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Bill the Demon

©1996 James Burton

Direct any questions, comments, etc. to jimburtn@leland.stanford.edu. Our other games can be found at http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~jimburton.

Though Bill the Demon is copyrighted material, it is absolutely free. Distribute wherever you want, however you want, with the following limits. First, that this game cannot be sold for commercial purposes - it must remain totally free. Second, that no tampered or otherwise altered version of the game may be distributed. Failing to include these instructions is considered an alteration, so do not give out Bill the Demon without the instructions. Other than that, enjoy!

PLOT: History is filled with legends of Demons: evil creatures with dark powers and horrifying strength. There is Astaroth, who turns invisible; Beelzebub, master of flies and all Earthly diseases; Mephistopheles, Prince of Deceit; Asmodeus, Lord of Corruption; and Leviathan, great monster of the deep.

You are Bill.

Well, you know - not every demon can be intimidating. Someone has to do all the minor work. So while your friends get to corrupt human souls and kill indiscriminately, you get to yell a lot. And your mighty power? A loud voice and an eating disorder.

BUT NO MORE!! You'll show everyone who laughed at you. You're going to descend through all nine circles of Hell, to get the autograph of the Devil Himself, just to show how cool you are. Then nobody will make fun of you. And if you get to eat a few human souls along the way... well... what the Hell.

KEYBOARD COMMANDS: You control Bill the Demon by using the keyboard. To make the game convenient for all Macintosh users, two sets of keyboard commands are used:

FOR STANDARD KEYBOARDS:
'A' -- Walk Left
'D' -- Walk Right
'W' -- Jump

FOR EXTENDED KEYBOARDS:
'Left Arrow' -- Walk Left
'Right Arrow' -- Walk Right
'Up Arrow' -- Jump

FOR BOTH KEYBOARD:
'SPACE' or 'RETURN' -- Scream/Eat

Note that some of these keys can be used in combination. For example, to jump diagonally, you can press the Walk Right and the Jump buttons at the same time. Note that the Scream/Eat key is one key: it makes you eat if you are directly over food, and scream if you are not. A fuller description of movement is provided below.

MOVING BILL THE DEMON: It is very easy to move Bill the Demon, and by learning to use the various keyboard commands together, you get a remarkable degree of control. These are the various movements Bill can perform:

* Walking: The simplest of Bill's movements. Just use the Walk Left and Walk Right keys to walk wherever you want.

* High Jumps: Press the Jump key to make Bill jump as high as he can. While you are in midair, you can make Bill edge to the left or right with the Walk Left and Walk Right keys - this lets Bill jump and land on platforms far above him.

* Long Jumps: Sometimes you are more interested the distance you're jumping, instead of the height. In that case, you can press either the Walk Left or the Walk Right key along with the Jump key, making Bill jump diagonally. While in midair, you can still make Bill edge to the left or right with the Walk Left and Walk Right keys - so you still have some control over him in midair.

* Eating: Bill is a hungry Demon; he likes to eat, and he likes to eat a lot. Specifically, he eats Human Souls. If you press the Scream/Eat key while Bill is over a Human Soul (the two images should be touching), Bill will consume the unfortunate soul. Note that you can eat in midair, even during a jump, but while you are eating, you are too busy to do any other kind of movement. Eating a soul helps to fill up your hunger bar, and enough souls can get you an extra life.

* Screaming: Bill the Demon has a very loud voice. It can shatter some kinds of walls, stuns most kinds of monsters, and works over a great distance. If you press the Scream/Eat key when Bill is not over a Human Soul (i.e. most of the time), Bill screams. Note that you can scream in midair, even during a jump, but while you are screaming, you are too busy to do any other kind of movement. Screaming depletes your hunger bar fairly quickly, so be careful.

GAME RULES: To win the game, you must pass through all nine circles of Hell, braving the dangers therein, in your quest to get the Devil's autographs. Here are a few of the rules of Hell, to help you on your way:

* Extra Lives: You start the game with five lives: four extra lives, and the one you're living now. Each time you die, you come back to life, but lose one of your extra lives. If you die and do not have any extra lives, then you're dead for good.

* Human Souls: Throughout the caverns of Hell there are hundreds of Human Souls, all ready to be eaten. The game keeps track on the screen of how many souls you've eaten, and every 25 souls you eat get traded in for a new Extra Life.

* Hunger Bar: You, Bill, are a very hungry Demon. A rectangular bar on the bottom-right side of the screen keeps track of how hungry you are. As the indicator runs slowly down, you get hungrier and hungrier, and if it ever runs to zero, you die of starvation. You can replenish your hunger bar by eating Human Souls. Note that because screaming takes a lot of energy, your hunger bar depletes much faster when you are screaming.

* Reincarnation Chamber: There are lots of Reincarnation Chambers distributed all throughout Hell. They have a simple purpose: when you die, you come out of the last Reincarnation Chamber you touched. This is a good thing, because otherwise when you die, you'd have to start over at the very beginning of the Circle you died on.

* Bonus Levels: After every circle, there is a Bonus Level where you get to gorge on as many Human Souls as possible. The Bonus Levels are a strange place: it is in the middle of a perpetual earthquake, your hunger bar diminishes more quickly than normal, and eating human souls doesn't replenish your hunger. But that's okay: when you die, you don't lose a life - instead, you appear in the first Reincarnation Chamber of the next Circle. So your goal in the Bonus Level is to gorge on as many Human Souls as possible, before the inevitable occurs.

MENU COMMANDS: Most of the menu commands are pretty self-explanatory; but then, these are instructions, so I might as well explain them anyway:

GAME MENU:

* New Game: Starts a new game of Bill the Demon at the beginning of Circle One. This is the usual way to begin playing Bill the Demon.

* Open Game: Opens up a game you have previously saved. See the comments below on Save Game for what aspects of the game are saved and opened up.

* Save Game: Saves the game you are playing. This command saves the level you are on, which Reincarnation Chamber you emerge from, how many lives you have, and so on. Note that it does not save how many souls you've eaten: you start out with zero souls. We have to do this, or else Saving a game would be like having an infinite number of extra lives - and that wouldn't be any fun.

SETTINGS MENU:

* Full Sound/No Sound: Toggles whether there is sound in the game.

* Pause: Pauses the game. Choose this option again to unpause.

* Normal Animation/Fast Animation: Sets the animation speed. Some people like to play at the faster speed setting, though personally I find it easier at the slower speed. The game may play somewhat faster or slower depending on your model of computer, though we do our best to minimize the effect.

* Fastest Animation: Makes the animation go as fast as your computer can handle. This is a good way to find out the maximum speed of play on your computer. If you are running the color version of Bill the Demon on your computer and it runs too slow, consider switching to the black and white version, which runs exceptionally fast.

INFORMATION MENU

* The Story of Bill the Demon: Simple description of the plot of the game.

* Simple Instructions: A reminder of which command keys do what. These are the more detailed (and more useful) instructions.

* About the Authors: Simple descriptions of the creators of this game (James Burton, John Burton, Jeffrey Loff).

SCENERY GUIDE: There are all sorts of obstacles and objects you'll find in Hell; described below are only a few. Remember: trust none of your assumptions-- there are all sorts of tricks in the nine circles, and you will be taken by surprise. Enjoy.

* Solid Walls: The most common sort of barrier in Hell is the solid stone wall. It is utterly impenetrable, even to Bill's screams. They are your friend as well as your enemy, though: you can stand on them, and they block monsters too.

* Brick Walls: Walls made out of bricks aren't quite as tough as solid walls - you can destroy them by screaming at them. They have to be destroyed one large block at a time, though.

* Crumbling Walls: These are the least stable of the three kinds of walls. Like brick walls, you can destroy them a block at a time by screaming at them. Moreover, the some crumbling walls erode when you step on them, though some are strong enough to support Bill's weight.

* Spikes: Spikes are painful. If you fall on a bunch of spikes, you are impaled to death. It's fine to walk through them, though - just be careful.

* Human Souls: The snack food of the underworld. They run around a lot, but are easy to catch - and when you eat them, they replenish your hunger bar.

* Arrows: There are signs in Hell, in the form of arrows pointing in different directions. Sometimes they are guides, pointing out which direction you should go. More often, they have a more direct purpose, literally pushing Bill the Demon, sometimes in directions he may not want to go.

MONSTER GUIDE: There are lots of monsters in Hell - no big surprise there. All of them are tougher than you. The rule of thumb is, if you scream at a monster, it will be stunned for a while. If it touches you, you die. The seven species of monster are described below.

* Green Slime: Hell's bottom feeders - they slide back and forth across the floors of the underworld, looking for food to absorb. Bill the Demon counts as food. Note that while screaming stuns a green slime, if you can destroy the floor that the slime is sliding on, it dies.

* Eye Creatures: Flying bat-like creatures with a thirst for blood. These guys have good vision - they go right after poor Bill the Demon. You can stun them, but unless you get far enough away they'll keep coming and coming. These guys vary dramatically in how fast they can fly, so be on your guard.

* Red Slime: Also called Trapping Slime, because of their nasty habit of waiting under floors for you to get close to them. Be paranoid - as soon as they rise out of the floor next to you, they go right after you. A scream is sufficient to knock the creature back into the ground - but nothing will keep it from coming out again.

* Evil Ghosts: Smiling, floating faces ready to destroy Bill the Demon. Like the Eye Creatures, they fly at you mercilessly; unlike any other monster, they can fly through walls. Stunning them helps, but the only real defense against an evil ghost is to get as far away from them as possible.

* Platforms: Very different from the other monsters; they are utterly non-harmless. They are like brick walls that fly, swimming through the air with their strange tentacles. If you jump on top of a platform, you can ride to wherever it is going. Screaming stuns them as usual.

* Giant Demons: The meanest inhabitants of the underworld. They are much larger than Bill the Demon - large enough that if you scream at their feet, they won't even hear you. Only a "head shot" will stun them, and even then they don't stay stunned for long. Of course, any part of a giant demon, head or tail, is dangerous enough to destroy Bill.

COLOR vs. BLACK & WHITE: There are two separate versions of Bill the Demon: one is in 8-bit color, the other is in black and white. The color version has the advantage of much nicer graphics, especially because we did the color version first and then converted the pictures as best we could to black and white. The black and white version has technical advantages: it takes less disk memory, it runs faster on most computers, and of course it works on a black and white monitor. Both versions are available on the Web at http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~jimburtn.

CREDITS: This game was created using Symantec's THINK Pascal 4.0-- the graphics were done using PixelPaint, from Pixel Resources, Inc. It took several months of development, and is well worth it. These are the people who made the game:

* James Burton designed and programmed Bill the Demon. He is a full-time student at Stanford University, and an amateur Mac game developer. His other games include Stardust and Vampire Chess. You can get copies of all James Burton's games at http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~jimburtn. His e-mail address is jimburtn@leland.stanford.edu.

* John Burton is the artist in charge of the graphics of Bill the Demon. He made all the major appearance decisions, and did most of the crucial artwork himself. His artistic contributions can also be found in Vampire Chess, and the coming games StarShift and Seven Corners. His e-mail address is slyrbear@ix.netcom.com.

* Jeffrey Loff composed and recorded the musical themes of Bill the Demon-- all the cool piano interludes that contribute inestimably to the feel of the game. He is also a Stanford student, but I can't remember his e-mail address.


Original file name: Instructions.txt - converted on Saturday, 6 November 1999, 02:20

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