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  Mechanic #039 - Bow & Chain
Posted: 06/16/07

Two analog sticks each control a different projectile: an arrow attached to an elastic rope, and a spiked ball attached to a chain.



Sorry, you only get one picture today, as I'm a little strapped for time. Hopefully, it will be enough.

This is designed around a PS2 control pad, or really anything with two analog sticks and some trigger buttons. Each side of the controller controls a different projective. The left stick and triggers control the bow while the right stick and triggers control the chain. You can operate both simultaneously. The object is to move a ball through a side scrolling (has gravity) maze without touching the sides.


Basically, you shoot out an arrow in any 360 degree direction. If the arrow collides with something, it will stick into it. Attached to the arrow is an elastic string - it will exert a force on the ball based on how far the string is pulled. The string is a physical object and can wrap around terrain. The arrows will be released after a few seconds, if the string is pulled too far, or if you tap the top trigger button.

The way the bow is fired is by pulling back on the analog stick away from the direction you want to fire (like pulling back a bow). The longer you hold it back, the greater the force will be when it is released. Release the stick to fire the bow.

The second trigger is a modifier that allows the player to shoot two arrows at 45 degree angles away from the firing line. You can use this to steady the ball between two walls.


The chain works on a different principle. Push in a direction and the claw and chain will fire out from that direction at full force - enough to affect the current velocity and direction of the ball. The chain is not elastic and has a standard length, but does wrap around terrain. Rotating the stick while the chain is still extending will move the connection point around the ball, so you can swirl the chain around you or jiggle the chain.

The top trigger opens and closes the claw. If timed right, the claw can catch objects (like a UFO Catcher) or connect to terrain (like a grappling hook). It can also be used as a weapon, to break things or deflect projectiles. The bottom trigger is the contract button. If you hold it down, the chain will slowly start retracting - releasing it will keep the chain at that length. If you just tap the button, the chain will retract very quickly, like measuring tape. If the claw is still connected during retraction, the ball will move towards it.

In the illustrated example, the double shot is used to center the ball between two blocks. Then the chain is used to connect to the wall and pull the ball back towards it, creating elastic tension for the ball. When the claw trigger is released, it will snap the ball forward like a slingshot. Another combo might be to hang from the ceiling with the chain, then use the elastic shots to get the ball swinging, or to grappling hook across the ceiling with the chain while attacking enemies with the arrows.


The basic idea here is that there are two projectile weapons that are used simultaneously. It could just as easily be two chains or two bows. It could even be a chain and an uzi or jetpack propulsion and a laser gun. Or whatever.




Copyright 2007-2014 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.