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Replay of completed level (Xterm + TrueType).

Download:  XorCurses-0.2.2.tar.bz2

The latest release is XorCurses-0.2.2

30th December 2011

* Fixed bug/regression where fish and/or chickens failed to
  move after player entered teleport. Ie level 14.

On a different note:

* I have now completed the first 13 levels woop woop.


If you are a member of http://freecode.com you can subscribe to be notified of new releases. See the links section below.

About XorCurses

XorCurses is a game based on Xor by Astral Software. XorCurses is written by jwm-art.net, aka, James W. Morris. The original Xor game was released in 1987 for the 8 bit home computers popular at the time. XorCurses attempts to faithfully recreate that game for Linux, with particular attention placed on the behaviour of the objects within the original game.

It could be said that XorCurses is a regression from the graphics of the old 8 bit computers as it uses an even more basic display: coloured ASCII characters instead of pixel based graphics.

About Xor

There are no random events in XOR's labyrinthine palace, and there is no premium on hand-eye coordination. You have all the time in the world to work out the precise nature of the hazards you encounter. Logical thinking, strategy and tactical problem solving are part of the XOR experience. And XOR is not simply about finding solutions. If you can solve the entire puzzle (15 levels plus an encrypted anagram), you qualify to be a member of the Order of XOR*.

* XorCurses does not have an encrypted anagram to solve.

The basic premise of Xor is to roam around a series of mazes collecting blue masks. You have two player-shields to aid you and you can use either one at any time and switch between them. In order to complete a level, all the masks must be collected and then one of the players taken to the exit.

The first level is simply a matter of navigation (aside from the force fields which prevent movement in some directions but not others). The second level introduces fish which fall and chickens which run left. If either of these hit your player-shield after moving more than one block then that player will die.

Unlike many other games, the levels don't have to be played sequentially. You may also complete a level even if one of your players has perished. Every time you begin a level, you always begin with both your players. There is also NO TIME LIMIT!

Other objects to be found in Xor are bombs, dolls, light-switches, and teleports. All the objects have strictly defined, simple and predictable behaviour. There is no randomness. Inspite of this simplicity, Xor is well known for it's fiendishly difficult puzzles. Put it this way, I found it easier to program the game from scratch, than I have found playing the game.


XorCurses on github.com can be followed at but as development is sporadic, it really only acts as a backup.

Xor on danceswithferrets.org is a good resource for information about different versions of Xor from past to present, and lots of reference material including graphics, maps, and other technical notes. Certainly most useful during the early stages of XorCurses development.

XorCurses on happypenguin.org (The Linux Game Tome)

XorCurses on freecode.com Register with freecode.com and subscribe to XorCurses to be notified of new releases.

Wikipedia entry about Xor



Latest release of an open source port to Linux, using curses, of the puzzle game Xor by Astral Software.

XorCurses Features:

  * Colour ASCII for console and terminals using NCurses.
  * Gracefully handles window resizing of host terminal.
  * Very little system footprint.
  * Varying wall colours and wall patterns.
  * Fish, Chickens, Bombs, Dolls, Teleports, and Sad Masks.
  * Levels 1 - 15 from original Xor game.
  * Map entry animation.
  * Reward animation for completetion of a map.
  * Score tracking.
  * Replays
  * Nine replay speeds changable by keypress during replay.
  * Hyper replay speed to get to breakpoints fast.
  * Single stepping replay mode for intensive scrutiny.
  * Save replays
  * Load replays
  * Continue playing from any point in replay (thus use of
    saved replays as game progress save files), but...
  * Saved replays of completed levels disallow arbitrary game
  * Set breakpoints in replay.
  * Help on controls, replays, tips, objects.
  * Easily navigatable menus and options via keyboard.
  * Three different scrolling settings, including traditional
    and keep-player-central - changable during play by 
    simple keypresses.
  * Confoundingly difficult levels which I still can't complete
    even after all these years.
  * "Oldschool" difficulty setting for emulating original game
    frustration, disallows game play commencing from replay.


DISCLAIMER: The opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris as expressed here in the past may or may not accurately reflect the opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris at present, moreover, they may never have.


# james the factory dolt on 16:14 Thursday 18 June 2009:

this is just a test comment...

# ascii_gamer on 16:05 Tuesday 2 April 2019:

I love terminal linux games. Thank you for this awesome game.

Opinions and attitudes expressed in comments may or may not accurately reflect the opinions and attitudes of those who claim to have made them. There is absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that the poster of comments is who they claim to be. IP addresses of machines posting comments, and email addresses provided by the poster will not be published nor divulged to third parties.

this page last updated:29th April 2013 jwm-art.net (C) 2003 - 2017 James W. Morris

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