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FAQ/Walkthrough by ASchultz
Version: 1.0.0 | Updated: 06/08/06
Boulder Dash EX FAQ(GBA) version 1.0.0 copyright 2006 by Andrew Schultz email@example.com Please do not copy this FAQ to your website without my express written consent. I put in a good amount of time on this and while I don't think you'll profit much from it, well, it's not nice. If you'd like to host this, send me a mail addressing me by name(as well as this game) and I'll probably say OK if I'm not too lazy. **** AD SPACE **** My website: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Exhibit/2762 ================================ OUTLINE 1. INTRODUCTION 2. CONTROLS AND BASICS 2-1. MOVEMENT 2-2. POWER-UPS AND TERRAIN 2-3. POINT SCORING AND HEALTH 2-4. CARD COLLECTION 3. STRATEGIES 3-1. ENEMIES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM 3-2. GENERAL 3-3. TUTORIAL(3-3-X FOR SPECIFIC LEVEL) 4. WALKTHROUGH FOR STORY MODE (4-X-Y for world X, level Y) 4-1. WORLD OF FOREST 4-2. WORLD OF SAND 4-3. WORLD OF FIRE 4-4. WORLD OF WATER 4-5. WORLD OF ICE 4-6. WORLD OF EVIL 5. BATTLE MODE 6. CLASSIC MODE 7. VERSIONS 8. CREDITS ================================ 1. INTRODUCTION Boulder Dash EX is an extension of the classic game Boulder Dash, which I always felt to be a bit too fuzzy for actual game playing. But the enhanced graphics make for a much more interesting experience. You control a man running through a maze for gems. You could say it's a bit like Lode Runner, but gravity only affects falling rocks, not you. You can cut through dirt to get places, which may release monsters--or even let them wander some place where they'll be harmless. BDEX's main offering is a story game which has six levels--the first ten stages each, the next fifteen. In it Alex tries to rescue his girl Sonya from the Dark King. With the help of gems his pin will activate a light which can zap the Dark King for some reason. Completing each level gets you a cut- scene, but there are side quests in the form of cards. You'll get some of them by advancing, but others require you to kill a certain monster. The final card, Dark King, is in your collection when you get all the rest. You can try out any level for a localized high score as well, but the game is slippery enough that it's hard to get excited about raising your high score ten points even when you see how to. That said, Boulder Dash EX is good light fun with a high satisfaction to time spent ratio. I was able to win in 4 hours and it took a little more time to get perfect results on the remaining levels(OK, I used save states.) Boulder Dash probably inspired Crystal Mines for the NES, and BDEX tops Crystal Mines, which just went on and on and rarely had new puzzles. Power- ups in BDEX include rotating the whole board, destroying a rock, and mushrooms that can slow you, speed you up or heal you. Overall BDEX is straightforward yet still creative. And even the silliest levels are nice to have seen and completed. 2. CONTROLS AND BASICS 2-1. MOVEMENT The four directions are pretty self-explanatory. The L-button rotates the items in your list counterclockwise, the R, clockwise. Button B uses the power-ups--you need to hold down a direction as well. Button A kicks a rock in the direction you hold. Power-ups move counterclockwise once the one you have is used. You may have five power-ups and if you step on #6, it is treated as a blank space. If you are between squares when you change direction, the change won't take effect until you are in the next square on the game-grid. Push start for a context menu that lets you restart or change levels. If you're playing on an emulator you can use the space bar to speed up the game, which is handy when you are waiting for gems to fall. 2-2. POWER-UPS AND TERRAIN Free space: you can walk over it, as can enemies. Rocks can fall onto them. Bricks: you can remove them to walk over them, but enemies can't until you've removed them. Rocks: These wobble when nothing is diagonally DL/DR. You can hold them up, but otherwise they will fall. Gems: these, like rocks, wobble, but they give you points when you pick them up. Power-ups: these sit around. Walk over them to take them. But you cannot have more than five at any time. --counterclockwise rotate: use this to turn the board counterclockwise. You can use two in quick succession to turn the board upside-down. Once a board is rotated, enemies with specific paths adjust their rules to the new board layout. --clockwise rotate: see above, but clockwise. --pick: allows you to destroy a falling rock. However, other rocks may fall into its place. --hand: allows you to reach and grab the next terrain square. On a heavy wall it will bounce back useless. It will destroy a brick but it'll bring an enemy back over and even a gem or power-up. --bomb: you can use a bomb to blow up all terrain except heavy level walls. The bomb counts down "3 2 1" and gravity affects it unless you are standing under it. If you leave the bomb when it counts "1" it will not fall, as it takes a second to do so. The bomb blows away all eight squares that are touching it, and the explosion lasts for a short time. It's not unusual for enemies--or a careless over-eager player--to move in and get blasted for nasty damage. --soft wall: see bomb. A different color than the level-border heavy walls. 2-3. POINT SCORING AND HEALTH No points for bombing anything. 10 points for stepping over a disappearing grass square, which opponents can't walk over, and which cause falling objects to pause. I call these "bricks" generically throughout the walkthrough. 100 points for a gem. 50-200 points for killing an enemy. The faster the enemy, the better. 10*the# of life units at the end of a level. 5000 points for getting all gems in a level. -2 health points for kicking a boulder or pushing it over one square -4 health points for stubbing your toe kicking something immovable(wall or a rock with a monster right on the other side) -10 health points for having a gem or power-up lands on your head -50 points if you walk into an exploding bomb -2? points per second when you are trapped by rocks on all sides death if a boulder lands on you 25+ points for damage by touching an enemy. You can see the damage they do on their cards. 2-4. CARD COLLECTION Cards 1-12 appear when you solve a level. Cards 13-36 appear when you trap the appropriate monster and go on to solve the level. Often there's only one specific stage where you can do that. Card 41 appears when you get all the others, and card 40 appears when you win for the first time. You can play any stage to pick up a card at any time. You must drop a rock on an enemy--a bomb doesn't work. Cards 37-39 seem to consist of solving a group of two levels and crushing all the monsters too, but I'm not 100% sure about that. 3. STRATEGIES 3-1. ENEMIES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM There are several types of enemy. --bounces left and right interminably. If there is nowhere to go, it freezes. --bounces up and down interminably. --goes left and right, unless there's open space below it, when it falls down. --always moves left when it can. Reverses itself in a dead end. --always moves right when it can. Reverses itself in a dead end. Enemies that bounce against each other treat each other like walls. If there are several enemies in a row you get a lot of bouncing around, and if they can turn, it makes for confusing behavior. In general you can deal easily with an U/D or L/R enemy as long as you don't get in the way it moves. For a L/R enemy you can often kick a boulder into it. For U/D you can drop a rock on it. You can also stand under an enemy #3 and let it drop later. Often you just need to wait for an enemy to go by. Enemies 4/5 work well in enclosed spaces. But if you give them an open area they may just go in circles, either along the outside or in a tight circle on the inside. This makes them harmless unless they collide with someone else. Knowing if an enemy is left- or right-turning can help you avoid trouble. For instance, in the diagram below, you may hide in the UL or DR depending on the enemy. And even if you guess wrong, you know where to go for next time. Just remember that on the way back up the enemy will go through the other square. Enemies who turn usually do make it all the way back where they started. Enemies that move up/down are easy to judge. Once they reach the end of where they are you can walk past that. For instance if there's a gem above an enemy, when it touches the gem, you can grab the gem and get out. ....... <-enemy .. . <-you 3-2. GENERAL 3-3. TUTORIAL(3-3-X FOR SPECIFIC LEVEL) The tutorials aren't intended to be especially life-threatening. In fact it's pretty hard to die in some of them, and you can probably figure out what the power-ups and scenery do just through experimentation. But the texts are somewhat helpful. 3-3-1. BASICS You're in a 5x5 area and you just need to go in a circle along the outside. You'll see a portal appear above where you started, and you can just walk into that. If you try, you can get a gem to fall on your head but not enough to kill you. 3-3-2. ROCK Here you get to see how rocks fall. You need to kick the left rock left(button A + left) and you can kick or push(twice) the right rock right, in order to get the gems behind them. Also note how the rocks fall in the UR. 3-3-3. HOPE CRYSTAL I call these rotators(counterclockwise and clockwise) because that's what they do to the board. You don't have to use any of these to win the level, but it's fun to play around with them and watch the rocks on the edges slide. 3-3-4. MUSHROOMS Here you get to see the 4 types of mushroom, and this is the only level where you don't start at 100% health. Energy(gold) gives 20% of strength Ultra Energy(red) gives 50% Poison(purple) slows you down. Rapid(blue) speeds you up. Mysterious("?") may be any one of the four above. It is determined when you eat it, so save states don't work definitively (i.e. save, get a mushroom, retry) although mushrooms often grow in clumps, and that allows you to pick a few until you get the result you want. To complete this level quickly get the purple to the right, then go left and watch Alex cruise. Go U-R and back around the S. 3-3-5. SUPER PICK In the reverse E the procedure is pretty simple: get the pick on the right and use it on the rock to the left to get the gem behind. 3-3-6. TIME BOMB With bombs all over you only really need to go to one side. Place a bomb to the left to blow up the rock. Place a bomb to blow up the right rock as you leave, then go into the UL and DL corners and set a bomb to the right to get the gems behind those walls. Go along the right column after that to get all the gems. 3-3-7. MAGIC GLOVE This is a pretty dumb level objectively. You can just go and get the gem and come back. Or once you get the magic glove, push B and (right) and you'll get the gem delivered to your doorstep. The problem with making a tutorial is that levels which use the glove in a puzzle get intricate quickly, and deliberately stumping someone on a tutorial is rather nasty and probably grounds for them being able to return the game for a refund. 3-3-8. MONSTERS There are a few monsters here and a variety of ways to kill them. In the UR you can kick the rock right to take out the snail--just not when it's right next to the rock. In the UL you can walk under the rock and go back right. If you let the spider get very close you can watch how the spider stabilizes the rock by getting right under it before...SQUISH. Finally you can blow up the bee with the bomb. Just place the bomb where the gem was(the bee is predictable enough to avoid, going in circles) and wait and watch the fun. To get all the gems you need to go in the very UR before entering the portal. 4. WALKTHROUGH FOR STORY MODE Alex goes in and chases after Sonya when the Dark King takes her away. So you get to send him out over six levels. I've tried to give quick walkthroughs and maximum scores although some of mine don't take into account the bricks. 4-1. WORLD OF FOREST As you'd expect the world of forest, as the first level, doesn't pose any huge threats. It's got a few enemies that are much slower than you and very predictable, too. You may encounter a trap or two on the later levels, and you may have to watch out for a few falling rocks, but basically you just need to look to see if it's safe where you're going, and go. Some of the later puzzles require that you rotate the board, but there's very little risk of dying if you are careful, even if you are trying for a perfect score, and you can probably figure out the one-offs that stick you without a solution easily enough, too. 4-1-1. You wouldn't expect the introductory level to be too hard, and this one isn't. Get the gems in the bottom corners and to get the ones in the top, go 2 in from the left or right edge and plow through the column next to the two rocks. The top rock will fall towards the center, and you can grab the diamond easily. You can plow both paths before getting either gem to save a bit of time. My max score: 6880(tracking up all the grass squares) 4-1-2. Your first encounter with enemies, who aren't too tough. Go under one rock on the left side, run down and run left when you're in the same row as the snail. Kick the rock right. It will crush the snail. Now you can go along the bottom and collect more gems, go through the center and left and up. Get the final gem above the portal which has appeared in the center and then enter the portal. You get 50 points per snail and will get your first card as well. My max score: 6920 4-1-3. There are a lot of snails here but the right move at the start gets rid of the major problems. Go up, get three gems to the left, and 2D. Now go right and kick the rock right when you can. That'll kill a snail to the right as well as the one above, which was formerly sandwiched harmlessly between two rocks. Now you can just nip in and get the rest of the gems, from top to bottom. If you really want, you can let a rock drop to kick left at the bottom, to kill the final snail. My max score: 8080 4-1-4. Here you need to take a little damage to advance. To play it safe, just head down until you are two squares above the gem at the bottom and wait for the others to fall. If you want to gain a few more points, though, you can go L- U-R-D at the start. Wait between the two boulders that have fallen and eventually the diamonds will all land on you. My max score: 6520 4-1-5. Your next enemies are bees that loop counterclockwise. That makes them easy to figure out if you want to drop rocks on them. For each of the bees in the upper quadrant, you can sit under the boulder to the UR. Go D-L when the bee reaches the DL part of its run and turns right and you should squash it with no problem. You can do the same with the bees in the lower quadrants once you've dropped the rocks from above. From there you can just pick off gems easily, although you should know that you'll want to deal with the DR last because that is where the portal is. You probably won't need to get all the mushrooms(which heal you completely) but you do want to avoid getting outright trapped. One rock may have fallen down the right column and it may be guarding a diamond to its right, so you may want to go along the bottom, remove the dirt under it, and kick it back left. Just don't grab the DR mushroom until you're done with everything else. My max score: 9610 4-1-6. This level is just repetitive and it tries your patience a bit. Push don't kick the boulder left, and when it falls, get the three diamonds to the left. Then push don't kick to the right 'til it falls, push don't kick to the left 'til it falls, and then kick the boulder left--of course getting all diamonds before you proceed. Once you've kicked the boulder left, the exit is in the DL, and you can get the DR diamonds for a perfect score. My max score: 7120 4-1-7. Now you're introduced to the concept of rotating the board. Timing is important--where enemies wind up dictates their new directions for bouncing back and forth. Grab the two rotations. Go to the UL and use one rotation. You can stand DL of the rock so that you can swoop in for the gems right away, then kick the rock that fell with the rotation to the right, killing one enemy. The only thing left to do is to get the gem at the top. Avoid the snail(go to the very top if it's on the right) and pick off the diamond before going to the top and the left. You really don't need the second rotation but it may help a bit to pin the other snail into a corner. My max score: 7220. 4-1-8. Go left immediately and then counterclockwise around the edge of the board, picking up gems and rotations as you go. Don't worry about perfect efficiency, and you shouldn't have to worry about falling boulders as long as you keep to the very edge on the bottom. Clean up any gems that may have escaped and go to the bottom and stand over one of the boulders blocking the two bottom gems. Rotate the board twice. You can walk in to get both gems and enter the portal. My max score: 8740. 4-1-9. This time you need to take into account the direction of rotation. You want to rotate the board one way to get one of the columns(that become rows) of gems and then you need to rotate it twice the other way to get the other. Otherwise you will be stuck with no possible solution and will need to retry the whole deal. You may need to weave between the spiders to get the rotations, but seeing as how they bounce predictably up and down, it's just like crossing a quiet suburban street. So take the counterclockwise rotation and use that first, preferably after you've gotten the gem to the left of it, and also when a spider is just to the left of it. Now you can just go back to the right and rotate twice and wait for the first gem to fall. Clear the new top row and the exit should be in the bottom center. My max score: 8400. 4-1-10. While this looks very tough the solution is thankfully simple. Follow the spiral until you pick up the rotation, and you can use that power-up right away. Move right so the rock can fall on the two bees that are chasing you and then move back left to grab the falling diamond and get the one above it. Follow the spiral to the center and the portal will pop up to the right after you get the final gem. My max score: 10700. 4-2. WORLD OF SAND While this level is somewhat tougher than level 1 in abstract, on replay I found it to be just as easy. Only a couple scenes have enemies that are really nasty. The main challenge here may be to get through scene 9 with and without killing a Phoenix. 4-2-1. Go right and down. Get all the gems and quickly go back up. Go into the niche and catch the rest of the gems as they fall. Duck the rock as it falls. After it does, go up and left, grabbing the gems and the hope crystal. Rotate the board. When the rock falls past, go up and left. Rotate the board again. Another rock falls. Go up and left again. There'll be another hope crystal but you won't need to use it. Go right and down and you'll see the mirror portal. 4-2-2. This is a bit more messy. The crabs go U/D and the worms go L/R so if you try to release them, they zap you. It's better to rotate the board. To kill some enemies, go 1R, 3L and kick the rock right. Then 2R 2D L D L. The rock will fall. Kick it right. Clear out the mess at the bottom--including the dirt. Get the UL. Clear out three squares in the UR, too, then rotate the board--be sure to stay in the center, though, or you will get crushed! On the rotation the lobster may get pinned by a gem. Remove the squares/rocks right of the gem and it will fall and you'll be safe. The rest should be easily collectible. 6960?? 4-2-3. Here you have to try to control which rocks fall. So start at the bottom. Go down, and in the corners get the gem to the side first before going down. You can/should clear out all two rows of dirt so that you've got a lot of space but the rocks can't quite fall yet. Duck in to get all gems floating around. There should be 3 gems left--get the ones on the side from below, backtrack down, and then get the one in the center and sidestep the final falling rock. The portal is on top. 7710?? 4-2-4. Again you don't want to release the crabs too early. You also have that buzzard?? to deal with so you will want to go R D U 2L at the very beginning and you should crush the guy. Get the three gems below that. You can clear out 4 gems on the other side just as easily. Then you can goo to the bottom where you will want to clear out the bottom 4 gems in the crosses. Once again the lobsters will be pinned in by the gems, but just remove the dirt and rocks around them to release the gems. They'll fall to the side, the lobsters will go up and you'll have safe passage to collect the rest of the gems. Note that the first bit is somewhat tricky--killing the enemy--and there's nothing wrong with going left too. The buzzard walks into the rock's path that way. But the quick start to the right is a sure thing if your fingers work right. 8450?? 4-2-5. Get the five pickaxes to the right and chop four rocks to the left. Now wait until two lobsters are below the rock. Then tip it over. That will crush two of them. It'll take a bit but when you're done you can crush the rock that fell and go down and wait for the lobster to come back. Follow it and wait in the tunnel where yo started. Then wait for it to come back down and sneak left and up and break the rock to the right. Then grab the pickaxe and blaze right. You can then use the pickaxe up to nail the last rock and run left. Watch for the lobster to come back up and go down. Follow it and enter the starting cave to find the mirror. 7480??-- 4-2-6. There are many ways to complete this level but the best way to get the gems quickly is to go along the left, up when you need, and when you get the first gem, 2U 1L 2D and wait for the second rock to fall. Then 2R and 2U R 2D R etc. until you're at the right edge. Wait on the upper side for a bit and eventually the rocks will fall and clear a way to the portal at the top. 9850. 4-2-7. Right, up, down, left and go left to get rid of one dirt square. You can get back in time to the right so that the buzzards don't chase you. Then get the gems 1L and U and wait for the rock to fall. Be ready to kick the rock left when a buzzard comes by. Now the hard part is getting out unscathed. You can take a risk and run for the exit, but you'll probably get tagged. Buzzards turn left at every avaliable opportunity, so you will want to block out the middle dirt block once the first buzzard goes past it. That leaves him looping harmlessly until the end of time. Then get rid of the two dirt blocks on top. The enemy buzzards will cut to the right when they come in, and they'll be stuck for a while. U-R-D to the portal. Best=7680 4-2-8. Release the gem in the DR, under the rock, and collect the gems on the bottom as well as on the right hand side(run up for them) before running across the top(right to left) to get more. You can run downwards to get all the gems on the left but you'll need to stop right and back left. So you may want to run down the empty column and back up to get all the gems more harmlessly. Along the way you should have gotten 3 clockwise rotators. Stand so that there are no rocks to the left that could fall on you and rotate. Then get the gem in the DR above the rock, which you must release. Repeat two more times. The portal is in the DL corner of the center area. 4-2-9. The gems look well-guarded, but you actually only need to collect two of the hands you see early on. Go to the left column between the lobsters. Stay in the center row and grab up, then grab down. Now you can nip in to the UL and grab gems, waiting for the lobsters to pass, of course. Do the same for the DL. You won't have to disturb the lobsters in the three columns to the right. The portal is in the center of the right edge. 4-2-10. Another repetitive level. Go down and kick the rock right. Go right and 2D to get gems. When the rock falls, omve right and get the remaining gem. 2D and kick the rock left and move left before the one above it falls. Repeat the process, but mirrored, for the area below. Then re-mirror and go to the left. A bunch of diamonds--no big deal. D L 2D R U D and all the way right to the portal. Congratulations, the World of Sand is done! 9080 4-3. WORLD OF FIRE This isn't significantly harder than level 2, although you have some chances to slip up. 4-3-1. Clean out the center area. Wait for an enemy to be to the right of the exit and use the clockwise rotator. Now you can wander around and get two rotators the other way. Use them once you've cleared everything, and that will open a path to get the DR gem. Advancement is easy after that. 6930 4-3-2. This one's fun. The main problem is to avoid setting off a bomb that destroys others. Put the first one in the bottom of the T. Then put each bomb DL of the last. Now we're going to employ a trick that'll be used much more in the later levels. There should be 3 bombs left and an area like this: ...x ...x <-stand here, face up and drop the bomb ...x xxxx Face up and when the bomb reads "1" move down. Boom. Then keep making bombs to the right until you are inside the next 2x3 area. Now you must get to the bottom area. Place a bomb 1U1L of the single wall you couldn't blow up, then 1L1D of that. The gems will fall and the portal to the next life will be exposed. 7800??-- 4-3-3. Go left, grab left with the hand, get the gem and circle counterclockwise. By the time you get there, the last of the phoenixes will be running around and they'll desert the mirror in the DL. 7200 4-3-4. Some waiting for the enemies here really helps. Wait until everyone is heading away from left of where you are. 2L 2U and retrace 2D 2R 2U. Kick the boulder left into an enemy. Take out the sole solo dirt square. You can clear out the left as follows: get the rotator, go left and head down. Sneak R 2D L to get the healing mushroom and go 2R to get the pick. Now you can kick the rock to the right into another enemy. If you are lucky the others will be looping a bit more harmlessly now. Clear out the right side, the bottom and top. You'll want to clear the dirt from the bottom and be sure that no rocks will fall on you when you clear the dirt next to the rocks blocking the gems. Now use the picks on the rocks in the DL and UL corners hiding the gems and rotate the board. My best score: 9420 4-3-5. Clear out all the dirt squares in the center and the top. Rotate once, clear out all the gems in the top, and go to the left. Stand in the center and rotate. Get the goodies as they fall. Then bust the rock in the UR and the one in the DR. Push the rock above the portal below the bottom row and walk into the mirror. 8480 4-3-6. Remove the dirt and you will start getting rocks funneled down the center. Now a simple winning solution is to kick blocks to the right and grab whatever gems fall. After kicking 5 blocks to the right you can go just to the left of them and start kicking blocks to the left. I found you really had to kick only one before being able to go up the side. Loot the rest of the gems and the portal will appear in the very center. Maybe you can do better with rotations, etc., but this is cheap and quick. My best score: 10100 4-3-7. The first level that really requires timing to get everything right. Rotate counterclockwise. Stand 1D of the row that has the two blocked gems in it. Rotate counterclockwise again. Kick the rock that falls in your way to the left. Push the other to the left. Get the fallen gems. Rotate counterclockwise once more. Get the gems and the portal is just on the right. 4-3-8. You may want to go through this two times, once to get the best score possible and once to nail the phoenix card. First time around, plow through the dirt rows next to the grey lava beasts. Then break the rock above them with the pick. Get the rotator and move 5U L and use it. You can move in L 5D 5U L and wait for them to come back down. Then sneak into the next column. To get the best score, simply dig out some space under the (D L 4D 2R from under the rightmost) and come back. Then go to the left where, under the rock, you can use a grabber to get a gem, go D-U and then go 2L to release the enemies. Repeat the grabber trick, but this time you can only go 1L because the portal is there. However this is the only level where you can kill phoenixes, so you may wish to have another go. 4-3-9. You can kill the fire-guys?? in the bottom easily enough. Get hte gems and the rotators first. But don't open a path to the flames. When the DR flame reaches the DL of its journey, open the square 2D of the rock and you'll crush it. When the DL reaches the DR of its journey, repeat with the rock on the left. Now you will want to try to eliminate all pieces of dirt when you can, because that will cause the flames to circle weirdly and uselessly. Stand in the center for rotating the board. You will be able to push the DL and DR rocks to the side to pick up jewels. Then you can push the rocks above them into the corner, too, to get the other two gems, and the level is complete. 4-3-10. You can release the boulder by going up, but it means extra work later. D L U and in the UL, remove the dirt R and DR of the rock. Then kick the rock left. Head to the UR. Wait for all the enemies to run out. Then go left of the gem. When an enemy touches it, grab the gem, go left, and kick the rock right. The rest is just gem-grabbing. You don't have to re-rotate, but it'll kill a few enemies in the process. If you let the original boulder go, you do have to stand U R of the DL corner to have a place to go when you do so. The mirror is in the right(no re-rotate) or the top(re-rotate.) 8020 4-4. WORLD OF WATER The first world with fifteen levels, although a few of them are throwaways. There's more emphasis on timing the enemies' runs and figuring where they're going, and there are levels or parts of levels where you just need to go gobbling gems. Grabbing monsters with the hand becomes important, and the sharks here are very fast. 4-4-1. You'll need the hand to get the maximum points on this level. But the rest is pretty straightforward. Go right, avoiding the fishies as you do, then up, getting all the gems bar the one holding the shark back. Head down and the clamshell will crush the shark. Get the gem when it's at the bottom. Now pass through the first two fishies' columns and after you remove the water-brick before the third, retreat two squares. Grab the fishie above the gem when he is at the top, and he will move into the second row and bounce against another fish. That leaves you clear to take the gem. You could just walk through him, but that costs you 800 points. My best = 7730. 4-4-2. Cramped quarters at first make it tough to get started, but once you do, the enemies are dreadfully predictable. The rule of thumb is that once an enemy bounces against a water-brick, you can walk across it. Do this to go 2N 4W with appropriate pauses, then 2D. R D and wait, D and L and now you can go along the bottom to swipe a bunch of diamonds. Go 3N and sweep back left until you're under the leftmost rock. Then D 2L(yes, you have the time) when the fishie DR of you touches the top part. DL for another gold and hit the left side. The board is so open now that you can just pick off gems as you see them. The portal is in the UL and I'm not sure how to use the rotations constructively. My best = 7790 4-4-3. Basic overview: Go to the bottom, sweep it out, and then work your way to the top. Wait for boulders to fall, then keep going. Head D-R-D-R until you're above a column of 2 gems. Wait for the boulders to fall and go down and get them. U 3R D R 3D and then L U L will get some more gems. More boulders will fall. Get the gem to the right then L D 2L D L and wait for that gem to fall and the boulder above it, too. Get it and go back left. Go U-L-U and now there'll be a long column to the right. Clear it and any side squares out. You should have a map of gems as follows: +++ ++*+ ***+ *+*+ You can clear these out as you please. Thaht leaves the right side. There's a place where you can go R-D-R through some water squares. 2D L 2D R and wait for more boulders to fall. There'll be 4 gems above. Get them. A bunch more gems will fall. Don't get them yet. Rather, R U 2R 3D should get some gems. 2R to avoid the onslaught. 2U R U R to get to the right wall. Now go up the right wall, ducking left when need be to avoid a boulder. Go back right instead of going up, and get to the top. There'll be an area to the left to clear. Gems as follows: $ $$ $$$$ $ $ Start at the DR and work UL. Now for the rest. There are gems below you can pick up without any bouldrs above. Head down a path of gems R and D and R-- wait for them to fill up and go back up the path. Grab gems as they fall. Lots more will fall. You should have a clear path of gems, and there may be some left in the UR but they should not be a big deal. Maximum gems here are 95. My best = 16530 but I bet you could clear a few more water bricks. 4-4-4. Go up and clear out all the water except what the sharks will use. Take out the boulder to the left with a pickaxe and go down the next column for another hand. Push the rock left and you can then clear out the two higher columns. Now we get to a tricky part. You need to grab the enemy fishies and put them into various columns. You can just grab 3 and put them into 2 different column and the rocks will fall, getting you to the UL portal after you grab the 5 falling gems. But for a safe perfect score you need to sucker the sharks into a column where they are trapped by a fishie. Use one hand to touch the water that will release the sharks. L D and go up when they're past. Use the hand to the left. The fishie will trap both the sharks. Go 2L and then pick off 2 more fishies--not at once, but make sure you get them. I'd just stay 3 columns down so it's easier to time things. My best score-8640 4-4-5. Clear out everything with the top water-brick last. Wait and push a boulder aside to get to the very top. Collect all the gems and the pickaxes--well, rotate clockwise to make space for one. Then clear two water bricks and go across the top. You'll need to use one pickaxe to get to the UL. Rotate again. Wait a ton and enter the new UL. Go 2U2R of the exit and use the pickaxe L, L and D to exit. My best = 9310 4-4-6. Go R 2L R and activate the counterclockwise rotate(which should be the current one.) Wait to go left and when you can, do so. Go down after your first diamond and left. Back right and up. Wait some more. Down and left, wait. If there are any diamonds on the edge, clear them out. There always should be a way to the top, but you don't want to provide a long corridor for diamonds to fall down. So keep sweeping along the bottom, back and forth, until there's nothing left to grab. You may have to go U-D quickly to get one last diamond. But there'll be an exit to take to get to the portal at the top. My best = 10500 4-4-7. Go up the center and, after the crab passes by, work to the right and push the boulder left so it lands on the crab. Now you want to drop the boulders on the fishies in the columns. That is easy enough. Just remove the water-bricks. Now get everything in the upper corners. To get to the bottom safely, crawl under the center rock you dropped on the first crab. Let it fall to where the crab is. You can kick the rock into the crab when it hits the edge. Then you can circle around from the DL and DR corners of the board to get gems--at the top will be a rock it is harmless to loose. In each U, bash the rock with a pickaxe to get 4 gems. The exit is at the bottom of the right U. My best: 8430, missing a few water bricks 4-4-8. Have a jewel party before going 1D of the jewel by the shark. When the shark goes up on the right, get the jewel and go to the top and drop the rock. The shark may be irritating, but all you have to do to kill him is get right of the rock and wait for him to head to the bottom. Kick the rock left. You'll probably want to do this because otherwise the shark may interfere with the bombs you have to drop. They are beyond the rock you originally dropped. You can drop all the rocks at the top now but you will want to avoid the purple(slowdown) mushrooms. Once that fun is done, set a bomb above each remaining rock. Run away when they're about to blow up, and the fish should escape. Grab goodies from each side and then rotate the board twice. This causes a mess of rocks, guarding the portal that was at the bottom, to fall and probably knock out a red fishie in the process. Makes it easy to get to the portal too. My best: 8170, but I missed a fish, so 8370 is possible. 4-4-9. Get the bomb. Stand in the center of your narrow column, set the bomb a square up, and run down when it says "1". Follow the path--turn right at the T and, after going to the end of the corridor, bomb the semi-wall guarding the 5 jewels. Go to the DR and up, which drops one rock, then D-L-U which drops another. Push the rock that falls either way. Now stand below the 2 explodable walls. Push the bomb up and run down--it will blow up both walls. Go left and down and follow the passage. Use your final bomb on the rock to the left, again supporting it from below, so you can get a few more gems. Retreat and get the gem that is in the alcove, then release the boulder L 2U of it and run down, escaping to the right. Then on the right edge, repeat the process except the alcove is on the left side, and you can just use the alcove to duck instead. The portal is to the left. My best: 9610 missing a water brick or two. 4-4-10. Pick up five hands. Go above the rock and corral five fishies. Push the block left--it's probably better to do so with a fishie above it. That way they won't bounce back and forth so much. With the first batch of fishies neutralized, get more hands and grab four more fishies. Cross when the moment is right. There are five gems you can get without any real danger. With 5 fish and 11 squares they can be on, chances are very good(if not 1) there'll be a 2-gap eventually. If not you can just take damage running through. Now you can just go down row-by-row to pick up all the gems, waiting for the boulders to fall. You'll need to change up and zigzag U-L-D-L etc. at the very bottom but this shouldn't cause problems. Sneak back by the fishies. My best: 11780 4-4-11. Here you just go in a quick spiral and when you get the pick, immediately blast right. Then get the gem above, and you get to go in another spiral. You should make it to the center well before the sharks do, and the portal will be right there. My best: 14500 4-4-12. Grab the rotations in the corners and then grab the gems as they fall. Rotate when you're at the right side. Stand 2U from the bottom, to the side of the spout, and the sharks will run around harmlessly. When you've got around 34 gems you'll need to go into the upper triangle. Some sharks may be circling(squaring) annoyingly in the upper part and you can try to avoid them--just find a safe square for if any shark decides to come in and start exploring the corners of the triangle. You may not be able to cut across the top. But you can avoid a shark even if it is circling by the portal in the top center. You need 46 gems to complete this level with a "perfect." My best score: 11100. 4-4-13. Up, turn right at the boulder, up. 2R D R 2D L. Now get the row below but wait for the boulders to stabilize. Then get the row below that. Head down and turn left when you have boulder shelter. Wait around, then 3D R. U 2R 2U R and up to get a gem-row. Let the right boulders fall down by taking out the right square above that row. Go to the next column-pair and down the right way, stopping above the gem on the left for the boulders to fall. D-R- 2D-L-4D-R and you miss more boulders. Wait. D-L-2D-R-U-2R-3U-R. In the second to last column now. U-D-L-2U-R to get by one boulder. 2U L 3U R 2U L. Now to the final run, a 3-wide. Zigzag among the gems D-R-U-R-3D-2L. Safe now--2D R 3D R 4D. For the last bit, L 2D L and wait. D 2R U 2D and the 54th gem gives you a perfect score. My best: 12350 missing some water bricks. 4-4-14. A weird level where getting the right hand at first makes it simple. R 3D L and use the hand to snare a gem. Quickly D-U to get it. L-U gets you another hand. D-L gets you in position for another gem. Get it the same way as before, then go L-U and D-L. Use the hand for gem #3 and L-U D-L and grab. Get the hand that fell to your right. Now back to the right and you need a twist to win here. Get the hand on the left. use it to grab a gem on the bottom, and push the rock left after getting the gem. Get the final hand, push the rock left and go down. Use the hand down for gem #6. 2R and use the hand down for gem #7. Push the rock left and at the center top is your portal. 4-4-15. Patience again here. When in doubt, wait for things to stabilize. Left all the way. Wait. 2U D R. Wait. L-R 3 times(don't let the rock fall on you of course) until a rock is next to you. All the way right, then 2U D L. R-L 3 times. Then left all the way. 2U D R. L-R. L-R. Right all the way. 3U 2D, left all the way. Finally some clearing above! Wait for the gems to fall, then 1U and right all the way. Get the one straggling gem below and then go back left. The portal is in the UL. My best=14820. 4-5. WORLD OF ICE Here the levels start to get very challenging. Monsters are rather fast and spend a lot of time running around, but you'll have breaks with some solitary adventures. Some levels have very tight quarters, and one other requires a quick double-rotate. Some levels consist of quadrants as well. It's an interesting selection, and the game really starts to kick into gear here. 4-5-1. One-way action here. Note that this is the only place where you can drop a rock on a seal in order to get all cards. Go up for the rotate, go left and push the rock left. Go up for the pick and then rotate the board--preferably with the walrus to the right of the rocks. The two rocks will fall. Get the pick in the UR. Dig to the left to get out of this quadrant. 2L D 2L 4U 4D 2L and nip in to the right for each fallen gem. The rocks will fall to the right. Wait for the gems to fall too. 3U 2D U R L 2D. Use the pick on the rock below. 2D R 2D L. 3D 3U 3R 3D. Step over the snow brick when the enemies are going up. Then step right when the ones on the right are going up. You can just kick the rock out of the way in time. To play it safe: Get the final gems in the DR and stand under the boulder. Run down when the seal is in the center running left. My best score: 9320 4-5-2. The first part is the trickiest. Get the pick and run left. Use the pick upwards. Get the gems but push each rock that falls behind you to the left. This will allow you space to get out at the end. Get the gems in the following order, retracing to 6 and D/L after: 67 45 23 1 Then the rest is just two episodes of clearing gems and ice bricks and outrunning a falling rock. For the final 2-column gem-under-rock challenge, zigzag L-U-R-U-etc. until you've got the gems. One rock will drop and you can run to the UL with no trouble. My best score: 10950 4-5-3. Here the MO is to get all the gems you can, open up some space, then cause an object to fall to release the monster in one area. Then move to the next and repeat. There'll be a lot of grabbing gems under rocks and running down. You'll also have to use the old trick of placing a bomb up and waiting 'til it reaches 1 to move down. Get all the gems in the DL and then go under the rock blocking the walrus. Let it fall and get the bombs in the UR. Use the bombs anywhere against the right wall--I prefer the UR corner. Now you can clear out all gems except the one right below the penguin. Carve out a path below the penguin, go to the bottom and 1R, and wait for it to disappear. Then get the gem and bomb. Then go under the rock to the right and wait for the penguin to come down into the area. Kick the boulder into him. Again set the bomb in the right wall. In the very DR there are no monsters but 2 bombs you need to use against the upper bit. For the UR part you can place the bomb anywhere except the top, because then you must run into the polar bear to get the bomb. I put the bomb next to the gems. That leaves me free to get them and go D-L. It's possible to get the gems without allowing the bear to get in(L 2U L 3U from the first one). Then you can get the bomb after the bear touches it on his rounds. Get left of the rock next to the left column and be ready to fire it right to knock off the bear. Just be sure you clear the left column of potentially falling rocks first. Now you can place the final bomb and work from the bottom to top to get the rest of the gems. The exit isin the DL of the UL chamber. My best score: 10290 4-5-4. A good start is the key here--the rest is mostly repetition. D 3R and then head DL collecting gems. At the left wall, when a passage opens right, go right and climb UR getting gems. Then go back DL to the DL corner, picking up all gems in the way. Go 3R and repeat--U/R etc. for gems, then D/L; You can stay in one place above the gems if you need a break. And you can also take out some of the ice-bricks if you want--preferably during the climb up. Don't need to get any gems right away. Just get them on the way down. Repeat one more time. This time you'll have a wall of two boulders. You can get all the gems before doing anything, but release the left of the two boulders. As you go down, leave the bottom ice brick open--the rock will stop just above it and you have a way right. Now you can get the four gold above where the boulders were. And then you can head right, go up the right side to get gems, 1L and down and you can hold off the rocks long enough to get into the DR and advance. My best score: 14620 4-5-5. It's easy to get all the stuff at first, but the toughest thing here is knowing which two rotations to use in quick succession to complete the level. You can just use two counterclockwises, get 3 more gems, 2 clockwises, and exit. But to get the maximum you need a little sleight of hand. So, get all the stuff, and turn clockwise twice. Wait for the blocks to settle. Then get three gems and while you're there, turn counterclockwise twice QUICKLY. What this doesn, or doesn't do, is to cause the one rock that would have fallen into the DL to stay. Therefore the other rocks that fall down on rotation won't run into it. They'll be pushed down one square further. And you can reach the final three gems after the final counterclockwise rotation. My best score: 7550 4-5-6. Not too bad once you get past the first obstacle, which means you have to run left right away then go 1U and 1R. Now wait for another boulder to fall down the left side and then climb up to get the UL gem and then go right to get the top row of gems. Wait for the boulders to fall and zigzag D-L-U-L-etc. to get out. The exit is in the center of the left side. If you make a few mistakes while zigzagging because you're moving too fast, you of course have a little more time to correct them because, well, you're moving too fast. My best score: 9700 4-5-7. The thing to do for perfection is to get everything before going left-to- right across the bottom row, and so the direction you start in makes a difference. 2U 3R and you should be holding a boulder above you. R 2D. Circle back over the boulders and you should now go to the left. Kick the rock over the gem right, take the gem and kick that rock right. Go down to get a gem and now the timing runs begin. D R D U. Wait. 1R. Wait. 1R. Wait. 1R 1U and now you can make it back to the top. 1L U 3L 2D 2L and wait some more until the rock from the left edge falls. Now you have easy access to the remaining two diamonds on top. Get them and retreat R 2D L 3D, then go all the way right into the exit. My best score: 7870(I think I missed an ice brick or two.) 4-5-8. Duck left for the hand and go back right. Use the hand down. Get the bomb and quickly use it upwards. You can set it to go off anywher except the top bit, so slide down a square or two and wait for the bomb to fall and change to 1. Then run down. Boom! You're in the center now. Push the top rock to get a bomb. Bomb the DL. Head up the left and pick off gems and enter where you first blew a hole open. Of course, you can exit, but perfection is easy enough. From left of the column of 3 rocks, go next to them and retreat a square and place a bomb that will take them all out. Now get the 3 diamonds and the other 2 ice bricks if you want. Then enter the portal above. My best score: 8420 4-5-9. Run counterclockwise to get a bunch of goodies. Use the pick right and sneak under the boulder pile. Start kicking boulders right. For the first five, wait a second before you see where they go. THat's because they have a chute to drop down afterwards and you need all the space you can get. If a gem drops, get it quickly and go back. Once you see the rocks fill up to the right to the point there's only one square right of the up-down tunnel, switch to the right side and kick rocks left, using the same 1-second timer to start. You can use a pick to break through the final rock above. The UL and UR parts require little comment. Start at the bottom and move up to get the gems. The portal is by the up-down chute where the rocks dropped. My best score: 10470 4-5-10. Pick off the 5 powerups moving clockwise and then you have two gems to get. Once a polar bear runs by you, eat up the bricks by running clockwise around them. Don't worry if stuff looks trapped for now. Use a rotation--preferably when bears may be under the rotated rocks(i.e. to the right of them.) Now it is possible one bear may try to enter the top row of gems. Wait for him to turn back before entering. You just need to repeat this process a few times in order to get the gems in all four of the long rows/columns. Gems in the center will also be uncovered with each rotation. You don't need all the rotations and I didn't even need the picks, but just in case things go wrong you have an excess of picks that can be used to get a rotation if need be. The final portal will be in the DR. My best score: 11780 4-5-11. Go counterclockwise and clear out all the bricks you can find. Then start chipping away at the column of gems on the left. Take all but the one right below the polar bear. When everything falls and he touches the lower gem, get the gem and back off. Then go up the chute and back down and right. Wait for the polar bear to come back and kick the rock left to squash it. Now go up the chute and right, but don't take the ice brick on the far right. Repeat the process for the column with the gems on the right. Again go to the right to dodge the falling gems, leave one gem, and nip in for it. The polar bear will circle around again, and again you can kick the boulder at him. You can actually do so just as he turns around and still nail him. Climb to the top and the level mirror is in the top ring-detour. My best score: 11310 4-5-12. Here the warp to the next level appears in the very center. You get three bombs, and there are three rings of walls to bomb. Therefore, bomb one wall ring with each bomb. Go up and retreat and go left. Place the bomb next to the rock on the left. Retreat and enter and get all goodies you can before rocks fall and block your way. But get the goodies in the inside ring last--you can place a bomb just above you after you start to flee. Then run down. Stay 1U from the bottom. When the bomb lands on you and turns to 1, run D-R. BOOM--you'll rip open the two walls for the price of one. Collect everything and then rotate the board. You can now get everything else you need. Place the bomb above the transport mirror and set it off. Enter the mirror. 4-5-13. Here's a bit of an illusion; you don't have to bother with the UL, since it has no gems! Eat the mushrooms and wait out the slowness by getting the bomb and rotation and waiting under the rock. When the penguin goes up, start to run at it clearing the ice blocks. You may have to avoid it in the DR but once you do, you can place a bomb 1R of the UL(not in the UL--that gives two of 'em to deal with at once) after the penguin goes by. If you are lucky the polar bear will get killed, too. But if not, you can wait for him bears to exit the UR and then clear that out as best you can. Kick the rock left to kill him off. Now place a bomb to open the DL and proceed when the bear leaves. The important thing is to clear a 3x3 space and the bear will never try to invade. You can wait for him to leave and try again if the first clearance went poorly. You won't have to deal with the penguin in the UL for a perfect score, but if you want to try you're welcome. It's just another bombing and waiting game. Beware of the mushrooms, too. They can make you slow down. My best score: 7650 4-5-14. This is a treacherous level due to the lack of wiggle room. The stuff one the sides is easy enough to grab--get the stuff in the UL UR and DR. Then go back to the right. Use a hand to set free the bears and when they start nosing in the DR, go 1L and wait for them to come around. When one bear is 2L D of the rock, fire it left. You'll nail both of the bears! Now you can reach in for two gold pieces and time your raid for a third when the walruses face back up. Take out the ice below the portal(above the walruses) and rotate the board when the two walruses are in the chute. Go to the left side and stand 1R of the wall, next to the ice block. The bears will avoid you, and you can go up through the center to get the gems. Note that the walruses are frozen since they only move vertically. My best score: 8420, missing some ice bricks 4-5-15. Grab the slow mushroom to the right and the fast one to the left. Now you only really want to fight one enemy, and it would be nice to be able to trap him. You can, in the place where you started. First, when the penguin moves to one side, clear the other with your speed. When he moves back, clear the side you didn't. Leave the ice brick columns on the side intact. Stay 3U of your starting place and when the penguin goes below you, drop a bomb. That won't give you access, though, so light a bomb a square below that. You also need to set off bombs on the UL and UR to get the gems in the corners there. Now don't remove the ice bricks under the gem pairs, but do wait to move the ice bricks on the right until the penguin there goes down. Once he's past, you can get the row of gems. At the left edge, go down and left when the penguin below turns right. Push the rock that blocked you in right and do so again if needed. Now you'll need to go to below the rightmost rock and down when the penguin goes left. Go right for the final gem. Kick the rock left and get out of these tight quarters. The portal is in the top center. My best score: 8210, missing some ice bricks. 4-6. WORLD OF EVIL This is the toughest of them all. The first level gives a very nasty impression and there's a lot that's touch and go, or that you need several screens to look through, and many of the levels are or seem purposefully disorganized, so you can't just memorize symmetry. You'll probably need to just complete a few levels before completing them perfectly. While there are a few formulated levels that seem long, and sometimes the challenge is just knowing where to wait and for how long, you have many places to slip up even when you think you've nailed things down. 4-6-1. Head right and clean the mess there. Use the rotate at the right edge and head to the right. Kick three cans left. Get the rotation after it falls and head to the left. Kick three cans right. Go up. Clear out the right side. Let the can above fall when you remove the brick. Clear out everything above that and rotate. Now clear out the top and the portal is back near the center, just off to the left. My best score: 7750. 4-6-2. Clear out the center 5x5 square. Bomb the UR corner. Let the knight fall and get all the gems you can. Go to the 3S of the can above the right of the 5x5 square. When the knight turns back, go 2U, 2D, L. THe can should land on the knight(you can also take the one to the left, but that costs a bit of energy to kick it onto the knight and I can't get the timing right.) Also you can place a bomb in the DL and now it gets tricky. You should be able to wind up with two gems--1 R of the knight 1 U of the skeleton. When 1U1R of the knight, rotate clockwise. L and get the gem above the skeleton. Then go U R D and run down to get under the knight. When it goes right over you, run left. When it drops down, get the gem and go right and rotate. The first can to shake will fall left, and you wil be able to enter the portal to the right behind it. My best score: 9210 4-6-3. Go up. Clear the top two rows. Then clear the row below that, ducking left for the square under the garbage can. Kick the top can right. Clear the top remaining row of tiles. THen clear the one below that(5 if you're counting) and kick the UL can right. Get the gems DL and DR and kick the can below to the right. Now clear out the next row of bricks and again there are two cans on the top you can kick to the right. Do so again. Continue this and work your way down. Around 16/34 jewels you will start to have piled up cans. What you can do now is to create a new column on the right to dump things into. Then continue on At 22/34 you can create a passage through the bricks to the bottom, near the right but not enough to tip any cans. Go left and retrace your steps. Go down the right chute of gems. Kick the can right and go back up. Then go down the left chute of gems and leave the level. My best score: 11440 without taking out all tiles. 4-6-4. Go 2R and up the long tunnel to get all the gems. Then get the bomb to the right, and down the right edge, grab everything you can. Place a bomb at the bottom center to get to the enclosed area. Go along the bottom wall there, under the one gem guarding the Devil Kid. You can grab the gem after the Devil Kid bangs against it. Then create a small square for him to run around in: 2R 2U 3L and he's trapped. Now collect gems up the left side until right under the top can, and the second the enemy comes into the picture, move left to drop the can. You'll get him. Now go up the left central passage for gems and take care of the 3x3 areas by running to the top, and then in the center run left and right. Stay in the very center to stabilize the cans and run down. The portal is on the right, in the center, and there's nothing really hiding it. 4-6-5. This level is mostly a walkover, or a runover if you will. Get the speed mushroom to the right and run right and down. At the bottom, grab the rotator and use it. Repeat the down-right-use rotator until you get to the very bottom, where you will have a brick to walk over. Go along the bottom and then up the center--here it's critical to move down as soon as you get the gem(you might want to touch down before you touch the can at the top) so you don't get stuck in the center corridor. Then run left and right and counterclockwise to win. My best score: 8180. You might be able to get 8190 if you risk going all the way to the left at the bottom after the big run to the center. each push=2 health points 5-1 = only place to nail seal You need to go L of the UR block in the DR compartment. 2D. Wait for the rock to fall and move R, Then back under the rock, wait for a seal to get to the edge of its run and then go D R and wait and it will get squashed. 4-6-6. This is another level that's a bit repetitive if you take it slowly and a mess otherwise. Clear out all the bricks on the outside. Then proceed from left to right on the inside. There'll be a double-row of gems. Clear out the two bricks below. Grab each gem after one falls above it, and then wait for the other side to fall down. Eventually you'll get to a situation with 3 gems on the left column and you and two gems on the right. Wait for the cans to stabilize and sweep in a rectangle and go to the right. For the next bit take out 4 bricks and wait for the diamonds to fall. If you want to speed things up you can get bunches of four diamonds at once--two rows. The usual wait for stabilization, etc. Go to the right and take out three bricks--not the last one or you'll be trapped. Here you'll need to go left and then catch a couple diamonds as they drop from the right in a row. Then you can go right for a diamond, wait, go left etc. until you have the five gems as before. Use the clockwise rotation when in the DL. Wait U 2L of the new DR for the diamonds to drip down before getting any of them. Walk right and 4-up and go to the left once in the big room above. Collect any more diamonds that drip down until there's no more movement. Four cans should also fall in. Run up the right side and stand right of the top can. There should be a gem under it. Remove that gem. Let the can fall. Now D-2L-R and another can will fall. 3D-L. Now 3D-R-2U and a gem should fall left. Get it and the final can should drop. The rest is just cleaning up. Exit through the top, go all the way left, down and right and the exit portal is in the center. My best score: 17170 4-6-7. A messy level but fortunately most of it involves avoiding bad guys until you can kill them easily. Also you will want to avoid the rotational power-ups since those get in the way of bomb hoarding. 2D 3L 3U R and wait for the slow to wear off before going R-U and getting the gem the knight was guarding. L-2U for another gem. Get the mushroom above, then D-3L for another slow-me-down. Get the gem left of the skeleton moving up/down and then the one on the left edge. R 2U R and more cans will fall. You can move down for the gem that was on top of the skeleton, too--switch to the bomb while doing this.. A blue mushroom should fall on your head. 3U 2R 4U and when the dragon is UL of the gem above you, get the gem and run 1D. Set a bomb above you and go down for another gem when it reaches 1. Get the bomb below it too. Use the bomb to get the gem to the right--place it 2U L of the gem to avoid chain reactions. You should have ten gems now. There are three gems in the UR and you can get the encased one by using a pick. Then you can just walk around to get the other two, 2U 2R 3D. 4D R for another. D R L to drop a can on a skeleton. It's easy to get the gem 1R 1D of where it falls then. Come back 2U 4L D for the gem above the knight. 4L U puts you under another gem with a skeleton above. Get the gem when the skeleton runs against it. Then run left and head down. 3U from the bottom, head right. You should be 2D of the knight above to the right and you can turn down before the mushroom. Go 2U and the knight will run over you. R U R when you are ready(don't let the devil kid loose.) Just be sure not to release the skeleton on your trip up the right side and you'll be safe. The portal is in the UR. My best score: 8960 with tiles unrevealed and monsters not killed. 4-6-8. 6W 5D 2R U R D R U R D 2U L. The knights will come out of their shells and sink to the bottom. You're free to get the gems to the left after things cool down. Then go right, under the 3 cans, and up and right for even more gems. Go left as soon as possible so you don't disturb later machinations. Now to take care of the skeletons in the center. The main thing to remember: get gems one at a time.Get the two gems on the bottom. Then nip in under each skeleton to get the gem below it, taking the usual safety precautions. You may have to crawl under the wall below for safety purposes. For the final bit, get the gem on top of whichever skeleton and back off. You may have to loop over the cans to do this, but if you wait a while the whole structure may fall apart anyway. For the enemies in the UR, stand 6D of the DR gem and 5U-L-5D-2R and watch the fun and carnage before collecting the spoils. You can do the same thing with the devil kids on the right--but this time make the rows only 4-high to make sure of yourself, and remember to clear the right column first. The left won't work. (Be patient--it'll take a while anyway.) Maybe other ways will work but these are the ones I tried. The portal will be in the center. My best score: 11460 leaving a lot of tiles for later. 4-6-9. This one looks really intimidating until you notice all your enemies move the exact same way. Get everything from the bottom four rows. You don't need the blue mushrooms, actually. Stand where the one mushroom was in the DR and switch to a rotator. When the one enemy is in the DL of his run and starts running up, rotate. He'll be trapped in a loop and so will his pals. Run left and he'll be squashed. You can just run left, 1R of the edge, then run left and right after the can right of you falls. It may cause your enemy to alter his loop but he'll die anyway. Now go back right so that you're by the row of bricks above where the enemies are circling. L to the first, 2U 2D L. The one can will fall right. Run 3L and there's no question the enemy will be crushed. Repeat this for the final area--tipping the can above the gem, and running left and right. Everything's clear now and you just need to pick up a few gems. If you really want to niggle for points, clear out all bricks and use the speed mushrooms after rotating right to get the DR corridor. More importantly, though, just clear out everything that fell from the UL/UR. Use a bomb to expose the portal in the UL that is behind the walls. My best score: 8740 and I think that's the best you can do. 4-6-10. Here you may need some luck with mushrooms. The chance of NOT getting the mushroom you need is (3/4)^3=27/64 leaving a 60% chance you will get a speed mushroom. Getting a right start makes the rest much easier and so you need to wait for an enemy to bounce down at you--not once but twice. Only then should you get the bomb. Take the other bomb in the UL and wait where you took it. An enemy will come back left. Drop a bomb left on him when he comes back and is 1 square above the bottom of the screen. Go up and place a bomb right in the center of the weak wall. Step back and run across right away--an enemy will be coming by and will loop around you. Check quickly to see if you've changed after getting each mushroom, and try to leave a circle in any case. With speed you can just zip all over the inner board with impunity. Without it you're in trouble. Once you've cleared everything out you have a dilemma: get the bomb while speedy or wait? I find waiting works pretty well as you can just dip in for it later. But if you know some enemies have been killed(use the preview) or nobody's coming back, go for it. Place the bomb 2U of the portal and enter below. My best score: 11600 Go left and when an enemy turns back right above you, get rid of the brick. Then go to the right and get rid of the brick above there. Get the two gems below the skeletons and wait for the knights above to go to one side--take out bricks that will let them fall below. Then take out the bricks on the sides of the second row. Go to the right and wait for two skeletons to bounce against each other and go back up. R-2U and kick the can left. Remove the bricks in the row below and now you will want to clear the brick below the can you kicked. Go to the right and kick the can left again once a skeleton is at the second-bottom square in his run, going up. That will squash him. For the other skeleton, you can push the can 2U2L to the right, circle R-D-L and kick it left with the skeleton at the bottom. One side is all clear now. Kick the cans into the bottom and top rows that have monsters remaining, and walk to the UR where you can push a can right to squash two skeletons. Now you can push another can left to clear out all monsters. Clean up straggling bricks if you're playing points police. At the top, get the gems before the rocks fall, then push each rock right and go left, etc., until you have gotten all the gems. Escape and then a straight shot right leads you to the UR portal. My best score: 9820 4-6-12. I don't think I figured a smarter way out of this, but I have a good workmanlike one. If you want, take out all the bricks in the left you can see before proceeding. You'll need to do it anyway. D U 2R D 2U DR. Now D R U R all the way to the right. This will cause everything to fall into a more manageable position. You can grab lots of gems. But you need to be careful about the order, or you will get trapped. Clear out all the bricks on the right, and at the top get the gem and the brick next to it. Push the can above to the left. Now the basic idea is to get all the gems on the rightmost column, kicking the cans into the right side fater getting the gems under them. I'd start below the bottom one you can kick and collect gems as they drip before kicking cans to the right. On the second column, be sure the bricks are cleared to the right(and do this for subsequent columns, then kick the third-from-right can right. Then proceed from top to bottom. This keeps cans on the right edge as long as possible. You've got two more cans here and they can be kicked to the second- right column. Again you can clear out the three cans at the very top for the third column, and you can start with the top one. The very bottom can will go into the 3rd- right row but you have more than enough space now. You can just lazily kick everything to the right here. Column 5 works the same way. And you won't need to do this for columns 6 and 7. For column 6, get the top three jewels. Then get the second-bottom one, which will allow you to get the one above it. Get the jewels from top to bottom now. Now go to the left edge and get the 2nd-bottom jewel. Get the jewels from top to bottom. My best score: 12300 4-6-13. You may need a bit of luck here for the first bit. Go up--but don't break the final brick leading to the main area. When the enemies turn and go back, go all the way up. Wait to be caught(yes, that's right.) Then go right and down and a bunch of enemies will get squashed. Now you will need to get one rotation, two picks and a bomb. So explore the four bottom columns before doing anything else--don't let the skeleton out of the DR! Once that's done U-R-D to send some cans crashing after you get a bunch of gems. Set a bomb to blow up the right walls and then step up so that you avoid the falling cans when you rotate. Run through the upper bricks to the right. Use a pick at the very end to get out and run through the bricks to the left to exit with a perfect evaluation. My best score: 12760 4-6-14. The best thing to do here is to keep creating space whenever you can. But you are trapped a bit at the beginning, so what to do? U L D L and the enemy above will spin in a circle. He's harmless for the moment. Spend time expanding your current space without opening up any other monsters' spaces(there are nine of these 3/4x3 squares, themselves in a 3x3 square.) Go to the right and release the devil kid by going up along the left side once it turns to the right. Now it will get lost in the big center. You can clean out more area now--if you see an enemy coming, get to spacy ground. When they're all away, and the boxed-in enemy turns away, get rid of the wall protecting you from it. Always clean as much area as you can before advancing, and use preview to see where enemies are. Just remember they keep to the sides since they constantly turn. You can probably cover the bottom right bit next. Once you release an enemy you can get a bomb. Release the center-bottom and in general work clockwise. For the center- and upper-left you can just let a gem fall. Also, you may need to watch out for if one enemy knocks into another who is going in circles. There is a pinball effect. However, if an enemy is going in a tight circle on his own you can really run around him. Be careful around the mushrooms, too. Be sure to have a secure spot in the center to guard against slowdowns. For the center-top and UR you will need to get two gems to drop, but it shouldn't take too long. If they have to go to the bottom to avert a logjam, it's better to be safe. When nobody's around, put a bomb on top of the UL pillar. Once you have 12 gems you can enter for a perfect score. My best score: 9120 missing some tiles. 4-6-15. Lots of gems and cans here but the solution is pretty straightforward. Go down and all the way right and wait. Go down and all the way left, minus one, and wait. Repeat until you are near the bottom with two rows left to cover and an escape row in the UL. Then zigzag D-L-U-L-etc. Wait for the fallout. A can will be on your head. Walk left and right. Get the five gems to the right and let the can on top of the brick go. Climb up as you do so to get the two gems above. The rest is pretty freeform but here is how I did it. Clean up the gems in the right. Wait, clean up the top two rows of gems(well..one will fall...) and clean up 3 gems in the right again. Get the topmost gem and now you can go left at the top row and zigzag up/down to get all the gems. My best score: 16950 5. BATTLE MODE There's not much fun in battle mode once you figure that the computer is really dumb, its characters thrive on infighting, and nobody cares about the gems that are produced at the top as they come down. I don't know much about person vs person fights or strategy there. 6. CLASSIC MODE If you'd like a FAQ for classic mode, the NES FAQ for BoulderDash on GameFAQs seems good. I haven't played all the way through but it works well for the first few levels. No sense repeating. End of FAQ proper ================================ 7. VERSIONS 1.0.0 sent to GameFAQs 6/8/2006 complete, with perfect scores for all scenes. I may add text maps later if I can locate the data. 0.6.0 sent to GameFAQs 6/7/2006 complete through Ice World scene 2. 8. CREDITS Thanks to CJayC as usual for such a great site and, though I hate to admit it, the people who write for more popular games so that these old school FAQs can be hosted for free. Thanks to the usual GameFAQs gang. They know who they are, and you should, too, because they get some SERIOUS writing done. Good people too--bloomer, falsehead, Sashanan, lisanne, Masters, Retro, Snow Dragon/Brui5ed Ego, ZoopSoul, and others I forgot. Joe "Joon" Colby for his excellent maps so I didn't have to use the in-game feature and so I could plan ahead, too.