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       Transcend - retro-style, abstract, 2D shooter




       Transcend  can  best be described as retro-style, abstract, 2D shooter.
       The graphics are geometrical, and the pace is sometimes frenzied.

       Two features set Transcend apart from other games. First,  its  dynamic
       graphical  engine,  which  can smoothly morph from one complex shape to
       another, produces striking displays.  Combining  these  dynamic  shapes
       with  subtle  randomizations  makes each play through a Transcend level
       visually  different  from  the  last.  The  second  novel  feature   is
       Transcend’s  musical  power-up system. As you play through a level, you
       are simultaneously assembling an abstract visual collage and  arranging
       a  unique  piece  of  music.  Transcend  merges  video  games with pure
       art---it can be viewed either as a game or as a multimedia sculpture.


       How to play Transcend


       Stereo headphones or speakers with good stereo  separation  are  highly
       recommended.   The  music  generated by Transcend is in stereo, and how
       you interact with Transcend affects stereo positioning  in  the  music.
       Transcend  is  playable  on  a monophonic sound system, but many subtle
       sound features will be missed.

       Basic Keyboard Controls:

       Arrow keys:  direct your glyph around the plane

       Space bar:   fire projectiles

       D key:       pick up or drop an Element

       P key:       pause the game

       Q key:       quit

       Advanced Keyboard Controls:

       S key:       slide your glyph to the left

       F key:       slide your glyph to the right

       Quick instructions:

       To win a level, you must destroy  the  major  anti-glyph.   Your  glyph
       starts  out  very  weak---its  initial  projectiles are powerless (they
       cannot even destroy minor anti-glyphs).  Build  the  strength  of  your
       projectiles by gathering Elements from the plane and dropping them near
       the center of the grid in a collage.  Minor  anti-glyphs  will  try  to
       break  apart  your collage---destroy them with projectiles (you need at
       least one Element in your collage to have projectiles that are powerful
       enough  to  destroy  minor  anti-glyphs).   After you destroy the major
       anti-glyph, a portal will appear.  Pass through this portal to move  on
       to the next level.

       A more detailed description is given below.


       Game Components:

       A level in Transcend contains the following components:

       Your glyph - Always at the center of the screen.  This is the component
       that you control (i.e., "you" in traditional game-speak).

       The plane - Marked by a grid.  Your glyph can travel anywhere  on  this

       Umbilical  -  A  colored line that connects your glyph to the center of
       the grid.  This line’s color and width change according to your current
       projectile strength and attributes.

       Elements  - Stationary objects that start out strewn along the borderof
       the grid.  Your glyph can pick these up and move themaround.   Elements
       can  be  dropped at the center of the grid to form a power-up and music
       collage (see below).

       Music cursor - A red,  yellow,  and  green  line  that  traverses  your
       Element collage.  This line moves to show the current music position in
       time.  The vertical extent of the cursor represents  the  stereo  space
       (red is right, green is left, and yellow is center).

       Minor  anti-glyphs  -  The  enemy.  These mobile components pursue your
       glyph and the Elements in your power-up collage.

       Major anti-glyph  - A large enemy  that  travels  in  a  circular  path
       around  the  grid.  This enemy is your primary target: when you destroy
       the major anti-glyph, you can move on to the next level.

       Portal - Appears after you destroy  the  major  anti-glyph.  While  the
       portal  is  visible,  minor  anti-glyphs  will stop attacking.  You can
       explore the various Elements and musical  possibilities  without  being
       bothered  by  enemies.  Pass  through the portal to move on to the next

       Enemy attacks:

       When you are hit with an enemy projectile, your glyph drops any Element
       that  it  is  carrying  and  is propelled back toward the center of the
       grid.  When an Element is hit by an enemy projectile, it  is  propelled
       away  from  the  center  of the grid.  Once you have started building a
       collage of Elements, the minor anti-glyphs will try to  knock  Elements
       out and disrupt your collage.

       Power-up and music collage:

       Elements  that  are  dropped  near  the  center of the grid (where your
       umbilical ends) form a collage.  Elements that  are  dropped  near  the
       collage also become part of the collage (thus, a collage can extend far
       away from the grid center as long as some Element  in  the  collage  is
       near the center).

       Each  Element  represents  a projectile power-up.  The Elements in your
       collage are combined to determine the strength and form of your glyph’s

       After your collage contains at least one Element, your projectiles will
       be strong enough to destroy any minor anti-glyph in one shot.  However,
       the  major  anti-glyph  is  much  more  durable, and a relatively large
       collage will be needed  to  make  your  projectiles  strong  enough  to
       destroy it easily.

       If  your  collage  grows  to  be  asymmetrical  and/or off-center, your
       projectiles will become weaker (they will appear transparent  and  your
       umbilical will become thinner).

       In addition to a projectile power-up, each Element represents a section
       of music.   A  cursor  traverses  your  collage  and  plays  the  music
       associated with the Elements that you have assembled.  Thus, a chain of
       elements that extends  perpendicular  to  the  cursor  will  be  played
       sequentially in time.  A chain that extends parallel to the cursor will
       be played simultaneously in time but spaced out in stereo.


       Transcend was written by Jason Rohrer.

       This  manual   page   was   written   for   Debian   by   Miriam   Ruiz
       <>.  Transcend Homepage