Humbug


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Rating: 4.4/5 (334 votes)
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DoraHumbugPixelcontinuous' puzzle platformer Humbug is both weird and weirdly charming. You are Ziggy Fraud, the sketchiest looking thief around, whose quest to steal an appealingly large diamond lands him in hot water. Fortunately for Ziggy, he's not bound by the traditional laws of physics (or the game engine) and with some skill and your help, should be able to cheat his way to victory. Initially, gameplay is simple; use the [arrow] keys to look around and jump, [P] to pause the game, [S] to throw switches, and [R] to restart a room if you get stuck. Each room is a puzzle you'll need to solve in order to proceed, but they're anything but traditional. To succeed, you'll need to think like a cartoon character, one who is constantly breaking the fourth wall, and figure out how to manipulate yourself, the environment, and even abuse the pause function. Think creatively, think outside the box, and maybe even channel the soul of Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck if you really want to make it. If you stop playing, you can continue from the last room you finished when you pick it up again.

Humbug is strange, no bones about it. From its slightly off-key discordant soundtrack, to its shifty protagonist, to its unorthodox approach to getting past obstacles, this is definitely an unusual game. Fans of more traditional puzzles will probably find the cartoon-character problem solving required baffling, and if you demand to take the logical approach to games, you might end up more frustrated than anything else with this one. The second-to-last stage feels like it needs a lot of experimentation and trial-and-error to complete, and since every stage has a different solution and set of unspoken "rules", you never really feel like you're building a skillset. Instead, you're repeatedly confronted with situations where the only solution is just to jump right in and mess with everything.

If you're willing to approach the levels from different, illogical angles, (Scooby-Doo'er angles) you'll find a lot to like here for the few minutes it takes to run through the game. Humbug may not win everyone's heart, but it's appealingly different, and with three (very well hidden) secret items to track down if you keep your eyes peeled, you might even unlock a more heroic ending. For my part, it felt like a breath of fresh air despite its faults. There were only two stages that really hung me up for longer than a minute or two, and if that has taught me anything its that my brain apparently does not work the same way everyone else does. I'm not entirely sure what it was about it that won me over so completely... it certainly wasn't Ziggy himself, since he looks like the sort of kid who liked to lurk silently behind other people, breathing heavily through his open mouth. But Humbug made me smile, and if you give it a chance, you might find it does you the same favour.

Play Humbug

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Humbug walkthrough
Level 1

Jump on the tree branch, the the treetop, then on the castle in the background, then on the castle in the foreground. Continue to the right.

Level 2

Get to the switch, press the P button (pause) on your keyboard, press the S button on your keyboard. Continue to your right.

Level 3

Pause, then change your strength to nine (upper right corner). Hit the switch (with the S button), and touch the other door. Jump up the platforms (you can jump on top of the text box (make sure you're paused or else the platforms won't stay)). Continue

Level 4

Hit the first switch, jump on the small cloud in the background, ride it to the other side.

Level 5

Pause until at the bottom. Unpause and allow bottom cannon to shoot once. Pause when the bullet is under the window, and jump on bullet and unpause.

Level 6

Jump off of bullet and onto the first platform. Jump until the fourth platform and then make sure you are not in front of the tower. Jump as if there were platform in front of the tower, and you will go behind the tower. Once you can see yourself again, make sure you are completely visible, otherwise you will still jump as if behind the tower. After you are sure, continue.

Level 7 (thanks to neddo for the help)

Jump into the spikes, and change your health to one. Now there will be a "you are dead box" and you can move. Move the box with your mouse until you can get across.

Level 8

Jump on the fifth block from the right (solution found by highlighting the text).

all I got right now.

Suuuupar Seekrit Items!
1.

This one is on Level Three. (The escape from your cell.) After you've finally made it to the top of the right side of the screen where you'd progress to the next area, stop and wait for the bull to charge through (triggered by moving close to the edge of the screen). Then, jump back down and walk through the area he came through on the left to get the spurs.

2.

This one is on Level Five and requires some timing. (The room with three cannons.) You need to get both cannons to fire, so that when their cannonballs fall, you can pause the game and have them locked into being two steps for you to reach the ledge on the upper-right, above the right-most cannon. Here you'll find the instructional book.

3.

This one is on Level Eight, (the room with the text box telling you to go back) but you need to prepare for it on Level Seven (the room with the knight and the spike pit), by pushing the "You Are Dead" text box over to the right side of the screen so that part of it will extend into the next area. Once this is done, proceed to Level Eight and hop onto the "You Are Dead" text box, dragging it and Ziggy carefully to the top right ledge. Jump up and down on the cracked portion of the floor several times to fall down and grab the parachute.

Humbug walkthrough part 2
Level 9 (thank you nipsy)

For the first knight, jump on the table, the jump on to the platform. For the second knight, stand in front of your wanted poster, and wait until he passes.

Level 10

Increase strength to 3, continue right until you reach the bottom middle part. Be careful, you must break the bottom door and then immediately reduce your strength. If you just went through the door on the floor, but didn't get dumped back into the beginning, you did it right, reset otherwise. Once you have done that, walk right for a little, then increase strength again and continue to the right.

Level 11

Press and hold "S" when next to the door, move backwards and pull it to its full length. Jump on it and continue.

CONGRATULATIONS, at least you have chicken.

64 Comments

kevinb1229 Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 10:47 AM

I've figured out most of the game-altering mechanics, and have made my way to the following scenario:

I am in a room with a door that requires 9 strength to open. Easy enough. There's a lever, so I pull and pause. However, I can't jump onto the final ledge in the series. The door that I haven't opened yet requires 10 strength. What do I do?

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I am completely stuck on the level in the screenshot.

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@kevin -

when the "you need 10 strength" sign pops up, press Pause. It will stay there, so you can jump on it and use it as the missing platfrom:)

@Neddo - me too :(


So far I managed to cross to the other side of the screen, but the platforms are not high enough for me to jump up.

The game is very clever. I like the out-of-the-box kind of thinking it requires. It is a pleasant exercise of one's fantasy ;) Thanks for it!

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kevinb1229:

Try to open the door that requires 10 strength, causing the message box to appear. Then jump on top of the message box to reach the next platform.

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Anonymous April 6, 2011 10:54 AM

To kevinb:

You know that sign that tells you you need 10 strength to open the door? Well, it isn't just there for decoration.

Stuck on the level with two levers and a pit. Hints would be much appreciated.

[Added spoiler tags. Please remember to use these when detailing instructions on how to beat levels! :) Thanks for helping out your fellow readers. - Dora.]

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repairmanman Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 10:59 AM

I'm still stuck in the level in the screenshot. I know what I'm supposed to do, but I still cannot get high enough.

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elbottso Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 10:59 AM

Stuck on the 3 cannons room. Any help?

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@elbottso

First - Pausing the game will stop the balls. They are then harmless and you can step on them.

How to beat the level - Pause the game. Proceed to the lowest level. Unpause, let the cannon shoot. Pause with the ball accessible. Step on the ball. Unpause. Happily ride the ball ahead of the bull:)

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Thanks, Dora!

repairmanman:

You can move the "You are dead" box around with the mouse.

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repairmanman Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 11:21 AM

Humbug walkthrough
Level 1

Jump on the tree branch, the the treetop, then on the castle in the background, then on the castle in the foreground. Continue to the right.

Level 2

Get to the switch, press the P button (pause) on your keyboard, press the S button on your keyboard. Continue to your right.

Level 3

Pause, then change your strength to nine (upper right corner). Hit the switch (with the S button), and touch the other door. Jump up the platforms (you can jump on top of the text box (make sure you're paused or else the platforms won't stay)). Continue

Level 4

Hit the first switch, jump on the small cloud in the background, ride it to the other side.

Level 5

Pause until at the bottom. Unpause and allow bottom cannon to shoot once. Pause when the bullet is under the window, and jump on bullet and unpause.

Level 6

Jump off of bullet and onto the first platform. Jump until the fourth platform and then make sure you are not in front of the tower. Jump as if there were platform in front of the tower, and you will go behind the tower. Once you can see yourself again, make sure you are completely visible, otherwise you will still jump as if behind the tower. After you are sure, continue.

Level 7 (thanks to neddo for the help)

Jump into the spikes, and change your health to one. Now there will be a "you are dead box" and you can move. Move the box with your mouse until you can get across.

Level 8

Jump on the fifth block from the right (solution found by highlighting the text).

all I got right now.

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Anonymous April 6, 2011 11:33 AM

ha! I found out how to go through the teleportation room:
Hint:

with strength you break wood, but some wood is not meant to be broken

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level 9

on the bottom stand right in front of the wanted poster. the knight will walk right past you

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BAH! I'm stuck in the maze of doors room! Though I have noticed that

going in the same door you came out of does NOT bring you back to where you were...

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Nevermind, I got it :)

BEHOLD - THE POWER OF POSTING

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Level 9

That wanted poster could be useful...

Maybe the bottom knight wouldn't notice you if you stood in front of it!

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The maze of doors:

Make your way to the door in the floor on the bottom-right of the room. Break it open, but don't jump in yet. Dial your strength down, jump in, and move right, then turn your strength back up and go through the next few doors.

This worked for me; I am assuming the doors don't change each playthrough.

Has anybody found any secret items? I've played through twice now and seen nothing. I noticed that the spider in your cell at the beginning is clickable, but I can't find any way to make something happen with that.

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Oh! I found one secret item.

in the room with 3 cannons, you have to pause and jump on cannonballs in such a way that you can get on the ledge above the cannon on the right.

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Level 11

That key must have something to with it...

What happens if you pull it out instead of push it in?

Hold down S and walk backward, then jump on it. Springy!

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Fred M. Sloniker Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 11:48 AM

@abloker:

There's something you don't want to break.

Specifically, the horizontal bit of wood above where you enter the room.

Reduce your strength before dropping through the lower right hole.

Then move to the right before increasing it again.

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repairmanman Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 12:03 PM

Humbug walkthrough part 2
Level 9 (thank you nipsy)

For the first knight, jump on the table, the jump on to the platform. For the second knight, stand in front of your wanted poster, and wait until he passes.

Level 10

Increase strength to 3, continue right until you reach the bottom middle part. Be careful, you must break the bottom door and then immediately reduce your strength. If you just went through the door on the floor, but didn't get dumped back into the beginning, you did it right, reset otherwise. Once you have done that, walk right for a little, then increase strength again and continue to the right.

Level 11

Press and hold "S" when next to the door, move backwards and pull it to its full length. Jump on it and continue.

CONGRATULATIONS, at least you have chicken.

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repairmanman Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 12:11 PM

Small addendum:
For the best ending, you need all three secret items, my walkthrough has the instructions for none of them.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 12:25 PM

I don't know what kind of mind is required to beat a game like this without a walkthrough or a lot of luck, but mine definitely isn't it.

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Anonymous April 6, 2011 12:37 PM

you find one parachute if you move the "you are dead box" on the spikes level outside the screen so you can use it in the nexst one

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I liked this game a lot. It was very reminiscent of the early Karoshi games.

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Thanks for this fun little diversion, Dora! :-)

For the lazy or challenged folks out there, here is a video of the secret ending that requires the three hard-to-find items:

See if it's worth going through the hassle. ;)

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What a fantastic little game!

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An amazing game which makes you think, I liked the moments where I discover the real way to pass the level. There's even a link to AS3 tutorials in the menu. I give a 5/5!

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SkylerF Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 3:12 PM

Awww...adorable!

I LOVE the quote, though.

"It's not cheating, just misunderstanding of physics." ~ Ziggy Fraud

5/5

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Anonymous April 6, 2011 4:37 PM

level 7:
I can jump into the spikes and I don't die? Similarly the knight below the spikes doesn't kill me either?

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Menschenjaeger April 6, 2011 4:41 PM

Congrats, Humbug...you hold the record for highest percentage of levels I couldn't complete without peeking at a walkthrough. And then going ARRRGGHHHH when I read it. :D 87%!

LOVED this game. One and only one flaw - a measly 11 levels? OTOH, more might cause an epidemic of "Humbug Rage."

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Goliath April 6, 2011 4:48 PM

I started to play without reading Dora's review. Thought it to be a nice quirky looking platformer - and gave up after trying 10 times to jump past the arrows.

Read Dora's review and suddenly got hooked up! What a great little game! Way too short, unfortunately. Liked it a lot, though I had to consult the comments section to get to the end...

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mr1black Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 6:00 PM

Loved the puzzles and quirky charm! Thank you jig for bringing us the game and thanks to author for making it!

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redpoemage April 6, 2011 6:44 PM

For level 9, the one one the 2 soldiers, try to blend in.
See anything that looks like you?

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Danaroth Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 7:29 PM

Great game and great review. Thanks for letting us know about this game.

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ShodoKat Author Profile Page April 6, 2011 11:13 PM

The game won't play for me. I can't get past the title page. I'm using firefox and I have the updated flash.

[I can't reproduce your problem with Firefox 4.0, Flash Player 10.2.152.33, Mac OS X 10.5.8. The game loads and plays just fine when clicking "New Game" on the title page. If you'll tell me what versions you're using, I might be able to try to reproduce the problem using your configuration. Just saying "firefox and the updated flash" isn't very helpful. -Jay]

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Anonymous April 6, 2011 11:33 PM

Found two other secret items!

Item 1
Hint:

Where did the dog come from?

How to get it:

In level 3, after the dog dashes out from the left, go to where it came from.

Item 2
Hint:

Where else can you place the "You are dead box"?

How to get it:

In level 7, after dying and resurrecting, drag the box so that part of it is outside the frame to the right. Once in level 8, you can find part of the box poking out. Just drag it so that you can ride on it to the top of the ledge on the right. Then jump a few times on the cracked brick.

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Very Karoshi-esque, which is always good.

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ShodoKat Author Profile Page April 7, 2011 12:49 AM

Sorry. :P I'm using Flash 10 and Firefox 4. The screen goes white after the I select 'new game'. Maybe its just me though. Thanks for the help.

[No worries. We often get even less info and there's really nothing I can do to even begin to track down the issue. In your case, since version 10 is quite old compared to how often Adobe has been putting out Flash Player releases of late, I recommend installing the latest Flash Player, 10.2. If that doesn't work, try emptying your browser cache and reload the page. Perhaps your initial download of the game was corrupted somehow. -Jay]

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ShodoKat Author Profile Page April 7, 2011 12:52 AM

I'm going to fiddle with my virus protection. Maybe that's the problem.

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m000000.I'm a cow 8D April 7, 2011 3:05 AM

OMG. cant finish level 3 :c

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What a terrifyingly awesome game.

Fantastic!

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Yeah, definitely a bug on level 7. No matter what I set my health to, the spikes have no effect on me.

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m000000.I'm a cow 8D April 7, 2011 6:51 AM

OK, so now i'm stuck on the maze of doors. :|

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Fhánaí Author Profile Page April 7, 2011 10:51 AM

I've been having the same problem for a while with games not loading, and it's only the ones hosted here on JIG - I can go to other sites to find the games, and they load. I signed in today specifically to comment about this issue, so it's good to see that others have been having been experiencing the same thing. I'll go see if any of the older stuff hosted here works on my laptop, maybe that'll help in narrowing down where the problem lies?

[We use an industry standard method for embedding games on a page, and I test the site and all the games pages on both Mac and Windows in all the major browsers without issue. If you're having trouble it's most likely with your own configuration. Most often the problem goes away when, either 1) reinstall the latest Flash Player, or 2) disable browser extensions like ad blockers. Problems loading games we host are just not very often reported compared to how many people are playing them successfully. I do appreciate any information you can find, however, with your own configuration as to why you're having trouble so that I know what to help others with when they report a similar problem. -Jay]

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Fritware Author Profile Page April 7, 2011 10:52 AM

That was just brilliant. Infuriating, but brilliant. I encountered a number of glitches playing on Firefox 4, but eventually got through it with some help from the walkthrough.

Now to go back and get that last hidden item...

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Very clever and funny ideas I had never seen. However, some of the things you had to figure out were just way too hard.

I mean how on earth were we supposed to know you can click on the text box to find more words scrolled to the right? Or that I can walk through arrows or spikes and not die? This game certainly goes outside the normal conceptual framework of what is possible in most game interfaces. However, if you do that and want a satisfying experience for players it helps if you still provide clues as to what sort of things are possible in the world you made with the rules you have made. Still, I applaud your new ideas.

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repairmanman Author Profile Page April 7, 2011 11:42 AM

For people stuck in level 7

you have to jump in the spikes, just touching is not enough

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Anonymous April 7, 2011 12:05 PM

Jumping in the spikes does nothing for me on level 7, either. However, I'm using a prerelease version of Flash (10,3,162,29), used to get around some issues in Ubuntu 64 10.10, so that might be it. Others who are having the problem, are you doing something unusual?

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Anonymous April 7, 2011 12:12 PM

Relatedly: To those who can't get past level 7, do the cannonballs hurt you? One of the walkthroughs implied that they might, but they have no effect either

(though you can still stand on them to get past the bull, who will hit you)

Since those are the only things that kill by touch up to level 7, I'm thinking this is some sort of pervasive bug. (But again, it might be my flash version).

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repairmanman Author Profile Page April 7, 2011 12:36 PM

@JIGuest, you're not counting each screen as a level. that's level eight you're talking about

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Dr. Curiosity April 7, 2011 12:42 PM

The difference in endings between not having all the secret items then having them on a replay was great :-)

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Fhánaí Author Profile Page April 7, 2011 1:33 PM

Bugger me, it IS the ad-blocker. I disabled it on JIG and tested a handful of games, including this one, that hadn't been working for me over the past few weeks. All of them popped right up. So why, when I installed ABP eons ago, has this problem only cropped up in the last month? I IZ CONFUSED. o.O

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pixelContinuous Author Profile Page April 7, 2011 3:15 PM

Hi, Tom here - creator of the game :)

Firstly I'd like to thank for reception I couldn't even imagine.

Second thing is I found one bug in level with the spikes (call to null object in first frame) and fixed it. I hope it will help, because for me it's working all the time.

New game version is labeled v1.01 on the top right of menu screen.

Thanks for catching this bug.

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Bizarre and hilarious.

Thank you for injecting some creepy-cool fun into my day, Dora!

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RDenns2011 April 7, 2011 4:27 PM

When I use a computer that has Vista as an operating system I can't play about 30-40% of the games here, even with updating all plugins and addons, and trying both IE and Firefox. I just never reported it before. If it is a game I really want to try I just wait until I can use my Windows 7 PC.

[Windows Vista is notorious for causing problems, and you may need to set its firewall to allow Flash to play correctly. Check our support page for instructions on how to set up Vista's firewall to allow Adobe Flash. I hope that helps. If not, get rid of Vista if you can. You'll be glad you did. :) -Jay]

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I frolicked and jumped through those spikes for about 30 seconds to no avail - on v1.01.

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pixelContinuous Author Profile Page April 7, 2011 7:43 PM

Bad news, but thanks for info.

I'll try write some sort of patch for that piece of code then.

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Yeah, I'm afraid v1.01 didn't fix my spikes problem either.

More info:
- Running Firefox 4 on 64-bit Linux
- Flash Player 10,2,151,49
- Yes, I'm jumping on the spikes, not just touching them :)

Fun game, hope you can get it fixed.

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Haha! I found out

that bull is immune to Ziggy's pause. At least when I tried to pause it on Level 6 (after the three cannons room)... I wanted to use it to jump back across (for fun).

That might be a good idea for a sequel ;)

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@pixelContinuous, perhaps if you can't find the real bug in level 7, you could

make it so that when you kill yourself by putting your HP to 0, that on that level only you can still revive yourself? It's even less intuitive than the regular solution, but then at least the people getting the bug have an alternate way of getting through that level.

PS. This game is pretty awesome, I only wish I hadn't needed to look up the answer so many times. :P

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