Sentinel, The - Manual
In a strange universe of 10,000 worlds, where the only force is
pure energy, a lone Synthoid does battle against the Sentinel and
her agents, the Sentries.
You control the Synthoid in his attempt to dethrone the Sentinel
as the ruler of each of the 10,000 worlds.
As you move about the individual landscapes, avoiding the
withering stare of the Sentinel and the Sentries, you must gain a
position from where you can destroy the Sentinel; her energy
becomes yours and the landscape is complete.
Drawing on your remaining energy, you must now Hyperspace to a
new word where a fresh challenge awaits + only 9,999 words to go
and victory will be yours.
Upon loading being complete, the title screen will be displayed.
Pressing either the mouse buttons or any key will access the
Landscape Selection Screen.
Each landscape, except the first, is reached via a 8-digit
code. We will deal with how these codes work later in the manual.
For now, just press the RETURN key and a representation of the
first landscape will appear before you. This representation gives
you your first information about the landscape that awaits. You
will be able to get an idea of the terrain involved in the
landscape, hills, valleys, plains, chasms and so on. It will also
show you how many Sentinels and Sentries there are. Have a good
look, as this is all the information that you will get.
The screen will be prompting you to press any key so, press any
You are now in the landscape.
Taking hold of the mouse, press the left-hand button and a cursor
will appear on the screen. This cursor is your means of control
and movement. We will now get used to its functions and their
Move the mouse to the right and the cursor will cross the screen
in that direction. When the cursor approaches the edge of the
screen your Synthoid will turn in that direction. Now move the
cursor to the left of the screen and left the Synthoid turn to
the left and you will be returned to the view that you began
Now move the cursor to the right of the screen and leave it
there. The view will now pan round and will keep doing so until
the cursor is centred. If you let the view move 21 times then you
will have returned to the starting point.
Now start moving the cursor to the top and bottom of the screen,
so that your view pans upwards and downwards If you leave the
view panning, either upwards or downwards, you will eventually
reach a point beyond which you can look no further, the point
which is almost vertical, either upwards or downwards. You will
know if panning has stopped by looking the cursor, whilst panning
is taking place, the cursor will flash. If it is not flashing,
then the view is stable.
By moving the cursor to the one of the corners of the screen, you
will be able to achieve a diagonal pan. The screen does not
scroll in a diagonal fashion, rather it moves the view first on
the horizontal plane and then on the vertical, to achieve a
So now that you have discovered the principles of viewing the
landscape, spend some time getting used to the mouse and changing
the viewpoint of your Synthoid, as speed will become an integral
part of the game-play.
THE FUN STARTS HERE
Now that you have become used to looking around you, we will
start to discover how to move within the landscape, how to create
the Sentinel is a game of energy, and the units of energy that
exist in the landscape have a variety of forms.
One unit is represented by a tree and this is the building block
upon which the rest of the game takes place. While you were
looking around, you will have seen that there are many trees
within the landscape. These are for you to take to build up your
energy. We shall start by absorbing a tree.
You may have noticed that below and to the right of the starting
view (the view that you get on first arriving in the landscape)
there is a tree. You should move three times diagonally and twice
down, from the starting view, to look at the square on which the
tree is standing. Ensure that the cursor is over the square on
which the tree stands and press the left-hand button. You will
see the tree disappear before your eyes.
The tree, or at least the energy, still exists. If you look to
the small figures above the screen, you will notice that there
are currently three small Synthoids and a boulder (an inverted U
). If you notices this section before, you will remember that
there was a small tree where the boulder now is. This is because
every object within the landscape has an energy value. These
values are as follows:
1 Unit: a Tree and a Meanie
2 Units: a Boulder
3 Units: a Synthoid and a Sentry
4 Units: a Sentinel
(By now you will have heard a clunking sound, and possibly seen
the box at the top right corner of the screen to fill with
static. This means that the Sentinel is scanning you and
absorbing your energy. This is because the action of absorbing or
creating anything will start the Sentinel turning. If this has
happened, then you will probably have died. (don't worry about
this at present, we'll get on keeping you alive a little later).
Now that you have absorbed an object, it is time to create an
object. From the staring position, look around the landscape
until you find a square that doesn't have anything on it. Then,
with the cursor on the target square, press the 'T' on the
keyboard of your computer and a tree will appear. You will notice
that your energy indicator has dropped by 1 unit (ie. a tree).
Now absorb the tree by pressing the left-hand button of the
mouse. Having done that, press the 'B' key on the keyboard. This
time a boulder will appear. Absorb the boulder as you would a
tree, and press the key 'R'. You will see a synthoid appear. You
are almost there.
By now you will have died, so start again and use the techniques
that you have learnt to start moving about the landscape.
From the starting view, turn to a position from which you can see
a square, as before, and, with the cursor on the chosen square,
press the key 'R'. As before a Synthoid will appear. Now press
the right-hand button of the mouse. For a moment the screen will
turn blue and you will hear a five note tune. When the screen
comes back, you will notice that things look a bit different -
the reason is that you have transferred into the second Synthoid!
When the transfer is complete you will be looking back at your
old Synthoid. Absorb it as you would a tree and your energy level
should be the same as before you moved into a new Synthoid.
Now to put the technique to real use.
From the starting position, find a square as before and create a
boulder. Then, with the cursor still on the square, press the key
'R'. You will see that a Synthoid has now been created at the top
of the boulder. Press the right-hand button of the mouse and you
will have transferred into the second Synthoid, but because you
are also standing on a boulder, your position in the landscape
will be higher.
Beacuse of this higher position you will now be able to see much
mode in the landscape; more trees to absorb, more squares to move
to. You have now embarked on a unique gaming experience.
MAKING IT WORK
the Sentinel is a complex, yet simple game. By now you should be
able to absorb and create objects, although you will probably
have died many times. Now to deal with staying alive.
As was mentioned earlier, when you make any kind of move other
than panning, the Sentinel and the Sentries if they are there,
will start turning to look at you. Their movement is akin to that
of a lighthouse beam, turning steadily in one direction (either
clockwise or anticlockwise). Should their view look upon ANYTHING
that has an energy value that is greater than one, then, through
the same process of absorbtion that you used, they will break
down the object into single energy units (a Sentinel can't store
energy as you can).
So, to stay alive, your first aim is to avoid the Sentinel's
gaze. There is no substitute for experiencem but follow these
guidelines and you should get to grips with things pretty
Always make sure you know in which direction the Sentinel is
turning, so that without looking at it you can anticipate when
the withering stare will reach you, and react accordingly.
Keep on the move, as it doesn't take the Sentinel long to turn
When you move, always try to create a boulder and a Synthoid, so
that every timee you move you will gain height and therefore your
options will increase.
To absorb a Sentinel, as with any other object, you MUST be able
to place your cursor on the square on which she stands, so
gaining height is of prime importance to completion of a
If you find yourself being scanned by the Sentinel, DON'T PANIC!
Energy will be taken from you a unit at a time, and you may find
that you have just enough time to create another Synthoid and
move to a position of safety. If you feel that you don't have
enough time to move, then there is the last way - HYPERSPACE. By
pressing the key 'H' you will be transported to another, almost
random point in the landscape to try again, at an energy loss of
three units (this is because the loss of your previous Synthoid).
If you have less than 3 units left, then Hyperspacing means
The 'almost' random nature of the move is because the new
position that you are moved to will only be on the same level of
terrain or below. Beware: you bay end up in a position from which
you cannot move any further. If this is the case then suicide is
probably the only option.
Absorb as many trees as you can, and always reabsorb your old
boulders and Synthoids. Gain as much energy as possible.
Rather than panning all the time, you can turn trough 180
degrees by pressing the key 'U' (a U-turn).
You can hide from the gaze of the Sentinel, either behing parts
of the landscape or behind trees. If the Sentinel can't see you,
she will just keep turning.
This raises another aspect of the game - the Meanies.
Meanies are created by the Sentinel or Sentries when they have
spotted a Synthoid but cannot see the square on which he is
standing to absorb him. The Sentinel or Sentry will look for a
nearby tree and will transform the tree into a Meanie. The Meanie
will then swiftly rotate until he can see the Synthoid and,
hopefully, the square on which he is standing. If this is the
case then you will be Hyperspaced. There is nothing you can do,
other then absorb the Meanie before he looks at you, or move out
of the way. If you don't have enough energy to Hyperspace, then
the Meanie will destroy you.
You will know if the Sentinel or a Sentry can see you in this way
when the scanning box (top right) is only half-full of static,
consequently this is known as half scan.
Energy in the landscape is static, and though it can be absorbed
and distributed, cannot be either created or destroyed. If a
Sentinel breaks down a boulder and a Synthoid for example, the
energy will not disappear, rather it will be redistributed as
five trees elsewhere in the landscape.
As long as you have enough energy, you can place as many
boulders as you like on top of each other, with a Synthoid on
top. You can use this technique to dominate the landscape more
quickly, but beware; if you are scanned whilsy on a top of such a
stack you will almost certainly lose a lot of energy.
There is a 'help' feature that can be used at any stage of the
game that serves to give you an idea of where you are in the
landscape. First, ensure that your Synthoid is looking into the
sky, then press the HELP key. This has the effect of giving you a
view of the landscape from the position of the sky which you
looked towards. This also acts as a pause facility and can be
very useful in providing you with valuable information about the
These are the basic techniques to playing Sentinel; you'll
probably discover your own as your experience of the game
ONE POINT IS LEFT - HOW TO WIN
Your object is to absorb the Sentinel and any Sentries that may
Having done this, you must place yourself on top of the
Sentinel's tower and then, satisfied with your achievement, press
the Hyperspace key. After a few short seconds you will be given
an eight digit code to a further landscape. WRITE IT DOWN and
make sure you don't make a mistake!
This is your only means of getting to any other landscape than
#0000, and as such acts as a game save. When you load the game
you can get to any landscape you wish, as long as you have the
The way it works is as follows: when you are on the top of the
Sentinel's tower and you Hyperspace the program calculates how
much energy you have left (three units are taken away for the
hyperspace) and gives you the code for the landscape that
corresponds to your remaining energy. So, if you have just
finished landscape #25 with 15 units remaining, you will be given
the code to landscape #37 (25+15-3 = 37). Keep going like this,
recording all your codes, all the way to #10,000!
It is worth mentioning that once the final Sentinel has been
absorbed, then nothing else within the landscape can be absorbed.
However, you can still distribute energy, so you can chose the
next landscape that you go to. Say you have just finished
landscape #25 with 15 units remaining, rater than hyperspacing
immediately, creating one tree will leave you with 14 units,
giving you the code to landscape #36. You can use this technique
if you have problems with a specific landscape.
Supposing that landscape #37 is very difficult (no landscape is
impossible), you could return to #25, complete again and try to
end up with the code to another landscape, possibly higher than