GOSSIP MANUAL OVERVIEW AND GOALS GOSSIP is a game about people and social interactions. Your goal in this game is to get as many invitations to the prom as you can. You do this by adroitly gossiping with the other people to enhance your popularity with the boys. If you say the right things to the right people, you can influence them to make them like you more, and your rivals less. But you must be very cagey, for quality gossiping is never straightforward and demands considerable skill. For the equality-minded, there is a Sadie Hawkins version of the game in which all sex roles are reversed. GETTING STARTED To play the game, boot the diskette in the normal manner. That is, turn on the disk drive, insert the diskette, remove any cartridges from the computer, and turn on the computer. When the game is loaded, you will see five people on the screen sitting next to their telephones. You first press the START button to initiate a game. CHOOSING PLAYERS You must then declare how many players you wish to include in the game. There are a minimum of five players and a maximum of eight; you count as one player. You step through these choices by pressing the SELECT key. Beginners should always play with only five players; playing eight players requires considerable skill. When the screen shows the desired number of players, press START to declare your choice. CHOOSING GENDER You are then given the opportunity to play as either a boy or a girl. You do this by pressing the SELECT key. The only difference between boys and girls in this game is that girls have hair. Vive la difference! Press START when you are satisfied with your gender. FIRST TURN The game will now initialize the situation and create a group of people with feelings towards each other. When it is ready, it will ask you "WHOM TO CALL?" You must select a person with whom to gossip. You do this with the joystick or the cursor control keys. You will note that each person has a small telephone. You control a small cursor that can move from telephone to telephone. At the beginning, it lies on Amy's telephone. You use the joystick to move the cursor to the telephone of the person whom you wish to call. Then you press the trigger button to make the call. The telephone will ring and the person will pick it up and answer "Hello?" CHOOSING A TOPIC Now you must decide the topic of your gossip. About whom will you talk? You do this by moving another cursor, this time a scintillating arrow, from person to person. When you have positioned the arrow on the person about whom you wish to gossip, press the joystick trigger. TALKING Now you must actually say something about that person. Now, in GOSSIP, we don't waste time with trivialities. In real world gossip, you waste a lot of time beating around the bush saying nice or nasty things about somebody. In this game, we get right to the point: we say exactly how we feel about that person. We do it by making a face. If you push the joystick up or down, you can make a variety of faces that express your feelings about a person. The higher up the scale you go, the more positive your statement is; the lower down you go, the more negative your statement is. Choose the one that most closely approximates your feelings towards that person, and press the joystick trigger. You have just told your telephone companion how you feel about that person. RESPONSE AND END OF CONVERSATION Now your talkmate will respond by telling you how he or she feels about the person. That done, you may select another person to talk about with the joystick, and repeat the process. The cycle continues until you have talked about everybody, or until your talkmate gets bored and hangs up. You may not talk about yourself or your talkmate. When your conversation is ended, your turn is over. The other players now take their turns calling people and gossiping. Most of this takes place behind your back, so you do not know who is talking to whom about whom. However, one of the players may call you, in which event the entire process is repeated, with several minor differences. First, your talkmate may choose to tell you how other people feel about you. Second, your talkmate has the initiative in the phone call---it's his dime. Thus, he or she will decide whom to talk about and start the conversation; your task is to respond to his statements. MATRIX SCREEN When everyone has had their chance to make a phone call, then the first turn is over, and you see a new screen. This screen is a compilation of all the information you have received up to the moment. It shows you everything you know about how people feel about each other. It does this in the form of a matrix of faces. Each row shows how the person whose name is at the left side of the row feels about everybody else. Each column shows how the person whose name is at the top of the column is perceived by the other people. A question mark signifies that you do not know the information for that slot. On this first turn, you will see many question marks, so it will be very difficult to make much sense out of the matrix. This points out one of the fascinating aspects of gossip: you must learn the situation before you can really go to work spreading your venom. For now, go back and play a few more turns to fill in the matrix a little better. You resume play by pressing the joystick trigger. If, while playing a turn, you need to refer to the matrix screen, you may do so by pressing the SELECT key. This will pause the main game and let you see the matrix screen. Press SELECT to resume play. UNDERSTANDING THE MATRIX After you have played a few turns, you are ready for a more in-depth examination of the matrix screen. ESP There are probably still a number of question marks on the matrix. You can eliminate these by using the ESP that we have provided for you. Move the joystick downward; a bar of color over the word RETURN will move downward to cover the phrase USE ESP. Now press the trigger button. A hollow square cursor will appear in the upper left corner of the matrix. Use the joystick to move it to any position in the matrix. Now press the trigger. ESP will happen! The result of this ESP will be that you know the true feelings of a person at that slot. Of course, you cannot go around ESPing every slot on the screen---you have a limited supply of ESP, as indicated on the left side of the screen. When you run out, it's gone forever. Don't use it all up at once. ESP is also useful for checking up on people whose feelings you already know. You see, those feelings change, and the values in your matrix are based on what they told you some time ago. Thus, the matrix doesn't give the most up-to-date information. You can use ESP to udate your matrix. CUPID'S ARROWS Another special option you have is the Cupid's Arrow option. To use this option, move the solid-color cursor downward to the word ARROW, then press the trigger button. The hollow cursor will again appear, and you can again move it to any position in the matrix. If you then press the trigger, a Cupid's Arrow will fly to that location. The effects of Cupid's Arrows depend on the location at which you aim them. If you aim an arrow at any target in the first column (that is, towards a person's feelings towards you), then that person will like you more. If, however, you aim the arrow at any other face, the effect is reversed; the one person will like the other person less. Thus, these special Cupid's Arrows have a little bit of smart bomb in them. The Cupid's Arrow has a built-in bonus: after it strikes, the face that you see is the new true face. Thus, the Cupid's Arrow also acts like ESP. Sometimes, if your information was old and incorrect, the new face may actually be worse than the original face. This could happen if the original face you had was much too optimistic, and the real face was much worse. In that case, the Cupid's Arrow could make the face better and still be worse than the face you had on the screen. You also have some information in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. You can see how many days are left until the Prom. END OF GAME The game continues until the night before the Prom. Then each boy decides whom he will invite. He will choose the girl whom he likes the most. Your score is the number of boys who invite you to the Prom. When the game is over, you will be allowed to see the true feelings that everybody had and compare them with your own information on other people's feelings. HOW TO WIN This game is very different from other games. You have to be very sneaky to win. First, your goal is to make the boys like you better than any of the other girls. You can't blast the other girls with laser blasters or hyperwarp them to another galaxy, or even smash them with floating asteroids. You'll just have to convince the boys that they should like you more. How? The best general approach is to convince each person that you are just like that person---that is, that you like and dislike the same people that he does. This is not simple because everybody is different. For example, if Val likes Tom and you tell Val that you like Tom, also, then Val will be more inclined to like you. If Val also hates Amy and you also hate Amy, that's also good. On the other hand, Amy will not be happy to hear that you hate her, and will probably reciprocate. You may be thinking, "Aha, I'll just tell Amy that I like her; that way I can fool everybody!" That technique will work for a short period of time, but eventually Val will tell somebody that you hate Amy, and Amy will tell somebody that you like her, and pretty soon people will start to compare notes. Guess what that means for you? Right: Unpopularityville! Liars get ahead in the short term but always get their just rewards eventually. There is no easy strategy for winning this game. You must very carefully analyze the shifting alliances, the cliques and rivalries, and deftly side with the group that seems more important to you while not quite severing relationships with the others. Be honest and consistent with people; tell the same version to everybody. Of course, the time may come when you have to dump your best friend for a better friend, but, gee, that's what popularity is all about, right? And don't get upset if somebody else dumps you, because it works both ways. ------------------------------------------- JAZZO.TXT RINNNG! "Hello?" "Hi, Tom, this is Val. Have you seen the latest nifty game from APX?" "No, what is it?" "It's called GOSSIP, and it's all about the fun and excitement of our favorite pastime. The object of the game is to become the most popular person in the group." "Really? Sounds great. How do you play?" "Well, first, you load the diskette into the disk drive and boot the game just like you would any disk game. Then you choose how many players you want to play against with the SELECT key. If you're a good player, you should choose all eight players, but if you are a social klutz like Dan, you had better keep to only five players." "OK, then what?" "Well, the next step is to choose whether you want to play as a girl or a boy, but the differences in this game are strictly cosmetic, tee-hee." "Oh, rats! I was hoping for some real fun." "Keep you mind out of the gutter, Tom, or I'll tell Liz. Anyway, once you've decided whether to play as a girl or a boy, you're ready to play the game. You start by using your joystick and trigger button to pick the person whom you wish to call. When they answer, you use the joystick and trigger button to pick another person to gossip about. Now, here's the fun part: you say how you feel about somebody by using the joystick to make a face. When you get the face that shows exactly how you feel about the person, you press the trigger button. Then the person to whom you are speaking will make a face back at you." "Wait a minute, Val; let me get this straight. Suppose I call up Joe; then I have to tell him the person to gossip about?" "Right, slowpoke. You'd probably want to talk about that prissy Liz you like so much. So you'd pick her and make a lovey-dovey face to tell Joe. Then Joe, if he has any taste at all, would make a no-no face to show what he thinks of Liz." "But, can't I tell a little fib to Joe, and tell him that I don't like Liz?" "Sure, dummy, but then Joe would tell Ann, and Ann would tell Liz, and what do you think Liz would think if she heard that you thought she was a creep? Honestly, Tom, I don't understand how you get along in the social world with so little common sense. Well, I've got to go. That scrumptious Joe might be calling me to...um...talk. Ta-ta, Tommy boy." RINNNG! "Hello?" "Hello, Liz, this is Dan. How are you doing today?" "Ooooh, I'm just fine. How are you, Dan?" "Oh, I'm fine, too...." "That's very nice....um...gee, how's school?" "Fine, but, I was wondering, Liz, if you could...er..." "Go ahead, don't be afraid to ask." "Well, Liz, I'm having problems playing that great new game from APX, GOSSIP, and I was wondering if maybe we could get together to...um...play a game...er...together, you know? "Sure, Dan, I'd love to! What kinda problems are you having?" "Well, I get confused. I call people up and they sometimes call me up. And sometimes when the conversation gets going, it gets real hard to figure out who is saying what about whom. You know what I mean?" "Sure, Dan; it does get a little confusing, but it's not hard to figure out. The person whom you are talking TO has the square box on his or her telephone and is holding the phone up to his or her ear. The person whom you are talking ABOUT has an arrow pointing at his or her face. And, if somebody is being quoted, quotation marks appear over his head." "Quoted? What does that mean?" "Well, let's say that Val called you, and she told you that I thought that you were a really neat guy. Then Val would have the telephone in her hand, you would have an arrow pointing at you, and I would have quotation marks over my head. Make sense?" "Yes, I like that a whole lot." "You do? Really? You're not just saying that, are you?" "No kidding, that really makes my day. But, there's still something else bothering me, Liz. How do I keep track of all the goings-on in the game? I mean, with so many people saying so many things about each other, I can't keep track of it all." "Oh, it's real easy, silly! After the end of a turn, a new screen appears that tells you all that stuff." "You mean the funny screen with all those faces on it?" "Yes, that's the one. Those faces tell you what you know about everybody. To find out how, say, a particular girl feels about you, you would look up that girl's name on the left side of the display and then you would read across the row of faces til you came to the column under your name. There you'd find a big smiling face, telling you how that girl feels about you. "Oh, gee...um, but what does a question mark mean? Does that mean that I'm a zilch?" "No, silly, that only means that you haven't found out yet how that person feels about you." "Well, gosh, what do I do about that?" "There are two things you could do. First, you could make a point of calling the right person and gossiping about your mystery person to them. Then you'd find out. Or, if you're in a big hurry, you can use your magic ESP to find out." "How do I do that?" "You use the joystick to put the colored band on the phrase 'USE ESP'. Then you press the joystick trigger and a square cursor appears over the top left face. You move the cursor to the place about which you want to learn. Then you press the button and ESP happens!" "So I only need to use ESP on question marks?" "Oh, no, you can use it anywhere. You see, the faces that you see on the screen only give the best information you have so far. People change their minds, so your information might be wrong. For example, suppose Val told Ann that she likes you, and Ann told you that. But suppose that Val later changed her mind the way she always does, and decided that she didn't like you at all. You would still be thinking that Val liked you, when she really didn't. So, you use ESP to find out the truth." "Well, gee, why don't I just use ESP all the time?" "Because you only get so much ESP each game, so you have to use it carefully." "OK, what does the RETURN do?" "The one in the same color band that makes the ESP go? If you press the joystick trigger when the color band is on the word RETURN, that just ends the turn and takes you back to the telephone-calling part of the game." "But what if I need to look at all the faces while I'm talking to someone?" "Then you just press the SELECT button to flip the screens back and forth. It's real easy." "OK, what are the arrows for?" "They're Cupid's Arrows, and they allow you to make somebody like somebody else. For example, if I were playing, I would shoot all my Cupid's Arrows at your feelings for me. Then you would like me a whole bunch." "Aw, gee, Liz, you don't have to do that. "I don't? Golly, Dan, why not?" "Well, I dunno, I just kinda...well...you know...." "Maybe I better come over and give you some more help with this game." "Would you really? Oh gosh, oh gosh---I'll see you later!" "Byee!" RINNNG! "Hello?" "Hi there, Ann-baby! What's up?" "Oh, hi Joe. Not much. I've just been sitting here trying to win at this neat new game from APX, GOSSIP." "Well, how about if ol' Joe comes over for a little 'strategy session'. I mean, I could show you all the 'finer points' of interpersonal relationships." "No thanks, Joe. I just need some advice on how to win." "Well, never let it be said that ol' Joe Kelsey wouldn't help a damsel in distress. Tell me, chicky, what's bothering that pretty little head of yours?" "Joe! You know you're not supposed to say things like that! It's rude and demeaning!" "OK, I'm sorry, baby. I'll be sweet. Now what's the problem?" "Well, I just can't figure out how to win the game. I don't know what to say to people to make them like me. The game just goes on forever with me in last place. I was beginning to wonder if it's possible to win this game, but Val told me that you're quite a shark with it." "You bet, baby---ol' Joe is in the know." "So how do you do it?" "Well, you see, chicky, this is a so-phisticated game requiring deep insight and great mental powers. You gotta pay attention to all the fac-tors goin' on all the time. But the basic idea is simple: people like people who like people they like." "Uh---would you mind running that one by me again, Joe?" "No prob, baby. People like people who like people they like. For example, suppose that I hear that delectable little Val is real good friends with Liz. Well, then, I call up ol' Val and tell her that I been Liz's greatest admirer since she was a baby." "Oh---I think I see." "Hold on, babe---there's more. If I hear that Val thinks that Tom eats buffalo chips, why, I just give her a buzz and tell her that he washes 'em down with vulture vomit. Smooth move, huh?" "Yes, I see now. Not only do people like people who like people they like, but they like people who hate people they hate." "You got it, baby!" "But won't Tom be angry with you when he hears what you said about him?" "Sure thing, Toots, but hey---we can't all be blessed with good taste. If ol' Tom don't appreciate better quality people, that's his problem. And if ol' Joe is sitting pretty with Liz and Val and the other cool people, it don't matter much what Tom thinks. I mean, you can still be Number One even if a few people can't recognize charm when they see it." "OK, I think I'm getting it. You try to form a little clique of people who like you, and you try to ostracize the people who don't like you." "Yeah, that's close enough. But remember, things don't always go exactly as you might want them to go, so you have to be fast on your feet. I mean, you have to go with the flow. " "Do you mean to say that I should turn on my friends if they prove to be social liabilities?" "Hey, what are friends for?" "Well, I'll give it a try. Thanks for the help." "Sure thing, chicky. You sure you wouldn't like a little personal assistance from the old pro?" "Thanks, Joe, but no thanks. I appreciate the help you've already given me." "OK, baby. Nighty-nite!" "Goodbye, Joe." Click!