Gribbly's Day Out/Storybook

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Titelseite des Storybook, von Andrew Braybrook selbst verfasst
By Andrew Braybrook

Hello Gribbly

Gribbly Grobbly lives on the Planet Blabgor. Evolution on this world has advanced the dominate creatures to the stage where their brains have taken over many of their bodily functions. By simply concentrating, they can levitate themselves and fly, or they can carry things by mentally holding them in another dimension. They have also discovered how to transport themselves huge distances by pure thought.

The Blabgorians bodily form changed as their growing mental powers rendered arms and wings redundant. Their heads became larger through the generations to accommodate their powerful brains. Naturally the intelligence of these creatures also increased, and they discovered that they could generate and store mental energy, or psi, in a planetary psi-bank. This became essential because too much concentration gave them headaches. Thus they could deposit excess psi in the bank and retrieve it at a later time. The everyday hazards of life on Blabgor are few, but occasionally accidents do occur, so if any of the citizens on Blabgor loses psi, they can return to the psi-bank and replenish themselves.

Gribbly Grobbly is a full-grown Blabgorian. When young, Blabgorians look very different. Although possessing great mental powers them- selves, the young, (known as Gribblets), cannot control these abilities. They have two legs rather than Gribbly's one foot, and have a hard shell to protect their heads from the harsh sunlight. In order to breathe, they slowly raise and lower themselves, allowing cool air to flow under their shells. They can also bounce along, spinning in the air as they do so. The Gribblets are allowed freedom to roam anywhere, and spend much of the day frollicking in the sunshine, without a care. When they have learned to control their powers, each Gribblet hides away and uses its mental energy to transform itself into a fully fledged adult Blabgorian, its two legs combining into one foot. It then discards its shell and grows quickly into a similar-looking beasty to Gribbly.

Blabgor has many beautiful and exotic loca- tions, with lakeland areas, rocky mountains, underground passages and simple grassland. The Blabgorians have also used some of their mental capabilities to permanently levitate some areas of land, to produce 'floating islands'. These give more space for the Gribblets to play in and are a monument to the mental agility of the citizens of this planet.

One of the great pioneers of the psi-bank was a Blabgorian called Seon. Unfortunately, due to a miscalculation whilst setting up the psi-bank, he absorbed many of the discarded evil thoughts from the long forgotten anti-psi era.

The Blabgorians, being non-violent and ever- forgiving, could not terminate the life of this once great Blabgorian. Instead they banished him to the skies above Blabgor. In order to prevent him from harming other Blabgorians, they developed a complex triangular web structure above the surface. This was again powered by mental energy, but of a negative type, the opposite of that normally present in the psi-bank Any contact by Blabgorians with this web causes psi cancellation, and so it is to be avoided.

Seon is totally insane and unable to control his homicidal tendencies toward adult Blabgorians. He lives in the web and mostly remains motionless because he finds it hard to generate the psi he needs for movement. He can navigate the web slowly, but finds that active sections of the web are painful. Unknown to the authorities, he has experimented with the web controls but has not yet understood how to use them.

Seon is surrounded by a massive charge of negative psi which causes a high degree of psi cancellation in other Blabgorians, whose only course is to return to the psi-bank immediately after contact with Seon.

To allow passage by flying Blabgorians, parts of the web may be deactivated, passed across and reactivated. All Blabgorians are warned that leaving to many web sections open may allow Seon to escape but a number of passages are usually kept open to allow easy navigation of the web. Blabgorians are expected to be responsible for any web alterations that they make.

Unfortunately, Seon's web transmits its negative charge to the land although the velvety plant life insulates the Blabgorians from the psi cancell- ation effects over most of the planet's surface. The insulating layer does not extend around large land structures such as rocks or trees and in these places Blabgorians have difficulty coping with the drain on their psi energy and are unable to land or take off.

Enter the Topsies

Another race of creatures has lived for thousands of years in the barren areas and high wastelands of the mountains. These creatures are very adaptable to their surroundings and in less than a second they can change their bodies to suit a new environment. They have very little brain and so, on observing the Blabgorian society below, they occasionally decide that the Gribblets would make ideal 'partners' in a combined creature, thereby allowing them to think properly.

Casting themselves into the air from cliff edges, they transform themselves into Seed Pods with a single propellor so that they can float gently down to the ground. In this form they are unaware that Gribbly's bubbles are capable of dissolving their shell casing.

Upon reaching the ground, they change into a new creature, called a Topsy which happens to be slightly more resilient to bubbles, but can be 'bubbled' from behind. This takes the form of a green upright worm-like creature, with a soft suction feeler pad at each end. It progresses across the ground by flipping its top over and down to the ground, followed by lifting its other end into the air.

Topsies cannot see because they have no eyes, but they can feel the ground under their 'feet'. Hence they will not walk into walls or water, or off ledges. They are also able to kick Gribblets over onto their heads, thus exposing the Gribblet brain to the sky. Topsies can tell that there are not many Gribblets around and this makes them greedy and bad-tempered. Hence the tend to kill other Topsies, Seed Pods and other life forms.

Topsies eventually realise that they are inferior because they cannot see, and they also come to the conclusion, albeit slowly, that a head is useful for carrying a brain. They begin to change again but this time it requires more effort, so they transform into a temporary Chrysalis state with a hard but brittle shell. A Chrysalis is very vulnerable to bubbles, and is easy prey for other greedy creatures.

When the long transformation within the Chrysalis is completed, a so-called Stomper emerges. This form is impervious to bubbles because it incorporates some of the crystal-like Blabgorian soil, but is frightened by a bubble attack, and will change direction.

A Stomper often makes the mistake of believing that because it has a head it must be clever and it will tend to disregard its sense of touch as being a feeble Blabgorian trap. It therefore tends to fall into water and drown. It will also fall of ledges and floating islands, but its tough outer coating will enable it to survive.

A Stomper marches relentlessly in search of a brain. If it comes across a Gribblet playing shell side up, it is unable to detect the brain and will ignore it. But if it encounters a Gribblet that has been flipped over by a Topsy it will grab it and transform into a Winged Creature and fly off, crading the inverted Gribblet in its arms.

A Winged Creature can be destroyed by bubbling causing the Gribblet to fall to the ground. If the Gribblet lands on flat ground it will survive or Gribbly Grobbly may be quick enough to catch it in mid-air.

Game On

Start the game by pressing the fire button. Gribbly visits the psi-bank and you will see energy draining from the bank into psi. The psi will rise to five bars and this must last Gribbly through the screen. Extra psi can be obtained during the game but Gribbly has a maximum capacity of eight bars and any extra earns you bonus points.

After each screen, Gribbly's energy is restored to five bars by transfer to or from the psi-bank. A title appears at the top of each screen, each of the sixteen screens having a different title. Screens are not always approached in the same sequence although 'Hide the Gribblets' is always the first.

Gribbly is controlled entirely by joystick. Move the joystick to the left or right to bounce Gribbly along the ground. As Gribbly speeds up, he bounces higher. All of the land masses, structures and the web are harmful to Gribbly, but only while he is flying. Wilst moving along the ground he may move past anything but he cannot walk on water.

Bubbles may be sprayed left or right by pressing the fire button. Gribblets may be picked up and dropped by using the fire button also but Gribbly may only carry one Gribblet at a time. Whilst he is carrying a Gribblet, a Gribblet token will appear next to your game score. Gribblets can only be put down on an empty piece of ground.

There are two ways that Gribbly can be made to fly. One is by bouncing off the edge of a legde or the shore, the other is by moving the joystick up causing Gribbly to levitate. Note that gravity will pull Gribby back to the ground if you release the joystick.

Flight is possible in all directions. Gribbly will accelerate to maximum speed if the joystick is held in the same direction. Progress through the skies is much faster than along the ground. Landing on flat ground will allow Gribbly to return to 'Bounce mode'. Take off and landing should only be done away from land structures, as Gribbly must not collide with the scenery.

Take off from within the caves is one of the more difficult manoevres to learn. You can slowly hover Gribbly into the air and carefully fly out, or step off the edge and float down. This requires precision. If you go too slowly Gribbly's head will hit the ledge and induce a headace. If you move too quickly Gribbly will bounce too high and collide with the roof above.

Gribbly's facial expressions will give you an idea of your performance. You get a broad beam of approval for good control, and Gribbly looks dreadfully pained with bad performance. On causing Gribbly pain, there is a resulatant loss of points and loss of psi. If psi reaches zero, Gribbly will transport to the bank for more psi. If there is none available, the 'Game Over' message appears. Gribbly also transports to the bank on the placing of the last Gribblet in the cave, or on its demise.

The other life-form on the ground is the psi- grub, which looks like a narrow Gribblet. Place Gribbly in front of one of these for bonus psi.

Stand Gribbly in front of an upside down Gribblet and it will flip over. On each screen there are eight Gribblets to rescue. When there is only one left on the ground or being carried, the Web Controller will de-activate an entire web. This enables you to tackle any Winged Creatures with much greater ease. Unfortun- ately it also releases Seon.

A screen is completed when all eight Gribblets are either returned to the cave or are dead. Any Gribblet carried by a Winged Creature will die if Gribbly has to return to the bank. Any Gribblet which falls to unsuitable ground after having been captured will also die. Successful termin- ation resulting in a new screen will occur if at least six of the eight Gribblets are placed in the gome have.

If five or fewer Gribblets are retrieved, the screen must be repeated.


1. Learn the location of the Gribblets and the home cave on each screen.

2. Try to rescue the Gribblets on large areas of land first because they are in the greatest danger.

3. Don't try to take each Gribblet all the way to the cave because there may be a safish place to leave it temporarily on the way.

4. Do not pick up all the psi-grubs straight away. Save some until you need the energy.

5. Learn to hover on the spot so that you can switch web controls and enter narrow caves.

6. Don't fly everywhere at full speed because you may crash into an end wall.

7. Keep returning to as many Gribblets as possible and right them if they are inverted by nudgung them with Gribbly's foot.

8. Practise the mid-bounce take-off because using it gains you height more quickly.

9. Try to bounce over Topsies and bubble them from behind as you descend.

10. Leave Seon alone while he is motionless. Before web-deactivation, leave web sections up to slow his progress towards you. After web de- activation you may have to lead him away from the cave before making a dash for it. Bubbling Seon may temporarily disorientate him.