rocksndiamonds man page

Rocks'n'Diamonds — A game for Unix/X11


This is a nice little game with color graphics and sound for your Unix system with color X11. You need an 8-Bit color display or better. It is not recommended on black&white systems, and maybe not on gray scale systems.

If you know the game "Boulderdash" (Commodore C64) or "Emerald Mine" (Amiga), you know what "ROCKS'N'DIAMONDS" is about.

The Menues

You can see eight blue circles on the left side of the eight green menu texts; these are buttons to activate the menu commands by simply clicking on them with the left mouse button. The button will then change to red. (You can control the menues over the keyboard or joystick, too. Just use the arrow keys and the 'Return' or 'Enter' key or, if you use a joystick, the appropriate direction and the fire button.)

The menu 'name'

When you start the game the first time, your login name will appear in the 'NAME:' field. If you want to use a different name for playing, for example a funny player name or a name for cheating, you can click on the button and enter a new name.

If you choose a certain special name, you will be in a cheat mode where you can choose all levels without playing the lower levels before... :)

The menue 'level'

If you have played some levels of this game, you can choose the already played levels at any time, but you cannot choose the higher levels. This means, you can choose levels from level 0 to the highest level that you have ever won. This is known as your 'handicap'.

If the level number is red, you have choosen a 'ready' level, if it is yellow, you have choosen a 'user' level, which is blank and can be edited by yourself with the built-in level editor (see below).

To choose new level series, click on the button on the left and choose the new level serie.

Hall of fame

Click on this button to see a list of the best players of this level. Click again to go back to the main menu.

Level creator

This brings you to the level editor, if you have switched to a 'yellow' level, which are empty and can be filled by yourself. See below.

Info screen

This screen shows you all elements which appear in the game and presents you the background music loops which you can listen to while playing the levels (only available on Linux and FreeBSD systems).

Start game

This will start the game.


To change some things in the game, use the setup menu. You can enable/disable "Sound" (enables/disables _all_ sounds in the game), "Sound loops" (only allowed on Linux and FreeBSD systems with VoxWare[tm] sound driver; don't worry if you never heard of it -- it's the name of the standard Linux sound driver), "Game music" (can always be enabled on very fast systems [exception: you don't like it], on slower systems it will take some percent of CPU time which will slow things down a bit) and "Toons", which will forbid/ permit the little animated toons.

"Buffered Gfx" can be set to "off" on slower systems, "Fading" gives a nice fading effect when displaying new screens, but unfortunately I haven't found a system which is fast enough to display it so far. (Maybe this works better on highly accelerated X servers.) Better set this to "off" if you have a normal system...

Set "auto-record" to "on" if you want to automatically record each game to tape.

If you have a Linux or FreeBSD system with a joystick, you can choose the "1st" or the "2nd" joystick port and use "Cal. Joystick" to calibrate it. Use "Save and exit" after calibration to save it for later playing sessions.

"Exit" quits the setup menu without saving the changes, "Save and exit" will save and then return to the main menu.


Exit the game.

How To Play The Game

When the game has started, you can see the playfield on the left side and a control field on the right side. The control field contains the following elements:

Level indicator
Tells you which level you are playing.
Shows you how many emeralds you still need to win the current level.
Shows you how many dynamite bombs you have.
Shows you which keys you have in your inventory.
Shows the current score. In some levels there are some extra items giving extra score points.
The seconds you have still left to play the level.
Game controls to stop the game, pause it and go on playing. If the tape recorder is recording your game, it is stopping/pausing/playing as well.
Music buttons

The three music buttons can be used to control the background music loop, the 'looping' sounds and all other sounds. The little red light shows you if it is enabled or disabled. On slower systems (and a 486DX33 with Soundblaster _is_ a slower system) it increases the game speed to turn off background music. You can completely turn off all sound effects in the setup menu, although it is much more fun to have them enabled when it doesn't eats up to much speed.

(A little note: The sound server currently needs about 10% CPU time on my 486DX/33/SBPro system when playing background music. I wonder if this would get better with a better soundcard, like Gravis Ultrasound, or if only pure CPU power helps in this case...)

About the game itself

Of course you know Boulderdash, so you will know how to play the game. :) If not: You can move your playing figure (the smiley) with the arrow keys or with the joystick (if you have no joystick and even no arrow keys on your keyboard, you can use the keys 'i', 'j', 'k' and 'm' for the directions. To 'snap' a field near you without moving to it, you can use the left fire button on your joystick (hold it down, move the stick to 'snap' the field, release the button) or the keys 'e', 's', 'd' and 'x'. To place a piece of dynamite, use the right fire button on your joystick or use the 'b' key (and, after placing the dynamite, better see to move away from this field...).

Just try the levels from the 'tutorial' level serie to see what most of the elements do or have a look at the info screen!

Note: It is *highly recommended* to use a joystick for playing this game! It is possible to play it with the keyboard, but it is *much more fun* to play with a joystick, and some levels are very difficult to solve with the keyboard. So, the best platform for this game is a Linux or a FreeBSD system (which gives you background music, too).

The Level Editor

To build your own levels, just choose a 'yellow', empty level. If you cannot find any 'yellow' levels, choose a different level serie or choose the higher level numbers (if you have a small 'handicap' number, the higher levels will be skipped to reach the 'empty' levels.

Another way is to create your own level series. Just add a line to the file 'levels/ROCKS.levelinfo' with the following entries:
- the name of the level directory (create this directory under 'levels')
- the name of the level serie (don't use any whitespaces within the name)
- the 'ready' (red) levels (start with zero)
- the 'empty' (yellow) levels (set this to some number of blank levels)

To edit a level, you can use all three mouse buttons to draw in the level window. Click into the elements field with one of the three buttons to remap it to the new element. Use the arrow widgets to scroll around in the level. Use the 'flood fill' field to init exactly ony flood fill operation in the level field (you will be prompted). Click on 'control window' to switch to the control window.

In the control window you can modify different parameters like the size of the level playfield, the name of the level, the scores for different elements and something like that. The four 3x3 field on the upper left can be edited like the level field and indicate the 'contents' of smashed crunchers (just try it out with some crunchers in one of your own levels).

'Undo & Exit' leaves the level editor, throwing away all the changes you have done to the level. 'Save & Exit' leveas the level editor and saves the new level (the old one will be deleted).

The Tape Recorder

You can use the tape recorder to record games and play tapes of previously played games. Just use them like a normal video recorder.

Recording a game on tape:

Just press the 'record' button (the one with the red point on it) and either press 'Start Game' or press on 'record' or 'pause' to end the pause mode and start playing and recording.

If you have set "auto record" in the setup menu to "on", you just have to press 'Start Game' as usual.

Saving a game tape:
To save a tape to the tape file corresponding to the level (that means that you can only save one tape file for each level), just press the 'eject' button (the very left button). Then you will be prompted if you really want to replace the old tape (if an old tape exists).
Playing a tape:

Just press 'play' and then either 'play' or 'pause'.

While recording or playing, you can press 'pause' to stop the recording or the playing of the tape and continue by pressing 'pause' again. You can use either the tape recorder buttons or the game control buttons for this purpose.

And Now Have Fun!

Have fun playing the game, building new levels and breaking all high scores! ;)


If you have any comments, problems, suggestions, donations, flames, send them to


Have fun!


20 November 1995