Tower Toppler

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This file is also available as a pure text file in the archive of toppler


The goal of the game is to reach the target door of each of the 8 towers in currently 2 missions with this little green animal. This door is usually at the very top of the tower.
But finding the way by using elevators and walking trough a maze of doors and platforms is not the only problem you have to solve. There are a bunch of other creatures living on the tower that will hinder you to reach your target by pushing you over the edge of the platforms.
The only weapon of defense you have is to throw a little snowball. But most of the other creatures just don't care about this. So you must avoid them.
A little submarine brings you from one tower to the next. On this way you have the chance to get some bonus points by catching fish. All you have to do is to catch a fish in a bubble with your torpedo and then collect the fish.

Commandline Parameters

-fstarts the game in fullscreen mode. But be careful! If the game crashes it doesn't restore the original resolution, it stays in 660x480 pixel mode.
-smakes the game silent. If you don't have a soundcard or for another reason get an "can't open audio" error try this option.


In the menu you can select the mission you want to play next with the left and right cursor keys. Press space or return on the start menu item to start the game.
The animal is controlled by the cursor keys and space (or return). Left and Right make the animal walk. Up and down make the elevators move if you are on one. (The elevator platforms are a little bit smaller than the normal platforms.) If you are in front of a door press up to enter it. Pressing the space key will either throw a snowball if you are standing still or make the animal jump if you are walking.

For the Leveldesigner

The game finally has a leveleditor. Because I've been too lazy to make new graphics for special objects all tower objects are drawn using the existing graphics.
Because The only thing you can rely on on a keyboard are the numbers and the letter keys I have used only these. The layout is chosen so that keys with a similar task are next to each other and not that the letters mean something.
Otherwise the editor is relatively simple:

cursor movement:
cursor keys
pg up/down5 rows up and down
yhalf turn of the tower (for doors)
HOMEgo to starting position
pplay, to test the level you are just editing
ESCleave the editor
lload tower
osave tower
zcheck consistency of tower

the consistency check checks, if all doors are exactly 3 layers high, if there isn't a undefined symbol in there and if there is always the opposite platform for the elevators (without unremovable obstacles inbetween). If there is something wrong with the tower, the cursor moves to the position of the problem.

insinserts a row below the current position
deldeletes the current row

with this actions you must be careful because they can destroy doors.

spaceclear field
qnormal stick
aflashing box
wnormal step
svanishing step shown as flashing step
xsliding step shown as sideways moving step
eelevator top station
delevator middle station
celevator top station

the elevator stations are shown by a moving platform. The platform is moving into the direction the elevator can move. So for the bottom stations the platform is repeatingly moving up and jumping down.

1-7the different kinds of robots

for the eye robot the movement is shown by the movement of the robot in the editor. the slow moving version moves half as far as the fast moving one.
The two jumping balls can be identified by ball movement: one is standing still. This is the one that jumps on its place until the toppler gets near. The ball that has a sideway movement from it's beginning on is moving in the editor too.

inormal door
ktarget door shown as flashing door

This action always places a whole door (in 3 layers) and tries to place a door on the opposite side, if it's empty. Doors should never be higher then 3 layers. The clear command (' ') will always remove the whole door but not the one on the opposite side of the tower.
The target door command doesn't place a door on the opposite side

the parameter are always in a range of values. To allow fast alertations of the values the difference between the old and the changed value increases every time you go into the same direction. So if you increase the time for the tower by pressing 'h' the first time the value increases by one the second time by two the third time by three and so on. This size is reset to one as soon as you change the direction of your changes. This sounds complicated the best thing is to try it.

parameter of the tower:
hincrease time
ndecrease time
rless red
tmore red
fless green
gmore green
vless blue
bmore blue

Tower File Format

Just in case you are interested in the format of the tower file:

First line is the name. The second line does contain the color of the tower as 3 valued between 0 ... 255 separated by comma. Third line is the time that the player has to reach the target door. Last line before the tower bitmap is the height in rows of the tower.

The following table explains the characters used for the tower bitmap and their meaning.

character meanings:
SPACE empty
v top elevator station
+ middle elevator station
^ bottom elevator station
1 freeze ball
2 jumping ball moving from the start
3 jumping ball standing and then moving to you
4 robot, up down
5 robot, up down fast
6 robot left right
7 robot left right fast
! stick
- platform
b flashing box
# normal door
. vanishing platform
> slippery platform
T target door

I can not promise that the program will be able to load the files if you are changing them manually, so better leave your fingers away from these.

Mission Creation

With the key m in the leveleditor you start creating a new mission. Be aware that mission do contain your towers in a compressed format and I will not provide a method to extract the original tower from this to prevent player from cheating. So keep your original tower files in case there are bugs in your towers and you need to change things.
What follows now are a pile of questions you have to answer by keyboard input.
First the name of the mission. The mission creator will write a file to your disk with the same name as the name of the mission, but you are welcome to rename the file because the mission name is saves inside the file too. The only thing you have to take care of is that the file has ".ttm" (tower toppler mission) as extension.
Now input all the filenames of the towers you want to add to this mission. The limit to the number of towers is 255 but I'd suggest to not use this many because it would take a lot of time to play through the complete mission.
If all towers have been input enter an empty name to finish this list. Now the file will be written and you should be able to select your new mission in the main menu.
IMPORTANT: please check your towers, before you create a mission, for inconsistencies, because this is not done in the created mission file.

Helpful Hints

Finally some details about the inner workings of the game that might help design levels.

  • There are never more than 4 robots on screen (including the horizontal spinning object)
  • robots that go below the screen vanish
  • robots that fall into water vanish
  • the spinning object has a timeout, if this time passed it will come as soo n as there are less then 4 robots on screen
  • other the robots appear as soon as they are inside the screen and there are less then 4 robots on screen
  • the behavior of the robots is completely deterministic
  • the cross throws you 4 layers down, the other robots much more
  • the starting place on the base is always the same, it's on top of the 2nd row on angle 0 (where the cursor is at the start HOME moves the cursor to this position)


  • datafiles (graphics, sounds), readonly
      first in local directory, then global (per compiler switch /usr/local/share/toppler)
  • global configuration, readonly
      only in global directory
  • local configuration file, read/write/create
      in home directory
  • leveleditor, new missions, towers read/write/create
      in home directory (/home/user/.toppler/...)
  • highscore file, read/write/create
      in global directory, home,