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Advanced Players Guide by virgilkx
Tetris Attack Advanced Guide By VirgilKX (E-mail: DukeVirgil@aol.com) 11/13/00 I made this guide because I have been playing for years, and I feel that this particular game never gets old. I'm as much addicted to it, as I was when I first rented it. Finally, I've come to grips with my obsession, and have made an advanced guide. Before you read on, know that this is not a beginner's guide. This is in no way a reference guide on how to play the game for the first time; it's more of a guide for those that have passed the beginner's level, but have trouble winning many rounds. Remember that Tetris Attack is a very, very easy game to pick up on. Within the first half-hour to an hour of game play, you can easily start up a match with the knowledge of what to do. Here's the list of skills and modes that will be covered (take note that when I talk about attacking and garbage blocks, I'm talking about Vs. Mode. As such, most of the stuff listed here IS about Vs. Mode.): 1.) Speed. Beginners will probably search the panels, and very slowly put the pieces together. However, this guide can't teach you to improve your speed very well – It's the experience that really teaches you to increase your speed. 2.) Skill. Sure, you can put 3 pieces together fairly easily, but it's those chains and combos that will net you the big score. Combos are relatively easy to make – Combos are the killers. Speed goes in play with combos more than chains. 3.) Psychological mind-frame. There are several sub-categories that fall into this. Basically, this is a list of what you should and shouldn't do in the game. I'll list several tips that'll prevent you from doing the ones listed in the 'shouldn't' category. 4.) Stage Clear. This is where you clear blocks, in an attempt to clear all of the blocks below the placed line. I'll go over some general tips on what you should do to succeed, as well as a few other things. 5.) Other things you should or might want to know about Vs. Mode. 6.) Records and challenges. Me showing off my skills and what you may consider doing if you get bored with the regular flow of the game. 7.) Conclusion. On to the long and extensive guide! Section 1. Speed ============================================================================ To increase your speed, is also basically to increase your skill. The way to increase your speed is to play more and more games of increasing speed. You could do a Vs. Mode game to test this, but it's probably better to try a Time Trial or Endless mode. Of course, I'd rather recommend Endless mode, because Time Trial focuses more on score. So, go to Endless mode, and choose a low speed. That way, you can get a feel for the game you're in, and you should be able to weave into increasing speeds easily enough. There will come a point though, where you will notice the speed increasing to a point where it may be just a tad difficult to keep that stack down. Keep calm, and do what you can to keep up the pace. Should you lose, remember the speed at which you lost. Start at a speed lower than the one you lost at the next time you do an Endless, and repeat the process. This won't automatically make you a speed demon, but you should find that you might be a little faster while playing. Section 2. Skill Time to work on your skill. There's one sure way of that, and that's to play Vs. Mode. However, there are a few things you have to improve overall in order to get better. First off, as you play, think ahead. As you put the pieces together, think of your next move. Your mind should always be racing with what to do next. Now, don't panic about that. I don't mean you should rush through the game, because that'll only make you worse. Just, think carefully as you move along. Don't wait for the moves you just did to end, and then think about what to do next. If you're constantly thinking, you can capitalize on the pieces, and create those monster chains. If you can get the above concept into your head, that'll be a big part of increasing your skill early on. Next, you should be focusing on the actual pieces you put together. You really should go for chains all around, but if not that, always, ALWAYS go for combos. Simple 4, 5 or 6 combos can make a difference, especially if you follow them up with a chain. The only time you should make a simple 3 piece combo, (which remember, nets you no garbage blocks on the other opponent, and earns you less points in Time Trial than a 4+ combo) is when you need to get rid of a garbage stack quickly, or garbage bars stockpiled upon you. At the very LEAST, a 4-piece combo gets you a garbage bar with the width of 3 blocks. Following the note about garbage blocks, you should know a few things about them. Get rid of them before they stockpile. Okay, that puny garbage block alone won't do too much damage. But as your opponent lays more and more down upon you, you'll find room to be scarce, and the dreaded You Lose approaches you more easily. So really, you should get rid of a garbage block when you see it. Letting it go will mean that you'll probably let another go, so that when your opponent lays a huge garbage block down on you, you'll be taken by surprise, and then be forced to devote your attention to getting rid of that garbage block. This holds especially true for the gray garbage blocks. As soon as you see one drop down on your stack, get rid of it immediately. If you don't, you could fall prey to a rather large garbage block, and you'll be powerless to wipe it out unless you get rid of the gray garbage block first. Start off strong. That is, raise the stack high in the beginning of the match, and then make your attacks at the very bottom, preferably going horizontally, in the case of chains and combos. Make your next move accordingly, and so on. This is how you can make your big chains, and thus, the big garbage blocks, which are the keys to ending the game 30 seconds and under. However, I only recommend this after you've gained more skill and speed. If you're not fast or good enough to pull this off effectively, you could find yourself losing to a wimpy garbage block attack, or have the speed of the stack sell you out. Of course, even if you are good at the game, you could still lose big by pulling this off... Vary your strategy accordingly. Capitalize, capitalize, and capitalize. After making an attack, follow it up! Your opponent will most likely be busy trying to get rid of the garbage block, and while he's doing that, you're getting another attack out. Finish quickly. The longer you dwindle around in a Vs. Mode game, you'll find the speed pick up more and more. Then again, if you can handle the speed, you could try playing a waiting game. That is, keep your stack low, and make a few choice attacks. I don't recommend this, because it takes the heat off the opponent, who could then just make a grand attack. Practice on Endless mode. Use the in game tutorials to help you through getting chains easier. Remember, as long as you can think one step ahead, you'll be on top of the game. Section 3. Psychological tricks Instead of tips on improving your game, this helps get your mind set so that you can win easier. -DON'T look at the other player's screen. Believe it or not, this hurts you more than it helps. (Obviously, in sure-fire win games, like in easy mode, it doesn't matter but you really shouldn't get into the habit of it anyway.) There are a few instances where you'd be tempted to do this. Right after laying a big attack is a big one in which you'll want to nudge your head over to look at the other guy's screen. By doing this, you can psyche yourself out with such self-questions as: "That sucks... he got rid of the whole garbage block..." and "Is this going to be the end of him?" Both of these leave yourself open for retaliation, and leave you unfocused. After performing a big attack, NEVER let your guard down. You'll find plenty of instances where the match is supposedly over, but it's not. Keep up the flurry of attacks, and don't pay attention to your opponent. -If you're playing a friend, try to figure out his/her weakness. If you're good at maintaining speed, and he/she's not, convince him you'll kick up the speed to Level 10 if he/she will. Do the opposite if you can beat him/her in a straight game, but can't handle the speed. -Do not freeze when the speed gets too fast. In Hard/Very Hard difficulty mode, there will be times where the speed will increase to levels where it may be hard for you to keep up the pace. Remain calm though. It's hard not to scramble when you see that stack rising so fast, but you have to keep calm or else you'll lose. Go for ANY combo at this point. 3 or 4 preferably. While the combo is taking place, immediately perform another combo, or if possible, create a chain off of the combo. Just keep making combos until you can get off a good enough combo or chain, so that it puts the stack down. -Try not to let the other opponent's attack grunts freak you out. Yeah, hearing 5 of the Raven's "Caw" sounds may give you a bit of a shock, because you know that's when a big garbage block or two is heading your way. Don't let it distract you, continue with your attacks and such, but be ready to neutralize the garbage block when it comes. -If you find yourself getting distracted anyway by the noises, turn the volume all the way down, and put on some music. Sometimes, that can help to keep your attention focused completely on the game. Section 4. Stage Clear Again, clear blocks until you can finish below the line. Getting the following points imbedded into your mind will help your chances of succeeding though: Go for the goal. All you have to do is get that stack down! You get no special points for getting chains/combos, although getting big chains will reduce that stack faster. However, you don't have to be good at getting chains or combos, save for the last few stages and one special exception. The exception is this. After you've beaten 3 full stages, not the rounds, but STAGES, you'll meet with Bowser. This fight will be different than in Vs. Mode. First off, you start off at a speed of 45. And you'll not really fight Bowser in Vs. Mode format. Instead, you'll have to bring his HP bar (on the left) to 0. The only way you do this is by making combos and chains. Chains cause a lot more damage – Go for them. This fight serves as a training tool. If you lose, you simply move on. If you win, you'll stand an excellent chance at winning this game, but you won't get anything extra special. I'll give you tips on how to beat Bowser a bit later on... First though, you'll have to get past the next three stages. Getting past the first 3 is easy enough. The 4th is rather easy too, but the latter part of 5 and most of 6 can be challenging. If you've noticed, the last few rounds of each stage start you off with a high stack. 5 and 6 do the same, except you've got the speed to contend with. Obviously, you'll have to be quick, and pump out those chains and combos really fast. It's very hard to pull off though, as you may imagine. You're prone to panic with the speed, and even if you don't, the stack will most likely murder you if you're not fast enough. So, with all the negative feedback I gave you, what are you supposed to do? Be quick. Keep trying, and when you lose, try some more. Write down the password of the round you're at, and keep coming back to it. Go right for those combos and chains. It's not so bad if you can pull off one 4-piece combo, and then work from there. After all 6 have been destroyed, you're at the real fight with Bowser. If you beat him the first time; then all you have to do is beat him a 2nd time – He's exactly the same as the first time. Realizing that you have to make combos and chains to beat him, go right for 'em. Again, chains cause more damage. BUT... there should be a different way for you to approach this. Think of this as Endless mode. You have no one attacking you, and you have all the time in the world to complete your task. Just go for reducing that stack. The higher it is, the more likely you're going to choke. Thinking that this is just another ordinary round might help prep you better. As always, not looking at the HP bar would definitely help. Don't bother to see how much damage your combo or chain caused just continue as normal. Remember, if you can't beat him, keep trying or just save the password and come back another day. Using the tips in this guide, I'm sure you can beat him within a few tries, or maybe more. Section 5. Other Vs. Mode tidbits You won't get the skill and speed tips here mainly; this is for your own curiosity. Also, I'll go over some Bowser tips. First off, the Extra Hard mode. You probably found out about this mode if you beat the Hard mode. If not, realize that you can get the Extra Hard mode by holding L and up on the directional pad, then press start or A while the cursor is over Hard on the selection screen. This difficulty is unlike anything you've faced so far. Not only is the difficulty of your opponents strengthened, the speed gets progressively faster in matches, too. If you can beat Hard mode without losing a match straight through, then you're probably ready to tackle Extra Hard. You'll notice that very early on even, such opponents as Lakitu and Bumpty have some skill. As I said before, the speed can get dangerously high, too. Playing a long game is suicide. Take each and every opponent you face seriously – Slacking will most definitely cost you. Take the fight to the finish in the beginning, and go for those huge skill chains. If anything, keep the heat on your enemy. You'll have a better chance at surviving, seeing as how he/she/it won't be able to perform big attacks if it's concentrating on removing a huge garbage block. Most of the lower level opponents fight at the same difficulty. I'd estimate that at around Lunge Fish or Gargantua, the difficulty kicks it up a notch. You'll notice a big difference when you've reached Raphel. And once you've reached the last 4 Big bosses, you'll DEFINITELY notice a step up in challenge. Koopa is the toughest you've faced, and not just because he's higher than the rest, it's because his skill is much more competitive than the rest. Naval is a few notches higher than Koopa, and Kamek is much tougher. He'll go right for the high skill chains, so that means without a big attack to counter it, you're in for a much tougher fight. And then there's Bowser. On Hard mode, he's fairly challenging, but on Extra mode, he's the hardest boss in the entire game, obviously. He's extremely fast, and his high skill level means you should expect the worst. By the worst, I mean as high as 12 consecutive chains. The only way to beat him is to attack hard and fast. You'll want to defeat him in under a minute, and if it lasts past 2 minutes, you can be ensured a very fast and very painful 'death'. As always, go for the goal! Pay no attention to what he does in the beginning, go right for the same amount of skill chains. However, after you're done, and he's launched a big attack, be ready to get rid of the garbage block quickly. Use blocks that drop down from it for consecutive chains. In fact, you can totally humiliate him by creating a semi-big attack in the beginning of the match, since he raises his stack to the near top. It's tricky, but you could defeat Bowser in less than 30 seconds! What about rewards? You care about seeing a good ending... right? Well, two factors go into the quality of the ending you receive. Any friends lost during the game (if you lost to one of the big 4, they'll be gone for good... You can also lose them during the first 8 too. Course that means you'll have to be playing as them right? Well, read on further.), and if Yoshi himself lost at all during the game. The friends you have left when Bowser is beaten speak during Yoshi and Little Yoshi's conversation. They have no interaction with Yoshi and Little Yoshi directly; they just add comments in. However, losing as Yoshi during the game means you'll see a lesser ending. Sure, the credits and all are displayed, but the conversation that follows after Bowser's defeat leaves you with an empty feeling. In order to receive the best ending possible, just don't lose at ALL during the game. Oh, and you were probably wondering what I meant by playing as one of the 8 friends during the first 8 fights? It's quite simple, actually. After a match ends with any of the first 7 (You can choose to play as any of the 8 after Raphel, so...), hold down X and Y, then press Start, continuing to hold down X and Y. The screen will pop back up, and you'll be able to select anyone you have freed thus far. Take note that unless you do this trick again, you'll be playing as that character for the rest of the first 8 fights. And, if you lose as that character, you'll lose that character for good, and you'll revert back to Yoshi. You CAN play as any one of the big 4 during a 2 player Vs. Mode game! Simply hold down L and R on both controllers at the character selection screen, try to press them both at the same time. Section 6. Records and Challenges I've had a few challenges that I'm quite proud of, but I've also got a few obstacles to overcome as well. My most recent challenge beaten, was the Extra Hard one. I finally beat the mode by going through the game, without losing once and without using the Continue or Password feature. Oh yeah, my highest time on Endless was about an hour and 15 minutes... the speed was at the highest I believe, and the only reason it stopped there, was because I was getting bored, and my score was pretty friggin' high. Yeah, I got the best ending for Endless. I was pretty proud. I was also feeling confident when I blazed through Stage Clear, not losing or continuing once, and even winning the special in between stages match with Bowser. Time Trial? Haha, no, I don't think we need to talk about that. : P My best time for any match on Vs. Mode, was 20 seconds. It could be a little less, but not much. I know it's not anymore than 20 seconds. Maybe in the next version, I'll put up times of every single character on Extra Hard mode. I think it would be pretty fun to do. Yeah, I'd also like to give credit to JTIceFire@aol.com and GryWolf316@aol.com for being my in real life guinea pigs in this game. I've played them more times than I can count, and I've gotten most of my kicks out of beating them. Still, kick the speed for me up to 10, and lower it for the other guy to 1, and I'll most likely choke. Shh. I suppose that's it for records, for now. As for you, try the outrageous stuff. Do all of the modes without any continuing or password usage. Go for the best scores and times. Better yet, you could send in your best scores and times. If I believe you (Haha) and if they're high enough, I'll post them up here. Anything goes. Section 7. Conclusion ============================================================================ It was my friend's idea to give credit for him and my other friend for me bragging about beating them. Other than that, this FAQ is all me. You don't have to ask me to use it – To be quite honest, I'm tired of all the questions. Just e-mail me, and tell me where you used it for, so I could take a look, mainly for my own curiosity. If you use this FAQ for any monetary purpose, I'll find out, and when I do, you're in trouble. Seriously, just don't do it. GameFAQs protects all writings on its server. Again, just tell me where you put it. Thank you for reading this, and I hope it helped you achieved your level of obsession, just like me.