Powerplay: The Game of the Gods - Manual
1. THE GAME OF THE GODS
On the heights of Mount Olympus, the mighty gods are once again arguing
over which of them is the wisest and most powerful. To settle this
quarrel, Zeus decided that four of them representing different ideologies
should compete in a battle of sheer wit and speed he has devised, to be
called the 'POWERPLAY'. The representitives will be Apollo, standing for
strength and dignity; Hermes, standing for magic and trickery; Hecate,
standing for witchcraft and wizardry; and lastly Aphrodite, standing for
A courtyard in the temple of Apollo has been selected as the arena for
the main competition. In addition special battlegrounds have been
prepared in places as diverse as the craggy tops of mount Olympus and the
fiery caverns in the very depths of Hades.
To avoid personal injury, each god will pick a team of warriors to fight
the battle according to their commands. Throughout the contest, the gods
will be tested on their knowledge of the universe, having to respond
quickly and correctly to make best use of the warriors. The better a god
responds, the wiser they become, and they may use stronger warrior.
There are four families of warriors, one to represent each of the four
ideoligies competing, each containing four grades from weak to strong.
The families are as follows with members listed weakest to strongest:
HERACLES - The most famous of Greek heroes, and one of the sons
of Zeus himself.
ATLAS - One of the great Titans, whose task it was to hold
apart earth and heaven.
CYCLOPS - A huge one-eyed giant possessing the strength of many
MINOTAUR - A powerful monster, half man and half bull, with
great physical strength.
ORPHEUS - A poet whose magic lyre could charm trees, rivers and
PROMETHEUS - One of the great Titans who stole fire from the gods
TALOS - The giant bronze man who guarded the entrance to
PAN - A satyr, half man and half goat, who was the
mischievous son of Hermes.
MAENAD - One of the wild women followers of Dionysus, the wine
NERIAD - A mystical sea nymph.
SIREN - A sea creature, with the head of a maiden and the
body of a bird, who used to sing to sailors causing
them to wreck their ships upon her rocky home.
SCYLLA - A horrible dog-headed man-eating hag.
PERSEPHONE - A beautiful girl condemned to live six months of
each year in Hades.
PANDORA - A temptress who let loose all the evils known to man
from her mystical box.
EROS - The god of love and son of Aphrodite, recognised by
his quiver of golden arrows.
IRIS - The beautiful winged goddess of the rainbow, and
messenger to Zeus's wife, Hera.
By using the resources available to them, these warriors will fight
bravely to the death for their masters. The battle will rage until only
one god remains with any warriors in the courtyard. Only this god may
claim the title 'Wisest and Most Powerful God of all'.
2. LOADING THE PROGRAM
Just put the disk in the internal drive, and it will load automatically.
The credits will appear on the screen before the game is started. If you
wish to stop the credits prematurely press the ESC key.
3. PLAYING OPTIONS
You will be asked to select the number of players competing and the
difficulty level of the game. There may be two, three, or four players
in a game. Alternatively the one player practise mode may be chosen.
Press 1, 2, 3 or 4 on the keyboard to make your choice. The difficulty
level determines the amount of time allowed to answer each question and
may range from 10 seconds on level one to 2.5 seconds on level four.
Again press 1, 2, 3 or 4 to choose.
Each player will then be asked to select which god or goddess they wish
to be during the game. You can do this by pressing 1, 2, 3 or 4. If you
try to pick a diety who has already been chosen by another player nothing
happens, so just choose again.
Each player will then be asked which input device they wish to choose
during the game. More than one player can use the same device and can
choose between the keyboard and one or two mice or joysticks (if these
The current player selecting a device is highlighted, together with the
current device, which may be changed by pressing SPACE. You can move
from player to player by pressing RETURN. When all players have chosen,
pressing ESC will set their choices. The game will not play correctly if
a device is selected which is not available on your computer.
Next, each player has the opportunity to choose their army. A default
army is shown both by name and graphically, so just press ESC if you are
happy with this. If you would like to hand-pick your warriors press
SPACE to cycle through the available pieces, RETURN to cycle through the
pieces in your army and ESC when you have picked all your pieces.
When all the players have chosen their armies, the game begins.
4. HOW TO 'POWERPLAY'
4.1 THE OUTLINE OF THE GAME
Each player begins the game with four pieces, each of the lowest grade of
their family, in one corner of the courtyard. Each player's pieces are
distinguished by the following characteristic colours:
PLAYER 1 - BLUE
PLAYER 2 - RED
PLAYER 3 - GREEN
PLAYER 4 - YELLOW
The object of the game is to eliminate your opponents' pieces from the
Players take turns to select one of their pieces and answer a question
which will appear at the bottom of the screen. if the question is
answered incorrectly or not answered at all, play will pass to the next
player. If the correct answer is given a number of points will be added
to that piece's wisdom score. The player may then move the piece onto
any free adjacent square to end the turn.
If, after answering correctly, enough points have been accumulated, the
player is given the opportunity to change the piece to one of greater
power by means of a 'mutation'.
Moving a piece onto a square occupied by an opponent will invoke a
'challenge'. The piece losing the challenge will be mutated down to a
lower grade or eliminated from the game.
4.2 SELECTING A PIECE
When prompted a player may select a piece.
The current player and piece will be indicated underneath the board. The
current piece will also make itself known on the main board. the wisdom
score and the strength level of this piece are also indicated at the
bottom of the board.
The current player may cycle through his pieces by pressing SPACE on the
keyboard, the right button on a mouse or by moving a joystick up or down.
Having selected a piece the player must press RETURN on the keyboard, the
left button on the mouse or the FIRE button on the joystick to recieve a
4.3 ANSWERING A QUESTION
The squares on the courtyard are divided into four colour corresponding
to the following subject areas:
Blue General Knowledge
Red Sport and Leisure
Green Science and Technology
Yellow History and Geography
The question will be presented on a tablet which will appear on the lower
portion of the screen. The subject of the question is determined by the
colour of the square occupied by the selected piece. The difficulty of
the question is determined by the grade of the selected piece: the higher
the grade, the harder the question.
Four possible answers will be presented with the question. These are
arranged around a cross in the centre of the tablet. If using the
keyboard, the player may select an answer by pressing the appropriate
cursor key. If using a mouse or a joystick the answer can be chosen by
moving it in the appropriate direction.
If the selected answer is correct, points will be added to the wisdom
score of the piece. The more time taken to answer, the less points will
be added. The player may then move his piece, or if over 25 points have
been accumulated, will be given the option to mutate to a higher grade.
If the player answer incorrectly or runs out of time, no points are added
and play passes to the next player.
4.4 MOVING A PIECE
A piece may be moved into any free neighbouring square by moving a mouse
or joystick in the appropriate direction and pressing the left or fire
button. If using the keyboard then the numeric keypad is used to move
the piece. Imagine that the piece is standing on the '5' key, and then
press the neighbouring key as if it were the square you want to move the
piece to. The following table indicates the exact key to use:
A piece may not be moved off the board or onto a square occupied by a
piece belonging to the same player. Moving onto a square occupied by an
opponent's piece will invoke a challenge.
There are four magical squares in the courtyard which are coloured white.
These are known as 'teleport' squares. Moving a piece onto one of these
squares will cause it to disappear and reappear on any of the four
teleport squares, including itself. These squares may thus be used for
rapidly crossing the board or to escape an impending challenge. However,
since the piece may reappear on the same square, this is not a foolproof
method of escape.
A piece will not appear on a teleport square which is already occupied by
If after answering a question correctly, a piece of grade one to three
has accumulated a score of 25 wisdom points or more the option to mutate
to a higher grade will be given.
The player may choose to postpone mutation to a later move, in which case
the piece may be moved as described in the previous section, unless using
a mouse in which case the right mouse button will have to be pressed
before you will be allowed to move the piece.
If a mutation is desired, it can be initiated by pressing SPACE on the
keyboard. If using a mouse the left button should by pressed, and if
using a joystick the FIRE button should be pressed with the joystick
centred. After a mutation, 25 wisdom points will be deducted from the
Having mutated the piece, the player may then continue to move it onto a
new square in the manner previously described.
The advantages of mutating a piece to a higher grade are that it can
accumulate more strength than before, and that it can withstand more
challenge defeats before being eliminated. The disadvantage is that the
subject matter of the questions presented become more difficult.
A challenge consists of two players competing against each other to
answer the same questions. The challenge questions will be set on a
random subject and at the difficulty level of the higher grade piece
To invoke a challenge, a player must attempt to move his piece onto a
square already occupied by an opponent. This will cause the contending
pieces to be taken off the main board to one of the specially prepared
sites. Although the challenge can differ, the process in each case is
the same. The two players competing in the challenge must watch their
pieces take part in a 'see-saw' competition and not until one of them has
lost the competition will normal play resume.
The contesting players will be informed which devices they should use to
answer the challenge questions. If the keyboard is the only device
available, one player will be allocated the cursor keys to use as normal
and the other will be allocated an alternative set of keys. This set of
keys should be used if a player is allocated KEYBOARD 2. They are
arranged in a cross about the number '5' key on the numeric keypad and
are marked with the appropriate arrows on some machines.
There will then follow a quick-fire round of questions. When each
question is presented, both players must attempt to answer the question
as quickly as possible. The player answering first wins the question if
the correct answer is given, but loses the question if the wrong answer
is given. If neither player manages to answer within the time limit
(which is shorter than the main board), the piece with the higher
strength will win the question. The first player to gain a three-
question advantage over the other wins the challenge.
After each challenge question one point is deducted from the strength of
each piece regardless of who won or lost. If the strength of either
player's piece falls to zero during a challenge, then that player will
lose the challenge.
The piece belonging to the player losing the challenge is mutated down a
grade, with no wisdom points being restored in the process. If the piece
is already of the lowest grade it will be eliminated from the game.
Thus, although the higher grade pieces run a lower risk in a challenge
situation, their strength is vitally important - if it is low they could
easily lose the challenge to a stronger, lower-grade piece.
After a challenge, each surviving piece will be restored to the main
board in the same position as before, unless the piece being challenged
is destroyed, in which case the challenging piece will move onto its
At the start of each player's turn, their pieces will be checked to see
if any of them has been kept out of action for too long, and thus got a
bit 'fed up'. If so then that piece may decide to start moving about on
its own accord by making a random move. If it encounters an opponent's
piece it may decide to attack causing a challenge to occur in the normal
fashion. If a piece has moved on its own accord during a player's turn,
then after it has moved, or after any resulting challenge, play will pass
to the next player.
No on-screen information is available regarding how irritated or fed-up
any particular piece is, so it is up to the players to keep their
4.8 PRACTISE MODE
If only one player is selected at the start of the game, a special case
applies, and thus one-player practise mode is entered. Since you have
no-one else to play against, you may take on Zeus himself (whose part is
played by the computer).
You may pick your pieces as normal, but when you arrive on the board you
will find that Zeus has picked an army of top-grade warriors. You must
still answer questions in order to move, but Zeus, because he knows all
the answers, will move whenever he cares to. He won't cheat though, his
aim is not to win, but to test you.
4.9 CHARACTER PERSONALITIES
Each of the sixteen different types of warriors that can appear during
POWERPLAY has a unique personality manifesting itself to the player as
strength, recovery and irritation factors. To take full advantage of
your army you should consider these carefully as it means the difference
between emerging victorious or vanquished.
Typed by SIDEWINDER/LSD