  square  occupied
       by  a foe does not win the battle.  At this point, game play changes to
       field mode, and a battle begins.  The surviving creature is returned to
       the board, in control of the disputed square.

       There  are  two ways to win the game.  The first, easier way is to have
       creatures of your side occupying the five  power  points  (see  section
       SQUARES for more information).

       The  second,  more  difficult  way is by leaving your opponent no legal
       move to make.  This can by killing all their creatures, or  imprisoning
       (see   section  SPELLS  for  more  information)  their  last  surviving

       destroy all the creatures of the opposing side.


       The board is composed of 9 by 9 squares.   Not  all  squares  look  the
       same.  The appearance of a square tells about its nature.

       Game  play  in  board mode is turn-based:  while one player is making a
       move, the other side waits.  In each turn, a player can either  move  a
       single  creature  from  one  square  to  another  (see  the  section on
       movement) or cast a spell (see the section on spells).

       Light, dark, and luminance squares: Light  squares  are  always  light,
       dark squares are always dark, but the shade of luminance squares slowly
       changes from light to dark and back to light, in  accordance  with  the
       luminosity cycle.

       It is preferable for a creature to rest on a square having the color of
       its side;  see the section on field play for more information.

       The  lower  right  corner  of  the  board  display  shows  some  useful
       information  about  the  luminosity  cycle.  The direction ("+" or "-")
       indicator shows the direction of the luminosity cycle.  A  +  indicates
       the cycle grows lighte,  a - indicates it grows darker.  The side (L or
       D) indicator tells you which side benefits from resting on a  luminance
       square  at  that  time:  L for light, and D for dark.  And finally, the
       state (digits 1 through 6) indicator discloses the exact value  of  the
       luminosity  cycle,  with 1 indicating the lightest possible luminosity,
       and 6 indicating the darkest.

       Power points: Five squares on  the  board  have  special  markings;   a
       creature  resting on a square that is a power point heals twice as fast
       as it would on any other kind of  square.   Such  a  creature  is  also
       immune  to  magical  attacks;   see  the  section  on  spells  for more

       To select a creature, use your controls  to  move  the  cursor  to  the
       requested  creature,  then  press  fire  to  select  it.  Then use your
       controls to move the creature to where you want it  to  go,  and  press
       fire again to complete the move.

       A  creature  may travel only up to a certain distance per turn, and the
       move you make will be restricted to this limit.  Not all creatures have
       the  same  limit;   some  can only move up to 3 squares away from their
       starting position, while others may move as far as 5 squares.

       Creatures belong to either of two classes.  If the creature you  select
       is  of the ground class, you cannot move it through squares occupied by
       other creatures at all (although you may move it into a square occupied
       by  a  foe).  Fly creatures, on the other hand, are not limited in this
       way, and may move through any square, wheather it is occupied or not.

       Whatever the class of the creature is--ground or fly--it can  only  end
       its  move  in  a square that is either empty, or occupied by a foe.  In
       the latter case, the game play will change to field mode.

       Two creatures on the board posses the ability  to  cast  magic  spells.
       These creatures are the mages: the light wizard and the dark sorceress.
       Spells are cast in place of a regular movement.  This means that  in  a
       single,  a mage can move, or he or she can cast a spell, but never both
       things at once.

       There are seven different kinds of spells.  As the game begins, all  of
       the  seven spells are available to each mage.  However, once a spell is
       cast by a mage, that particular mage cannot cast that particular  spell
       again throughout the game.

       Teleport:  Moves a creature of your choice from one square to any other
       square that you select, regardless of  the  distance  between  the  two
       squares.   You  can  only move unimprisoned creatures on your own side,
       and neither the source nor the destination square may be a power point.

       Heal:  Instantly  and  completely  heal a creature of your choice.  Its
       health is restored to the level it was at when the game started.

       Shift Time: When the luminosity cycle is at  its  lightest  or  darkest
       peak,  it  is  abruptly  shifted to the opposite side.  Otherwise, this
       spell merely changes the direction of the luminosity cycle.

       Exchange: Swap places between any two creatures you select,  regardless
       of  the  distance between them.  There is no restriction on the side of
       either creature.  However, neither creature can be imprisoned or  on  a
       power point.

       Summon  Elemental:  Bring forth a spirit of one of the four elements of
       nature (air, earth, fire or water) to battle an  opposing  creature  of
       your  choice.  The elemental and the opposing creature will engage in a
       battle as usual.  However, once  the  battle  is  over,  the  elemental
       vanishes--even  if  it  won.  You  can  not choose which elemental will
       appear, and you  cannot  use  an  elemental  for  anything  other  than
       engaging  battle.  You also cannot attack a creature resting on a power

       Revive: Resurrect and bring back to the board a  single  creature,  per
       your selection, that was previously lost in battle is resurrected.  The
       creature is also healed, but that does not cost you a heal spell.   The
       creature  will  be  placed besides your mage, so there must be at least
       one square vacant around the mage.

       Imprison: Temporarily bind an opposing creature of your choice  to  the
       square it is resting on at the time of the spell.  The creature will be
       able to defend itself during battle;  but on the  board,  it  won’t  be
       able  to  leave  its  square.  The effect of imprisonment wears off for
       light side creatures when the luminosity cycle is at its lightest peak;
       similiarly,  dark  creatures  will become free when the cycle is at its
       darkest peak.

       Cease conjuring: This is not a spell, but merely a way to tell the game
       you have changed your mind, and don’t really want to cast any spells at
       this  time.   Since  it’s  not  really  a  spell,  it   never   becomes


       By turn end, if any two creatures rest on the same square (by result of
       either plain movement or some spell), the game goes  into  field  mode,
       and a battle begins between the two creatures.

       This battle is fought entirely within the square the two opposing sides
       are interested in.  However, since the squares on the board are  pretty
       small  and  it  would  be  hard  to  see anything, the single square is
       expanded to the size of the display.

       There are a few basic rules in field play, and these will be  described

       The  game is not turn-based in field mode; rather, any action either of
       the creatures makes--such as to  move  somewhere,  or  attack  in  some
       direction--is instantly performed.

       Movement  is  possible in all 8 surrounding directions.  Most creatures
       move at the same speed, however a few move somewhat slower.   To  move,
       press a direction key to indicate where you want your creature to go.

       Attacking  is  also possible in all 8 sorrunding directions.  There are
       three basic kinds of attacks, which are  detailed  below.   To  attack,
       hold down the fire key, and press a direction key to indicate where you
       want your creature to attack.

       Short-range: your creature uses a typical "cold"  weapon  to  hurt  its
       opponent.   For  such  an attack to have any meaning, the two creatures
       must be adjacent.  A creature attacked in this way loses  some  of  its
       health, and becomes frozen for a short period of time.

       Circular:  your  creature  causes  a circular area of some small radius
       around it to become harmful to the opponent.  If  the  opponent  enters
       this  area, it will gradually lose health until the attack is complete.
       It will not become frozen.

       Missile:  your  creature  fires  a  shot,  preferably  in  the  general
       direction  of your opponent.  There is no need for the two creatures to
       be close to one another.  Not all missiles  are  the  same;   some  are
       faster,  while others are more damaging.  A creature attacked by a shot
       loses some of its health, and becomes frozen  for  a  short  period  of

       Once  a  creature  attacks,  it cannot instantly attack again.  A short
       period of "reload" time is required.  (Even in the  case  of  a  "cold"
       weapons  such  as  a  sword  or a rock, your creature cannot repeatedly
       attack without a little rest in between.)

       The instant you attack, a red bar appears on your side of  the  screen.
       This  bar  indicates  how  long  you must wait before your creature can
       attack again.  As time passes, this bar decreases in  size.   Once  the
       bar disappears, you may attack again.

       All  creatures  that  are alive are at some level of health.  The exact
       level of health is indicated by the outtermost bar on each side of  the
       screen.   The  goal  of  a  creature  is  to cause enough damage to its
       opponent, such that the opponent’s  health  becomes  zero,  and  it  is
       removed from the board.

       It is important to note that the winning creature will not be healed at
       all the time it returns to the board.   Thus,  even  the  strongest  of
       creatures may eventually be defeated by a horde of attackers.

       But  the  health  of  a  creature  at  the beginning of a battle may be
       determined by more than just its own health:  of the two creatures, one
       of  them receives a bonus, depending on the color of the square.  Light
       squares will boost the initial health of light creatures;   similiarly,
       dark squares will boost dark creatures.

       In this bonus calculation, squares that are always light or always dark
       give the most bonus, while squares that participate in  the  luminosity
       cycle  give  a bonus that is proportional to how close the square is to
       the peak of the cycle.  In other words, light creatures  would  benefit
       the  most from luminance squares when the cycle is at is lightest peak;
       and dark creatures would benefit the most when  the  cycle  is  at  its
       darkest peak.

       Inside  the  square  over  which you and your opponent are fighting are
       rocks.  These rocks are visible only in the field screen.

       Much like the luminance squares on the board, the rocks participate  in
       a luminosity cycle:  each slowly changes from light to dark and back to
       light.  Most of the time, the  rocks  are  solid.   However,  when  the
       luminance  approaches  the  lightest  peak  of  the  cycle,  it becomes
       possible to slowly walk or shoot past it.


       The graphical user interface  is  your  means  of  telling  the  progam
       exactly how you want to play.  Using the GUI, you can:

       - define players, select two players to play on either side; - select a
       graphical theme (although currently there is only one theme  to  choose
       from); - start and end games; - and toggle sound.

       the  program  has  a  concept  of  "players."   A  player  is  merely a
       collection of configuration choices.  For  example,  one  configuration
       choice  is  who  plays  for  this  player  (a human at the console, the
       computer, or perhaps it is played through the network).

       Use the menu option Define Players in the Settings  menu  to  open  the
       Define  Players  dialog window.  In this window, you may insert, delete
       or update players.

       Insert and delete operations are pretty much self-explanatory, as there
       are two buttons that will take perform these tasks.

       Updating  means  changing a player’s name, or its kind, or specifically
       configuring it.  The former two are done simply by typing  a  into  the
       name  entry  box  and  selecting  one  of  the  "kind"  radio  buttons,
       respectively.  The latter is done  by  clicking  on  the  configuration
       button,  which  brings a specific configuration window.  The content of
       this window is described below.

       Once you have configured the players as needed, click on the OK  button
       to  actually  make  changes.   Alternatively,  if you change your mind,
       clicking on the Cancel button will undo all of these changes.

       Human configuration: The human configuration window lets  you  set  the
       keyboard/joystick/mouse  controls  for  the  player.  You may configure
       different controls for the light and dark side of the same  player,  so
       you  can  later  choose it to play for both sides. (In other words, you
       don’t have  to  define  two  human  players  for  a  two-player  game.)
       Alternatively, you may define controls once for both sides.

       The  "Side" option menu allows you to decide which side (light, dark or
       both) is going to be affected by the next keyboard  binding  you  make.
       The  "Action"  option  menu selects which action you are going to bind,
       and finally, clicking on the "Key" button lets you type in the key  you
       want bound to the selected action for the selected side (or sides).

       The  last option menu is used to say if a joystick or mouse may be used
       in addition to the keyboard controls.

       Computer configuration: The computer  configuration  window  is  pretty
       simple.   Radio  buttons  let  you  select  a  difficulty level for the
       computer:  easy, medium or hard.

       There is a checkbox which lets you specify that you want the old, rule-
       based  computer  board  logic.  In effect, enabling this checkbox means
       this computer player will play  rather  poorly  on  the  board.   (This
       checkbox has no effect on the way the computer plays in field mode.)

       Network  configuration: The network configuration window lets configure
       the game for playing over the network.  The network model dictates that
       the  light side is always the "server", which waits for a connection to
       be made, and dark  side  is  the  "client",  which  makes  the  initial

       Therefore,  the  IP address that is configurable in this window is only
       meaningful for players that will be selected to play the dark side,  as
       they would need to know the address to connect to.

       The  port  number,  however,  has  to be filled in by both sides.  Both
       sides must also set the exact same number  for  the  connection  to  be

       Once  you are comfortable with your players, use the menu option Select
       Players in the Settings menu to open the Select Players dialog  window.

       This window lets you select which player is going to play for the light
       side, and which is going to play for the dark side.

       You may also choose which side goes first using the two  radio  buttons
       provided for this purpose.  Please note that the network model dictates
       that the light side always goes first, and so these radio buttons  have
       no effect on networked games.

       Click  OK  to  accept  the selection you’ve made, or Cancel to undo any
       changes you may have made.

       Use the menu option New in the Game menu to begin a new  game.   If  no
       network  players  have  been selected to play for either side, the game
       will immediately begin.  Otherwise, the light side will enter  "server"
       mode  and wait for the "client"--the dark side--to connect to it.  Only
       when a connection has been made will the game actually start.

       The user interface disappears while playing the game.  To return to it,
       press  the  Escape  key.   The  Settings  menu  will  then be disabled,
       preventing you from making any modifications to the players or graphics
       while  a game is active.  However, you will be able to stop the game in
       progress, unpause it, or exit the progarm altogether,  using  the  menu
       options Stop, Unpause and Exit, respectively, of the Game menu.

       Another way to return to the GUI while playing the game is the F12 key,
       which also stops the current game.  It is equivalent to pressing Escape
       and then selecting the menu option Stop from the Game menu.

       Note  that  pausing a network game is not possible, and so the only way
       to return to the GUI is using F12, which also ends the game.

       Also note that the game does not automatically return to the GUI  after
       either  side  has  won.   Instead, it leaves you starting at the board.
       Pressing Escape or F12 at this point will yield the same result,  which
       is getting you back to the GUI.


       Ronen Tzur <>


       Copyright (C) 1999 Ronen Tzur

       Based  on  an  original  game  by  Anne Westfall, Jon Freeman, and Paul
       Reiche III.

       This program 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 2 of the License, or (at  your
       option) any later version.

       This  program  is  distributed  in the hope that it will be useful, but
       WITHOUT  ANY  WARRANTY;  without   even   the   implied   warranty   of
       General Public License for more details.

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
       with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
       59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307  USA