Styx: the amazing game that tickles the imagination

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The Styx Story The Styx Story
How to play Styx How to Play
Screen Shots Screen Shots
Levels of Styx Levels
Strategies to play Styx Strategy
Hall of Fame with high scores Hall of Fame
Reactions of players Players' Reactions
Games that are similar to Styx Similar Games
Help us discovering more about Styx Help Us ...
Command line options and switches Command Line
Platforms Styx runs on and other technical aspects Platforms
Downloadable files Downloads
Links to Styx related sites Links
Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
About Windmill Software, the creators of Styx Windmill Software
How the original Styx was remastered to run on all screens About Remastering
AJ Software, the creator of Styx Remastered AJ Software
What's new on this web site What's New
Styx mailing list to inform and get informed about Styx Styx Mailing Lists
Contact us with anything about Styx Contact Us

Updated:  July 8, 2002
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the keys you need to play the game?
A: See the section on keys.

Q: How does the scoring system work?
A: See the section on the scoring system.

Q: What's the most you can score?
A: The theoretical maximum possible score on completion of each level is 30,000. The practical maximum is lower. For more information read the section on the scoring system.

Q: Help me! It runs too fast (or too slow)
A: This version of Styx calibrates the speed of your computer when you run it, so it should run at the same speed on all machines. You can, however, speed up or slow down the game depending on your personal preference. To do this, simply specify the speed on the command line. The default is 100, higher numbers give slower speeds, lower numbers (1 being the
lowest) give faster speeds. For example, starting Styx with parameter /s:200 gives play at half speed.

It proved very difficult to get the calibration just right, and you may feel that the default setting is wrong. If you can change it just by using a different speed setting, do this. If you feel that there is a more serious problem (that the ratio between speeds of certain game elements is badly wrong on your machine, for example), you'd better contact us.

Unfortunately, the sound effects change slightly at different speeds (the background sound, for example, will be quieter at higher speed).

Q: I don't  see the caterpillar on my portable computer
Users of older portable computers may have trouble seeing the caterpillar due to display latency.

Q:  It refuses to run on Win95. There it can only be run in the DOS-mode, which is time absorbing  to start. Is there an easy solution for this?
Win95 and Win98 are pretty much identical operating systems from the point of view of a DOS program like Styx. Here's what usually works.

Right-click on your desktop and select New, Shortcut. Enter the path to your copy of Styx.exe and choose a name and icon for the shortcut. Then, right-click on the icon you created and select properties. After Styx.exe add a space and a number corresponding to the speed (300 or 400 works about right for modern fast computers). You might also need to add "/Q" (try it without first and if  it doesn't work, try it with). Next, click the "Advanced"  button and remove the tick from "Suggest MS-DOS mode as necessary" (this is the crucial step). Press Ok. You probably want to tick "Close on exit". Click the "Screen" tab and under "Usage" select "Full screen".

Q: I don't hear background music
A: You're right, there isn't any. But there is that curious random buzzing noise that never seems to quite repeat itself, which almost sounds like there is a fly trapped inside your computer. We believe this is done by creating pseudo-random numbers using two of the computer's timing circuits (the clock and the RAM refresh counter). Because these timers run at different speeds, strange results ensue. If anyone knows better, contact us.

Q: Can you send me this other game I used to play called...?
A: No, try Altavista or Alltheweb. We haven't got time to go searching the web for you if you can't be bothered to work out how to do it yourself.

Q: Can I send you this other game I used to play called...?
A: No! Please, whatever you do, DON'T send us games over email. Sending large binaries over email is known as mail-bombing and is extremely rude. If you want to send something, email us first describing exactly what it is and ask us if we want it. If we do, we'll tell you the best way for you to get it to us.

Q: I have found a bug in Styx. Can you fix it?
A: First download the latest version from the download page and see if your bug still happens with that. If it doesn't, we already fixed it. If it does, please send us details of the bug, the operating system you are using, and the command line parameters you gave to Styx.

Q: My computer does not know how to run .ZIP files. What do I do?
A: If you're using Windows, download Winzip and learn how to use it. If you're using a Mac, see the next question. If you use some other sort of computer, you really ought to know how to unzip files. We won't send you an unzipped version. Unzipping files is a skill you really need to learn if you're going to be downloading programs from the internet: it is an industry standard format. Give a man a fish and he will eat today, teach him to fish and he can eat forever.

Q: My Apple Mac won't run Styx. What do I do?
A: Try to run it on a PC emulator. Some people have reported limited success in doing so. Hopefully sometime soon a Mac programmer will write a native version.

Q: How do I specify command line arguments?
A: This depends on how you load the game. If you load it from a DOS prompt by typing the command "STYX" and pressing enter, then it is as simple as typing the options after the word "STYX", i.e. "STYX /C 50" to play in CGA at double speed.

If you're running it by double-clicking on an icon in Windows 95 or above, right-click the icon, select properties and there will be a command-line box which you can change in the same way (although instead of saying just "STYX" it may say something like "C:\Games\Styx\Styx.exe" but it's the same principle. In Windows 3.x press Alt-Enter whilst the icon is highlighted to get a box with the command line.

Reference the command line page to see which arguments you may use.

Hopefully in the future there will be user friendly menus which will mean you never need to use the command line.

Q: Where can I get the original version of Styx?
A: We don't know. It is impossible to download it from the internet because it is hardware, not software (a copy protected floppy disk, as opposed to the program on it). If you had that disk you'd still need an XT with genuine CGA graphics and a 5.25" floppy disk drive to run it.

However, many people played the old Styx without the original disk. It is possible to extract the program from its disk, a process known as "ripping". If you do this, it still doesn't work because the game is copy protected. It is possible to remove the copy protection (a process called "cracking"). After these steps, the game will run but it will run too fast unless you have an XT, and you won't be able to see it unless you have CGA. Also, if you were to get a high score, it would try to save it on the disk in drive A, possibly wiping out some of the information on any such disk.

The ripped copies of Styx and the other Windmill Software games Digger, Moonbugs, Conquest, Rollo, The Exterminator and Floppy Frenzy which you can download at the download page of the Digger site have been cracked and modified not to save their scores. Nothing else has been done to them, however, so you they run too fast and the graphics are broken in some of them.

A more original (although less useful) downloadable version of one of these games would be an "image" of the original disk (not a picture but a file containing all the data from the disk: boot sector, file allocation tables and all.) We don't have any disk images of Windmill games, however (nor do we want any - we have no use for them, except to put on this website, and we won't do that unless there is sufficient demand for it).

If you actually want to play Styx, we suggest you download Styx Remastered. It plays and sounds exactly the same as the original did, looks the same if you use the /C option, and works on all the same computers as well as more modern ones.

Q: Is this legal?
A: Strictly speaking, no. According to intellectual property law, a work copyrighted by a company continues to be copyrighted for 75 years.

We have no moral objections to violating Windmill software's copyright by re-releasing the game, and we feel you should have no moral objections to playing it (unless you're doing it when you should be doing something else). Copyright exists to protect intellectual rights, not to prevent people from having access to software. We can think of two reasons why Windmill software would want to protect their intellectual rights:

  • To ensure that they are recognized as the true authors of Styx.
  • To ensure that they make as much money as possible.

Andrew Jenner has retained the original copyright messages in the game and takes pains to ensure that Windmill are credited properly wherever possible so the first of these concerns is taken care of. As for the second - Windmill hasn't made any money from Styx for a long time, and if they insist Andrew  will relinquish all rights to Styx to them to do with as they wish. Having Styx restored and working on modern computers, they would be in a much better position to make money from it than they would if Andrew Jenner hadn't remastered it.

In conclusion, therefore, Andrew thinks that Styx Remastered follows the spirit of the law, if not the letter. And since laws, being so rigid, can never be perfect, the world works much better this way (as any Styx fan must concur.)

For more information about abandonwarez and the associated legal problems, have a look at this essay.

Q: Has Jo-Anne Kempe of Windmill Software replied to your email yet?
A: No. As soon as she does we'll let you know via the website or the StyxGame mailing list.