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Copyright 2004 by qqwref

===============================================================================
===============================================================================

1. Introduction
2A. What is Picross?
2B. How do I play Picross?
2C. How is Picross 2 set up?
3. Picross Strategy
3A. Introductory Strategy
Zero
A Full Row
Edges, Part 1
3B. Beginning Strategy
Almost Full
Edges, Part 2
Not Enough Space
All the Same
Largest and Smallest
Two Areas
Unreachable
3C. Expert Strategy
Two Rows
3D. Taking Advantage of Picross 2
Mario Picross
Wario Picross
4. Anything Else
4A. Legal Statement
4B. Version History
4C. Contact

===============================================================================
1. Introduction
===============================================================================

Picross 2 is a game that was published in October of 1996 by Nintendo. It is a
game in which the player tries to complete images that show different things by
paying attention to clues consisting of numbers. Picross 2 is the sequel to
Mario's Picross, which was published in March 1995.

Unlike other Picross 2 FAQs, I do not aim to give the solutions to all of the
problems you will find in the game. This is because cheating does not allow you
to experience the fun of actually solving the puzzles. I am only going to try
to give the strategies that are used to solve the problems.

Note that the strategy portions of this guide can be used for any other Picross
game: Mario's Picross (GB), Mario's Super Picross (SNES), or Picross NP Vols.
1 through 8.

===============================================================================
===============================================================================
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2A. What is Picross?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Picross is a game invented in 1987 by Non Ishida (in Japan, of course). It is a
Japanese game. Picross is also known as Edel, Oekaki Logic, Nonograms,
Griddler, CrossPix, IllustLogic, Color by Numbers, Paint by Numbers,
Descartes's Enigma, FigurePic, PictureLogic, StarPic, Japanese Crosswords,
Pictograph, and Logigraphe; it may be known also as even more names.

The simpler version of Picross that is used in Picross 2 has only one color
block. However, some people have made Picross puzzles with blocks of more than
one color. These are usually more difficult.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2B. How do I play Picross?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The general idea of Picross is to mark the squares that make the image, and by
doing that to see the picture. When you play Picross 2, if you complete an
image you will see the image, along with a description of it.

Here are the keys you can use:
A: Mark a filled square (in the puzzle)
Delete a filled square (in the puzzle)
Accept (in a menu, or choosing a part of the puzzle)
Mark a number (on the number grid)
Unmark a number (on the number grid)
B: Mark an empty square (in the puzzle)
Delete an empty square (in the puzzle)
Cancel (in a menu)
Enlarge the numbers (on the number grid)
Start: Go to the menu (in the puzzle)
Begin the game (at the title screen)
Select: Choose a different part of the puzzle (in the puzzle)
D-Pad: Move cursor (anywhere)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2C. How is Picross 2 set up?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There are three settings to Picross 2 in the beginning. They are:

あそびかた (How to Play):
Teaches you how to play Picross 2.
やさしいピワロス (It is Easy Picross):
Easier levels of Picross.
Here is a group of ten 15x15 puzzles, which are pictures by themselves.
マリオのピワロス (Picross of Mario):
This is the main body of the game.
Here are nine worlds, each with about ten puzzles, and three extra levels with
more than ten smaller puzzles. In the extra levels, the puzzles spell out a
sentence (in Japanese, of course!)

After you beat World 1 in the Picross of Mario section, a new section of
Picross 2 will be unlocked. It is the Wario section.

There are also three settings in the Wario section:

あそびかた (How to Play):
Wario tells you how to play his version, and the differences between his and
Mario's picross.
せってい (Options):
Choose if you want time to be enabled or not. You can pick:
あり (It is)
なし (It is not)
ワリオのピワロス (Picross of Wario):
This is a separate part of the game.
Here, as in Picross of Mario, there are nine worlds and three extra levels,
but the difference is that in this version you don't lose time when you
incorrectly mark a square. Also, you don't get hints, ever.

===============================================================================
3. Picross Strategy
===============================================================================
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3A. Introductory Strategy
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
..............................
ZERO
..............................

There is something that can be easily known when a row has just a "0" in it.
This means that there are no filled squares in that entire row. Therefore, you
should mark that row or column as being completely empty - mark each square as
empty.

..............................
A FULL ROW
..............................

A row that is full is just as useful as a row that is empty. For example,
playing on a large grid of 15x15, you would look for a row or column with a
"15" in it. This means that you should mark all of the squares in that row as
filled.

Note that there are other kinds of rows that are full, in a different way:
there is only one way that the blocks can be placed. For example, in an 8x8
game, here is one possible full clue:
3 1 2|X|X|X|.|X|.|X|X|

..............................
EDGES, PART 1
..............................

Often in the easy levels, and less commonly in the harder ones, you will be in
a situation where you have the edge of your puzzle solved, but not the middle.
To a certain extent, you can solve this. For example, if you have:
3 2|X| | | | | | | |
then you can change it to be:
3 2|X|X|X|.| | | | |
because there is a filled square on the left. Notice that you cannot place the
two yet.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3B. Beginning Strategy
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
..............................
ALMOST FULL
..............................

Since you will usually not find a full row or column on the more difficult
levels, you will need to use this strategy. When you are faced with a row such
as this:
7 5| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
you can't fill it full. So, what you have to do is imagine that the filled
squares were in the leftmost or rightmost possible combinations:
7 5|X|X|X|X|X|X|X|.|X|X|X|X|X| | |
7 5| | |X|X|X|X|X|X|X|.|X|X|X|X|X|
You can see, from here, that some squares are not only filled in both
combinations, but that belong to the same number in both combinations:
7 5| | |X|X|X|X|X| | | |X|X|X| | |
In the middle there was an intersection, but it was part of different numbers
on both sides.

..............................
EDGES, PART 2
..............................

In the more difficult levels, you will often have a known filled square one or
more spaces away from the edge. There may be still some things you can do:
4| |X| | | | | | |
Here, there is a space between the filled square and the edge. You can still do
things, though. The 4 can be in these two positions:
4|X|X|X|X| | | | |
4| |X|X|X|X| | | |
In both of these, some squares are the same. You can mark these:
4| |X|X|X| |.|.|.|
There is a general rule. If N is the number of filled squares closest to the
edge you are solving, and a filled square is less than N squares away, you can
solve it. For example:
7| | |X| | | | | | | | | | | | |
The filled square is less than 7 squares away from the edge, so:
7| | |X|X|X|X|X| | |.|.|.|.|.|.|
As you can see, the filled squares are extended until 7 squares away from the
edge. Then, since there are two blank squares to the left, two more are to the
right, and the rest are empty. NOTE: If there is more than one number (like if
the clue was "7 1") then you would not mark the empty squares. Always leave an
open mind for clues that you have not considered.

..............................
NOT ENOUGH SPACE
..............................

Often, you will come across a situation in which you have to place a small
number of filled squares. When you can eliminate enough squares in that row,
you can sometimes eliminate even more. Starting with:
4| | | | | | | | |
you can't decide any squares. But when you get one empty square:
4| | | | |.| | | |
you can get rid of others, and maybe even solve the row:
4| | | | |.|.|.|.|
4|X|X|X|X|.|.|.|.|

There is a similar situation that can arise at the edges of the puzzle. If
there is a filled space with just enough room for the number, it won't be able
to fit there:
2 1| | |X| | | | | |
Here, the two filled spaces cannot be entirely to the left of the filled space,
because then it would be three spaces. So, we can mark the leftmost space as
empty:
2 1|.| |X| | | | | |
There is a special case of this, where there is a "1" and a filled space one
square away from the edge:
1 2| |X| | | | | | |
1 2|.|X|.| | | | | |

..............................
ALL THE SAME
..............................

In larger puzzles, you will often know a square is filled in the middle of a
row or column, but not know which number it belongs to. When the numbers are
the same:
2 2 2 2| | | | | | |X|.| | | | | | | | | |
you can infer that the filled square must belong to one of the "2"s. So:
2 2 2 2| | | | |.|X|X|.| | | | | | | | | |

..............................
..............................

Many times, a row will be filled. Then, you can mark the rest of the spaces as
empty:
2 2 2 2|.|X|X|.|.|X|X|.|X|X|.| | | |.|X|X|
2 2 2 2|.|X|X|.|.|X|X|.|X|X|.|.|.|.|.|X|X|

..............................
LARGEST AND SMALLEST
..............................

In every column, there are largest and smallest values. You can use this to
your advantage. First, if there is a space that even the smallest value can't
fit into, it must be blank:
3 2| | | |.| |.| | | | | | | | | |
3 2| | | |.|.|.| | | | | | | | | |
And, also, if there is a group of filled spaces that is equal to or less than
the largest value, and more than the next largest value, and if there is only
one of the largest value, you can put blank blocks around it:
1 1 3 1 1| | | | | |.|X|X| | | | | | | |
1 1 3 1 1| | | | | |.|X|X|X|.| | | | | |

Another case where you can use the largest and smallest values to your
advantage is where one of the numbers will only fit in one space:
1 1 2 1| |.| |.| |.| |.|.| | |.| |.| |
You can put the two in only one space here, so we get:
1 1 2 1| |.| |.| |.| |.|.|X|X|.| |.| |

..............................
TWO AREAS
..............................

If there is a group of known squares in the middle of a line, there will be an
area to the left and an area to the right. By checking how many numbers you can
put on one side, you can accomplish many things. When there are no filled
blocks here:
3 2 3| | | |.|.|.| | | | | | | | | |
you can see that it is not possible to put all of the blocks on the right:
3 2 3| | | |.|.|.|X|X|X|.|X|X|.|X|X|???
so you have to put the left 3 on the left side.
3 2 3|X|X|X|.|.|.| | | | | | | | | |

In addition, sometimes there is a group that can be extended:
3 2 3 2| | | |.| | |X| | | | | | | | |
In this group, you can figure out that the first group must be to the left of
the empty square:
3 2 3 2|X|X|X|.| | |X| | | | | | | | |
3 2 3 2|X|X|X|.|.| |X| | | | | | | | |
Now, we check to the right using the right-and-left rule:
3 2 3 2|X|X|X|.|.|X|X|.|X|X|X|.|X|X| |
3 2 3 2|X|X|X|.|.| |X|X|.|X|X|X|.|X|X|
3 2 3 2|X|X|X|.|.| |X| | |X|X| | |X| |

There are other reasons that it may be impossible to put all of the filled
blocks on one side:
3 2 1 2| | | |.|X|X|X| | | | | | | | |
Here, you can't put the first group, of 3 filled blocks, to the left, because
then the second group would be unplacable. So:
3 2 1 2|.|.|.|.|X|X|X|.|X|X|.|X|.|X|X|

There is one last important case. Sometimes there is just a group of filled
blocks in the middle:
3 4 2| | | | | | |X|X| | | | | | | |
It is important, in this case, to think about which number this belongs to. If
it belongs to the group of 3 filled squares, then it is not possible to place
the four-group and the two-group to the right. Similarly, the middle group
can't belong to the group of 2. Therefore, it must belong to the 4 group. Then,
the three group must be to the left of it:
3 4 2|X|X|X| | | |X|X| | | | | | | |
3 4 2| | |X|X|X| |X|X| | | | | | | |
3 4 2| | |X| | | |X|X| | | | | | | |

..............................
UNREACHABLE
..............................

Remember that all filled blocks are in groups. If there is a known filled block
or more:
4| | | | | | |X| | | | | | | | |
you can exclude all the other blocks that can't be reached by the group:
4|.|.|.| | | |X| | | |.|.|.|.|.|

Also, this principle can be applied to multiple groups:
3 3| | | |X| | | | | | |X| | | | |
It is obvious that these blocks must each be part of a different group, since
they are too far apart. There are some blocks that cannot be part of either
group, three on the outside and two in the middle, that must be blank:
3 3|.| | |X| | |.|.| | |X| | |.|.|

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3C. Expert Strategy
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
..............................
TWO ROWS
..............................

In very rare circumstances, you can't solve the problem with the strategy given
before, in the beginner section. However, you can use this strategy to solve
some puzzles.

In the corner of the puzzle, there may be helpful hints:
4 3 3 1 3 2 1 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
4| | | | | | | | |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
2| | | | | | | | |
We can see that if the four is anywhere except the upper right there will be a
conflict in the next row. For example:
4 3 3 1 3 2 1 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
4| |X|X|X|X| | | |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
2| |X|X|.|X| | | |
But if we put it in the upper right, we can solve some of the problem:
4 3 3 1 3 2 1 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
4| | | | |X|X|X|X|
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
2| | | | |X|X|.|.|
4 3 3 1 3 2 1 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
4| | | |X|X|X|X| |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
2| | | |.|X|X|.| |
So, we know some squares near the top:
4 3 3 1 3 2 1 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
4|.|.|.| |X|X|X| |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
2| | | | | | | | |
4 3 3 1 3 2 1 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
4|.|.|.| |X|X|X| |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
2|.|.|.|.|X|X|.|.|

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3D. Taking Advantage of Picross 2
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We have seen the strategies used to solve Picross. Now, we are going to delve
into the actual game to find something helpful.

..............................
MARIO PICROSS
..............................

In the picross of Mario, you have 30 minutes to do each puzzle. However, you
lose large amounts of time when you incorrectly fill in a square.

At the beginning of the level, you can choose if you want a hint or not, though
at the beginning you can also see the clues! Look at the clues and if it seems
like a more difficult level, ask for a hint.

The menu in the middle of the game has four options: Give Up, Save, BGM, and
Hint. Give Up exits out of the current puzzle; this isn't useful. BGM is
also useless; it only changes the background music. Save, though, is useful.
If you select save, you can save your game, and the next time you start the
Gameboy you can restart at the same position. This happens to be very useful.

Hint is the best option. Although you will lose five minutes of your time, a
wrong filled square can detract even more. If you haven't made many mistakes,
a Hint may be very useful.

..............................
WARIO PICROSS
..............................

In the picross of Wario, the game counts the time you take to do each puzzle.
You do not lose any time in making a mistake, and mistakes are not corrected.
If you think that the puzzle should be solved, but isn't, you have to look
for differences between the clues and your answer.

In the picross of Wario, there are also no hints. Therefore, you can't cheat
in any way - you only can solve it yourself.

There are also four options in the Wario menu: Give Up, Save, BGM, and ?Start.
Give Up, Save, and BGM are the same as they are in the picross of Mario.

?Start is different. This mode allows you to make an assumption (e.g. a certain
square is filled) and then test it to see if the puzzle is possible that way.
If it is, select ?End and you can choose if you want the adjustments you made
to be discarded or put in the puzzle. This is a very useful thing in the more
difficult levels.

===============================================================================
4. Anything Else
===============================================================================
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4A. Legal Statement
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This guide is Copyright 2004 by qqwref, aka MZRG, aka Michael Z.R. Gottlieb.

This guide may not be sold for profit. No part of this guide may be reproduced,
copied, distributed, or sold without the author's written permission, and in
that case only if the author's name or one of his aliases is given as the
author. No person other than the author may claim authorship of this guide or
of any part of this guide. This guide may not be linked to directly except by
www.gamefaqs.com or any other sites affiliated with it. However, any site may
link to www.gamefaqs.com's page of FAQs for Picross 2.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4B. Version History
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.0  - 07/05/04. First submitted to GameFAQs.
1.01 - 07/05/04. Reformatted from Unicode to Shift-JIS.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4C. Contact
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To contact the author, use the e-mail address mzrgATverizon.net, where the AT
is replaced by the @ symbol.
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