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Used to admit a player into one of the private "secure" rooms in the upstairs area of the Inn (in the Chat area). When you are inside one of these rooms no-one else can barge in, they must stand outside the door and ask to be admitted - to do this get them to stand outside the door and type ADMIT <Name>.
The aim of the game is to reach the exalted rank of Wizard or Witch, whereupon you are granted fabulous powers over the land and all its inhabitants. To do this, you need to score points by either collecting valuable objects and dropping them in the Mad Kings Room, or by killing other players and creatures.
At first, things will be confusing and you'll probably get killed a few times - given a little perseverance though, (not to mention the blood, sweat and tears) you'll get the hang of it and things will drop into place. Chatting to the other players will often yield invaluable advice too, as well as new friends!
The BERSERK command is useful in fights as it can send you into a frenzied rage whereby you beat your opponent senseless and so get out of the fight without losing points. Use with caution though, as it doesn't work all the time and will cost you some stamina when you use it - this command is one that works more often for low level players than it does for high levels.
The BRIEF command is used to turn off the long text description that is shown as you move from one place to another - experienced players will usually select BRIEF so they can move around the game more quickly - see also VERBOSE.
Additionally you can select short or long-form fighting messages by typing BRIEF FIGHTS and VERBOSE FIGHTS.
The ChatTrack is an area where you can leave public messages for all to read, and read messages from others - To enter the ChatTrack, go to the tunnel leading between the start of the game and the Chat area, then go south into the Post Room. The description of this room contains full instructions on how to use the ChatTrack facility.
The following is a short list of some of the more common commands, you can find others using the HELP command.
tell <Player> <Message> SAY <Message>
Get <Objects>SHout <Msg>
GIve <obj> to <Player> DRop <Obj>
move <Direction> Value <Obj>
SCore/QS/SS <player> POWER <Obj>
WHere <Obj/Player> WEIGH <obj>
STeal <obj> <player> WHO
Kill <Player> <Obj> QUIT
RETaliate with <Obj> SAVE (score)
FLee <Direction> Look
QW/BW (Quick/Brief Who) GLance
SUMMON <player> BRIEF
JAUNT <to player> VERBOSE
Inventory/SI <player> SPELLS
We'd need more room that we've got here to mention everyone who deserves a credit, but a few people deserve special mentions for their contributions, notably Frobar and Ambushbug for being the very first players to make Wizard and for all their help in the formative stages of the game. All Archs deserve a special mention too for service above and beyond the call of duty, that of course includes Pippin, Lordant and Damocles. Last, but not least, thanks to everyone who has played, and to those who have suggested the many, many improvements that have made the game the success it is today.
There are many ways of "dying" in Shades, but these break down into two basic categories, which are when you get killed by a booby trap of some kind or when you get killed by a player or mobile. If you get killed by a booby trap, you lose no points (except for any treasure you happen to be carrying at the time) whereas if you get killed by another player you'll lose half your points if they attacked you, or all your points if you attacked them. There's more information about the subjects of death and fighting in the Information Centre.
There are two distinct classes of emotive commands - the first class of them is singular, for example if you type LAUGH everone in the room sees "<Yourname> roars with laughter!". The other class is the interactive emotions, for example HUG <Name>, KISS <Name> and so on type EMOTIONS to get a list of all the "built in" emotion commands.
If the provided emotions aren't enough, you can make your own up with the EMOTE command - type EMOTE by itself to get more information on how to do this.
You can fight any other player in the game, or most of the creatures that roam the land - sometimes you'll find yourself under attack and in all these cases you have the choice of running away or standing and fighting - if you get killed though you'll lose a lot of points. As there are many fine details about fighting you'll find several rooms leading off the Information Centre which explain it in greater detail.
The GIVE command is used when you want to give something to another player, for example GIVE ARNOLD THE KEY or GIVE THE BOMB TO ARNOLD.
The GLANCE command is used to show who is in the current room it's useful when a lot of people are arriving and leaving so you can keep track of who's left! This is basically the same as LOOK except it doesn't describe the actual room.
Those starting to quest, find Moats Bank and thrice south go. Take paths to West, SouthWest, NorthWest, North, Northeast, enter the hollow tree, then SouthEast and East and dig for treasure...
Those afflicted by ills or weak of stamina, a cure is given by touching the Girl and Praying in the City's Church.
The Mad Kings Chamber is fine, The Bridge also, but better by far to wait awhile for the spray to bloom.
The Information Centre is an area which contains reference material about the game - there's a detailed guide to the fight system there as well as a News Area. To get to it, go to the Chat Area (East from Lost in Darkness) then go North.
You need help? We'll do out best, but all we can do is give you an idea of how to play this game - anything else is out! New players always find the game complex, fast and confusing. To overcome this you need to play regularly and get a feel for the layout of the Land, and to get the hang of using the commands.
Try going to the Information Centre and reading some of the information in there - you can find the Information Centre easily because it is signposted near the start of the game - try going east in the Natural Cavern.
These commands are used to see what you or another player is carrying. If you use the inventory command by itself it will display what you are carrying, and if you follow it by the name of another player it will display what that player is carrying if they are in the same location as you.
The SI or SuperInventory command is the same except that it will only work for higher level players and can be used to find out what another player is carrying, even if they aren't in the same location as you.
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Wizards and Witchs are players who have already succeeded and who have reached the very pinnacle of achievment in Shades - they have fabulous powers and may well use them to aid or hinder you in your quest - most will grant you a degree of assistance if requested politely, but beware of angering or irritating them as their revenge will be extremely unpleasant, and quite possibly fatal.
You can ask one of these Immortals (politely!) to demonstrate their powers as a preview - if you are good enough to ever reach this level yourself, of course.
In addition to the Wizards and Witchs, there are a number of ArchWizards who are there to make sure the land remains relatively stable and any serious misdemeanours are dealt with swiftly and fairly. ArchWizards are relatively rarely seen, generally confining their activities to monitoring for trouble and resolving any disputes or problems that a Wizard or Witch cannot deal with, and so in one sense are more "Game Masters" or "Referees" than normal players.
Shades keeps track of players arriving and leaving, and you can use the WHENON command to see who has been about in the immediate past. Type WHENON <Name> to check for a particular player (you must give the full name, no abbreviations!) or WHENON <Number>
to list the last <number> of players. As the search is only allowed to check back a certain number of entries, you may be told how far back the system checked - this means the player you enquired about hasn't been seen since this date.
LOOK describes your current location along with any objects, players and mobiles who are in it - compare this with GLANCE. Note that as you move through the game you automatically do a LOOK whenever you enter a new location, unless you have used the BRIEF command, in which case the long room description doesn't appear when you move (enter VERBOSE to reverse the effects of BRIEF).
"Mobiles" are creatures generated by the game itself which roam the land at will, some of them you will find to be useful and others you will find to be nasty and aggressive. Occasionally you may find a mobile in your way which you have to kill before you can pass - you can estimate your chances of beating it in a fight by using the SCORE command on it, for example, SCORE SPRITE, and looking at its stamina and fighting power and comparing them with yours. Whenever you kill a mobile its value will be added to your score plus an extra percentage based on how many other players are in the game at the time.
To move around, either use compass directions eg WALK TO THE NORTH or use abbreviations, for example, NE will move you Northeast. You can also use IN, OUT, UP and DOWN.
QUIT is used to log off at the end of a session - it will disconnect you from the system and inform any other users in the same room as you of your departure. It will also save your current score.
Because Shades is a multi-user game with many players all chasing about to collect treasure and score points, eventually all the objects are collected and you may find that when you come to a new area it's already been cleaned out. To get round this, the game is RESET every so often, which means everyone is put back to the start and all the treasure is recreated, the mobiles resurrected and the puzzles reset. Immediately after a reset, speed is of the essence if you are to collect useful objects and tools that will allow you to solve puzzles and open doors - you'll hear warning bells when a reset is due.
This command is used to save your current score and status - note that in a multi-user game you can't save your current position or the items you are carrying, as if you could the items wouldn't be availableto any other players.
The SCORE command can be used to find the score of yourself, of another player or of a creature. It also displays some other info about stamina, fighting power and the value of objects carried. Note that it will only work when the player or creature SCOREd is in the same location as you.
There are two variations to SCORE, these are QS and SS - the first is QuickScore which gives a shorter display of your score, and the second is SuperScore which allows you to find the score of another player even if they are not in the same room as you.
When you get an object that's worth points (type VALUE <Object> to find out how much something is worth) you can drop it in the Mad Kings Room (amongst other places, but you'll have to find them for yourself) to have the points added to your score. The more players who are in the game the more valuable treasure becomes, this is what the "Current Value" part of SCORE means. You can also score points by killing other players and mobiles, though of course if you anger others they may wish to take their revenge....
Hint: The Mad Kings room is to the east of the Castle Courtyard.
There are a variety of spells and actions you can attempt, the more points you have the better they will work. But note also that your level, and the level of your intended victim, are also taken into account.
One of the most useful spells, which is available to all levels, is WHERE - this can be used to find another player, eg WHERE HARRY, to find an object, eg WHERE IS THE CROWN, or a creature, eg WHERE GIRL. It may not work first time, so just keep trying until it does.
A few of the other spells and actions you can try are DUMB, CRIPPLE, CURE, FORCE, STEAL, STRIP, FUMBLE, SUMMON, CONFUSE and BUTTERFINGERS.
Magic in Shades takes the form of the various spells you can use, and like most things works better as you get more experienced with it and as you reach a higher level. There are many spells, the most useful is probably the WHERE spell, which you can cast to find the location of most things, for example WHERE GOLD. To get an idea of some of the spells available to you, type SPELLS.
This command can be thought of as a spell used to find out where something else is, for example a player, an object or a mobile. You might try WHERE IS THE CROWN (or WH CROWN for short). You can find out where all the treasure is at any time by using WHERE TREASURE or WH T for short. Being a spell, the higher your level the better it will work.
This is a spell which can only be used by higher level players - it is followed by the name of a player you want to go to. If the spell works you travel to their location, although you will drop everything you are carrying.
You can talk to other players using three basic methods - you can either use SHOUT <Message>, like SHOUT HI!, in which case everyone in the game hears you, or you can use SAY <Message> (like SAY HI!) in which case everyone in the same location as you hears you, or lastly you can use TELL <name> <Message>, like TELL JOHN HI, in which case only John would hear you.
You use the SAY command to speak to other players in the same location as yourself - to see who there is type GLANCE or LOOK. If you want to speak, you type SAY followed by the message, for example, if your name was ARNOLD and you typed SAY ANYONE SEEN THE GOLD?, everyone else in the same location would see ARNOLD SAYS "ANYONE SEEN THE GOLD?".
If you want everyone in the game to hear you, you can use SHOUT followed by the message, for example, SHOUT IS THE CITY OPEN YET?. Everyone else in the game will get a message along the lines of <Yourname> SHOUTS "IS THE CITY OPEN YET?".
TELL is used to send private messages between players. For example, if you type TELL JOHN HI!, John will get a message along the lines of <Yourname> tells you "HI!". You can use TELL to talk to other players who are in other parts of the game, so in some senses it can be thought of as telepathy.
The VERBOSE command is used to reverse the effects of the BRIEF command, ie it will cause location descriptions to be automatically shown as you move from one location to the next.
The WHO and QW (QuickWho) commands are used to display the names of all the current players - QW is a slightly abbreviated listing to speed things up. There is also BW (BriefWho) which is a highly abbreviated display this also lets you see who is in other games by following the command with a game number.