Moving Flagellum Bacteria


  • Bacteria with long, springy, flagellum tails can often be found in areas that are covered with dangerous, spilt liquids.
  • The bacteria move around in these areas at high speeds.
  • These areas additionally contain power-ups that are suspended high above the player.
  • The bacteria provide two uses to the player:
    • (1) By using the bacteria as platforms and jumping between them, the player can cross the dangerous, spilt liquids.
    • (2) By repeatedly jumping on the springy tails to extend them, the player will be propelled up high enough to collect the overhead power-ups.

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Basic concepts


Flat, rectangle shape bacteria move themselves with thin long ‘tails’ known as flagellum. The flagellum has an elastic, sticky quality and is flicked in a whip like motion to create movement. The player can use his/her jumping abilities to manipulate the flagellum in order to reach high up power ups.

How does the player learn these functions?

As this is a harder puzzle, only subtle instruction is given to the player. The flagellum-tail is slightly raised upwards when approaching a power-up, which indirectly suggests that the flagellum is useful for securing the goody.

The bacteria can have any number of flagellum tails and this affects their speed of movement.

Example of the puzzle in use

In this puzzle, herds of flagellum-bacteria move around on shelf floor that is covered with ink. Due to the player’s small size, the ink drains a small amount of energy when the player first touches it, and then drains a large part of their energy if they continue to touch it. The player will therefore have to ride on the flagellum-bacteria to avoid losing all their energy. The flagellum-bacteria move around in an erratic manner and so the player will have to jump between several of them to reach his/her destination. Careful timing is essential.

Dotted around the area are high up power-ups. These are to difficult to reach through using a jump, but careful thinking will allow the player to reach them.


When riding around on the bacteria, the player spots a power up that is too high up to reach. The bacterium raises its flagellum slightly to give a clue to the player.


The player can jump on to the flagellum ‘tail’. The sticky nature of the flagellum will hold the player. By repeatedly jumping, the tail will expand.


The right amount and pace of jumping will allow the player to reach the power up.


Too much jumping (or jumping too quickly) will cause the flagellum to snap, hurtling the player to the dangerous floor. The bacteria will explode which will limit the platforms available to the player to ride on.

3D Concept Movies

Movies 2f & 2g - Movie 2f demonstrates how the player can use the flagellum to overcome dangreous liquids. Movie 2g shows how the player can collect over-head power-ups.

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