*********************************************************************** Super Monkey Ball 2 FAQ - by Jason Wishnov - *********************************************************************** Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Guide to this...guide... III. Controls (heh) and Gameplay Tips IV. Back to the Basics of BEGINNER V. Wait, there's more! BEGINNER EXTRA! VI. ADVANCED. Uh-oh. VII. You guessed it...ADVANCED EXTRA! VIII. Holy EXPERT Difficulty, Batman! IX. You've gotta be kidding...EXPERT EXTRA! X. Embodiment of Pure Evil - MASTER XI. NO @#!(*$&(@*#ING WAY! MASTER EXTRA??!! XII. Story Mode World 10 Floors XIII. Beginner 3's Hidden Braille Message XIV. The Actual Frequently Asked Questions Section XV. Personal Review and Feelings on Super Monkey Ball 2 XVI. Contributors, Special Thanks, yadda yadda yadda... *********************************************************************** I. Introduction Hi, guys! Miss me? Glad to be back, writing FAQs. I wrote my first one some months ago when the original Super Monkey Ball was released, when some unknown force possessed me and forced me to contribute. Well, that unknown force (it must be the bananas) is back, and this guide's gonna be better, bigger, longer, and sexier than the last. Just like the game. So sit back, rub your probably aching thumb joint and let me guide on the road to victory! *********************************************************************** II. Guide to this...guide... This guide is for Super Monkey Ball 2's main mode, more specifically, challenge mode. Each floor has its own little separate section, along with strategy from me, the floor's difficulty (rated by me, not the game), warp possibilities, comments on the floor name, whatever. Keep in mind, I use the terms "floor", "stage", and "level" interchangeably in this guide. Let me get something across to you people. I hate Story Mode. DESPISE IT. What the hell was Amusement Vision thinking when they thought this up? A pathetically written and ridiculous plot, attempting to explain exactly WHY monkeys are rolling around in translucent spheres across insanely-designed mazes while failing to do so completely. I mean, who WANTS to know? It adds to that quirky charm SMB has, just having no plausible explanation for the game. Anyways, it's also missing some levels and I don't like the ten-at-a-time thing; it does, however, have a unique ten-stage world, World 10, which does not appear anywhere in challenge mode, and thus, I am obliged to cover it. (MAN, that was a long sentence.) Actually, these particular ten stages are very well designed and extremely enjoyable. I go through the levels of difficulty in order, trying to give hints and solutions for all the game's mazes. I encourage you to try and figure some of the levels out for yourself, but hey, we all get frustrated sometimes. Enjoy! *********************************************************************** III. Controls (heh) and Gameplay Tips Yeah. This is Super Monkey Ball. Who needs controls? The analog stick moves the floor (this is actually, technically what happens, but you can just think of it as moving the monkey) and the A button zooms in and out on the map, which actually can be useful sometimes. Don't dismiss it as useless. Here are some gameplay tips, which you should always keep in mind: - VIEW THE STAGE. Thanks to a new starting zone that never varies, it can be very difficult to see the level in its entirety before recklessly killing yourself. Press start and just check out the stage for a second. Sure it's got flaws; you can't change the point the camera rotates around and the zoom feature is terrible. Still, it can be very helpful. - FAST FORWARD MAKES THE CHALLENGE HIGH, BUT ALWAYS THERE'S A PLAY NEARBY. Corny poems aside, a ground rule in SMB2 is that for every fast forward switch in a stage (usually triggered automatically), there is also a play switch to slow the action down. Usually, it's just behind the starting point, but they do appear in some stranger locations...just search for it. It's there. Trust me. - GRAB BANANAS AT YOUR OWN RISK. Seriously, even taking the lightest chance with your monkey's life over some measly bananas is completely unwarranted. With the opportunity to gain extra lives per continue later in the game, bananas become fairly worthless. Most likely, even ten to twenty bananas won't make a difference in the long run. Of course, there ARE exceptions...like if you have 94 bananas, one life left, and the next stage is very difficult. Use your judgment. - PRACTICE UNTIL YOUR EYES START TO BLEED. Do I even need to say this? As cliche as it is, you better believe practice makes perfect in Super Monkey Ball 2. *********************************************************************** IV. Back to the Basics of Beginner Ah, beginner mode. While I believe the learning curve in Super Monkey Ball 2 is higher than the original, Beginner mode still does a good job of introducing basic concepts to new players without overwhelming them. Players of the previous game, of course, should whip through this with their eyes closed, as gameplay is essentially unchanged. So. Ready? Go! Beginner 1 - "Simple" Difficulty - 1 / 10 Welcome to Super Monkey Ball. Take a moment to admire the REALLY cool waterfall background. Anyways. A more apt name I couldn't dream of, because this is as simple as it gets, folks. If you're a newbie, take some time to play around and see how the monkey ball reacts to different conditions. To beat the level, go straight forward and directly through the goal. No problem. Beginner 2 - "Hollow" Difficulty - 1 / 10 Level 2! Almost as simple as the last. Just go forward and follow the path around to the goal in the center. Experiment with the curved surface here; these things appear a lot in SMB2. As a shortcut, you can also hold forward from the start, launch off the ramp a little to the right, nab the banana bunch in mid air and land directly on the center platform. Be smart and play it safe, folks. Beginner 3 - "Bumpy" Difficulty - 1 / 10 "Bumpy" actually has a dual meaning here. It mainly refers to the little speed bump type things you have to jump over (by the way, just go straight and take your time over these to beat the level), but it also refers to the tiny raised marking in each of the squares here. Wait, they look like...it can't be...it is! Braille! To find out the hidden message, go to section XIII! Beginner 4 - "Switches" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 1 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 6 / 10 This stage introduces you to the concept of switches, something in SMB2 that I'm not too fond of. There is an impassible gap in front of you, but lo and behold! The play switch makes a bridge come down. The second play switch removes the central bridge, so watch out for it. Or... Warp! Hit the second switch, go to the left, face right and go off the edge right into the goal. This needs to be done fairly accurately, and should not even be done for a bonus run, as it skips a bonus stage. Why bother? Beginner 5 - "Bowl" ** Bonus! ** Keep in mind you cannot die on bonus stages. The point of these things are bananas and bananas only, so don't fret too much. The bonus levels in SMB2 are much harder than the original and are very difficult to perfectly complete, so you should just concentrate on getting as many as possible; the best strategy for this level is to get the bananas on the curved edges of the bowls. The straight edges are impossible to remain aloft on. After getting all the edge bananas, go back and forth trying to get the rest. Beginner 6 - "Floaters" Difficulty - 1 / 10 Don't get the wrong idea here; these aren't the floaters you're thinking of. = D This level is, for lack of a better description, really stupid. The floaters don't serve any purpose. Just weave between them right for the goal on the opposite side. Beginner 7 - "Slopes" Difficulty - 2 / 10 Familiarize yourself with inclined planes, 'cuz they're gonna show up a LOT. Leisurely roll across the level to the upward slopes to the goal, take them, and break that ribbon. We hate that ribbon. We want to maim it and destroy every atom in its...ahem. Beginner 8 - "Sliders" Difficulty - 2 / 10 First stage I died on in SMB2 = D This level consists of a bunch of ever shortening, ever steepening half-pipes. Be sure to hold back on the control stick on the later ones, otherwise you'll go too fast and bounce out of the half-pipe to a watery doom. Let gravity align you with the goal; don't try to move yourself. Beginner 9 - "Spinning Top" Difficulty - 1 / 10 Cool, isn't it...anyways. Move forward and go up either of the two ramps; then navigate by the spinning top. The danger zone of this top moves in a circle, where it comes close enough to the ground to hit your monkey ball. Even if it hits you, the lip around the level should save your life. Reach the goal and rain confetti! Beginner 10 - "Curve Bridge" ** Final Stage! ** Difficulty - 3 / 10 The final and most challenging floor in beginner, curve bridge forces you to navigate a long, winding path fairly quickly, and then cross a vertically shifting gap. At the end, the two bridge segments move up and down in opposite directions. You'll want to start rolling onto the first when it is slightly below level, that way, you'll be above the second when you jump. Roll forward (you should be rolling uphill at the end) and break the goal ribbon. Woo! You're done with beginner! Too easy? Don't get too cocky... *********************************************************************** V. Wait! There's more! Beginner Extra! Ah yes. Super Monkey Ball 2 rewards players who complete a difficulty level without using a continue with ten extra stages. These stages are usually much harder than the originals. Beginner shouldn't be too difficult to complete, just take your time and focus on the strategies above. If you're still having problems, you can always purchase more lives per continue after all the party games are unlocked. Okay, you're here now? Good to go? (nod) Beginner Extra 1 - "Conveyers" Difficulty - 1 / 10 This level gave me some problems, until I realized you could just hold up from the beginning of the level and easily make it into goal. (smacks head) Should have thought of that earlier... Beginner Extra 2 - "Bumpy Check" Not much to this level. Those bananas on the middle platforms are NOT worth getting; just go around the edge of level, navigating the easy bumps and roll into everybody's favorite structure, the goal. Beginner Extra 3 - "Alternative" Difficulty - 3 / 10 This level features 9 moving squares, the corners all moving together and the edge squares all moving together. There is a fast- forward switch, but for obvious reasons, you don't want to press it. Remember, Monkey Ball physics dictate that if your monkey ball is on a moving object, that object's motion will NOT move the monkey ball. In layman's terms, you have to move with the platform. Alternate squares until you reach the goal. Bam. Next level. Beginner Extra 4 - "Junction" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 2 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 8 / 10 Conjunction junction, what's your func...oh. My bad. This level consists of a slightly downward path that diverges and converges on itself. Take it slowly and you should be fine. However, this stage features a... Warp! This one is fairly difficult to get and only warps you to Beginner Extra 6, so I don't recommend taking it. However, if you want a high score or something, this is how ya do it. At the start, turn around and get to the upper layer of the starting platform. Then, turn around AGAIN and go all the way to the end of the starting platform, staying on one of the sides. Turn around once more, and charge at full speed towards the other side (the side where you started) and veer to the center just as the bottom layer meets the upper layer. The resulting bounce should get you high enough to reach the other side of junction, which is no more difficult than the original. It does feature a dead end, but the tilt is not strong enough so that you can't turn around and go upwards. With some practice, it's fairly reliable. Warp at your own risk, people. Beginner Extra 5 - "Bead Screen" Difficulty - 2 / 10 Hey, check out the VCR. = D Anyways, the only button you need concern yourself with is the pause button; wait until all the platforms are lined up horizontally, and roll on it. Follow the banana trail to an easy goal. Beginner Extra 6 - "Fluctuation" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Reminiscent of Beginner 6, Floaters, the vertically moving boxes have no real point. Journey around them and at the end, wait for one of the boxes next to the goal to rise or fall. Finish the level and watch the monkey rise at speeds that should cause his frail body to be crushed under the weight of many Gs. Beginner Extra 7 - "Folders" Difficulty - 4 / 10 This level is basically done by disregarding the folders themselves, and rolling across either metal border of the level. It's fairly wide, but don't let the moving platforms distract you. When you get to the end, wait for the final folder to flip up, and quickly jet into that pretty blue ribbon for a shower of multi-colored, two- dimensional squares. Beginner Extra 8 - "Quick Turn" Difficulty - 1 / 10 "Quick Turn" apparently refers to the U-turn you make in the beginning of the level to hit a play switch behind the initial fast forward. The level isn't too difficult if you do it normally, but who wants to do that? In what appears to be a continuing trend (and it is), here's another level where you just hold straight up from start and watch as your monkey miraculously passes all seven rotating triangles unscathed. Wow. Beginner Extra 9 - "Linear Seesaws" Difficulty - 4 / 10 Not much to this level. Quickly roll across the first two seesaws; the lift created by your weight on the first half of these seesaws makes the second half high enough to roll off of. After those, stop before the final, two-pronged seesaw, pick a side, and just go straight to the end. Beginner Extra 10 - "Birth" ** Final Stage! ** Difficulty - 4 / 10 Ah, birth. Not in the organic sense, as cubes of varying size are birthed out of a really big sphere. The trick here is to find the pause button; go forward from the start and take a right at the fork. Follow the path until you reach the pause button, hit it, bolt back to the other path as fast as possible, get on the big ramp and maneuver onto the goal platform. If you want the X2 time bonus, you'll need to quickly hit the play button behind the start, and navigate the ramp with the cubes moving on it. Hmph. Beginner Extra? Piece of cake! *********************************************************************** VI. Advanced. Uh-oh. All right, the kid gloves are off. Advanced mode, which features thirty stages, is a lot tougher than Beginner or even Beginner Extra. It features two of the most hated stages by all SMB2 players (Launchers and Arthropod) and can be a HUGE challenge to unlock Advanced Extra without getting some more lives. If you're not insanely good at Super Monkey Ball, you're going to need to start using Practice Mode on these stages. Get into the habit of practicing troublesome stages; it's the only way to master them. I salute you! Advanced 1 - "Banks" Difficulty - 2 / 10 Advanced starts off almost as easy as Beginner, but don't worry, your simian skills will be tested soon enough. This level features a slightly curved floor covering two U-turns, one where the floor pushes you inside and the other where it pushes you outside. Just go slowly and all will be well. Advanced 2 - "Eaten Floor" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Ugh. "Eaten Floor"? Couldn't they at least have called it Swiss cheese or something? Anyways, either carefully maneuver around the holes or take the easy route - follow the edge of the triangle clockwise. This is good practice for pinpoint maneuvering on a static surface. Advanced 3 - "Hoppers" Difficulty - 1 / 10 Ah, the mystery of the hoppers. What are they made out of? What force continually drives their motion? Exactly WHAT are they reflecting? Avoiding philosophical questions such as these, hold forward from the start and easily coast into the goal. Advanced 4 - "Coaster" Difficulty - 1 / 10 Easy, as long as you take it slowly. The many bunches of bananas WAY behind the goal are tempting, but are extremely difficult to grab; I've only done it once. Play it safe, guys... Advanced 5 - "Board Park" ** Bonus! ** A version of "Bowl", but with more inclined surfaces and two "rails" to boot. Start off by "grinding" the first rail, and then going around trying to stay on the edge at banana level. Extremely difficult to do, and don't worry about the bunch of bananas on the lower rail; they're too difficult to obtain. Advanced 6 - "Swell" Difficulty - 2 / 10 This simple level features two skewed peaks; you may need to experiment with this one a few times before you get it right. This is good practice for later levels; try and get a feel for how you need to control the monkey ball on uneven vertical rises. Advanced 7 - "Gravity Slider" Difficulty - 1 / 10 This level is big. REALLY big. Luckily for us, all you need to do is hold forward from the start. Though you inexplicably go slightly to the right, it's not enough to keep you from the wonderful goal we all know and love. Advanced 8 - "Inchworms" ** Warp! ** ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 2 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 5 / 10 Second Warp Difficulty - 9 / 10 Three long runways reside here, each folding in on themselves faster than the others. Immediately turn around and hit the play button when the level starts, and steadily make your way across the first Inchworm into the normal goal. Or... Warp! Same tactics on the second, faster Inchworm. Take this to Warp to Floor 10. Or... Second Warp! Once again, same thing, but the final Inchworm moves VERY rapidly; I strongly discourage you from taking this one. Simply not worth the two levels you skip. Good luck. Advanced 9 - "Totalitarianism" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Totalitarianism - n. - a system of government in which one political group maintains complete control, esp. under a dictator. What this has to do with this level, I'm not really sure. It consists of a bunch of randomly placed poles with donuts on them, periodically rising and falling. Donut + Fall On Monkey = Death. Don't depend on the shadows as guides, use your judgment to try and stay as far away from the poles as possible when stopped. Maneuver through and hear that corny announcer yell "Goal!" Advanced 10 - "Leveler" ** Bonus! ** Possibly the easiest bonus stage in the game, Advanced 10 features a long stick with a goal in it that moves around in a counter-clockwise direction around the level, fills with bananas and square holes. Follow the leveler around picking up bananas, starting from the outside and working inward. This is the only bonus stage I have successfully completed. Advanced 11 - "Organic Form" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Yeah. Don't be thrown off; no matter what switch is activated, the thing DOES slow down and speed up at regular intervals. Of course, you want to hit the play button, so just take it easy down the center and there shouldn't a problem. Advanced 12 - "Reversible Gear" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Stupid gear...I don't like this level. My personal method is to go forward from the start, and to the left to where the corners meet. See? --- / \ ___\ | | / \ / --- MAN! I rock at art. Anyways, just practice the timing at that point to go directly into the center; if you don't make it, chances are you'll die. Be careful in the center. Advanced 13 - "Stepping Stones" Difficulty - 4 / 10 While not exactly difficult, Stepping Stones requires a bit of practice to master. Take the left path, the right is MUCH harder and all you have to show for your efforts are some measly bananas. Go straight off of the platform and turn in mid-air for the best results, and at the end, don't charge wildly into the goal, stay on the left side and slowly move you way onto the square before the goal, THEN go through the goal. Good? Advanced 14 - "Dribbles" Difficulty - 4 / 10 While not exactly basketballs, these ellipsoid objects WILL kill you if you get caught under them. Negate the fast-forward with the play switch, and carefully proceed along the linear path, timing your rolls so as not to be crushed. Be wary of the very large ones and watch your time; sixty seconds should be sufficient, but don't dawdle. Next! Advanced 15 - "U.R.L." Difficulty - 3 / 10 Hey! This isn't a level; it's a cheap way to advertise Amusement Vision's website! Well, there isn't much that's interesting at http://www.amusementvision.com anyways. Go straight forward from the start and after the high bounce, move immediately to the right to avoid being pushed off. After the letters recede, go all the way to the edge, quickly roll up the little ramp and proceed. Lather, rinse, and repeat until done. Advanced 16 - "Mad Rings" ** Warp! ** ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 1 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 4 /10 Second Warp Difficulty - 9 / 10 Rings go crazy! You can't predict their motion, but from the start, go straight. Holding up the whole time won't work, but close enough. Too easy. Or... Warp! The second ring moves twice as fast as the first, but can still be avoided with the right timing. It's a bit risky, and floor 17 is hella easy, so I discourage taking this warp. Or... Second Warp! This one sucks; the third rings moves too fast to be anything but luck. Simply not worth the pain. Advanced 17 - "Curvy Options" Difficulty - 1 / 10 Choose your difficulty. Follow the path. Go through the goal. You shouldn't be reading this. This level is way too easy for that. Advanced 18 - "Twister" Difficulty - 3 / 10 This level can be done one of two ways; first, you can just move when the twister is properly lined up and wait on a strip until it lines up again, or do it my way. Wait at the start until it lines up perfectly once, and then wait some more until it lines up at 45-degree angles (when it changes directions). At the exact moment of the direction change (or slightly before), slam the control stick forward, and stay to the right side of the twister. You should clear it 90 percent of the time, but even if you don't, there is still a good chance of surviving. Advanced 19 - "Downhill" Difficulty - 4 / 10 A bunch of circles with ramps connecting them, this stage gives you plenty of time to complete it. Watch your speed on the initial stairs; inertia and velocity are harder to control on steps than ramps. Take a left, follow the circle around and go down the ramp. Do this four or five times, and carefully go through the goal. Advanced 20 - "Rampage" ** Bonus! ** Get it? Ramp-age? Ha ha. Be sure to grab the two banana bunches in the corners first, then go back and forth between the quarter pipes grabbing single bananas. Easy pickin's. Advanced 21 - "Pro Skaters" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 2 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 9 / 10 Copyright infringement! Err...I guess not. Take a moment to admire the steam in this level. It's actually just a light, ubiquitous volumetric fog effect, but whatever. = D Move forward and hit the pause button when the first "skater" is horizontal; if he's too far up the ramp, hit play and try again. When you feel the goal is easily attainable, drop down and roll through. Or... Warp! You cannot freeze the second, warping skater, so this is massively difficult. Good luck. Advanced 22 - "Giant Comb" Difficulty - 4 / 10 The teeth are the only things that can kill you on this hair- styling equipment gone wrong, and there are lines on the floor indicating the path of the teeth. Use a stop-go rhythm, passing one line every half-rotation, and continue doing so until you're clear. If you're having trouble with the half-rotation thing, you can slow it down by going every full rotation. It depends on how impatient you are, really. Goal = confetti party! Advanced 23 - "Beehive" Difficulty - 4 / 10 With a hexagonal configuration, this level does indeed look like a honeycomb. Start off by moving down the first half to the left or right. There are four bridges to get across, two on each side. Use the corner of the hexagon to naturally line up with the bridge, and cross it. Move up the second half and pass the final bridge in the same way to say goodbye to Advanced 23. Advanced 24 - "Dynamic Maze" Difficulty - 3 / 10 This level is so cool! Anyways, my method of beating it (I'm sure there are many) is to go forward from the start. You should see a short wall blocking your path, go the left past it, then turn about 60 degrees to the right, and go as far as you can. You should be at a corner that looks similar to this: _______________ * | | * = Banana _______________| _________| | | From this point, wait until the wall lifts up that allows you to reach the banana. Grab it, and face the goal. Go as far as you can (which is extremely close) and wait for the final wall to lift. If done successfully, you'll hit the goal at about 33 seconds. Advanced 25 - "Triangle Holes" Difficulty - 1 / 10 Heheh. This floor WOULD be really difficult, that is, if you couldn't hold up the whole time and make it into the goal. You can. Do it. Next. Advanced 26 - "Launchers" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 9 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 10 /10 Ah, the dreaded launchers. Perhaps you are reading this FAQ just for this level here, looking for some surefire way to do this hellish level. Most people believe it's pure luck. IT. IS. NOT. Practice this level, like I have, and you should be able to do it 90 percent of the time, if not better. Here's what I do - I fall off the starting platform, right in front of the first launcher. I line myself up (it is not crucial to be perfectly lined up) and face the column. When the launcher hits me, I hold back the entire way up the column, until I'm above. AT THIS POINT, YOU NEED TO USE THE MAP TO LINE YOURSELF UP WITH THE TOP. The best map magnification is the medium one. Do not even LOOK at the main screen; all you should be concerned with is the map itself. It is a little difficult to read at first, but you should get used to it. Line it up and you'll hit the top and bounce, but staying on after that bounce seems to be harder than hitting it the first time. Land on it again and stabilize yourself. Zoom the map to the closest magnification to see where the goal is (it rotates) and carefully line your monkey up with it and fall in. PRACTICE. It's the only thing that will make you successful on this level. If you do it my way, you should get about three attempts before time runs out. Come on, guys! I know you can do it! Or... Warp! Located on the BOTTOM of the rotating platform, this green warp is utterly impossible. I've gotten once by sheer luck, but cannot be done consistently; I don't care HOW good you are. Give it up. Besides, why would you want to skip Randomizer? Advanced 27 - "Randomizer" ** Warp! ** ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 1 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 4 / 10 Second Warp Difficulty - 7 / 10 To complete this level normally, you can hold straight up from start or simply take your time going across the raised squares. Or... Warp! The chances of getting of both warps in this stage are (duh) random, so the difficulties for these are sort of moot. I recommend at least trying; I hate Advanced 28. Change speed just a little while rolling on the starting platform, then hold up and hope to get that lucky bounce up to the second tier where the first warp goal is, or... Second Warp! Keep holding up on the second tier to try and make it onto the third. Make sure you don't go to fast while up there, or you'll bounce off the top of the goal and die. May the force be with you. Advanced 28 - "Coin Slots" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 6 / 10 Eight coins bounce around this V-shaped level, successively falling into their respective slots. Though it's boring, I usually go to the absolute last coin slot and wait for it to fall; the further away the goal is from the starting point, the slower it moves. Wait for it to fall, and try and time it right so that your monkey breaks the ribbon before the goal completely falls through. Or... The warp in this level is the first "coin". It moves very fast and should not be attempted in normal circumstances; just try and time it right if you really want to. Advanced 29 - "Seesaw Bridges" Difficulty - 6 / 10 To begin, go forward and make the wide U-turn to the first bridge. Start on any side you'd like, and weave in and out of the thingies (which will henceforth be referred to as thingies) to keep the bridge balanced. Throughout this level, you'll want to back up to edge of the platform before each bridge to get a running start; this speed decreases the tilting effect. On the next bridge, start on the left side. Weave between the gaps in the bridge while maintaining a decent speed. On the final bridge, start on either side, and immediately go forward to the other side. You need to get this side far down enough that the next weave doesn't kill you, but don't overdo it. The next weave, the widest of them all, affects the bridge the most; do it as quickly as possible. Complete the final weave and bolt into the goal. Advanced 30 - "Arthropod" ** Final Floor! ** Difficulty - 9 / 10 This level SUCKS. No other way to describe it. I've heard a million strategies for this, but I've decided to list just two - my own and SnapDragon's perfect timing. For the perfect timing, you'll need to pause the game during this interval (inclusive): 41.08 to 41:18. If not, then quickly unpause it and pause it again. Hold up when the game is paused and press start (start does not choose anything, it just exits the menu). Continue holding up and use the pause-unpause strategy again to stop the game (while still holding up) at 36.16 to 36.26 seconds left. Unpause while holding up-left, and WOO! Right in there. My way is to turn around and get on the upper layer of the starting platform. Face the level on the left side, and wait right before the narrow path until there are 40 seconds left (does not have to be exact). I'm about 80 percent with this. It takes practice, but I really don't like using Snap's exact timing; I think it's cheating. = P Sorry Snap. Anyways, congratulations! You beat Advanced! WOO! *********************************************************************** VII. You guessed it...Advanced Extra! Yeah, Advanced Extra. This is WAY harder to obtain than Beginner Extra; chances are you'll need to buy more lives before successfully completing this challenge. Super Monkey Ball 2 is kind of annoying in the fact that warps have been shrunk down to almost useless; they just don't skip enough stages or the right stages for the effort put into them. The only warp I whole-heartedly recommend taking in Advanced would be either warp in Randomizer, but of course, those are...random. Inchworms green warp may be a good one also, if you have trouble with Totalitarianism. Practice Launchers and Arthropod a LOT, and you should have Advanced Extra unlocked in no time. Now, on to the strategies! Advanced Extra 1 - "Auto Doors" Difficulty - 3 / 10 A series of 8 doors which open and close at progressively faster speeds. Turn around and hit the play button; subsequently, the only doors you might have problems with are the final two. When they're closed, hold forward into that little V-notch thing in the center, and when they open, you should be fast enough to clear them. No problem. Advanced Extra 2 - "Heavy Sphere" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Heavy Sphere features a Heavy Sphere with the words "Heavy Sphere" inscribed on it. Roll forward and hit the button, then roll backwards to get some room to build up speed. You want to hit the folding platform JUST when it's at its lowest point; practice makes perfect. Don't let the Sphere nail you dead-on, because it WILL kill you. Control your speed when rolling off the other end. Advanced Extra 3 - "Stagger" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Hold forward (though you will need to make some slight adjustments) and stop on the first hexagon. Don't attempt to switch platforms while they are moving, as they all come together for a short while. When they do, move onto the furthest platform and wait for it to match up with the nearest triangle platform. Get on it, and wait for these to line up to bolt into the goal. Advanced Extra 4 - "U.F.O." Difficulty - 4 / 10 You foe. Go forward to the flying saucer and drop down into its center. Hit the play switch and watch your monkey get carelessly thrown around the inside of the U.F.O. as it inverts. As quickly as you can, race toward the center and through the goal before it invert itself again. Be sure to not fall in the hole in the center, but it is not imperative to do this the first time. If you don't, be sure to hit the play button again. Advanced Extra 5 - "Ring Bridge" Difficulty - 5 / 10 I like this level. = D Proceed onto the first ring bridge and roll off the edge when the next ring bridge is directly below you. The trick to this level is that when you hit the next ring, NEVER hit the slanted sides. These WILL bounce you off at an oblique angle and kill you. Be sure to hit the center of the ring, and you should make it with ease. Advanced Extra 6 - "Domes" Difficulty - 9 / 10 Oh my GOD, is this floor annoying. You must navigate a long series of domes on a narrow platform that constantly changes your direction and speed, making it VERY difficult to stay on. Many people prefer to take it slowly, but this just creates more sweaty palms and heart failures than you need. I prefer to take the level at a constant, slow speed, trying my absolute best to just stay in the center. Try not to stop, but if you see yourself about to fly off of the edge, don't hesitate to pause in the center of some domes if you need to. Luckily, you have lots of time. You will NEVER visit the Dome of the Rock after this. Advanced Extra 7 - "Amida Lot" Difficulty - 5 / 10 The term "Amida Lot" refers to a Japanese form of lottery or decision-making. A number of vertical lines are drawn, and horizontal lines are randomly placed throughout, provided no two horizontal lines are in the same plane. As something (a pencil in most cases, in SMB2 they use bumpers) moves down a vertical line and reaches a horizontal, it switches. For a more complete explanation, go to http://www2.edc.org/makingmath/mathprojects/amidakuji/Links/amidakuji_l nk_1.asp. Anyways, the journey to the moving goal is complicated by moving bumpers. For an easy roll-in, go forward and wait just before the second right. The bumper will take that second right; after it does, move forward and take the third right before the goal knocks you off. Stay on that platform and turn around IN THE CLOCKWISE DIRECTION, so the camera faces the goal. Line it up and use your Monkey Ball intuition to hit the ribbon as the goal passes by. Advanced Extra 8 - "Long Slider" Difficulty - 6 / 10 Ouch. Unlike the original, this slider is longer, steeper, and missing a quarter-pipe. Don't attempt to roll straight on, take it from an angle. Hold down the WHOLE time when moving on the sliders, and to ensure a clean U-turn, hold left as soon as you reach the horizontal part. Woo. Advanced Extra 9 - "Grid Bridge" Difficulty - 4 / 10 (bored sigh) Hit the play switch...then, the fun begins. Get on the grid when a corner is close enough to roll onto, then cut across the grid at a decent speed to your left. Avoid the two wall thingies and carefully navigate this soundly spinning stage to successfully span the super ... aw, forget it. Advanced Extra 10 - "Teapot" ** Final Floor! ** Difficulty - 4 / 10 Hit play and wait for the goal cube to almost land. Roll off the platform and use the bounce to get into the cube. Quickly roll in before the teapot knocks it away. You can also do this by dropping down and getting under the spot where you think the cube is going to fall, but it's not nearly as reliable. Bring it on, Expert. Bring it on. *********************************************************************** VIII. Holy Expert difficulty, Batman! Yes, Expert. These levels are HARD. These level are BRUTAL. And these levels will take MANY LIVES to beat. Yes, Expert is indeed for those of us who are...experts. Don't be discouraged, however, as playing these levels is basically the only way to actually become an expert. Big thing in Expert is PRACTICE; this is when you'll really start to use it a lot. Floors like Vortex and 8 Bracelets will need some definite time to master, but I'll do my best to help you out. MAN, is this game fun or WHAT? Expert 1 - "Wormhole" Difficulty - 2 / 10 This level introduced the player to the concept of a Wormhole, a fancy name for a teleporter, which in turn is a fancy name for thingies that take you to any place in the level while simultaneously disobeying the laws of physics. Roll forward and watch the cool effects as you go through the watery surface of the wormhole, roll forward some more and navigate the thin walkways to the goal. Not much I can help you with here, except to tell you to practice those walkways. Expert 2 - "Freefall" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 3 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 6 / 10 Roll straight off and across the wire. Using the map, roll off just before the big circular platform beneath you. Control your bounce and stabilize, then go across the next wire to the horizontal goal. Or... Warp! Get to the second wire as outlined above. However, using the map once again, fall off onto the even smaller circle. This is much harder, but for some people, skipping Expert 3 is a good idea. Expert 3 - "Melting Pot" Difficulty - 7 / 10 Keep in mind that this floor has a thirty-second time limit, unlike all other floors. Roll forward immediately into the box and try your best to make it to the other side without hitting any of the balls. The best strategy is simply to hug the wall and get a feel for how the box's motion affects your monkey ball. A bit of practice will be instrumental here. Expert 4 - "Mad Shuffle" Difficulty - 4 / 10 There's the FF button, but where's play? Quickly roll around the wormhole to the hidden play switch behind, then come back again and go through the wormhole. The pattern here is three crossovers and then a switch of direction, so line yourself up and floor it just before it switches. Stay on one side; don't follow any particular platform. If you go fairly fast hitting the play switch, a direction change should occur just as you hit the platforms, on the left side. Practice a bit, and you'll get it. Expert 5 - "Partition" ** Bonus! ** Stupid bonus levels. This one features a floor split into two parts joined by a wormhole, with stupid little maze-like walls and single bananas scattered throughout. Try and collect them all, but don't waste too much time going for only one or two that are WAY out of your way. Don't kill yourself over this. Expert 6 - "Jump Machine" ** Warp! ** ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 3 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 4 / 10 Second Warp Difficulty - 5 / 10 A crazy-looking structure with pop-ups to boost you to the next level up, Jump Machine requires a bit of practice. Then it's a piece of cake. Move forward to the center circle, staying on the south side but a bit off-center. In the air, turn around and land on the south platform. The goal is here, but be sure not to get accidentally popped while going for it. Or... Warp! Jump on more level, to the platform to the southwest. The warp goal is here. Or... Second Warp! Jump a final time to the extreme top of the jump machine, where a pretty red goal awaits. Woo! Expert 7 - "Zigzag Slopes" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Surprisingly steep slopes. So. Begin by picking a side, then heading back to the center on the next fork. Pick up some speed and tilt the control stick up and against the slope to make it, and keep that speed to stay on the final, downward slope. Whew. Expert 8 - "Tower" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Roll forward, under the gravity-defying tower and through the wormhole to the top. Roll off slowly to the right, holding forward after you fall to maintain and slower speed. Gently roll down this platform to the next, holding right on the control stick to once again maintain a slow speed. On this final platform, use the map to see where the goal is, and fall into it. If you mess up, you should have enough time for one more try. Expert 9 - "Toggle" Difficulty - 8 / 10 The first time I did this level, I tried to do it the "real" way, as in, try to time going across the thing, stopping on individual bars. Took me forever. I should have just randomly dashed across it as fast as I could, recklessly, like this level SHOULD be done. Seriously, don't move at the start or move back a bit to gain some initial speed, and charge forward when the bars are lined up. Aim for the right side, and hold up the whole time. When the bars match again (around the middle), move from the right side to the left side. If lady luck is with you, you'll make it to the goal and be able to stop your forward momentum. Perfectionists won't like this level, but...oh well... Expert 10 - "Pachinko" ** Bonus! ** Pachinko is a Japanese form of gambling where a coin of some sort is dropped into a device with many pegs and blocks, randomly tossing the coin into certain slot. This level is my absolute most-hated bonus stage, as you can only go down once. Bananas are extremely difficult to obtain, and getting into the goal is even harder. Oh well. At least you can't die. Expert 11 - "Combination" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Fairly easy, if you know the trick. Quickly roll into the wormhole, then turn around and go behind it. Fall down onto the platform with the play switch, hit it, and fall back down onto the original platform. Warp again, and hopefully you've done that quick enough to see the goal on the opposite side of the stage from you. If not, wait a bit until it is again. When the goal is on the opposite side, you need to roll onto the set of platforms that does NOT have the goal on it. Stay on as they rotate, and the goal should appear right in front of you. Expert 12 - "Punched Seesaws" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 3 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 4 / 10 Similar to Seesaw Bridges, this level features a seesaw with small, medium, large, medium, and small holes punched in it, in that order. Weave between them to make it to the goal. Or... Warp! Just go past the goal and do it one more time. Same seesaw, same everything. Except that it's a warp. = D Expert 13 - "Opera" Difficulty - 5 / 10 I guess it's called Opera because that's the way stairs at an opera are aligned. (?) Anyways, basically blow through the first two levels, and slow down a bit on the third. You want to get to the top of the fourth and final set with at least 25 seconds left. Take your time going down these stairs, keeping a nice, constant speed without the bumps getting too out of control. Land on the lowest stair and roll through the curtain...err...goal. Expert 14 - "Brandished" Difficulty - 6 / 10 This level is fairly inconsistent. The best strategy I try to use for it is get close to the spinning...thing...fairly early, and try and position yourself JUST outside of the last swing. The next swing, which should come out more, has a good chance of breaking the ribbon on you. If you want to use Snap's exact timing, don't move until 59.41 to 59.30. Keep pausing and unpausing to get to the right time, then tilt the control stick up and press start to exit the menu. Once again, I consider this cheating, but there really is no other surefire way to beat this floor. Expert 15 - "Tiers" ** Warp! ** ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 4 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 8 / 10 Second Warp Difficulty - 10 / 10 This level consists of five levels, or "tiers" you can choose to complete. The lower you go, the easier it is; the fifth and lowest tier goes straight to the normal goal. Once on the tier of your choice, maintain a decent speed to stay on the tilted wire and keep that speed all the way to the goal. The fourth tier is a bit harder than the first; it has more bananas but goes to the same goal. Or... Warp! Go on the third or second (more bananas, more difficulty) and cross these significantly thinner wires to reach the first warp goal. Or... Second Warp! The uppermost tier features an incredibly thin wire, and it's almost impossible to successfully navigate. Don't waste your time. Expert 16 - "Cliffs" Difficulty - 4 / 10 To begin, roll forward to the edge and turn to the left. Staying as much in the center as you can, roll down and use the horizontal step to bounce to the next cliff. Stop as quickly as you can. The steps get thinner and thinner, so be sure to stay in the absolute center. Use the map if you have to. Don't end up like Wile E. Coyote, folks. Expert 17 - "Narrow Peaks" Difficulty - 6 / 10 Veterans of Super Monkey Ball 1's Expert 7 or (shudder) Master 3 should blow by this level, but newcomers will definitely need some practice. The left path is far easier than the right, so unless you're a score freak, go lefty. With as much initial rolling room as possible, line yourself up with the center of the V and jam forward, only making MINOR adjustments to the left or right. Always have some speed while traversing these peaks of death. Expert 18 - "Detour" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 1 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 8 / 10 Yes, this level is far too steep to reach the goal directly, so roll down, warp through space, and breeze into the waiting goal. Though it may seem logical to hold up the entire time on this stage, it actually impedes progress, and the timer is blocking what you need to see. Just leave the control stick be, except for minor left and right adjustments. Or... Warp! This one is difficult. You need to take the detour while building up speed, and use the horizontal step next to the regular goal to launch yourself out to a goal platform in the middle of nowhere. There is NO way you can stop before the goal; it's do or die. Practice lining up big mid-air jumps, as it becomes a very useful skill. Expert 19 - "Switch Inferno" Difficulty - 3 / 10 This is quite possibly the worst level in Super Monkey Ball 2. It involved a grid of switches with absolutely nothing to indicate the correct ones to raise the goal. There are a few switches that raise the goal, but the closest and thus most preferable is the far right switch in the second-to-last row. Quickly hit it and roll into the goal; don't worry if you hit any other switches on the way. Expert 20 - "Earthquake" ** Bonus! ** This would have been cooler if it actually shook. Hit the play switch and roll onto the lower side of the platform to avoid immediate death, and move up and down with the bananas collecting as many as you can. Some bananas will fall off on their own, but you shouldn't have any problems staying on. Expert 21 - "Spiral Bridge" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Feeling clean? Yes, you're above a washing machine. No, you can't fall in it. Anyways, roll forward and get on the whirling helix. The camera will try to shift backwards; stop it by making forward progress the whole time. Even if the camera is backwards, it still isn't too hard to make it up. Once on the flat part, stay on about the middle (the edge moves a bit too fast) and when the goal platform comes up, dash for it. Yeah, you just smacked up that floor. Expert 22 - "Wavy Option" Difficulty - 2 / 10 Super Monkey Ball 2 has taught me the difference between "wavy" and "curvy". See? Video games ARE educational! Choose the path and have at least a bit of speed to make it onto the wave; continue to the end. Tch. Expert 23 - "Obstacle" Difficulty - 2 / 10 (After figuring it out) An enjoyable logic puzzle, Obstacle has been known to irk challenged (read: stupid) Monkey Ball players everywhere. Worry not, as long as you tried. If you didn't, leave right now. Leave. Gone? Good. As you roll forward, you notice that the right elevator platform seems to be...broken! Gasp! Well, you need to get by that translucent barrier in the middle somehow. Take the left elevator to the top. Staying in the dead center, slowly roll off the edge. You'll hit the black base; at this point, hold forward. You'll go rocketing forward into the other base and pop up right into the goal. Was that cool or what? Expert 24 - "Domino" Difficulty - 2 / 10 I don't know about you guys, but I was SO obsessed with Domino Rally as a little kid. They were SO cool...memories...(shakes head violently) Roll forward and hit the play button to begin the chain of (unrealistically) falling dominoes. Roll to the left and skirt the edge all the way to the end, then turn right and go to the final domino, which contains the goal. Be sure to do it quickly enough so that you get there before that last domino is knocked over, making the goal inaccessible. Expert 25 - "Sieve" Difficulty - 3 / 10 A sieve is a vessel with small holes to separate liquids and coarse mixtures. No, I don't know what this has to do with this level. The trick here is to stay in the absolute middle of the platforms; otherwise, those diamond things'll knock you right off. The circle shouldn't be a problem, but be careful on the last, skinny platform. Palms sweaty yet? Expert 26 - "Flock" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Flock you. I hate this level. Don't try to go across by just picking random squares on the way to the goal. The most consistent way to do it is just to go straight for the goal, rolling off one square's corner to another. Just wait for the next in line to be below you, and roll on. It's slow and tedious, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Expert 27 - "Double Spiral" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Awww, they could have gotten a more creative name than this. How about Deoxyribonucleic Acid? Hmph. Roll forward not onto the obvious upward ramp, but the hidden downward ramp to its right. Roll down and onto the spiral at about 51 seconds. Stay on this spiral all the way to the end, varying your speed and not position to maintain equilibrium. If you're left of the center, you're too slow; right of the center, you're too fast. Expert 28 - "Hierarchy" Difficulty - 6 / 10 Ready for a geometry lesson? This level consists of ever-widening, concentric (sharing the same center point) holes in five platforms. Move forward and easily drop to the next platform. For the next three drops, you'll want to fall at a chord (a line cutting through a circle that does not go through the center) that is parallel (never intersects) with the edge of the platform. The chord should be as close to the edge of the circle and as far from the center as possible. This allows for an easy bounce onto the wide corners of each platform. Get down to the fifth platform and roll to the goal. Expert 29 - "8 Bracelets" ** Warp! ** ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 8 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 8 / 10 Second Warp Difficulty - 9 / 10 Ah, a nice challenge here. You actually only need to cross 5 bracelets; I happen to take the left side. (I'm a lefty, I don't know.) The best strategy here is not to waste time going back and forth trying to build up speed, but to take it at one run through and never slow down. Start off by moving onto the first bracelet at MINIMAL speed (it actually helps you go faster because you start higher up) and as you reach the vertical part of the first ring, roll off to either side and land on the next. Keep it up, and land on the goal platform. Or... Warp! Follow the same strategy, but land on the platform above the first. Not much harder at all actually, I usually get this one. But why warp by a bonus stage? Don't kill yourself over this one, guys. Or... Second Warp! This one IS hard; you'll need a very high speed and a very good exit angle to reach the highest platform. Whew. Expert 30 - "Banana Hunting" ** Bonus! ** Eh, whatever. Roll forward onto the jump platform and get under the shadows of one of the three rings of rotating fruit. Soooooooo boring... Expert 31 - "Pistons" Difficulty - 7 / 10 Whoa, time-out. Take a moment to check out the COOLEST background in the game. Beautiful lava and magma falls, a temple, crazy rock formations, and weird fire floating artifact thingies. The embers flying around look GREAT, and the music isn't half-bad either. Anyways, the trick to this level is SPEED. Immediately get on a walkway and get to a meeting point (where six walkways converge), and when the pistons JUST in front you move down, quickly roll forward to avoid being hit by the ones behind you. Speed across this walkway as far as you can go, turn 120 degrees to face the goal, and bolt for it. If the pistons catch up with you, chances are you're dead. !Bueno suerte! Expert 32 - "Soft Cream" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Ironic how a level based on ice cream is located in a world of fiery death. Roll forward fairly quickly to jump the surprisingly large gap between the starting platform and the next, and hit play. Roll onto the swirling sorbet and attempt to stay on by controlling your speed. As the swirl widens, prepare to jump onto the final platform. Roll through the goal and go buy yourself some Mint Chocolate Chip. Expert 33 - "Momentum" Difficulty - 7 / 10 Speed is once again key here, as you should only have to transfer blocks twice. Roll forward onto the right platform, and right before the connector/barrier whatever-it-is, switch to the left. Quickly roll around the connector/barrier whatever-it-is and switch back to the right. Rapidly race to the ready goal. Expert 34 - "Entangled Path" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 8 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 9 / 10 A very difficult floor to beat consistently. Move forward and to the right and hit the FF button; this is not necessary, but it can be VERY slow if you don't. Hit the play button when the first platform is about at a ninety-degree angle with the bridge to the pivot point. Slowly cross that bridge to the center, and just wait. Though it may be instinctive to try and start rolling down before the path lines up, don't do it. Stay on either the pivot point or the first platform. When everything lines up beneath the bananas, slam the control stick forward. You'll need to start slowing down about one-half to two-thirds of the way through, but if you do too slowly, the path with rip itself from your feet and your monkey will find out exactly how flame- retardant that plastic ball really is. PRACTICE this level. (subliminal message) PRACTICE (end subliminal message) Or... Warp! This warp is very difficult to see when the time is right to jump on it. You'll want to roll off the second or third platform when they're in line with the goal platform, but it's massively difficult to stop on and not worth the pain. The choice is yours... Expert 35 - "Totters" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Not much to this level. Roll forward and as you hit the second "totter", just hold right to control your fall onto the goal platform. Maybe a bit of practice is needed, but this shouldn't cause any massive internal bleeding. Like the next floor. Expert 36 - "Vortex" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 8 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 9 / 10 Ah, vortex. I've noticed some completely oddball strategies for this level in my Monkey Ballin' travels, but I'm just gonna write down my own. Roll forward and over the play button; you don't want to hit another. Roll to the right edge of the platform and turn around. Start a slow pace toward the other side and at about 47 seconds, roll off to the right onto the vortex. Now. The vortex stops quickly, and the camera will reverse. Stay on the inside track of the vortex by holding left and left-down depending on your speed. When the vortex comes to a stop again, the goals should be ahead of you. Quickly roll forward, bounce off the edge, and land on the goal platform. I'm not sure why players everywhere feel the need to go through the center of the vortex and come out the other side; both sides are the same anyways. Or... Warp! Follow the same strategy as above, but the upper platform is smaller and thus, more difficult to land on. Try for it if you suck at the next floor, Warp. = D Expert 37 - "Warp" ** Warp! ** (Duh) Difficulty - 7 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 8 / 10 Reminiscent of Advanced 15 from SMB1, this level's curved floors make it extremely difficult not to break the control stick off the controller. The trick is to traverse slowly and VERY close to the bumpers. The first and second parts of the floor should not give any problems, but be sure to stay at most three tiles away from the bumpers on the final part. If you go lower and start a downward plunge, forget forward progress and concentrate solely on getting back up. Or... Warp! Get all the way through the level to the end, but instead of taking the normal goal, turn right. The first set of bumpers is difficult to squeeze through due to the uphill slant, but the rest should be easy. Not recommended, as Trampolines is fairly easy. Expert 38 - "Trampolines" Difficulty - 2 / 10 Eh, cheap physics programmer. Too lazy to make real trampoline surfaces. Anyhoo. Roll forward onto the first trampoline, and use it to hop up to the left or right onto the next. Hop up again back to the center, and turn around. Hop up once more, and up again to the goal platform. The entire goal platform is a trampoline, so once you make it up there, you need to hurry to the goal. Expert 39 - "Swing Shaft" Difficulty - 4 / 10 Move forward and get onto the swing shaft. Now, although it seems that you need those blocks to survive, and you can stay on by just holding the control stick in the opposite direction of the tilt. I still use the blocks, but it is not necessary. The most difficult element of this level is getting onto the solid ground after the swing shaft; try and roll on just before the shaft is horizontal. You just 0wNed that level. Expert 40 - "Fighters" ** Bonus! ** This level HAD potential, but it's ruined by the utter impossibility of getting bananas and viewing the fight. Because the level is switch-activated, viewing the stage shows nothing. The fighters are too tall to fully watch, even holding forward, so the cool fight is denied to us bloodthirsty monkey ballers. (sigh) The bananas come out when the fighters hit each other, so roll around randomly and try to chase them down, if you want. For me, I just go straight into the goal. By the way, I now take this time to advise you fighting fans to go to http://snortworld.bla-bla.com/flash/fight3.swf for the most UNBELIEVABLE THING EVER. If you like martial arts, you'll LOVE this. It's just SO cool. Expert 41 - "Serial Jump" ** Warp! ** ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 6 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 7 / 10 Second Warp Difficulty - 8 / 10 Even though there are only two rings to be traversed for the normal goal, it'll take some major practice to get the hang of it. Roll forward onto the first ring to the right, so you go counter-clockwise. When you feel comfortable rolling around the ring, jump out at the indicated spot by the arrow. You should land on the next ring going clockwise; steady yourself out and go right into the goal. Or... Warp! This one and the next warp could be insanely difficult if you did them the "standard" way, as in, going from one ring to the next all the way down. No. To get this warp, charge forward from the start, rolling onto the left of the ring. Don't slow down, and launch out of the ring THROUGH the second ring (the one with the regular goal on it) and try and steer yourself right into the green warp goal. Or... Second Warp! Instead of going quickly onto the left of the first ring, go slowly. Fall through the first ring while on the left side of it, and try and maneuver yourself straight into the red goal below. Expert 42 - "Cross Floors" Difficulty - 4 / 10 A well-designed level, in my opinion. Roll forward and onto the first cross-floor, a little higher than the center. At the transition between each floor, you'll want to hit the opposite direction on the control stick a little early to maintain the height needed to survive. Get into a steady rhythm and cross these twisted floors to the goal. Expert 43 - "Spinning Saw" Difficulty - 2 / 10 Roll forward onto the saw, and even if you don't go quickly into the goal, remain as close to the center as possible. The farther you are away from it, the more centrifugal force will affect you, and then you'll be thrown off. This shouldn't be too much of a problem for y'all. Expert 44 - "Chipped Pipes" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 6 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 7 / 10 Off to the right is the normal goal, featuring a few back-and- forth pipe platforms for you to test your mettle on. Roll off gently on the top of the pipe, and smoothly make your way across. It not recommended to go back and forth without making any forward progress, but if you have to, go ahead. Practice is needed for consistency here...or... Warp! Honestly, this is almost just as easy as the normal goal, and it's very useful, skipping a floor like Flat Maze. Go to the left and navigate the second pipe. Its gaps are wider and the ground is not composed of ninety-degree angles, so you totally CANNOT stop on this one, but it really isn't too difficult. Be sure to pick up the EASY 40 bananas on the final platform. Expert 45 - "Flat Maze" Difficulty - 7 / 10 Keep in mind that there is NO way you can do this level by just going along the path; it's simply too long. Roll forward and into the center of the maze. Take a right, a right, and another right to find yourself on a long straightaway. Go about halfway down this and turn around. Build up some speed and hop the gap, keep up the speed to hop another, then slow down. Go around the thingy that looks like this: ------------ | | |___ ___| | | After that, build up some more speed to hop yet another gap. Follow the path around, avoiding the obvious dead-ends. On the edge of the maze, you need to hop a series of three gaps; the middle is fairly wide, so take it with a lot of speed. The final gap is short, so minimize your velocity to prevent a fall out on the other side. Follow the remaining path to the goal. Expert 46 - "Guillotine" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Just FYI, guys, the "ll" in guillotine is pronounced like a y, as in the Spanish language. Sound intelligent, why don't cha. = D Roll onto the ring and watch how the guillotine swings over the first, steep ramp. Time it so you start pretty far back, gain some speed, and get over that ramp without the guillotine hitting you. Get into a rhythm of rolling between the swings until the last two ramps, which are a bit too long to do normally. The first half or so of these ramps are safe, so time your rolls from there. Practice! Practice! More practice! Expert 47 - "Corkscrew" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Corkscrew consists of two parts, separated by a horizontal stretch. Go forward into the wine-opening tool, and as soon as the path becomes steep enough so as you can't go back, jam back on the control stick. You hit off of a wall and roll fairly fast; tilt the stick in the opposite direction of the roll to stop yourself. On the second part, once again move forward until you cannot stop yourself, and hold left. You should stop right in front of the patiently waiting goal. Expert 48 - "Orbiters" Difficulty - 2 / 10 Nothin' to it. Hold forward from the start, and you'll lightly bounce off the side of the goal. Roll to the right to avoid being flipped and into the goal. The goal, by the way, does not rotate. Expert 49 - "Twin Basin" Difficulty - 4 / 10 Roll forward into the first basin. You'll need a bit of speed to get up and out of it on the opposite side, so go ahead and use this one for practice by attempting to land as close to the center as possible when you jump out. The second basin is much harder to get out and survive; rack up as much speed as you can and get a feel for the physics of this level. Almost there! Expert 50 - "Air Hockey" ** Final Floor! ** Difficulty - 4 / 10 This level seems pretty random, but a stroke of luck allows a fairly consistent non-pausing strategy to apply. Roll forward and as SOON as you touch the main platform, hold up-right. Takes a bit of practice, but it's SO much better than just randomly bouncing around, hoping for it to hit you. Well, that was the final expert level. If you think you're done, think again; even Expert is NOTHING to what lies ahead. Be mindful of the future, young padawan. *********************************************************************** IX. You've gotta be kidding...Expert Extra! If you've gotten this far, honored SMB player, then chances are that you're gonna go all the way. Extra Expert floors are extremely well designed and fun in my opinion, but aren't too difficult to go through without using a continue. A bit of practice and you'll be on your way to Master. The best strategy to get to Expert Extra involves taking certain warps on stages in Expert; remember, your personal preferences may alter this list. If you have trouble on a certain stage and there is a slightly difficult warp before it, you might want to go ahead and take it. I take the warps on Freefall (2), Green Warp on Jump Machine (6), Red Warp on 8 Bracelets (29), Vortex (36), and Chipped Pipes (44). Three of these warps are set so that even if you don't succeed, you can still manage to get the regular goal. Read on! Expert Extra 1 - "Charge" Difficulty - 6 / 10 Go around the wormhole and try going down one of the two walkways. You may bump a little, but you need a lot more height than that. How to get it, you ask? Well, the wormhole here creates an infinite loop down this path, so you need to build up enough speed to make it over to the final platform. Simply falling and going straight through the wormhole does not give you much extra speed. The best velocity boosters are bump attempts that fail by not going far enough over the wormhole; just keep messing around and you should gain up enough speed. Hit one of the bumps and fly! If you see yourself about to fall in between the wormhole and the final platform, hold back to save yourself. You'll have to start over, but it's better than death...right? Expert Extra 2 - "Strata" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 8 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 10 / 10 Begin by carefully rolling up and left onto the platform. Don't zombie out and just roll on like an idiot, because you'll die. Follow the path and roll on the first strata. At the end, line up in the center, and VERY gently roll off onto the next strata. When you land, it helps to tap back slightly. Make it to the fourth strata and roll across it to make it to the goal. Or... Warp! This requires you to land on and navigate a fifth stratum, which is incredibly thin and difficult. Don't bother, as Expert Extra 3 is a piece of cake. Crumb cake. Expert Extra 3 - "Puzzle" Difficulty - 2 / 10 Wait until the block closest to you on the right is in place, than roll straight across the puzzle into the waiting goal. For you visual people, go from the X to the O... - - - - - - - O - - - - - - X - No problem. Right? Expert Extra 4 - "Giant Swing" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Roll forward and around and up onto the ramp on the right. You'll need to wait for the swing to come around and knock you upward into the air; you'll then need to steer yourself to the opposite platform and land safely to complete the floor. I guess I should be adding some wit or good humor around here right now, but I don't feel like it. Expert Extra 5 - "5 Drums" Difficulty - 6 / 10 Roll forward and to the right. Wait a second or two and drop down, landing on the barrier thingy. Now, as it's carrying you upward, watch the second drum. When THAT barrier passes, make a mad dash across all 5 drums to the non-rotating goal drum at the end. A spoonful of practice makes the medicine go down, you know. Expert Extra 6 - "Free Throw" ** Warp! ** ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 5 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 6 / 10 Second Warp Difficulty - 6 / 10 As an avid fan of basketball, I LOVE this floor. A little flipper section of the floor launches you into the air, and you must land in one of the three "baskets", goals. For the normal goal, you want to get to the far end of the flipper so it doesn't launch you so far. If you don't get in the first time, try to bounce into it. Or... Warp! Get a little closer to the starting point on the flipper, so it launches you higher and longer. Landing straight in the warp goals is very difficult, so try and get in on the second or even third bounce. Or... Second Warp! Maximize your height and length trajectories and hit that game-winning three-pointer. Expert Extra 7 - "Pendulums" Difficulty - 8 / 10 The pattern of the pendulums is swing once, swing twice, switch pivot platform, swing once, swing twice, etc. You'll see if you look. Begin by hitting the play switch behind you and going forward to the first pendulum. Roll onto the center and to the right when the platform comes up. Roll onto the stationary platform and wait for the platform to appear. Make sure it's stationary, then move on and turn left. Wait for that platform to appear and roll across it to the next stationary platform. The third and fourth pendulums move much faster, thus you must roll from the pivot to the swinging platform extremely quickly, but you take them the same way as the first two. In all honesty, this level SHOULD be skipped by the warp in Expert Extra 6. Expert Extra 8 - "Conical Slider" Difficulty - 6 / 10 This level is just so cool, you might take the Green Warp in Expert Extra 6 just for the heck of it. Begin by rolling forward and past the wormhole (going through it means immediate death) and start your downward plunge around the cone. Stay on the center of the platform as much as possible and work on your balancing skills to get to the end, a wormhole that connects to the one back up top. When you roll through it, hold up and left to sail onto the top of the cone where the goal and 33 easy bananas wait. Expert Extra 9 - "Construction" Difficulty - 8 / 10 Sick level designer. The most important thing here is SPEED; if you ever let up, you won't be fast enough to make it to the goal. Roll forward quickly to bounce off of the switch and make it onto the maze, and hold back to prevent an early death. Roll immediately to the left, then right. Go as far as you can and roll up-left. Navigate the two hairpin turns and go left through the gap in the wall. Move in the direction of the starting point and from there, get through two more hairpin turns. After these, you should be facing the start. Go forward and up right, then make one last U-turn. From here, go up and slightly left across the walkways with no barriers, then quickly turn right and shoot for the goal. This level WILL take some practice, but once you get the path memorized, it's no problem. Expert Extra 10 - "Train Worm" ** Final Floor! ** Difficulty - 9 / 10 Not much of a strategy here, just try and time it so you get between the final train platform and the trailing goal. I just hold up and at about 55.5 seconds, hold up right. For exact timing using the pause-unpause strategy (outlined in Advanced 30 if you want it), the range is 55.55 to 55.50. Beat this annoying floor to (hopefully) obtain the legendary Master difficulty level. *********************************************************************** X. Embodiment of Pure Evil - Master Master. Let me say that again...MASTER...as it wrings cold fear from your forsaken soul. (smile) Yes, the Master difficulty itself is a testament to Sega and Amusement Vision's commitment; what percent of players of SMB2 will actually reach this level? Who knows... Unlike Super Monkey Ball 1's Master mode, these levels are unlocked permanently on the difficulty select screen; i.e., they're available to play at any time after reaching Master 1. Practice the Expert Extra stages, use the red warp on Free Throw, maybe buy some more lives, and Master shall be yours! Bring it! Master 1 - "Centrifugal" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Showing off the physics of the game engine, the first master floor is deceptively easy. Roll down and to the right to avoid a quick death, and take note of where the goal is. It is difficult to see on the map, but you can count the number of bananas all the way around; there are twelve. Anyways, tilt left and right to stay on the ring with the bananas, but try and stay low on it. When you see the goal, being below it allows a bit of forward progress. Practice this floor and get a feel for how the forces of the monkey universe affect your motion. Master 2 - "Swing Bridges" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 3 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 10 / 10 The easiest stage in Master; this level features rotating platforms you must navigate to the goal. The simplest way to do this is simply to hold up and adjust to keep a straight path to the goal. For those in need of a more consistent strategy, just take your time and roll onto the platforms when they are near motionless. Or... Warp! This is INSANELY difficult. Turn around at the start to see another set of swing bridges; these go REALLY, REALLY fast. Trying to time it is almost futile...though Master 3 is also extremely difficult, I do not recommend taking this path. Master 3 - "Cylinders" Difficulty - 6 / 10 If you actually follow the prescribed path around the cylinders (this configuration is getting boring, see 8-Bracelets and Sieve) then it can be a huge pain in your arse. You'll need to roll onto each cylinder slightly against the roll and manage to stay on while lining up for the next one; they also progressively get thinner. The best way, though, is to hold forward and adjust to the left a bit from the start. You want to hit the perpendicular cylinder a bit off center; you'll bounce. Land on the final cylinder and try to stay on until the final goal platform. Either way, you'll need to definitely practice this one, folks. Master 4 - "Passage" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 7 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 7 / 10 Looks crazy at first, doesn't it? Roll forward and hop the tiny gap to the first square thingy. Wait for the columns to switch over to the other side of the structure, then you need to transfer to the square ahead and to the right of you. The best way to transfer is to have decent speed (not too much) and to get as close to the corner as possible without actually touching it. Roll to the up right again to get to the square with bananas on it. Now face the goal and roll to the next square. Here, wait for the columns to pass back to the other side, and roll onto the final square to the goal. Or... Warp! This warp is about as difficult as the normal goal, so if you have trouble with Master 5, Notch, be sure to practice it. To begin, roll one square up right in the beginning, just like you're going to the normal goal. Then, roll up and off the platform with a bit of speed, as you need to land in the alcove across from you. Too fast will bounce you off the wall, and too slow won't get you there. Practice to get a feel for the necessary speed. Here, quickly roll to the up right (facing the center, anyway) and turn around for some easy bananas and a pretty green goal. Master 5 - "Notch" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Too easy for master! The trick here is not to roll on the beam at your first chance, because the notches won't line up in the right way for you to make it to the end. Wait for one FULL rotation, and get on at about 43 seconds or whatever. Here, weave through both notches and maintain your balance on the beam until your height is sufficient to roll onto the goal platform. While waiting on the beam, try to create a bit of distance between yourself and the final platform; that way, you can build up enough speed to bounce on it easily. Master 6 - "Intermittent" Difficulty - 4 / 10 Yeah, sure, you can do it normally, but how is that fun? Roll straight forward from start to precariously bounce past the first two platforms. When you touch the third, move a little to the left to center yourself (while still holding up) and bounce off the bump and go straight into the goal. No prob. Master 7 - "Long Torus" Difficulty - 7 / 10 Ick. No fun. Wait a few second and then roll onto the slowly rotating torus; try not to overcompensate for the almost negligible spin. Though it technically shouldn't make a difference, I prefer going to the left and staying on the top. I don't know, I just find it easier. Keep your balance while moving forward until the monstrosity is almost level, then quickly roll into the goal. Both goals, by the way, are normal. Master 8 - "Spasmodic" Difficulty - 2 / 10 THANK YOU SNAPDRAGON. Doing this level the "normal" way is insane, trying to time it so that you get past one moving square and stop the static square, then doing it twice more. Ugh. Although I dislike using Snap's exact timing, this one's range is so broad that you don't really need to pause the game. Hold forward between 59.60 and 59.41 to easily bolt into that pwetty wibbon. Master 9 - "Double Twin" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Isn't "Double Twin" a bit redundant? Yeah. To begin, immediately roll forward and left onto the outer, green propeller. Continue holding up left, then you'll fall onto the center propeller and then onto the stationary platform in the middle. Quickly roll again to the right onto the outer green propeller. You'll roll onto the center, then stop rolling and do your best to stay on the center as long as you possibly can. You'll fall neatly onto the outer propeller again, and then it's just an easy roll to the goal. Master 10 - "Clock Face" ** Final Floor! ** Difficulty - 4 / 10 Yeah, because all clock faces look like this. (rolls eyes) Roll forward onto the "6 o' clock" notch and wait there for the red platform to come around without the bumpers. Roll on and let it take you around to the "12 o' clock" notch with the goal on it. Stay a little back on the red platform (it's big, don't worry) so that the blue platform will roll between you and the notch. When the red, blue, and notch are all lined up, hold forward and do your best to get onto the notch. If you fail, quickly roll off to the edge of the clock, and wait the blue platform to come around again. It's a bit tougher this way, but it can be done. OH YEAH! A NEW CINEMATIC WHEN YOU BEAT MASTER! Yes, behold, for one last time, the idiotic chant of Ei-ei-poo. I guess because AV thought, like, NO ONE would ever get here, they didn't even bother to spell-check. A word like "Hapiness" is SO wrong. *********************************************************************** XI. NO @#!(*$&(@*#ING WAY! MASTER EXTRA??!! Ah, yes, you completed Master 10, just like in the original. Just like the original, you've completed every challenge that Amusement Vision could throw at you. You can completely destroy Super Monkey Ball 2. Heh...NOT! As unbelievable as it sounds, those sick f***s at AV decided to include a MASTER EXTRA DIFFICULTY, for those sick f***s who actually have the skill to unlock it. However, these stages aren't truly that difficult to reach. By the time you unlock Master Mode, you probably have a WHOLE bunch of lives per continue, and you're damn good. Master is immediately selectable from the screen, and you really only have to go through 9 or 10 stages to reach it. Practice all of them and use my sexy strategies to unlock this difficulty full of mystery, legend, and lore. And monkeys falling to their deaths repeatedly. (nod) Master Extra 1 - "Variable Width" Difficulty - 4 / 10 Welcome to the Master Extra. Not consistently hard, but the last two...(shudder) This one's a cinch. Roll straight forward from start. At the very end, when there is no center path, you'll need to quickly hold left (or right) and then hold right again (or left again) to return to the center and fly through the goal. Master Extra 2 - "Striker" ** Warp! ** ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 3 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 3 / 10 Second Warp Difficulty - 5 / 10 What the hell is this level doing in Master Extra? More like early Expert...anyways, I shouldn't complain, this is as easy of a floor as you're gonna get here in MX. Roll around to the side of the striker facing the goals, and when it lowers, roll onto it, trying to get close to the center. In the air, maneuver yourself to the highest platform possible. If you want a lower goal, simply roll off the edge facing the striker of the one you're on to reach the lower, wider platforms. Master Extra 3 - "Ooparts" Difficulty - 4 / 10 Ooparts. Perhaps you're wondering what the heck that word could mean. Well, I'll tell you. It technically should be O.O.P.Arts...but that just doesn't sound as cool. It's a slang phrase used by archeologists to signify "Out of Place Artifacts", and believe me, the freaky looking thing in Master Extra 3 definitely qualifies to join that particular classification. You'll need to roll forward and into the artifact when it's about 1/3 to 1/2 through a blank space. A good time to go is about 52 seconds. You'll only want to roll forward just a tiny bit, then when you hit the bottom of the thing, hold forward and use the temporary half-pipe to get out. Just experiment, you'll get it... Master Extra 4 - "Planets" ** Second Warp! ** Difficulty - 9 / 10 Second Warp Difficulty - 10 / 10 Unbelievably similar to SMB1's Expert Extra 9 (running out of ideas?), this one is still unbelievably difficult. Roll across the walkway to the first planet, and start a speedy roll to jump the wide gap between the first and second planets. I do not recommend stopping and starting again on each planet, it's too difficult to line up that way. When going for the goal, you'll need to be going down as vertical as possible and be sure not to hit the goal at ALL. Controlling your bounce is also extremely important. Not much I can help y'all with here; you really just need to practice. Or...Or... Second Warp! The only stage in Super Monkey Ball 2 to feature a blue goal and a red goal without the middle green, the absolute last planet holds this one. It's not worth it; the space you have the land on is miniscule, and the next two levels are quite possibly the easier in Master Extra. Master Extra 5 - "Sliced Cheese" Difficulty - 3 / 10 Two slice n' dice circles rotate here to block your path. Show how gouda you are at this easy level! To begin, roll forward and to the left. You should be able to easily time a roll through one of the larger circles. The second thingy is a bit faster. Stay as far back as you can to maximize your vision, and to the right. Pick a hole, and do your best to time it so you go right through to thirty bananas and the goal. Though the holes on the outside are larger, I think the ones a bit closer in are easier, as they're slower. Don't swiss the mark, people. Master Extra 6 - "8 Seesaws" Difficulty - 6 / 10 As with the bracelets, you'll only actually need to traverse five of the eight. Pick your favorite side (mine is left) and roll across them at a steady pace. Be sure to go slow enough to get the other end of the seesaw high enough, but of course, not TOO slow. Practice. What? You did? MORE, I SAY! Master Extra 7 - "Synchronized" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 9 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 6 / 10 No, those difficulty numbers are correct. To get the normal goal, you'll have to do one of three things. First, go forward from the start, and to the right. You'll basically need to bounce off of the green goalpost and bounce into the blue. Secondly, you can randomly follow the goals and get REALLY lucky and break the ribbon accidentally. Or, thirdly, you can wait for the seven-or-so second span at the end, where the goals are completely upright spinning around the level. It's still REALLY hard. Or... Warp! WAY easier. Just roll forward and to the right and try to get into the green goal, it's easy with some practice. I always hated Synchronized Swimming in the Olympics, but now...well, there needs to be a new word invented in the English language. For Snap's exact timing, hold up from start, then pause between 57.73 and 57.70. Hold up right and unpause to rocket in. Master Extra 8 - "Helix" ** Warp! ** Difficulty - 7 / 10 Warp Difficulty - 9 / 10 This level is just hard to GET to, with the warp before it. Anyways, roll forward and to the right a bit to land safely on the thing, and keep moving. The best way to go about this level is to treat the top two squares on the helix as a walkway, with NOTHING on either side of it. Go slowly, and once again, try not to fall below those two squares. If you do, pick up your speed to climb back up. On the final stretch, go very slowly (unless you're pressed for time, of course) and fall off into the blue goal according to your map. For exact timing, pause between 44.01 and 43.91, then hold up and unpause. Or... Warp! The green goal is oriented vertically, meaning you'll need some speed and REALLY good timing skills to land in this one. Though, I REALLY hate Dizzy System... Master Extra 9 - "Dizzy System" Difficulty - 6 / 10 Yeah, I made up my own strategy for this one. It's good. = D Roll straight forward immediately. When you touch the main platform, quickly change the direction you're holding to up right. Then, a split second before you hit the first silver disc, change the direction to up left. With a little practice, you'll get the timing down really well...I did it seven times in a row, once. = D Or, if you're a perfectionist, here is exact timing. Hold forward. Between 57.23 and 57.18, pause, and hold up right. Then, depending on the time you're on: - 57.18: 56.95-56.75: release stick. - 57.20: 56.90-56.83: hold left. - 57.21: 56.90-56.83 EXCEPT 56.88: hold left, OR 56.88: hold down-left. - 57.23: 56.88-56.81: hold left. Master Extra 10 - "Nintendo" ** Final Floor! Period! ** Difficulty - 11 / 10 (!) Believe it or not, this level was originally thought up by GCN007. Congratulations! Anyways, this, appropriately the hardest floor in the game, floor consists of an unbelievably detailed GameCube surrounded by bars forming the GameCube logo. Seriously, the textures and detail on everyone's favorite cube is AMAZING, every little bump and curve is accounted for, it looks JUST like real plastic, and even those little labels are readable. Anyways. The best way to take the edges during the rotations are to get as close to the edge as possible, and turn ninety degrees away, so you'll be looking in the same direction as the edge. It's a lot easier to see the rotation's progress this way. To begin, quickly roll forward to the center and turn, like previously stated. A half-second to a second after the rotation begins, make the transition to the next side. This rotation is the easiest in the level, since there's a little bump below the grate the stop you. Get a feel for the best time to make the transition. Turn right and go the far corner, and line yourself up. This is perhaps the most difficult turn, as you'll basically need to land ON the handle, or right around it. If you fall into the little pit, it's almost impossible to get out and survive. If you make it onto the handle (or at least not in the pit), slowly make your way down to the other edge. The corner-edge of this side is skinny enough that you'll need to hold the opposite direction to keep from falling off, but this is the best way to do it. When the rotation starts, do your best to roll onto the next side with little enough momentum to stop yourself. Line up again and carefully get to the side with the controller ports. If you happen to land in one, QUICKLY get out and get to the top edge. Line yourself up one more time to end on the top of the GameCube. Here, stop and roll over back to the front edge, not on the disc cover. You have plenty of time to do this; don't rush. The disc cover will pop open and reveal the goal, and you'll roll through and throw your controller into the air in elation. (Just catch it again.) If you complete this level, CONGRATULATIONS. And I really mean it. Beating Master Extra is a feat unaccomplished by most SMB2 players, and all honor to you if you've successfully completed this mighty task. *********************************************************************** XII. Story Mode World 10 Floors As I've stated many, many times throughout this FAQ, I hate Story Mode. Challenge Mode is SO much better. Despite my undying, seething animosity toward it, Story Mode DOES have a bright point, one that cannot be found in Challenge...World 10. Yes, World 10 of Story Mode has 10 unique floors found only here, and I must admit, some of these are highly enjoyable. There are, of course, no warps, and completing these levels efficiently and consistently is, of course, completely useless. All you need to do is beat them. Die as many times as you like. That said, now I get to guide you through floors like Labyrinth and 3-D Maze, which I still think you should try to get through by yourself. What fun is there in cheating? Well...I guess I AM writing this FAQ, after all. Whatever. World 10-1 - "Training" Difficulty - 1 / 10 Training? Training for what? Similar to curvy and wavy options, pick a width and roll across the flat, rolling, and peaked surfaces respectively to reach the goal. (shrug) World 10-2 - "Gimmick" Difficulty - 5 / 10 For an unbelievable time bonus run, see DarkWrath's movie page (See contributors at bottom of FAQ). For us mortals, roll forward and use the map to (quickly) align yourself with the lower platform and roll off to the right. Follow this path around and fall down, hitting the play switch in the process. Turn around and wait for a few seconds until the bridge is low enough to jump onto, then follow it all the way around. Take the newly formed bridge and roll up the ramp to the goal. Speed is important; no lollygagging! World 10-3 - "Mountain" Difficulty - 4 / 10 Not much to it. Roll forward and slightly to the left down the side of the mountain, try to control the direction of your descent, right into the goal. Takes a bit of practice, but who cares? This is story mode. World 10-4 - "Disorder" Difficulty - 5 / 10 Disorder my arse; these platforms are all carefully placed. Just slowly follow the path of descending walkways ALL the way down into the goal. For a livelier and quicker completion, roll forward from start. In the air, about halfway through the jump, hold back. You should stop right before you fall. Inch off the edge to fall straight down, and land on the final platform with the goal. World 10-5 - "3-D Maze" Difficulty - 6 / 10 Another enjoyable puzzle level. There are quite a few ways to successfully complete this, but I'll just describe the one I find most reliable. To start off, sit there bored until 36.5 seconds, when you should roll onto the crazy construct. Get to the right of the wireframe, and let the floor flip you over a half-rotation. The thing will then make a stop, bolt for the left fork and get to the left of the wireframe. Stay on the side closer to the start, and let the thing flip you over another half-rotation. Here, you'll need to roll around to the other side of the wireframe while it's relatively horizontal. Once that's done, the wireframe will go horizontal; build up speed for the jump to the goal platform. This is the most difficult part of the level, and will take some practice, but once again...it's not like you're going for Extra Story Mode. World 10-6 - "Labyrinth" Difficulty - 6 / 10 Okay, thank GOD that these sections are color-coded. It makes it a lot easier to me to describe. I really enjoyed the challenge of finding the path through this level, but if you want to be a spoilsport, here it is. Go forward and up the indigo ramp to your left. Continue straight to fall off the platform. Move forward and make the U-turn onto the ramp. Go up the ramp, quickly ram off the wall to gain some speed, and go down the ramp exactly the same way you went up. This gives you enough speed to hop that gap. Landing safely, take a right up a ramp. Continue until the last opening to your right, and take it. Follow that path until you see a purple ramp going up to your right. Roll up it, and you should see a banana bunch. Now, here is the most difficult part...you need to roll up the fairly steep ramp and get onto the flat platform to its left. The trick here is to not hit the side of the flat platform at all; you'll want to slightly touch the wall at the end of the ramp, using that to get you over the corner. Once on, drop down and roll into the goal. World 10-7 - "Postmodern" Difficulty - 4 / 10 "Postmodern" is a literary and artistic movement still in progress, emphasizing semi-bizarre and highly individualistic work. This house is postmodern. The entire postmodern movement is WEIRD. Go forward and take the first staircase on the right side the house. When going up these steps, you need to maintain a steady rhythm. When you move onto them, don't have any more velocity than you need. If you get stuck on a step, just go to the bottom and start again. Anyways, go up the first staircase, then forward to a second, then a third. For the fourth, the best way to begin the movement up these is to ricochet off of the wall and continue climbing. Go up two more staircases to the roof. Use the map to locate the goal to your left, and drop on to the goal. World 10-8 - "Revolution" Difficulty - 4 / 10 Confusing at first, but there's an easy method. Immediately roll forward and to the far right. There will be a lone column; quickly get to the right of it, and stay on as the level rotates. Stay on for another rotation, then quickly roll to the left and into the waiting goal. Nada problem. World 10-9 - "Invisible" Difficulty - 6 / 10 See the letters in the background? Hit the play switch, and various parts of those letters will just disappear. The floor will still exist, but you can't see. Begin by simply going back and forth, making U-turns. When you see the first line that doesn't go all the way straight to the end, this is the "v". Go to the third platform, line yourself up with the point of the v, and then back across to the next vertical line. Make another U-turn or two so reach the S. The cross of the s is completely invisible; it's the line of blocks AFTER the visible one. The banana bunch will guide you. One more U-turn to the B and L, go up the first vertical of the B and go as far as you can before having to come back down again. On the final E, the cross is once again completely invisible, but the goal should help you line it up. Just keep studying the configurations of the letters before you hit the switch, and the missing platforms are also floating in the air in front of you as you navigate this ghostly floor. World 10-10 - "Created By" ** Final Floor! ** Difficulty - 4 / 10 Amusement Vision, of course. Roll forward from the start to hit the play switch, and move up the pathway. When you reach the rotating logo, you need to roll onto the "a" when it's moving downward. The best times to roll on are 39.5 and 21.5, if you miss it the first time. Stay on for a bit until you're on the flat part of the "a", pretty far above the goal. Roll off and break the purty ribbon, completing the final floor in story mode. *********************************************************************** XIII. Beginner 3 Hidden Braille Message That's odd...the third level in Beginner, Bumpy, has all these strange raised dots on the floor in seemingly random positions. Well, they aren't random. They're part of a reading and writing system for blind people, known as Braille. I honestly didn't notice the patterns in the dots, but luckily, my good friends over at Planet GameCube did! One of them even painstaking decoded the message. It says: Hi! This is Jamad. That is right. Braille Alphabet. I respect you !! Yeah, that's just weird. Jamad doesn't appear anywhere in the game's credits, and the message has no real point. It would have been cool if it revealed some super secret floor or something = P Oh well. *********************************************************************** XIV. The Actual Frequently Asked Questions Section Heh. I suppose I actually SHOULD have a real FAQ in here somewhere. I mean, that's what this whole document is supposed to BE, right? Keep in mind that these questions are completely fake. As in, NO ONE EVER ASKS ME THESE. I'm fairly sure most FAQ writers don't rely on readers to supply them with good questions, but they don't want to admit it. = D I made all of these up. Nevertheless, I hope these are entertaining and helpful to you all. Q: Is there a difference between the monkeys, and which do you use? A: Technically, there is no physical difference between any of them. (Though there should be.) However, many people prefer Baby for the sole purpose that he is smaller, and thus allows for better visibility. I prefer GonGon; he makes cool noises. = D Q: I'm having trouble on Vortex! Warp! Reversible Gear! Planets! Nintendo! Whatever! Help! Please? A: Yeah. So? It's not like I'm going to give you personally more help than what I give everyone in my FAQ. Read my strategies, and if you still have problems, the GameFAQs message board for SMB2 is a good place to go. Q: What does Beginner 3's Hidden Braille Message mean? A: It's the secret of life. Really. Q: I love your writing! I want to send you a large amount of cash for no real reason! What's the best way to go about this? A: Well, just send me an E-mail, and we'll work it out. = D Q: The back of the box says 150+ floors, but I only see 150. Are there more somewhere? How do I unlock them? A: As far as the world and I know, there are actually only 150 floors. Those sneaky devils at Amusement Vision could technically say that there are cosmetic differences between the levels; i.e., different backgrounds. Hopefully, one day, we'll find Super Ultra Hidden Master Extra Mode. Q: Do you get anything for going through Expert, Expert Extra, Master, and Master Extra without using a continue? How about without dying? A: Unfortunately, going through all of those without using a continue will earn you absolutely nothing. However, going through every single stage in all of those difficulty levels without using any warps and completing the bonus stages will earn you a place in the utter elite of SMB2 (and a WHOLE bunch of pride), completing what is known as a perfect play-point run. You'll earn exactly 17,080 pp for doing this, the absolute maximum. Maybe they should have given a secret level or something for this, but come on...if you were a programmer, would you bother with something that a maximum of maybe twenty people worldwide will EVER see? Nah. I myself have not completed a perfect play-point run. Q: Can I send you hate mail? Please? A: No. Q: How many characters (letters, numbers, symbols) are in this FAQ? A: As of right now, there are 88,195 characters in this FAQ. I am SO sick. Q: Why are you making up questions? That's not how a real writer would get his material. A: Shut up. Q: Why do you write FAQs? A: The tiny monkeys in my head tell me to. I must obey them. Q: What's your favorite mini-game? A: Baseball, all the way. Any game that can turn the sport of baseball into something highly enjoyable is near god-like. Q: Are you a Jedi?? A: Of course. http://www.wtfd00d.com/JediFeep.jpg *********************************************************************** XV. Personal Review and Feelings on Super Monkey Ball 2 Ah, that day when I discovered that a Super Monkey Ball 2 was in development, a truly happy memory. I was enthralled with the first game with its flat-out weird main mode and addicting party games, and the prospect of a sequel excited me to no end. Regretfully, Sega made the release date the same as the other long-awaited game on the GC, Super Mario Sunshine. Damn them! It was terrible, having both at the same time. I didn't play SMB2 as much as I would have liked, but in time, Super Mario Sunshine was beaten and forgotten, while SMB2 just went on and on. Regarding the main mode, I am NOT disappointed. Many players say that the levels here are based too much on luck rather than skill, and that too many stages involve a puzzle of some sort. Well, while I admit stages like Switch Inferno and Arthropod are plain-out idiotic, I found the balance of stages in the game to be just right. I loved just staring there at Labyrinth for twenty minutes, figuring out the path in my head and executing it perfectly the first time. As for the luck factor, many stages appear to be based on chance, but after much practice, you begin to see that it is not. Stages like Launchers took me FOREVER to beat the first few times I tried it, but now I get it EVERY TIME. It is NOT luck, if you're good. This applies to many complained-about levels as well. As for the party games, I couldn't be happier. All six original games were beautifully enhanced; bowling, target, and golf got the most severe makeovers, but all were for the better. Playing a game of 8- ball, follow by a quick round on Starlight Highway and the front 9 on the golf course is just pure video gaming heaven. Go Sega. Sega, the almighty, also felt fit to give us six, all-new party games. While these can be VERY fun, I admit they basically aren't as addicting as the first six. Baseball, dogfight, and soccer can be massively fun, but only in short stints. I pick up a game of those three every once in awhile, and enjoy it thoroughly. Tennis gets real old, real fast, as matches with computers and even humans tend to be one, long, drawn-out back-and-forth. Ugh. Shot, after beating all three levels, is also very old, and Monkey Boat Race is the absolute worst mini-game in SMB2. SOOOOOOO boring, and my fingers hurt afterwards. Oh well. Eleven is good enough. Basically, there's enough crap in this game to keep you going LONG after most conventional games end. As what I think of as the ultimate party game, only perhaps eclipsed by the Mario Parties and Super Smash Bros. Melee (perhaps!), this game NEEDS to be bought, especially if you're never laid hands on the first one. An improvement in every way, Sega's sleeper hit, Super Monkey Ball, continues to be a testament to exactly how fun video games can be. *********************************************************************** XVI. Contributors, Special Thanks, yadda yadda yadda Yes, as any great work cannot be completed by a lone soul, my FAQ was assisted by brave pioneers who had the gumption to E-mail me. And by other people who I felt like ripping off information from. Here's a nice little list...if you see your name, thanks! Go rejoice that you're in my FAQ! Planet GameCube - let me know SMB2 existed; got me hyped up for its release with lots of information tidbits; decoded the Braille message in Beginner 3; SnapDragon - allowed me to use his 100% perfect timing strategies; Paulygon - pointed out ten million typos and errors in my FAQ, Which I then fixed; AmanoSZ - supplied full-rotation strat in Giant Comb; supplied running start strat in Seesaw Bridges; SmilingJack13 - supplied Train Worm strat; supplied surefire Air Hockey strat; SyKoPianist - supplied Double Twin strat; DarkWrath - supplied me a plethora of entertaining videos at http://www.geocities.com/smb2vids, which also supplied me with a superior strat for Labyrinth; firstname.lastname@example.org - corrected my bonehead mix-up of "graffiti" and "confetti"; email@example.com - let me know about the warp in Beginner 4; firstname.lastname@example.org - informed me of the meaning of "Amida Lot"; www.google.com - helped me in the my endless search for SMB2 info and the meaning of "Ooparts"; Sega, Amusement Vision, Nintendo - duh. I WANT YOUR HELP! Really. I want your strategies, suggestions, comments, whatever. E-mail 'em to me at SoulstreakX@aol.com. I'll use them this time. I promise! And I'll even mention your name! Sites Granted Legal Permission to Use This FAQ: GameBunker @ www.gamebunker.com Planet GameCube @ www.planetgamecube.com GameFAQS @ www.gamefaqs.com IGN @ www.ign.com NeoSeeker @ www.neoseeker.com Games Domain @ www.gamesdomain.com Cheat Code Central @ www.cheatcc.com The GNN (Gaming News Network?) @ www.thegnn.com Cheats.de @ www.cheats.de (no, I'm not sure if anyone there can understand my FAQ) Want permission to use my FAQ? No problem! Just ask me, and I'm sure I won't have any objections. Just ask. K? Copyright 2002, blah blah blah. You know the deal. Don't steal my stuff.