Armadillo Run Manual



Armadillo is lost in another dimension. Help it return home by guiding it through a series of inter-dimensional portals.

Each level requires you to build some kind of structure to guide Armadillo to the portal. There are various types of building materials you can use, each having its own properties. Choose your materials wisely - you have a limited budget!


Icon Material Weight Tensile strength Compressive strength Placement Other points
Rope Light Good   Outer edge Flexible
Cloth Medium Good   Centre Flexible
Metal bar Medium Medium Good Inner edge  
Metal sheet Heavy Medium Good Centre  
Elastic Light Good   Outer edge Flexible, stretchy
Rubber Medium Medium Medium Centre Compressible
Rocket Heavy Poor Poor Centre Propelled forward, longer rockets exert more force

Links are either placed in the centre of the structure (so they interact with each other and Armadillo) or they're placed at the edges (Armadillo passes between them). Use centre materials like cloth and metal sheet to form a platform for Armadillo to roll along. Edge materials are good for constructing supports and parts that don't interfere with Armadillo.

There are two types of edge links: inner edge (placed next to the centre links) and outer edge (placed further out to the sides). Because they're in different planes, these two link types don't collide with each other. Furthermore, the outer edge links (rope and elastic) can cross each other without colliding.


You build the structure out of links, which are created by clicking and dragging with the mouse. The links are subject to the force of gravity, so make sure that they're secured to anchor points. Anchor points are the black dots on each level - they are fixed and won't move.

The panel at the bottom of the screen has icons representing the different materials and editing modes. Click on these icons to change the building material or editing mode. There are three editing modes: structure, tension and timer.

Structure      Edits the structure.
Left mouse button Click and drag to create a new link.
Right mouse button Click to delete a node/link.
[Shift] Hold down [Shift] and left-click and drag a node/link to move it. When creating a link or moving a node, holding down [Shift] switches off the 'snap to closest node' function.

Tension      Allows you to adjust the starting tension/compression of the links.
Left mouse button Click and drag up/down to adjust - the colour indicates the tension (red) or compression (green).
Right mouse button Click to remove the preset tension for a link.

Timer      Allows you to set self-destruct timers for the links.
Left mouse button Click and drag up/down to adjust - the size of the marker indicates the length of the timer.
Right mouse button Click to remove the self-destruct timer for a link.

Time stands still while you edit the structure. When you have built something, test it out by clicking on [Start]. You'll see how your structure behaves and if it can get Armadillo to the portal. If you succeed (and you've kept within the budget) then you'll move to the next level, otherwise you'll need to go back and edit it. Click on [Stop] to get back to editing the level.

To undo or redo previous actions, click on [Undo] or [Redo]. To completely clear the level and start again, click on [Clear].

To view the forces on the links, click on [Forces]. Tension is shown as red and compression as green. You can also see everything in slow motion by clicking on [Slow] once the simulation is running. This can help you see what's going wrong and which parts need to be fixed! Right-click on [Slow] to fast forward the simulation.

The money remaining from the level budget is shown on the left of the panel, next to the price of the currently selected item. You must keep within the budget to successfully complete each level and there are rewards for finishing levels with money remaining!

The cost of a flexible link (rope, cloth or elastic) depends on its length, so the price of the flexible materials is for a short section of link. Adding tension or a timer to a link costs a fixed amount, but when tension is applied to flexible links, the cost of the link is reduced since it is essentially a shorter link stretched (but you still have the cost of adding the tension).

The links that a level starts with can't be moved, adjusted or deleted - you have to work around them (or with them) to complete the level.

Moving around

To move the view around the play area, hold down [Control] and left-click and drag anywhere in the play area.

To zoom in and out, hold down [Control] and right-click and drag up/down in the play area.

To rotate the view, hold down [Control] and [Shift] and left-click and drag in the play area.

You can change the view by clicking on the view icon (a pair of glasses). It shows the name of the current view and cycles through the views when clicked. The [Free] view is the normal view and the [Side] view shows the level from the side (the controls are the same to move and zoom, but you can't rotate this view).

When the simulation is running there are two more views available - [Tracking] (which follows Armadillo through the level) and [Armadillo] (which shows the level from Armadillo's viewpoint).

Multiple selection

If you want to move, adjust or delete multiple nodes/links, you first need to select a group of nodes/links. To select/deselect a node/link, hold down [Tab] and left-click on it. Alternatively, you can select/deselect multiple nodes at once by holding down [Tab] and left-clicking in an empty space and dragging out a 'rubber band' rectangle.

Once you have the nodes/links selected, left-click and drag to move/adjust them or right-click to delete them. To rotate the selected nodes, hold down [Shift] and left-click and drag up/down. If you start the rotation by clicking on a node then that node will be the centre of rotation, otherwise it will be the average position of all the selected nodes.

Mouse function

When you use keys [Shift], [Control] and [Tab], they change what the mouse is used for (creating new links, moving existing ones, adjusting the view and multiple selection). The mouse function icon (to the right of the edit modes) changes when you press these keys to show which function is selected.

As an alternative to using the [Shift], [Control] and [Tab] keys, you can also click on this icon to change the mouse function. Click and hold down the left mouse button over the icon to display a pop-up menu, then move the mouse over one of the options and release the left mouse button to select it.

Icon Keyboard shortcut Mouse function
  Create new links
[Shift] Move existing nodes/links
[Control] Scroll/zoom view
[Control] + [Shift] Rotate/zoom view
[Tab] Multiple selection

Saving levels

When you play a level, it automatically gets saved when you leave it (this is called the default save). There is only one default save per level, so if you have created something you want save for posterity, click on [Save] to create a separate save file for it. Whatever you call the save file, it will always appear in the level select list underneath the level it refers to.

You can delete saved levels from the level select screen by clicking on [Delete level] and then clicking on the saved level you want to delete.


You can create user profiles, so multiple people can play Armadillo Run on the same computer with their own save game data. You can switch between profiles and create new ones by clicking on [Change profile] on the main menu.

Tips and techniques

Careful use of the available anchor points is key to completing the levels. On the levels that have some structure already built, think about the best way to use it.

Levels can be completed in different ways - for instance you could suspend a cloth slide from high anchor points, build a platform from lower anchor points or even make some kind of catapult and catching mechanism. Find your own way and use the materials in novel schemes!

Armadillo must stay in the portal for five seconds for the level to be completed, so try to make the structure stop it when it gets there.

Links have a minimum length - you can't create links shorter than this. Non-flexible links also have a maximum length - if you try to create a link longer than this, it will be broken down into multiple links.

You can't have two or more links directly connecting the same two nodes. If you want to do this, you can probably achieve the same effect by splitting one of the links in two, creating an intermediate node.

There are many different ways to successfully complete levels, but try to finish them with money remaining to get a high score and unlock extra levels.


You can cut, copy and paste links using the [Control] + [X], [Control] + [C] and [Control] + [V] keyboard shortcuts. The cut and copy operations work on the currently selected links (see the 'multiple selection' section above). After pasting links, you have to position them by moving the mouse and left-clicking. Before the links have been positioned, you can flip them links horizontally (by pressing [F]) or vertically (by pressing [Shift] + [F]).

The auto-save feature can be turned off in the options menu. There are also options to enable a level stopwatch timer (which shows how long it takes to reach the portal) and to display the cost of the currently selected links.

A level's score can be reset from the level select screen by clicking on [Reset level score] and then clicking on the level whose score you want to reset.

Summary of controls and keyboard shortcuts

Left mouse button      Create link, move node/link, adjust tension/timer
Right mouse button Delete node/link/tension/timer
[Shift] Move node/link, switch off 'snap to closest node', rotate selected nodes
[Control] Scroll/zoom view
[Control] + [Shift] Rotate view
[Tab] Multiple selection
Mouse wheel Switch between materials
[Shift] + Mouse wheel Switch between editing modes
[Space] Start/stop the simulation
[V] Change view
[F] Show/hide forces
[S] Toggle slow motion
[D] Toggle fast forward
[Control] + [Z] Undo
[Control] + [Shift] + [Z] Redo
[Enter] Yes/confirm menu option
[Escape] Stop the simulation, return to the menu, no/cancel menu option
[1] - [7] Switch between materials
[8], [9], [0], [-], [=] Switch between editing modes
[Control] + [S] Save level
[Control] + [A] Select all
[Control] + [X] Cut
[Control] + [C] Copy
[Control] + [V] Paste
[Delete] Delete node/link/tension/timer
[F] Flip pasted links horizontally
[Shift] + [F] Flip pasted links vertically
[R] Reset view
[P] Pause the simulation
[O] Advance the simulation by one step

Alternative view controls

Middle mouse button      Scroll view
[Control] + Middle mouse button Rotate view
[Control] + Mouse wheel Zoom view

Downloading new levels

You can download new levels that other people have created. Just copy the files into the 'Levels' folder (click on [Open levels folder] on the main menu to get to it) and you'll be able to select them to play.

Editing levels

The [Edit level] menu option allows you to create and edit your own levels. When editing a level, there are two extra editing modes to create/move anchor points and change the set-up of the level.

In the anchor mode, you can create a new anchor point by left-clicking where you want it. You can also move anchor points by left-clicking on them and dragging them to their new position.

In the level set-up mode, left-click and drag to move the Armadillo or portal and right-click and drag up/down to adjust the portal size. In this mode, you can move the level boundaries by left-clicking and dragging them and you can also change the level background by left or right-clicking in an empty space to cycle through those available.

To set the budget for the level, just click on it and use the number keys to edit it.

Any nodes and links that are created when editing the level can't be moved, adjusted or deleted when playing the level. This property can be used to construct both helpful objects and obstacles.

You can prevent some items from being used when playing the level by right-clicking on their icons to disable or enable them.

Advanced level editing

You can name a level anything you like, but if you want to create a set of levels (where you must complete each one in turn before attempting the next), then you must call them '[LevelSetName] N - [LevelDescription]', where N is the number of the level in the set, starting from 1. For each set of levels, your progress is stored in a file called '[LevelSetName].prg'. If you want to reset your progress and start the set again, just delete this file.

To create ending sequences for levels, just create a level you want as the ending, then rename the file from '[Something].lvl' to '[LevelName].end', where [LevelName] is the name of the level the ending is for. The [Free] view is saved as part of the level and will be used when playing the ending.

If you want to create a new background, you just need to make a PNG or JPEG image and put it in the 'Levels' folder, calling it 'background_N.png' or 'background_N.jpg', where N is a positive integer. You'll then be able to select the new background when editing levels. The width and height of the image must both be a power of 2 (e.g. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, ...). To prevent conflicts with other backgrounds, use the 'Random Background ID' tool to generate N.

You can give a level set some 'extra' levels, which get unlocked by achieving a high score on the levels in the set (by finishing them with money remaining). These extra levels are created in the same way as normal levels, but should be called '[LevelSetName] extra N - [LevelDescription]' where N is the extra level number, starting from 1. The scores required to unlock the extra levels should be put in a text file called '[LevelSetName].ext', each score on a new line. As an example, if there are 2 extra levels in a set that are unlocked by achieving scores of $100 for the first and $200 for the second, the contents of the file should look like this:


If you want to share the levels you've created, just copy the relevant '.lvl' files out of the 'Levels' folder. If any of the levels use a background you created then you'll need to copy the background file too. Likewise, if you've created ending sequences and extra unlockable levels, you'll need to copy the relevant '.end' and '.ext' files.


Programming      Peter Stock
Graphics Peter Stock, Daniel Jackson
Testing Daniel Jackson, Chris Wiggins, Patrick Olivier, Kevin Rands, Philip Atkin, Paul Burridge, Jim Marriott, Eelke Folmer, Marie-Aude Coutouly, Lloyd Tullues, Paul Kitchin, Collin Lourie, Arron Bailiss, Federico Stein, Corey Struble

'Expressway' font by Ray Larabie

Panoramic sky photograph by Philippe Hurbain

Tools/APIs used

OpenGL      3D graphics API
libpng PNG image library
IJG JPEG library JPEG image library
zlib Compression library
Inno Setup Installer

Copyright © 2005-2011 Peter Stock
FMOD Sound System Copyright © 1994-2006 Firelight Technologies Pty, Ltd.