Tricks and Tips


This is a page of some more advanced tricks and tips for playing Kye and also for level designing. They may offer additional or quicker ways for the player to complete a level, or they may be essential. The level designer may base a level on particular quirks.

Diagram Description
The Playing Area : The playing area is blank, but think of it like a big solitaire or chess board. Kye and the other pieces move about between the positions in little jumps. Only Kye can move diagonally directly. You soon get to sense the rows and columns from the position of other objects. Maybe one day we will add an option to show the grid faintly in Python Kye.
Kye : In the original game graphics, Kye is the round green object on the left. However he does behave more like a square block than a round one; for example a marble can rest against him. Therefore in the Modified Python Kye graphics I have made Kye more square, but not completely because that would make him look inanimate. I have also given him a smiley face to identify him as the player's piece. It turns into a sad face though as Kye dies.

By the way, Kye was the name of Colin Garbutt's (the original author) pet dog.
Kye's Lives : Kye is killed if a monster gets next to him (but not diagonally). He is also killed by walking into a black hole. He has three lives, and he tries to come alive again in the place where he started the level - the orgin.

However this may be impossible if a block or a monster has moved into the origin. In that case he finds a nearby place to come alive again. The player can use this to jump a wall provided it is close to the origin - by pushing blocks onto and around the origin, and then "committing suicide". In this way he can be re-born in a nearby place that he chooses. This is called "warping" or "teleporting"
Kye's Moves : Kye can be moved with the cursor or the arrow keys. He can be dragged with the cursor, or the mouse button can be held down with the cursor on the spot you want to reach. Kye can move diagonally - directly rather than by two dog-leg moves. In this example Kye passes between two echelons of monsters because they cannot harm him diagonally. This is much easier to do with the mouse than with the arrow keys. The Xye version of Kye however does not permit diagonal movement by Kye.
Monster Trapping : A basic manoever in the game is to box monsters in using blocks, typically pushing back a wall of blocks until the monster is trapped in a corner and Kye can access some diamonds or a door. However, you cannot push back a block while the monster is right behind it.

Monsters try to get as near to Kye as possible. So to push back blocks in a wall, don't try to push the nearest with the monster behind it, but rush along the wall a bit and push one in. A good ploy is shown here - stand back one space from the wall, and, when the monster is right opposite you, click on a block to one side of it, like the knight's move in chess. Keep working your way forward one block at a time.
Pushing Monsters : Despite the previous tip, sometimes you just have to use brute force and patience to push back a monster the other side of a block. Just hold the mouse button down with the cursor on the block, or hold the arrow key down. Monsters are attracted towards you, but they do jiggle about and the next time this one steps back Kye will push the block forwards.
Monster Movements : With experience you will find that monsters move more rapidly up and down the playing area than across it. This is worth knowing if you are in the same space as them, a risk that must sometimes be taken. This is one of those quirks of the original Kye which was almost certainly not intended, but which has been faithfully replicated in Python Kye. It may not have been replicated on all platforms however.

Somewhere in the original Kye literature there was an implication that the differnt monsters had different behaviour. Perhaps that was an intention, but in Classic Kye they all behave the same.
Rat Run
Rat Runs : Sometimes a level designer wants to provide a passageway for monsters or sliders to use, but which cannot be used by Kye. A common technique for this is to anchor a monster alongside the passage by means of a magnet. There is no way the player can defeat this obstacle.
Shooters : Another quirk of the original game is that shooters nearer the top of the playing area spawn sliders or marbles faster than shooters nearer the bottom. In some levels you must block them as soon as possible or the level will clog up. In this case aim to block the shooters nearer the top of the area first.
Turning Block
Turning Blocks (1) : All four faces of a turning block are effective in turning a slider or marble running into it. Think of turning blocks as "clockwise" turners or "anti-clockwise" turners, rather than "left" or "right" turners, because the latter are only true from the viewpoint of the slider/marble, not from that of the player. The turning block graphics of Classic Kye were somewhat ambiguous and have been improved in the Python Kye graphics.
Turning Blocks*

Turning Blocks*

Turning Blocks*

Turning Blocks*
Turning Blocks (2) : The top screenshot shows a game start where Kye must get the diamond below it before moving off to the rest of the level via the soft block to the top right.

The problem is that the marbles around the first diamond may, when released, block the way forward or simply fail to clear their own room. Obviously the free turning block must be used to send them up to the fixed turning block at the top which then turns them left to to be dumped in the top left area.

However it is not enough to position the free turning block opposite the door. The second screenshot (taken after movement has ceased) shows what happens if you do. Because of the brief delay as each marble is turned, the ones following start to pile around the ones in front, creating an impasse.

The third screenshot (taken during movement) shows the way to guide the marbles. Kye and the square block are positioned to funnel the marbles on to the turning block, two spaces ahead of the turner with a gap between them. Kye has moved to its place immediately after breaking the soft block in the doorway.

This can be seen more clearly in the fourth screenshot, taken after the movement has ceased and the way ahead is clear.
* Black Holes : If a black hole has just swallowed something it goes through several changes of colour and cannot swallow anything else until it goes black again. During this time it can be nudged along by a sentry (but not by Kye). A black hole can be deliberately moved by pushing a block into it just before a sentry arrives. They can be pushed a long way by lining up several sentries and then Kye pushing from the back of the line. This is used in the "Diamonds" Level of Hordes where black holes obstruct the way forward. One swallowing black hole can even be pushed into another.
One Start

Single Starts : A starting position for Kye can be designed such that Kye can only leave from it once, effectively giving the player one life only. This shows just one way to do it - the slider will move to the right as Kye moves off and if Kye respawns he will find himself blocked in.

The lower design allows Kye two lives. It would be interesting if anyone could devise a more compact method than this.