Tautology II

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Screenshots - Tautology II

Tautology II atari screenshot
Tautology II atari screenshot
Tautology II atari screenshot
Tautology II atari screenshot
Tautology II atari screenshot
Tautology II atari screenshot
Tautology II atari screenshot
Tautology II atari screenshot
Tautology II atari screenshot

Information - Tautology II

GenreBrain - Shanghai / Mah JongYear1995
LanguageMachine LanguagePublisher[no publisher]
ControlsJagpad, Joystick, Keyboard, MouseDistributor-
Players1, 1 vs. 2DeveloperReservoir Gods
ResolutionVGA / RGBLicensed from-

O'Reilly, Leon [Mr. Pink]

CountryUnited Kingdom
Graphic Artist(s)

Lomas, Nathasha [Ripley] / Dempsey, Kevin [SH3-RG / Sparehead 3]

Game design


Box / InstructionsEnglish

Dempsey, Kevin [SH3-RG / Sparehead 3]

LicensePD / Freeware / Shareware
Sound FX


Cover Artist(s)ST Type? / 4MB
Dumpdownload atari Tautology II Download / Zip-packed folderNumber of Disks? / ? / HD Installable

Instructions - Tautology II

                             TAUTOLOGY II

                       A GAME BY RESERVOIR GODS

        Tautology II is  game  of  skill  and  strategy  for the Atari
Falcon 030. It runs from floppy  disk  or  hard drive, on both VGA and
RGB monitors but requires  4MB  of  memory.  It  can  be played in two
distinctive modes - solo or  multi-player.  The game can be controlled
via any means known to Atari  -  you can use joystick, mouse, keyboard
or even Jaguar Powerpads.


        The origins of this game go  back  to an Irem coin-op released
in the late 1980s. This appeared  in  arcades  in Germany and became a
favourite of NewMode of Delta Force  who poured deutschemarks into it.
He quickly realised the potential for an ST version and enlisted Slime
to draw some graphics.  The  finished  game  was  put on their seminal
"Syntax Terror" demo. Once people had tired of the stunning effects on
this disk, they carried on booting it just to play "Match-It".
        "Match-It" was a poorly chosen  title,  conjuring up images of
toddler  like  card  games,   when   it   possessed  the  potency  and
addictiveness of Tetris. Like all  the best games, Match-It's gameplay
was simple but infuriatingly involving.  It  was  the type of game you
could play every day without tiring of. I was hooked.
        Imagine my  disappointment  when  on  getting  my  Falcon that
Syntax Terror didn't run! No more  Match-It!  There was only one thing
to do - code  a  Falcon  version,  and  add  improvements  to both the
gameplay and the name.
        At the start of 1994 I  began coding my version of "Match-It".
Entitled "Tautology" it was to  run  in  the Falcon's True Colour mode
and feature tracker music, but the real bonus would be the addition of
a two player mode. The graphics were  drawn  by Nice Guy Eddie and Mr.
Blonde on the abysmal True Paint. As  this was my first ever game, the
coding wasn't very  good  and  there  were  quite  a  lot  of bugs and
glitches in it. It was  still  enjoyable,  but there was potential for
        The main problem with "Tautology"  was  that  it didn't run on
VGA monitors. I was using  an  overscan  mode that wasn't available on
VGA. On this type of monitor you  could  still play the game, but some
of the screen was obscured  and  things  got  rather messy. I had many
requests to "fix" the code so it ran on VGA, but I was so unhappy with
the original game that I would rather re-write it than patch it.
        April 1995 - exactly one year after the original Tautology was
finished, the time was right  for  the  sequel.  I totally recoded the
game from scratch, from  intro,  menu  system,  sprite routines to the
main game logic itself. Everything is  new. Even the old graphics have
been given a spit and polish  job,  although  most of the graphics are
new. There is a new tile set  to delight and confuse you. All graphics
were drawn on the excellent  God-Paint.  There  is  some also some new
music composed by Sparehead3. Dsp-Replay is by Nullos of Dnt Crew.


        Tautology II is a puzzle game  in  the style of solitaire. You
have to remove all tiles from  the  board  by means of matching pairs.
The pairs will only disappear if:

a) They are adjacent vertically or horizontally
b) You can draw a line between them across free space that only
   has a maximum of two corners in it.

        The line between two tiles CANNOT  move across other tiles. It
can only move across  free  space.  It  can  only move horizontally or
vertically, NOT diagonally. The  corners  are  90  degree turns in the
line and you can only have  a  maximum  of two corners in a successful
line. Of course you can make lines  with  one, two or even no corners,
but never lines with more than two corners.
        To make the connection, simply  click  on the first tile, then
click on the tile you want to match it to. If a connection is possibly
a series of arrows will shoot along  the path between them and the two
tiles will disappear. If the connection is impossible, both tiles will
remain where they were.
        You can only match a tile  with its identical twin, unless the
tile belongs to one of the two  special sets. All tiles in the special
groups can be matched with  each  other.  Special group 1 comprises of
the first four tiles of the tile  set, whilst special group 2 contains
the next four tiles of the set. The remaining tiles are normal tiles.
        In the Shanghai sets,  the  special  groups  are "flowers" and
"seasons". For  example,  "spring"  could  be  matched  with "summer",
"winter", "autumn" or another "spring", and  any flower can be matched
with any other flower.  In  Eddie's  set  the  groups  are "fruit" and
"elements". Any of  "orange", "melon",  "pear" and "strawberry" can be
matched with each other.
        Matching tiles that belong to  a  special group will also stop
the clock for some seconds,  so  it  can  be  very  useful if you have
little time left.
        The situation can arise where no matches can be made. Then you
are checkmated and the game is over.
        If you clear the  board  of  all  tiles  in  the allotted time
period, you will progress to the next  level.  If the time runs out or
you become checkmated then the game is over.


        Tautology II contains an  unique  and comprehensive two player
facility. In two player mode the  main  game  screen is split into two
with player one appearing at the top  of  the screen and player two at
the bottom.
        There are two distinctive multi-player modes:


Here you are competing  against  your  buddy.  You  must amass as many
points as possible, and try to be the first to complete each level. If
you complete the level before your friend you get the bonus points. If
your friend completes the level  first,  you  end that level without a
bonus and move onto the  next  level.  The  player with the most score
after a set number of levels wins.


This is like the one player  mode  as  none of your actions affect the
other player. You are both playing your own individual games.


        Tautology stores your configuration  in  a  file that is saved
when you quit the game  and  restored  every  time  it is loaded. This
configuration file contains all details about  your preferred set up -
the number of  players,  the  type  of  game,  the  tile  layout, time
setting, number of  helps,  number  of  rounds,  both  players control
methods and pointer speeds, the keyboard set up, the currently defined

tile sets and tile  configuration.  The  top  20  high scores are also


        The main menu can be controlled  with  a  mouse or you can use
cursor keys and space to select  each  option. After each game or each
sub-menu is exited you return to the main menu.

                            ++GAME MENU++

        Here you can define the type of game you want to play.


You can play alone or with a friend.


This option is only relevant when in two player mode.

SEPARATE - Your actions do not affect your friend. You are playing
           totally separate games. Your aim is to last as many levels
           as possible without running out of time or getting

COMPETITIVE - You are playing against a friend. Your main aim is to
              complete each level before your opponent. The player
              with the most score after the set number of rounds wins.


This option is only relevant in two player mode.

DIFFERENT - The tile layout of players one and two is different. This
            means you can't copy the other player, but one player may
            have an advantage with an easier tile layout.

SAME - Players one and two have the same tile layout so no-one has an
       advantage, but if you are stuck you can have a peek at what the
       other player is doing and copy him!

[ P1 / P2 TIME ]

You can set the time  limit  via  this  function.  The harder the time
setting, the quicker the clock goes  down.  Time  can be turned off to
make this a relaxing puzzle game with time to make a cup of tea whilst
you are working out your next move.
Player one and player two  time  can  be  altered separately to give a
handicap to more experience players.

[ P1 / P2 HELPS ]

The initial number of helps can be  set via this option. You can start
with anything between 0-20 helps.
Player one's helps can be accessed  with the 'HELP' key, whilst player
two must press 'UNDO'.
Help will find a pair for you  and  match  it. You get no points for a
pair matched with help.


This option is relevant in two player mode only.

This sets the number of rounds  which  will  be played in a two player
competitive game. After the set number  of  rounds the player with the
highest score wins.

The number of rounds can be set from 1-99.

                           [ CONTROL MENU ]

   Here you can define control methods and pointer movement speeds.

[ P1 / P2 CONTROL ]

        Here you can choose the  control  method  for each player. The
game can  be  controlled  with  mouse,  joystick,  keyboard  or Jaguar
Powerpads. Any combination of controls  can  be  used EXCEPT mouse and
joystick. If this combination is  selected,  it  will default to mouse
and keyboard.


        If playing in two player mode, a player who is using the mouse
has a definite advantage. This can be diminished by limiting the mouse
speed to the x and y speed defined below. It will make playing against
a mouse opponent more fair.

[ P1 / P2 X SPEED ]

        Defines the amount of  pixels  the  pointers move horizontally
every step.  Making  this  values  small  makes  the  pointers  easily
controllable but very slow.  Putting  a  large  value  here makes  the
pointer very quick but also very  difficult  to control. It is best to
compromise between speed and controllability.

[ P1 / P2 Y SPEED ]

        As above, but defines the pointers vertical movement.


        As Tautology II has a  much  better  keyboard handler than the
original, you now have the facility  to  play via keyboard. Using this
option you can define your  in  game  keys.  For  each player you must
define keys for


The diagonals are not strictly  necessary  as the keyboard handler can
accept multiple simultaneous keypresses, but they can be very useful.

You can use any key on the keyboard except the reserved in-game keys:

F1   - Pause
F10  - Quit
HELP - Player 1 help
UNDO - Player 2 help

                            [ TILE MENU ]

          This is for defining the tile graphics and layout.

[ P1 / P2 TILE SET ]

        Here you can define which tile  graphics will be used for each

SHANGHAI - The traditional tile set based on the mystical mah jong
           images. The special groups are flowers and seasons.
EDDIES - The '95 remix of the set that appeared in the original
         Tautology. The special groups are fruit and elements.
RIPLEY - Brand new set for Tautology II. The special groups are runes
         and mirrors.


        This is perhaps the most  powerful  option in the entire game.
It allows you to totally configure the  tile setup. You can choose the
amount of times that each tile will appear on the board - from 0 to 8.
Making lots of tiles with only  2  appearances and limiting the number
of tiles from the special groups makes a very difficult game.
        For an easy game, make  lots  of  tiles have 8 appearances and
make sure loads are included from the special groups.
        There are ten default configurations  on the function keys and
they range from F1 (very hard) to F10 (very easy).
        Your tile configuration will be saved when you quit the game.


        This brings up some screens  of  text giving information about
the game, rules, etc.

[ PLAY ]

        This takes you straight into the game itself.
        Whilst playing, you can press the following keys:

F1   - PAUSE. Press fire (select) to resume.
F10  - QUIT. Returns to main menu
HELP - Help for player 1 (if helps remaining)
UNDO - Help for player 2 (if helps remaining)


        After the game finishes you  will  be  notified  if you have a
high score and asked to enter  your  name.  The top twenty high scores
will then be displayed - this are also saved to disk at the end of the


CODE: Mr. Pink

GRAPHICS: Sparehead 3

MUSIC: Sparehead 3

DSP REPLAY: Nullos of DNT-Crew

Packages Used

Devpac 3


First a big thank you  to  everyone  who contacted me about Tautology.
Thanks for all the help and encouragement.

Chris of Disk Maggie.
Richard Karsmakers (thanks for the playtesting)
Dan of Lazer
Scy and Dynacore (good taste in music)
Mick of DNT-Crew (thanks for the replay rout)
Digital Chaos
Arnaud Linz
Ralph and Greg Lovesy
Inter (fantastic demo)
All members of the Independent
Good Taste
Evl of DHS
and all on IRC


        Tautology II is shareware.

        Reasonable donations are 3 UK pounds or ten blank disks.

        Fully documented source code is available for 5 UK pounds.

        If we receive enough  feedback  from  this  title then we will
release other falcon games and  applications!  We  have three games in
the development stages and if  the  Falcon  scene remains healthy they
will be released over the next year.

        Makes cheques/postal orders out to: Leon O'Reilly

Write to:

        Leon O'Reilly
        Cwm Isaf
        SY15 6JL



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