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Where should you run? That's not quite as easy a question as I first thought. A lot of factors go into the answer—how healthy are you? Are you running for your life or are you running to build up balance? How fast is the varmint you're trying to get away from? How many critters are chasing you? How mean are they?

Running For Your Life From A Faster, Meaner Critter
This isn't as easy as it used to be. Used to be critters were territorial—they'd stick close to home—but now they're a bit more tenacious and will follow you right into town if you're not careful. (Ask Ton To about his maha...)

If you're hurting really bad (your name is red), and the critter gnawing on you is faster than you are, the first thing you should do is maneuver a weaker creature between yourself and whatever's chasing you. Vermine work very well for this—they are fast, stick tight and don't do much damage if they hit you.

Artak and vermine

Picking up a vermine this way will help prevent "death from behind" on your way out of the screen. And, if you're really lucky, the vermine will slow down the meaner critter so much that it loses you during the change to the new screen.

If you're unlucky, however, the critter will follow along with you and you get to do the whole blasted thing all over again. Which brings us to...

Running to Lose a Critter
If you're on a screen that has an open edge (it doesn't have a constricted entrance like the screens with gates), try to run out of the field in the corner. This will put you a considerable distance away from the pursuing critter when you come out on the other side, and they will (hopefully!) lose you.

Corner Running

In this case I'm bombing out of the northeast field with a very tenacious giant vermine on my tail. Because I left the NE field in the corner and popped out in the middle of the east field, I managed to lose the giant vermine and make it into town unscathed.

Sometimes when this doesn't work the first time, I'll run down the screen border to the opposite corner, duck across, then duck immediately back. This will often shake some of the more tenacious critters (like bloodhawks).

Another thing that has worked for me, although with spotty results, is taking off perpendicular to your line of travel immediately upon entering the new screen. There are some problems with this, however; the primary one being that sometimes whatever is behind you in the screen you are leaving appears in front of you in the screen you're entering.

This is very bad when it happens...

(Note: See Parking Critters for ideas on how to park beasties when this tactic won't work.)

Running For Your Life From A Slower Critter
This is the easiest escape. Just point your nose at the exit and go like mad. There's something to remember about running away, though: If you don't open up enough of a lead, whatever's following you is going to sneak up on you. So, when you bomb out of a screen, KEEP GOING! If you hang out at the exit, you just might get a little surprise... Especially from ferals.

Running For Your Life From A Lot of Critters
When you encounter critters in the wild, the odds are pretty good the critters are going to out number you. This is normal; get used to it. This does tend to lend a different aspect to your running tactics, however. For instance, in the picture below I've happened into a merry band of mean beasties who are intent on making meatloaf out of me.

RUN!

What should I do? In this case, I wanted as much room between the 'zerk and myself as possible, so I ran right to get the giant vermine in its way. This put the giant vermine and the orga warrior in each others' way, and while they were sorting things out the large vermine got right behind me and covered my heiney all the way to the exit. Phew! And yes, stopping to taking this picture almost got me killed.

In hindsight, what I should have done is run left to get the hoodeds in front of the 'zerk and gang. Since a hooded corpse was pretty slow (at the time this picture was taken), they would have slowed the other critters down enough for me to make it out unscathed.

Running To Get Your Balance Back
This is a handy tactic when you're hunting critters who have a hard time hitting you at full balance. Rockodiles are a good example of this—they're slow, they have a relatively hard time hitting you when your balance is up, and they're worth pretty good experience. But they take a lot of hits to kill, so you need to manage your balance well.

Leading a rock

As you can see in this picture, the adult rockodile has taken a chomp at me (it missed 'cause I was at full balance), and I've taken advantage of it's long recovery time to run up and kill a pesky little crawler.

I'll now wait for my balance to recover (which will happen while the rock creeps up on me), and for the rock to swing again before I take a few whacks at it. Then I'll walk off a little way, wait for the rock to catch up, whack it a few more times, etc., etc.

Running To Separate the Killable From the Unkillable
So what should you do if you're being pursued by several critters, one of which you want to kill and the others you'd like to leave until later? With some artful dodging (heh!), you can park the tougher beasties behind a tree while you dispatch the easier beast.

Parking Undine

In this case, I had two corpse warriors on my tail that I really didn't want to tangle with together. I managed to lose them by getting them stuck in a tree, while I had to contend with a much easier foe, an orga. Once the orga was dead, I led one corpse warrior off, killed it, and came back for the other. Easy as pie.

Using a corner

Here's another way to park beasties. I'm faced with two warrior myrms and a farmer myrm. Since the farmer can't hit me, all I have to worry about are the warriors. I've taken advantage of this handy corner to block the one away to the right so I only have to deal with one warrior swinging at me at a time. The farmer serves as an additional shield to my left, because as long as it's there, I don't have to worry about attacks from that direction.

Another mob
Ah, fibberteagibbets!

Running When You're Surrounded
Sound impossible? It's not! Well, it depends on what you're surrounded by and how many are stacked up around you, but with many beasties you're not in as much trouble as you'd think as long as you don't panic and start swinging.

Mobbed by vermine

As you can see, I've carelessly let myself get surrounded by large vermine and an orga. A spot of trouble, but not insurmountable as long as I don't swing at anything. Vermine and orgas are easy to get away from because of one thing: they're hyper. They move a lot—and when they move they're big enough to make openings you can escape through.

An opening

In this picture you can see that one of the vermine has dashed off a little way (short attention span), but the opening is too small for me to fit through. And if I try, I'll swing at the SW vermine, lose balance, and I'm vermine vittles because my defense will have dropped enough for them to hit me. But look—there's a gap opening in the northeast corner...

A bigger opening

At last! The vermine on the top has shifted to the west a little, leaving me with a nice opening at the top of the envelopment for me to escape through.

I'm outta here!

As I take advantage of the opening, the surrounding pack of vermine turn into something a lot easier to get away from—a line of vermine, with the orga mixed in to slow things down. I can now wrap the lot around a tree, park them on a piece of terrain, or run away. Easy!

A tactic for those of you loaded with defense and health: If you're surrounded by critters who can only hit you with lucky hits and you have enough health to survive five minutes of this, then you leave the game. That's right, leave the game. After five minutes your character will vanish and you can rejoin the game sans critters.

Pinpon: Super Healer

Remember: In order to run, you need a hole to run through. Be patient, conserve your balance, and eventually a hole will open up. Whatever you do, don't start swinging! If you conserve your balance, who knows? Maybe that fallen bloke in your way will eventually get up and get out of your way.

The preceding section on escaping from an envelopment was suggested by Haenk. The section on leaving the game to escape a crowd of critters was suggested by Gurgi.