PUZZLER by Patrick Bass PUZZLER will show you some interesting things to do with your Atari that you've never seen before. PUZZLER will take you on a twisted trip through the GTIA chip. The program itself is so unusual that you may not even be compelled to put the puzzles back together again. PUZZLER is a bizzare extension of a common child's toy. Remember the 3"x3" plastic picture made up of a grid of little panels that you had to slide around? (To "return them to normalcy", but they were insane, right?) With PUZZLER, your TV is the little plastic toy, and you will forget all about normalcy. PUZZLER WAS DESIGNED FOR YOU TO EXPERIMENT WITH EVERYTHING! WITH PUZZLER, INSANITY RULES! And now, all the details: EASY LOADING INSTRUCTIONS 1. Turn on your Atari-compatible disk drive and monitor. 2. Put side 1 of the PUZZLER disk in the disk drive. 3. Turn on your computer. PUZZLER will disable BASIC automatically for those of you who have the modern XL and XE computers. 4. Press <RETURN> from the title screen, and you will enter the world of PUZZLER. PART I: GTIA MODE The first image you see will be a picture of a famous musician. The first puzzle is to guess who it is (hehe). Press START once. The image is in 4x4 mode and will split up into 16 parts and scramble 128 times. The clock will start now. Each time you press START, it'll scramble 128 more times. Hold down the START key for a few seconds and you'll get the hang of it. Press the "P" key to toggle the clock off and on. While you're in Pause Mode, the sound will turn off. Press OPTION. The picture will return to normal instantly (it'll reassure you). Press OPTION again. The square in the upper left-hand corner will cycle through its three modes (4x4-easy, 8x8-hard, and 10x10-insane). Press SELECT. You'll switch from graphics mode 9 (1 color, 16 luminances) to mode 10 (9 colors of varying luminances). Press SELECT again and you'll switch to mode 11 (16 color in one luminance). The SELECT key is only active while you are in GTIA mode. Since all of the other pictures on this disk are in Micropainter or Microillustrator format (ANTIC mode E, graphics 15), you won't be using this key much. The following numeric keys control color cycling in the various modes. Just hold them down to cycle through all 128 variations: mode 9 - number 8 key mode 10 - keys 0 through 8 mode 11 - number 8 key PART II: MICROSCREEN MODE The "M" key will toggle you from GTIA mode into ANTIC mode E (medium-high resolution, 4-color mode). The GTIA image will become striped when you hit M and display it in mode E. Mode E is what makes PUZZLER compatible with any picture created by Micropainter, Microillustrator, Atari Artist and other common picture file formats. There are seventeen pictures on the PUZZLER disk. Some were created with Microillustrator and are compressed. These have .PIC extenders. Others were created with Micropainter. If there is no .PIC extender, PUZZLER will assume the file is a 62-sector uncompressed picture file. If there is a .PIC extender, PUZZLER will un-compress it automatically. Press the "L" key to Load a picture from a disk. You'll see a prompt that looks like this: Picture FileSpec? D1:DIRECTORY If you press <RETURN>, you'll get a directory of the disk. The following is a list of picture files on the disk: OPUS .PIC MERMAID.PIC FOG .PIC LOCKUP .PIC SMOKEY .PIC COVER .PIC FAYE .PIC HULK .PIC HELP .PIC GHOST .PIC GRIFFIN.PIC BOAT .PIC GIRL .PIC SNOWMAN.PIC DINO .PIC HORNET .MIC COBRA .MIC All of the above pictures are in .PIC (compressed) format except for HORNET.MIC and COBRA.MIC (these are standard 62 sector format). Press <RETURN> again to get back to the input prompt. Type D:GHOST.PIC (you can use * wildcards only BEFORE the extender -- legal example: D:GH*.PIC; illegal example: D:GH*.*). You don't need to type spaces over any letters of the word DIRECTORY that are left after the extender. PUZZLER will ignore them for you. (note: PUZZLER is well error-trapped. If your file is not a compatible picture file, or if you haven't typed in the filename.extender correctly, you'll get a clear error message. However, you may try to load a file that PUZZLER cannot recognize. It will try to display the picture (give it some time), but if you want to abort the loading process, hold down the BREAK key until loading is aborted.) Press <RETURN> after typing the filename and a familiar logo will load. The START and OPTION keys function as previously described. The following keys control color cycling through the four playfields: playfield #1 - number 4 key playfield #2 - number 5 key playfield #3 - number 6 key playfield #4 - number 8 key PART III: PUTTING IT BACK TOGETHER Once the clock has started (tick, tick, tick) the object of PUZZLER is to put the picture back together again. (It is rumoured that Russian scientists have been experimenting with using this type of activity to enhance right-brain function.) Use the joystick to move frames through the square window. Pushing the joystick down will move the frame above it into the window. Likewise, pushing it to the right will move the frame to the left of it into the window (and visa versa). You'll get used to its logic after a minute or two. The computer will buzz at you if you try an illegal move, and the screen will turn red for a moment. PART IV: APPENDIX You're now familiar with all of PUZZLER's commands. Draw some of your own pictures with a compatible graphics program. Try loading a GTIA picture drawn with the GTIA paint program in Antic's August, 1983 Graphics issue. If you don't have one of the commercial Micopainter-like utilities, we recommend an inexpensive one called PD MICROPAINT ARTIST ($10) in the Creativity section of the Antic Arcade Public Domain Library. It is an EXACT machine language duplicate of the real thing, with a few extra features thrown in. And above all... EXPERIMENT!!! copyright 1985 Patrick Bass and Antic Publishing, Inc. WARNING: The programs contained on this disk are protected by International Copyright laws. Duplication of these programs for other than personal use is strictly forbidden and a violation of copyright laws. This disk is not copy-protected because we respect your rights to back it up. We thank you for your support -- we still have jobs because of it.