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    FAQ by Crazyreyn

    Version: 1.4 | Updated: 06/11/04 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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                                     C O L U M N S
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                                       Game Gear
                                    FAQ, Version 1.4
                               Last Updated - 11/06/2004
                        By Crazyreyn (crazyreyn_faqs@hotmail.com)
                 Copyright (c)2003 Matthew Reynolds. All rights reserved. 
    
    *******************************************************************************
    
    Legal Notice
    ------------
    The ONLY sites that may have this FAQ and all my other FAQs are the following..
    
    http://www.gamefaqs.com
    http://www.neoseeker.com
    http://faqs.ign.com/
    http://www.cheats.de
    http://www.cheathappens.com
    
    You will find the latest versions here. If you DO see this FAQ on a site other
    than those above, then please contact me straight away.
    
    Contact Details
    ---------------
    If you see a fault of ANY kind or you want to contribute some data to me, then 
    either email me at crazyreyn_faqs@hotmail.com OR speak to me on 
    MSN Messenger on crazyreyn_faqs@hotmail.com, or on AIM at Crazyreyn.
    If you are emailing me, then please have the subject title as 'Columns
    FAQ' or something similar, otherwise it will not be opened. Full credit will be
    given in due course.
    
    
    ===============================================================================
                                     INTRODUCTION
    ===============================================================================
    
    Hello and welcome to the Columns FAQ. This is a short FAQ on how to play the
    game, some advice and strategies and what the modes are. I hope this FAQ will
    help you in some way. Thank you for reading.
    
    
    ===============================================================================
                                   TABLE OF CONTENTS
    ===============================================================================
    
    1. Version History
    2. Game Overview
      2.01. Basics
      2.02. Controls
    3. One Player
      3.01. Original
      3.02. Flash
    4. Versus
    5. Hints and Tips
    6. FAQ's
    7. Conclusion and Special Thanks
    
    
    ===============================================================================
                                  1. VERSION HISTORY
    ===============================================================================
    
    Version 1.4 - 11/06/2004
    ------------------------
    Updated the FAQ with a less bulky format, which lessons the FAQ size. Also
    added some bits and bobs around the FAQ.
    
    Version 1.3 - 20/8/2003
    -----------------------
    Updated the list of sites that can host the FAQ; changes the Conclusion and
    Special Thanks section; and corrected some errors here and there.
    
    Version 1.2 - 10/6/2003
    -----------------------
    ANOTHER change in format! This time I think this format is gonna stay this way,
    me thinks me likes it. If you have any comments about, contact me and we will
    duke it out. I have also put some of the basic stuff (controls, basics)
    into a 'Game Overview' section.
    
    Version 1.1 - 30/5/2003
    -----------------------
    Format Change.
    
    Version 1.0 - 22/5/2003
    -----------------------
    The first version of the FAQ, with everything completed.
    
    
    ===============================================================================
                                   2. GAME OVERVIEW
    ===============================================================================
    
    This section is just a look over all things in the game without going too
    in-depth.
    
    ------------
    2.01. Basics
    ------------
    
    Columns is a basic puzzle game that's similar to Tetris. Columns of different
    coloured or shaped blocks fall from the top of the screen, and you can
    change the order of these blocks as they fall. When that column rests on the
    bottom or above another column, you take control of another column that will
    fall. 
    
    The aim is to match up three or more of the same shape or colour
    blocks, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. When you have, they
    will disappear and points will be added to your score, and the blocks you just
    got rid of adds to your block total. The blocks above then fall down to rest 
    where the old ones were.
    
    The longer you play the higher the levels get - the higher the level, the
    faster the columns will fall. You will keep on going until the blocks the
    reach the very top of the screen, and when that happens, its game over.
    
    ------------
    Magic Column
    ------------
    
    Once you have made 300 blocks disappear, then you will get a magic column. This
    is a special column that when it lands on a block, all those of the same type
    are destroyed on the screen , regardless of location. For example landing the
    magic column on a red block clears the screen of red blocks.
    
    ------------------------
    Changing the Block Order
    ------------------------
    
    There are two ways to change the block order using the two buttons. Using
    button I you can cycle the blocks upward, and using button II you can cycle
    the buttons down. Here are some diagrams to show this -
    
    By pressing BUTTON I twice...
    
     ##              --              ==
     --     --->     ==     --->     ##
     ==              ##              --
    
    By pressing BUTTON II twice...
    
     ##              ==              --
     --     --->     ##     --->     ==
     ==              --              ##
    
    --------------
    2.02. Controls
    --------------
    
    Being a puzzle game, there isn't a lot to the controls...
    
    D-Pad     -  Move Columns / select different menu items 
    
    Button I  -  Changes block order upward
    
    Button II -  Changes block order down
    
    
    ===============================================================================
                                    3. ONE PLAYER
    ===============================================================================
    
    There are two modes within One Player. The Original and Flash modes.
    
    --------------
    3.01. Original
    --------------
    
    This is the main mode of Columns where you play for points.
    
    Options
    -------
    
    Before you start your game, there are a number of options that you can alter
    as you please. You will be asked this every time before you play. To change
    use the D-pad, then to proceed to playing the game press any button.
    
    Top Score:  This is your top score. Sadly they are not saved onto the cart, 
                so when you switch the game off your scores are erased.
    
    Difficulty: You can change the difficulty here. You can change it to either 
                EASY, NORMAL, or HARD. The difference between each one is that with
                EASY there will be a range of 4 blocks, with NORMAL a range of 5, 
                and HARD a range of 6.
    
    Level:      This changes the speed that the blocks come down at. You can set it
                from 0 to 9 where 0 is very slow and 9 is lightning fast.
    
    Sound:      There are three different music tunes you can have while you play.
                Pick either A, B or C.
    
    Blocks:     Change the types of blocks you play with. You can choose from -
    
                Blocks
                Gems
                Playing Card Symbols
                Dice
                Fruit
    
                The game doesn't change based on your choice. Although I think the 
                Blocks are easiest to play with as they are simple block designs 
                that are only different in colour.
    
    Game Screen
    -----------
    
    This is the game screen when you play.
    
    +--------------------------------+    1 - The area of play.
    |          |          |  ______  |
    |          |          | |   2  | |    2 - Shows what column is coming next
    |          |          | |______| |
    |          |          |    ___   |    3 - How many points you got just for
    |          |          |   |_3_|  |        getting a combo
    |          |    1     |__________|
    |          |          |____4_____|    4 - Displays your score
    |          |          |__________|
    |          |          |____5_____|    5 - Displays how many blocks you got rid
    |          |          |          |        of
    |          |          |__________|
    |          |          |____6_____|    6 - Displays the level that you are on
    +--------------------------------+
    
    
    ------------
     3.02. Flash
    ------------
    
    In this mode, you have several rows of blocks to begin with and a flashing
    block that's in the bottom row. This block flashes and is a colour, just like
    any other block. You have to work your way down to this block and destroy it,
    then you win that game.
    
    Options:    Before you start your game, there are a number of options that you
                can alter as you please. You will be asked this every time before 
                you play. To change use the D-pad, then to proceed to playing the
                game press any button.
    
    Best Time:  This is your best time that you got destroyed the flashing block 
                with. Sadly they are not saved onto the cart, so when you switch 
                the game off your best time is erased.
    
    Difficulty: You can change the difficulty here. You can change it to either 
                EASY, NORMAL, or HARD. The difference between each one is that with
                EASY there will be a range of 4 blocks, with NORMAL a range of 5, 
                and HARD a range of 6.
    
    High:       This is how high the columns are when you begin. The lowest us 2, 
                and the highest is 9.
    
    Sound:      There are three different music tunes you can have while you play.
                Pick either A, B or C.
    
    Blocks:     Change the types of blocks you play with. You can choose from -
    
                Blocks
                Gems
                Playing Card Symbols
                Dice
                Fruit
    
                The game doesn't change based on your choice. Although I think the 
                Blocks are easiest to play with as they are simple block designs 
                that are only different in colour.
    
    Game Screen
    -----------
    
    This is the game screen when you play.
    
    +--------------------------------+    1 - The area of play.
    |          |          |  ______  |
    |          |          | |   2  | |    2 - Shows what column is coming next
    |          |          | |______| |
    |          |          |          |    3 - Displays the amount of time that you
    |          |          |          |        have played for
    |          |    1     |          |
    |          |          |          |    4 - Displays the level that you are on
    |          |          |          |
    |          |          |   ___    |
    |          |          |  |_3_|   |
    |          |          |__________|
    |          |          |____4_____|
    +--------------------------------+
    
    
    ===============================================================================
                                     4. VERSUS
    ===============================================================================
    
    I haven't actually played a two player with a friend, so the only information
    that I can provide is that from the manual. If you have played this in versus
    mode and have further information then please email me details about this and
    I will add it into the FAQ.
    
    Versus mode allows you to play against an friend. You will need a Game Gear
    each, a copy of Columns each, and a link cable. You can play both original and
    flash games in versus mode; however the twist is that you can add horizontal
    lines onto your opponents screen by destroying blocks. If you clear four
    blocks or two columns disappear then you add a single line to your opponents
    screen; if you clear five blocks or three columns disappear then you add two
    lines to your opponents. ALSO you don't just add a line your shift it from
    your side to theirs (so if you have 3 lines and they have 1, then you both have
    2 as you shifted one of yours to their side). The column that is falling also
    will disappear when a line is added.
    
    
    ===============================================================================
                                  5. HINTS AND TIPS
    ===============================================================================
    
    --------------------
    Basic Hints and Tips
    --------------------
    
     When you are picking your options, pick a block type that you can easily
      identify when you are combining during game play.
     When you are more experienced at playing, try more complex combos to get
      higher scores (see the section below).
     Keep a close eye on what is coming next, so you can organise what can go
      where in a more suitable way.
     Don't panic - especially later on when the levels increase. Also, unless you
      are very good, keep combos simpler in the later levels.
     Playing on higher levels means you get more points.
     Most of all, practice makes perfect. But if no one is perfect, why practice?
      Hmmm. OK - the more you play, the better you get, just like in any game.
      Especially puzzle games... ;)
    
    ----------------------------------------
    Getting more than three blocks per combo
    ----------------------------------------
    
    You can get combos that are more than three blocks. They don't have to be
    in a direct line either, they can stray from the line itself. If there
    are two blocks leading from a block, that's a combo - if one of them blocks
    has another two coming from it, it adds to the combo. Confused? ASCII time.
    
    These are standard three in a line combos -
       __    __ __ __    __                __
      |__|  |__|__|__|  |__|__          __|__|
      |__|                 |__|__    __|__|
      |__|                    |__|  |__|
    
    As you can see, each one of these blocks is connected to two others. That's
    how the game recognises a combo. So you could have more than one block
    connected to two others, and if you do, you get a bigger combo, meaning more
    blocks are cleared and you get a better score. Here is a few examples -
     __ __ __          __    __    __
    |__|__|__|__      |__|__|__|  |__|__ __
             |__|__   |__|__|__   |__|__|__|
                |__|  |__|  |__|  |__|
    
    So when you playing, keep this in mind to get higher scores.
    
    
    ===============================================================================
                                       6. FAQ'S
    ===============================================================================
    
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    
    Q. Why do my scores / times not saved!?
    
    A. This game does not have battery backup, meaning that when you switch it off
       your scores and times are gone. Forever. Its a shame really...
    
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    
    Q. How do I play Versus mode?
    
    A. You need an extra game gear, an extra copy of Columns and a link cable.
       Seeing as this game is now fairly old, getting these items might be a tad
       tricky and could prove expensive... but if you still want to go for it, then
       I recommend something like eBay.
    
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    
    Q. Are they any secrets or Easter Eggs or anything?
    
    A. Yes there is. You can get an Alternate Ending. To see this alternate ending,
       Start a new game in flash mode that is on normal difficulty and the height
       at normal. Now quit the game after the demonstration mode to see the
       alternate ending. Thanks to havok6188 for submitting this in the codes
       section of GameFAQs.
    
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    
    ===============================================================================
                           7. CONCLUSION AND SPECIAL THANKS
    ===============================================================================
    
    If you could, please either ask me questions, suggestions, comments or 
    contributions at crazyreyn_faqs@hotmail.com. Also could you rate this FAQ so I
    could get some feedback. Thank you for reading.
    
    Thanks to havok6188 for submitting the Alternate Ending in the codes section
    of GameFAQs.
    
    Thanks to CJayC, IGN, Neoseeker, and the lot at the FCB.
    
    Thanks to Defcon999, SayainPrince, djg40, namod65 and strawhat for their help
    and opinions about this new shorter format. Thanks guys!
    
    If I have forgotten you, then please contact me and I'll fix your name up here!
    
    
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      C R A Z Y R E Y N - http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/27600.html
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By Crazyreyn (crazyreyn_faqs@hotmail.com)
    Copyright (c)2004 Matthew Reynolds. All rights reserved. 
    
    
    Copyright Notice
    ----------------
    This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
    private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
    publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
    web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
    violation of copyright.
    
    All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their 
    respective trademark and copyright holders.
    
                           ======== END OF DOCUMENT ========