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More than one red button can activate the same clone machine, but only one clone machine is activated by one red button. In the DAT file of the Microsoft port of the game, the number of connections is limited to a maximum of 31 per level.
A clone machine will only work if a red button is connected to it. When the red button is hit by any object, a copy of the cloned object will spawn one square in the direction of the monster or clone block on top of it, except in special cases with specific monsters (see Controller and Boss Glitch). If this move is barred, it will refuse to clone. A successful clone will be affected by any tile on the space as if it had just stepped on the space from that direction. For example, it will slide on ice and force floors, drown or fill in water, kill Chip if he is standing on that space, or step onto a key.
If a monster is cloned, it will be added to the end of the monster order and act accordingly in monster-collision situations or as a controller or boss. In the case of teeth and blobs, the odd and even step algorithm will determine if the monster immediately comes out or if it waits one move before doing so.
Only monsters and blocks can be cloned; any other tile with a clone machine under it will look like that tile on top of a clone machine if it is transparent, or just that tile if it is not transparent. It will proceed to function as a wall. This can be used to make a type of fake exit.
For movable objects that can enter clone machines in Chip's Challenge 2, cloners work like solid traps that immediately close upon opening, and create a copy of the released monster to stay behind on the cloner. The direction they clone is based on the direction that the entity to be cloned is facing. The direction shown on the cloner is purely aesthetic during play - it is used by the built-in editor to determine how to place movable objects on the cloner.
Ice blocks and directional blocks can be pushed into empty clone machines, and it will dispense clones of that object when activated in the direction the block is facing (which for directional blocks is independent of the arrows on its sides). The clone machine will also trap bowling balls crossing its tile, forming a bowling ball clone machine. Other creatures that can enter clone machines are rovers, ghosts, and player mirrors.
If the exit of a clone machine is blocked when the machine is activated by wire, the machine will permanently turn clockwise, try again in its new direction, and repeat until it either finds an open direction or returns to its initial direction (i.e. all four directions are blocked). When the clone machine clones in a new direction, the direction of the entity on top will update, indicating the new initial direction of the cloner, but the visual direction of the clone machine itself will not.
Player characters can be cloned, but if the currently active player character is on a clone machine, the player cannot switch from them, rendering them stuck if the player character is not cloned by another entity moving onto a button which activates it.
The new "trapped" object created when an object is released from a clone machine will never inherit any items from the original object. For example, if a bowling ball with fire boots is loaded into a clone machine, the first bowling ball clone made will be able to cross fire (since it is actually the original bowling ball), but subsequent clones will not.