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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 grid.

       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

       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 level.

       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 projectile.

       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
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