Archon Soft-Doc by The Doc
[Anne Westfall, Jon Freeman and Paul Reiche III]
[The Light and The Dark]
Soft-Doc Written by
Apple Manor..... 654-POOF!
The Spectrum.... 202-7146
The Possession.. 356-5895
[Do not remove Credits and Boards]
THE LEGACY OF THE GNOSTICS
The world, the Gnostics said, is ruled by the great and evil Archon, whose
empire stretches as far as the firmament.
But even for Archon, life isn't easy. In another universe, there's another
He wants your empire.
The outcome of the war will determine the one, true Archon. You'll want
to make sure it's you.
You'll use every troll, basilisk and dragon you have, and all the other
slimy, conniving underlings you can find, to fight the phoenixes and
djinnis of the enemy Archon.
Make sure you have a joystick plugged in, then start the disk as you
would any other. When the Game Options menu appears, use the joystick
to move the on-screen hand. Point at the options you want select them
by pressing the joystick button. When you're ready to play, point at
"Accept the Options, Begin the Battle" and press the button (or Return,
on the keyboard). For additional instructions, see the manual (bottom).
Note: To use the Two Players, Two Joysticks option, you must have an
Apple II, II+ or IIe and an adapter which will accept two joysticks.
The adapter must use PDL 2, PDL 3 and PB 1 inputs for the second
joystick. If you choose one of the other two-player options, see
Controlling Movement From the Keyboard on the bottom.
ADDITIONAL KEYSTROKE CONTROLS
Press Esc to pause. Press any key to restart.
Press Control-R to end a game and return to the game options menu.
The Theme From Archon music, by T.V. Dunbar, was entered with Will
Harvey's Music Construction Set.
CONTROLLING MOVEMENT FROM THE KEYBOARD
Movement from the keyboard is controlled with a set of 9 keys. A 10th
key is used to select a piece for movement on the strategy board and to
fire in the combat arena.
The computer will present you with a pre-chosen key set (called the
default set). To change to different keys, point at the word Keyboard
with the on-screen hand and press the joystick button, then type in
the keys you want. The cursor will automatically move to the next
possibility after each one you type. Continue typing until you've
entered something for all ten keys. Here's how the keys work:
On the strategy board, use the 9 movement keys to move the selection
frame in the direction suggested by each key's location. For example,
if you are using the default set, press the U key to move the frame
one square diagonally up and to the left, press the I key to move it
straight up, etc. When the frame is over the piece you want to move,
press the fire key (the F key in the default set) to select that piece.
Then use the movement keys to move the piece and press the fire key
again when you are finished moving.
In the combat arena, pressing a movement key starts the icon moving
in the direction of the key. To stop it, press the key in the center of
the 9 key movement set (the K key in the default set). To change
direction, press a different movement key. To fire, press the fire key
and a movement key simultaneously. You will fire in the direction of
the movement key.
ABOUT THE LUMINOSITY CYCLE
Some of the squares on the board wax and wane between light and dark
during the game--and important fact, since light pieces fight better
on light squares and dark pieces fight better on dark squares.
The luminosity cycle is at the light peak when the squares that change
color are the same color as the home square for the Wizard. The
luminosity cycle is at the dark peak when the squares that change
color are the same color as the home square for the Sorceress. When the
cycle reaches a peak, it reverses and begins to chang toward the opposite
The direction the cycle is proceeding may be reversed by using the Shift
Time spell described on the bottom. If Shift Time is cast while the
cycle is at a peak, it will shift immediately to the opposite peak.
THE GAME. ARCHON depicts the eternal struggle between Light and Darkness
as a contest of action and strategy between opposing forces wrought from
myth and legend. The Light Side and the Dark Side are equal in number,
balanced in strength, but not identical. Their aim, however, is the same:
conquest of the five "power points" or the elimination of the opposite
ICONS. The various fantastic creatures at your command are represented
by specific images--"icons"--stylized pictures of knights, goblins,
manticores, and the like.
There are 18 icons--a total of eight different kinds on each side.
None of yours are identical to any of the icons on the other side.
THE TWO SCREENS. ARCHON is played on two screens. On one--the strategy
screen--you and your opponent take turns maneuvering your icons into
favorable positions. When you place an icon on a square already
occupied by one of your opponent's icons, the game shifts temporarily
to the second display, the combat arena.
HOSTILITIES. In old-fashioned and--admit it--somewhat dull board games
(chess, backgammon, and their ilk), the "defending" piece gets removed
quietly from the board, and the "attacker" wins the "battle"--and the
square--without a blow being struck.
In ARCHON, we do not allow such a docility, such rank defeatism on
the part of the defender. No! If you want that square, you have to
fight for it! When you try to occupy a square held by the enemy, the
disputed square expands to fill the entire screen...and then, in the
words of a certain orange-skinned monster of comic-book fame,
"IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!!!"
THE LUMINOSITY CYCLE. ARCHON'S strategy screen CHANGES. While some squares
are always white or always black, others--"luminance" squares--vary in
brightness throughout the game in a simple pattern: black--dark--barely dark--
barely light--light--white...and reverse. Back and forth, throughout the
game, the cycle continues, the luminance shifting after every other
Your fortunes in the game tend to ebb and flow with the luminosity cycle.
This is because icons of the Light Side are harder to defeat on light
squares than on dark ones. Conversely, Dark Side icons are stronger on
dark squares and weakest on white ones.
POWER POINTS. The five "power points" are indicated on the screen by flashing
red symbols. Icons on power points heal faster than usual and are protected
from the effects of magic spells. If your icons occupy all five power
points, you win the game.
MOVEMENT. If the hollow square or "frame" is on your side, it's your
turn. (Simple, eh?) Use your joystick to move the frame atop the icon
you want. Once you push the button to confirm your choice, you MUST
MOVE THAT ICON SOMEWHERE. (If an icon has nowhere to go, the computer
will not allow you to "pick it up.") Once you move the icon to its
destination (again, with the joystick), push the button again, and the
obedient image will freeze in place.
Movement comes in three flavors: GROUND, FLY, AND TELEPORT. GROUND movers
cannot move through occupied squares; FLIERS are restricted only in where
they land. Fliers can also move diagonally; GROUND icons cannot. Only the
Wizard and Sorceress can TELEPORT, but for practical purposes you can think
of them as FLIERS in disguise.
On any turn, you can move an icon as far as its range allows in any
direction or combination of directions. It can stop on any square not
already occupied by one of your own icons.
Note: If you change your mind while maneuvering a GROUND mover, you must
BACKTRACK. Otherwise, the computer, being very literal-minded, will assume
you are trying to extend your move unlawfully.
COMBAT.Action in the combat arena is immediate and simultaneous; there is
no taking turns. Joystick direct movement of the icons. Pressing the
button initiates an attack--swinging a sword, firing an arrow, casting a
fireball--in the direction the joystick is pointed. You can attack or move
in any of eight directions: up, down, left, right, and the four diagonals.
IMPORTANT: your icon cannot move while the button is pressed.
Combat is of three general types. Knights and Goblins are sword-swingers
and club-wielders; they must be very near an opponent to inflict damage.
The Banshee and the Phoenix inflict damage in a circular area around
themselves; the longer the opposing icon is in that circle, the greater
the damage it sustains. Such "area" attacks need not be aimed.
All the other icons "throw" missiles of some sort and can, consequently,
do damage from a considerable distance. See QUICK REFERENCE for a detailed
comparison of the speed ("Attack speed") of an damage done ("Attack Force")
by the different missiles.
THE ATTACK INTERVAL. While combat is fast and furious, you can't just fire
away as fast as your finger twitches. It takes a moment to raise a sword
into position to strike; longer to conjure even a fast fireball; and the
better part of two whole seconds (!) to rip a boulder out of the ground
and lift it high enough to throw.
Pushing the button before your icon is ready to strike will accomplish
nothing--except to keep your icon from moving. At the exact instant you
can launch another attack, the computer rings a bell--a high note for the
Light Side, a lower one for the Dark Side--to let you know.
BARRIERS. The obstacles or barriers in the arena go through luminosity
cycles of their own. Be careful: they can be as tricky as an opponent!
Normally, a barrier is impenetrable. However, when its cycle changes
a barrier's luminance to exactly match the color of the background, the
barrier DISAPPEARS...for a few seconds. You can walk over it, shoot past
it, anything. It's gone.
Furthermore, for a few seconds before a barrier vanishes and after it
reappears, you CAN walk or fire a missile through it, but you (or the
missile) will be SLOWED DOWN.
If this seems at all confusing, just remember that the more solid a
barrier LOOKS, the more solid it is. If you have any doubts, avoid the
barriers entirely--and get out of the way of oncoming missiles.
LIFE, DEATH, AND WOUNDS. The "lifelines" at either end of the arena
indicate the current lifespan (health/strength) of the two battling
icons. When an icon is wounded, its matching lifeline is reduced in
proportion to the severity of the wound. When its lifeline is gone,
the icon is "dead" and combat is over.
A victorious icon returns to the strategy screen in control of the
disputed square. However, a seriously wounded icon is easier to defeat
the next time it is forced to fight. Even the strongest icon can be
worn down by waves of attackers.
On the strategy screen, wounded icons are healed slowly by the simple
passage of time; more quickly, by resting on a power point; or instantly
and completely, by a HEAL spell.
Magic is arguably the most significant strategic element in ARCHON. Only the
two mages (magicians)--the Wizard and the Sorceress--can cast spells, and
each mage can cast each spell only once. While the spells are powerful, they
have one drawback: each spell weakens the mage casting it, leaving that
mage progressively less able to defend itself against direct attack.
A spell may be cast instead of a regular move on the strategy screen. Simply
move the frame atop your mage, as if you were going to move it. Push the
button, and the usual message appears. Without moving the icon, however,
just push the button AGAIN, and you will get a new message: "SELECT YOUR
Push the joystick up or down to survey the spells still available, and
push the button when you find the one you want. If further actions on your
part are required, additional messages will direct you appropriately.
Remember that you can't conjure the same spell more than once, and you
can't cast a spell against power points or icons on them. Details are
EFFECT: This spell moves--teleports--any one of your icons ANY DISTANCE
from one square on the strategy screen to another.
ACTIONS REQUIRED: After selecting the spell, move the frame to the icon
you want; push the button; and then move the icon to its destination--
just as if it were a normal move.
RESTICTIONS: You cannot move an enemy icon. You cannot move onto a square
already occupied by one of your OWN icons (as usual). You cannot teleport
ONTO or OFF a power point. You cannot teleport an IMPRISONED icon. (See
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Do not confuse this spell with a mage's normal three-square
movement. That is minor magic, on the same order as casting fireballs, and
is bound by the restrictions of the seven major spells.
EFFECT: This spell instantly heals any icon of all wounds it has sustained
in the combat arena.
ACTIONS REQUIRED: After selecting a spell, move the frame to the wounded
icon, and push the button.
RESTRICTIONS: You cannot heal an icon resting on a power point. You CAN
"heal" an already healthy icon, but why bother?
EFFECT: Two effects are possible. Most often, the spell reverses the flow
of time: i.e., the direction of the luminosity cycle of the delta squares.
Squares that had been growing gradually darker would now grow lighter--
until the cycle peaked. However, if the spell is cast when the luminosity
cycle is at either peak, SHIFT TIME will cause the cycle to shift adruptly
to the opposite extreme (from black to white, or vice versa).
ACTIONS REQUIRED: None after selecting the spell.
EFFECT: This spell causes any two icons on the strategy screen to trade places.
ACTIONS REQUIRED: Move the frame to one of the icons you wish to transpose,
and push the button. Then do the same to the other icon.
RESTRICTIONS: Neither icon can be imprisoned or on a power point.
EFFECT: This spell allows you to attack any enemy icon with a new, temporary
icon representing one of four elementals--animated spirits of the ancient
elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Combat is conducted in the combat
arena as usual, except that the elemental vanishes after the battle, win
ACTIONS REQUIRED: Once the spell is selected and the elemental appears on your
side of the strategy screen, move it to the icon you wish to attack. In the
combat arena, direct the elemental just as you would any other icon.
RESTRICTIONS: You cannot attack an icon on a power point. You cannot direct
the elemental to a vacant square or one occupied by one of your own icons.
You cannot choose which elemental will respond to your summons.
EFFECT: This spell restores to the game an icon previously lost ("killed")
ACTIONS REQUIRED: The procedure is similar to a TELEPORT spell or a normal
move, except that the revived icon comes from a special display by the
side of the strategy screen, and its destination must be a vacant square
next to the mage.
RESTRICTIONS: You cannot "revive" an icon not already dead. One of the
(initially five) squares adjoining your mage must be vacant, and you must
put the revived icon on one of those vacant squares.
EFFECT: This spell keeps an icon on the strategy screen from leaving its
square. The icon can fight its attackers in the combat arena, but it cannot
be moved off its square. Important: AN IMPRISONED MAGE CANNOT CAST SPELLS!
Imprisonment is temporary. A Dark Side icon would remain imprisoned until
the delta squares turn black; a Light Side icon would be freed when the delta
squares turn white.
ACTIONS REQUIRED: Once the spell is cast, move the frame to the target icon,
and push the button.
RESTRICTIONS: You cannot imprison an icon on a power point. You cannot
imprison any icon at a time when the luminosity cycle would automatically
This is not a spell; it is a way to avoid casting a spell if you miscalculate.
If you change your mind while selecting a spell, or if the spell you want is
unavailable or canceled, you may push the button when CEASE CONJURING is
displayed. This will allow you to start your turn over.
THE OPPOSING FORCES
An ancient man of vast supernatural power, the WIZARD is the leader of the
Light Side. In battle, the Wizard casts devastating balls of fire. He rarely
ventures from the safety of his home power point, however, and is more
commonly used to cast one of the seven spells.
Resembling a great white horse with the tail of a lion and a sharp, spiral
horn set at its brow, the UNICORN is swift and agile. The beautiful creature
can fire blinding bolt of energy from its magical horn.
The ARCHERS are fearless Amazon warriors of legendary skill with their fine,
whitewood bows. They are endowed with magical quivers that can never be
A GOLEM is an artificial being, shaped from stone and gleaming metal, and
animated by magic. Roughly man-shaped, it is huge, twice the height of a man.
Its weapons are boulders ripped from the earth and hurled with devastating
VALKYRIES are beauteous blonde war maidens from the legions of Valhalla.
Each of these ferocious females is endowed with two great magical gifts:
first, the ability to stride the air as if it were solid ground; and,
second, an enchanted spear, which, when thrown, returns to her hand of
its own accord.
The DJINNI is a magical being from another dimension, a plane of tempest
and storm. In form he is a huge, superbly muscled man whose body is
partly flesh and partly swirling currents of air. A cousin to the wind
itself, the Djinni can raise a small tornado with a gesture and control
it with a thought.
The PHOENIX is a flaming bird of immense size and power. In battle it
can explode into a seething mass of fire, scorching anyone on the
perimeter of the blaze and burning severely any enemy unfortunate enough
to be caught near the incandescent core. Not only is the Phoenix
unscathed by its fiery metamorphosis, it cannot be harmed by any attack
The KNIGHTS are foot soldiers armed and armored against foes far larger
than themselves. Although they cannont withstand more than one blow from
many of their enemies, they need not be mere cannon (or dragon) fodder.
Provided they are swift and clever, their speed of attack gives them a
chance to survive and triumph.
The equal of the old Wizard only in power, the eternally young and ever
beautiful SORCERESS is his counterpart in all ways. Her lightning bolts
are swifter and surer than his fireballs, if a shade less potent. Fierce
in battle but safest on the black power point, she is most often used to
cast the seven spells.
The BASILISK is a small, crested reptile with the scaly body of a lizard
and the bulbous, glowing eyes of a gorgon. Although it is relatively
shortlived, the beast's quick movements and deadly glance make it a
The MANTICORE resembles a large golden lion with a human face and a scorpion's
thorny tail. This nasty appendage bristles with great quills like spikes,
which the fell beast can fling over its head with surprising accuracy.
A dweller in caves and dark places, the misshapen TROLL is a shambling giant,
dull but strong, clumsy but hard to slay. Like the Golem, it carriers
no ready-made weapons; instead, it seizes boulders, tree trunks--whatever
comes to hand--and catapults the massive objects at its enemies.
The SHAPESHIFTER is a doppleganger, a demonic creature without true shape
or form, save what it steals from enemies. In battle it becomes the mirror
image of its opponent, strongest on squares where its enemy is weakest,
turning the enemy's powers against itself. It has no fixed lifespan: all
wounds that do not prove fatal will heal as soon as it assumes a new form.
The DRAGON, a monstrous, serpentine reptile, is without peer in the combat
arena. One gout of its flaming breath will kill many creatures, and a
second blast is almost always fatal. Highly mobile and very difficult to
slay, its awesome powers make it second in value only to the Sorceress.
The BANSHEE is an undead spirit that feeds off the souls of her opponents,
a ghostly apparition that attacks with her keening wail, draining the life
from anyone in range of the sound (the shaded area around her). Prolonged
exposure to the terrifying shriek can be fatal.
GOBLINS are hideous dwarves, twisted of limb and misshapen of feature,
unfriendly and often violent. Their mutal antagonism is kept in check only
by the powers of the Sorceress. On dark ground their gnarled clubs are more
than a match for the swords of the Knights, and if well-directed they can
bring down the most potent of enemies.
#=Number on Side
Unicorn-Ground 4-Normal-Energy bolt-Moderate-Fast-Short-Average-2
Valkyrie-Fly 3-Normal-Magic spear-Moderate-Slow-Average-Average-2
Phoenix-Fly 5-Normal-Fiery explosion-Great-Slow-Long-Long-1
Knight-Ground 3-Normal-Sword-Minor-Instant-Very Short-Short-7
Sorceress-Teleport 3-Normal-Lightning bolt-Moderate-Fast-Average-Average-1
Basilisk-Ground 3-Normal-Eye beam-Great-Fast-Short-Short-2
Manticore-Ground 3-Normal-Tail Spikes-Minor-Slow-Average-Average2
Dragon-Fly 4-Normal-Fiery breath-Very great-Medium-Long-Very Long-1
Goblin-Ground 3-Normal-Club-Minor-Instant-Very short-Short-7
THIS SOFT-DOC WRITTEN BY: [THE DOC] ON [AUGUST 26, 1984]
SUPPLIED BY: [DEXTER X]
ENJOY THE GAME AND DON'T REMOVE THE CREDITS, SINCE THIS SOFT-DOC TOOK ME
SEVERAL HOURS OF VAULABLE TIME. [DEDICATED A WHOLE SATURDAY NIGHT FOR THIS]
APPLE MANOR........... 654-POOF! THE SPECTRUM............ 202-7146
THE POSSESSION........ 356-5895 THE SOUTH POLE.......... 677-7140
THE CURSE............. 920-3576 ADVENTURER'S TAVERN..... 538-3103
THE SPECTRUM ELITE ROX!
Electronic Arts (tm)  571-7171 [*] 1984 The Doc [K] 1984 The Burglar