"A thousand centuries ago, the human adventure
The situation of the Hero
Brief historical survey
Tips and tricks
Situation of the Hero
Dawn rose on the land of the Light Footed, 100 thousand hears ago.
Torgan awoke and stretched his young and powerful muscles. Calmly he
attached two leather bottles to his braided vine belt, collected the
sharp pointed assegais, grasped the heavy stone axe and tried it for
a moment before tying it to his side. He was then ready to face the
With gnarled hands he rubbed his face, still striped with ritual
paint, the uncounsciously stroked the wolf's teeth necklace lying on
his chest. The warm and familiar touch of the ivory made his mind
wander slowly back to the events of the evening before. He saw again
the garish light of the fires where the sweet scented herbs were
burning, the painted faces of the warrior seated in a circle and
himself, standing before them, anxious, waiting...
The venerable tribal chief, Hognor, the approached and traced out
with red clay the signs of force, courage and wisdom on Torgan's
cheeks and forehead whilst murmuring the ritual formulas.
All the men then began to chant a slow recital to appease the
spirits of the dead hunters. Their voices were not as many as
before, as many men of the tribe had fallen in battle, or not come
back from distant hunts.
Torgan knew the tribe was sick and hungry. Everyday, the children
suffered from terrible diseases from eating unknown plants, and were
dying in atrocious suffering. For several seasons the persistant
drought had dried up the land and yellowed the meadows. The big
game, wild ox and bison, had disappeared and food was becoming
Hordes of wolves descended from the north and the bears left the
mountains. The hunting territories, until then sufficient, were
becoming too small. The law of force was replacing the ancestral law
in violent batles between neighboring tribes, especially with the
bloody and fanatical Mad Hyenas.
The number of hunters dropped in each affray, and this is why many
of the young, who until then had only picked, had to leave
prematurely for the hunt. How many of them could hop to survive
these terrible trials ? For Torgan, it was the moment he had awaited
to prove his valor : he knew that to conquer, he had to find aliases
among the neighboring tribes, choose courageous hunting companions
and possibly tame wild animals.
Halting this train of thought, Torgan went with a firm step to the
Village Fire where Hognor was already giving his orders.
Brief historical survey
100.000 years ago, in what was to be later called Southwestern
Europe, lived Homo Sapiens (recently call Homo Sapiens
Neandertalensis) , a close cousin to Homo Sapiens (Homo Sapiens
Small in size and sturdy in appearence, the Neandertal survived from
hunting and picking.
His environment (biotope) was very similar to ours : hardwood and
pine forests and the north, moors or savannahs in the more arid
The Neandertal was far from being a primitive. Although sometimes
cannibalistic, as certain remainders of meals might indicate, he
buried his dead, used fire and stonecutting was already known 2
million years ago.
It can be assumed that the social structure was based on the tribe;
certainly with cleary defined hunting territories. The internal
volume of the skull was very large (sometimes larger than of the
scientists who measure it), thus assuming a high degree of
intelligence, and therefore a rudimentary articulated language.
At that time survival depended on hunting, the search for water
points, medicinal or nutritive plants and the cutting of the weapon
from flint. And here the Neandertal was the fruit of an evolution
which adapted him splendidly to his environment. It would be
pointless to try to live in a perpetual hostile world and it is
probable that the recent power of language available to Homo Sapiens
enabled him to make allies and start up "adult" discussions, whereas
a more primitive hominidae would have taken to arms.
On the screen, you can see a menu bar and a window.
Most of the menu options are shortcuts for the game actions.
The main window is divided in several parts.
In the lower part are the game actions. By clicking on the left
window, you choose the action to be performed. A window opens on the
right and let you precise the action.
You can make the option list scroll in a window : move the mouse
above or below the chosen window.
The mouse cursor changes into a hand pointing upwards or downwards.
Pressing on the mouse button scrolls the text.
The main actions and subactions are :
Obtains further informations on the game, allows to load or save an
adventure, to define a character or to perform various setup
Defining a new character starts automatically a new adventure. You
can name him, choose whether he is to be a man or a woman, select
his characteristics : agility, strength, charisma (ascendency over
others) , vitality and apearance of your character.
This feature is reserved to registered copies of Sapiens. If your
copy isn't registered yet, you'll always play with a middle
character named Torgan.
The character setup is very important and can change completely the
game. You can share a set of units between several characteristic
(agility, strength, charisma...). The maximum value of each
characteristic depends on whether your character is a male or a
female : a female can have less strength but more agility and
Here is the meaning and the influence of these different values :
Agilityaffects the character speed during a fight. A very agile
character will be handled easier.
During a fight, the strength affects the damages inflicted to
your opponent when you strike him.
With a high level of charisma, you are able to charm a friend and
convict him to come with you, to convince him to make a worthwile
deal, to pacify an enemy or to tame an animal.
The vitality defines your fitness. The more vitality for your
character, the longer life for him.
The health defines the character capability to endure his opponent's
blows, and the water and food hardship.
Thanks to strength and agility, you'll be better in fighting. But
thanks to charisma, you'll charm other characters or even wild
animals. A wolf or a bear can be a very powerful alias. If you
convince another character to come with you, he'll hunt and fight
with you. Little advice : avoid to handle him too roughly, he may
not let himself be pushed around.
The preferencies allow to define the requested music type and sound
effects, and the secnd player control mode. If the second player is
defined as 'automatic', his movements are controlled by the
computer. Otherwise, an second human player can control the second
character via the computer keyboard, with the keys '8' (up), '2'
(down), '4' (left), '6' (right), '1' (change weapon) and '3'
Remark : if you tame an animal, it will always be
During the game, it can be very useful to save the game current
state in order to retrieve it in case of infortunate death of your
character. However, it is only possible to perform this operation
once a day (in the game time, of course !).
Indicates the present state of the character : during the game it is
necessary to check if he is hungry, thirsty, tired, injured or is in
good health. Moreover, this is to remind you your strong and weak
points. At the top of the screen, the quotas selected when defining
your character appear.
Objects and plants are to be found on the ground these are
discovered progressively with the movements. They can be gathered up
to be used, processed or even consumed.
To do so, you must select the TAKE option, the list of objects
available the appears.
The objects in your possession can be abandonned when they are no
longer useful, for example meat which is rotten, or broken flints.
Provides for communication with other humans. For example, "Good
hunting" breaks off a friendly conversation. You can insult a person
to make him fight, but beware, his tribe will not appreciate it if
one of its members is knocked down. A prepocessing person can be
attracted by gifts (see next option) and a suitable word. In this
case, the two characters will continue the adventure together, but
the main character will always conduct the dialog.
It may be used to coax a friend, or to calm down an enemy. It is
then necessary to use this option to offer a gift suitable to the
situation. When the other character is prepared to make an exchange
and the rules are observed, GIVE is used to exchange objects.
A little advice: each tribe has its own preferencies and it may be
an advantage to discover them : in fact, a gift without value for
one way prove to be inestimable to the other.
is divided into four suboptions :
In LANDSCAPE view, the mouse placed to the right of the central
position makes you turn to the right. Likewise the rotation to the
left. The mouse moved forward will move you forward, and the mouse
moved backwards will stop you. Press the spacebar to turn the map on
and off. Press the mouse button to exit from the landscape view. You
can also use the arrow keys of the keyboard to move.
LATERAL VIEW : In landscape, the character moves rapidly, but to
take the time to observe it is possible to move from box to box. To
do so, choose the lateral view movement. You can then see the
character walk, bend down, grasp a weapon, throw an assegai or
If you meet another character while in landscape view, the lateral
view is automatically displayed. In case of fight, it is highly
advisable to give your blows standing : the impact will have the
The mouse UP, DOWN movement obtains standing up and bending down,
RIGHT-LEFT turning round, the button strikes. To change weapon, use
the Return key, and the Esc key to exit this view. It can be easier
to use the directions keys of your keyboard to move tour character
in this view mode. Use the spacebar to strike
The four symbols placed on either side of the viewing window
indicate the state of the character and by their pulse speed the
degree of breathlessness. Two people on each side can fight
Beware : a character too out of breath can no longer strike.
accomplishes a complete survey by showing a perspective view. You
can halt at any time by pressing on an action key.
provides an aerial view of the landscape, the arrow indicating your
position and direction. You can zoom, raising or lowering the mouse.
Press on the button to exit.
CONSUME, TEND WITH or SLEEP
Maintain good health.
From flint it is possible to produce assegai blades or stone axes.
To do so, the flint must be cut as close as possible to the ideal
shape (in dotted line). First of all, you must place the cursor on
the point of impact selected, then proportion the force of the blow
by pressing short or long the mouse button. When you consider the
work finished, click on the icon on the left of the viewing window,
or press the "Esc" key..
GOOD HUNTING !
Tips and tricks
1- Don't be too aggessive
In the Sapiens game (just as in the real life), you must talk before
striking. So, avoid the confrontation as often as possible.
Introduce yourself ("Say" "I am..."), and kindly break the
conversations ("Say" "Good hunting"). Coax the persons you speak to
by giving them some gifts ("Give") and ... avoid the insults !
If you fight against the member of a tribe after introducing
yourself, all the tribe will know your name...
2- Respect your chief
Your chief (the first character you meet) is powerful and
thin-skinned. He presupposes that you know him and he'll be offended
whether you ask him his name. On the contrary, ask him what he
wants, he'll indicate you the ordeal you must succeed to gain his
respect. But he is very demanding, and when he wants you to bring
back food, he means a great quantity of meat...
3- Keep an eye on your physical state
Hunger, thirst, and tiredness have to be avoided. Don't forget to
take some water skins to carry the water you find, some assegais to
hunt the rabbits, and some ointment and medicinal herbs to tend you.
4- Learn your environment
Learn the springs locations, the hunting territories full of
rabbits, the gloomy plains where wolves are on the prowl (to be
avoided by night), and the other tribe's camps.
Be attentive and diplomatic, and soon you'll know the Sapiens
territory like the back of your hand.
5- Don't neglect the manual work
Even hatchets and assegais break from time to time... So, it should
be a good idea to make some weapon in advance from pieces of silex.
A precise movement and a well-controled power are essential to
complete this work.
Little advice : to make a good cutting, the outer limits of the
cutted shape must be as close as possible to the dotted line. By the
way, don't forget to trim the both ends thank to two violent strikes
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and find there the latest releases of our shareware programs for
Macintosh and PC.
Discover our other programs :
Awale : Ancient African game (one of the oldest of humanity) in
which you have to capture your opponent's stones... Fascinating and
“Beautiful ! This nicely crafted board features animations of the
hand that moves the stones around in this African game...” Bob
Gollihur . Windows On Line .Issue 107, March 1996.
Harmony Assistant : An easy-to-use musical composition integrated
Melody Assistant: the Harmony Assistant's "little brother"
and many other shareware and freeware programs...
The team in 1987, from left to right :
Gilles Soulet - Musics
Olivier Guillion - Assembly language
Didier Guillion - C language and drawings
-06-1986 : First version for Thomson and Amstrad
-09-1987 : Atari ST version and IBM - PC CGA mode.
-04-1996 : Version 2.0 for Windows 95 and Macintosh
-10-1997 : Version 2.2 with more help and explanations
-09-1998 : Version 2.3 adapted to the new hardware configurations
-05-2005 : Version 2.4 adapted to the new hardware configurations
-04-2017: Version 3.0, new version for macIntel, new features,
Sapiens is now freeware
We wish to thank here :
Jean-François 'Jeff' Cassan, Main Beta-tester
Philippe 'Gang of touched' Fernandez