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FAQ by The Lost Gamer

Version: 1.4 | Updated: 04/30/2004

Version 1.4 4/30/04

|       |
| O   O |
|   O   |
| O   O | _______ _______
|-------||       |       |
| O     || O     |     O |
|   O   ||   O   |       |
|     O ||     O | O     |

Ultimate Brain Games Walkthrough
by The Lost Gamer (ilovecartoonssomuch@yahoo.com)
Copyright 2004

For the latest version of this guide, check

Table of Contents:
001.  General information
002.  Title Screen Options
  002a. Single Player
  002b. Multiplayer
  002c. Face Creator
  002d. Options
003.  Games
  003a. Sink Ships
  003b. Mahjong
  003c. Backgammon
  003d. Chess
  003e. Checkers
  003f. Reversi
  003g. Dominoes
  003h. Four in a Row
004.  Credits

001-General Information

This is a walkthrough for the GameBoy Advance (GBA) game
called Ultimate Brain Games, a compilation of a bunch of
games that require you to use your brain.

If you want to contact me, e-mail me at
ilovecartoonssomuch@yahoo.com but make sure to make the
subject blank if you do.

002-Title Screen Options

Start the game, and you'll reach the start screen,
identified by the "PRESS START" in small white letters at
the bottom of the screen.

Press start, just like the game requests.  Of course, if
you're in a bad mood, you can throw your gameboy against a
wall, yelling, "No, I won't press start!  You're not the
boss of me!" But if you do that, you won't get to play any
games, so you should probably just press start and yell at
your gameboy later, at a more appropriate time.

When you press start, the title screen pops up.  You have
four options: Single Player, Multiplayer, Face Creator,
and Options.  Press up/down until the one you want is
highlighted, and press A to select it.

What happens when you select them?  I can't tell you.  It's
a secret.  Okay, I'll tell you, but not here, okay?  You'll
find the information later on, in their respective sections.
First up, we'll see what happens when you highlight...

002a-Single Player

Oh boy!  Single player!  You should select this if you're
playing by yourself.

Press left/right to select a game.  You can see the game's
name, and your records with playing that game if you
highlight.  The records go like this: number of games won,
number of games lost, and percentage of games won.

Highlight a game, and press A to play it.  You can also
press select to resume a saved game.  Also, you can press B
to get back to the title screen.  Yay, title screen!

You probably want to know more about those games you can
play.  Unfortunately, that information doesn't go here; it
belongs in section three. 


Multiplayer is the same as single player, except you don't
see any records of the game.  You should select this if
there are two people who want to play a game.

When you choose a game, a screen pops up.  You can do
multiplayer through hotseat, or single game pak.  For
single game pak, you use a link cable (a GBA accessory) and
connect the GBA with Ultimate Brain Games in it with
another GBA.

Alternately, choose hotseat, and you can play a two-player
game on the GBA that has Ultimate Brain Games on it, which
means the two players will have to take turns using the

Once you choose how to play multiplayer, the game begins.
The games will play just like they do in single-player
mode, except your opponent will be the person you're
playing with, not a computer opponent.

The exception is Mahjong, a single-player game.  In the two
player version, the players compete to see who can match up
more pairs of tiles faster.  More on that in the Mahjong
section, of course.

002c-Face Creator

Hey, face creator!  You can create a face for the person
you play as!  Cool!

A picture of the person you're playing as will show up,
along with a bunch of options.

Two of those options are save and load.  Once you make a
face, you can save it.  You can save up to two faces at
once.  You can load a saved face to play as it, otherwise
you will automatically start gameplay as the first of the
two faces.

Select name to choose a name for the face.  Press A to
select the highlighted letter (for uppercase letters, press
R).  To delete a letter, select DEL (at the lower right),
and select OK to go with the name you've chosen.

Select Random, and the character will be given a random

Select reset, and the current face will lose all of its
features, giving it a cool, all black look.  The character
name will turn to "Player".

Select modify to modify the face.  In the lower-left corner
is what you are modifying.  At the top are your options.
Press left/right to go through the options, and R/L to go
through what you can modify.

For example, press R/L until hair is selected.  Then press
left and right to go through the various hairstyles you can
put on your character.

You can choose what kind of head, hair, eyes, nose, lips,
eyebrows, beard, glasses, and clothes to put on your

Additionally, you can press select to change the
character's skin color.  There are four skin colors to
choose from.

And that's how you use the face creator.


There are four types of options you can mess around with.


In audio, you can choose playlist.  There are ten songs
that will automatically play in the background while you
use this game.  Move songs around on the playlist by
pressing R and the control pad.

Alternately, you can mix songs around on the playlist by
choosing "Shuffle Tracks".

Choose volume to mess with the volume.  Set the volume of
the music (on a scale of 0 to 100 percent), and set the
volume of the sound effects (SFX) on the same scale.

Once you have made changes to the audio, select save
settings to have the game adhere to the changes you made.
And, for whatever reason, you want to undo the changes
made, select default settings, and the game will go back to
the original settings for audio.


In memory, you can reset any information that gets saved.
You can reset your scores, saves (that is, the games that
are saved), faces (the faces made in face creator),
options, or all of those, if you want to.


Select who the computer opponent will be (the computer
opponent is the person you play against in single mode).

There are twelve computer opponents you can play against
(Julie, Sandy, Nikki, Ann, Sandra, Alice, Bob, Tom, Rico,
Paul, Hank, and Mike).  Select which one you want to play
against.  If you don't care, select random, and each time
you play a game, one of those computer opponents will be
randomly chosen.


Choose credits to see who helped make this game, and what
they did to help.  Press L/R to switch between the screens
that show the people who helped.


This section contains information on the eight games you
play in this game, listed as they are shown on the GBA
screen (from left to right).

When you are playing one of these games, you can press
start to bring up three menus: Preferences, Game, and Help.

Standard options in the preferences menu are:
a) music volume and music tracks, which allow you to mess
with the music.
b) difficulty, which lets you decide how difficult it is
to win a game.  The difficulty levels, from easiest to
hardest, are very easy, easy, average, hard, and extreme.
c) Perspective view, which lets you switch between two
different views of look at the board.
d) Human on top, which allows you to choose if the picture
of your character is above or below the picture of your
e) alternate colors, which lets you decide if, after a game
is finished, you and your opponent will switch colors.

Standard options in the game menu are:
a) start new, which allows you to start a new game.
b) restart, which lets you restart the game you're
currently playing
c) load, which lets you load a saved game.
d) save, which lets you save a game, which is useful in
case you have to stop playing your gameboy for some reason.
e) quit, which lets you quit the game and go back to the
game-choosing mode.

Standard options in the help menu are:
a) switch sides, which lets you switch sides with your
b) how to play, which gives you instructions on how to play
the game.

003a-Sink Ships

Sink ships is just like a game called Battleship.  The idea
is that you and your opponent have ships on two different
10 by 10 grids.  You want to sink your opponent's ships
before he sinks yours.

To begin sink ships, you have to put five ships somewhere
on a 10 by 10 board.  Press B to rotate a ship, and press A
to put it where you've selected.  Once you place all your
ships, you're ready to begin.

You'll see your ships on the left.  You'll see your
opponent's grid on the right.  Select places on your
opponent's grid.  You will bomb those places according to
how many bombs you have.

When one of your bombs hits an enemy ship, that part of the
ship will catch fire.  Hit all parts of a ship to sink the
entire ship.  You want to sink all of your opponent's

Now for the finer point of the game:

The ships are of different sizes.  There is one that is
five spaces long, one four spaces long, two three spaces
long, and one two spaces long.

Once a ship is sunk, it can no longer be used to bomb other
ships.  Each ship supplies one bomb (except for the big
ship, which supplies two bombs).

Where to bomb

There are three bombing plans I suggest:

Plan One:

| |X| |X| |X| |X| |X|
|X| |X| |X| |X| |X| |
| |X| |X| |X| |X| |X|
|X| |X| |X| |X| |X| |
| |X| |X| |X| |X| |X|
|X| |X| |X| |X| |X| |
| |X| |X| |X| |X| |X|
|X| |X| |X| |X| |X| |
| |X| |X| |X| |X| |X|
|X| |X| |X| |X| |X| |

The above is a checkerboard pattern.  If you bomb in all
of the spaces labeled by an X, you will have hit all the
ships, seeing as the smallest ship is two spots long, and
there is no place for a two or more spot long ship to be
on that board and not occupy a space labeled by an X.

The downside to this plan is that you must bomb fifty
spots.  That means it'll take about eight turns to bomb
each of the recommended spots.

Plan Two:

| |X| | |X| | |X| | |
| | |X| | |X| | |X| |
|X| | |X| | |X| | |X|
| |X| | |X| | |X| | |
| | |X| | |X| | |X| |
|X| | |X| | |X| | |X|
| |X| | |X| | |X| | |
| | |X| | |X| | |X| |
|X| | |X| | |X| | |X|
| |X| | |X| | |X| | |

Plan two is an improved version of plan one.  In plan two,
there are only 33 spots to bomb, which would take about six

The downside to this plan is that you can miss the two by
one ship, although you hit all the other ships.

Plan Three:

Bomb places randomly.  I like this plan.


Well, what if you hit an enemy ship?  That doesn't do any
good unless you sink the entire battleship, right?

Here's my plan.  Consider this diagram where you got a hit
on spot X.

| |o| |
| |o| |

I recommend bombing all spots marked o.  The ship will have
to be on one of those spots.  Using the results, you can
then tell what direction the ship is facing (up/down or
left/right), and then you'll know which other places to

There are other factors affecting where you should bomb
(the ships you already sunk, which let you know which ships
still are out there, and the edge of the board, which the
ships must stop at).  Bomb wisely, and maybe you'll be able
to shout, "I sunk your battleship!"


In Mahjong, the playing field consists of many cards.  You
can select the layout of the cards under the preferences
menu (there are 8 easy layouts, 8 medium layouts, 8 hard
layouts, and two river layouts).

The cards come in pairs.  You can remove the cards from the
layout in pairs.  Most cards look exactly like the card
they pair up with.  The exception are the season cards,
which are cards with a picture of a season (spring, summer,
autumn, and winter) on it.  The season cards pair off
with each other, despite that they do not look exactly

Now, the game would not be difficult if you had to do was
remove cards.  To complicate matters, you have to remove
free cards.  A card (tile) is free if these conditions are

a - no tiles are on top of it
b - there are not tiles touching its left and right sides

When those conditions are met, a tile is free.  Also, you
can select a tile with A.  If that tile doesn't get
highlighted, it is not free.

Press A to select a tile, or B to deselect it.  Select a
tile and its pair to take it off the board.

A useful move is to press select.  If you press select, a
pair of tiles that you can remove will be highlighted so
you can see them.

Most of the time, there are two pairs of one kind of card.
This means that instead of taking a card off with its match,
you can take it off with one of its matches.  This is
important, because by removing cards, you can free cards,
letting you remove more cards.  Be careful which cards you

The game ends when you cannot remove any more cards.  If
this is because you have removed all the cards, you win.
But if there are still cards on the board when you have
no more possible moves, you have lost the game.

Multiplayer Version

Unlike all the other games, you do not play against an
opponent in Mahjong.  So multiplayer version for Mahjong
is different.

The two players take turns taking pairs of cards off the
board.  Each player's turn is a certain amount of time
(15, 30, 55, or 60 seconds, which can be adjusted in the
preferences menu).  The strategy is the same: try to
remove all the cards off the board.  The player who removes
more cards from the board wins the game.

Rivers Mode

Rivers mode is different from all the other modes.  In it,
the board is shaped like a rectangle.

In rivers mode, you can only remove tiles that could be
connected by a line with only one or two corners.

I have no idea what this means; my experience playing
rivers mode seems contrary to this rule.  Any help would be


Backgammon is one of the two hardest-to-understand games in
this collection (the other game being chess).  This seems
like a downside, but it's not.  That makes those games more

The board will look like the following diagram.  Each of the
positions (in reality, they are isoceles triangles) are

| \12/\11/\10/\9/\8/\7/ | | \6/\5/\4/\3/\2/\1/ | black side
|  --  --  --  -  -  -  |B|  -  -  -  -  -  -  |
|                       |A|                    |
|                       |R|                    |
|  __  __  __  _  _  _  | |  _  _  _  _  _  _  |
| /12\/11\/10\/9\/8\/7\ | | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

The pieces (each player has fifteen) are sorted as follows:

On 1, each player has two pieces on their opponent's side.
On 6, each player has five pieces on their side.
On 8, each player has three pieces on their side. 
On 12, each player has five pieces on their opponent's side.

Black pieces move in a clockwise direction.  White pieces
move in a counter-clockwise direction.  Note that no piece
can move past one of the two 1 spots.

One of the players starts by rolling two dice.  The two
numbers the dice show are the length of that person's turn.
For example, if player A rolls a 3 and a 6, player A can
move any one of his pieces 3 or 6 spaces (player A can even
move one piece 3 spaces, and then move that piece 6

If a person rolls a double (which means the two dice are
the same number), he or she can make four turns.  For
example, if player B rolls two threes, player B can move
four pieces three spaces.

On the GBA, deciding moves is easy.  Move the pointer so
it's over one of your pieces.  Press B to move that piece
the number of spaces on the left die, or press A to move
the piece the number of spaces on the right die.  To make
this easier, a letter A will appear on the spot the piece
will land if you press A, and a letter B will appear on the
spot the piece will land on if you press B.  Sounds hard,
but it isn't.

Okay, time to talk about the limits to moving.  It's
simple: you can't move to a spot if two or more of your
opponent's pieces are on that spot.

This brings up the question: what if only one of your
opponent's pieces is on that spot?  Good question.  A place
where only one piece is on a point is called as a "blot".
If you land on an enemy blot, the piece on that blot is
taken away, and put on the bar.  It can only reenter on a
free spot on the opponent's side of the board.  You can't
move with one of your pieces on the bar.

Here's an example from a game played between two players,
Dilbert and Wally.  Dilbert is playing as white (his pieces
are O's), and Wally is playing as black (his pieces are
X's).  Here's what the bottom right of the board looks

|B|  O           O     |
|A|  O  X  O  _  O  _  |
|R| /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Dilbert rolls a one and a two.  He moves both of his pieces
that are on the six spot.  The board then looks like this:

| |        O     O     |
|X|  _  O  O  _  O  _  |
| | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Since Dilbert landed on one of Wally's blots, Wally's blot
is moved onto the bar.  This is bad news for Wally, because
Wally needs to get that piece back on the board.  It's
against the rules for Wally to make any moves with one of
his pieces on the bar.

So how does Wally get his piece back on the board?  Easy.
Next time Wally rolls the dice, he will have two numbers.
Let's say he rolls a 4 and a 2.  He can put his piece on
the board on the 4 spot or the 2 spot.  Since Wally is
playing as black, he can only put it on the 4 or 2 spot on
the white side of the table (a blot can only reenter the
game on the opponent's side of the table).

But wait!  If we look at the board, Dilbert has two pieces
on spots 4 and 2.  Wally can't move to those spots because
you can't land on a spot with two or more of your
opponent's pieces on it.

So Wally can't get back on the board.  This means he can't
move because you cannot move with a piece on the bar.  So
Wally's turn is over because he can't move.  Tough luck,

On Wally's next turn, he gets a 5 and a 2.  Dilbert has a
blot on spot 5, so Wally moves there and hits it.  Now the
tables have turned!  Now Dilbert is stuck with a piece on
the bar, while Wally is free to move whatever piece he

Now onto winning the game.  Let's go back the game between
Dilbert and Wally.  After several more turns, the part of
the board we're looking at looks like this:

| |  O
|B|  O  O  O     O
|A|  O  O  O     O  O  |
|R|  O  O  O  _  O  O  |
| | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Dilbert has all fifteen of his pieces on his side, to the
right of the bar.  Now he can do a process known as
"bearing off".  He can remove pieces from the board,
depending on what numbers he rolls.

For example, let's say he rolls a piece 6 and a 3.  Since
Dilbert rolled a 6, he can take one of his pieces on the
6 spot off of the board.  Since he also rolled a 3, Dilbert
must move one of his pieces 3 spots.  He cannot take away
one of the pieces on 1 or 2.

Once Dilbert gets rid of all of his pieces, he wins the
game.  Congratulations to Dilbert.

And those are the rules.

A Note on Blots

This might seem obvious, but it's a good thing to mention
anyway.  I'll make my point by going back to the game
between Dilbert and Wally.

|B|  O           O     |
|A|  O  X  _  _  O  _  |
|R| /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Dilbert has a blot on 4.  It's safe from being hit, because
all of Wally's pieces (the X's) have moved past it.

Say Dilbert gets a 1 and a 5.  He moves his pieces on spot

| |              O     |
|X|  _  O  _  _  O  O  |
| | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Now Dilbert has 2 open blots, and Wally has a chance to
reenter the game on either of those blots.  Not cool!
That's the danger of blots...you can't hit a blot without
creating a blot.  I recommending using one of your moves to
hit a blot, and using the second move to put another piece
on the blot you created.


Blocking is a strategy that I like to employ.  It involves
preventing your opponent from making any moves.  Let's use
an example, where I'm playing against Dilbert, the reigning
backgammon champion.  I'm white, he's black.

|                       | |  O                 |
|  X           O     O  | |  O  O           x  |
|  X_  __  __  O  O  O  | |  O  O  _  _  _  X  |
| /12\/11\/10\/9\/8\/7\ | | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Here, since the board looks like this, it's a good idea if
I pull a blocking strategy.  Notice how my pieces are
arranged.  I've almost got the 9-5 spots covered.  This is

I roll a two and a four.  Yes!  I move the 8 blot and a 6
piece so the board looks like:

|  X           O     O  | |  O  O  O        x  |
|  X_  __  __  O  _  O  | |  O  O  O  _  _  X  |
| /12\/11\/10\/9\/8\/7\ | | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Now I have the 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 spots blocked.  Dilbert
can't land on them.  Which means, in order to get past
them, which he has to do if he wants to win, Dilbert will
have to roll at least a 5.

Dilbert's in a bad position now.  If he moves one of his
two pieces on 1, it will have to be to 2 or 3, because
I've blocked all of the other possible moves.  And from
there, Dilbert has to land on 8, because I've blocked all
the other moves.

To state that another way, Dilbert has to roll a 1-6 or
a 2-5 to get past my blockade.  That's bad news for

To further show how cool the blockade is, let's say that
Dilbert gets lucky and gets a 1-6 or 2-5.  The board
will look like this.

|  X           O     O  | |  O  O  O           |
|  X_  __  __  O  X  O  | |  O  O  O  _  _  X  |
| /12\/11\/10\/9\/8\/7\ | | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Now Dilbert has two blots, which is not good for him.  Even
worse, one of the blots is one point eight.  What would
happen if I hit that blot and established a point there?
The board would look like this:

|  X           O  O  O  |X|  O  O  O           |
|  X_  __  __  O  O  O  | |  O  O  O  _  _  X  |
| /12\/11\/10\/9\/8\/7\ | | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Now I have a blockade of six points in a row.  There is no
possible way for Dilbert to get past that, because a six is
the highest that a person can roll.

Now I simply bring my other pieces into this area,
hopefully setting up more points as I go along.

Here is the other kind of block, which is very cool if you
ever get it.

|B|  O     O  O  O  O  |
|A|  O  X  O  O  O  O  |
|R| /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

This block seems useless.  Four of the spaces I've blocked
are 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Dilbert couldn't land on them if he
wanted to!  But let's say I managed to hit Dilbert's blot
on 5, and I establish that point.

| |  O  O  O  O  O  O  |
|X|  O  O  O  O  O  O  |
| | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

Dilbert is screwed now!  He can't get back into the game!
Now I can do whatever I want with my remaining pieces!
Ha ha ha!  This is so sweet!

Keep in mind that I don't have to already have a big
blockade on the table to get something like that.  For
example, if I had something like this:

|  X    O               | |  O  O  O           |
|  X_  _O  __  O  O  _  |X|  O  O  O  _  _  _  |
| /12\/11\/10\/9\/8\/7\ | | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

I could pull off a block like that with a little luck.  As
long as Dilbert doesn't roll a 1, 2, or 3, it will be my
turn without him having moved any of his pieces.  That's a
50% chance.

If that happens, say, twice in a row, I can easily slip my pieces
into position to set up a blockade there. 

Bearing Off with a Block

This might seem obvious to some, but if you have a block-
like setup, bearing off must be done carefully.

Say the board looks like this:

| |  O     O     O
| |  O  O  O  O  O  O  |
|X|  O  O  O  O  O  O  |
| | /6\/5\/4\/3\/2\/1\ | white side

The board doesn't have to look exactly like that, but you
get the idea.  The basic idea is that somewhere in that
area you have some enemy pieces there (or else you wouldn't
be blocking anything, in which case there wouldn't be a
block, right?).

Here's the two general rules:

#1: Do not leave blots.
#2: Move the pieces which are farthest away.

#1 is important as hell.  If you leave a blot, an enemy can
hit it.  Now you're the one who is deep in enemy territory,
trying to get out.

As for #2, this means you want to get all of your pieces
off of spot six first (not off the board, necessarily, just
off that spot), and then spot five and so on.  The reason
being that if the opponent gets back in the game, he will
reenter behind all of your pieces, where he cannot hurt
them at all.  Now he has to move his pieces all the way
back to his board, while you continue bearing off.


Chess is played on an 8 by 8 board.  The pieces are set up
like this:

| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |

P - Pawn
R - Rook
C - Knight
B - Bishop
Q - Queen
K - King


A pawn is considered the weakest piece.  You can only move
it forward.

The first time you move a particular pawn, you can move it
two squares, but from then on, you can only move it one

Pawns attack enemy pieces diagonally.  So if an enemy piece
is one square away (diagonally) from a pawn, the pawn can
capture it.  A captured piece is removed from the board.


Knights move in an L-shape.  It moves two squares in one
direction (left/right or up/down) and then one square in
the opposite direction.  Here's a diagram:

| |E| |E|
|E| | | |E|
| | |S| | |
|E| | | |E|
| |E| |E| |

From S (start) the knight can land on any of the E's (end).
If you try, you can visualize an "L" shape from the S's to
the E's.  Like this one, which is a L on its side:

| | |S|

Don't worry too much about moving the knight; it seems
harder than it is.

One more thing about the knight is that it can make a jump
no matter what pieces are in the way.  It will simply pass
over any other pieces to finish the move.  If the knight
lands on an enemy piece, the enemy piece is captured.


Bishops move diagonally.  This means that whatever the
color of the square a bishop starts on, that is the color
of the square it lands on.

Bishops cannot jump other pieces.  If a piece is in the
way, it cannot move.

Bishops capture enemy pieces by landing on them.


Rooks are useful.  They can move left, right, up and down.
You can move them as many squares as you want.  Rooks
capture enemy pieces by landing on them.


The queen is just like the rook, with one difference: the
queen can move diagonally in addition to up, down, left,
and right.  This makes the queen the most useful piece.


The king is bad at moving.  It can only move one square at
a time.  Luckily, it can move in any direction at all.

The King is the most important piece.  A person wins the
game if he/she capture the enemy's king.  This is the
objective of chess: to capture the enemy's king.

When a move is made that puts a king in danger of being
captured, this is known as "check".  The game lets you
know whenever a check is performed.  When your king is in
check, you must stop it from being taken, or else you lose
the game.

When a king is taken, this is known as checkmate.


In chess, on a scale of 1 to 10, here is how valuable the
pieces are:

Pawn - 1
Knight - 3
Bishop - 3
Rook - 5
Queen - 9
King - 20

This is considered in capturing and exchanges.  Sometimes,
you must sacrifice a piece to capture one of the enemy's
pieces.  You shouldn't sacrifice a piece to capture a piece
of lesser value than the one sacrificed.

GBA Features

Since chess is such a fantastic, wonderful great game (I
don't like it that much, myself), it comes with a bunch of
features that don't come with the other games in this pack.

One of the good ones is tutor, under the help menu.  Tutor
analyzes all of the moves you can possible make, and makes
commentary on the moves.  Press left/right to move through
all of the possible moves and see the commentary.  In case
you can't see what the move is, press select to solve the

AI options, under preferences, lets you mess around with
your opponent.  You can change how much defense, offense,
and strategy (all measured from 0 to 100) affect the
computer's gameplay.

Solve problem, under game, lets you have the game's
computer figure out how to complete a task.  Say you want
to get a checkmate in 3 moves.  Set up solve problem to
find a way to do so.  If it's not possible, the game lets
you know.

Set up board (under game) allows you to set up the board in
any way you want to.  Once you set up the board, select
start new (also under game) to start that game.

Select task (under game) lets you choose one of one hundred
chess scenarios that come with the game.  Your goal is to
get a checkmate in the fewest number of moves (usually 2 or
3; the game tells you what the fewest number of moves are).


Checkers is a game played on the same board as a chess
board.  Each player has twelve pieces.  They are placed on
the board like this:

| |O| |O| |O| |O|
|O| |O| |O| |O| |
| |O| |O| |O| |O|
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
|X| |X| |X| |X| |
| |X| |X| |X| |X|
|X| |X| |X| |X| |

On an actual board (my picture isn't too good), you'll see
that the pieces only go one the darker-colored squares.

You move a piece one square, diagonally.  This way you
will only be on the dark-colored squares.  Additionally,
all moves must be made toward your opponent, away from you.

So here's a diagram, just in case you couldn't understand
that.  It's of a piece (O).  It can go to the spaces marked

| | | |
| |O| |
|G| |G|

Hopefully, that diagram explains everything for now, because
things are going to get more complicated.

In the game, you will eventually meet an enemy piece.  You
can jump over an enemy piece and remove it from the board.
Here's how:

|O| | |      |O| | |
| |X| |      | |X| |
| | | |      | | |X|

In the left diagram, the O can make a move to the lower-
right.  He jumps over the X piece, and the X piece is
removed from the board.  In the right diagram, the O cannot
jump over the first piece, because the spot he would land
on is occupied.  He cannot simply jump over both of the
pieces at once.

|O| | |
| |X| |
| | |a|
| |X| |
| | | |

Here's how to jump over two pieces at once.  O jumps over
the X piece to get to spot a.  From spot a, O can jump
left/down over the X piece there.  In checkers, you can do
this in one move.  This is known as a double jump.

You should get to like jumping over enemy pieces.  Why?
Because you have to.  If you can jump a piece, the GBA
won't let you make any other move.  You have to jump a
piece if you can.

Say that, perhaps, you make it to the far end of the board.
You can't go past that.  What happens then is the piece
that made it to the far end of the board becomes a king.

The king (a little crown appears on all pieces that are
kings) can move diagonally in any direction it wants to.
So if the O piece is a king, then it can move:

|G| |G|
| |O| |
|G| |G|

The game ends when one of these things happen:

a) you remove all of your enemy's pieces from the board
b) you set up the board so none of the enemy pieces can
make a move
c) you and your enemy do the same exact moves over and over

If either (a) or (b) happens, you win the game.  If (c)
happens, the game is a draw.

To play checkers on the GBA, use the control pad to move
across the board.  Press A to select a piece (it will
become enlarged).  Move the pointer to where you want the
piece to go, and press A again to make it go there.  If
you accidentally chose the wrong piece, press B to deselect
the piece you chose.

Give-away Mode

The above rules are for normal mode.  If you wish, you can
select another mode under the preferences menu.  This mode
is give-away mode.

Give-away mode complies with all the rules for normal mode.
The only difference is that a person wins give-away mode if
he loses all of his pieces to the enemy (in normal mode,
that would be a loss, not a win).

King Strategy

Near the end of a game, you might be in a situation where
you're a king, and the enemy has a few king pieces left,
trying to get you trapped.  Here's one way to deal with

| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| |X| | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| |O| |X| | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |

O is your piece, X is the opponents.  Remember, all pieces
are kings.  It's your turn.  Move in between the two enemy

| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| |X| | | | | | |
| | |O| | | | | |
| | | |X| | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |

That's the important point of this strategy: You want to
make a move so you are in between two of the enemy's
pieces.  You can jump either of the enemy's pieces now.
The enemy will move one away, so jump the other one
instead.  This is a pretty good strategy.

Cheating Strategy

Switch the game to give-away mode and lose most of your
pieces.  Then switch the game back to normal mode, and
switch sides.

Jumping Moves

Since jumping is mandatory, your overall game strategy will
have to adapt to that.  For example, look at this:

|X| | | | |
| |X| | | |
| | |X| | |
| | | | | |
| | | | |O|

To get the O piece, X must move its lower/right piece to
the lower/right, like this:

|X| | | | |
| |X| | | |
| | | | | |
| | | |X| |
| | | | |O|

O is forced to jump that piece.

|X| | | | |
| |X| | | |
| | |O| | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |

Now X can easily jump the O piece.

This is a general strategy for getting an opponent's piece.
The downside is that you lose a piece in doing so.


Reversi is played on the same kind of 64-square board as
chess and checkers are played on.  Reversi is also known as
Othello for some reason.  The board looks like this:

| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | |X|O| | | |
| | | |O|X| | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |

You have to place your piece so that some of your
opponent's pieces are caught in a diagonal, row, or column
between your pieces.  To illustrate this, here's the
diagram, with the spaces O can go marked G.

| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | |G| | | | |
| | |G|X|O| | | |
| | | |O|X|G| | |
| | | | |G| | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |

If you can see, an X piece is directly in between a G and
an O.  You have to place your pieces like that, so an
opponent's piece is in between the placed piece and another
one of your pieces.

Say O places his piece at the topmost G.  Then the board
will look like this:

| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | |O| | | | |
| | | |O|O| | | |
| | | |O|X| | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |

Do you see that?  The X that was caught between the piece
you placed and the piece that was already there became
flipped.  Now it's an O piece.

That's the way Reversi goes.  Now it's X's turn.  X will
put down his piece, turning some O pieces into X pieces.

The game ends when all the spots on the board are covered
or when one player loses all of his pieces.

On the GBA, Reversi is really simple.  You move the cursor
over where you want to put your piece, and press A to put
your piece there.  Any of your opponent's pieces that will
become your pieces will then appear gray.

The number of pieces each player has is listed underneath
that player's picture.

Something to look out for

Here's a board, with spot a being important.

| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | |O| | | | |
| |a|O|O|O|X|O|X|
| | | |O|X| | | |
| | | |X|X| | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |

If it's X's turn, X would be tempted to go there, because
then X would have four more X pieces.  If X did that, the
board would look like:

| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | |O| | | | |
| |X|X|X|X|X|O|X|
| | | |O|X| | | |
| | | |X|X| | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |

Then, O would simply put his piece on the far left to make
the board look like:

| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | |O| | | | |
| | | |O|X| | | |
| | | |X|X| | | |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | |

So that's something to look out for.  When making moves,
keep in mind if that move would help your opponent.

Corner Pieces

The corner spots are important.  If you get a piece on a
corner spot, there is no way your opponent will be able to
take control of that piece.

This also makes side pieces very important.  Your opponent
can only get your side pieces in one way (left/right or
down/up).  I'm not going anywhere with this, I just want to
point out the unique properties of those pieces to state
their importance.


Dominoes! This is a classic game, not the title of a
Rolling Stones song.

Dominoes is played with dominoes (duh), which are called
bones for some reason.  Each bone has two sides, with each
side having a number of dots (0-6) on it.  No two bones are
the same.

The game starts, with each player getting seven bones.  The
bones that don't get chosen by the players are put to the
side, called the boneyard.

The player with the highest double bone (a bone which sides
have the same number of dots) puts down his or her bone to
start the game.

You can put one of your bones on the board, but it has to
match the piece you put it against.  I'm not sure I did a
good job explaining that, so here's a picture:

  |6|  - -   - -
   -  |6|5| |5|2|
  |6|  - -   - -

Okay, you see how the 6-5 is put down next to the 6-6?
It's done so that the two 6's are touching.  And see how
the 5 in the 5-2 is put up against the 5 in the 6-5? That's
how you put bones on the board, next to a matching number. 

Something to notice: you can't have more than one bone
connecting to the same piece, unless that piece is the
first piece that got put down.

Go up/down through the bones you have.  If one can appear
on the board, its outline will appear.  Press A to put it
on the board.

Sometimes, a special situation comes up.  Take the above
diagram.  If I have a 2-6, where do I put it?

       -               here?
 - -  |6|  - -   - -   - -
|2|6|  -  |6|5| |5|2| |2|6|
 - -  |6|  - -   - -   - -
here?  -

As you can see, there are two places to put the 2-6 piece.
To switch between the two places, press the R or L button. 

There are three types of domino games you can play.  They
differ in their rules about the boneyard.  I'll go over all
of them.  You can select which type of game to play by
selecting start game from the game menu.

Draw Variation

Say you don't have any bones that you can put on the board.
What then?  In draw variation, that means you have to take
a bone from the boneyard.  Press A, and one of the bones
from the boneyard appear on your side.

If you can't use the bone that you got from the boneyard,
you have to keep taking bones from the boneyard until you
can use one of them.

Block Variation

Say you don't have any bones that you can put on the board.
What then?  In block variation, you're screwed.  You can't
get any bones out of the boneyard.  Just press A to pass,
giving up your turn.

I'll talk about 5-up variation soon.  But now we need to go

Winning a Game

The games all have the same rules about winning a game.
The first person to score enough points (50, 75, 100, 125,
150, 175 or 200; you can select the number of points needed
for a win by selecting start game from the game menu) wins
the game.

How do you get points?  Here's how: a round of dominoes
ends when one player uses all of his bones or when both
players cannot use any of their bones.

If you use all of your bones, you can count the number of
dots on all of your enemy's bones.  This becomes added to
the number of points that you have.

If both players cannot use their bones, the player who has
the least number of dots on his bones is declared the
winner.  The number of dots on the loser's bones is added
to the number of points that the winner has.

5-up Variation

5-up follows all of these rules, but with a twist.  It
involves counting all of the end pieces (pieces that bones
can be put against.  If, when they are all counted, the
number is a multiple of five, you get that many points
added to your total.

Here's an example:

 |6|  - -
  -  |6|3|
 |6|  - -

The end pieces are a 6, 6, and a 3.  When added, they equal
15.  15 is a multiple of 5, so 15 is added to your score.

Just in case you don't know about multiples, a number is a
multiple of five if it ends in a 5 or a 0.  While playing
dominoes, the only multiples of 5 you can get are 5, 10,
15, and 20.

Note on Block Variation

In block variation, you cannot get bones from the boneyard.
That means the rounds of dominoes go much quicker.  The
downside is that the game will often end with both players
having to pass.

You don't know what bones your enemy has, so you will have
no way to predict this.  That's stupid.  That is one of the
appropriate times to throw your GBA at the wall, like I
mentioned earlier.

The plan I follow is, that when playing block mode, pay
attention to when your opponent passes.  That means that
your opponent cannot put a domino on one of the end pieces.

Look at the end pieces.  Remember those numbers; your
opponent cannot match a bone to an end piece with that
number.  The idea is to put down end pieces that your
opponent can't match a bone to.  This way, your opponent
will skip turns, giving you an advantage in the "use up
all your bones to win" category.

003h-Four in a Row

Four in a Row is just like a popular game called Connect

The board is made up of seven columns.  Move left/right to
select a column, and press A to drop a chip down into that
column.  Your opponent and you take turns dropping chips
into columns.

The first person to get four chips in a row wins the game.
If the board fills up before anyone can do so, the game is
a draw.

This game comes with a demo mode, chosen under the game
menu.  If you choose demo mode, the computer will
automatically take turns for both players.

If you make a move you don't like, you can take it back
using the "go back one move" feature under the help menu.

A Good Strategy

Try to set up the game so there are two intersecting ways
you can get four in a row, so that no matter what you do,
you will win.  Put another way, try to have two three in a
rows that whose possible four in a rows are adjacent

Here's an example of a game between X and O:

 X X X 1
 O X O O
 X O X O

It's O's turn.  If O does not put his chip in spot 1, X
will put his chip in spot 1 and win the game.  So O will
put his chip in spot 1.

Since spot 1 is full, X can now put his chip in spot 2.
If X does so, he will win the game (he has four in a row
diagonally).  Just like in the tic-tac-toe game, no matter
what O does, X will win the game.

Here's another example:

  X 2 X X
  X 1 X X O

X can take spot 1 and win.  But if O takes spot 1, X can
then take spot 2 and win.  Here's another example:

O O 2
X X 1 X O

X can win by taking spot 1.  If O takes spot 1, X can then
take spot 2 and win.

In all of these examples, X can win if he takes spot 1 or
2.  Note that spot 2 is always directly above spot 1.
That's the general strategy.  Try to set up the game so the
board looks like that.


This FAQ is copyright of The Lost Gamer, 2004.  If you want
to use any part of this FAQ, ask me first (instructions under
general information)

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