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Scoring FAQ by WilliamPorygon

Updated: 04/16/02

Pokemon Puzzle League
Scoring FAQ
(C) 2002 William Ornt

Table of Contents
-----------------

0. Revision History, Legal
1. Introduction
2. Terminology
3. Scoring Charts
4. Scoring FAQs
5. Credits


Revision History
----------------

V1.0 (current)  Original copy of FAQ.


Legal Info
----------
This FAQ is Copyright (C) 2002 William Ornt.  At the current time I am giving
GameFAQs and _only_ GameFAQs permission to post/publish my FAQs.  Please do
not e-mail me asking for permission to reprint this as it will not get a
response.  If you find this FAQ on another site (with or without this
disclaimer) please let me know where it is posted, and I will deal with them
personally.


1. Introduction
---------------
Pokemon Puzzle League is the N64 remake of the classic SNES puzzle game Tetris
Attack.  The object of the game is to move various colored blocks around to
line up at least three of the same color in a row, at which time the blocks
are removed.  As you play, more blocks rise from the bottom of the game board,
and you must continue matching them as fast as you can to keep them from
reaching the top of the playing field, at which time the game ends.  There are
also two-player vs. modes, a time trial mode, a puzzle mode, and a line-clear
mode.

The only information the instructions and the in-game tutorial provides about
scoring is that making larger combos and chains (explained below) results in
higher point values.  Having been unable to find any detailed information
about how one's score is calculated, I decided to figure it out on my own.
This FAQ is the result of several hours of playing, as well as carefully
working to earn specific sized combos and very long chains, and checking the
scoreboard to see what each one is worth.  I've also done some experimenting
to find answers to some common questions about the scoring system in Pokemon
Puzzle League.


2. Terminology
--------------

There are two basic types of special maneuvers in this game: the combo and the
chain.  Both are important to accomplish as well as possible to maximize your
scores.

COMBO:  When four or more blocks are matched up at exactly the same time.
There are several ways to accomplish combos.  The most basic way is to simply
line up two in a row, leave a space, and put another block or two that
matches. Then, put a matching block in between to make a 4 or 5 piece combo.
(See figure A.)  Another common way in which huge combos can be made is to
line up several pairs of two in a row, with the matching blocks right above
it. Then, remove a block in the row with the matches directly above and they
will fall to create several groups of three, making one large combo.
(See figure B.)


                         XO    XO    |     *
                         X*    X*    |   **O      ***
                         *X -> X*    |   OO*   -> OOO
                         X*    X*    |   **X      ***
                         XO    XO    |   XXOOO    XXX
                                     |
                         (8-combo)   |    (12-combo)
                          fig. A     |      fig. B


CHAIN:  When a group of three or more blocks disappears, any blocks above it
will fall down due to gravity.  If any of these blocks lands in a spot that
causes it to form a new group of three or more, these blocks will disappear as
well, resulting in a chain.  Chains get longer and are worth more points as
long as you can keep them going. (See figure C.)


             *          *
             O X        O          *
             O X    ->  O X    ->  O      ->         ->
             XX***      XXX        O X          X
             O**XX      O**XX      O**XX      ***XX        XXX

            (start)   (2-chain)  (3-chain)  (4-chain)  (5-chain)
                                  fig. C


3. Scoring Charts
-----------------
Below I have listed all the different ways points are earned in Pokemon Puzzle
League.

Manually Raising Blocks:  By pressing the L or R button, you can make the next
row of blocks immediately come up.  You get 1 point for every row you force up
this way.  Not much, but it can build up quite a bit in a long game.

Clearing Blocks:  Every time a block disappears from the game board, you get
10 points.  The points are awarded as the blocks disappear one at a time.
Therefore, in a time trial game, if the time runs out while a set of blocks is
still disappearing, you get the 10 points each for each block that has
disappeared, but you get nothing for the ones that didn't disappear before the
time ran out.

Combos:  Generally, the larger the combo is, the more points it is worth.  
Also, the point values grow faster as the number of blocks increases.  The 
table below shows two values for each combo.  The first is the base score for 
the combo.  These points are added immediately when the 4+ pieces are lined
up. The second is the total you will have earned after all the blocks in the
combo disappear (adding the 10 points per block to the base value).

  # of Blocks   Base Pts   Total Pts      # of Blocks   Base Pts   Total Pts
  ----------------------------------      ----------------------------------
            4         30          70               28      3,820       4,100
            5         50         100               29      4,270       4,560
            6        150         210               30      4,750       5,050
            7        190         260               31      5,260       5,570
            8        230         310               32     15,000      15,320
            9        270         360               33     15,570      15,900
           10        310         410               34     16,170      16,510
           11        400         510               35     16,800      17,150
           12        450         570               36     17,460      17,820
           13        500         630               37     18,150      18,520
           14        550         690               38     18,870      19,250
           15        700         850               39     19,620      20,010
           16        760         920               40     20,400      20,800
           17        850       1,020               41     21,200      21,610
           18        970       1,150               42     22,000      22,420
           19      1,120       1,310               43     22,800      23,230
           20      1,300       1,500               44     23,600      24,040
           21      1,510       1,720               45     24,400      24,850
           22      1,750       1,970               46     25,200      25,660
           23      2,020       2,250               47     26,000      26,470
           24      2,320       2,560               48     26,800      27,280
           25      2,650       2,900               49     27,600      28,090
           26      3,010       3,270               50     28,400      28,900
           27      3,400       3,670

Do you notice a pattern near the end?  20,400 points for a 40-combo is the
largest value pre-programmed into the game.  Afterwards the game simply adds
800 more points for each additional block.  Therefore, you can calculate the
value of a 40+ block combo with the formula P = 20,400 + ((B - 40) * 800) in
which B is the number of blocks cleared and P is the number of points earned.


Chains:  The longer you can keep a chain going, the more points it is worth.
Each time a chain is extended, the points for that portion of the chain are
immediately added to the score.  The value of a portion of a chain starts at
50 points for the x2 portion, and continues growing to the maximum of 1,800
points for the x13 and subsequent portions.  The chart below indicates the
value of each portion of a chain and of the entire chain up to that point.

                                     Value of    Total to
                      Chain Part    This Part   This Point
                      ------------------------------------
                              x2           50           50
                              x3           80          130
                              x4          150          280
                              x5          300          580
                              x6          400          980
                              x7          500        1,480
                              x8          700        2,180
                              x9          900        3,080
                             x10        1,100        4,180
                             x11        1,300        5,480
                             x12        1,500        6,980
                             x13        1,800        8,780
                             x14        1,800       10,580
                             x15        1,800       12,380

Again, there is a point at which the value stops increasing: 1,800 for x13
and larger chains.  So, to calculate the total value of a x13 or larger
chain, use the formula P = 6,980 + ((L - 12) * 1,800) in which L is the
length of the chain and P is the total number of points earned.


Chain Bonuses:  Normally, when you line up a group of only three pieces, you
get no immediate points (just the 30 when the three blocks disappear).
However, if you are in the middle of a chain, manually lining up another
group of 3 or more pieces will give you points equal to the value of your
most recent chain part.  For example, if you are at x5 in an active chain,
and you line up 3 pieces, you will get 300 points for matching the pieces.
Similarly, if you are at x9 and line up 5 pieces, you will receive 950 points
immediately (900 for the current chain part and 50 for the 5-piece combo).
By clearing several sets of blocks during the later part of a long chain, you
can earn lots of bonus points in addition to the normal value of the chain.


4. Scoring FAQs
---------------
Here are some answers to some common questions about PPL's scoring system.

Q. Are there bonuses for doing combos and chains together?
A. No.  If a chain creates a combo as well when it falls into place, you
   are simply awarded the value of the combo plus the value of the chain
   part.  No extra points are awarded.

Q. Can you make one larger combo by lining up a separate group of three or
   more just as a chain falls into place, creating a group of three or
   more?
A. Yes, but the timing must be PERFECT.  You have to line up your group of
   blocks at EXACTLY the same time as the chain's blocks line up, otherwise
   it will be counted as two separate, smaller combos.

Q. What is the maximum score?
A. The score counter maxes out at 999,999 points.  After that it remains at
   999,999 until the game ends; there is no rollover.

Q. Is the scoring system the same in all modes of play?
A. All modes that use scoring (marathon, 1P and 2P time attack, 1P spa
   service) all use the same scoring system.  Point values are the same
   regardless of whether you are playing in 2D or 3D, as well.

Q. Is the scoring system the same in Pokemon Puzzle Challenge (GBC) and the
   original Tetris Attack (SNES and GB)?
A. The scoring system works the same way in PPC as it does in PPL.  In Tetris
   Attack, the point values for combos are considerably lower, and there are
   no points awarded for the 14th and further parts of a chain (due to a 
   programming bug; they were supposed to be 1,800 points apiece.)


5. Credits
----------
WilliamPorygon (me), for doing the research and taking the time to write this
FAQ.

Tetrisattack.net, for the information on TA's scoring system and reminding me
about the chain bonuses (which I had totally forgotten about).

CJayC, for his work on the GameFAQs site and taking the time to post this.

...and many thanks to all the PPL players who took the time to read this FAQ.


If you find any errors, omissions, or have scoring-related questions not
covered here, please drop me a line at Porygon311@msn.com.  Make sure to
mention this FAQ in the subject line, otherwise chances are good it'll get
trashed without being read.

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