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    FAQ by AlaskaFox

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 08/07/02 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

            -=                 M I N E S W E E P E R                  =-
            -=                    Minesweeper FAQ                     =-
            -=                  For PC/Multi-format                   =-
            -=              By: AlaskaFox(Ronan Murphy)               =-
            -=              Created: August 7, 2002                   =-
            -=          Date last Updated: August 7, 2002             =-
            -=                     Version 1.0                        =-
            -=           Mail me at: frozenfox@hotmail.com            =-
            -=         Home Page: http://tbns.net/deltablue/          =-
            -=                     Gamefaqs CRP:                      =-
            -= http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/7818.html =-
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    The latest version of this FAQ can, and always will be found at:
    Current Progress:
    Guide: 80% complete
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    Version 1.0 (Started: August 7, 2002)
    - Disclaimer, Email Notice Added
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    - File Size: 17k
       -) Introduction
       i) Beginner's Guide
          a) Setting Up
          b) Playing the Game
      ii) Hints and Strategies
          a) Hints
          b) My Strategies
          c) Reader's Strategies
              -=                  INTRODUCTION                 =-
    Throughout this FAQ you will see the words "Index Number" and "Search
    Field". These are to help you locate certain sections of the FAQ, as
    listed in the index. Use Ctrl + F on most Word Processors and in Internet
    Explorer to use the Find/Locate command.
    Example: If you are looking for The section "Beginner's Guide - Setting Up",
    type 'i-a' into the Find box. 'i' is the Index Number and 'a' is the 
    section number. This will take you to the beginning of the section.
              -=               BEGINNER'S GUIDE                =-
    Index Number: i
                      =-           Setting Up          -=
    Search Field: i-a
    Minesweeper Overview
    (taken from the Game's Help File)
    "The object of Minesweeper is to locate all the mines as quickly as possible
    without uncovering any of them. If you uncover a mine, you lose the game."
    Starting a New Game
    To start a new game either press F2 or go to the Game menu and click on "New"
    Pausing a Game
    Some people think that you cannot pause the game in Minesweeper, but it is
    possible. Although there is no in-game pause function(usually F3), if you
    minimize the Minesweeper window, the game will pause.
    Difficulty Level
    There are 3 difficulty levels in Minesweeper, varying from quite easy to
    very difficult. The difficulty levels each have varying grid size and
    varying amounts of mines. They are as follows:
    -Beginner:       9x9  Area -  81 Squares - 10 mines
    -Intermediate:  16x16 Area - 256 Squares - 40 mines
    -Expert:        16x30 Area - 480 Squares - 99 mines
    Custom Grid
    You can also set up your own Grid, but no Best Times will be recorded.
    Only use the Custom Grid function when you are beginning to play
    Minesweeper, or when you want to play a competition against your friends.
    Marks option
    This can be turned on or off, and is On by default. By right-clicking
    twice, you can change the square to a question mark if you are unsure
    of what is hidden beneath. This is a function, I seem to ignore, but
    other people use it to great advantage.
    Color + Sound
    Self-evident really. But if you're bored(you must be if you're reading
    this guide), turn off the color, and go all Retro ^_^
    Best Times
    The game stores all your best times, which can be viewed from this screen.
    You can also reset your times from here.
                      =-       Playing the Game        -=
    Search Field: i-b
    The Grid
    The Grid is made up by a number of squares(explained earlier). There are
    five different types of squares in the game: Covered Squares, Empty
    Squares, Numbered Squares, Flagged Squares, and Question-marked Squares.
    There is also a sixth type: Squares with mines underneath, but if you
    see one of these it means Game Over.
    Covered Squares
    When the game begins, every square will be covered, and it is up to you
    to discover in which squares the mines are. Left clicking on one of these
    squares will reveal one of the following squares underneath.
    Empty Squares
    These are the Squares which have no mines and are not surrounded by mines.
    These squares are your best friend, as uncovering a bunch of these will
    give you great access to the rest of the grid.
    Numbered Squares
    These are the squares you use to decipher where the mines are hidden.
    Each of these has a number which determines how many mines are in the
    surrounding 8 squares(e.g. North, North-East, East, South-East, South,
    South-West, West, and North-West of the square).
    Flagged Squares
    Right-click on a covered square to flag it. Flagged Squares are squares
    which you have indicated contain mines - be careful - you could be
    Question-Marked Squares
    Also called Marked Squares, these are squares you have right-clicked
    on twice. Marked Squares are squares which you are unsure of.
    Playing the Game
    Left click on a random square to start you off, hopefully you won't
    click on a mine! A numbered square(or numerous squares) should appear.
    Here's how the numbered squares work: (enough examples are given)
    - : Empty Square
    X : Mine
    5 : Square surrounded by [NUMBER] mines
    '1' Square
    A square with a '1' in it is surrounded by a single mine.
       X1-   1X1   -1X
       11-   111   -11
       ---   ---   ---
       11-   111   -11
       X1-   1X1   -1X
       11-   111   -11
       ---   ---   ---
       11-   111   -11
       X1-   1X1   -1X
    '2' Square
    A square surrounded by two mines.
       XX1-  X2X1  X2--  X21-  X21-
       221-  1211  X2--  2X1-  12X1
       ----  ----  11--  111-  -111
       ----  ----  ----  ----  ----
       X1--  X1--  X1--  2X1-  12X1
       22--  221-  1211  X21-  X211
       X1--  1X1-  -1X1  11--  11--
       11--  111-  -111  ----  ----
       221-  1211  11--  11--  11--
       XX1-  X2X1  X2--  X21-  X211
       221-  1211  X2--  2X1-  12X1
       ----  ----  11--  111-  -111
       1X1-  -1X1  111-  -111  ----   
       221-  1211  2X1-  12X1  221-
       X1--  X1--  X21-  X211  XX1-
       11--  11--  11--  11--  221-
       ----  ----  ----  ----
       1211  11--  11--  11--
       X2X1  X2--  X21-  X211
       1211  X2--  2X1-  12X1
    '3' Square
    A square surrounded by three mines
      XXX1  XX1-  XX2-  XX21  XX1-
      2321  X31-  3X2-  23X1  331-
      ----  11--  111-  -111  X1--
      ----  ----  ----  ----  11--
      XX1-  XX1-  X3X1  X3X1  X3X2
      332-  2321  X311  2X21  13X2
      1X1-  -1X1  11--  111-  -111
      111-  -111  ----  ----  ----
      X2X1  X2X1  X2X1  111-  XXX1
      2311  2321  1322  2X2-  3X31
      X1--  1X1-  -1X1  3X3-  111-
      11--  111-  -111  2X2-  ----
    '4' Square
    A square surrounded by four mines
      XXX1  XXX2  XXX1  XXX1  X2X1
      X421  24X2  3411  3431  2422
      11--  -111  X1--  1X1-  X2X1
      ----  ----  ----  111-  1211
      X2X2  XX1-
      24X2  2421
      1X21  X2X1
      111-  1211
    '5' Square
    A square surrounded by five mines
      XXX1  X2X2  X3X1  XXX2
      4531  45X2  X522  35X2
      XX1-  XX21  X3X1  X211
      221-  221-  1211  11--
    '6' Square
    A square surrounded by six mines
      XXX2  X4X2  2XX2
      X6X2  X6X3  X6X2
      2X21  X4X2  XX21
      111-  1211  221-
    '7' Square
    A square surrounded by seven mines
      XXX2  2XX1
      X7X3  X7X2
      2XX2  XXX2
      1221  2321
    '8' Square
    A square surrounded by eight mines
    How to Play
    Firstly, left-click on any square on the grid - some people like 
    to start with the corners, but it's easier if you start in the
    centre. Hopefully you will have opened a large area, if not click
    again(and restart the game if you uncover a mine).
    The easiest squares to deduce are ones with the number 1
    surrounding them. Hopefully, you have a few of these exposed.
     ---  Now, let's get started: '-' are the blank exposed squares
     -1S  '1' is an exposed square with the number 1 on it
     -s?  'S' are exposed squares containing any (or no)number
          '?' is a covered square
    We know for sure that there is a mine under the ? square, as
    there is a 1 square beside it, and the ? square is the only
    square touching the 1. Right-click on the ? square to indicate
    that there is a mine underneath.
     ---??? Now, we have Flagged the square that contains the mine 'F'
     -11??? and the numbers on the surrounding squares. The '1' on
     -2F??? the square beside the other '1' square(used in the last
     -????? example) shows there is only 1 surrounding mine, and
            since that is flagged, the other surrounding squares
            should be empty. Left-click on the 3 '?' squares to the
            right of the 1 square.
     ----?? You have exposed more '1' squares. As before the mine
     -111?? that they indicate is already exposed, so the surrounding
     -2F2?? squares must also be empty. Left-click on those too.
     ----2? Now the grid is more exposed, and the mines become more
     -1113? obvious. Whenever there is a 2-3-2 square combination,
     -2F22? with no mines on one side, it must mean that all the
     -????? mines are beside each other. Flag the 3 squares to the
            right of the 2-3-2.
     ----2F You have flagged the two mines beside the bottom '2' square,
     -1113F so the other 3 surrounding squares must contain no mines.
     -2F22F Left-click on them to reveal this.
     ----2F You now know that there is 2 mines surrounding the '2' square
     -1113F directly right of our first mine. Only one of it's
     -2F22F surrounding squares is covered, so the mine must be underneath.
     -??211 Right-click again, and flag that square.
     ----2F There is one covered square left in this area, but you should
     -1113F be able to figure out whether it is a mine or not. Well, is it?
     -?F211                    (Answer below)
     ----2F There's not, but why is that? Because there is a '2' in the
     -1113F square above, and that square touches two mines, so therefore
     -2F22F the covered square must be empty.
    Hopefully, you have figured out how to play minesweeper by now, but
    if you haven't keep practicing on beginner mode to further your
              -=              HINTS & STRATGEIES               =-
    Index Number: ii
                      =-             Hints             -=
    Search Field: ii-a
    Uncover all surrounding squares
    If you have flagged all the mines around any square, you can click
    with both mouse buttons simultaneously to uncover all the
    surrounding squares.
                      =-         My Strategies         -=
    Search Field: ii-b
    Key to diagrams
    - : Empty Square
    ? : Covered square
    S : Numbered square(any number)
    1 : '1' Square
    2 : '2' Square (and so on...)
    X : Mine Square
    F : Flagged Square
    Note: all these can be inverted or rotated.
    Corner-1 Strategy
    Perhaps the most obvious technique in Minesweeper, but since many
    people are new to the game(at some point or another), I'll put it in.
     -S?  In this situation it is obvious where a mine is hidden.
     -1S  There is only one covered square beside the 1, therefore
     ---  that is where the mine is hidden.
    Corner-2 Strategy
    Similar to the last strategy, this one is also pretty basic.
     -S?  As with the last one there is a mine to the north-east of
     -2?  the '1' square, but there is also definitely a mine to the
     -1S  east of the '2' square just above the '1'.
    Corner-2 Strategy II
     ???  Again, the mines are in the same positions, but this time
     -2?  the number above the '2' is another 2, this makes it
     -2?  obvious that the surrounding squares of the top '2' are
     -1S  all empty.
    Corner-3 Strategy
     -???  There is a mine in the usual position, but the other mines
     -23?  have moved. There are two more mines in the squares above
     --1S  the 2 and 3.
    Corner-2/3 Strategy
     -S?  Again, it is obvious where the mines are, they have to be
     -3?  in the 3 covered squares. Simple.
    2-3-2 Strategy
    This was explained in the tutorial, but I'll explain it again.
     ?????  The mines are in the 3 squares above the 2,3,2 squares.
     S232S  The numbers on the other squares are irrelevant here.
    1-2-1 Strategy
     ?????  As with the previous strategy, the outside numbers are
     S121S  irrelevant. The square above the number two is always
     -----  empty. And the squares above the '1's always contain
    2-2 Strategy
     ?MS  Because there is two number 2's, the 3 squares to the
     ?22  west must be empty.
    2-2-2 Strategy
     ?SMS  As with the last strategy, the west-most number 2
     ?222  is already touching 2 mines, and therefore its
     ?SMS  surrounding squares must be empty.
              -=                    OUTRO                      =-
    Next Version:
    -Your strategies
    -Hopefully, more of my strategies
    -Whatever you request
    -"A" Tadeo for the Layout and Disclaimer
    -CJayC for putting this FAQ on his site, www.gamefaqs.com
    -Microsoft for Windows and Notepad, and of course, this game
    -Packard Bell for my PC(If I put them here will I get a new one?)
    -You for reading it
      ___  _     ___  ______ _____ ____ ____ _  _
     / _ \| |   / _ \/ __/ |/ / _ \| __|    | \/ /
    | ___ | |__| ___ |__ \   | ___ | __| || ||  |
    |_| |_|____|_| |_|___/_|\_\| |_|_| |____|_/\_\TM
                          ©Ronan Murphy - AlaskaFox 2002