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Vladimir Nabokov

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Letters from Terra - Life in water warmed by sunlight

Game objects

There are a number of obstacles in the game designed to hinder, and usually kill, Fred, and it's your job, armed only with missiles, grenades and landmines, to guide him safely through this perplexing jungle. Sections on weapons and monsters can be found back at the guide menu. All of these objects, with the exception of the Save point system that is hard-wired into the main game, can be placed in your own levels in whatever numbers and combinations you wish; to make as imaginative a set of obstacles for Fred as you want.

Springs - Well these aren't so bad. Walk in front of them and press up to start bouncing, or jump or fall onto them from afar. You can control Fred going upwards, but he's powerless as you fall to the ground. Have many uses, other than leaping large caverns....

Spikes - These are considerably more unpleasent, as they tend to leave Fred with multiple stab wounds. You're fine if you walk through them, but falling or jumping onto them is not condusive to good play.

Teleporters - These transport you to a predetermined position in the level. To use one, stand in front of the supporting grey bar and press up. A short animation will ensure, and fred will rematerialise somewhere else.
Points - These are worth varying amounts, and occur in most levels. Simple walk into them, and your total score will be updated. Easy!

Buttons - Again, position yourself over them and press up to turn them on and off. Buttons can open and close doors, trapdoors and turn on and off spewers and squashers; in addition, one button can have multiple effects, so be careful when you press them.

Squashers - These essentially pound the earth underneath them, and can also flatten fred and most monsters. All squashers run to a certain rhythm, and every squasher can be set to a different speed and delay. Can be turned on and off with buttons.

Spewers - These effectively spawn new monsters. Each spewer is set to a limit, and it keeps producting monsters until it reaches it's limit. This means that if you kill one of the spawned monsters, another one will be produced to take it's place. The only way to shut off spewers is to turn them on and off with buttons.

Mines - Pretty obvious this - don't step on 'em. Certain monsters will, and get blown up, and some will perpously avoid them. You can lay your own mines to catch out unwary monsters with the landmines weapon. This picture shows fred's dismembered limbs flying outwards from the force of the explosion. Nice.

Moving platforms - These come in two varieties: Vertical and horizontal. Simple jump aboard one, and be carried along by it; monsters can ride the platforms too. The one with the blue end is a horizontal, where as the one with red boosters is a vertical.
Checkpoints: if you walk past these, then when you lose a life you'll be reincarnated back at the checkpoint, as opposed to at the beginning of a level. Simple!

Trap doors are similar to doors, except function by sliding horizontally. Electric doors are also like doors, except they fry you if you try to go through them when shut. Both can be controlled by buttons. Shown here is the electric gate, which oscillates rapidly in the game, and the solid blue trapdoor.

Signposts : These contain a measure of text that is dispensed onto your screen if you stand in front on the sign and press the up arrow. Press the enter key to exit the text (the game is paused whilst you read).

Save points: While standing in front of one of these, you can open the pause menu and save your game to disk. Obviously these only occur in the main single player game, and for god's sake don't try to put them in your own levels.

Cover - mentioned above, this allows you to hide from various monsters. Simply duck down behind what you think will give you cover, and if you're lucky then the monsters will ignore you. Inset: Fred considering the merits of cowardice.

Letters from Terra | Updated 15th December 2004 | By Jonathan Ayling