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Manual Reference Pages  -  XATAXX (6)


XAtaxx - a strategy game


Special Thanks


xataxx [ -l number ] [ -j ] [ -n ] [ -p ] [ -d player-two-display ]
-l: Specifies the number of moves the robot will look ahead. Accepted values are 0 through 9. A good level is two or three. Searching too far ahead slows the game horrendously.
-j: Zots only the piece moved.
-n: Turns off zotting completely.
-d: Allows play against a second person instead of the computer. A player 2 display must be specified and player 2 must be xhosted to your machine. Starting xataxx without a player 2 display automatically calls the robot player. On a typical Andrew machine his display name must be entered as machine-name:0. Thus, if Jello Biafra was logged into, and his friend Eeyore was on, Eeyore should type ’xhost armstrong.res’, and Jello should type ’xataxx circe.weh:0’.
-p: Make it perfect. (obscure Wizard of Time reference)


XAtaxx is a strategy game based on Ataxx, a popular arcade video game. It is a game of position and movement. The object is to have the most pieces of your color on the board at the end of the game.


You must be running the X Windowing system to run XAtaxx. When you start up XAtaxx, you should see a title screen. Clicking on the title screen causes it to change to the game board. The board you see should be square, with two black pieces in diagonal corners, two white pieces in diagonal corners, and variously placed obstacles. At the bottom of the window should be a listing of the number of pieces, or globs, each player has.


The game has two types of movement. There is a move, and a jump. To move a glob, click on a glob of your color and click on an adjacent empty square. Your piece will split off a new glob to occupy that square. To jump , click on a piece, and click on an empty space that is separated from the source glob by one other space. Your piece will jump to the new spot, over whatever obstacles, friendly pieces, or enemy pieces are in the way. You may not move or jump onto an obstacle or another glob. When you land next to a glob or many globs of the opponents color, your glob will split off pieces and take over those adjacent globs. If there are no possible movements for a player, he forefeits his turn. The winner of the game is the person who has the most globs on the screen when no more movements can be made. The winner and scores will be displayed at the bottom of the window. Clicking in the window will reset the board, and waiting will display the title screen. Waiting even longer will cause the game to go into demo mode, with two robot players playing each other. Clicking on the demo game will bring back the title screen.


Hitting ’q’ while either the end of a game, the title screen, or a demo is showing will exit the game.


The game currently buffers clicks and key presses. Clicking too many times can put you into unfortunate positions or reset the board to start before you have a chance to see the scores.


The zotting options have been added. The bug which caused the game to lock up has been fixed (it now really understands whose turn it is, and whether a move is impossible for a player) Goofy color errors on monochrome suns have been fixed Various bogosities in the bitmap code have been wiped from the face of the earth
A smarter robot, and its options have been added.


Still could be. Mail to


Code by:

Steven Gifford <>
Jim Zelenka <>
Andrew Plotkin <>

Bitmaps by:

Benjamin Peal <>
Elliott C. Evans <>


Bug Tracing:

Jay Schmidgall <>
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--> XATAXX (6) 9 April 1991

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