By Lulu Keel
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Treasure Mania 1, from Lighttech Interactive, is one of the most audially rich free games there is, certainly the most audially interesting and varied I have ever played. It's also quite relaxing to play, as it can go on for a long time. I have noticed that some people find the Readme a little confusing, so I have written the notes below, from my own experience of hours of happy gaming, in the hope of helping someone to get as much pleasure as I do. I do hope it helps you.

So, here you are in your boat. First thing I'd advise you to do is to turn off the background music, which will not only make everything much easier to hear what you're doing, but, although it's pretty, if you have a long game, I promise, after a while, it will get on your nerves! for this you press F1. Please note, to turn it on again, you press F4. If you want to simply turn it down press f2, and to raise the volume, press F3. But, let's assume you've turned it off. Now, if you're new to the game, just listen for a while to the background sounds. If you hear a sort of high squealing, those are birds, and they won't hurt you. the sort of snoring scary sound you might hear is a shark. the only times you have to worry about him are if you're trying to catch a fish and you catch him by mistake, in which case you're his supper and make a horrible crunch, or if you're in the water, trying to untangle a snarled line, in which case you get out if you hear him, or he'll eat you. Otherwise he's sinister, but harmless.

Now, you might hear a fish swimming around. Some of the fish you can catch, and some you can't. Before we even start moving let me tell you about them. the fish you can catch are bubbly fish, very distinctive. Fluttery fish, they make a noise like they flutter their tales., and splashy fish, they swim along making a small splashing sound. there are two dolphins, one sounds huge, you obviously can't catch that, there's a smaller dolphin, can't catch that, and another fish that sounds like a water machine. It really does, it sounds like its fins are turning a water wheel. Sounds like it might be catchable, but it's not, it'sjust a darn nuisance, cos when it's around, you can't hear a blame thing.
You can also hear creaking and rattling sounds, and maybe a kind of bell like ring. These are the chests. So let's get hunting. press enter to start your boat. this wil also stop the motor, which can sometimes be useful, if you have a chest tucked under a cliff somewhere, and want to hear its general location before risking your boat, just stopping and listening is useful.

Moving about and hunting. So, you are starting in the middle of this gulf, and you use your left and right arrow keys to move. you have a big cliff on your left, the waves break noisily against it, easy to hear when you get close, and a lower cliff, not so easy to hear, on your right. and in between are six chests full of the yellow stuff! To help you find the gold you have a metal detector. turn this on by pressing R. Now the best way to get good results is to be methodical, so decide which way you're going to search first, and go that way till you get near the cliff, then head back the other way. You can hold down the arrows to move, but just exercise caution when getting near the cliff walls, or you'll crash, sink your ship and lose one of your five lives. Once you've found six chests, you'll hear a music sound, a wind, and six thuds, which means six more chests are waiting to be found. The bell like rings are special chests. These can be good, bad, or indifferent. The good ones have extra lives, bonus points, or turbos in them. A turbo will lower your line, or raise it, quickly, which is useful if there's an annoying fish around, or a storm. To do this, press right control plus arrows up or down. if you're raising a chest, you will need to up arrow to empty it. the indifferent chests, well they aren't really indifferent, they take points from you, but I'd rather have that than what I call the bad ones. These contain bombs. when you hook one of these little suckers, and raise it to the surface, you hear a ticking, then a bang. and that's it. another life lost, and there's nothing you can do, I'm afraind!
When you're centred over a chest, your detector will buzz rhythmically. press your down arrow repeatedly to lower your grappling hook and chain. When it's caught the chest you'll hear it thunk on the lid, and the buzzing will stop. then just tap your up arrow to pull the chest up, and don't stop tapping till you hear the coins pouring on to the deck! Then go look for the next chest!

Catching Fish.

Catching fish takes practice. It says in the manual that you wait until they're centred under the boat, then press space to lower the net, this is ok as far as it goes, but because the sound is in 3 D, and most of us play on Stereo headphones, it messes things up some. When you hear fish that are catchable, move to where they are, and keep casting the net as you drive over them. After all this time I've come to know where in my sound field they need to be for them to be caught. Just be careful old shark's not around. Those fish are so infuriating, you might want to catch it so so much, you don't hear the nasty snoring beast slinking up behind you, but you find out the hard way when he eats your net and pulls you into the water! The fish are worth fifteen points, and are a lot of fun to catch, so just keep trying is all I can advise, the lovely flap and slap when you catch that annoying little bubbly beast is worth it!

Hazards.

There are quite a few of these. First, be careful not to lower your line around fish if you can, or they could get snarled in it. if they do, you'll need to dive in and unsnarl it. if you need to do this, use page down to jump in the water, to unsnarl a hook is hard to explain. you need to use the arrow keys to move the chain it usually needs to move up and right to get free. you hear a definite bang! if it's blocked. a sort of snick it it's coming, and a definite click! if it's freed. There is a bug in the game, whereby sometimes however you move the arrows, the chain is blocked, and you have to quit and start again.
At level 5 the locals decide they don't like you stealing their treasure and start shooting. When you hear an arrow whooshing towards you, press the left control key to duck until its past. Personally, with everything else I'm trying to concentrate on, if I do that I'm laible to get my head shot off, so at level five, I just hold down the control key from then till the end of the game, with my left hand. Annoying, but there it is. You can check your level by pressing the tab key. The level up sound is a kind of upscale two notes, played on vibes.
If you play on the hardest level, when the weather is calm you are laible to get set on by poisonous bees. To be honest, I've never even tried this, because I'm scared of bees, but the manual says you must move away from them till they lose interest, or dive in the water till they leave.
Lastly, there's the storms. These can come up at any time. They involve loud wind, which blows you about, if you're near a cliff you could get crashed into it, and of course, it's hard to hear. Thunder and lightning, which, if it hits your galant ship, will kill you dead! And heavy seas which are loud and will help the wind smash you into the cliffs. Now the manual says that if you hear thunder in one direction, go in the other, but this never works for me, as the thunder then invariably comes from the other. If you get hit, you'll here a kind of breaking glass sort of sound, there'll be a pause, and your boat restarts, that is if you've got any lives left. It's worth noting that if you lose a life in any way except getting eaten by a shark, your boat restarts in the middle of the gulf again, not in the place where you lost it. This is annoying, as it messes up your method, you don't know where you've looked and where you haven't. It's especially challenging during storms. All I do is keep on hunting as best I can, and see how bad it gets. A really bad storm will always get me in the end, no matter how hard I try.

Special key strokes.

enter: stop start boat.
F 1 turn off background music.
F2 lower music volume.
F3 raise music volume.
F4 Restore music.
R: turn on and off metal detector.
Space bar: cast net.
Left and right arrows: move.
Up and down arrows: raise and lower hook and chain.
Left control: duck.
Right control plus Arrows up/Down: raise/lower line with turbo.
C check number of chests taken.
L: number of lives left?
P: Pause.
S: score.
T: Number of Turbos?
Tab key: level?
Page down: dive in water.
Page up: come out of water.
Escape: quit game.

Wayver.

This guide is meant, in no way, to replace the manual which comes with the game, which will tell you more than I can about some aspects, including scoring, etc. You should read the manual of any game before attempting to play for the first time.



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