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A Minute to Learn... A Lifetime to Master
GAME PAK INSTRUCTIONS
Liscenced by Nintendo for play on the Nintendo Entertainment System
A Minute to Learn... A Lifetime to Master
(Official Nintendo Seal of Quality)
As easy-to-learn as checkers. As fascinating as chess. Othello is a
fast-paced game of wits and long-range strategy. And because one move
can turn the whole board upside-down, you'll never know who's winning.
Until they've won. That's why it may only take a minute to learn. But it
takes a lifetime to master.
A MINUTE TO LEARN... A LIFETIME TO MASTER
The Strong conquer the weak. The wise conquer the foolhardy. Black
and White. Victory and defeat.
The concepts behind Othello are as old as time itself. Its origins are
part Western, part Eastern. And today it is played the world over - with
international tournaments to crown the World Champion.
Othello has been traced back to England in the late 1800's - when it was
called Reversi. Then, 20 years ago, the Japanese refined the game and
gave it the name Othello (after the famous Shakesperian play.) And it
quickly became one of Japan's national pastimes.
It's easy to learn. Because the concept is so simple, so elegant. There
are 64 aquares on a square grid. And 64 disks that are white on one side,
black on the other.
One player plays black and the other plays white. They lay down their
discs, one by one - battling to control as much of the board as they can.
On each move, one player attempts to "trap" his opponent's discs between
two of his own. And when he does, his opponent's discs are flipped to the
color of the trapper's discs. So that BLACK forces WHITE to turn BLACK.
And WHITE forces BLACK to turn WHITE.
This continual "flipping of discs" - with its changes of power - makes
it difficult to predict the outcome of each game. One move could easily
change the entire complexion of thing.
And in knowing exactly what that right move might be lies the secret
of Othello. A secret that couls take a lifetime to discover.
So as you enter this age-old struggle - black and white, vulnerability
and power - remember this: It's never over until it's over.
THE SET UP
1. Make sure the power switch is OFF.
2. Insert the Othello cartridge as described in your NINTENDO
ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM manual.
3. Turn the power switch ON.
You'll first see the Othello TITLE SCREEN. After a few seconds, the
screen will switch to the Othello board - on which a complete
demonstration game is being played. If you have never played
the game before, it may be helpful to watch the demo before you begin.
TO START - press the START BUTTON
TO SKIP THE DEMONSTRATION - Press the START BUTTON while the
TITLE SCREEN is in view.
The illustration below shows you your control points. Throughout this
instriction book, we will refer to these controls by the names indicated here.
(pic of controlledr)
This NINTENDO version of Othello gives you several game options.
You can play against the Othello computer. Or you can play against a friend.
If you play against the computer, you have four difficulty levels to
shoose from. And both 1-PLAYER (computer) and 2-PLAYER games, you
can even choose the length of the game you wish to play.
The following sections of this guide will show you ohw to make these selections:
TO CHOOSE YOUR OPPONENT - Use the CONTROLLER ARROWS to move
the flashing white arrow on the screen to the desired slection. Then
press the START BUTTON.
Thses are your choices:
* You vs. the Othello computer (you're BLACK).
* You vs. the Othello computer (you're WHITE).
* You vs. a friend (2-PLAYER)
The first two choices above are 1-PLAYER games - the only difference
being which color you wish to play. The third choice (above) is the
2-PLAYER option. Here are the differences:
In 1-PLAYER games - you against the Othello computer - you first
choose between 4 difficulty levels. Then you can select your time limit.
And in certain levels you will be allowed to CANCEL a move and make a
new one. (See Selecting Skill Levels, page 8).
In 2-PLAYER games - you against a friend - you don't shoose skill levels,
but you do choose time limits. You can CANCEL as many moves as you
like - providing your opponent accepts your requests. (See To Cancel
a Move, page 17).
SELECTING SKILL LEVELS
(for Othello computer opponents only)
TO SELECT SKILL LEVELS - Use the CONTROLLER ARROWS to move the
white arror on the screen to the desired selection. Then press the START BUTTON.
Thses are your choices:
* LEVEL 1 - This is the easiest skill level. The Othell computer makes
fast decisions. And you may change your mind and cancel your move as
many times as you like per game. (See To Cancel a Move, page 17.)
* LEVEL 2 - The computer thinks through its moves a little longer.
You can only cancel moves up to three times per game.
* LEVEL 3 - The computer plans ahead on each move - taking longer
to make its decision. You
can cancel your move three times per game.
* LEVEL 4 - No changes to cancel a move here. And you can only choose
between either a 20- or 40-minutes game. If you can outthink the Othello
computer, you may have a chance at winning this level.
THE TIME LIMIT
In both 1-PLAYER and 2-PLAYER games, you can choose your time limits.
Choose from 20-, 30-, or 40-minute time limits. Or - for the untimate
test of strategy and skill - choose to play with no time limit at all.
The time limit you choose (20, 30, or 40 minutes) represents the total
amount of time each player has to make all their moves.
For example, in a 20-minute game, you have up to 20 minutes - total - for
all your decisions and moves. And your opponent also has 20 minutes. So
if you both used up all your time, the entire game would then take 40 minutes.
TO SELECT TIME LIMITS - Use the CONTROLLER ARROWS to move the white
arrow on the screen to the desired selection. Then press the START BUTTON.
These are your choices:
* 20 MINUTES
* 30 MINUTES
* 40 MINUTES
* NO TIME LIMIT
TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TIME - Watch the clock next to your name
on the playing screen (See Entering Your Name, page 12). The red
second hand will sweep the clock face once every minute. And the
minute hand will mark off (in white) how much time each player
has used up.
Your clock starts as soon as it is your turn and stops after you complete
your move. If you have not made a move after one minute, the time you
have used thus far in the game AND the time limit of the game will
appear on the MESSAGE SCREEN. After you make your move, the
(pic of game screen)
STEVE (5:00) MIKE (10:00)
In the example above, STEVE has used up 5 minutes MIKE has used up
IF YOU RUN OUT OF TIME - Your opponent automatically wins - regsurdless
of the disc count on the screen.
ENTERING YOUR NAME OR INITIALS:
Once you've selected the number of players, the skill levels and time
limits, you'll be asked to enter yor name or initials. Here's how:
TO ENTER YOUR NAME OR INITIALS - You may enter up to six letters of
your name or initials. To do this:
* Use the CONTROLLER ARROWS to move the white arrow around the screen.
* When the white arrow is pointing to your desired letter or character,
press the A BUTTON to select it.
* Continue this way until all your letters or characters have been selected.
* If you select all six letters, your entry will be complete when you
press the A BUTTON to select your sixth letter.
* If you want to select less than six letters, just point the arrow to
the word END in the botton right
corner of the screen when all of your letters have been selected.
Then press the A BUTTON to somplete your entry.
If you make a mistake or want to change your letters, press the B BUTTON
and that will erase the last letter you entered.
NOTE: In a 2-PLAYER game, BLACK will always enter his or her name or
initials first - using controller #1. Followed by player #2 (WHITE) - using
CONNTROLLER #2. When you're finished entering names or initials, you'll
continue on to the Othello playing board.
ON THE SCREEN
To help you keep track of turns, moves, and times, there are several
elements of the playing screen. They are as follows:
(pic of playing screen)
WHO'S UP (flashes when it's that color's turn)
WHITE PLAYER'S NAME
BLACK PLAYER'S NAME
Whether you're playing against a friend or against the Othello computer,
the object of the game is the same: to have more of your color discs
(BLACK or WHITE) on the board at the end of the game than your
opponent has of his coloe discs.
There are 64 squares on the Othello board. And 64 reversible discs - BLACK
on one side, WHITE on the other. Throughout the course of the game, the
discs will be flipped - from one side to the other - depending on the
moves you make.
Othello always starts out with two black discs and two white discs
placed like this in the center of the boards:
(pic of screen set up like this)
| WB |
| BW |
From this set-up, each player takes turns placing a disc on the board.
The player using the BLACK discs always goes first.
PLACING A DISC ON THE BOARD
To place a disc, use the CONTROLLER ARROWS to move the "HAND" around
the board. When the hand is pointing to the square on which you wish to
place a disc, press the A BUTTON and your disc will appear on that square.
TRAPPING YOUR OPPONENT
In each move (or disc placement), you must successfully "trap" your
opponent's disc or discs. This means that your color discs must be at
either end of a row of your opponents discs.
For example, in the first move, BLACK has these options for trapping WHITE.
(pic of board with black's options)
MAKING A SUCCESSFUL MOVE
Your disc must be placed on a square that allows you to trap your
opponent. This means that your disc is placed on the board so that a
row or rows of your opponent's discs are "trapped" on both ends by your
disc. If you do not place your disc correctly, the MESSAGE SCREEN will
tell you to "Try Again."
When you "trap" your opponent's disc(s), they will then flip to your color.
In examples A & B below, BLACK flips the trapped discs and the row now
looks like this:
(pic of board, Example A)
BLACK's MOVE Disc placed here.
(pic of board, Example B)
These discs trapped and flipped
DETERMINING A ROW TO TRAP
A row can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, as long as it's a continuous
straight line. And you can "trap" more than one row at a time.
Once you place your disc so that it traps a row or rows of all your
opponent's discs, all the "trapped" discs will frip from your opponent's
color to your color. In examples C and D below, BLACK has actually
created two seperate "traps" with one move.
(pic of board, Example C)
BLACK'S DISC PLACED HERE
(pic of board, Example D)
TO CANCEL A MOVE
Once you've placed your disc on a square, you may have the option of
changin your mind and removing it. (See Skill Levels and Time Limits,
pages 8-10, to determine in which games you can use the CANCEL feature.)
Here's how it works:
* You make a move and place your disc on a square.
* Your opponent then makes their move.
* You then decide you want to cancel your last move AND the move your
opponent just made.
When playing against the Othello computer:
* To cancel, when it is your turn again, press the B BUTTON. "Cancel"
will appear in the MESSAGE BOX and the previous two moves will be
canceled. It will then be your turn to place another disc.
When playing against a friend in a 2-PLAYER game:
* To attempt to cancel, when it is your turn press the B BUTTON.
"Cancel" will appear in the MESSAGE BOX.
* The MESSAGE BOX will then display "Accept?" followed by "Yes" and "No."
* If your opponent chooses to accept your cancel request, he or she
used the CONTROLLER ARROWS to move the white arrow on the screen
to "Yes" and presses the A BUTTON. The previous two moves will be
canceled and it will be your turn again.
* If you opponent chooses not to accept your cancel request, he or
she will move the white arrow to "No" and press the A BUTTON. It will
then be your turn again but the previous two moves will not be canceled.
PASSING ON A MOVE
The only time you can PASS is when there are absolutely no opportunities
to trap your opponent. When this happens, a message on the screen will
inform you that you must pass, and to press the A BUTTON. This will be
your only option - although you can continue to study the board as long as you like.
IT'S NEVER OVER TILL IT'S OVER
Part of the appeal and mystery of Othello is that one move can literally
change the whole complexion of the game. Especially near the end.
Here are the four ways this game can end:
* When the board is completely filled with discs.
* When neither opponent can make a valid move.
* When the board is all one color.
* When a player's time runs out.
In the first two endings, the player with the most of his or her color
discs, wins, though a tie is possible. However, in the fourth ending the
player who uses up all his time, loses, and his opponent wins - no
matter what the disc count is on the screen.
THE FINAL SCORE
Provided no one ran out of time, the game is over when every possible
square has been played.
TO VIEW THW "WINNING SCORE SCREEN" - Press the START BUTTON at
the end of the game. It will show you who won, how many discs each
player had on the board at the end of the game, and the final score.
TO RETURN TO THE "TITLE SCREEN" - Press the START BUTTON.
TO PLAY AGAIN - select "Play Again" from the GAME SELECTION SCREEN.
(pic of winning score screen)
VISUAL DISC DISPLAY
WHITE'S NUMBER OF DISCS
BLACK'S NUMBER OF DISCS
* Think ahead. What appears to be a good move at the time, may simply
set up your opponent for a series of even better moves.
* Moves that flip a large number of discs early on in the game are not
necessarily your best strategy. In fact, such moves can often work
against you in the middle and final stages of the game by giving your
opponent too many opportunities to "trap" your discs.
* Look for double and even triple "trap" moves - especially in the later
stages of the game. Also, watch that you don't set yourself up for such
moves if you can help it.
* Go fo the edges - especially the corners! This will make it much more
difficult for your opponent to "trap" you. And it will increase your
chances of keeping the surrounding area mainly in your color.
* The rows that are one in from the edges hav often been refered to as
"the danger zone." Be sure to use extreme caution and weigh your options
when placing discs in this area.
* If you have one solid corner of the board covered with your color, you
have a good chance of winning. However, if you can break up suck a
block, you have
a good chance of turning the odds in your favor.
* If you've never player this game before, watch a couple of demonstration
games. It will give you a good idea of how - and why - certain moves are made.
A LIFETIME TO MASTER...
Now that you know the basics of Othello, it's time to practice. And learn
from your mistakes. Each time you play, you'll discover new strategies
and tactics. New moves and counter moves. And maybe one day, you can
become an Othello master.
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