"There are no random events and no moving enemies in XOR. Your task is to guide two shields to collect all of the masks and find an exit door in each of 15 mazes. This is made very difficult by the hazards and obstacles in each maze, which generally have to be manipulated in ingenious ways, and the limit of 2000 moves per level."
Paul and Heather Collins have played through the Spectrum version in its entirety and have created RZX recordings of every level! You'll need a Spectrum emulator to play back these files.
They had to sacrifice a shield to finish the two final levels, but apparently this is unavoidable. Also, it seems impossible to collect the four map pieces on the final level (The Decoder). This makes sense to me, as it means you have to explore the map properly to find out which letters need replacing with which.
Download RZX recordings of every level.
Download a Z80 snapshot of the completed game.
Here is a list of keypresses to solve each level (as ripped from the RZX files). Personally, I found them very useful when automating the testing of my iPhone version.
Arjan Opmeer has done a sterling job of taking the above RZX files and produced animated GIFs of each level played to its conclusion!
I have included the size of each file, to give you some idea of how long they will take to download and view. If you have Broadband you should be fine; if you're still in the dial-up dark ages then you may want to watch them in work! :)
|Level Name||GIF filesize|
|Dots and Waves||580 KB|
|Something Fishy||612 KB|
|Chicken Supreme||536 KB|
|Explosive Mixture||740 KB|
|Henry's Anguish||620 KB|
|The Dolls House||1,154 KB|
|Dolly's Revenge||1,012 KB|
|The Challenge||944 KB|
|Patience Pending||628 KB|
|Razor Edge||1,271 KB|
|The Happy Hour||1,661 KB|
|Deja Vu||1,150 KB|
|The Decoder||684 KB|
Hopefully, between the RZXs and the GIFs, anyone who needs to test their own remake should have all the resources they need!
At last - a use for Youtube that does not involve surprised kittens or muppet videos! SentinelProxima has done a fine job of videoing the playthrough of each level, and commenting it as he does so. See all the videos here.
(Thanks to Paul Collins for compiling this section.)
"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, with a certificate and a badge to prove it."
Finishing each level gives you a letter or symbol. The final set of 15 symbols is L*BF*T?H*ZC*Z*D. If you fully explore level 15, The Decoder, you will find patterns of wall that spell out Z=E H=I B=U. Applying these rules to the string transforms it into L*UF*T?I*EC*E*D; and then removing the non-letter symbols and reading backwards produces DECEITFUL.
I thought that was it, until George Foot contacted me to point out that a twelve-letter word with those letters is MULTIFACETED ("His many faces [the masks] are scattered through 15 levels"). This seems closer to an "encrypted anagram" than a mere backwards word interspersed with symbols. Even so, why should there be two distinct symbols (? and *) for three distinct letters (A-M-T)?
To compound the mystery, the BBC Micro version (and perhaps others) forces you to play the level pairs 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15 in one sitting each, and only yields a letter for the second of each pair, so that the final sequence is L?UF?T!IECED (again with the unique symbol between T and I). Remember that all of the 8-bit versions were released at the same time with the same printed inlay and competition rules.
The solution to the Ovine remake is different, but I won't reveal it here because they still have an increasing list of game winners!