Beast (video game)

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Title screen from Beast

Beast[1] is an ASCII game written and developed by Dan Baker, Alan Brown, Mark Hamilton and Derrick Shadel in 1984.

Game introduction[edit]

The object of this arcade-like game is to survive through a number of levels while crushing the "beasts" (represented by the character ├┤) with the movable blocks. The H's are attracted to the player's position (represented by a "diamond-like" character ◄►) every move. The beginning levels have only the common beasts ("├┤"), however from level H and forth the more challenging "super-beasts" appear. These are represented by "╟╢". These "super-beasts" are harder to kill as they must be crushed against a static block. At level P the eggs are introduced, implying greater challenge. These enemies are dormant at the beginning of each level, but will in time hatch into a "hatched beast" (╬╬). These beasts are the hardest to kill, as they can also move blocks to crush the player. They can however be killed as easily as the regular beasts, against any object.

Controls and game physics[edit]

Screenshot

While at the main screen the player can press F1 to see high scores, F2 to set game speed and F10 to exit to DOS. Selecting difficulty level is done by pressing any English letter (A-Z). Note that the four levels L through O are user definable. Pressing the space bar at the main screen will start the game at the selected level, or at the default level E if no level has been selected. When the game has started the player can control the diamond-shaped character by using the arrow keys or the numeric keypad to move around and/or push blocks. To push blocks, simply move into them. To pull blocks, the player must be adjacent to a block, then hold down the space bar while moving into an empty square. The ability to pull blocks is only available on the easier levels (A-I). Using the numeric keypad to move around allows for better movement, because it allows the player to move in all eight directions without combining the arrow keys. Pressing F10 while in game will immediately return to the main screen.

A two-player mode is available by pressing 2 at the start screen or while in the F10 menu. Hitting space starts the game in two-player mode, where the second player controls his character by the WASD keys.

In Beast there are two kinds of blocks; the normal green block and the yellow static block. While the normal block is movable, the yellow block cannot be pushed or pulled. These static blocks also become "explosive" from the advanced levels and forth. This means the player will lose a life by moving into one.

Strategies[edit]

The usual way to kill a beast is to crush it between a block and another object. The other object can even be another beast. Otherwise the hero can trap the monster which will eventually cause the monster to explode.

Beasts (├┤)[edit]

These beasts are defeated by being crushed between two blocks. The player should make a trap by pushing blocks into position and then hide behind the trap. They can be crushed against any block, static or not. Alternatively the player may bury the beast completely and they will explode (this is less effective, but it may be considered amusing).

Super-Beasts (╟╢)[edit]

These beasts can only be defeated by crushing them against a static block or burial. Hence they can not be crushed against two normal blocks. The player is advised to prioritize taking these out, as they are harder to defeat. When burying a "super-beast" it will in turn explode into five regular beasts. The best way to get rid of those "baby beasts" is by making sure the wall of blocks around them is thick enough so they won't escape from the enclosure made; Make sure they will be "born" trapped.

Hatched Beasts (╬╬)[edit]

These beasts are much like the player; they can move blocks and can be crushed. The only advantage the player has to them is greater movement speed and hopefully wits. Although these foes don't need to be crushed against a static block, the key is to hide behind a static block, making room behind the player (so he won't be crushed by it), and let it come to his side of the static block. If the player is able to lure it properly, he should be able to crush it against the static block. While the hatched beasts are rightfully considered the hardest opponent, they may also be helpful; any beast trapped between something and a block he pushes will be crushed.

Eggs (oYo)[edit]

While eggs are easy to crush, they should always be prioritized first. When hatching time is over, these eggs become hatched beasts, which are the hardest opponents in this game. At the advanced levels (P and forth), taking out as many eggs as possible first is imperative to win. As there are so many eggs, the player will end up being crushed by a horde of hatched beasts if attention is not paid to the eggs early on. Eggs cannot be crushed against another egg, nor can they be crushed against a beast of any kind.

The levels[edit]

The default level is E. You may change the level of difficulty from the main page by pressing any alphabetical key (A-Z).

Easy[edit]

  • Winning level: 2
Level Pull blocks Game speed up Explosive blocks Super Beast ratio Eggs Hatching speed Starting beasts
A Yes No No None 0 0 1
B Yes No No None 0 0 2
C Yes No No None 0 0 3

Novice[edit]

  • Winning level: 3
Level Pull blocks Game speed up Explosive blocks Super Beast ratio Eggs Hatching speed Starting beasts
D Yes No No None 0 0 3
E Yes No No None 0 0 4
F Yes Yes No None 0 0 4
G Yes Yes No None 1 60 4

Hard[edit]

  • Winning level: 6
Level Pull blocks Game speed up Explosive blocks Super Beast ratio Eggs Hatching speed Starting beasts
H Yes Yes No 1 of 8 0 0 4
I Yes Yes No 1 of 8 1 60 4
J No Yes No 1 of 8 2 60 4
K No Yes No 1 of 8 3 60 4

User-definable[edit]

  • Winning level: X
Level Pull blocks Game speed up Explosive blocks Super Beast ratio Eggs Hatching speed Starting beasts
L Y/N Y/N Y/N X X X X
M Y/N Y/N Y/N X X X X
N Y/N Y/N Y/N X X X X
O Y/N Y/N Y/N X X X X

Advanced[edit]

  • Winning level: 9
Level Pull blocks Game speed up Explosive blocks Super Beast ratio Eggs Hatching speed Starting beasts
P No Yes Yes 1 of 8 5 50 4
Q No Yes Yes 1 of 8 6 50 4
R No Yes Yes 1 of 4 7 50 4
S No Yes Yes 1 of 4 8 50 4

Expert[edit]

  • Winning level: 15
Level Pull blocks Game speed up Explosive blocks Super Beast ratio Eggs Hatching speed Starting beasts
T No Yes Yes 1 of 8 8 45 4
U No Yes Yes 1 of 8 9 45 5
V No Yes Yes 1 of 4 10 35 5
W No Yes Yes 1 of 4 10 30 6

Pro[edit]

  • Winning level: 20
Level Pull blocks Game speed up Explosive blocks Super Beast ratio Eggs Hatching speed Starting beasts
X No Yes Yes 1 of 4 10 20 6
Y No Yes Yes 1 of 2 10 15 6
Z No Yes Yes All 20 15 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Beast (DOS, 1984)". Theodor.lauppert.ws. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 

External links[edit]