1.0 REQUIRED SPEC / MINIMUM SPEC
1.1 REQUIRED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Alchemy for Windows requires an IBM PC or 100% compatible computer, with a Pentium II 200 Mhz or better processor. Your computer must have
at least 32 megabytes of RAM.
Operating System: you must be utilizing Windows 95, 98, 2000, or ME with Direct X to play Alchemy for Windows on your system.
Controls: a keyboard and a 100% Microsoft compatible mouse are required.
Sound: you must have a Direct X certified sound card installed.
Video: you must have your desktop set to 16-bit or 32-bit Color (256 Colors will not
1.2 RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
PopCap recommends an IBM PC or 100% compatible computer, with a Pentium II 300 Mhz or better
2.0 TROUBLESHOOTING / COMPATIBILITY
For Updates To This List Go To www.popcap.com.
2.1 Direct X
If you need the latest version of Direct X, go to www.microsoft.com/directx.
2.2 Screen Color Depth
Alchemy requires you to be running in 16bit color or better. It may not function in Windowed mode properly in 256 colors. If you
are running in 256 colors, the game will try to switch to full screen mode.
In addition, the game may run slowly in windowed mode in 32 bit color. If this occurs, switch to full-screen mode, or change
your color depth to 16 bits.
2.3 Bug Reporting
Though we've tried our best to squash all the bugs, every once in a while something we didn't expect pops up...
If you should come across a bug in Alchemy, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If for some reason the program crashes, it will try to capture any pertinent data and give you instructions on how to send that data
to PopCap. This is very helpful for tracking down glitches! This information is also stored in a file called CRASH.TXT in your
Alchemy directory (C:/PROGRAM FILES/POPCAP GAMES/ALCHEMY by
default). If you can, include this text file with any email you send to PopCap about
The object of the game is to transform the entire board into gold by placing magic RUNES on every square. When you turn a whole board
to gold, you will proceed to the next, where you earn more points but the game becomes more difficult.
3.2 GAME ELEMENTS
RUNES are magical symbols that come in different shapes and colors. You place these on the board to change the square underneath to
gold. Runes must be placed next to an existing Rune, and they must match all adjacent Runes in either their shape, their color, or both.
STONES are grey blocks that act as "wild cards." Any type of Rune can be placed next to a Stone.
SKULLS are magical "bombs." You can place them on any existing Rune to destroy it.
The FORGE is the round metal object on the left sidebar. It fills with molten lava whenever you discard a Rune, and cools down when
you place a Rune successfully. When you fill the Forge completely, the game will end.
3.3 HOW TO PLACE RUNES
It is highly recommended you play the TUTORIAL included in the game. This will show you the rules of the game in an easy to understand
When you start your first game, you will see a grey Stone in the center of the board. You will place your first Rune next to this
After that, you will receive a series of randomly chosen Runes that you must place on the board.
Runes must be placed next to another Rune already on the board.
Runes must match the shape or color of all Runes they're placed next to.
Placing a Rune on a square changes that square to gold. The square remains gold even if the Rune is later destroyed. When the entire
board has been changed to gold, you will proceed to the next level.
3.4 DISCARDING RUNES
Sometimes you won't be able to place a Rune anywhere on the board. At this point you'll have to discard the Rune.
You can discard by either clicking on the Discard button on the left hand sidebar, or by right-clicking your mouse.
3.5 THE FORGE
Every time you discard a Rune, the Forge will fill partway with lava. When the forge is completely full, the game is over.
You can cool the Forge down by successfully placing Runes on the board. Every time you place a Rune, the Forge will cool down by one step.
3.6 ROWS AND COLUMNS
You will have to clear Runes from the board in order to successfully change every square to gold. The easiest way to do this is by creating
a complete row or column of Runes.
Whenever you complete a full row across or a column up and down, all the Runes in that line will disappear from the board. The squares
beneath will remain gold.
Sometimes you will receive a grey Stone instead of a Rune. The Stones are wild cards. Any type of Rune can be placed next to a Stone.
Be careful with Stones! They can be crucial in solving a difficult board, so use them with caution.
Sometimes you will receive a spinning Skull instead of a Rune. The Skulls are magical "bombs" that you can use to destroy any Rune already
on the board. Just click on the target Rune to destroy it.
Skulls can be useful in clearing areas that have gotten tangled up with too many Runes.
If you're stuck, you can click on the question mark button on the sidebar. This will show you the possible spots on the board that you
could place your current Rune (if any are available).
However, each time you use the Hint feature, you will be penalized a number of points. On Easy level, you are penalized 25
points, on Average difficulty, 50 points, and on Hard, 100 points.
4.0 GAME TYPES
When you start a game of Alchemy, you can choose from two different game modes and three difficulty levels (NOTE: not all are available to
The default is an EASY game in STRATEGIC mode.
To change your game mode or difficulty setting, click NEW GAME on the sidebar. You will be asked to confirm that you want to abort your
current game, and then taken to the menu where you can choose your game settings.
4.1 STRATEGIC MODE
This is the default setting for the game. You can take as long as you like to make your moves.
4.2 TIMETRIAL MODE
In this real-time mode, the Forge's temperature rises all the time, not just when you discard a Rune! You must keep placing Runes on the
board to keep it from overheating.
TimeTrial mode is for experienced Alchemy players. It's more difficult, but you'll score more points than in Strategic mode.
Press any key while playing Timetrial mode to pause the game.
You'll score different amounts of points depending on the mode of the game and the difficulty setting. Here's the formula used to figure
Placing a Rune on a lead square:
5 pts Placing a Rune on a square with 1 adjacent Rune
15 pts Placing a Rune on a square with 2 adjacent Runes
30 pts Placing a Rune on a square with 3 adjacent Runes
50 pts Placing a Rune on a square with 4 adjacent Runes
Placing a Rune on a gold square:
1 pts Placing a Rune on a square with 1 adjacent Rune
2 pts Placing a Rune on a square with 2 adjacent Runes
3 pts Placing a Rune on a square with 3 adjacent Runes
4 pts Placing a Rune on a square with 4 adjacent Runes
Clearing a row or column:
50 pts Clearing a row that hasn't been cleared before
5 pts Clearing a previously cleared row again
250 pts Clearing a row and column simultaneously
Completing a level: 500 pts for the first board, 625 for the second, 750 for the third, and so forth.
Normal Difficulty: x2 points
Hard Difficulty: x4 points
Timetrial Mode: x2 points
Using the Hint button (question mark on sidebar) costs you a number of points: 25 on Easy, 50 on Average, and 100 on
The game options are accessed by clicking the Options button on the sidebar during a game. This brings up a menu with the following
5.1 MUSIC AND SOUND FX
You can adjust these separately by clicking and dragging on the sliders. If you're tired of the music, but still want to hear the sound
effects, just drag the music gem all the way to the left.
5.2 FULL SCREEN MODE
If this is checked, Alchemy will play in full-screen mode. If it is unchecked, it will play in a floating 640x480 window (good if you want
to do other things while playing). The change will take effect once you hit OK to close the Options window.
5.3 CUSTOM CURSORS
If this is checked, the normal Windows cursors are replaced with custom Alchemy
cursors. Turning this off may help if you are having problems with the cursor moving too fast or too slow.
5.4 HIGH SCORES
This button will show you the top scores for the Strategic and Timetrial modes of
If you enjoy playing the Trial version of Alchemy, sooner or later you'll need to register!
4.1 BENEFITS OF REGISTERING
When you register, it removes all the annoying nag screens and waits from the program. In addition, it also enables the following features:
* Local High Scores - keep track of your personal best
* Internet High Scores - compete with players around the world!
* TimeTrial Mode - can you handle real-time Alchemy?
Plus, it helps us at PopCap keep producing more games for you!
4.2 HOW TO REGISTER
To register online, go to www.popcap.com/alchemy
and follow the instructions there. You will receive a license code which you
must enter, along with the name you used in the registration process, to activate your registered version.
Once you have your license code, you can get to the registration screen by selecting
REGISTER from the Options
menu, or by clicking on the link that appears on the loading screen.
Make sure to type in your name and license code exactly as they appeared in the email sent to you confirming your registration!
You should save a copy of your license code somewhere safe, in case you need to reinstall Alchemy
7.0 ALCHEMY ON THE INTERNET
PopCap Games, the creators of Alchemy, have their home site at: www.popcap.com
Here you'll find Alchemy and a host of other fun web games.
Full version ($19.95)
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