Capture the Flag, or CTF, is a multiplayer game type in Jazz Jackrabbit 2.
Capture the Flag involves the division of players into two teams, the blue team and the red team. The objective for both these teams is to capture the flag of the opposing team and bring it back to their base. It is impossible to deliver the flag when the opposing team has the flag in possession, thus the teams must also try to kill each other’s flag carrier.
A flag carrier can easily avoid enemy players in larger levels, so Epic has included a ‘flag compass’, in the form of an arrow. The arrow will always point towards the player’s flag (and it varies its colours accordingly) when it has been captured by the opposing team, or when only the player’s team is in possession of the flag. If neither team has a flag, then the arrow will point towards the enemy base, where the flag is.
This game type also enables players on the same team to ‘pass through’ each other, meaning that rabbits will no longer bump into each other. Team mates cannot hurt each other either, but a well-aimed RF missile can still force a team mate to blink, even though he does not receive any damage. The arrow is mostly turned off, and is only shown for about 1.5 seconds every 15 seconds (during which it will always point at the enemy flag carrier).
Capture the Flag is often the game type used in competitions, between clans for example. It was the game type used in both JJ2WC tournaments.
CTF is also often played in duels.
Happy Semiconductor CTF is a very popular CTF level for competitions.
Several CTF spin-off game types exist, e.g. Jail Capture the Flag and Jazz Team Fortress and SIM CTF (Base Construction). There are also many custom game types that take advantage of CTF’s unique properties, such as Team Battle and Assault.
Capture the Flag levels consist of two bases (event: CTF base + flag). Most CTF levels have the bases located at the level’s opposing sides, but daring JCS users choose to experiment with the positions. Popular CTF levels usually have clear paths between the bases that were designed to carry the player between the bases in a flowing way. Often, those levels contain a few Power-Ups. Power-Ups are generally very powerful in this game type, since players only have 3 hearts, as opposed to the battle and single player game types, and one hit by a powered-up weapon plus one hit by a weapon of any kind kills the player. The exception to this is the pepper-spray power-up and the electroblaster power-up, which only gives extra ammonuition, but no increase in the damage dealt.
Contrary to some other modes like Battle or Treasure Hunt, balance is a much more important thing in Capture the Flag levels. As this game type works with teams, of which neither should have an unfair advantage (e.g. by being able to reach a carrot faster than the other team, or by having a path from their own base to the opponents’ that is shorter). The simplest and most common way to make CTF levels balanced is simply to create a symmetric level.
Several extra gameplay elements may be introduced to CTF by adding in coins, which are necessary to get into bonus warps (like the aforementioned Power-Ups, or carrots), or team-specific bonuses, like a carrot only one team can get.
A CTF game may not always run smoothly. As with all game types in JJ2, there are numerous bugs in CTF that most level makers are keen to overcome.
The flag bug used to be quite annoying for some players, However, now that people know how to stop it from happening, the bug is becoming rare. When a flagcarrier touches a ‘naked’, unmasked side of a level, the flag compass will become ‘broken’ and a repeating message of ‘(Name) captured the flag’ that will never stop until either the flagcarrier scores, or is killed. This is the flag bug. To counter this, a level needs to have masked tiles on all 4 sides (it is best to make the walls quite thick, because the flag bug may still occur in laggy servers).
A bug frequently abused is the flagdeath bug (confusingly enough, it is also refered to as ‘flag bug’). To capture an enemy flag, a player only needs to touch it. Unfortunately, it also counts for rabbit corpses. When an flag carrier dies on the enemy base, he will lose the flag, but since his corpse touches the newly returned flag, that player will now immediately regain the flag, as well as returning safely to another corner of the level. A non-flagcarrier may also be lucky enough to capture the flag when he is on the enemy base, just as both he and his team’s flagcarrier dies.
However, both of these bugs are fixed by JJ2+.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.