- Joystick: The standard-operating, left-handed joystick moves your Stix left or right, up or down. You can move your Stix along the borders of your claimed area by moving the joystick alone. If you are moving into the Qix territory, you must press either the Slow or Fast Draw while moving your joystick.
- Fast Draw: Most of the work is done with the Fast Draw. It sets up your patterns. Use this control when forging into new territory. There is no need to use it while traveling along the border.
- Slow Draw: The Slow Draw is generally used to complete your patterns. You get twice as many points for areas claimed with the Slow Draw. Again, use it only when forging into new territory. Do not use it when simply traveling along the border. A good player always uses the Slow Draw at pre-planned strategic times, for maximum point value.
- 1-2 players: Press either button to begin a 1 or 2 player game.
This is you, and you can travel by two means. Either move along the border of the Qix territory, or forge a new path into Qix territory. To move along the border, you need only move the joystick and watch out for Sparx coming toward you. To forge new paths, you move the joystick and push either the Slow or Fast Draw button. The territory that you attempt to claim is made up of Stix—the lines that you draw. You can draw vertical or horizontal lines of any length with either Draw button. Territory claimed with the Slow Draw is worth twice the point value of Fast Drawn territory.
This abstract video image is your opponent. The Qix is a constantly changing configuration of video lines. You attempt to close this bundle of video lines into as small a space as possible. He can move anywhere in his territory. That territory is defined by the area you have blocked off, and claimed for yourself. If he contacts a line while you're claiming a block, you're dead and must begin again.
Sparx patrol the border of the Qix territory. More Sparx appear the longer you take to clear the screen. Eventually—if you hesitate greatly—Sparx turn blue and chase you everywhere you move. They'll even chase you on the lines that you're drawing. If a Sparx contacts you before claiming an area, you are dead. Two Sparx are released by the Red Line every 37 seconds. If you take too long to fill in 75% of a screen, the Sparx will turn blue and become more aggressive.
He who hesitates is lost. The Fuse is the penalty for hesitation. If you stop while drawing new lines, the Fuse will ignite where you began to draw and move toward you. Once you continue, the Fuse will stop. But beware: If you hesitate again, the Fuse will pick up where it left off.
Spiral Death Trap
This is the dead-end street of the game Qix. This trap is a direct result of your carelessness. You cannot retrace lines while you're in the process of drawing them. You must claim a blocked area. Remember: in order to successfully block off a claimed area, you must end your block at some point on the Qix border. You cannot return to any part of the line you're drawing and expect to block it off. If, while trying to complete a box, you panic, and keep turning inwards, you'll find yourself smack in the middle of the Spiral Death Trap. You won't be able to reverse. You'll have to stop. A Fuse will follow down the Spiral and zap you, if the Qix doesn't hit your lines first.
The red timer line
The red line at the top of the screen is a timed line that releases Sparx. Every second a dot from each end of the Red Line disappears. The countdown time is usually 37 seconds, after which two new Sparx are released. The game will speed up and, if the Red Line closes again, the Sparx will turn blue and begin chasing you frantically.
|Fast Draw||100 points per percentage claimed|
|Slow Draw||200 points per percentage claimed|
|Completion Bonus||(Total % - Target %) × 1000 (75% minimum on most machines)|
|Special Bonus||25000 points if you claim 99% or more of the area (Very rare)|
|Split Qix||Bonus multiplier (no completion bonus)|