Frequently asked Questions

More or less frequently asked questions about Enigma

Up Installation & Upgrading

I tried to download Enigma, following your links in the download-section, but the server doesn't respond or cancels downloading.

Servers sometimes don't work properly -- due to bugs, hardware errors or just maintaining. We can't really help you at this point, as we don't own these servers. Please try one of the mirrors (replace “download” in the url by “download2”), or retry tomorrow.

I downloaded a game named Enigma, but it looks quite different?!

There exists another game called Enigma, which is a text-based puzzle game with elements of Boulderdash and Sokoban, visit˜sgtatham/enigma/ to learn more about it. If you want to install our Enigma, download the one in our download section on this website.

How can I update Enigma?

There are in principal three kinds of updates: The world record list (aka ratings, aka statistics), the levels, and the program.

  • Enigma updates the world record list automatically, if you activated this in the options menu: “Ratings update: Auto”. If you want to update manually, read the following question.
  • To update levels, you could either wait for the next release of Enigma, or manually put new levels into your user path: Single levels into subfolder “levels/auto”, whole levelpacks into a distinct subdirectory of “levels”.
  • To update the program, simply deinstall the old Enigma and install the new one. Your scores and settings should be kept.

What's this about auto-updating scores/ratings? It never updated till now!

Go into the options menu and set “Ratings update” to “Auto”. Enigma then tries to auto-update scores about once a week.

If you want to update manually, download ratings.xml from the link given here and copy it into your user path.

What's this about auto-updating scores/ratings? I don't want any application to connect to the internet unasked!

Don't worry; Enigma won't access the internet as long as you don't activate it in the options menu: See the button named “Ratings update”. It's “off” by default, you can activate and deactivate it.

If you want to update manually, download ratings.xml from the link given here and copy it into your user path.

I found an Enigma-level on the internet and want to play it …

If the level is in the 1.0-xml format, you can simply download and copy it into the subfolder “levels/auto” of your user path. Then restart Enigma, enter the level pack menu, choose group “User” and level pack “Auto”. There it should appear now.

If it doesn't appear, the level might have an earlier format. If you're experienced enough to work with level files, read the question “How can I convert my old 0.92/0.81/… level files to 1.00?” below.

Note that the new level might be buggy. If so, Enigma will probably complain about it at the startup. In this case it might be better to remove the level from “levels/auto” again.

How can I play Sokoban levels from the internet?

We are working on this. Until then, you have to create an Enigma level on your own. You can use the ralf_sokoban-library for this, take a look at the level files in the “data/levels/enigma_sokoban”-subdirectory of your installation directory.

Up Running Enigma

My screen becomes black sometimes, but then Enigma comes back, as if nothing happened?

That's your screen saver. Mouse movements during Enigma are sometimes not noticed by the screen saver, and so it thinks you're not using your computer. You can either deactivate your screen saver, or try to toggle from window-mode to fullscreen-mode (see “options menu”).

If you are using GNOME, you can run this in a terminal window:

gnome-screensaver-command --inhibit
(it will not quit—just leave it running!) Then run Enigma. When you're done with Enigma, press Ctrl+C on the “inhibit” command, and your screen saver should be working again. Closing the terminal window should also stop the “inhibit” command.

Enigma doesn't start, it gives an error message of the kind “mismatch of state.xml and enigma.score”.

Please send us copies of the two files (see “Where are these enigma.score and state.xml files?” below). If you once installed an earlier version of Enigma, please also attach the file “enigmarc.lua2” from the same directory. We can then analyse the problem.

Meanwhile, you can try to delete “state.xml” and “enigma.score” and restart Enigma twice and report us if the error continues.

Enigma doesn't start, it gives an error message of the kind “Datatype error: Type: invalid data type Value exception, Message: Value '44734' must be less than or equal to maxinclusive '32767'”. (Value might be different.)

This is a known problem. It results from a 0.92-score that exceeds 9 hours. Make a backup of “enigmarc.lua2” (in your user path), then either remove or rename it (this way you'll loose all your 0.92-scores), or open it in a text editor. There you can search for a line that contains the value of your error message (“44734” in our example) and delete this single line (you'll loose the 9-hour-score only). Save “enigmarc.lua2” and delete “state.xml” and “enigma.score”, so Enigma is forced to recreate them. Restart Enigma twice and check if everything is working.

When playing Enigma or in the menus, the mouse cursor only moves down and right. (Linux)

This is a bug in SDL, one of the libraries Enigma uses. Try:


This should already suffice. If it works, you can alias enigma to include the export command. Please drop a note to our mailinglist at, including information about your computer, Linux distribution and SDL version, so we're informed how often and on which systems this strange bug appears.

I use Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0. When I start Enigma, it says “Keylogger found”.

A keylogger is a program which redirects mouse or keyboard input. Such programs may be used as spyware to steal information about you. However, like many other games as well, Enigma redirects mouse and keyboard inputs, too: Function keys must be evaluated, mouse input is used as a force instead of coordinates. That's why the message appears. If you downloaded Enigma from our homepage, you should move Enigma into Kaspersky's trusted zone. If you want to check for Enigma's integrity, use the checksums in the download section.

I use Linux. While playing Enigma, xmms (or any other music player) doesn't work, or Enigma doesn't have sound.

Your music player should use ALSA instead of OSS. In case of xmms: Right-click, “Options”, “Preferences”, “Audio I/O Plugins”, “Output Plugin”: Choose ALSA, if possible.

When I enter a level pack, it takes so long to load the images?

This happens only the first time you start Enigma, and only if no thumbnails had been downloaded with Enigma. It's normal and will disappear when all thumbnails are created.

Where are these enigma.score and state.xml files?

Their path is called “user path”. You can see it when you enter the “Options”-menu from the main menu; or pressing F2 in main-menu. The default user paths are as follows:

On a Linux/Unix-system:
On an NT-based Windows-system (NT∗, 2000, XP, Vista) in English language:
 C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Application Data\Enigma
On an NT-based Windows-system (NT∗, 2000, XP, Vista) in German language:
 C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\YourUserName\Anwendungsdaten\Enigma
On a DOS-based Windows-system (95, 98, ME) in English language:
 C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Enigma
On a DOS-based Windows-system (95, 98, ME) in German language:
(Correspondingly in other languages; replace “YourUserName” with your user name.)
On a Mac OS X: Use the finder, menu titled “Go”, select “Go to folder”, then type in: “/Users/YourUserName/.enigma”

I found a bug!

You can either post this to the developers mailing list: to or fill in a bug report at Berlios: then click on “Bug Tracking” (“Fehlerverfolgung”) and “Submit a Bug”. For this, you need an accout at Berlios. To create one, use “New User” (“Neuer Benutzer”) on the left.

Please include the following basic information:

  • What computer and operating system are you using?
  • Where and which Enigma version did you download?
  • What did you do when the bug happened?
  • What exactly did you see then?
  • Is the bug ongoing or reproducable?

Especially the fourth point is important. There are dozens of ways an application can “crash” or “freeze”. Just describe what exactly you've done and what the monitor showed right after this. If you observed a “hard bug” (crash, freeze etc.; not a faulty level), please start Enigma from the console using “enigma --log” and try to reproduce this bug. This will create two files stdout.txt and stderr.txt in the installation directory, filled with valuable information for us. Please attach them to your mail to us. (See also here.)

I wrote to the mailing-list, but noone answered :-(

Sorry, this happens too often. It's not that we're not interested in your mail; we're just busy, and sometimes even no one has an answer and waits for the others to answer. So, please write us a second time and ask anew.

In particular, if you just wrote to encourage us to continue development, we've surely already read it and felt that warm gladness it creates in us. Thank you a lot for this; and you have to admit, that any reply would just hold us back from further programming ;-)

Up Playing Enigma

I'm new to this game. Where should I start?

When you start Enigma the first time, you are led to the Tutorial. It's filled with easy and practice levels. After you have played them for a while, you should start with the level pack “Enigma I” and slowly play through all the level packs. You may of course start with another level pack, but the levels are ordered in a way to introduce not too many new game objects at once.

Why do you say there are 900+ levels? There are only 65, and they are all too easy.

When you start Enigma the first time, you'll start in the “Tutorial level pack”, which is composed of easier levels for practice. If you find yourself prepared enough, you can switch to the “real” level packs: Click on the button labeled “Level Pack”, then “Enigma” on the right side and one of the packs “Enigma I” to “Enigma VI”.

Instead of the “Enigma group” you can also take a look at the “Deja Vu” and the “Sokoban” groups.

What is the meaning of the icon-buttons and of these medals and feathers?

In short: There are two degrees of difficulty between which you can choose: easy-mode and normal-mode. However, not all levels support easy-mode. A golden medal on a level shows that you solved it in normal-mode, a silver one that you solved it in easy-mode. If there is a feather, this means there is an easy-mode you didn't solve yet. The buttons on the bottom mean from left to right:

  • record-mode (for advanced users, consult manual for this),
  • start next level relative to chosen record-mode,
  • toggle between easy- and normal-mode,
  • enter level pack menu to choose another level pack,
  • back to main menu.

Please consult the manual for details.

What are those [insert any game-objects] doing?

There are several ways to find this out. We encourage you to just experiment with them, get ready for some surprises! Or, you can visit and search the forum for information. Or, you can look into the manual, some objects are explained there.

If you need detailed information about an object, e.g. if you want to write a level, take a look at the reference manual. However, for this you'll have to know the name of the object.

I can't solve [insert any level]!

Don't despair. There are dozens of levels that even experts need weeks to solve.

There are some hints in the manual and some hints on

I don't want to play those maze/turnstile/speedy/… levels.

There is no sense in playing levels you don't like. In particular, nothing happens if you complete all levels; there is no hidden level or such, which you could miss if you don't solve all levels.

Apart from that, different people prefer different levels. That's why we won't remove seemingly less interesting levels from the standard level packs. But you're invited to compose your own level pack out of levels you liked most! Read Chapter 2 of the reference manual for details. You may even post your new level pack to after this.

I find Enigma too difficult for me, I like the idea, but it's too frustrating.

Well, open source software lives from constructive criticism. Write levels you like, and send them to us, or distribute them yourself, e.g. via

I'd like to start from the beginning! Is there a way to mark an already solved level as unsolved?

If you want to “unsolve” a single level, go to the level menu, point at it (don't click!) and press “u”.

If you want to reset all your scores (do you really want to do this?) then remove the file “enigma.score”. You might also have to rename/delete your old 0.92-scores file (“enigmarc.lua2”). Please note that deleting “enigma.score” deletes all your personal ratings of levels, too!

I saw a level, and want to play it again; but forgot where it was. How can I find it?

Do you remember the title or a part of it? Then click on “Search” in the level pack menu, and enter it.

Alternatively, you can search through the “History” level pack which you can find in the “User” level group (go to level pack menu, choose “User” on the left side and then “History” on the right). Here all levels are crossreferenced that you played a while ago, in chronological order.

Note that neither method will take you to the level pack from which you played the level. If you search its level pack, you can enter the level info page (right-click on it in the level menu). Read the line “Level Path”. This might give you an idea in which level pack you have to search the level.

How can I let the world know about my records?

Read the section “Score Registration” here or section 4.3 (“Registering Scores”) of the manual.

Is it legal to send scores that have been achieved in 0.92?

Yes. All scores that are incompatible to the 1.00 version of levels will not be considered in the statistics. You will notice a small red triangle on the level preview icons in the level menu. If you solve these levels again with 1.00 your new score will be registered next time.

Some of the world records seem to be impossible -- was there cheating?

There may be some levels with shortcuts that are not intended by the authors. Some levels do have unconventional solutions. But we are not aware that someone is intenionally cheating. Have a look at the user forum Many “professional” players are listening and may even give you some hints.

I had a world record on a level. After restarting Enigma it is gone!

Your score should still be the same. But you are competing with other players worldwide for the best score. If you set the option “Ratings update” to “Auto” Enigma will download a list of updated statistics and world records about once in a month. Sorry, someone else will have beaten your world record.

Up Developing Enigma

How can I help you?

  • First of all, some nice words to always help to keep on developing ;-) What did you like and what annoys you?
  • Then, you can spread the word about Enigma! Give copies of Enigma to friends and help them on their first steps.
  • Send us bug reports!
  • Or help other users on
  • You can construct new levels and send them us or post them to; see: “How can I write a level for Enigma?”
  • You can translate Enigma into other languages. This needs some patience, as nearly all texts in Enigma can be translated (including those in the levels, the manuals, homepage and this FAQ!).
  • You can sign up for the devel-mailing list and respond to users that have problems, e.g. installing Enigma.
  • But the most important: If you know how to program, are able to draw graphics, or synthesize sounds, and willing to invest some time in a non-profit project; then you are most welcome to enter our team! Please write a mail to in which you state what you're interested in and would like to do. There are some ideas in the developers section.

Can I support you financially?

We are working on this … Well, indeed what we most need is your time to help us with the tasks mentioned above.

How can I write a level for Enigma?

Read the reference manual, visit, or study the existing levels; they're in the subdirectories “data/levels/∗” of your installation path.

If it's too difficult for you to program your level, ask people on for help -- they might convert your ideas to a real level!

Is there an editor for Enigma?

Yes and no. For earlier versions of Enigma, there are editors like Star.LUA and BlackballEd. However, Enigma continued evolution and at the moment (Feb.2007) those editors are not compatible with Enigma 1.00 anymore. You can use them to create outlines of your future level, but you'll still have to work with the code to make it compatible.

BBE and Star.LUA are designed for Windows and Linux only. For Mac-users there is no editor yet.

See and

I have created new levels. Would you consider including them in Enigma?

Yes, we certainly would. Please send an email to enigma-devel if you have levels that you would like to share with others. The mailing list has a message size limit of 300k, so please ask before you want to send files larger than this.

Note that we generally only accept levels that have the same or a more liberal license as the rest of Enigma.

I want to use an object in my new level but don't know its name.

Look into the reference manual or analyze a level in which it appears.

How can I compile Enigma on/for Windows?

Building the Windows version of Enigma is a little more difficult than building the Unix versions. The main development of Enigma happens on Linux, so that's what the build process is optimized for.

The official Enigma releases for Windows are in fact compiled on a Linux machine, using MinGW as a cross-compiler. MinGW is also available as a native compiler that runs on Windows, but you need quite a few additional Unix tools to actually build the game. Please refer to the file doc/README.mingw32 for a few more instructions on how to build Enigma using MinGW.

With a little work it should be possible to build Enigma using recent versions of VisualStudio, but so far no one has bothered to adapt Enigma's source code accordingly and to create suitable project files.

How can I convert my old 0.92/0.81/… levels to 1.00?

This is not that an easy project. If you use a lua-based level, it's definitely easier than one of the few old-version-xml's in existence.

First of all, you have to encapsulate the lua in a 1.00-xml-corset. You can read about this in the reference manual, sections 3.2, 3.3, and possibly 3.5. You might also take a look at but this is in German (English version?).

Next, you have to remove all “Require” or “dofile”-lines from the lua code and replace them with library-calls from the xml-part, see section 3.3.6, element “dependency”.

Finally, some game objects have to be replaced; in particular, “fl-ice_001” doesn't exist anymore. Replace it with “fl-ice”. If you used BBE, some attribute names might have to be corrected, e.g. of “it-magnet”. At this point, your level should already run in Enigma. Give it some fine-tuning and test whether all parts work correctly. If you still observe a problem and can't solve it yourself (the reference manual gives extensive information about each game object), then post it to We might be able to detect the problem and repair your level.

I have an idea for a new Enigma object.

We do always appreciate new ideas and input. Enigma has a rather large zoo of objects. Every new one has to fulfill certain criterea to be selectable as a valuable addition.

  • It must reveal new aspects that are not yet covered by other objects.
  • It must be good for and should inspire many new levels.
  • It must be well defined in its behaviour in relationship to all other existing objects.

Finally we need images, the C++ code and may be special sounds. The more you can deliver besides the basic idea the sooner we will evaluate and discuss your proposal.

Up Copyrights & Warranties

May I give copies of Enigma to my friends?

YES! Please do so. Or give them the link to our download section.

May I include Enigma in my commercial game compilation? Would you grant me a special license?

You just have to obey the GPL conditions which even allow you to sell Enigma under certain conditions. We can not grant anyone special conditions besides this open license. Please ask your lawyers if GPL is compatible to your demands. If you are non familiar with GPL, Wikipedia may give a first overview on the main duties and rights of GPL.

We are interested in knowing the distribution of Enigma. Please drop a note and we may even set a link to your page. If you distribute Enigma or write articles about Enigma in the printed media we would be glad to receive a free of charge author's copy.

Up Other

Why are the Enigma services located at so many different locations? What is located at Sourceforge, what at Berlios, what at nongnu, what at etc?

When Enigma got public the services of Savannah ( seemed appropiate. As time went on, the development switched between different source code repositories like Arch and CVS. Finally after release of Enigma 0.92 we were looking for a provider who offered Subversion repository support. At that point of time Berlios was one of the few that offered the required services. Thus you will find the post 0.92 development on Berlios and older repositories at Savannah.

In 2011, Berlios stated that they did not find financial support, such that their further operation was questionable. Although the Fraunhofer Insitute later agreed to sponsor Berlios, we already started to think about transfering our code base to Sourceforge. A second argument for this was the availability of GIT as version control system.

The current bug tracker is still located at Berlios, until we transfer its content to Sourceforge. There also is an obselete bug tracker at Savannah.

Other services like the Forum started and are still running as private services supplied by Enigma users at their addresses.

The homepage is still served by Savannah. But this limits us to static content. Thus we reserved the domain, which may be used in the future for dynamic services like score uploading, a network game server and more. Currently the address is redirected to Savannah and we are just using email services at this address.

Is there something like an Enigma party or Enigma convention?

Not yet, but maybe you want to organize one?

Are there similar games?

You might want to try some of the old Oxyd® games, visit yahoos Oxyd group for this. In particular, take a look at, where you can download Oxyd® Extra 2.0 and new games might be announced.

Then you should try Ozone, which adds the third dimension to Enigma:

Finally, there is Mulg, a game similar to Oxyd® for Palms, with over 370 levels, a Java-based level-editor and a feature to use with a tilt sensor! Visit

What is your connection to the old Oxyd® games?

The original Oxyd® series by Meinolf Schneider (at Dongleware) was the main inspiration for Enigma, and still gives impulses to its development. If you can, take a look at them, and as well at its latest descendant: Oxyd® Extra v2.0 ( by Jens Duttke.

However, Enigma evolved beyond this. It absorbed ideas from many other games, and emulates them in special levels, like “Enigris”. And it developed totally new objects and gaming ideas; and still keeps on living …

Up Index of Questions

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