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PIMANIA - The Answer
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Pimania - The Answer


Portsmouth, Hants, England.

Concept/Design/Program by M. Croucher & C. Penfold
Golden Sundial of Pi by Barbara Tipple (De Beers Diamond Award Winner.)
Music by Clair Sinclive and The Pimen.
Krummy Kartoons by Robin Grenville Evans
Winner of Golden Sundial :

Thanks to all the publications and radio stations who said fine things about Automata, Pimania and the PiMan. Thanks to you, the public, who became Pimaniacs: to the man who went to Bethlehem on Christmas Day, to the young man who went to Stonehenge on Midsummer's Day, and interfered with a Druid, to the loony who tried to book a ticket on the Space Shuttle, to the lady who cited us for causing her divorce, and to the thousands of Pimaniacs the world over, who had a good time.

Cartoon 1

Thank you for making it all worthwhile for us.

mel croucherchristian penfold

No thanks to those unspeakable blackguards who sold illegal maps of PiLand, ripped off cassette copies in the piracy of their own homes, resold, hired and otherwise chiselled us out of our dues. No thanks either to the pestilences who continually phoned us demanding help, clues, and threatening to force feed us a saxophone. And to all those interested, "WOW! A SAXOPHONE!" was NOT a clue!

Clair Sinclive & the PiMen

Apologies for the appalling free disco-single, but we didn't want to leave our cassettes' backsides with nothing on them. There were several clues in the lyrics, none more obvious than, "MEET ME AT NOON & I'LL BE THERE", which was a straightforward instruction. "GO EASY WITH YOUR RUBBER DUCK; MAKE DE MOST OF YO' PORK PIE," referred to the danger of offering the PiMan these two gifts if he was in the wrong mood. "WHAT LIES BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR" were all of the relevant clues hidden there. And as for "WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE! BYE-BYE!" this was a firm warning for you never to lose your temper, or get violent with the PiMan, and if you happened to use a naughty word, the PiMan would throw you out of the game. If you communicated via your keyboard, The PiMan would learn all about you. The more you put into PIMANIA, the more you get from it.

Whether you experienced PIMANIA on a ZX81, a Dragon, a ZX Spectrum or a BBC micro, you were presented with a screen image of a PI symbol or a STAR rising high into the sky. This was your first visual clue. It was not pie-in-the-sky, but PI in the sky or STAR in the sky. And so, Pimaniacs, you should have turned your gazes towards the heavens.

A key turns the lock ...
Into the Piman's world ...

To get into the program proved as difficult for some players as getting out of it again, but eventually you entered the correct "PI", didn't you. Your key turned the lock, and you entered the PiMan's world.

Soon after discovering how to begin your Quest for the Golden Sundial of Pi, you were given your second major clue without having to do any work for it! "TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE". For those inflicted with decimal-north-sea-digital-watches it may have proved a little harder to see that the whole means of movement around the world of the PiMan related to the directions on the hands of a clock face.

Clock face

Thus, when you were "..cast into the Arena of Despair.." and surrounded by that cage, there were in fact two ways of unlocking it. "..3 from 12" indicated both the directions "3" and "9". We are aware that some of you were turning into Pimaniacs even at this very early stage of the Quest, and beginning to communicate via your keyboards.

The PiMan was looking forward to you using normal English sentences to communicate with him and his world. He wanted you to ask any question, make any comment and express yourselves as widely as possible. And to those of you who got totally carried away, "..... it was up to you my friend."

The Piman's gifts

After much frustration you discovered how to treat the PiMan's various moods, and he offered you various weirdly assorted gifts.

"You are cast into an arena of despair. A cage surrounds you ..."

If you were carrying one or more of the PiMan's gifts when you arrived at the "Neck of the Woods" there was a chance that the PiMan would either take back one gift, or allow "The Green Door" to open. The more useful the gift, the less likely it was that the Door would be revealed. Having passed through The Green Door, however, you had now entered a new phase of your Quest. You were able to visit all 21 locations in PIMANIA, and if you kept track of where you had been, and where you were heading, you were able to map them thus:

The horse constellation

Remembering your very first clue, on scanning the sky you should have been able to associate the locations of the PiMan's world with a heavenly constellation. The Constellation of PEGASUS, the winged horse. It really was Pi in the Sky!

PIMANIA is played at two levels, The First level is to get through the ULTIMATE GATE OF PI, The red herring and to enjoy yourself as much as possible on the way. However, the Second level is to understand the allegory of what is happening to you, thereby locating, and winning the Golden Sundial of Pi.

The Red Herring was, yes, a red herring. The dog was simply barking up the wrong tree. The jokes, songs, dances, adverts and suchlike were harmless You could take up to 5 weird objects at a time, found at the horse's feet. It was not until you helped the PiMan, by understanding his moods and offering him the correct gifts, that he allowed you to pass through the GREEN DOOR. Once passed, it was not until you began using the PiMan's gifts to you that things started to make sense.

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth!!!

The ECHO CHAMBER was the place for you to utilise your Megaphone, and you were given an important quotation: "I Will Bless The Lord At All Times : His Praise Shall Continually Be In My Mouth." Yes you were looking STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE's MOUTH!

Piman with ear trumpet

Whilst visiting the Oily Drum of the horse's earhole, the Deaf Aid could be used. The PiMan appeared, listening to the codes or notes for "C,A,G,G."

Many of you took this to be childish burble for "See a Gee-Gee ...." but it was a little more subtle than that. The "Ca" referred to the symbol for Calcium, that chalky stuff. Yes, the "GG" was baby talk for a horse. Thus you were now on the track of a GIANT CHALK HORSE, to place yourself within its mouth.

In the horse's mouth

The Observatory was the obvious place to use your Telescope, rewarding you with the view as seen from the location of the Golden Sundial of Pi, when standing in the Horse's Mouth. "The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music" was not meant to be particularly obscure .... you were looking at some hills, with a river flowing from distant-centre-left, towards a large expanse of water on your right. The hill at the right of your screen was extremely sheer, wasn't it.

The hills and the river

And so to the fabled CAVERN OF IVORY, the Horse's Mouth, wherein you were trying to open the Ultimate Gate of Pi, "by sacrificing the correct clues beneath it." There were several objects that you were able to remove, once you had dropped them, & these were irrelevant. It was only those SEVEN gifts from the PiMan that were revealed to have attained their "final resting place" which were genuine clues, and which all confirmed the location of the Chalk Horse. The objects were, in no particular order:

THE COMPASS: here is a sketch of the huge compass which is to be found adjacent to the site of the Chalk Horse.

THE CALENDAR: revealing the correct date. (see next page)

PSALM 33: which is adjacent to Psalm 34, the quotation on a metal plaque set in stone, adjacent to the site of the Chalk Horse, overlooking the hills.

THE TELESCOPE: giving you the view from the location of the Golden Sundial of Pi.

THE DEAF AID: giving you the musical clue "C-A-G-G".

THE BLACKBOARD: indicating that the Golden Sundial of Pi was to be found on chalk.

THE HANGLIDER: an appropriate clue to a famous location for loonies, who enjoy throwing themselves off high hills, strapped to overgrown kites!

To open the Ultimate Gate of Pi, you stood in the Horse's Mouth, the 21st location of the system. 7 objects were sacrificed beneath the Gate, & you entered the final Key, "22". PI, (22 over 7) was a clue from beginning to end.

The date of it's discovery was a very straightforward matter :


The final location