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Controls and Gameplay
Updated 744 Days AgoPublic

Some actions have multiple possible trigger keys. For example, pickaxe is both P for the first letter of the tool, but also A for players who prefer to minimize hand movement on the keyboard (it's in the home row).

Walking and Climbing

: Move in indicated direction.
SPACE: Switch to Movement Mode (no tool)

Because of the One Finger Rule, we need a way to move in all directions using only the arrow keys. To this aim, we should allow the player to free-climb the back walls of tunnels in any direction.

If the player walks up to a single block, they'll automatically "hop" up onto it, allowing the player to more easily climb "stairs".

Consider the following scenario. (X is the player, # is stone, and numbers correspond to open positions the player could move to.)


: climb up to 1
: jump to 2
: horizontal climb right to 3
: horizontal climb right to 3 and 4.
: climb right to 3, and climb down to 5

If player is already against a wall, they'll still make motion as if they're walking or climbing in that direction. This is a deliberate behavior that echoes a bug in most 80s-style platformers.

Ordinarily, a player could only use tools when standing, never while free-climbing. However, they can "hook" themselves to a wall or ceiling (see Hook Tool below) and be able to use the Pickaxe. Moving away from an area while "hooked" automatically unattaches the hook.

Should the player accidentally press more than one key at the same time, the first key will be performed. A queue system was considered as a method of tracking player keypresses.


: Select Work Area (second press Activates)

Any time the player uses a Tool, they must solve a math problem. First switch to the Tool with its hotkey (e.g. P for pickaxe). Optionally change its Power Level with 1 through 8. Highlight which Block(s) to use it on with the arrow keys, and then press the same arrow key again to use the Tool.

Power Level

1 - 8

The Pickaxe, Drill, and TNT Tools all use Power Level, which also determines the difficulty of the math problem to be solved.

Hook Tool


Places a hook in the indicated direction (left, right, or up only). Attaches on first arrow key press, instead of second like on most tools.

Player automatically becomes attached to the hook by the belt, although they become unhooked as soon as they move away from the area. Does not have Power Level!

Pickaxe Tool

A or P

The Pickaxe removes any one block.

Using the pickaxe does not automatically move the player into the new space made.

Cannot use while free-climbing: the player must be standing or be hooked.

Cannot break the block the player's "support block" (the one they're standing on/hooked to).

Drill Tool


The Drill removes multiple blocks in a straight line.

Power Level determines how many blocks can be removed at once.

Must be standing to use; cannot use while free-climbing or hooked.

"Drags" player along (runaway lawnmower style). (Player character should grimace while being dragged along by it!)

TNT Tool

F or T

The TNT removes multiple blocks in a blast radius.

The player character is automatically moved out of the blast radius, the TNT goes off, and then the player character is moved back to the center of the blast site.

All items dropped by the blast will automatically go into the player's inventory.

Power Level determines the blast radius, as demonstrated by this model:


#: Detonation Block
1: 2-4 in A
2: A
3: A + 2-4 in B
4: A + B
5: A + B + 3-12 in C
6: A + B + C
7: A + B + C + 4-16 in D
8: A + B + C + D
9: A + B + C + D + 3-12 in E



Narrates how many item blocks are nearby, how many are in the sector (column), and what the current depth is.

Miner's Log

This is both the Game Menu and the log of all treasures found.


From anywhere in the game, Esc toggles the Menu, which looks like the front cover of the Miner's Log.

If browsing the Miner's Log, going to the Menu "closes" the book, and leaving the Menu "opens" the book again. If playing the game, going to the Menu brings up the closed Miner's Log.

Miner's Log

G or L

Pressing this key brings up the Miner's Log open to the page where an item was most recently added.

Shows all the Items found so far. When an Item that is part of a Collection is found, a page is added to the Log to show the whole collection, with empty outlined spaces representing the missing items in the Collection. Also shows game score.

and moves between pages.

and move between items/buttons on a page.

Developer Tools

  • F9 toggles spectator mode (a.k.a. "noclip"), which lets you navigate the map at will. Untoggling spectator mode will drop the avatar at the first open position above you.
Last Author
Last Edited
Jul 26 2020, 11:33 AM