Archon: the Light and the Dark manual
- Archon: the Light and the Dark
- archon manual
ATARI (R) XE (TM) VIDEO GAME CARTRIDGE
The Light and The Dark
A magical medieval playing field, rendered on the landscape of an
overgrown chessboard, looms before you. Within this mystical area are
phoenixes, golems, wizards. Like magical beings, their powers change
as they move from square to square. When two opponents meet, the board
explodes into a battlefield.
Your pieces use their awesome powers to fight banshees, goblins, and
sorceresses. They cast spells and missiles; they pummel, pierce, and
throw flames. They even take on each other's shapes and
characteristics. You will need all your skill, dexterity, and wisdom
to control and guide your side.
Your magic rises and ebbs with the board's luminosity cycle. As the
light changes, so does your power. You must race against time and use
your strength effectively.
Archon is a contest of action and strategy between opposing forces
wrought from myth and legend. The Light Side and the Dark Side are
equal in force, balanced in strength. Though they are not identical,
their goals are the same. Each side exists to conquer, by eliminating
all of the opposing pieces or controlling the five power points.
FOR ONE OR TWO PLAYERS
ATARI, the ATARI logo, and XE are trademarks or registered trademarks
of Atari Corporation. Archon is a trademark of Electronic Arts.
Copyright (C) 1983, Free Fall Associates, licensed from Electronic Arts
to Atari Corporation.
(C) 1987, Atari Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA 94086.
All rights reserved. Printed in Taiwan
ATARI (R) XE (TM) VIDEO GAME CARTRIDGE
by Electronic Arts
THE LIGHT AND THE DARK
The Ultimate Battle!
You are about to engage in the ultimate battle of the universe -- the
eternal struggle between Light and Darkness. Within your power rests
the future of the world as we know it. Which side will you be on? Who
will be your opponent? Which side will make the first move?
It's an even contest to begin with. The Light Side and the Dark Side
start out with the same number of warriors from myths and legends,
balanced in strength, though not identical. Their aim, however, is
identical: the conquest of the five "power points" or the elimination
of the opposite side.
Atari XE game system console or Atari XE or XL (TM) computer
Color TV or color monitor
One or two joysticks
XE keyboard (optional)
1. With your XE game system turned off, insert the Archon game
cartridge into the cartridge slot on the top of your console as
explained in your Owner's Manual.
2. Plug a joystick into either port for a one-player game. Plug one
joystick into controller port 1 and another into controller port 2 for
a two-player game. Controller port 1 controls the Light Side, and
controller port 2 controls the Dark Side.
3. Turn on your TV or monitor and then turn on your console. The
Archon title screen appears.
4. To begin the game, press [Start]; then press [Option] or [Select].
The opening board screen appears. After several seconds, the computer
will run through the game demonstration.
5. Press [Option] or [Select].in the middle of the demonstration or a
game to return to the opening board screen and the pregame options.
Press [Start] to restart the game with the same options.
6. Press [Option] repeatedly to select a one-player or two-player game
and, if it's a one-player game, to select Light or Dark for the
7. Press [Select] repeatedly to choose which side goes first, Light or
8. Press [Start] to start the game.
9. Press [Reset] to return to the title screen.
10. If you have a keyboard, press [Esc] to pause the game; press it
again to resume play. Pausing works only when your opponent is the
computer and only in the combat zone.
Playing the Game
Archon is played on two screens: the strategy screen and the combat
screen. On the strategy screen, you and your opponent take turns
maneuvering your regiments of different mythical and legendary
creatures into squares on the board. Whenever you place a creature on
a square already occupied by one of your opponent's creatures, you'll
have to fight for it.
>From here the struggle shifts temporarily to the combat screen, an
enlargement of the dually occupied square. This is a one-on-one combat
zone, where opponents fight for their lives. Whichever creature wins
the battle wins control of the square.
The game is over when either side controls the five flashing red
"power points" on the board or destroys all the opponent's forces. To
start a new game, press [Start]. To change the options, press [Select]
On the strategy screen, you take your turn when the square frame is on
your side of the screen. Move the joystick handle to position the
frame on the creature you want to move; then press the joystick fire
button to confirm your choice. Once you press the button, you must
move that creature somewhere. If the creature has no place to go, the
computer will let you know. Move the joystick handle to direct the
creature to its destination square; then press the fire button again.
Creatures can move in three ways: on the ground, in the air, or via
teleporting. Ground movers cannot move through occupied squares.
Fliers are restricted only in their destination. Only the Wizard and
the Sorceress can teleport. The computer will tell you how you can
move when you select a creature.
You can move a creature only as far as its range allows in any
direction or combination of directions. The creature can stop on any
square not already occupied by one of its allies. If you change your
mind while maneuvering a ground mover, the creature must backtrack the
way it came.
Creatures on the Light Side are harder to defeat on light squares than
on dark ones; and Dark Side creature are harder to defeat on dark
squares than on light ones. Watch the shades of the squares. Some
squares' shading changes throughout the game.
In the combat zone, you maneuver your creature by moving the joystick
handle up, down, left, right, or diagonally. You then press the
joystick fire button to attack -- swing a sword, fire an arrow, or
cast a fireball -- in the direction the joystick handle is pointed.
(You creature cannot move while you press the joystick fire button.)
Timing is important here. Don't just fire away. Each creature needs
time to ready its weapon between attacks. The computer will sound a
bell -- a high note for the Light Side, a lower one for the Dark Side
-- to let you know that you can launch an attack.
Check the shades of the barriers in the arena. The more solid a
barrier looks, the more solid it is. Barriers can disappear for a few
seconds, at which time you can walk over them and shoot past them.
The "lifelines" at either end of the arena indicate the current
lifespan of the two battling creatures. If a creature's lifeline
disappears, that creature is destroyed.
The Opposing Forces
In Archon, there are two regiments of 18, with eight different types
of creatures in each regiment. None of yours is identical to any of
the creatures on the other side. Each creature has its own
characteristics -- its own rules for maneuvering and its own fighting
style. To win this struggle, get to know each creature well, so that
you can plan your strategy wisely.
The Light Side
Wizard: Leader of the Light Side. Rarely ventures from the safety of
his home power point. Can cast magic spells.
Unicorn: Swift and agile. Fires a blinding bolt of energy from its
Archer: Endowed with magical quivers that can never be emptied.
Golem: Rips boulders from the earth and hurls them with devastating
Valkyrie: Can stride the air as if it were solid ground. Her spear
returns to her hand of its own accord.
Djinni: Cousin to the wind. Can raise a small tornado.
Phoenix: Can explode into a mass of fire in battle, scorching anyone
on the perimeter of the blaze. During transformation, Phoenix cannot
Knight: Swings a sword. Must be near opponent to inflict damage.
Cannot withstand more than one blow from many of his enemies. Speed
of attack is important.
The Dark Side
Sorceress: Equal to the Wizard in power. Her lightning bolts are
swifter and surer than his fireballs. Safest on the power point. Can
cast magic spells.
Basilisk: A crested reptile, with quick movements and deadly glance.
Manticore: Can fling spike-like quills over its head with surprising
Troll: Dull and clumsy, but strong and hard to destroy. Seizes
boulders, tree trunks -- whatever comes to hand -- and hurls them
Shapeshifter: No shape or form of its own. In battle it becomes the
mirror image of its opponent. No fixed lifespan. All wounds that are
not fatal will heal when it assumes a new form.
Dragon: Without peer in combat. Destroys with flaming breath. Very
mobile and difficult to slay. Second in value only to the Sorceress.
Banshee: Undead spirit that feeds off the souls of her opponents.
Attacks with her wail, destroying anyone within range of her sound.
Enemies should stay clear of the circle.
Goblin On dark ground, its club is more than a match for the knight's
swords. Must be near opponent to inflict damage.
Only the Wizard and the Sorceress can cast magic spells, and they
cannot cast the same spell twice in one game. Cast spells from the
strategy screen when it's your turn to move. Position the frame on the
Wizard or Sorceress; then press the joystick button. Press the button
again to summon your choice of spells. Then move the joystick handle
up or down to survey the spells still available. Follow the directions
on the screen to cast your spell. You cannot cast a spell against
power points or creatures sitting on them. Each time the Wizard or
Sorceress casts a spell, the creature becomes weaker and less able to
defend itself against attack.
The Teleport spell moves any of your creatures any distance from one
square to another. You cannot move an opponent's creature or an
imprisoned creature, move onto a square occupied by one of your own
creatures, or move onto or off a power point.
The Heal spell instantly heals any creature's wounds. You cannot heal
a creature resting on a power point.
Shift Time reverses the flow of time (reversing how squares' shading
changes) or causes the shading cycle to shift abruptly to the opposite
extreme (from black to white or white to black).
Exchange causes any two creatures to trade places. Neither creature
can be imprisoned or on a power point.
Summon Elemental calls into battle one of the four elements -- earth,
air, fire, or water. The elemental vanishes after the battle is over.
The Revive spell restores a creature previously lost in action. One of
the squares next to your Wizard or Sorceress must be vacant, and you
must place the revived creatures onto one of these squares.
The Imprison spell prevents a creature from leaving the square
temporarily, although it can continue to fight its attackers in the
combat zone. Prisoners cannot cast spells. Creatures on power points
cannot be imprisoned. Dark Side creatures remain imprisoned until
squares whose shades change are black; Light Side creatures remain
imprisoned until the squares become white.
Whoever controls the five flashing red power points or destroys all
the opponent's forces wins the game
Stay on your color! The effect of a square's shading on your
creatures' lives is significant.
Avoid traffic jams. Make openings in your front line for ground movers
to pass through. The greater your force's mobility, the greater its
flexibility and strength.
Protect your Wizard or Sorceress. Doom is nigh should you lose them
early in the game.
Don't be predictable. Dodge and weave during combat.
Use diagonal shots while fighting. They're very effective.
Revive only strong creatures.
Imprison a threatening intruder to blunt an attack or to immobilize a
strong creature on a square whose shade changes; then attack when the
creature is most vulnerable.
Atari Corporation is unable to guarantee the accuracy of printed
material after the date of publication and disclaims liability for
changes, errors, or omissions. Reproduction of this document or any
portion of its contents is not allowed without the specific written
consent of Atari Corporation.
ATARI, the ATARI logo, XE, and XL are trademarks or registered
trademarks of Atari Corporation. Archon is a trademark of Electronic
Arts. (C) 1983, Free Fall Associates, licensed from Electronic Arts to
(C) 1987, Atari Corporation
Sunnyvale, CA 94086. All rights reserved.
Printed in Taiwan C300019-092 K.I.3. 1987
End Project 64 etext Archon manual.