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U.S. Patent No. 6,666,764: Method of controlling a character in a video game
Issued Dec. 23, 2003, to Konami


Summary:

The ‘764 patent describes a video game system where enemy characters can be forced to attack each other whenever the main character throws an item (ex. a smoke screen ball). In the game the enemy characters are programmed to attack the main character. In order to identify the enemy characters, the enemies had a flag above them which easily identify them. Whenever a player throws a smoke screen enemy flags are changed which then makes the enemy characters identify each other as enemies and they then turn on each other.

Abstract:

A method and a video game device are provided which are capable of controlling enemy characters who are originally programmed to attack a main character, to injure each other for a predetermined time period when a user instructs a predetermined action to the main character. The predetermined action may be an action of throwing a smoke screen ball.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A video game device which is capable of controlling fight between a main character manipulated by a user and enemy characters programmed to attack the main character in a video game, the video game device comprising: a character control table which includes an active flag for showing whether or not the corresponding character appears in a present scene and an enemy flag for each character, the enemy flag showing whether the corresponding character is an enemy or not for the enemy characters other than the main character; an attack objects determining device which determines a character having an enemy flag showing that the character is an enemy, as an attack object of the enemy characters other than the character; and an enemy flag changing device which changes a value of the enemy flag of an enemy character from a value showing that the enemy character is not an enemy to a value showing that the enemy character is an enemy, when the user makes a predetermined instruction, wherein the attack objects determining device further determines the character having the enemy flag showing that the character is an enemy, as an attack object of the enemy characters other than the character, when the distance between the character and one of the enemy characters falls within a predetermined range and the relative angle facing the character with the one of the enemy characters falls within a predetermined range, wherein the predetermined instruction is operative to make the main character throw a smoke screen ball to cause a smoke screen to occur between the main character and the enemy character; wherein the enemy flag changing device is operative, in conjunction with the throwing the smoke screen ball and the resulting occurrence of the smoke screens to change the enemy flag value for a character as determined by the attack objects determining device, to thereby render the flag changed character into a non-enemy character, only when the character appears in the present scene, which is specified by the active flag, and wherein the main character escapes from the present screen and characters with enemy flags attack characters with flags changed from enemy flags.

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