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Dodging Comets


by arthurbulla

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KRELUDOR - Though it may seem an action game at first, Escape to Kreludor truly does require a great deal of mental acuity. I’m writing this guide to try to help you start off learning the game, but once you reach a certain level, I can help you no longer, and you’ll need to rely on yourself.

But now that that’s said and done, we can start. The very first thing you should see is the actual start page, where you can pick the settings you’d like to play the game in. Most people should choose a setting of Low Quality, as High and Medium generally slow a regular computer down quite a bit. Your resolution size should depend on your monitor—however, I recommend getting the highest possible while still fitting the whole screen on your computer, as it allows you to get the best view of the board as possible.

Before Beginning

Once you’ve loaded the game, you’ll see two options—Play Game, and Instructions. If you’d like to read the Instructions yourself, go ahead, but I’ll go over them here anyways. The basic goal of the game is to get all the space ships that are following you to crash/blow up. There are bonuses that will help you along your way, but you only get one per level, and they’re often out of reach, forcing you to learn to take care of the ships yourself.

The Board

The board is always an 11x11 grid, with 2 major features you should look out for.

Asteroids: These floating, multi-colored rocks are scattered randomly across the board, and usually help you with your task. If they're grouped together closely, you can hide behind them while ships plow into them. On the other hand, if they're scattered a bit more randomly, ships are more likely to run into them while chasing you across the board. You can also use these to sidetrack some of the more intelligent ships, and gain you more time to run.

Wormholes: There are always 4 of these on every board, one in each corner. Essential to your strategy, these will warp you to a random spot on the board. Though this is usually at an advantage to you, you should usually wait as long as you can before jumping into the warphole. You need to bring as many ships towards you as possible, to reduce the risk of warping to a space next to a ship who can destroy you right after you arrive.

General Play

Now that you know how the board is laid out, you need to learn how to move. At the beginning of a level, your ship will be in the center of the board. If you move your mouse towards it and hover over the squares around it, you can see that you have 8 different ways you can go: North, South, East, West, Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, or Southeast. Once you make your decision and move, the opposing ships will also move in the patterns that they’ve had programmed into them. The goal of the game is to destroy the opposing ships, so you also need to be able to shoot. This can be done two different ways: by pressing the space bar, or by clicking the square that holds your ship itself. Once you’ve destroyed all the opposing ships, the level will end, and you’ll be told Sloth is sending more fighters. Once you click Continue, the process will start all over again.

Enemies

There are three different kinds of enemies that I’ve discovered so far: Regular Ships, Red Ships, and Comets. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Regular Ships: These are the most basic kind of ship Dr. Sloth will send after you. These ships will always move in a way as to get themselves closer to you, no matter what will happen to them. This means that you can usually get them to either kill themselves in an asteroid, or kill each other in a crash. In the earlier levels, you may want to control when you’d like them to be destroyed, so you have time to catch bonuses. In the later levels, though, they're harder to control, and with so many ships around, its best to just leave them alone, unless they pose a threat. I’ll be writing a second article with more detailed information on how to destroy ships in this way, and hopefully, if its accepted, you’ll be able to see it soon. Worth 10 points when killed or destroyed.

Red Ships: These ships are much more intelligent than their predecessors. These ships will also always move in a way to get themselves closer. However, these ships (or their drivers, I should say) know enough to tell that giant floating chunks of rock are dangerous to a ship’s health. Therefore, these ships steer their way around asteroids (and other ships/comets) and give you a bit more time to run away. Worth 15 points when killed or destroyed.

Comets: These are the highest level enemies that have yet been found. They work exactly like the red ships, except they have no problems with running into Regular ships, as they won’t be harmed (though the Regular ship will). Red Ships also give the comet priority when coming towards you, so make sure you realize that if a Comet and a Red Ship would both usually go towards the same space, the indestructible comet will always take it. Avoid these at all costs, as not even EM Pulses (See Bonuses) will destroy them.

Bonuses

The last things you need to know before you can finish are the different bonuses. There are 5 different types of bonuses, and each is a different color. Some are more useful to you than others, but it mainly depends on where you are in the level. I’ll give you a good idea on when to use them, but it’s really up to you.

Purple: This bonus will give you an extra 50 points, and is usually best used on some of the earlier levels, when you actually have the time to go looking for it. On later levels, it’s fine if you run into it, but don’t go after it. You have way too much to worry about without needing to get a rather useless bonus. Generally you can get a score high enough for 1k NP without getting these on the higher levels. However, if you're going for a High Score, you may want to wait until all but one ship (possibly a comet) remain, then use warpholes to try to move yourself closer to it before destroying the last ship.

White: This bonus gives you an extra life. Like the previous bonus, it’s best used on an early level when you have the time to go after it. On the later levels, you’re much better off with a Green or a Blue bonus. An extra life is always nice, though. I don't remember ever receiving this bonus after already having 4 lives, so I think the maximum you're allowed to have is 4. If anyone can say otherwise, please Neomail!

Blue: This bonus is pretty useful on some of the later levels, as it downgrades all ships to a lower level. Though Regular ships won’t downgrade at all, Red Ships downgrade to regular ships, making them easier to destroy, and comets downgrade to asteroids, which not only get rid of them for you, but also pose as a threat to all the Regular ships you’ll have after you use this. This is useful on later levels more than earlier levels, but I suggest only going after it if it’s on your way through the level.

Red: This is, in my opinion, one of the worst bonuses. Once you reach this, you send out an EM (electromagnetic) Pulse in a 3 tile radius around you that destroys any ship in your way. The problem with this bonus is that you rarely have the opportunity to use it. In the earlier levels, its much easier to just shoot at the ships, and in the later levels, it usually kills less than half of the ships, leaving a good 5 or 6 ships still converging around you. I suggest ignoring this bonus whenever possible.

Green: These, on the other hand, are what I think are the best bonuses you can get. These make you invisible to all other ships and comets on the level. I’m assuming that the ships just randomly move around the board. This means that, if you’re patient enough, you can just stay in one spot, shooting, until all the Regular ships destroy themselves, then run after the Red ships. One thing to be careful of, though. Try to avoid staying on a square that’s accessible by a ship or comet, because they have no idea you’re there, and their random move might bring them into contact with you, even if you’re invisible. A cloak is probably the most useful bonus in the game, and you’re extremely lucky if you manage to get one on the later levels.

General Strategy

Here I’ll let you in on a few little tips that can help you reach some of the higher levels. Basically what you want to do is, as soon as you start, find the clearest path to a wormhole that you can get. Head towards there, destroying any ships that may try to block you, and if you have time, wander around between squares on there, waiting until the last moment to jump into the wormhole. By this time, the ships should all be around one corner, and you’ll have a greater chance of escaping them. Once you jump, find the next nearest wormhole, and head towards it. If you reach it with enough time to spare, destroy as many ships that come towards you as you can, then jump into the wormhole again. Continue until you either accidentally get teleported onto a square next to a ship (and get destroyed), or until you beat the level. In later levels, this gets much more difficult, as there are more ships coming towards you, and there is rarely a clear path to a wormhole. You just have to keep trying, and hope for a Cloak. Good luck!

Level Summary

This is just a quick guide to the ships you’ll find on each level, up to Level 10. If anyone would like to contribute more information, I’ll include it in my next article, which will hopefully be accepted next week.

1 Level - 2 Regulars

2 Level - 3 Regulars

3 Level - 4 Regulars

4 Level - 4 Regulars + 1 Red

5 Level - 5 Regulars + 1 Red

6 Level - 6 Regulars + 1 Red + 1 Comet

7 Level - 6 Regulars + 2 Red + 1 Comet

8 Level - 7 Regulars + 3 Red + 1 Comet

9 Level - 8 Regulars + 4 Red + 1 Comet

10 Level - 9 Regulars + 5 Red + 1 Comet

Final Word

This guide should be enough to get you to a score high enough to earn 3k NP every day (with 3 plays, of course). I myself have earned a score of 1135, which I actually received on a game where I died on level 9, though I've been to level 10 now. From my calculations, a score high enough to get a trophy would require you getting to about level 12 or 13, with plenty of Purple bonuses along the way. I’m planning on writing a more detailed article on defeating Regular Ships next week, so look out for that!

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Many thanks to Jazz_invincible, who helped by contributing the enemy list for Level 10, and pointing out that comets can be downgraded to asteroids. I truly appreciate your help!

 
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