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Ature (Atari 2600) 1.1



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Ature, Copyright 2009, beoran@rubyforge.org
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Story
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Myriads of years passed since man first set foot on the moon. Terrible wars
raged, and great ecological problems arose. Much was destroyed, and the face of
the Earth itself was changed. Finally, tired of the endless troubles, the people
of the world united to build a durable era of cooperation, peace and prosperity.
Technology developed as never before, and mankind travelled to the stars and
spread throughout the galaxy.

However, even this golden age of technology came to an end somehow. Contact with
the other worlds was lost. The advanced technology and the great cities were
abandoned, and mankind's numbers dwindled as they reverted to a more primitive
lifestyle.

Yet, when it looked like mankind would was doomed to disappear, a mysterous
event turned the tide yet again. The Great Tree sprang from the earth,
bringing life and protection to all of mankind. It seeds spread thoughout
the continents, bringing forth the Twenty Lesser Trees.

The Numen, the power that flowed from these trees gave mankind new, mysterious
abilities that allowed them to heal and recover themselves and the land. Still,
there are those who would abuse this power for their own selfish goals...
That is why, everywhere a tree appeared, Protectors rose up to keep the Trees
safe.

The year is 2600 after the Sprouting of the Tree. In the land the land of Ature,
enclosed by impenetrable tall mountains, dense forests, and the sea, one of
the Numen Trees had been guarded closely by the Gemma family. You are Signe,
the youngest in the line of the Gemma. Your father, Dyon, trained you in the
arts of swordfighting, and when you reached 20 years of age, you were handed
down the Mystic Medaillion, sign that henceforth you would be the Protector
of the Tree.

Ature was well separated from the outside world, and had been peaceful for the
last millenium. You enjoyed life, together with your beloved, and it seemed like
all that training had been for naught. Little did you know that you would soon
be called to the task!

At the horizon, a black ship landed on shore, carrying queen Ikaza to Ature.
She claimed to be on a mission of trade, and she seemed fair, so you did not
have any second thoughts, even though you felt some fear at the unusual looks
of her servants.

The queen was welcomed with a great party that went on until late at night,
in which you and your beloved also participated, until, drowsy, you returned
home. Alas! Little did you know it was all deception! During the feast, Ikaza's
servants found out the location of the Numen Tree. As you were sleeping, she
captured your beloved, went to the Tree, blocked it's access with a curse,
and started to drain the Tree's powers.

The results were disastrous. The curse on the Tree was so powerful, that that
lay of the land of Ature itself was changed, and the people and animals were
turned to stone. Only you, protected by the Mysic Medallion were spared.
Outraged at this, the Queen sent her servants, now revealed to be nothing
more than foul monsters, to hunt you down.

These foul monsters can be defeated with your shord, but will be reborn
due to the curse, the moment you leave the area they are patrolling.
Fortunately, there are some places in Ature where Ikaza and her dark servants
cannot go, as they are protected by ancient blessings.

However, the situation is dire, Signe! Your beloved was abducted. Your friends
and family have been petrified! Who knows what more evil Ikaza will do with
her new-found powers. You must find a way to reach Ikaza and defeat her!

You have heard rumours of the three leaves of the Tree, well hidden, which
together would allow to break any curse. It's also rumored that there is a
Numen Shield and a Numen Armour that can protect you from that dark power.

Furthermore, you did not recieve any education in the use of Numen's Mysterious
Powers. Perhaps you will find a Mystery Book along the way that teaches you
how to use these powers. However, will all that be enough to defeat Ikaza?
If only you had a weapon that could counter the power of the Numen tree...

How to Play
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To move Signe around, press the joystick in that direction. To swing her sword,
press the joystick button. She can keep your sword sticking out by keeping the
joystick button pressed. Signe will automatically retract your sword when you
hit a monster.

Sometimes, when you defeat a monster, it will drop an item. To pick up an item,
walk over it. But don't let Signe touch any monsters, it will hurt her! If you
defeat a powerful ennemy the curse may weaken somewhat, and places that had
been changed by it may revert. Like this, the road ahead that was blocked before
may become opened to you.

On the bottom of the screen is your Life bar, in the left is your Numen bar.
When your life Bar is depleted, Signe will pass away! Every time Signe defeats
a monster, she becomes a bit more experienced. If you keep on building
experience like this, she will slowly become stronger.

Someties, you will find strange devices that change when you hit them. These
are switches that open secret doors and reveal hidden pathways. If you can't
seem to proceed, look for a switch. One switch can affect several places at
the same time. So after hitting a switch, be sure to return to places you
visited before.

To win the game, you must defeat Queen Ikaza and save your beloved. However,
the patch to Ikaza is blocked by a dark curse, that is immume to normal swords.
You must collect three Numen Leaves to gain the power to break the curse. Until
that time, stay well away from it, for it's touch is lethal!

Once you find the Numen Shield, you will be immume against enemy projectiles.
The Numen Armour reduces damage by half. It is rumoured that there is a
powerful Numen Sword that will double the damage you can do.

There are also rumours of Numen books that teach you mysterious powers.
It is rumoured that tha Book of Life can fully recover you from the brink of
death as long as you have Numen. Furthermore, there is the legendary Book of
Striking... If you find it, you will need to switch the left difficulty switch
to A to activate it's mysterious powers, or back to B to disable it.

Good luck, and keep your wits about you!

Change log (1.1):
a new version with some small bugs fixed, and more of a challenge if you reset the game after winning, depending on your achievements.
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