SHADES - The Rough Guide

The following is intended to be a quick and rough introduction into the world of shades for NEW players. it does not pretend to go into detail, nor to provide tactics. it is merely meant to give novices an idea of the basis of the game.


The Game.

The idea of the game is too amass enough points to reach the rank of Immortal, there are several ways that this can be done:-

a) Collecting treasure

Dotted around the land are various items of treasure, many are simply laying on the ground and others can only be found by performing certain actions or solving puzzles.

Some items also have other uses apart from scoring points, these uses you will discover as you become more experienced.

So what do you do with all this treasure then?..well there are a few places in the land where you can dispose of it to collect its value ( to see how much a piece of treasure is worth type V <name> ie V coin, V stands for Value ). The easiest place is in the Mad Kings Room which can be found just inside the castle. Simply go there, drop your treasure ( instead of dropping each item indivually, just type DR T ). As soon as you have done this the value of your treasure will be added to your score ( type SC to see your current score ).

There are also other places that treasure can be disposed of that actually increase it's value, again you will soon find out about these.

If you are having trouble finding some treasure simply type WH T ( you may need to try this a few times until it works ), you will then be presented with a list of all the locations of where the treasure is hiding, you can then refer to your map (you have made one haven't you!) and go get it.

b) Mobiles

Roaming the land you will come across several creatures such as the thief, the crow to name but two. You can gain points by killing these, but be warned, you will need a weapon for most of them as only a couple can be killed using your bare hands. ( see later section regarding fighting)

c) Others players

Many points can earned by slaughtering other players or warding off other players attackes, more of this later,

There are also other ways of scoring points, for example performing certain axtions or solving puzzle, these you will discover as you become more experienced.

Gettin Started.

The very first thing you should do is make a map, the land is large and exploring it for a while and taking notes of where places are will help you enormously ( to aid map making you can type EX in each loaction, this will show you which directions lead where ). Some areas of the land will be inaccesable to you until you gain experience. Look at each location as sometimes vital clues will he held in it's description ( create a second personna and keep his score low and use it for mapping without fear of being attacked by other players )

Visit the Information Center which you will find located off of the natural cavern, here you will find lots of useful information about the game and it's commands.

Give the game time, don't expect to pick things up in a few minutes, heck some people have been playing it for years and still don't know their way around :-).

The sotware that you use will have a great bearing on both your success and in your enjoyment of the game. Using the Java link from the web page is ok for just looking around but is not recommended if you decide to play the game seriously. Ideally you should use telnet software with at least programmable function keys as a minimum but to really get the most from the game I recommend that you if you are using a PC you download a copy of Zmud which is available from www.zuggsoft.zom

Zmud allows you to program in various functions such as routes, auto-mapping, macros and is indispensable for use in player fighting.
If using a MAC then have a word with Kali or Bluebirf who will probably give you a few hints if you ask them nicely.

The Novice Game

There is a special game reserved for new players, the novice game. At the game prompt simply type NOVICE to enter it. You will then find yourself on Game 5. This game is only to be used for new players and as such only those players with a  SCORE of under 8000 points are allowed access to it.

Use this game to explore and map without the fear of being attacked by other more experienced players, of course there is nothing to stop other new players attacking you or indeed the mobiles from getting a piece of the action, but overall it should be safer than playing on the main game.


As your score increases so does your chance of being attacked by other players so it is essential that you learn how to defend yourself. There are many players in the game whose sole aim is too kill other players. Most of these killers use software such as Zmud to aid them. Although I won't go into the tactics of fighting it must be said that you do need to be using software such as Zmud to stand any chance in defending yourself.

YOU WILL GET KILLED as you learn the game but please don't get put off, everyone started in your position and most of them learnt to defend themselves ( or run fast ). It may take a while, but you WILL get there.

A good place to get in some fighting practise is in the regular Bloodbaths held every Sunday at 9pm GMT. here you can fight to your hearts content without losing any points. You may also find other players in the game that are willing to help you...just ask!

There are some unwritten rules regarding attacking new players and if you feel you are being victimised please do not hesitate to complain, either to an Immortal or to me

It is hoped that these killer players do not overkill new players but as in any thing there are always those that choose not to play fair....

Of course, you don't have to fight if you don't want too. There are several options available to you. the first is to simply flee from a fight. All you have to do is type FL O and you will leave the fight, but be warned, this does cost you a some points each time you do it and the attacker is most likely to re-attack you. The only defense for this is to quit the game, by typing QQ as soon as you have fled. Of course you could simply quit as soon as you are attacked, but this will cost you twice the amount of points you would have lost by fleeing first.

Secondly, you can BERSERK, this command will throw both you and your attacker out of the game with no loss of stamina or points. There is a downside to using this however, the higher you score or level the less chance it has of working and at Sorcerer (50000 points) and above the chance is almost zero. 9although it has been know for some necromancers to successfully use the command!). Also every failed attempt will cost you 10 stamina (see later regarding stamina) points. A handy tip here if using Zmud or similar software that allows you to repeat the last command is to type BERSERK and then keep your finger on the repeat key until it works (hopefully). You can also use BERSERK to get out of fights with mobiles. ( BERSERK can't be used if YOU started the fight! )

Stamina and Fighting Mobiles.

One of the most inportant things that you should keep an eye on when fighting a mobile is both your stamina and that of the mobile. Keeping tabs on your own is easy as you can see it on your screen every time the mobile hits you. But, in order to decide if you are likely to win the fight you need to know what stamina the mobile is on!

You can simply do this by typing SC <mobile> ie SC THIEF during the fight. you will then see the state of your oppent.

Another vital factor is the fight power of the mobile, just as you have a fight powers, type SC to see it, so does every mobile.

The fight power is the amount of stamina taken off each time a blow is exchanged. You can increase YOUR fight power by using a weapon. Each Weapon in Shades has its own power, type POWER <WEAPON>  ie POWER AXE to find it.

For example the axe has a power of 20. using a weapon in a fight increases YOUR fight power by that amount. So therefore if you have a fight power of 10 and you use the axe then your fight power increases to 30 (10 + 20).

Once a mobile attacks you, and if you are carrying a weapon then simply type RET <WEAPON> ie RET AXE to use it. You will then be using that weapon ( you only need to type RET once! ).

Mobiles can't steal your weapon, with the exception of the thief, who, if he does, will magically put it in his room so you can't steal it back from him, but at least he doesn't start using it!

After a fight you will need to top up your stamina, there are several ways of doing this, the most usual being to look out for a strange little girl roaming the land and touching her. Always keep your stamina at it's maximum whereever possible.

Don't start picking fights with mobiles until you are more experienced, of course there is nothing stopping them attacking you of course!

The Reset.

Every 45 minutes the game resets, all puzzles go back to their unsolved states, all doors get locked and all the treasure gets placed back into it's original location. The oncoming of a reset is marked in two ways, when there are 10 minutes to go you will 'hear' a bell ring three times, when there are 2 minutes to go you will 'hear' a bell ring uregently. When you hear this urgent bell get rid of all your treasure as soon as you can otherwise you will lose it's value if the reset comes first.

If at any time you want to see how long there is to go, simply type WHEN


Shades is a violent game and until you get used to it the chances are that you will die a few times, be it either through an action you do, by a mobile or most likely by another player.

If you die by doing something silly such as falling off a branch you will not lose any points.

If you die at the hands of a mobile or another player you will lose a percenatge of your points. This percentage depends on your score and ranges from 0% at novice level to 50% at Sorcoror level and above. basically ther higher your score the more you will lose.

If you attack another player you stand to lose alot more if you lose the fight and if you are a sorceror or above and you attack another player and lose then you lose ALL your points!!

Things to do as a player.

Make a map!

Always keep an eye on your stamina and keep it topped up.

Learn to fight, or run!

Read EVERYTHING in the Information Center

Once you become accsutomed to the game type BRIEF to give you short room descriptions.

Type BRIEF FIGHTS to help speed up fights.

QW often to see who is on the game and to give you fair warning of when killers are playing.

SAVE after scoring points!

If you get stuck, ask someone, they may help you out.

Things NOT to do as a player.

Don't swear

Don't cheat, every concivable way of cheating has been tried before and the Immortals on the game know what to look out for!

Don't give you personnel details to anyone on the game unless you know them.

Don't annoy other players with 'anti-social' behaviour

Don't break the mortal guidelines (found in the Information Center)

So there it is, a quick and basic guide to getting started in Shades, obviously there is still alot to learn but hopefully the above will give you a small insight into the game.

Above all, enjoy the game and remember, it is a GAME, don't take anything personnally when other players wind you up!

If you have any further questions please feel free to email me.

ZEON The Arch Wizard

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