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The Chaos Engine - General Play Guide

Characters

There are six characters to choose from : -

 

Character

Cost

Weapon

Specials

 

 

 

Brigand

2750

Rifle

Shot Burst

Molotov

Attract

 

Mercenary

2750

Gatling

Bomb

Mines

First Aid

 

Gentleman

2500

Flamer

Map

Attract

Repellant

Party Power

Navvie

3000

Cannon

Dynamite

Shot Burst

 

 

Thug

3000

Shotgun

Molotov

Air Burst

 

 

Preacher

2500

Lightning

First Aid

Map

Shield

Freeze

 

 

 

 

Any money that is left over can be spent in the first equipment screen, improving that character.

Each character has a different weapon which changes in a different manner when it is powered-up : -

 

Character

Weapon

Start Damage

Maximum
Damage

Max. no.
Bullets

Travel through
Monsters

Brigand

Rifle

7

36

4

Depends on power-up level

Mercenary

Gatling

6

36

6

Never

Gentleman

Flamer

5

30

2

Always

Navvie

Cannon

8

44

4

Depends on power-up level

Thug

Shotgun

8

49

7

Never

Preacher

Lightning

6

27

1

Always

 

 

 

 

Note that Maximum Damage is the combined damage for the weapon.  Thus, for example, the Lightning does all 27 damage with its one bullet whereas the Shotgun fires 7 bullets which do 7 damage each.

he Navvie and the Thug are the two most powerful characters.  They move slowly but have very powerful weapons and destructive specials, although they only get a few.  They can take a lot of hits before being killed but are relatively stupid and not much use as a computer controlled character to begin with.

The Brigand and the Mercenary are the best all-round characters.

The Gentleman and the Preacher are relatively weak.  They can only take a few hits but are very fast moving and intelligent.  They get a wide range of useful specials.

For the novice player it is probably best to select either the Brigand or the Mercenary as the human controlled player (HCP) as they have the best balance of abilities. The Gentleman makes a very good computer controlled player (CCP) as he is quick and intelligent and carries the Map as his special ability which can be very handy for the first-time player.  The Preacher is also very good as the CCP and he carries the First-Aid kit which will allow the HCP to heal himself, handy if you keep being shot.  The more experienced player should try the Navvie as the HCP; he is a very strong character who has a very powerful, easy to use weapon and a very destructive special : the Dynamite.  However he does move slowly and can find it difficult to get out of the way of fast moving shots.

One Player Game

In a one player game all the money collected is automatically split 50/50 between the HCP and the CCP, so you don't have to worry about who shoots which things during play.  If he dies you will have to pay for him to resurrected, so it is in your interest to share out power-ups and such things as fairly as possible, so he stays alive.

In the game the CCP's actions can be influenced by the HCP.  It is important to realise that CCP cannot see through the HCP, so will not run for things if you are blocking his line of sight.  If he has nothing better to, the CCP will always attempt to get behind the HCP, so by a combination of moving and turning round it is possible to affect what he can see and what he will do.

The CCP will only move towards food if he has less energy than the HCP.  He will however collect it if he runs over it, whilst on his way to something else.  The same is true of extra lives.

He will not collect any object, no matter how much he needs it, if that object would affect the map in some way or generate monsters.  Therefore he will never pick up keys, booby-trapped food or the like.

Two Player Game

In a two player game, it is best to stay away from the edge of the screen until you know the game really well.

The money is shared out based on what each of the characters does.  Nodes and keys are the most important things, so make sure you gets as many of these as possible.  The last node, the one which opens the exit, is the most important of all, since you will be credited for opening the exit as well as activating the node.

You are awarded points for collecting keys and activating nodes, as well as for shooting monsters. Points are also awarded to the first player out of the exit.

In general, it is best to try to co-operate.  Share out the power-ups and the special powers as evenly as possible and attempt to do an equal amount of work on each level.  Decide which of you is going to cover the rear and which is going to shoot the monsters up ahead, as its no good both of you shooting at the same monster. It will be a lot easier to progress if both of you are as powered-up as possible.

General Play

 An extra life is awarded to either player, in either version of the game, for scoring a multiple of 7000 points.

A novice player should use the Map as much as possible (the Gentleman has it as his first special). If you're not sure what a set of keys did, a quick glance at your map should help out.  The First-Aid Kit (the Preacher) is handy to have at the beginning as you can heal yourself as often as you like.  The Dynamite (the Navvie) is also one of the best specials as it will destroy all of the monsters on the screen, but you have to wait for the fuse to burn so be careful.

Silver keys are very important as they open up the main route to the exit or make vital items appear. You must try to collect all the silver keys on a level.  Gold Keys, however, open secret room or bonus areas.  Some of these can be quite difficult and so are probably best avoided until you get used to the game.

If a level has more than one exit, it is always to your advantage to go out of the higher lettered exit. (Exit B is better than Exit A).  If you have heard "Exit Open" but the node counter still indicates that there are nodes to activate, try to find the extra nodes and then find the higher exit.  These exits will take you to bonus sections and secret areas on the next level.

In the earlier levels of the game, areas that you have completed will be sealed off.  Don't worry about trying backtrack into them, you've done all you can, push on towards the exit.  The music will also give you a clue as to how you are progressing. It will pick up in pace as you near the exit but will become subdued if you go back into an area which you have cleared out.  The music will also become more pacey in difficult areas infested with lots of monsters and will become more relaxed in regions where a bit more thought is required.

Passwords are awarded at the end of every World. Note that these record your characters' status as well as their current position including the number of lives they had left.  Therefore you might be better off entering an old password or even starting again from the beginning to be in a stronger position with more lives at the start of the World.

Whilst you are playing the game keep an eye out for background detail.  Look out for shadows that don't look quite right and things out of place, rock pillars with faces on, a tell-tale geometric pattern of stones or something appearing just on the edge of the screen.  Things are not always as they seem, do not be afraid to experiment, you can't hurt yourself.

Make sure you collect as much money as possible and quickly as the coins that the monsters leave behind will disappear if left for too long.

Equipping a Character

Cash can be spent in the Equipment screens to improve a character's statistics.  You will have to make sure that a character's skill level is kept as high as possible, as this controls his current maximums for all his other statistics and dictates how many weapon power-ups and special abilities are available for purchase.

Try to keep his level of weapon power-up as high as possible and then you can spend any money left over on extra lives, if you have enough.

Intelligence is very important for computer controlled characters as it controls how well they play the game, so buy it for them when ever you can.

The slower characters, like the Navvie and the Thug, would greatly benefit from a little boost in speed when you get the chance.

 

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