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Video Game / Kye

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The first level.
Kye is a charity-ware Block Puzzle game originally for 32-bit Microsoft Windows systems. The gameplay involves Kye, a green circle that was originally named after the original developer's dog, moving around mazes to collect all the diamonds in the level. The various objects make the gameplay Nintendo Hard: There are blocks, rocks and monsters all over the place and a common way to lose was to get trapped, die or get the path to the diamonds blocked.

The game is most notable for its level editor due to the way objects can interact with one another. Gained a small community during the early years of the World Wide Web, in which people shared their levels. The original version is available for download here. You can also find extensive information on the Kye series here

Tropes used:

  • All There in the Manual: The names of various objects are not detailed anywhere in the game itself, only being identified in the help documents and editor.
  • Ascended Glitch: The black hole objects were not supposed to be movable. A bug in Kye 2.0 allowed them to be pushed by pushers while they were in the process of "swallowing" something. This feature was used occasionally in few custom levels and many clones didn't implement it. Xye, however, not only keeps the glitch, but also uses it in a couple of official levels.
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  • Asteroids Monster: Shooters are capable of generating Sliders or Marbles over time, which if not taken care of will overrun the map with blocks.
  • Block Puzzle: Featuring sliding blocks and blocks that create other blocks.
  • Christmas Special: Christmas Kye (which comes in two different versions) and Christmas Kye Jr, which colors the walls cyan/turquoise and applies festive skins to many of the characters.
  • Collision Damage: The instant an enemy steps into a tile adjacent to Kye either horizontally or vertically, Kye is killed.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Each general category of objects in the game is given a different color scheme. Kye is green, diamonds are blue, blocks are yellow, walls are grey, and enemies are black and purple.
    • The different-colored blocks/objects in Xye aren't just for show- some objects will behave different if they're a different color, most notably the Sliders, Marbles, and Sentries.
      • Sliders and Marbles can travel at five different speeds depending on their color. From slowest to fastest: Blue > Green > Yellow > Red = Purple
      • The behavior of a Sentry is different depending on it's color. Yellow simply bounces, Red plows through, Blue and Green turn clockwise and counter-clockwise respectively, and purple plows through before bouncing.
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  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The homebrew port released for the ColecoVision, Cye, incorporates this with the second player controlling a darker Palette Swap of Kye.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: In every level of the original Kye, Kye began each level with three lives. Getting killed would have Kye respawn at his spawn location with all the diamonds he collected still in his possession, and if nothing major occurred to the level that blocked off a section of the level, Kye could resume his diamond-snagging task no problem. Certain levels would avert this trope by having a block that would collapse and seal Kye's spawn tight, trapping him if he dies and respawns, requiring a Puzzle Reset. Also can be averted by a monster reaching Kye's spawn point, where the monster will perform a Cycle of Hurting on Kye until he's dry on lives. Xye allows level makers to adjust Kye's starting lives from zero to three, with the former option being commonly used in custom levels.
  • Difficulty Spike: For a first-timer, Slider, the third level of the original Kye, can be this. Even the level that comes before it, Second, can require some good thoughts beforehand. Justified since the first level is a Tutorial Level.
  • Downloadable Content: The 496 addon levels for the original game, along with the few levels included with a download of Xye.
  • Elite Mooks: The fan sequel Xye adds these, which take direct paths to catch you as opposed to the original monsters whom just try to run into your exact location, running into walls and blocks along the way.
  • Follow the Money: Sometimes inverted. Grabbing certain diamonds too early or in the wrong order may cause objects on the current level to rearrange themselves in such ways that render the level impassable.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • Trial-and-Error Gameplay : It is nearly impossible to know the direction of the doors that were introduced in Kye 2.0 which only allow Kye to enter in a specific direction, with some levels exploiting this by having multiple paths, some of them blocked by doors. Some versions and remakes instead directly give away the direction the doors can be traveled in (such as the above-mentioned Christmas Specials)
    • Checkpoint Starvation: Many levels contained multiple puzzles that you had to solve in sequence. A mistake in a later puzzle would mean that you had to do it all over again, including puzzles you already solved. Xye averts this by introducing the undo feature.
  • Fan Remake:
    • Python Kye, which is identical to the original game in just about every definition of the word. The only enhancement it provides is a graphic editor that allows creating full level sets, while Kye 2.0's editor only allowed making single-level packs.
    • Running Cheetah Kye, an attempt at making a version of Kye with smooth-moving sprites as opposed to the tile-by-tile movement of the original. Though due to the change in physics, the game is slower than normal Kye.
  • Fan Sequel: Various so-called ports actually introduce new features and objects. Including Kye 3.0, Xye, SKye, PYKye++ and others. PYKye++ is an interesting case as it includes features and elements from Chip's Challenge.
  • Gravity Screw: Blocks with arrows gravitate towards the direction they point, while rounded blocks slide off of one another and pile up.
  • Guide Dang It!: Thanks to the Nintendo Hard nature of the game and lack of checkpoints in some rather lengthy levels.
  • Level Editor: One of the series' main selling points. Initially done through editing text files, Kye 2.0 added a visual editor. Xye would follow suit with its own built-in editor (though levels can still be made using text editors)
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: Used in Xye, with five possible colors.
  • Marathon Level: Many of the more difficult stages in the game tend to be these.
  • Minus World: The levels were stored as text files. Try to provide normal text files such as the readme files to the game and see what happens. It created levels that were usually unsolvable and full of monsters and nonsensical wall structures.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel:
    • Kye 2.0, the only major update to the original game, added timer blocks, black holes, doors, and shooters to the list of objects, along with five new levels.
    • The registered version, Christmas editions, and Dr. Floyd's Kye, as they do not add any new objects (apart from changing the graphics in the case of the Christmas versions).
  • The Maze: The door objects allow fans to make very confusing maze layouts.
  • Nintendo Hard: Becomes this quite early on, and taken Up to Eleven in the registered level sets and fan-sequels.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: All that a monster needs to kill Kye is to get to a cell that shares an edge with Kye's current cell.
  • Timed Mission: The various timer and generator blocks can be used to create these. Take too long and the level would either flood up with blocks or monsters.
  • Tutorial Level: The first level of the original level set, "First", is meant to give a tour of how the game's various blocks work, placing a single diamond beside the player when they're ready to move on.
  • Unwinnable: Grab the Diamonds in the wrong order or take too long, and you will be unable to complete the stage.
  • Vapor Ware: Kye Deluxe, sadly.


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