Contents of the MLLOYD.DOC file
MicroLink Personal Computer Users' Group
v1.1, Copyright 1990, Bob Lancaster
Back around 1870, master game inventor Sam Loyd unleashed upon the
world a little hand-held puzzle known simply as "14-15". It caught
on like wildfire, and was the Rubik's Cube of it's time.
At one time or another, most of us have owned a version of the "14-
15" puzzle. You remember, the little plastic square with 15
smaller numbered squares inside, and you had to shuffle them around
to put them in order?
I recall one I had as a kid that I took on long car trips, and
another I bought at Disneyland, which when solved, showed Donald
Duck's face! Wow!
Anyway, it was with these fond memories that I decided to write
MicroLink Loyd, a PC-based version of "14-15".
Loyd will run on any IBM PC/AT/XT/PS2 or close clone thereof, with
at least 100k of memory available after DOS is loaded.
Although the game looks best when played on a color monitor, it
plays just fine on a monochrome. (If you are using a monochrome or
composite monitor with a color graphics card, please see "Black And
White Mode" in the Games Parameters section below)
A Microsoft-compatible mouse can be used. (Remember to load your
mouse driver before starting Loyd).
If you run across a configuration on which the game will not run,
please let me know (address at end of this file)!
Microsoft Mouse Support
Monochrome/Composite monitor support
Top Ten Scores file
Statistics on multiple games
In Loyd, you are shown a group of fifteen numbered squares within
a larger square. Figure 1 shows the arrangement at the beginning
of round 1.
| 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 |
| 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 |
| 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 |
| 13 + 14 + 15 + |
At the beginning of each round, the playing area is shown in its
solved, or "goal" arrangement, and is then shuffled by the
computer (A small picture of the goal is still displayed in the
upper right-hand corner of the screen).
The player then uses the mouse or cursor keys to move the smaller
squares back into the goal arrangement in the least number of moves
A side note: When Loyd first unleashed his puzzle on the world, it
was sold with the 14 and 15 tiles reversed, and all the purchaser
had to do was figure out how to reverse those two tiles... It
wasn't until a few decades ago that it was finally mathematically
proven that the puzzle is impossible to solve from this starting
point! MicroLink Loyd starts in the solved position, and then
randomly shuffles the tiles, so there is never a danger of that!
Players start each round with 500 points, with a point deducted
each time a square is moved. Solving in the least moves results in
the highest score!
At the end of four rounds (each with a different goal), the player
with the highest score wins!
STARTING THE GAME
At this point, you should be able to play the game, and get a feel
for it. You can read the rest of this document now at your leisure
to clarify points, and to explain some of the features you might
not understand your first few times through the game.
So, make sure you are in DOS, and type "MLLOYD" (without the
quotes) and press return. Follow the prompts, and enjoy!
Loyd can be played either using the keyboard or a Microsoft-
The legend (the last line on the screen) always contains a list
of keys that are valid at any point in the game, along with a
one-word description of their function. (See "COMMANDS" below)
When moving the squares, the cursor keys will move a square in
the direction indicated. (Since only squares next to the empty
space can be moved, it isn't necessary to indicate which square
Most of the keys listed on the bottom line of the screen can be
entered via the mouse by pointing to the command and clicking
the left button of the mouse. (If you are new to mice,
"clicking" something means to place the mouse cursor on it and
press the appropriate button, in this case, the left.)
Also, boxes higher on the screen with messages such as "Press
return for next player" will allow you to click the box itself
to continue, rather than the command at the bottom of the
To move a square in the puzzle, simply click the square. (Only
squares next to the empty space can be moved.)
So, experiment with the mouse, and see what works. I think it's
fairly straightforward, but would appreciate any feedback on
ways you think it could be improved (address at end of file).
COMMANDS AND TOGGLES
A number of commands and toggles are available to enhance play, or
to allow you to tailor the game a little to suit your taste.
Alphabetically, these are:
A (AllScores command)
This displays a scorecard of all players, to compare how
everyone is doing in relation to each other. The highest
score(s) are emphasized with a flashing arrow.
B (BossKey command)
This displays a phony DOS screen. I'll explain for you honest
folks: this key is used when you are playing the game on company
time, and the boss suddenly appears. To return to the game, key
OK at the phony DOS prompt.
Esc (Exit command)
Use this key to end MLLoyd before the game is over.
F (Fast Mode toggle)
If you just want to play the game, and not look at some of the
"animation" (such as the moving squares), turning the Fast Mode
on will do it.
Defaults to "No", showing all animation.
I (Program Info)
Displays information about the program and the author.
N (Next Prompt toggle)
This allows you to get rid of the "Press return for so-and-so's
turn" message, which some folks find annoying.
Defaults to "Yes", allowing the message to show.
R (Round Prompt toggle)
This allows you to get rid of the "Round" message, which some
folks find annoying.
Defaults to "Yes", allowing the message to show.
S (Sound Mode toggle)
This allows you to turn on and off the sounds produced by the
game, which some folks find annoying.
Defaults to "Yes", producing sound.
T (TopTen scores command)
Displays the highest ten scores achieved on your machine. (This
information is stored in the file MLLOYD.SCR. Clearing the top
ten may be done by displaying the top ten and pressing Alt-C.)
W (Win/Loss Statistics command)
Displays the statistics for all games played in the current
session (Since player names were entered). These are always
shown at the end of each game, but this command allows you to
display them during play.
COMMAND LINE PARAMETERS
In the section above, several options are referred to as "toggles".
This simply means that they can be in a "Yes" or "No" state.
(Note that the state of these toggles can be determined by looking
at the legend appearing at the bottom of your screen. If the
toggle description there begins with a capital letter, the toggle
is in a "Yes" state. For example, if a legend reads "Sound fast",
the sound toggle is set to "yes", and the fast toggle is set to
Each of them has a "default", which is the state (either yes or no)
in which they start out when Loyd begins.
I set the defaults to the way I felt was best, but you may think
If you find yourself always changing one or more of the toggles
each time you play, you might want to set them on the DOS command
Any toggle can be flipped to the opposite of its default (Fast Mode
= "Yes", for example) by keying the toggle's letter following the
program name (MLLOYD) when you start up the game.
So, if you wanted to set "Round Prompt" to No, and Fast Mode to
"Yes" (the opposites of their defaults), at DOS you would key:
"MLLOYD R F"
...without the quotes, followed by the Return key. Be careful that
you leave a space between MLLOYD and the toggle(s), or DOS won't
recognize what you are trying to do.
This allows you to tailor the game a little to your taste, and if
you put this statement into a DOS batch file or menu processor, it
will save you from setting these toggles each time you start the
Toggles only valid from the command line:
B (Black And White mode)
If you are running a composite monitor on a color graphics card,
and the colors in MLLoyd are hard to discern, keying "MLLOYD B"
at the DOS prompt will make MLLoyd run in Black And White Mode.
Defaults to "Yes" if Monochrome adapter detected, "No"
If you have your mouse driver installed, but do not want to use
the mouse during MLLoyd, keying "MLLOYD M" at the DOS prompt
will cause MLLoyd to ignore the mouse.
If you run the program without this parameter, you can still
use the keyboard. Using this parameter simply keeps the mouse
cursor from being displayed.
If the mouse driver is not installed, this parameter has no
Defaults to "Yes" if mouse driver detected, "No" otherwise.
T (Top Ten Scores)
This is different than the "T" command available during game
play. It specifies whether a Top Ten Scores file should be
saved, and is useful if you are running the game from a write-
Defaults to "Yes".
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VERSIONS
VERSION 0.0 - 02/01/89
Bare bones, written in Turbo C 2.0 as an experiment.
VERSION 0.1 - 12/20/89
Rewritten in Turbo Pascal 5.0, still unreleased.
VERSION 1.0 - 03/10/90
Added Win/Loss option.
Recompiled with Turbo Pascal 5.5.
Released to a few beta testers.
VERSION 1.1 - 03/13/90
Initial "Public" release.
Thanks to all those folks who wrote nice letters and left great BBS
messages in response to my other games.
A tip o' the hat as always to the officers and members of MicroLink
PCUG for the encouragement and support they always give my PC
Thanks to Eagle Performance Software, whose Shareware product
"QWIK" allows for some blazingly fast screenwrites in Turbo Pascal
and Turbo C.
Programmers interested in QWIK should contact Eagle at:
Eagle Performance Software Or Call Jim LeMay at:
TP products (817) 735-4833
P.O. Box 122237
Fort Worth, TX 76121-2237
ALSO BY THE AUTHOR
MicroLink Yaht - The popular dice game
MicroLink Shut The Box - The traditional board game
MicroLink Otra - A memory game in the spirit of "Simon"
I would appreciate any comments, complaints, or wish lists of
features you'd like to see! And, if you have any favorite old
games you'd like to see programmed, I'm always looking for another
which would interest me!
Also, if you like the game enough (and can afford) to send a small
($5) donation, I won't argue. And my wife will understand my long
nights at the PC a little better!
Either way: Enjoy the game, and give copies of it to all your
friends. And enemies. Strangers on the street...
I can be contacted by mail at:
Bob Lancaster / P.O. Box 5612 / Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
Or by modem at:
MicroLink PCUG BBS (AKA So. Cal Builder's Board)
818/961-7903 - 24hrs/365 days - 300/1200/2400/9600
CompuServe ID: 71141,3016
Please include the version number of Loyd in correspondence.
Those interested in finding out more about MicroLink can contact
the board listed above, or by mail:
MicroLink PCUG Headquarters
15865-B E. Gale Ave. Box 1003
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
Tell them Loyd sent you!