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                                 Gomoku Narabe

FAQ
NES 1983
                                                                               
Version:        1.0


Gomoku Narabe' was the fourth game released for the Famicom, along with
Mahjong.

'GoMoku' is Japanese and means '5 Points' and 'Narabe' translates to 'in-a-
row'. It is similar to a game of Tic-Tac-Toe on first sight. It is often known
as 'Connect Five', 'Spoil Five', 'Pegity' or 'Go-bang' in the West among many
other variations. Do not be confused that the word 'Go' is in the title. The
game is merely played with a Go board and pieces, but 'Go' means 'Five' in
Japanese as well. This game also follows 'Renju' rules, so often the game is
just referred to as 'Renju'.


BASICS
===============================================================================

Menu:
`````
At the main menu you can choose between three difficulty settings: Easy, Medium
and Hard. The fourth option is to play against another person, i.e. 2-Player
Mode.


Display:
````````
During the game, there is a small bar on the right side. The top is the level
you are playing on, as chosen on the main menu. Underneath is the name of the
opening the CPU has chosen to start out as. The lower numbers indicate the
round you are in, the number of wins and the number of losses.

If you are playing 2-Player mode, the difficulty setting is not display and
instead of losses it only counts wins for both players (I and II).


Controls:
`````````
D-Pad         Move on the board
A             Set a tile
B             Surrender
SELECT        Cycle through the main menu
START         Select on the main menu / Pause/Unpause the game during play

Be careful not to surrender by mistake!


How to Play:
````````````
Unlike Tic-Tac-Toe where there is usually a draw if both players pay attention,
there is always a possibility to win in Gomoku Narabe. The original game method
was flawed and black had a clear advantage, but with some special rules set it
was made equally winnable for both colors.

Each player alternates to place a piece on the board of his or her color. They
cannot be moved or removed once put down. The winner is the first player to get
an unbroken row of five stones horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in any
direction. Note that there are some rules that apply to the black color.


Rules:
``````
Since 1936 it has been proven that black can win by perfect play, some rules
were introduced to keep the game fair and reduce black's advantage. The game
follows the Renju rules:

- Overlines: 

  Black only wins with five pieces in a row count as a win, rows of six or more
  are called Overlines and will result in a loss instead. White on the other
  hand, has no such restrictions and wins with any row of five or more.

- Three-And-Three:

  Black may not form two rows or three pieces in a row at the same time. For
  example:
  
  x**
  *
  *
  
  Placing a piece at 'x' would result in two rows as mentioned above. This rule
  only applies if there are no white tiles on either end of the black rows.

- Four-And-Four:

  Similar to Three-And-Three, but by placing two rows of fours at the same
  time. The difference to the above rule is that it does not matter if a row is
  ended by a white piece, it is still against the rules.



STRATEGIES:
===============================================================================

There are no real expert strategies in this game.

You just have to watch out for where the opponent places their pieces. If you
see an attempt to make four-in-a-row then you may in for a tricky situation. If
a person enables four-in-a- row with both sides empty, there is no way of
stopping the next move making this five. You cannot really hide your moves, and
sneaking in a hidden piece. I suppose not making your attempts to get five-in-
a-row too obvious won't do much good either.

Your pieces are better off in the center of the board, rather than on the side
as there are more ways to use them. On the side you can only use it from 50
percent and it is easily blocked off. Thus the side rows and columns are
usually not covered until later on in the game.

Forcing moves is a good way to keep control of the flow and gain an upper hand.
For black this is not so easy to do.

Black needs to play special attention to the moves, so they do not break the
rules as seen in the previous section. This means moves need to planned more
carefully or you will lose instantly. There is not time limit on moves,
although I suspect in a 2-Player mode it would be courteous not to take forever
to make a move.

White may use the applied restrictions to force black into making a fatal move
or simply not prevent white from winning. Check for patterns to see if you can
make shorter rows that end up being near black pieces that would result in
three-to-three or four-to-four. White should also leave those spaces empty and
first build around to make a five-in-a-row (or setup for it) while black
cannot place a piece in that spot.

And finally, practice is required to understand the game's situations, to
further develop your own tactics and strategies.


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