-==========================================================-
        -=                 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 =-
        -==========================================================-






Disclaimer
==========
This Game Guide / FAQ is created for personal use only. You must not use it 
for anything that gains profit. Specifically Magazines, Game Guides, 
Commercial Web Sites, unless you have my written permission. 
Youíre also not allowed to rip off part/s of this Game Guide / FAQ and put
it on your own Game Guide / FAQ. Anyone doing this is guilty of plagiarism",
the act of stealing and passing off of ideas and words of another as oneís 
own without crediting the source.
You also cannot use this Game Guide / FAQ as a guide for you to make your own
Game Guide / FAQ, you must do everything there is to do in the game yourself
or have others give info about your game and give them proper credit. You 
can copy the layout though. 
You can put this Game Guide / FAQ on your non-commercial or non-profit web 
site provided that not a single character has been edited or removed and you 
MUST have permission from me in order to do so. You can also, print a copy of
the entire FAQ / Guide or a part of it, provided you only use it for personal
purposes. 
Remember "You donít have to steal, just ask." - B.O.F.III

E-Mail Notice
=============
If you wish to send me an email asking any questions, pointing out mistakes
or whatever: Make sure you put the words "Minesweeper" or something 
similar that lets me know which game your email is about. I have many FAQs
and if you don't do this your email may be ignored.


Updates
=======

The latest version of this FAQ can, and always will be found at:
www.gamefaqs.com

Current Progress:
-----------------
Guide: 80% complete
File Size: 17K

Version 1.0 (Started: August 7, 2002)
-----------------------------------------
- Disclaimer, Email Notice Added
- Outro, Credits Added
- File Size: 17k


Contents
=============
   -) 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
wrong.

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)

Key
---
- : 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

  12321
  2XXX2
  3X8X3
  2XXX2
  12321




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?
 -2F22F
 -?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.
 -2F211


Hopefully, you have figured out how to play minesweeper by now, but
if you haven't keep practicing on beginner mode to further your
skills.

          -=================================================-
          -=              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?
 -1S

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
        mines.

2-2 Strategy
============

 ?MS  Because there is two number 2's, the 3 squares to the
 ?22  west must be empty.
 ?MS

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

Credits:
-"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