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Screenshots - LaserChess

LaserChess atari screenshot
LaserChess atari screenshot
LaserChess atari screenshot
LaserChess atari screenshot

Information - LaserChess

GenreBoard Game - ChessYear1993
Language[unknown]PublisherST Format
ControlsMouseDistributorFuture Publishing
Players1 vs. 2Developer[n/a]
ResolutionLow / HighLicensed from-

Duppong, Mike M.

CountryUnited Kingdom
Graphic Artist(s)

Duppong, Mike M.

Game design

Duppong, Mike M.

Box / InstructionsEnglish


LicensePD / Freeware / Shareware
Sound FX

Duppong, Mike M.

Cover Artist(s)ST TypeST, STe / 0.5MB
Dumpdownload atari LaserChess Download / MSANumber of Disks1 / Double-Sided

Additional Comments - LaserChess

Other versions with the same title:

[no publisher] (), [no publisher] (version [mono]) ().

Instructions - LaserChess

                      L A S E R   C H E S S

Laser Chess, as the name implies, is a chesslike strategy game for 
2  players.   The goal is to manipulate a laser-firing  piece  and 
various reflective objects to eliminate your opponent's King.   As 
in  traditional  chess,  there are an infinite number of  ways  to 
accomplish this.  

There are 8 basic pieces and each has unique  capabilities.   Over 
time you will learn each piece's advantages and limitations.  
If you load the program,  you will see a chequered board with  Red 
pieces and Green pieces.   Make sure the Green pieces line the top 
of  the board,  for the purpose of identifying each  piece.   From 
left to right:

     2 Triangular Mirrors, a Diagonal Mirror, The Laser, a King, a 
     Hypercube, a Diagonal Mirror, 2 Triangular Mirrors.

     2ND LINE
     A Triangular Mirror,  2 Blocks, a Beam Splitter, a Horizontal 
     Straight  Mirror,  a Vertical Straight Mirror,  2  Blocks,  a 
     Triangular Mirror.

Notice  that some sides of the pieces are highlighted  (or  appear 
thickened on a monochrome display).   This indicates a  reflective 
surface.   When  a  Laser beam strikes a  reflective  surface,  it 
bounces off without harming the piece.   But if a piece is hit, on 
a non-reflective surface, it is destroyed.

a piece can also be removed from the board if it is captured by an 
opposing piece.   (Similar to traditional chess,  you move one  of 
your own pieces onto an opponent's square.)

As well as being able to move from square to square,  pieces  with 
reflective   surfaces  can  also  be  rotated  in  place  in   90% 
increments.   This  allows you to orient the piece to  protect  it 
against your opponents Laser shots.

THE  KING  is the most important piece.   When the King  has  been 
eliminated,  the  other  player wins the game.   Since it  has  no 
reflective surfaces,  it can be destroyed from any direction.  The 
King  is  not entirely defenseless - it can capture  any  opposing 
piece  by moving onto its square.   This can only be done  once  a 

THE  LASER is the 2nd most important piece.   This is the  primary 
offensive  weapon.   It  is the only piece that can fire  a  laser 
shot.   To take aim,  it can be rotated, but, like the King, it is 
completely  vulnerable  to  enemy  Laser  strikes  as  it  has  no 
reflective surface.   However, if you lose your Laser, the game is 
not  over - only the most skillful (or lucky) player can  overcome 
its loss!

THE HYPERCUBE is an interesing piece.   It cannot harm an opposing 
piece, but may well do so indirectly.  When the Hypercube is moved 
onto another piece (even your own), that piece disappears from its 
original  position  and  reappears on a  randomly  selected  empty 
square.   This can be done only once per turn.   So, the Hypercube 
is  a  2-edged  sword;  it may relocate a piece  to  a  vulnerable 
position,  or  make  it  possible  for the  piece  to  capture  an 
important opposing piece on the next move.   It has no  reflective 
surfaces and cannot be rotated.  It is invulnerable to Laser shots 
though, being made of transparent glass (a Laser beam passes right 
through it).

THE  BEAM SPLITTER is another tricky piece.   When  a  Laser  beam 
strikes  a splitter's vertex (the point opposite  its  base),  the 
beam splits in 2 directions,  perpendicular to the original beam's 
path.   When  a  Laser  shot  hits  one  of  the  beam  splitter's 
reflective  surfaces,  it  bounces  off a  at  90%  angle  without 
splitting.   If the Beam Splitter's base is hit,  it is destroyed.  
The Beam Splitter can also be rotated.

THE  BLOCKS are fairly simple pieces.   However,  they may  impose 
some complex situations.   A Block can capture any opposing  piece 
by moving onto that piece's square,  much like a King.  but unlike 
a King,  a Block has one reflective side and can be rotated as the 
situation  demands.    Therefore,   Blocks  can  be  used   either 
offensively or defensively.  A Laser beam that hits the reflective 
surface  of  a Block is deflected 180% - bouncing  the  beam  back 
where it came from.

A DIAGONAL MIRROR cannot be destroyed by a Laser,  because both of 
its surfaces are reflective.  Diagonal Mirrors can be removed from 
the board only when captured by a Block or a King.   When a  Laser 
beam  strikes  a  Diagonal Mirror,  the  beam  is  deflected  90%.  
Diagonal  Mirrors can be flipped to their opposite  diagonal,  but 
cannot be rotated to face horizontally or vertically.

STRAIGHT  MIRRORS)  are also invulnerable to lasers due  to  their 
relfective surfaces.   When a Laser  hits a Straight Mirror on its 
flat surface, the beam is deflected 180%.  But if the Laser hits a 
Straight  Mirror edgewise,  the beam passes straight  through it.

THE  TRIANGULAR  MIRRORS  deflect Laser  beams  just  as  Diagonal 
Mirrors  do,  but  they are invulnerable to hits on their  2  non-
reflective  sides.   A  Triangular Mirror can be  rotated  in  90% 

                           MAKING MOVES

All  game functions are controlled with the  mouse.   Each  player 
trades  off  the  mouse after each turn.   If  you  have  a  color 
monitor,  you will notice that the mouse pointer changes color  to 
show whose turn it is.

The  red  player (at the bottom of the  screen,  unless  you  have 
reoriented  the board) always gets the first move.   There  is  no 
particular advantage or disadvantage to moving first.

A turn consists of 2 moves.   The number of moves remaining,  in a 
turn, is indicated by the numbe of boxes in the square to the left 
side of the screen.

Before  moving a piece, you  must 'select' it.   This is  done  by 
clicking (with the left mouse button) on the desired piece.   Once 
selected,  it becomes highlighted.   If you accidently select  the 
wrong piece, you can easily deselect it by clicking the left mouse 
button again.   (This would not cost you a move.)  However, once a 
piece  is selected,  you must decide where to move to,  or how  to 
rotate it (rotating counts as a turn).   To move the piece, simply 
use  the  mouse  pointer and click on  that  square.   Moving  one 
square,  counts  as  one  turn,  moving 2  squares,  as  2  turns.  
However,  moving more than one square in one turn,  counts as  one 
turn (the maximum is 2 squares, anyway).

Pieces  can be moved forward,  backward,  left or right,  but  NOT 
diagonally.   You can effectively move a piece diagonally by using 
2  moves  (e.g.  forward then right).   You cannot  move  a  piece 
through other pieces except when capturing with a Block or a  King 
and when using the Hypercube.

To rotate a piece,  select it,  then firmly press the right  mouse 
button.   The piece will rotate 90% (one-quarter turn  clockwise).  
You can rotate more than once,  but these will cost you turns.  If 
you  wish to forfeit a turn altogether,  just position  the  mouse 
pointer  inside  the box representing turns,  to the left  of  the 

                         SPECIAL FEATURES

At  the  center  of  the  board  is  a  special  square  called  a 
Hypersquare.   it  absorbs Laser beams and acts like a  stationary 
Hypercube.   That  is,  if  you  try to move  a  piece  there,  it 
disappears  and reappears randomly on an empty square.   This  can 
only be done once a turn.

To the left of the board are 4 octagonal shapes - Q,  R,  D and  a 
button colored orange.   If you click in the button marked Q,  you 
will quit the game.   If you choose R,  this will let you  restart 
the game.  If you choose D, this will let you choose the direction 
of play (rotates the board 90%).

The  orange  button  (at  the base of the  screen)  is  the  Laser 
trigger.  When it is your turn, you can select this button to fire 
your  Laser.   If you hold the button down for a few  seconds  you 
will  be able to see the effects of your shot.   If you click  the 
button  too  quickly,  the  beam  may  disappear  before  you  can 
comprehend a complex bounce pattern.   Firing the Laser takes only 
one turn,  but can be done only once per turn.  It is important to 
realise  that  any  hit  on  a  piece's  non-reflective  or   non-
transparent  surface,  will destroy that piece.   You  can  easily 
destroy your own pieces as well as your opponent's.   You can also 
zap  your  own  Laser if not careful,  particularly  if  you  fire 
directly into the 180% reflective surface of a Straight Mirror  or 
Block,  or  if  you  fail  to anticipate the  effects  of  a  Beam 

                        SOME TIPS ON PLAY

Get  your  Mirrors  out  early.   Use them  to  gain  the  fullest 
potential or your Laser.   Try to position Mirror networks on both 
sides  of the Beam Splitter so you can inflict as much  damage  as 
possible.   Take advantage of the Blocks,  since they 'control' an 
area around them with their threat of capture, and no other pieces 
can  safely move within their range.   Make your opponent work  to 
displace them.   Remember to rotate the reflective side of a Block 
to the most proabable direction of Laser fire.  If you can prevent 
a Laser from destroying the Block,  your opponent will most likely 
have to gang up on it with 2 or more of his own Blocks.

Use Mirrors to protect your King.   If you surround your King with 
Straight and Diagonal Mirrors,  there is no way it can be hit by a 
Laser.   Therefore,  your opponent will have to break through your 
defense  with Blocks.   Defending your King with Blocks is also  a 
good strategy.

The  Hypercube should be used sparingly,  since you have  no  idea 
where  a  relocated piece will reappear.   Most  players  use  the 
Hupercube  as  a  last resort - if another piece is  going  to  be 
destroyed anyway, it doesn't hurt to take a chance and relocate it 
with the Hypercube.   Also,  if your opponent decides to  encircle 
his  King  with  Mirrors,   you  can  march  right  in  with  your 
Hypercube,  followed  by a Block.   This tactic may displace  your 
opponent's  defense,  forcing  him to evacuate his King  from  its 
Mirrored fortress.  Escorting the Hypercube with an adjacent Block 
prevents the opponent from attacking the Hypercube with his  King.  
Your opponent's only options will be to flee or be displaced.     

Trivia - LaserChess

Conversion - Atari 8-bit

LaserChess Trivia

Winner of the grand prize of $5.000 in Atari ST Programming Contest sponsored by Compute! magazine.

Book / Magazine Reviews - LaserChess

 ST / Amiga Format · October, 1988Rating: - 

LaserChess Atari review 

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