Replay of completed level (Xterm + TrueType).
The latest release is XorCurses-0.2.2
30th December 2011 * Fixed bug/regression where fish and/or chickens failed to move after player entered teleport. Ie level 14. On a different note: * I have now completed the first 13 levels woop woop.
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XorCurses is a game based on Xor by Astral Software. XorCurses is written by jwm-art.net, aka, James W. Morris. The original Xor game was released in 1987 for the 8 bit home computers popular at the time. XorCurses attempts to faithfully recreate that game for Linux, with particular attention placed on the behaviour of the objects within the original game.
It could be said that XorCurses is a regression from the graphics of the old 8 bit computers as it uses an even more basic display: coloured ASCII characters instead of pixel based graphics.
There are no random events in XOR's labyrinthine palace, and there is no premium on hand-eye coordination. You have all the time in the world to work out the precise nature of the hazards you encounter. Logical thinking, strategy and tactical problem solving are part of the XOR experience. And XOR is not simply about finding solutions. If you can solve the entire puzzle (15 levels plus an encrypted anagram), you qualify to be a member of the Order of XOR*.
* XorCurses does not have an encrypted anagram to solve.
The basic premise of Xor is to roam around a series of mazes collecting blue masks. You have two player-shields to aid you and you can use either one at any time and switch between them. In order to complete a level, all the masks must be collected and then one of the players taken to the exit.
The first level is simply a matter of navigation (aside from the force fields which prevent movement in some directions but not others). The second level introduces fish which fall and chickens which run left. If either of these hit your player-shield after moving more than one block then that player will die.
Unlike many other games, the levels don't have to be played sequentially. You may also complete a level even if one of your players has perished. Every time you begin a level, you always begin with both your players. There is also NO TIME LIMIT!
Other objects to be found in Xor are bombs, dolls, light-switches, and teleports. All the objects have strictly defined, simple and predictable behaviour. There is no randomness. Inspite of this simplicity, Xor is well known for it's fiendishly difficult puzzles. Put it this way, I found it easier to program the game from scratch, than I have found playing the game.
XorCurses on github.com can be followed at but as development is sporadic, it really only acts as a backup.
Xor on danceswithferrets.org is a good resource for information about different versions of Xor from past to present, and lots of reference material including graphics, maps, and other technical notes. Certainly most useful during the early stages of XorCurses development.
XorCurses on happypenguin.org (The Linux Game Tome)
XorCurses on freecode.com Register with freecode.com and subscribe to XorCurses to be notified of new releases.