If you collide with one of these past echoes then it will trigger a time paradox and the universe will be ripped to shreds (you need to restart the level). However, these past echoes are the key to reaching the exit. There are doors around each level that are opened by standing on a corresponding floor pad but once you step off the pad the door closes. If you then travel back in time your past echo will step on the pad enabling you to walk through the door.
The clock at the top of the screen continually moves round and when it reaches 12 then you will travel back in time. It is sometimes beneficial to remember at what point the clock is at when you do something significant. This will enable you to know when something is going to happen in a future time slip.
At the top left you can see how many coins you have collected and how many still remain. When you have collected enough coins to let you leave the level a fanfare will sound and the coin at the left will start to spin round.
Your scanner is at the bottom of the screen. This lets you see where your past echoes are to help you avoid them. If a past echo is nearby then a line will appear from the centre of the scanner in the direction of the echo with a picture of yourself at the end. The size of your image indicates how far away the echo is.
It wasn't always done like this, when I first started the game I kept note of the players keypresses so that their actions could be "replayed" when a timeslip occured. This, however, led to the game being even more confusing as the current player could change the actions of a past echo.
Imagine a simple scene with a door in the floor and the switch that opens it on it's right. The player first enters from the left, walks over the door and stands on the switch, opening the door. A time slip then occurs and the past echo walks in. This time the door is open and the past echo will fall down, not what happened last time. If the current player then moves the door will close. If another time slip occurs then the original echo will come in and the door will be closed again.
This is a relatively simple example and needless to say to complete fully blown level required a previous degree in quantum physics. It also meant the two past echoes could run into themselves leaving the player wondering what had happened. I'm pretty glad I changed it!
Another interesting option that was in the Acorn version was the ability to die but continue and then save yourself. If you got killed then you couldn't leave the level and you looked transparent, to represent death. If you kill the enemy that killed you at an earlier point in time then you get ressurected since you now no longer die in the first place. Wierd isn't it, I might implement this in Time Slip if anyone shows any interest in seeing it work.
Here is a list of all the level codes. The splits represent the different paths you can take through the game by leaving a level by a different exit. The last level contains a plasma space/time relay that is causing the time slip anomaly. You have to blow it up to complete the game.
Always remember that in this game it is your own actions that are likely to kill yourself in the future. It's easy to rampage around like a maniac when there are no past echoes around to avoid but you will have to contend with that later on. Sometimes it's a good idea to deliberatly jump over a spot of scenery that you can recognize so that you will know that area is safe in the future.
Similary, shooting enemies can be a bad idea as some bullets will fly off into the distance and might shoot a past echo or yourself later on. And there's no point killing an enemy just before you are about to time slip since when you go back in time he will still be alive.For more information about this site contact: David Johnston