Repton 1 introduces the main characters that form the basis of all the puzzles throughout the series: diamonds to be collected and rocks to be manoeuvred so as to reach the diamonds safely, without allowing a boulder to fall on your head or block you in. In addition, there are safes that require the player to find a key, and monsters that pursue you around the level unless you kill them with boulders.
The game contains twelve levels (16 on PC, iPhone, iPad and Android versions), something of a mixed bag, as each explores a different aspect of the Repton experience. Unlike later games, it is not required to kill monsters; the level ends when the last diamond is collected. This means the player can choose whether or not to kill most of the monsters in the game. Two interesting challenges are to complete either a "pacifist" run (killing no monsters) or a "warlord" run (killing as many monsters as possible).
REPTON Repton is the main protaganist in the game. He spends his life mining for diamonds, and trying to avoid all the various nasties that are roaming around. He has a great uncle, known as Ego, who is the wisest of them all. Repton also has a skill where he can defuse bombs. He is also known to collect crowns, and other various objects that he may come across, including putting puzzles together.
DIAMONDS must be collected to complete a level.
KEYS open all safes on a level (turn them into diamonds) when they are collected. Collecting a second key has no effect. Note that since diamonds are "curved" objects (see BOULDERS, below) but safes are not, collecting a key may sometimes destabilise a boulder.
EARTH is harmless.
WALLS are simple immobile and indestructible obstacles.
BOULDERS can be pushed horizontally, and fall downwards if they are manoeuvred above an empty space or if another object is removed from below them. They also "roll" around the corners of curved objects. Repton can stand below a boulder, but if one falls from a height onto him he will die.
EGGS are equivalent to boulders, but once they fall any distance they will crack and after a time a MONSTER will emerge.
MONSTERS These are terrible creatures which hatch from eggs and will relentlessly chase the miners. There are several ways in which they can die - they can be squashed by falling boulders or rising balloons. In some caverns, even other falling eggs will kill them. Growing fungi will also kill them, if they become trapped.
Boulders and eggs will fall off "curved" objects if they are able to do so (that is, if both the square next to them and the one below that are empty). If a boulder or egg is above an object curved on both sides and is free to fall to either side, it will always fall left. Conversely, if two boulders or eggs are simultaneously able to fall into the same space, the one on the right will fall first. Diamonds and boulders are curved on both sides. Some wall sections are curved on just one side; some on both.
One trick that is worth special mention, as it is not obvious until you have seen it done, is that Repton can stand under a boulder, step to one side and push the boulder to the other side as it falls. This is most often useful to prevent a boulder from falling where it would block you in or trap a diamond.
Repton 2 in its original incarnation for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron machines and later for the Spectrum machines had a rather maligned reputation amongst Repton fanatics - including (hand-on-heart) myself - for being too hard. A few people have said it had too many objectives, one fan even stated on one message board related to the game that he didn't know any fan who had actually completed it.
This reputation is rather unfair. Yes it is a step up in difficulty from Repton - whose only real sticking point was Level 11 - and yes in relation to Repton and Repton 3 it did have more objectives, but I personally believe that the game's author Tim Tyler should be applauded for actually doing something different for the sequel and not sticking with more of the same. Further more the list of objectives has now become iconic. Any Repton fan would probably struggle to quote the stats from say, all of the "Prelude" file from Repton 3, but would have no problem in quoting the stats from Repton 2 without hesitation; 4744 Earth Sections, 1634 Diamonds, 64 Transporters, 18 Monsters, 42 Puzzle Pieces.
It was however in its original form very unforgiving in two areas:It had to be completed in one go. As there was no facility to save your game, you had to start at the beginning and work your way to the end. You couldn't pause and continue it later.
Repton 2 introduced some new characters into the game:
SKULL Over the years, other miners have come to grief in the underground caverns, and their remains are left scattered around. These remains have been enchanted and, as such, are fatal to the touch. They have a curved top so boulders and eggs will roll off them. Some skulls disappear after certain objectives are met.
SPIRITS Another 'nasty' of the underworld. They follow the walls to their left and are deadly if touched. They must be guided into CAGES which then opens up to reveal a diamond.
TRANSPORTERS take you to another part of the puzzle, usually on a different screen. Can only be used once each.
Repton 3 is, as the name suggests, the third of the Repton series of puzzle games from Superior Software. As in the first two games, Repton has to travel around a maze and collect diamonds, bypassing obstacles in the form of puzzle objects that are arranged in order to make the diamonds difficult to reach. Repton 3 has several new types of object that did not appear in the earlier games, as well as the addition of a time limit; on some levels the time limit is a major part of the challenge.
The original release of Repton 3 consists of 24 levels, divided into three sets of eight, Prelude (easy), Toccata (medium difficulty) and Finale (hard). These are the difficulties of the sets as a whole; each contains some easier and some harder levels, but in general the levels within each set are in order of ascending difficulty. There are some exceptions, and the walkthroughs have a difficulty rating. These marks are just my own opinions! Some people find particular types of puzzles harder than others, so your own ranking may be different from mine.
All point-scoring objectives must be met to complete a level.
With a new sequel came new characters, and this is no different with Repton 3
CROWN Every level has one, which must be collected before a level can be completed.
TIMEBOMB must be defused (by walking into it) after every other objective has been obtained; this completes the level.
TIME CAPSULES reset the level's time limit when collected.
FUNGUS slowly expands into empty space as long as it is free to do so. An area blocked off by fungus cannot be unblocked again.
Repton 3 was released with a screen and character editor. This allowed the user to create their own levels, with characters. As such, Superior Software then released some add-on packs to the original Repton 3. This has since been expanded with the PC release. The Commodore 64 version, however, never got such add-on packs, but a utility has been made available to convert these screens from the BBC original to the Commodore 64 version
These are, naturally, a sequel to the original Repton 3. The game mechanics are nearly identical to the original, with only a tiny difference in the way the spirits are set to start moving in a particular direction. This difference does not affect the actual gameplay, but does make some Around the World screens (for instance America A) unplayable if played on the original Repton 3 game.
Each add-on consists of five screen files, each with graphics altered from the original. Characters still act the same as in the original game but look different: for example, diamonds are replaced by hamburgers in the America screens, fish in the Arctic screens, and so on.
As with the original Repton 3, the sets are arranged roughly in order of difficulty; however, all five of them begin with relatively easy levels to get the player used to the new characters, and all five work up to some very difficult levels towards the end.
Those who, like me, played The Life of Repton before ever having heard of this game will be relieved at the detail it provides on the "missing" years of his life, after he disappeared from his office job, finding that he was not suitable to that line of work. It turns out that the reason details on this period of Repton's life are so hard to find is that he spent much of it as a criminal, using disguises and aliases to avoid the relentless pursuit of the law.
Turned loose without any sign of where his next penny was coming from, where else would a first-class mind like Repton go but America? But in order to understand Repton's American adventure, one must remember that this was an America far removed from the corporate, post-industrial world of today. Say "McDonald's" to the average citizen and they would assume you were talking about a children's song. In fact, hamburgers were so scarce that they were stored in safes, and frequently stolen at gunpoint; Repton, seeing a unique opportunity for himself, set about unmasking the less capable thieves while being a very capable thief himself. It was not long before he was elected sheriff, and eliminated his own competition by sending them all to jail.
It was a bold game to play, and even Repton could not cover for every eventuality. Realising that he was about to be unmasked, he fled as far away from society as he could get, to the remote wastelands of the Arctic. There, he subsisted on the local diet of fish, while dextrously avoiding contact with the more rowdy of the local fauna.
It was time to move on when an unusually hot summer sent thin ice spreading everywhere, and Repton thought that by now it would be safe to return to civilisation, albeit still as remote as possible from those lands where his name was still on the most wanted list. He took up residence in the Orient, and earned a living by introducing the natives to inventions he had picked up while in America, particularly television. This went down a storm, but Repton's success was short-lived; one day he bumped into a rickshaw, and was alarmed to discover that the passenger was none other than a ninja assassin that had been set on his trail by his old enemies.
Repton fled through China and Japan, with several more near accidents along the way, and finally eluded his pursuers by disappearing among the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Unable to resist the lure of shiny things, he took to digging for pearls, and for a time was content with his existence. But the pearls only reminded him how long it was since he had seen a diamond, and so it was inevitable that his travels should lead him at last via the Atlantic to Africa. There, his pursuers lost sight of him at last, and since the few tribesmen he encountered rarely lived to tell the tale, it is there that this present story ends, in a pleasant land barely touched by human hands, a land of bananas, pineapples and palm trees. But there may yet be more to relate of Repton's story, if only we can pick up the trail...
One of the more interesting things about this game is the insight it gives us into the fascinating history of its central character. We discover that as a baby he was terrorised by the family dog, which no doubt goes a long way to explain the fear of fast-moving animals that lasted throughout his life. He was a precocious and active child, showing great agility in his favourite game of chasing his clockwork toy soldiers around his play area. Sadly, the one thing that seems to be missing from his childhood is active participation on the part of his parents; this is the first hint we have of the unhappiness in his home that later drove him to travel all round the world in search of somewhere he could settle down and feel wanted.
Repton's schooldays were a constant struggle. As one might expect of someone who even as a baby had showed prodigious talent for solving logical problems, he excelled at mathematics, and the teachers felt threatened by his intelligence, and Repton came to know well the feel of the cane. But on the positive side, he found that he had a natural talent for sport, which gave him an outlet for his great physical energy, and his happiest memories are of running in pursuit of a flying cricket ball, or kicking a football around with his friends.
As one might expect of someone from his unstable background, Repton was a typical rebellious teenager. He was one of the Rockers, and thought nothing of picking a fight with his arch-enemies the Mods with not just fists but also bricks flying. His girlfriend Becky (he may have had other relationships but she is the only one whose name has been passed down to posterity) might have exerted a calming influence, but it is likely that she knew little of what was going on. Perhaps part of the reason they eventually broke up (they seem to have lasted a while) is that she found out he had been supplementing his pocket money with smash-and-grab raids on the local record shops: a side of his character, sadly, that he would never wholly escape.
Repton did, however, settle down to honest work for a time. He brought home a good supply of banknotes, and perhaps it was the loss of this income when he was sacked for injuring his boss with a heavy filing cabinet that made him turn once more to illegal activity. Office work does not seem to have suited him in any case; the place was always in chaos when he was on duty, with the amount of paperwork in his in-tray continually spiralling out of control. He was forever losing valuable floppy disks and having to chase all round the office to find them again, and when he did find them, it seemed the filing cabinets were never in the same places they should have been.
After his hasty exit from the office, we lose track of Repton for a time. It is no doubt in this period that he engaged on his tour of the world, closely followed by his time-travelling exploits; he must have spent a considerable number of years in other parts of the timeline to return as a senior citizen in 1987 when he was a teenager in the Mods and Rockers battle of 1964. My theory is that he also picked up his four wives, who suddenly appear in his retirement with no previous mention of them, in this period; he probably married one in each place he visited in Around the World, except for Oceans, and they didn't know about each other until they tracked him down to claim a share of the wealth he made from his life of diamond mining. At any rate it is certain that he never married his old girlfriend Becky; what happened to her after she left him is unknown.
By this stage of his life, Repton's eyesight was failing, although he remained surprisingly agile with the aid of a solid walking-stick. He took up drinking and smoking, two habits he had always abhorred, and it is likely that this speeded his descent into insanity. He was already a borderline case when, unable to bear any longer the strain of coping with four wives, he fled his home with all four chasing him and was forced to fend them off with a grandfather clock. After this, he broke down completely, and was last seen running madly around a graveyard shouting out that he was being pursued by four malevolent pairs of false teeth. It was a sad end to a life that had showed so much promise; and it is no doubt in that graveyard that one of the most magnificent puzzle-solving brains of all time now lies buried. Rumour has it that Repton is still up to his old pursuits somewhere in a mysterious afterlife inhabited by ghouls and scrap photocopiers. If so, he seems to have found happiness in the end.
Ever since the time capsule was introduced in the third screen of the Prelude file, fans have wondered why Repton never seemed to do anything with it except travel back a maximum of six minutes to give himself extra time to collect diamonds. (No, it wasn't deliberate that I used the letter X so many times in that sentence.) Now at last we have an answer! Repton's travels through time have been faithfully documented for us to share the results of his pursuit of knowledge.
And yet -- manmade artefacts coexisting with dinosaurs? Surely this is not time travel, but travel into the realm of fantasy? Not so. As Repton has at last succeeded in proving, the time of dinosaurs was the point in evolutionary history when the first intelligent life came into being, in the form of sapient lizards -- Repton's own ancestors. In order to bring back proof of their existence to the modern scientific community, Repton lived among them for a time, subsisting on their diet of berries and fleeing from their natural enemies, as well as helping to control the periodic wildfires.
Repton was not just interested in finding evidence of his earliest ancestors; he wanted to know what had happened to them, and why they had not left a more permanent mark on history. Since they did not seem to have had a writing system, he sought further evidence among the earliest human civilisations, and spent a great deal of time in Egypt digging up papyri that were subsequently lost to mankind. This, however, drew the attention of certain malignant spirits, who came back to their mummified corpses in an attempt to drive Repton away.
Even for someone whose puzzle-solving skills were as adept as Repton's, the decipherment of the Egyptian scrolls was too big a task for one brain to attempt alone, and so he set off once more, this time hunting through the gaslit streets of Victorian England in search of Sherlock Holmes. Repton soon found himself in trouble with the police for revealing things that should have been left invisible, and a series of adventures ensued before he was able to track down the great detective -- adventures that were recorded for posterity only in one cryptic reference in Dr Watson's writings to "the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared".
Having attained his objective at last, Repton sought to return home, but he was in for an unpleasant surprise. His actions in previous time periods had had the effect of changing history, in such a way that when he returned to his own time, he found nothing familiar. For someone who was used to carrying diamonds around in his pockets, the idea of buying drinks with a card one couldn't even scratch a window with was a wholly foreign one; and why had the buildings suddenly grown much taller, and why were these strange people running after him for driving on the wrong side of the road? Surely they know that you have to do that to avoid colliding with spirits! But no, it seems no-one believes in spirits or monsters in this day and age.
There was only one thing to be done. Repton set off in his time capsule for one final voyage, the most adventurous of all -- into the future, to consult with the Time Lords about how he could restore the timeline back to normal. But finding them was not easy; the future, run as it was by humans, had become a most frightening place, with spacecraft powered by crystals flying to the moon and making contact with unfriendly species from distant planets. And the base of the Time Lords was said to lurk far out in the deadly vacuum of empty space, at the back of a mazelike route that was the only safe path to tread in the vast wilderness. Will he ever get there? You decide!
Repton Infinity marked the popular green lizard's last hurrah. Released at a time when the BBC Micro and the Acorn Electron were being superseded, it marked the end of an era.
The step up from Repton 3 came with the introduction of a new programming language that meant many new games with different rules could be produced with the same editing package. Additionally the game allowed you to load a new file and carry your score forward to this new file. Effectively it was the game that could if the player was very skilled go on for hours.
One thread which tied the four commercial games released with the package - as well as any created ones - was the use of the "Minimum Score" which allowed you to either exit a current level, or if there was still points available continue
As commercially released 'Repton Infinity' contained four games of eight screens divided into two parts:Repton 3 - Take 2, the old classic with a few technical differences to the original game
A new Repton manoeuvre made an appearance as well which for the purposes of this I will call 'The Infinity Shuffle'. Simply put this is how it works. When the game engine which runs Repton Infinity performs a scan of the level, Repton is always allowed to move first. This permits Repton to stand underneath a rock then move down, left or right to collect a diamond and return underneath the rock before he is either killed or blocked in. This manoeuvre makes its first appearance in Level 3 of G.Rep3A.
The rules of this game were almost exactly the same as the original. However there were a few minor differences.The game area was longer. Instead of the 24x28 area in Repton 3, the new eight screens measured 24x32
Additionally there was a small bug in the game related to fungus. If you collected a diamond and the fungus grew immediately killing you, the game wouldn't register that you had collected the diamond, thus you wouldn't be able to complete the screen.
This was a sequel of sorts to Repton 3. In common with other Repton sequels old characters and game-play were retained, while new ones appeared.Skulls and Monsters were retained, but altered to Skulls and Crossbones and Ghouls respectively. Spirits and Fungus were also retained but in their usual Repton 3 guise
The fungus bug from the Repton 3 - Take 2 screens was present in this set also, but it wasn't as critical due to only one of the eight screens requiring all of the tasks to be accomplished.
Robbo moves away from the Repton mythology to create a new game. You play the title character as always and each screen is a "test bay" where Robbo has to accomplish several tasks, which include:Collecting all the orbs, modelled after diamonds
Also you are required to push Things and Kettles out of the way in order for you to accomplish all of the above.
The last section of Repton Infinity is perhaps the most surreal of all. You play a guy in a JCB destroying enemies with road signs, tomatoes, bananas and sticks of dynamite.
To help you in this task you have your explosives expert Kevin who if placed correctly will blow up beasties for you. If he is placed above or below a stick of dynamite, he will blow up the stick plus one square to its left and right, if placed to the left or right Kevin will blow up the stick plus one square above or below.
To add to the surreal nature of the game your scores are all multiples of 17.
The nasties roll of honour includes:Oggles - Eyeballs that move from side to side and can be only killed with roadsigns from above, below and to their right.
In Repton Infinity you can also use the arrow keys to see more of your world around you. While there isn't much cause for their use in the previous three games, in Trakka it is essential if you're killing Oggles or luring out Spiders for instance. I won't state specifically where to use them, it will be up to your discretion.
Ego, the wisest of all the Repton family, now presents the cleverest and most puzzling of all the Repton games.
EGO: Repton 4 originally was not intended to be a Repton game, and was re-badged as the fifth incarnation of our favourite green reptile.
In Repton 4, gone are diamonds, boulders, earth, monsters, spirits, safes, crowns, and timebombs. Instead we have gems, mushrooms, androids, holes and puzzle pieces. There are still transporters, and we now have conveyors (which quickly moves you along in one direction).
The objective of the game is to pick up the puzzle pieces, one-by-one, and place them in the right place in the middle. But, be careful, don't block in an empty place as once placed, a piece cannot be moved. The final piece cannot be placed until all the gems are collected.
You have three 'EGOs' and you loose one if you step on a hole, get hit by a android or run out of time.
Remember, things are not always what they seem - some towers have hidden gems or potions, some trees disappear and some holes are actually transporters. There are even multiple gems on the same spot (when one gets taken, another appears in it's place).
Repton aka Ego Repton's great uncle, who is the wisest of all the Reptons. He spends his life above ground looking for gems, and doing jigsaw puzzles. Like Repton, he also has to avoid the various nasties roaming around.
Gem One of the objectives for Ego to collect. Sometimes, many are hidden in the same place requiring Ego to collect and re-collect the same gem.
Android Androids just wander back and forth guarding a section of land. They will kill on sight, and there is no known way of killing them - they are, however, temporarily disabled by magic mushrooms.
Tree These acts as barriers. But sometimes, they can be knocked down to get past. Some trees, when knocked down, will give you extra Egos and a bonus score.
Tower Again, more barriers. Some of these are hiding gems.
Magic Mushroom Useful little item - freezes the androids and conveyors.
Transporter Teleports Ego to another part of the screen. Unlike previous games, these can be used multiple times.
Conveyors Moves Ego very quickly along. The arrows will point in the direction of travel.
Puzzle Drop Once a puzzle piece has been picked up, it needs to be put down in the correct place in the centre of the screen. There are sometimes extra drop sites where any piece can be placed, temporarily.
Black Hole Be careful around these - if Ego falls in, that's an Ego lost. On later levels, they can appear out of nowhere and suck Ego to his doom. What makes it even more complicated is that some Black Holes are actually Trasnporters.
If you enter the password BLACKCAT, you will have 10 lives, can press CTRL+C to complete a level, CTRL+T to save a screen grab, and you can use view the map and completed puzzle on any level.
Repton: The Lost Realms is the most recent instalment of the lizard's adventures. Based on Repton 3 but including several new types of object, the game was programmed in 1988 by Paras Sidapara, but lay forgotten for over 20 years until it was rediscovered and rewritten by Tom Walker, with new graphics created for the game by Dave Jeffery. As well as introducing absorbalene pills, balloons and ice crystals, while keeping all the familiar objects from Repton 3, the game includes two types of spirits and cages, has a larger screen size and allows levels to have up to eight (instead of four) eggs and transporters.
For collecting a diamond: 5 points
For collecting a crown: 50 points
For collecting a key: 10 points
For digging an earth section: 1 point
In Paras Sidapara's original version of The Lost Realms, diamonds were worth 15 points and absorbalene pills 10. The above scoring system was created by accident when Tom Walker asked Michael S. Repton for the scoring system of Paras's version, and Michael remembered wrongly.
Unlike in Repton 3, the crown does not have to be collected to complete the level, but all six crowns in a level set must be obtained to earn the competition entry code. Also, there are two types of Spirits. Those of the same colour as the level's walls move around by following the walls (or other obstacles) on their left-hand side. Spirits of the same colour as the level's diamonds (usually yellow) follow the walls to their right. When a spirit enters a cage of the same colour, it is transformed into a diamond; spirits can pass through cages of the opposite colour.
ICE CRYSTALS freeze all monsters and cracked eggs for a fixed period of time, which may vary from one level to another.
ABSORBALENE PILLS set Repton's absorbency counter to a fixed amount, which is different from one level to another. The absorbency counter shows the number of absorbency doors (see below) that Repton can open without requiring another absorbalene pill. Collecting a second pill before completely using the first cannot increase Repton's absorbency above the fixed number for that level, and so is often wasteful.
ABSORBENCY DOORS are obstacles unless Repton has collected an absorbalene pill (see above).
BALLOONS are equivalent to boulders, but move up instead of down.
You play the role of Bono, an amiable dragon who lives in a castle by the sea. As a shrewd business-dragon, keen on "nice little earners", you make your living by selling soap to the giant monsters who bathe in the sea surrounding the castle. The monsters are so large that they need plenty of soap, and in order to keep their business you must supply them regularly.
Your castle is the headquarters of "Bono's Bathing Company". Inside the castle are 22 increasigly hazardous chambers where you and your business partner, Fozzy, produce soap by an age-old recipe: collecting skeletons and boiling them in a cauldron. Five skeletons are needed to make one bar of soap. Once you have collected five skeletons, simply move to a cauldron and touch it.
Before you move into the next chamber, you must produce five bars of soap; you must also deliver each bar in turn to the bathing monsters by climbing up the staircases which exit from the castle chambers. However, your employment is hampered by the deadly creatures that inhabit the chambers and you will also encounter many obstacles in your path.
There are three types of deadly creature that reside within the castle.
If a monster catches you, it will kill you immediately. There are three ways to deal with monsters:
Trap them in by using a glook. If a monster is unable to move it will die and you can then collect its skeleton.
If you only need to pass by a monster, your friend Fozzy can assist. He is capable of holding the monster so that you can pass unharmed. Fozzy will hold a monster only if he is directly in between you and the monster.
Lure the monster into a trapdoor. However, the monster will then disappear without trace - you will be unable to take its skeleton.
Spiders love to eat skeletons. Spiders always follow the left-hand edge of the chamber, unless they become stunned. They cannot be killed themselves but their vemonous bite is fatal to you. Fozzy, incidentally, is invulnerable to their poison.
Glooks are unusual creatures who are attracted to the smell of the soap being used by the bathing monsters; they always move towards this aroma. The direction in which the glooks move is determined by the current aroma direction, which changes each time a bar of soap is delivered up the stairs. The direction you enter the stairs will be the direction of their next aromatic inclinations. You can push glooks out of your way.
As you journey through the chambers you will come across a number of doors. To open each door you will need to use a key.
In each chamber there is a hidden volcano full of glooks. The volcano is "uncovered" by treading on a certain part of the ground and an active volcano may spell disaster for your business enterprise. If you become trapped, you have the option to commit suicide - thereby losing one of your lives.
Trapdoors, if used correctly, can swallow up pesky monsters, but watch your own step too!
In some parts of the chambers, you will see monsters trapped in by the surrounding earth. You should usually aim at ensnaring these monsters by removing some of the earth and trapping them in by using a glook.
The maximum number of skeletons, soap and keys you can carry is nine of each.
Your friend Fozzy is a useful guy to have around, although he is rather dim. He usually keeps to the right-hand edge of the chamber, unless he becomes dazed. If he does, give him a push and you will soon bring him round. He is strong enough to be able to hold monsters whilst you pass by, and he can also protect you from the spiders. Fozzy has a limited amount of energy and he will die if it runs out. This will occur if he is trapped. Fozzy has three lives.
Repton text written by Michael S. Repton, Jonathan Parkin and Gerald Holdsworth. Bonecruncher text taken from the game's instruction inlay. Edited and formatted by Gerald Holdsworth.