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Commodore 64

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C64 The Sentinel Cover

The sentinel: Originalanleitung

"Beyond your wildest dreams, in a world where the only force is pure energy, stands the Sentinel. Battle against him through 10,000 lands, in the most original, compelling and addictive computer game ever devised..."

The object of the game is to absorb the Sentinel and replace him as ruler of the landscape. Once this has been achieved, you can hyperspace to a new world and begin the struggle afresh.

After the program has loaded, you'll see the title screen. Press any key and you'll be asked to input a landscape number from 0000 to 9999. If you're playing the game for the first time, type in 0000 -- this is the only level which doesn't have an 8-digit secret entry code. All the other landscapes, from 0001 to 9999, require codes which are acquired by successfully completing levels.

After entering your code, you're shown an aerial view of the landscape you're about to attempt, detailing the position of the Sentinel -- the figure standing on a tower on the highest point -- and his accompanying sentries, if any. Press any key and you're taken into the game itself.

You find yourself in a 3D world sparsely populated with Trees. Your goal is to climb to the highest point, absorb the Sentinel, transfer to his tower, then hyperspace to the next level. You climb by creating a Robot on a square higher than your current location, and then transferring to it.

But first, take a moment to look around (see KEYBOARD CONTROLS, below). The Sentinel and his sentries remain inactive until you absorb or create an object.

Once activated, the Sentinel/sentries slowly rotate, scanning the landscape for squares containing more than 1 unit of energy. Unfortunately, this means you, and any Boulders you have created. If they can clearly see such a square, the Sentinel/sentry will reduce the energy to 1 unit, absorbing 1 unit at a time and creating a Tree randomly on the landscape. Robots are worth 3 units of energy, Boulders 2, and Trees 1 - therefore, a Robot becomes a Boulder, and a Boulder becomes a Tree.

You absorb objects, such as Trees and Boulders, by turning on your sights (cursor) and centering them on the square on which the object stands. You create things in the same way - turn on your sights, find an empty square, and press the appropriate key to create a Tree/Boulder/Robot.

Boulders are particularly useful, since they act as an extension of the square surface, and can be stacked on top of each other. If you can’t see the top of a Boulder, aim your cursor at its side to create your object. This feature can be a life-saver: if you want to climb high in a hurry, stack several Boulders on top of each other, aim your cursor at the middle of the topmost Boulder, create a Robot, and transfer to it.

After you have transferred, the first thing you see is your old Robot shell. Unless you’re being scanned by the Sentinel/sentries, absorb it immediately to gain 3 quick energy points.

The amount of energy you have is shown at the top left of the screen in the form of Robots, Boulders and Tree icons. A coloured (yellow) Robot is worth 15 energy units.

The indicator on the top right of the screen is the scan warning. If the Sentinel or a sentry spots you, this indicator is filled with specks. You have about five seconds to move before your energy is drained 1 unit at a time. To move quickly, find an empty square, turn on your sights, create a Robot on the square, and press the transfer key (with your sights still on).

The total amount of energy in a landscape remains constant, so when a unit of your energy is absorbed, a Tree is placed on the landscape. Once all of your energy has been drained, you are absorbed and the game ends. Don’t forget that you always need at least 3 units of energy in order to create a Robot.

If the scan warning indicator is only half filled with specks, it means that the Sentinel/sentry can see you, but cannot see the square on which you are standing: so it cannot absorb your energy. In this situation it looks for a Tree near to you and transforms it into a Meanie.

The Meanie’s job is to flush you out, which it does by forcing you into hyperspace. The Meanie rotates quickly, making a low clicking sound, until it can see you. When it does, it hyperspaces you involuntarily to a new location.

Hyperspacing uses 3 units of energy, because it creates a new Robot in a random position and automatically transfers you to it, leaving your old Robot behind. You are likely to end up at the same height or lower, but never on your original square. If you hyperspace with less than 3 units of energy, you are destroyed.

Once the Sentinel has been absorbed, you can no longer absorb energy, although you can still create objects and transfer to other Robots. This ability to discharge energy is vital, because the amount of energy you have left when hyperspacing from one landscape determines the number of the next landscape. If you have a tiny amount of energy left, you might only skip to the next stage. If you have a lot, the leap is substantially greater.

When you want to travel to a new landscape, stand on the Sentinel’s vacated tower and press the hyperspace key. You will be given the 8-digit entry code for the new landscape, which you can then enter at the main screen as described above.

It’s worth calculating how much energy you have left when leaving a level, because you might find the next challenge too difficult. In this case, return to the most recent ‘easy’ landscape you completed, finish it again, and make sure you have more/less energy when you hyperspace this time.

S - pan left
D - pan right
L - pan up
<, - pan down
U - U-turn

SPACE - sights on/off
A - absorb
B - create Boulder
T - create Tree
R - create Robot

Q - transfer to Robot
H - hyperspace

L/R cursor - pause
Up/down cursor - unpause
8 - increase volume
7 - decrease volume

F1 - quit

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