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Continuum

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Continuum

Continuum

Developer George Pelonis
Publishers Freeware
FURY
Release Date 2010
Genre Puzzle
Mode Single player only
Media Cartridge
ROM file
Preceded by Sectis
Followed by Hellhole: Sector-X IV

StoryEdit

(from the instructions) Traverse time and space. Unravel the mysterious Vortex of Lost Souls. Solve the Leviathan Conundrum. Decipher the Enigma of Sorrow.

GameplayEdit

Continuum is mostly a puzzle game that requires the player to solve 10 puzzles by moving their ship over onscreen vortexes in a certain order to complete the puzzles and advance through the game.

The player can only change a vortex marked with a square inside it (meaning that the vortex is open) and if the corresponding vortex that the player is transported to is not closed (marked with an ‘X’). If the player passes their ship over an open vortex, and the exit vortex that they are to be transported to is closed, the player’s ship will take one unit of damage to their shields, the ship will remain in place and the puzzle will remain unchanged. (Passing over a closed vortex will also not affect the puzzle.) If the player’s shields take five hits their ship will be destroyed and the game will end. If the player can solve a puzzle, whatever damage their shields took during a round will be restored back to full strength at the start of the next puzzle screen.

Some puzzles also have additional entities included in them, such as sectoids, which instantly attach themselves to the player’s ship at the start of a new puzzle and fly around in close proximity to the ship. If the player does not shoot the sectoid quick enough the sectoid will start causing damage to the player’s shields (if not totally destroy the player’s ship if its shields take five hits of damage). The fifth puzzle also has a pair of Mourning Stars that will head straight for the middle vortex; if they collide with the player’s ship they will destroy it. Also, if they collide with each other and the player is too close to the ensuing explosion that will also destroy the player’s ship and end the game.

If the player is stuck on a puzzle (i. e. all vortexes are closed and there is no way to complete the puzzle) and cannot solve it they can self-destruct their ship and end the game then.

ControlsEdit

  • Start game–any button
  • Turn ship–joystick or D-pad (left and right)
  • Fire–button 4
  • Thrust–button 3
  • Self-destruct–button 1

Puzzles/descriptionsEdit

  1. The Blackest Heart (this puzzle has vortex boxes somewhat making the shape of a ram)
  2. The Judas Paradox (a 3 x 3 row of boxes making up a square)
  3. Sectilius Demonicus (five boxes making up a plus sign shape; the puzzle starts off with a sectoid latched onto the player’s ship)
  4. The Darkest Star (two boxes on top, one in the middle, three on bottom)
  5. The Flames of Perdition (the same 3 x 3 row of boxes as The Judas Paradox, although two Mourning Stars will emerge from corners of the screen on a direct collision course, converging at the middle box)
  6. The Wages of Sin (five boxes in a straight horizontal line; the puzzle begins with a sectoid)
  7. The Eyes of Baphomet (two rows of three boxes at the top and bottom of the screen)
  8. The Elysian Crux (nine boxes make up a giant cross)
  9. The Enigma of Sorrow (nine boxes form a giant ‘X’)
  10. The Leviathan Conundrum (one box at the top and bottom, two rows of two boxes each, three boxes in the middle)

TriviaEdit

  • Less than 200 copies were made of the game. Once the game sold out, it made the quickest transition to being a free download as a FURY game to date, being available only days after it sold out.
  • The included instructions were very scant, barely having any information in regards to the gameplay at all (only one full page!).
  • A few of the puzzles (The Eyes of Baphomet, The Darkest Star) show a brief picture when solved before the next puzzle screen starts up.
  • The majority of the preceding game of Sectis was a multi-directional shooter with a few puzzle elements. Continuum is mostly a puzzle game with a shooter and a few action elements.
  • The second puzzle, The Judas Paradox, is the exact same puzzle (and can be solved in the exact same manners) that was found in the second level of Sectis. The sectoids and the Mourning Stars from the fifth puzzle were also in Sectis as well.
  • This was the third in a series of five games, as it was preceded by 3D Sector-X and Sectis, was followed by Hellhole: Sector-X IV, and will be concluded with a fifth Sector-X game (originally titled Sector-X V: The War in Heaven, but this has been canceled for now as the series has taken a new direction).
  • The title screen music is the same for the first three games of the series.
  • Limited editions of Continuum The Infernal Tetramorph, The 7 Pillars of Purgatory and Continuum Time Warp were also released, being 10 box sets with one extra puzzle each (which contained the 10 puzzles that made up the regular limited release of Continuum), which also came in special packaging and had bonus items as well. The extra puzzle was the first puzzle in each game, followed by the 10 puzzles from the original release of Continuum.
  • This was the first FURY game at the time of release whose copies were not individually numbered[1].

LinksEdit

  • Official site (the game can be downloaded for emulators here)
  • Brief YouTube video showing only the first few puzzles (plus solutions)
  • Game solution to all puzzles and a review can be seen by clicking on the appropriate tabbers below.

Walkthrough/solutionEdit

Note: this is strictly a solution to the game, and won’t be going over any of the controls or gameplay, so hit the tabber back to the main page if you need any of that. Thanks.

The Blackest Heart solution: thrust into one of the vortexes at a diagonal from your starting point, being at either point A (see screenshot in Gallery) or B. You will emerge at either the vortex marked with a 1 or 2 depending on which one you chose (i. e. if you chose vortex A to start with, you will appear at vortex 1, if you chose vortex B, you will appear at vortex 2). Thrust down to bottom middle vortex C, then repeat at the opposite side, hitting either the lower vortexes of 1 or 2, which will send you to vortex A or B and complete the puzzle.

The Judas Paradox: there are several possible ways to solve this one, being two short and one long way.

The shortest ways involve thrusting in a straight line, hitting vortexes as you go: hitting the top center vortex will take you to the bottom center one. Keep flying straight up until you hit the center vortex again. Hit the top center vortex again, then the middle one again to solve the puzzle. This can be done the same way by traveling left or right: turn right, hit the center right vortex box, which takes you to the left center box. Hit the middle vortex again, then the right one again, then the middle one again to finish the level, or do it the exact same way but by thrusting left.

The long way involves thrusting into each center vortex, then the middle vortex box after every one. For example, fly straight up and hit the top middle vortex, which takes you to the bottom middle. Fly into the middle vortex, then the right center vortex, fly into the middle vortex again, then the bottom middle, hit the middle vortex, again, then the left middle vortex, and then the middle vortex one final time and you’re out. This can be done in any order (down/middle/up/middle/right/middle/left/middle, for instance), just as long as the center vortex is flown into every other time, and not messing with any of the vortexes in any of the corners at all.

Sectilius Demonicus: this one starts off with a sectoid latched onto your ship, so you’re going to have to kill it before proceeding. After that, just fly continuously one way and that will solve the puzzle: hit the top vortex box, then the middle, top, then middle again to solve it, or fly straight left or right, hitting all vortexes in the same manner (by flying straight in one direction, either going left or right) to solve the puzzle.

The Darkest Star: thrust down to the A vortex (see picture), which will transport you to either the 1 or 2 vortex. Then thrust to the opposite diagonal vortex from where you started from, i. e. if you arrived at vortex 1, then you’ll thrust to vortex C, then repeat on the other side, starting at vortex B and then flying into vortex 2 to finish the puzzle.

The Flames of Perdition: first off, get as far away from the two converging Mourning Stars as possible, before they collide and take you out with their ensuing explosion (or before they collide with you and end your game that way). After that, this puzzle can be solved somewhat in the same manner as taking the long way in The Judas Paradox.

Fly to the A vortex (see photo), which takes you to the bottom left corner vortex. Fly into the middle vortex (1). Beware, this will set off the Mourning Stars, so get out of the way again. Fly into the B vortex (top, center) to reappear at the bottom middle vortex, then fly into 1 and dodge the Mourning Stars again. Then fly into the C vortex and into 1 to leave the puzzle.

The Wages of Sin: kill the sectoid first off. After that, fly into either one of the outermost vortexes, which are marked (see photo) by either A or B. Thrust into the middle vortex, then thrust into either one of the “inside” vortexes (i. e. the ones on either side of the middle vortex, marked with a 1 or 2), then thrust into the middle box to solve the puzzle. (Note: an easy way to remember this is OMIM [Outside/Middle/Inside/Middle vortexes].)

The Eyes of Baphomet: fly into one of the bottom vortexes at the left or right side of the screen, being either A or B (see photo). This will transport you to either the 1 or 2 vortexes. After that, fly into the bottom middle vortex, then hit either the 1 or 2 vortex and finish the puzzle by flying into either A or B (whichever one is left).

The Elysian Crux: fly into A vortex (see photo), then the vortex in the very center of the screen. Fly into B vortex, hit the middle vortex again, then fly into C and then the very center vortex to solve the puzzle.

The Enigma of Sorrow: fly into the A vortex (see photo, being the one lower diagonal left from the very middle vortex), then into the middle vortex. From there fly into the very bottom, diagonal left vortex of B, hit the middle vortex again, then fly into C at the very upper left to exit the puzzle.

The Leviathan Conundrum: the player starts at vortex B (see photo). Fly into the A vortex, which is the left vortex in the second from the last row on the bottom of the screen. This will take you to the very top vortex; fly into B, then into C in the very same row (being the last box on the right). Fly into B again, then D, being the right vortex in the second row from the bottom, and then thrust into B one last time to beat the game and wonder what the upcoming sequel of Hellhole: Sector-X IV will have in store for you...

(Solution guide by Darrylb500)

ReviewEdit

Continuum is still one of the very few puzzle games for the Vectrex, so this is a welcome addition to the scant void of this genre for the machine.

Like the main page says here, destroy any sectoids in a puzzle, avoid the Mourning Stars in the fifth puzzle, and figure out what vortex boxes to steer your ship into in between those dangers order to advance to the next puzzle. That's simple enough, and this is a pretty good thinking game.

The graphics to the sectoids are fairly good, although they're unchanged from the previous Sectis game, but with the majority of the content being vortexes here, the graphics average out to being pretty simple, and if this game came out on a current game console, it'd come with an epilepsy warning! Boy, those flashing boxes can really do in the eyeballs! There's also not much sound, but it's adequate, although I've never liked the sound of your ship thrusting around (as it sounds like a mosquito).

About the only bad things about this game is that one, there are people out there that once they beat a game they will never play it again. I'm not one of those, and I kept playing this for a couple of weeks after I beat it (for some reason), but for those that aren't like that there's nowhere else to go from there. The second bad thing is that before this happens, you have to go through several previous puzzles over and over again until you figure out the current one you're stuck on, and then it might be a while before you can figure it out. Granted, the game is out now as a free download, so you can save the game at whatever puzzle you're stuck on with an emulator, luckily, but for those who bought this game before that happened, it probably got a bit old with them too, I imagine.

And last as far as the negativity goes, the game has pretty much the exact same ending as the previous Sectis, which stinks. If I remember correctly (I'll admit I'm being too lazy to look it up), the game is just 16-18K in size, which, like with Sectis, could have had a cinematic part to the end (as Sectis had a mini-movie at the beginning of all levels). This could have been done here, showing the player's ship approaching a fullscreen version of whatever entity might be found in the next installment of Hellhole: Sector-X IV, unless it's too early in the planning stages to call (kind of like how some people didn't like the change between the ending of the Evil Dead 2 movie and the beginning of Army of Darkness, where at first Ash looked to be the hero, then that changed once Darkness was released). I mean, just having it say "end" again...c'mon, that's just lazy! I'll admit I still had a grin appear on my face when I first solved it though, but still, I'd like a little more than that. (Later edit: programmer George Pelonis has since let me know that this game was a rush job in order to have it out in time for a game show. I didn't mean "lazy" in regards to how many games he had come out with [three in the same year], just the same ending for Sectis and this one. Sectis was a full 32K and he had no more space.)

And in conclusion, this is one of the few Vectrex games out (I think) where it does a good job of making you feel stupid, since you could take quite a bit of time figuring out how to solve a puzzle, then when you finally got through it, you'd say "oh, THAT'S all you had to do!", since most of the solutions are actually pretty simple, not requiring a lot of moves.

Can't say that too often for a Vectrex game. 7/10

(review by Darrylb500)

ReferencesEdit

  1. E-mail from Pelonis.


This article was featured from July - September, 2012.

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