Techniques and Play
- The Playing Field
- The Objects
- Fairy Godmother
- Gold Coin
- Bricks and Metal Blocks
- Other Useful Techniques
You, as the Fairy Godmother (FGODMOM) must overcome various obstacles to collect 7
Pennies and a
Key, after which you may enter a
Door and ascend to the next level. There are 50 levels to a game set and all have these same requirements.
The original DOS game, written by John Blackwell, comes with a total of 100 levels (2 sets), but provides for users making their own sets of levels as well.
During game play, hitting the ESC Key gives you a menu, which includes (among other things) an option to see a hint for the current level, an option to exit the game, an option the start the level over and an option to return to play where you left off within the current level. You cannot make any changes to the game.
NOTE: There are no hints for user-made levels; the hints accessible from the menu are those for John Blackwell's levels only and do not apply to user-made levels.
Following is a description of the objects and the playing field itself.
The Playing Field
The playing field consists of 10 different objects objects placed on 19 x 9 grid, where each object occupies exactly one position on the grid.
It's useful when designing a level or explaining how to play it to think of the field as a coordinate system with the origin at the upper left corner. This way, each object can be given a set of coordinates.
When editing or creating a level, objects can be placed only in this 19 x 9 grid. In the playing mode, however, each grid position is 4 steps high and 4 steps wide, and a movable object can overlap from one position into another, having coordinates like (7.5,4) to show that it sits halfway between the 7th and 8th columns.
- Fairy Godmom
- Gold Coin
- Bricks and Metal Blocks
The Fairy Godmom object is you, the one who moves around capturing
Pennies, entering the
You can lose a life (which restarts the level being played) in two ways: (1) touching a
Crab, or (2) getting caught in an
Implosion. You can add to your supply of lives by completing a level
successfully or by taking the Gold Coin object, which appears after 7 Pennies have been taken. You can also set the game parameters to give you a essentially endless supply of lives so you don't have to worry about such things.
You (as the Fairy Godmom) move about by walking left or right on or through other objects, climbing up or down
Ladders and by jumping (down only, with no horizontal component).
Walking, climbing and jumping speeds are all the same and are the same as the those of the Crabs, though you (unlike Crabs) can walk fast diagonally as well, if diagonal Ladders are present. Crabs can't jump but they can fall.
You can "take" objects by touching them. Take-able objects are:
- Gold Coin
- (Wooden) Ladder
The first three objects (Pennies, Key, Gold Coin) are permanently gone when taken; they don't re-appear. Temporary objects (Ladders, Doors, Crabs, Bricks), when taken, revert to their original nature after 5 seconds but are "moved" to wherever you are when the 5 seconds are up.
The Fairy Godmom, has a Wand, which is your main way of interacting with things. The wand has two functions:
- Scan an object (use the CTRL Key): This puts a scan-able object in memory (the "wand pattern"). The scan-able objects are the same as the take-able objects in the list above.
- Zap an object (use the SPACEBAR): This freezes a zap-able object, changing it into whatever object is currently in the wand pattern.
The scan-able objects above are all zap-able, except that zapping the Door with the Key has its own special effect allowing you to thereafter exit the current level and
Warp to any other level without completing it.
Objects that are neither scan-able or zap-able are:
- Metal Ladders
- Metal Blocks
- Fairy Godmom
Objects that are zapped remain what they are changed into for exactly 5 seconds, then revert to what they were before being zapped. Objects cannot be either scanned or zapped whilst in a changed state.
Unlike Crabs themselves, objects that are changed into Crabs do not move, and you can't move through them. It's seldom useful to change anything into a Crab.
Trust that your wand will always scan or zap in the direction that you were last moving, unless changed by whichever arrow Key you last pressed.
Changing and taking an object is called "moving" an object: You change a Wooden Ladder to a Penny, take the Penny, go somewhere with it, and 5 seconds later the Ladder re-appears in the new location. This is how Ladders are moved about. Once a Ladder is moved it stays moved. It doesn't revert back to its original position after 5 seconds.
You can also change any take-able object to a Key or Penny so that you'll temporarily have "taken" the objects necessary to enter the Door.
There are two objects that will kill you if you change and take them and don't enter a Door before they change back: Bricks and Crabs. You cannot occupy the same space as either of these objects without dying, but if you do manage to enter the Door before such objects re-materialize, you're fine. Knowing this is often useful.
One special variation on this is to quickly take one or more Ladders and one or more Bricks so you can position yourself beneath the Door and ascend into it as the Ladders re-materialize.
Any number of Penny objects may appear on the screen, but exactly 7 of them must be taken in order for the
Gold Coin to appear.
Sometimes a level has fewer than 7 Pennies on the screen. This means you have to change some other take-able object into a Penny, take it, and enter a Door before it changes back to whatever it was.
Aside from this, the main use of a Penny is something to scan in order to zap, take and move a
Wooden Ladder somewhere else. Or to zap it with a Ladder so you can use it to climb somewhere.
Every screen must have a Key, because you can't enter a
Door without it. You can take the Key at any point before you enter, but you must take a Key, or something temporarily changed into a Key.
Aside from this, the main use of a Key is something to scan in order to zap, take and move a
somewhere else, or (as with a Penny ) to zap with a Ladder so you can use it to climb somewhere.
The Gold Coin is a hidden object that appears only after all 7
Pennies real or temporary have been taken. Taking it gives you a bonus life.
Aside from this, the main use of a Gold Coin is something to scan in order to zap, take and move a
Wooden Ladder somewhere else, or (as with the Key or a Penny ) to zap with a Ladder so you can use it to climb somewhere.
The Penny, Key and Gold Coin also have another important use: If you have one of these in the Wand Pattern and zap the Brick or Wooden Ladder that a Crab is standing on, he'll fall through to whatever is below with no effect. This is very useful to know.
Of Metal Ladders there is very little to say. You can't scan, zap, change or move them. They just sit there and function as a Ladder to climb. They can be destroyed by
Implosion, which can destroy any object except a Door.
Wooden Ladders are more useful in that they can be scanned, zapped, changed into something else and moved around. You can stack them up on top of each other to climb to higher places on the screen.
Bricks and Metal Blocks
Metal Blocks, like Metal Ladders, are fixed and immovable. You can't scan, zap, change or move them. You also can't climb or go through them. Their sole function is to block your way. They can be destroyed by
Bricks, like Metal Blocks, have the primary function of blocking your way. But like Wooden Ladders, they can be scanned, zapped and changed.
The main reason to zap Bricks is to change them into Ladders so you can climb or pass through them. If you try to take or move a Brick it will kill you in 5 seconds, unless you've entered a Door first.
The only reason to scan a Brick is to freeze or
implode something with it.
Entering the Door is the whole point of play. It brings you to the next level. Everything you do is ultimately in aid of entering the Door.
Like the Gold Coin, the Door is a hidden object and doesn't appear until all 7 Pennies have been taken. If the Key has not yet been taken, the Door is visible but transparent that is, you can just walk right through it with no effect.
A Door will not appear if a Ladder has been moved to occupy any part of its space.
There are some special oddities of Doors that are discussed in the
Useful Techniques sections.
Crabs are your main obstacles and adversaries. There may be 0 to 3 active Crabs on the screen. Any additional Crabs are visible but transparent, harmless and immovable. You can walk through them with no effect; they're merely a distraction.
Some useful things to know about Crabs
- Crossing empty space: Unlike you, Crabs generally won't jump down or cross over empty space. However, occasionally a Crab will move up and down a Ladder stack (or back and forth on a Ladder row) with half its width hanging out into space. If that overhanging part comes in contact with a Ladder, the Crab can transfer to it. It can even drop through space to another object if the distance isn't far. The reasons and circumstances for this behaviour are not clear to me, but it does happen. For example:
- Materializing Ladders near stationary Crabs
- When a Crab is on a Brick or Ladder and the Ladder you want to place is in the same row as the Brick or Ladder the Crab is on:
|If you're on the left side of the Crab, you need to materialize the Ladder no fewer than three steps away from the Crab in order to be safe, and even then the Crab will hang out into space two steps toward you. Once this occurs, the odd behaviour mentioned above is much more likely to occur.
|If you're on the right side of the Crab, you can materialize the Ladder as little as one step away from the perch he is on, and he won't move.
- When materializing a Ladder into the same row as the Crab:
|If you're on the left side of the Crab, you can materialize the Ladder as little as two steps away from the perch he is on, and he won't move provided the next Ladder down is at least four steps away, as in (a) above.
|If you're on the right side of the Crab, you can materialize the Ladder right next to the Crab or his perch and he'll stay where he is provided the next Ladder down is at least one step away, as in (a) above.
- When a Crab is not standing on a Brick or Ladder next to you but is over empty space occupying a Ladder one row above you, and you want to put a Ladder near him on your own row.
|If you're on the left side of the Crab, you need to materialize the Ladder no less than four steps (a full column) away from the Crab in order to be safe. When you put the Ladder only three step away to the left, the Crab will hang out left into space two steps (as above) and down three steps as well. If there's a "floor" of some kind four steps down from his Ladder, he'll leave the Ladder entirely and transfer to it.
|If you're on the right side of the Crab, you can materialize the Ladder as little as one step away from the Crab and he'll stay where he is.
- Crabs will almost always try to follow you so as to be the shortest distance possible from you at any time. You can use this fact to your advantage. For example, if a Crab is chasing you and there's something (Ladder A) between you and him he can climb, by climbing up Ladder B as he approaches Ladder A you can often force him up Ladder A instead of continuing to follow you; because the distance between you on Ladder B and and him on Ladder A is shorter than the dogleg distance required for him to come over and follow you up Ladder B.
- A Crab will pace mindlessly back and forth across a clear space below you. If you drop down behind him, he won't suddenly stop and reverse direction to chase you. He'll continue on in the same direction till he reaches a wall, a Ladder or another Crab before turning to chase you.
- If you are above (or below) and at one end point of the Crab's path or beyond it, the Crab will cease pacing and stop at that end point. You can get him started pacing again by taking as little as a one step in the desired direction beyond the Crab's position. Once he starts his motion, you can drop down (or climb up) to his level to take a Penny or whatever.
- If there are multiple Crabs below, you will have to move a step beyond all of them to get any of them moving.
- Any Ladder, or even another Crab, will act as an "endpoint" when you're occupying the same row as the Crab and thus influence his pacing. But if you're in a different row, the Crab will pace right through these objects.
- If the Crab is on a surface consisting of Ladder tops, each Ladder counts as an "endpoint", no matter if you're in the same row or not.
- Crabs move the same speed as you both horizontally and vertically. However:
- You can move much faster than they can diagonally.
- You can move faster than they can along the top of a row of Ladders.
- The mindless pacing mentioned above may be at a slightly slower speed, and if you suddenly drop to the Crab's level it will suddenly speed up. It least, this seems to be the case.
- Crabs can occupy the same space as Doors, Pennies, Keys, Ladders or the Gold Coin. Whenever you scan a Crab and some other object fully occupying the same space, it's the non-Crab object that gets scanned. Similarly, whenever you zap a Crab and some other object fully occupying the same space, it's the non-Crab item that gets changed. Note that the Crab and other object must be occupying the exact same space with nothing hanging out.
Zapping such a combination with a Brick will result in an
Dealing with Crabs
- Run away. Crabs can never run faster than you can and run slower on diagonal paths.
- Freeze them. You can freeze a Crab for 5 seconds by changing it into something else: a Ladder, Brick, Gold Coin, etc. After 5 seconds it changes back to a Crab.
- Trap them in places they can't get out of.
- Lure them into positions where they'd have to jump or cross over empty space in order to pursue you.
- Implode them.
The purpose of imploding Crabs is:
- To get rid of the Crab (for 5 seconds), and/or
- To blow away Bricks and Metal walls (permanently).
After 5 seconds, imploded Crabs will re-appear through the Door (whether the Door is yet visible or not), but any material destroyed by an implosion remains destroyed.
Techniques of imploding walls, floor and ceilings include:
- If the Crab is on a Brick against a wall: Quickly, change the Crab to a Ladder, step down and change the Brick to a Ladder, wait at the Brick level for an implosion. Instead of a Ladder, you could also change the Crab and Brick to a Penny, Key or Gold Coin.
- If the Crab is fully within, or descending, a Wooden Ladder against a Metal wall: Zap the Crab with a Brick.
- Zapping a Crab with Brick, Ladder, or Penny as he's emerging from a Ladder will implode the Crab, floor and ceiling, but usually not the wall behind him.
- You can do the above even when you're only two steps away from the Ladder if you zap the Crab when he's just emerging. This will implode the Crab, the Ladder, the wall, what the Ladder was on and what you were on, and you will fall to the next row down. Doing this safely takes practice.
- If two Crabs are approaching you: Change one to a Ladder, Key or Gold Coin, then zap the other as he is emerging from the first.
- If two Crabs on top of one another: Change the lower one to a Ladder, Key, Penny or Gold Coin and let the other climb down into it. Wait. (This assumes neither Crab can just walk away.)
- If two Crabs are falling, you can change the first one to a Ladder or sometimes even a Brick, which will catch the second Crab. Both Crabs (and whatever is near them) will implode when the Brick or Ladder changes back.
- If two Crabs are falling, you can zap the first falling Crab with a Penny, Key or Gold Coin, and then do the same for the second while it's still partially inside, or immediately below, the first. This too will implode whatever is nearby.
NOTE: Many of the above implosion techniques require a Ladder. If there's no Ladder where you want to implode something, you can move one there.
NOTE: The Door is the only object that cannot be imploded. Doors are impervious to harm. You can implode a Crab with or against a Door, but you can't destroy the Door itself.
Other Useful Techniques
Here are some useful techniques of play, many of them provided as "hints" in the original 100 levels.
- Finding the Door.
- Using the Gold Coin.
- Swinging up.
- Timed jumps.
- Not enough Pennies.
- Scanning Doors; Can't get to Door.
- Can't get to Key.
- Key at bottom of pit.
- Using falling Crabs.
- Covering the Door.
- Finding the Door: Since the object of each level is to enter the Door and move on to the next level, finding out where the Door is might be seen as a priority.
There are two ways of locating the Door (which is always invisible when a level begins):
- Take seven Pennies to make the Door visible.
- Implode a Crab and notice where it re-appears after 5 seconds.
Getting the seven Pennies will likely take a while, but finding a Crab you can implode is often fairly easy provided you don't mind starting the level over if imploding the Crab turns out to be an obviously bad move at that point.
You can also, of course, just play the level as it comes and never mind the Door till it appears.
- Using the Gold Coin: If you know where a Gold Coin will appear after the seven Pennies are taken, you can use it in various ways as something to scan in order to move Ladders or as something to change into a Ladder, Door, Key, etc.
- Swinging up: You can ascend to a higher row without the normal use of a Ladder. There are the three conditions for swinging up:
- You must be standing on some surface and there must also be some surface immediately in front of you. (A "surface" is anything but empty space, a Penny, Key or Gold Coin.)
- You must be standing within a Ladder or something you've change into a Ladder.
- There must be a Ladder directly above and in front of you.
The technique is to quickly press your UP ARROW Key as you step forward. This requires a little practice but is very simple to learn.
The swinging up technique can also be used to simply take an object directly above and in front of you rather than actually swing up to the next higher row.
- Timed jumps: If there's some place that you can't otherwise access, you can sometimes take a Ladder and jump with it from a higher platform to the place you want to access. The idea is to time your jump so that the 5 seconds it takes for the Ladder to re-materialize will be finished just as you reach where you want to be. This takes a little practice to learn.
It sometimes happens that you'll want the Ladder to materialize next to a Crab in such a way that the Crab will be able to move to the dropped Ladder. To avoid getting caught by the Crab when the Ladder re-materializes with you in it, you can sometimes zap the Crab a second before you jump. This allows you time to get away safely from the dropped Ladder. This trick is sometimes useful for setting up
- Not enough Pennies: Scan the last Penny before taking it, change a Ladder, Crab, Brick or Gold Coin to a Penny and enter Door. Good for up to six missing Pennies.
- Scanning Doors: If you can't get to the Door, scan the Door, change something else to a Door and enter it. This assumes you already have the Key.
NOTE: If you scan a Door and zap a Brick or a Crab with it and haven't yet taken the Key, you can walk right through what you zapped. This is useful to know.
- Can't get to Key: Scan the Key, change something else to a Key and quickly enter the Door.
- Key at the bottom of a pit:
If the key is at the bottom of a pit or in some other place that you can't get out of once you get in:
- Scan the Gold Coin or the last Penny, zap and take the Door and jump into the pit, taking the Key. When the Door changes back to a Door, you'll be in it. (Note: "Taking" the Door will actually result in a copy of the Door being made and moved, but the original Door stays where it is.) If you take something else before you take the Door, you'll need to quickly move away from it when it re-materializes so the Door can re-materialize in a different place. Otherwise you'll implode.
- Take 7 Pennies, scan the Door, drop to Key and take it, zap something accessible from where you are like maybe a Crab or Brick wall and enter it.
- Using Falling Crabs: You can use falling crabs at the start of the game or after an implosion: Change a falling Crab to a Ladder to bridge across a gap. If multiple Crabs are falling, change only the last one. Or zap the first one to allow the second one do something you want it to do.
Also, falling Crabs can be used to implode things on the way down, as above.
- Covering the Door: Because a Door cannot appear or function properly if a Ladder or anything else is even partially occupying its space, you can temporarily prevent the return of imploded Crabs by moving a Ladder into the space occupied by the Door. There remains, of course, the problem of eventually removing the Ladder covering the Door space so you can enter the Door:
Removing a Ladder that is covering a Door space:
- If there are no Crabs waiting to emerge, there's no problem. Just take the Ladder.
- If there are Crabs waiting to emerge and you've taken the Key and all seven Pennies, then the instant you take the Ladder you'll enter the Door automatically but only if you are at least partially in the Door space when you take the Ladder. If the Door is only partially covered and you take the covering Ladder from a position that it not in the Door space, the emerging Crabs can get you.
If there are Crabs waiting to emerge and you have not taken the Key and all seven Pennies, then removing the Ladder will release the Crab(s). If you are at least partially in the Door space when you take the Ladder, then the moment you take it you'll be caught. But if the Ladder was only partially covering the Door space, then you can quickly grab the edge not in the Door space and escape or zap the Crab(s). (Remember, no second or third Crab can emerge from a Door space while the first Crab, zapped or free, is still there.)
The following techniques were all developed since, or at any rate not specifically mentioned in, the original 100 John Blackwell levels. Those marked with an asterisk (*) were originally suggested to me by others.
Transporting Ladders through Bricks and Crabs.
Round-trip (or "slow tunneling") through Bricks* or Pennies.
Taking and moving multiple Ladders simultaneously.
Multiple extra lives*
Zapping s Door with a Key - Warping
Using Doors to implode
No Door, no Gold Coin
- Transporting Ladders through Bricks and Crabs: Change the Brick to a Ladder, scan a Key, Gold Coin or Penny, change the Ladder you want to move into that, pass through the Brick-changed-to-Ladder, move to where you want the Ladder to be and let it re-materialize. Using this technique, you can move up to three Ladders through three Bricks simultaneously. Note that the Key, Gold Coin or Penny, the Brick(s) and the Ladder(s) can be anywhere at all, the only stipulation being that there is time to do all the above.
This technique can also be used for moving a Ladder through a Crab, or through a Penny without taking it.
- Round-trip (slow) tunneling through Bricks or Pennies, that allows you to return the same way: Leave a couple seconds between each change of Brick-to-Ladder on the way to where you're going. Then, before heading back, wait for all the "Ladder-Bricks" (except the one you're in) to revert to Brick before re-zapping the Brick behind you.
A similar technique is used to travel out and back along a row of Pennies suspended in space.
- Taking and moving multiple Ladders simultaneously: You can transport multiple Ladders at the same time (even through Bricks), so long as you move away after each one re-materializes so as not to cause an implosion when the next one re-materializes.
- Climbing walls: From an existing stack of Ladders (or from a stack of something else temporarily changed to Ladders), rapidly, and in ascending order, change to Ladders the Bricks of an adjacent wall, then drop down and climb them. Good for a maximum of four changed Bricks.
- Multiple extra lives:
Collect seven Pennies to make the Door and Gold Coin appear. Scan the Gold Coin. Do not collect or scan the Key. Go to the Door, and partially overlap its space; then zap it repeatedly as quickly as possible until you implode. You'll die, but you can collect 20-30 extra lives this way (depending on the speed of your finger) and repeat as often as necessary.
Since you can set the game parameters to start you with as many lives as you want, there's no real need to do this.
- Parallel Ladders: For climbing vertically higher then the stack of Ladders you're on reaches. You must have three or more Ladders to do this.
- Stack all the Ladders in one column under your destination.
- Do a timed jump with the top Ladder into a second column such that the Ladder falls somewhere between the row of the Ladder you're standing on and the row below that.
- From the Ladder in the second stack, move the lowest Ladder you can reach in the first stack to the top of the second stack.
- Repeat: I.e., from the first stack, move the lowest Ladder you can reach in the second stack to the top of the first stack.
- Post walking: The technique of transporting Ladders across the tops of pillars and ledges. Hang one Ladder out two steps over the edge, take the other Ladder and climb the first Ladder to the top and then drop down to the other side so that half the Ladder is resting on the next pillar or ledge and half is hanging out and touching the first Ladder. Repeat as often as needed.
- Sky walking: Exactly like post walking except done by means of timed jumps in empty space rather than landing on solid objects. Using just two Ladders you can travel up, down, left and right through almost any empty space.
Sky walking is more stressful to do than regular play especially if there's a lot of it since intense concentration is required for the split-second timing needed for accurate placement. It can also be somewhat frustrating and time-consuming if you have to keep re-doing a jump to get it right. But there's very little actual danger in sky walking, once you know what you're doing. Things to pay attention to include:
- Be careful when sky walking near the top of the screen or an object above you. Sky walking should be done by standing on top of not from inside another Ladder while counting off time. If there's not a full space at the top to do this, then the risk of implosion is much greater, and also of dropping further than you wanted to go.
- Stand hanging out from the very edge of a Ladder or ledge when waiting to jump so that you don't over-shoot and fall from the dropped Ladder to the floor if you waited too long.
- It's safest and easiest to sky walk only within the default columns, not half or quarter columns. Otherwise interaction with other objects becomes tricky.
- If a Ladder re-materializes at the same moment you hit a Key, Gold Coin or Penny, implosion will result. This is one of the reasons why using default columns only is safer, but the danger of implosion is still present vertically.
- Making Door copies: If the Key is far from the Door and in an impossible place you can't get out of once you get in, you can make a copy of the Door and bring it to the Key. In stages, if necessary. There are also other circumstances where copying the Door is useful. Here's the procedure:
Zap the Door with a Penny or Gold Coin not with a Key; zapping a Door with a Key is a special function that enables you to move freely among the levels of a set and take it. Move somewhere else until the Door copy materializes. The original Door remains where it was.
Unlike the original, the new Door is movable, just like a Ladder (though again, you can't use a Key to move it, but only a Penny or Gold Coin). You can make as many copies of the original as you like and all will be movable and enterable. Door copies are permanently visible once made, even if the original is not.
You can force the appearance of the original Door by quickly taking several Ladders and then taking the Door when it appears. The original Door will disappear when the Ladders you took re-materialize, but the Door copy you created by taking the original when it was present remains and is fully functional.
NOTE: Imploded Crabs return through the original Door only, never through a copy.
NOTE 2: Doors cannot be destroyed with implosion. Door copies, however, can.
CAUTION: Never put a Door copy in the space of the original Door. If the original Door is visible, you'll implode. If the original Door has gone back invisible, you'll lose the Door copy when you try to put it in the Door space. If you try to overlap a Door copy onto a non-visible original Door, you may get strange, unwanted results.
ODDITY: You can take several Ladders before letting the first one re-materialize, and you can do the same thing with copies you have made of a Door. But "taking" the original Door more than once without letting the first copy materialize gives odd results: the first copy you make will materialize okay; but instead of the second copy materializing, the original Door will take on the appearance of a Penny. It will function as a Door you can walk right through it with no effect and even make further Door copies from it but it will look like a Penny. This information has little use beyond simply knowing about it so you won't be thrown off when you see it happen.
- Zapping a Door with a Key - Warping: When playing a level, if you scan the Key into the Wand Pattern and then zap the Door with it, the Key will appear superimposed on the Door. If you then enter the Door-with-Key, the Key will disappear, but the image of a Door with a Key will replace the white bread image in the lower left corner of the screen. And you will now be able to "warp" instantly to any other level in the set without having to play all the levels before it. (This ability to warp will remain so long as FGODMOM remains open but will vanish once you exit the game. Normally, thereafter, one would simply set the game to automatic warp using the DOS parameter AW.)
One consequence of all this is that you can't make a Door copy using the Key. There is something very strange though that you can do: Suppose you have taken all the Pennies and the Door is visible. Suppose too that you cannot actually take the Key but only scan it. If you scan the Key and then zap the Door twice, the Door-with-Key image is replaced by what looks like a Key, which persists for five seconds. This "Key" functions as a Door, and if you "Enter" it, you will be taken to the next level. Very odd and
- Using Door copies: Door copies have many uses aside from acting as Doors to enter, and making more than one copy of the Door is sometimes very useful. A Door copy, like a Ladder, can be used to implode Crabs against each other or emerging from other objects, including Door copies.
When you change something to a Door you can walk right through it, as with changing something to a Ladder. This is useful when you have to get on the other side of a Crab, Brick or Penny.
Door copies can also be climbed when changed to Ladders and stacked as such. You can even "sky walk" with them to some degree.
- Scanning Crabs: You can scan a Crab and then change the Brick or Ladder he's standing on to a Crab and watch him fall through, just like he does when you zap the Brick with a Key, Gold Coin or Penny. This works fine if the Crab is allowed to fall all the way through.
- Invisible Crabs:
However, if you scan a Crab and zap the Brick he's standing on so that he falls into the Brick, stays there and implodes, then some bizarre things can happen. The result of this action will usually be the appearance of a transparent Brick where the Crab was and another where the Door is, and the imploded Crab will come back invisible. This doesn't occur if you zap the Brick with a different scanned Crab, but only if you implode the Brick under the Crab with it's own scanned image. (Note: There is a very safe and simple way to control whether or not a Crab imploded as above will come back invisible or not, but I won't reveal it here. For one thing, levels created to contain invisible Crabs are usually fairly boring if played with visible Crabs.)
There's one fairly dicey way of dealing with invisible Crabs that I know of apart from trapping them and/or knowing exactly where they are and avoiding them. If you know about where the invisible Crab is, scan in that direction. If he's there, faint sparks will appear around him and a Brick will appear in the Wand Pattern. Quickly, then, zap the invisible Crab with his own scanned image (i.e., the "Brick") and he'll disappear. How long the Crab stays disappeared seems to depend on what you do afterwards. If you implode more Crabs, he'll likely come back, either visibly or invisibly. Otherwise he stays gone.
On the other hand, an invisible Crab can be used like a visible one you can change it to a Ladder and climb it or use it to implode walls, etc. so there's seldom a need to actually totally destroy one.
- Automatic timed implosions: This is a tricky little technique of great usefulness and awesome destructive power. Imagine this setup: There is a Brick wall to your left, to your right is an approaching Crab. You have a Ladder in the wand pattern. Zap the Crab when he's two columns away (to your right); one second later, turn and zap the Brick wall on your left. Pass right through the Crab to get out of the way. The Crab will continue left after re-materializing, enter the Brick/Ladder and implode a more than usual amount of surrounding material. (Distance and timing can be adjusted to suit specific situations.) Simply blowing a hole in the Brick wall doesn't require such elaborate measures, but sometimes more implosive power is needed.
A variation on the auto-implode technique that's a bit trickier is the zap the brick with a crab instead of a ladder.
How To Play No-Door Levels
One level in the set is designated as the Door Location Level and is reserved for choosing a Door position for all the no-Door levels in the set. The screen of the Door Location Level always contains just a single Door. No other objects appear on the screen, not even the Fairy Godmom.
Since pressing the "W" key always warps you to a position between the Doors for levels 5 and 6, one of these two levels is the easiest to use as the Door Location Level. I use level 5 in my own No-Door set.
To select a Door location for a no-Door level, first go to the no-Door level you want to play and immediately save your game by pressing the "S" key. Exit Play mode, thereby returning to Designer mode:
- In Designer mode, place a Door at the desired location in the Door Location Level (e.g., level 5). Erase any other objects appearing on the screen. (Saving the level set at this point is optional.)
- Click the "Test" icon to get into Play mode. You'll be automatically sent to the no-Door level you want to play.
- Immediately warp to the Door Location Level.
- Immediately press the "R" key to Restore the saved game. You will be sent again to the no-Door level you want to play with the Door now located where you want it.
- Play the level.
To then select and play the same level with a new Door location, exit the current game and repeat steps 1-5 above.
NOTE: If you do not warp to the Door Location Level before playing, the Door will appear at a default location. If clicking the "Test" icon the first time brings you immediately to the saved no-game level you wish to play, the default Door location is at (8, 6.75). If you're brought to some other saved-game location, or if you first warp to some other level and then warp to the level you want to play, then the default Door location will be (19,9).
Do the two default locations first (8,6.74) & (19,9), then under all the metal blocks, the metal ladders, the bricks, the wooden ladders, the key, the coins and finally the open spaces. Make sure you know how to do all locations but actually DO only the ones that look challenging or otherwise interesting.
A FURTHER NOTE
As with the Door, no actual Gold Coin need be placed in a level; one will nonetheless appear when the level is played. The rules governing where it appears are the same as those for an omitted Door.
If both Door and Gold Coin are omitted and the default locations are used, you can get the oddity of playing the level with the Door being hidden under the Gold Coin, which is itself hidden under a Brick, Ladder, Metal Block, or whatever.