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    Checker Block FAQ by Slasher44203

    Updated: 02/15/06 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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     _                     _
    | |                   (_)                
    | |    _   _ _ __ ___  _ _ __   ___  ___ 
    | |   | | | | '_ ` _ \| | '_ \ / _ \/ __|
    | |___| |_| | | | | | | | | | |  __/\__ \
    \_____/\__,_|_| |_| |_|_|_| |_|\___||___/
    
     _____ _               _              ______ _            _    
    /  __ \ |             | |             | ___ \ |          | |   
    | /  \/ |__   ___  ___| | _____ _ __  | |_/ / | ___   ___| | __
    | |   | '_ \ / _ \/ __| |/ / _ \ '__| | ___ \ |/ _ \ / __| |/ /
    | \__/\ | | |  __/ (__|   <  __/ |    | |_/ / | (_) | (__|   < 
     \____/_| |_|\___|\___|_|\_\___|_|    \____/|_|\___/ \___|_|\_\
                                                                   
                                                                   
    ______ ___  _____ 
    |  ___/ _ \|  _  |
    | |_ / /_\ \ | | |
    |  _||  _  | | | |
    | |  | | | \ \/' /
    \_|  \_| |_/\_/\_\
    
    
    CREATED BY:
    
     _______        _______ _______ _     _ _______  ______
     |______ |      |_____| |______ |_____| |______ |_____/
     ______| |_____ |     | ______| |     | |______ |    \_
                                                           
     
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    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    
    1. Introduction---------------------------------INT~
    	1.1. Legal Stuff------------------------INT1~
    	1.2. About this FAQ---------------------INT2~
    
    2. Before we start...---------------------------BWS~
    	2.1. Lumines Basics---------------------BWS1~
    	2.2. Types of Blocks--------------------BWS2~
    	2.3. Terms to Know----------------------BWS3~
    
    3. Checker Block Strategies---------------------TCB~
    	3.1. The Floor Method-------------------TCB1~
    	3.2. The Block Method-------------------TCB2~
    	3.3. The Moving Method------------------TCB3~	
    	3.4. The Infinite Tower Method----------TCB4~
    	3.5. Reader Submitted Strategies--------TCB5~
    		3.5.1 Jon's Strategy------------TCB5-1~
    		3.5.2 Zaphod's Strategy---------TCB5-2~
    
    4. Troubleshooting------------------------------TSH~
    	4.1. TS The Floor Method----------------TSH1~
    	4.2. TS The Block Method----------------TSH2~ 	
    	4.3. TS The Moving Method---------------TSH3~
    	4.4. TS The Infinite Tower Method-------TSH4~
    	4.5. While You are Repairing...---------TSH5~ 
    
    5. Closing--------------------------------------CLS~
    	5.1. Credits----------------------------CLS1~
    	5.2. Contact Information----------------CLS2~
    	5.3. Thanks-----------------------------CLS3~
    
    
    *******************************************************************************
       				    ____    
                                       /_   |   
                                        |   |   
                                        |   |   
                                        |___| /\
                                              \/
       .___        __                    .___             __  .__               
       |   | _____/  |________  ____   __| _/_ __   _____/  |_|__| ____   ____  
       |   |/    \   __\_  __ \/  _ \ / __ |  |  \_/ ___\   __\  |/  _ \ /    \ 
       |   |   |  \  |  |  | \(  <_> ) /_/ |  |  /\  \___|  | |  (  <_> )   |  \
       |___|___|  /__|  |__|   \____/\____ |____/  \___  >__| |__|\____/|___|  /
                \/                        \/           \/                    \/
    INT~
    *******************************************************************************
    
    ********************
    * 1.1. Legal Stuff *
    ********************                  
    INT1~
    
    I know you probably aren't going to read any of this, but I have to put it all
    here anyway.  You may not use this guide and say it is your own.  You may 
    copy and print this guide for personal use only; any other use of this guide 
    must have my express written consent.  As of now this guide is only allowed to 
    be used on the following sites:
    
    http://www.gamefaqs.com
    http://www.1up.com
    http://www.neoseeker.com
    http://www.supercheats.com
    http://www.gamerhelp.com
    
    Thank you for your cooperation.
    
    
    ***********************
    * 1.2. About this FAQ *
    ***********************
    INT2~
    
    I decided to write this FAQ after the numerous complaints I have been hearing 
    on the message boards about "checker blocks" in Lumines.  This guide is 
    designed to teach you how to deal with those pesky buggers.  Suprisingly, it is 
    a lot easier than one may think.  
    
    To find anything at all in this guide, look in the table of contents.  Find the 
    section or chapter you want, and look to the right.  Whatever letter/number 
    sequence is there, you type into the "find" command in your browser.  For 
    example, to find the "version history" section, type ctrl + f and type in 
    "INT2~" (minus the quotes, of course).
    
    Also, if using Internet Explorer, text size should be set to "Medium" for 
    optimal viewing of this FAQ.	
    
    
    
    *******************************************************************************
    				 ________
    				 \_____  \    
                                      /  ____/    
                                     /       \    
                                     \_______ \ /\
                                             \/ \/
            __________        _____                       __      __        
            \______   \ _____/ ____\___________   ____   /  \    /  \ ____  
             |    |  _// __ \   __\/  _ \_  __ \_/ __ \  \   \/\/   // __ \ 
             |    |   \  ___/|  | (  <_> )  | \/\  ___/   \        /\  ___/ 
             |______  /\___  >__|  \____/|__|    \___  >   \__/\  /  \___  >
                    \/     \/                        \/         \/       \/ 
                       _________ __                 __            
                      /   _____//  |______ ________/  |_          
                      \_____  \\   __\__  \\_  __ \   __\         
                      /        \|  |  / __ \|  | \/|  |           
                     /_______  /|__| (____  /__|   |__|   /\ /\ /\
                             \/           \/              \/ \/ \/
    BWS~
    *******************************************************************************
    
    ***********************
    * 2.1. Lumines Basics *
    ***********************
    BWS1~
    
    If you are reading an in-depth FAQ such as this one, I would assume that you 
    already know what Lumines is, and how to play it.  However, if you do not know
    how to play Lumines, I will quickly go over the basics.
    
    In Lumines, blocks of two different colors fall into a grid.  In my FAQ, I will
    represent a block like this:
    
    					XO
    					XX
    
    The X is representing one color, while the O is representing the other.  Of 
    course there are many different types of blocks.  Following in the next section
    is a list of all of the different types of blocks, as well as the different
    names you may see me or someone else call them.
    
    Your goal is to make the falling blocks form a 2x2 square of the same color 
    blocks.  So for example, if you had the block I just showed you from up above,
    you could drop it on top of another block like this:
    
    					XO
    					XX	
    					
    					XX
    					OO
    
    				     To make:				
    					
    					XO
    					XX
    					XX
    					OO	
    				       
                     Which after 1 sweep of the timeline, becomes:					
    					XO
    					OO
    
    So do you get how the timeline works?  The timeline is a line that sweeps 
    across the screen in time with the music.  As it sweeps over any group of 4 
    like-colored blocks, they are deleted from the screen.  Make sure you under-
    stand the concept of the timeline very well, for it will be important later on
    in this guide.				   	
    		
    		       
    ************************
    * 2.2. Types of Blocks *
    ************************
    BWS2~
    
    The following list is a "picture" of each type of block, as well as a short 
    description of them.  I will use all of the terms interchangably, so it would
    be good to know them all.  I will, however, try to stick to the first name that
    I give the block.
    					OO
    					OO
    
    This block is usually called a "blank", but you will sometimes hear it called a
    "blankey" or a "whitey".  It all depends who you are talking to.  This is one 
    of the easiest blocks to get rid of.
    
    
    					OX
    					OO
    
    This block is usually called a "single", but you may also hear it referred to
    as a "oney" or a "loner".  Next to the "checker" blocks, these ones will cause 
    the most problems.
    
    
    					XX
    					OO
    
    
    This block is usually called a "half", but you may also hear it as a "double" 
    or as a "twoey".  Next to the blanks and quads, this is the second easiest 
    block to get rid of.
    
    
    					XX
    					X0
    
    This block is usually called a "triple", but you will also hear it called a 
    "three", "trey", and "triplet".  Along with the single, this block is 
    relatively difficult.
    
    
    					XX
    					XX
    
    This block is usually called a "quad", but can also be called a "full" or a 
    "four".  Along with the "blank", this block is the easiest to get rid of.
    
    
    					XO
    					OX
    
    And finally, this is the infamous "checker" block.  You may also hear this 
    referred to as a "split", "duece" or SON OF A *****! <_<  This is the sinlge
    hardest block to get rid of, but fear not, for I bring you strategies to 
    tackle this bugger.  You can find these later in the guide.
    
    
    **********************
    * 2.3. Terms to Know *
    **********************
    BWS3~
    
    Before I get into any specific checker block strategies, there are a few terms 
    that you need to be familiar with.
    
    Column-the vertical rows that you drop your blocks into.  In this FAQ, columns
           will be displayed like this
    
    				   12 34 56 78	
    				  
    				   XO OX XO XO
    				   XX XX XO XX
    
           That picture would represent 4 different blocks that you have dropped 
           next to each other.
    
    Timeline-the timeline is the line that sweeps across your grid and deletes any
    	 set of 4 like colored blocks that you might have put together.  So,
    	 for example, the above image would look like this after the timeline
    	 went by one time:
    
    				   12 34 56 78
    
    				   XO O   O XO 	
    				   XX X   O XX
    	 Get it?  Good.
    
    Delete-any 4 like colored-blocks that are put together on the grid.
    
    Half delete-when you complete a delete right as the timeline passes over it.  
    	    This will cause only the half of the delete to the right of the 
    	    timeline to be deleted.  This is very bad in all of my checker 
    	    strategies, so AVOID HALF DELETES.  
    
    And I think that is about all of the terms you will need to know for this 
    guide.
    
    And now, the moment we have all been waiting for.......
    
    
    
    *******************************************************************************
    				 ________     
                                     \_____  \    
                                       _(__  <    
                                      /       \   
                                     /______  / /\
                                            \/  \/
    	      _________ .__                   __                 
                  \_   ___ \|  |__   ____   ____ |  | __ ___________ 
                  /    \  \/|  |  \_/ __ \_/ ___\|  |/ // __ \_  __ \
                  \     \___|   Y  \  ___/\  \___|    <\  ___/|  | \/
                   \______  /___|  /\___  >\___  >__|_ \\___  >__|   
                          \/     \/     \/     \/     \/    \/       
                          __________.__                 __    
                          \______   \  |   ____   ____ |  | __
                           |    |  _/  |  /  _ \_/ ___\|  |/ /
                           |    |   \  |_(  <_> )  \___|    < 
                           |______  /____/\____/ \___  >__|_ \
                                  \/                 \/     \/
            _________ __                 __                .__               
           /   _____//  |_____________ _/  |_  ____   ____ |__| ____   ______
           \_____  \\   __\_  __ \__  \\   __\/ __ \ / ___\|  |/ __ \ /  ___/
           /        \|  |  |  | \// __ \|  | \  ___// /_/  >  \  ___/ \___ \ 
          /_______  /|__|  |__|  (____  /__|  \___  >___  /|__|\___  >____  >
                  \/                  \/          \/_____/         \/     \/ 
    TCB~
    *******************************************************************************
    
    The following methods are the most effective methods I have found for dealing
    with checker blocks.  For each method, I will give various pictures of how to
    set them up, as well as ratings at the end of each section for:
    
    Ease of setting up: 		 X/10 - How easy the method is to set up.
    Ease of executing:  		 X/10 - How easy it is to use the method.
    Number of deletes per execution: X    - How many deletes you get from the 
    					entire pattern.
    Overall Score:                   X/10 - Uh...how good it is overall.
    
    IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT ALL OF THESE METHODS SHOULD BE DONE ON THE RIGHT SIDE
    OF THE GRID!  DO THEM ON THE RIGHT SIDE TO AVOID HALF DELETES BECAUSE YOU COULD
    NOT SEE THE TIMELINE.  REPEAT AFTER ME.  "I WILL DO ALL OF MY CHECKER BLOCK 
    STRATEGIES ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY GRID".  Good.  If that doesn't stick out at 
    you...then, wow.  Remember...right side.  Right side=checker blocks, Left Side=
    Chaos zone.  I can't stress this enough.
    
    Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  NEVER USE A CHECKER BLOCK IF IT HAS A DESTROYER IN 
    IT!!!  This could mess up your entire pattern.  I don't believe it matters for 
    the first method, but it will mess up all the rest.  Plus, you don't want to
    waste a destroyer block if it won't be used to its full potential.
    
    
    *************************
    * 3.1. The Floor Method *
    *************************
    TCB1~
    
    The Floor Method is one of the easiest setups for dealing with checker blocks.
    Hence the name, in the floor method, you make a "floor" in your grid consisting 
    of pairs of checker blocks.  To set this up, you can take as many columns as 
    you would like to use, but I recommend using no more than six.  If you use up
    too many columns, you will not have enough room in your chaos zone.
    
    	   Here is an example of the start of a Floor Method:
    
    				12 34 56
    				
    				OX XO OX
    				XO OX XO
    
    	Now, let's examine this without putting them in columns:
    
    				  ****
    				 OXXOOX
    				 XOOXXO 	
    				  ****
    
    You see where I put the stars?  If you'll notice, all of those are in pairs.
    
    Once you have something like that set up, your next move will be to drop a 
    		   couple of half blocks like this:
    
    				  123456
    				
                                       OOXX
    				   XXOO				
    				  OXXOOX
    				  XOOXXO
    
    	Which after the timeline passes one time will look like this:
    
    				  123456
    
    				  OOOXXX
    				  XOOXXO
    
    	   Which after ANOTHER pass of the timeline will become:
    
    				  123456
    
    				  O    X
    				  X    O
    
    		Proceed to drop in more dueces to make:
    
    				 1 2345 6
    				
    				 O OXXO X
    				 X XOOX O
    
    				    OR:	
    
    				 1 2345 6
    				
    				 O XOOX X
    				 X OXXO O
    
    NOTE: You can use whichever of these two that you would like--both will have
    the same outcome.  It just depends whether you prefer left or right.  I prefer
    working on the right, so my work stays away from the chaos zone on the left.
    
    
    		Now you need to drop more halfs on like such:
    
    				  123456
    				   
                                        XXOO
    				    OOXX	
    				  OXOOXX
    				  XOXXOO
    
    	Which after two passes of the timeline becomes one lonely checker:
    
    				  123456
    
    				  OX
    				  XO
    
    Now, look at the original setup.  Do you notice something?  Good observation!
    The block that we now have sitting here is the exact same block that was in 
    columns 1 and 2 of our original setup!  Now you can just start it all over 
    again!  ^_^
    
    RATINGS:
    
    Ease of setting up: 		 9/10
    Ease of executing:  		 7/10
    Number of deletes per execution: 8
    Overall Score:                   8/10
    
    Notes from Slasher:  
    I don't really use this one that much, mainly because you are forced to 
    incorporate other types of blocks into this pattern.  However, it is the most
    simple out of all the methods I will be outlining.  On top of simplicity, it 
    provides many deletes per execution.  It is very crucial to watch the timeline.
    This is a method where a half delete could cause a lot of trouble.
    
    
    *************************
    * 3.2. The Block Method	*
    *************************
    TCB2~
    
    The Block Method is another very useful tool for ridding yourself of those 
    nasty checkers, and it is my personal favorite method.
    
    	Start out by taking 4 checkers and making a pattern like this:
    
           				    12 34
    
    				    XO OX
    				    OX XO
    				    OX XO
    				    XO OX
    
    	       After a pass of the timeline, it becomes this:
    
    				    12 34
    
    				    X   X
    				    O   O
    				    OO OO
    				    XO OX
    
    			Which after another pass becomes:	 	
    
    				    12 34
    
    				    X   X
    				    O   O
    				    O   O
    				    X   X
    
    	To which you know drop two more checkers in one of two ways:
    
    				    1 23 4
    
    				    X OX X
    				    O XO O
    				    O XO O
    				    X OX X
    
    				      OR:
    
    				    1 23 4
    
    				    X OX X
    				    O XO O
    				    O XO O
    				    X OX X
    
    NOTE: We will use the example with the new delete being on the right.
    
    				Which will become:
    
    				    12 34
    				    XO
    				    OX
        				    OX XX
    				    XO XX
    
    			    Which will then become:
    
    				    12 34
    				    XO
    				    OX
        				    OX 
    				    XO 
    
    We're finally here.  Doesn't look like much, does it.  Take a quick gander at 
    the original setup.  If you will notice, the first two columns are exactly the 
    same as the first two columns in the original setup.  So, just put two more 
    checkers on the right side to make another delete in the center, and you can
    start all over with the pattern again.  Pretty nifty, eh?
    
    RATINGS:
    
    Ease of setting up: 		 9/10
    Ease of executing:  		 9/10
    Number of deletes per execution: 4
    Overall Score:                   9/10
    
    Notes from Slasher:
    
    This is my personal favorite method.  When I first figured this one out, my 
    scores started to skyrocket.  One thing to remember, it doesn't matter if in 
    the fourth step that I outlined whether you make the delete on the right or on
    the left.  If you make it on the left instead of the right, you will just get 
    the last step as the right side of the original form instead of the left side.
    That fourth step is really the only one that you can afford to make a mistake 
    in how you have the block positioned.  If you make one anywhere else, you will
    leave yourself with some fun cleanup.  That will be tackled later on in this
    FAQ.
    
    
    **************************
    * 3.3. The Moving Method *
    **************************
    TCB3~
    
    This was a method I just recently discovered, and while it is odd, it does 
    work.  It takes a little bit of getting used to, but it is sometimes fun to try
    out.
    
         To start off the Moving Method, drop two checker blocks like this:
    
    				   1234
    		
    				    XO
    				    OX*
    				    *XO
    				     OX
    
    		when you drop them it will become this:
    
                             	   1234
    
    				     O
    				     X
    				    XXO
    				    OOX
    
    		From here, drop another checker as such:
    
    				   1234
                                       XO
    	                           OX 
          				     O
    				     X
    				    XXO
    				    OOX
    
    			And it will become this:
    
    				   1234
    
    				    OO
    				    XX
    				   XXXO
    				   OOOX
    
    	Which after 2 passes of the timeline, will look like this:
    
    				   1234
    
    
    				   X  O
    				   O  X
    
    	  From here, you can drop more checker blocks like this:
    
    				   1234
                                         OX
                                         XO 
    				   X  O
    				   O  X
    
    			  Which will then become:
    
    				   1234
    
    				      X
    				      O
    				   X OO
    				   O XX
    
    		      Drop another checker like this:
    
    				   1234
    				    OX 
    				    XOX
    				      O
    				   X OO
    				   O XX
    
    	Which after a pass of the timeline, will give you this:
    
    				   1234
    				    
    				   XOXX
                                       OXXX	
    
         And after another pass of the timeline, you will be left with...:
    
    				   1234
    				    
    				   XO
                                       OX	
    
    Yes, Yes!  You are left with a singular checker block again!  You can do the
    entire pattern in reverse now.  If you are ever in doubt about which two blocks
    to match up, take a look at the first example for this method.  Do you see the
    two X's with the asterisks next to them?  Just always make sure that those 
    match up, and this method will work pretty well.
    
    RATINGS:
    
    Ease of setting up: 		 7/10
    Ease of executing:  		 7/10
    Number of deletes per execution: 5
    Overall Score:                   8/10
    
    Notes from Slasher:
    
    This one I just kind of came upon randomly while I was screwing around with the 
    game one night.  Although it works well, it takes a little while to get the 
    hang of.  I would still recommend the block method over this one, but this one
    can work just as well in the right hands.  This is one you need to be 
    especially careful of destroyers and half deletes.
    
    
    **********************************
    * 3.4. The Infinite Tower Method *
    **********************************
    TCB4~
    
    This is probably my least favorite of the methods, but since so much has been
    asked about it on the Lumines message boards, I figured I would give a good
    explanation of it.  I don't really know who came up with it, but if you can 
    give me some solid proof that you did, I will be more than happy to post your 
    name in this FAQ and give you full credit for it.
    
    	To start an infinite tower, you need a singular block:
    
    				   12
    
    				    X
    
    	You then need to put a checker on top of it like this:
    
    				   12
    
    				   OX
    				   XO
    				    X
    
    			It will then look like this:
    
    				   12
    
    				    X
    				   OO
    				   XX
    
      Now you have your singular block on the top again, so drop another checker:
    
    				   12
    
    				    X
    				   OO
    				   XX
    				   OO
    				   XX
    
    You can build it as high as you really want, but as soon as you can, you need 
    	  to start putting triple blocks on it like so:
    
    				   12
    				   XO
    				   XX
    				    X
    				   OO
    				   XX
    				   OO
    				   XX
    
                      To make this after the timeline passes:
    
    				   12
    
    				    O
    				   OO
    				   XX
    				   OO
    				   XX
    
    You could keep using triple blocks until it gets to the bottom, or use another
    			checker block like this:
    
    				   12
    				   XO
    				   OX 
    				    O
    				   OO
    				   XX
    				   OO
    				   XX
    
    		Which after 2 passes of the timeline becomes:
    
    				   12
    				   				   				    
    				    O
    				   XX
    				   OO
    				   XX
    
    You can keep using the dueces or use triples until the tower is back down to a
    single block again, and then build it back up.
    
    RATINGS:
    
    Ease of setting up: 		 7/10
    Ease of executing:  		 6/10
    Number of deletes per execution: Variable (depends on how high you build)
    Overall Score:                   6/10
    
    Notes from Slasher:
    
    I personally don't like this method very much, just because it is a bit too
    confusing.  Also, you have to use more than just the checker blocks, which is
    why I prefer the Moving method and Block method to this one.  Overall, I 
    believe the hype for this one is quite overrated.  Also, I have seen many 
    different variants on the Infinite Tower Method, so this is not the only one, 
    but this is (supposedly) the original method.  Again, if you didn't see 
    earlier in the FAQ, if you can prove that you are the creator of this method,
    send me an e-mail (see end of FAQ) and I will certainly give you credit.
    
    To summarize, here is how I would rank these 4 methods.
    
    1. Block Method
    2. Moving Method
    3. Floor Method
    4. Infinite Tower Method
    
    
    ************************************
    * 3.5. Reader Submitted Strategies *
    ************************************
    TCB5~
    
    NOTE: I will not be troubleshooting the reader submitted strategies, or at 
    least not yet.  I may troubleshoot them in a later version of this FAQ, but at
    the present time, they will not be.
    
    
    ************************
    * 3.5.1 Jon's Strategy *	
    ************************
    TCB5-1~
    
    The following strategy was submitted by Jon from Seattle:
    
    
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    It goes like this.
     
    Wait for a 
     
    ox
    oo
     
    or
     
    xo
    xx
     
    block. (You won't have to wait long because the 3-1 blocks make up 50% of all 
    blocks)
     
    Put it in the second from the right space, like this:
     
    ...ox.|
    ...oo.|
     
    Then, delete the vertical oo's on the left whenever you get the chance. (or 
    don't delete them, it doesn't matter)
     
    So you're left with
     
    o
    x
     
    OR
     
    x
    o 
     
    (it doesn't matter which, so long as it's one space away from the right of the
     screen.
    Then, just push checkerblocks to the far right, and match up the color of the 
    bottom left square of the dropping checkerblock.
     
    ox
    xo
     
    x
    o
     
    becomes
     
    o
    x
    xx
    oo
     
    then drop the next one
     
    xo
    ox
     
    o
    x
    xx
    oo
     
    it becomes
     
    x
    o
    oo
    xx
    xx
    oo
     
    the 4 x's delete, and you're left with
     
    x
    o
    oo
    oo
     
    the 4 o's delete, and you're left with
     
    x
    o
     
    and it begins again.
    The best thing about this method is you can stack as many checkerblocks as you 
    want on top of that, whenever you want (watch for half deletes of course).  You 
    don't have to wait to drop more while the deletes are happening. 
     
    It's better than the block method because it only takes up two lines (3 if you 
    seperate it from the rest), and it can handle a high rate of checkerblocks, and 
    you don't have to be careful about placement, just jam the checkerblock against 
    the right of the screen, and maybe flip it once if you need to (50% chance).  
    It's really helpful when you're going fast in the 800,000's. 
    
    VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
    
    I have tried out this strategy just a few days ago, and I like it quite a bit.  
    I like it because, just as he says, you can just keep slamming more blocks down
    on top of each other.  However, that can come at a price.  The method (to me at 
    least) was very unforgiving.  I made one mistake, and it took me quite a while
    to fix it.  However, if you can take it easy and make sure that you are putting
    them down right, this strategy works very well.
    
    RATINGS:
    
    Ease of setting up: 		 9/10
    Ease of executing:  		 9/10
    Number of deletes per execution: Varies, normally 1-2
    Overall Score:                   9/10
    
    
    *********************
    * Zaphod's Strategy *
    *********************
    TCB5-2~
    
    The following strategy was submitted by Zaphod.
    
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    
    Block 1
    
    OX
    OO
    
    drop here
    
    OX.|
    OO.| (wait for one without a destryoyer)
    ----
    
    Block 2
    
    OX
    XO
    
    drop here
    
    .O.|
    .X.|
    OXX| destroyer OK in x, but not in O!
    OOO|
    ----
    
    Block 3
    
    XO
    OX
    
    drop here
    
    .X.|
    .O.| again reset if you get a destroyer in O this soon!
    .OO|
    .XX|
    OXX|
    OOO|
    ----
    
    Wait for sweep
     
    .X.|
    .O.| causing it to end up here
    OOO|
    OOO| 
    ----
    
    Here's the change. now, we don't wait for the second sweep, we drop in
    another checker like so
    
    BLock 4
    
    OX
    XO
    
    drops here
    
    .O.|
    .X.|
    .XX|
    .OO|
    OOO|
    OOO|
    ----
    
    and wait for sweep
    
    .O.|
    .X.|
    .XX|
    ----
    
    Now we can stack any number of checkers on top of this in alternating
    orientation.
    
    VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
    
    I have not yet personally tried out this strategy, but I plan to soon, when I 
    get a chance to actually play the game.  The following ratings are based on 
    NO ACTUAL GAMEPLAY.  I will simply base them on how it seems it would go.
    
    RATINGS:
    
    Ease of setting up: 		 5/10 
    Ease of executing:  		 7/10
    Number of deletes per execution: 1
    Overall Score:                   8/10
    
    NOTE:  It may seem odd that I gave an overall score of 8/10 while all of the 
           other scores were much lower.  This is because I feel to set it up and
           to execute this strategy takes a certain amount of luck with the blocks
           and the timeline.
    
    *******************************************************************************
     				    _____     
                                       /  |  |    
                                      /   |  |_   
                                     /    ^   /   
                                     \____   |  /\
                                          |__|  \/
                   ___________                  ___.   .__         
    	       \__    ___/______  ____  __ _\_ |__ |  |   ____  
                     |    |  \_  __ \/  _ \|  |  \ __ \|  | _/ __ \ 
                     |    |   |  | \(  <_> )  |  / \_\ \  |_\  ___/ 
                     |____|   |__|   \____/|____/|___  /____/\___  >
                                                     \/          \/ 
                  _________.__                   __  .__                
                 /   _____/|  |__   ____   _____/  |_|__| ____    ____  
                 \_____  \ |  |  \ /  _ \ /  _ \   __\  |/    \  / ___\ 
                 /        \|   Y  (  <_> |  <_> )  | |  |   |  \/ /_/  >
                /_______  /|___|  /\____/ \____/|__| |__|___|  /\___  / 
                        \/      \/                           \//_____/  
    TSH~
    *******************************************************************************
    
    
    In this section, I will explain all about what to do when you make a big old
    mistake while setting up these patterns, because as we all know, mistakes do 
    happen.  Now, be warned, some do not really have a definite method to clearing 
    up space to rebuild--I can only give you a general idea of what you can do.  
    There are way too many variables to determine an exact "cure" for your mistake.
    Of course, if you have enough guts to try it, you could always try remaking the
    pattern in another area of your grid that is clear, but this could cause some 
    problems with the timeline.  I would only recommend that if you want a real 
    challenge or if there is no other option.
    
    ****************************
    * 4.1. TS The Floor Method *
    ****************************
    TSH1~
    
    The Floor Method is actually relatively easy to troubleshoot...with a little 
    bit of luck.  Since there is really only one way to mess up when setting it 
    up, it is relatively simple to cure.
    
    		   Let's say that you accidentally do this:
    
    				    123456
    
    				    XOXOOX
    				    OXOXXO
    
    		   Simply put on two more checkers like so:
    
    				    123456
    
    				      OXXO
    				      XOOX
    				    XOXOOX
    				    OXOXXO
    
               Now, picture that the duece on the left is no longer there...:
    
    				    123456
    
    				      OXXO
    				      XOOX
    				      XOOX
    				      OXXO
    
    	     Oh, it's a miracle!  Look, the BLOCK PATTERN!!! ^_^
    
    So basically...if you make that kind of mistake, you aren't quite dead yet.  
    Even if you hate using the block pattern, it is better than not using it and
    getting to 999,998 before finally losing.
    
    		    Now, if you make something like this:
    
    				    123456
    
    				    XOXOXO
    				    OXOXOX
    
    ...You are more or less hosed.  Your best bet would be to try to make some 
    pairs on the left side of the pattern and hope for the best.  It is possible to
    get out of that situation--you just have to think fast and have a little bit of
    luck.
    
    
    ****************************
    * 4.2. TS The Block Method *
    ****************************
    TSH2~
    
    And now we come the yin of the Block Method's yang...when you make a mistake.
    
    This is one with too many variables to even bother showing even just one or two
    ways to get out of a jam.  If it looks like you can clear it, you might try to
    use a destroyer to get all the blocks of one color out of the way, and then 
    finish the job with Blanks or Quads.  If it looks too complex to even bother
    fooling around with, don't worry, all is not lost!  Your best bet there would
    be to make a new "floor" on top of your existing pattern.  If you do decide to 
    make a new floor, make sure that it is a checkerboard pattern.  Yes, you heard
    me correctly, A CHECKERBOARD PATTERN.  This is the one time in the entire game
    that I am going to encourage you to make a checkerboard pattern.  By doing 
    that, you ensure that you will not have any accidental deletes that will mess 
    up your new pattern, or else you will be in for a world of hurt.
    
    
    *****************************
    * 4.3. TS The Moving Method *
    *****************************
    TSH3~
    
    This is another one where if you mess up, you are more or less hosed.  There is
    one certain spot in the method that if you mess up, there is a definite way to
    get out of the jam.  If you mess up anywhere else, you will have to end up 
    clearing your whole space out again, or moving it to somewhere else.  I would 
    think that that would be the way to go.  While you are trying to clear up the 
    space, you will need to manage your checker blocks well, so check that section
    in this guide.  There's really not much else I can do for you on this one.
    
    
    *************************************
    * 4.4. TS The Infinite Tower Method *
    *************************************
    TSH4~
    
      The only real way to mess up this pattern is to make something like this:
    
    					12
    					X
    					XO
    					OX
    					OO
    					XX
    
    ...In which case your best bet is to try to make some pairs on the left side
    and just hope for the best.  There isn't really much you can do with something 
    like this besides hope for the best.  Odds are, if you can get some good pairs
    going that you will do fine.
    
    
    ***********************************
    * 4.5. While You are Repairing... *  
    ***********************************					
    TSH5~
    
    Here I will just give you a few short, general tips about what you can do while
    you are trying to fix up your duece area; nothing fancy, just some good tips to
    go by.
    
    	-Always try to make some pairs when you have to drop a duece
    
    	-Odds are that if you complete a delete with a duece, you will leave
     	 something nasty behind.
    
    	-Try to clear up as much space in your chaos zone as you can to maybe
    	 start another checker pattern.
    
    	-Don't hastily throw down checkers without first considering what you
    	 will leave behind.
    
    	-Always be mindful of what types of blocks you will need to clear out 
    	 your duece zone, and watch for them on the left.
    
    	-The sooner you can start making your patterns again, the better.
    
    
    
    *******************************************************************************
                                      .________   
                                      |   ____/   
                                      |____  \    
                                      /       \   
                                     /______  / /\
                                            \/  \/
     
                    _________ .__               .__                
                    \_   ___ \|  |   ____  _____|__| ____    ____  
                    /    \  \/|  |  /  _ \/  ___/  |/    \  / ___\ 
                    \     \___|  |_(  <_> )___ \|  |   |  \/ /_/  >
                     \______  /____/\____/____  >__|___|  /\___  / 
                            \/                \/        \//_____/ 
    CLS~
    ******************************************************************************* 
     
    
    ****************
    * 5.1. Credits *
    ****************
    CLS1~
    
    Author - Slasher 44023 (Andrew Selle)
    
    ASCII Art - http://www.network-science.de/ascii/
    
    
    ****************************
    * 5.2. Contact Information *
    ****************************
    CLS2~
    
    If anyone has any reason to contact me at all, there are three different ways
    to reach me.
    
    1. E-mail me at DASelle@neo.rr.com
    
    2. IM me on AIM at MarchingMello08
    
    3. Message me on the Lumines board at GameFAQs and ask for Slasher44203.
    
    
    ***************
    * 5.3. Thanks *
    ***************
    
    First off, I would like to thank the Lumines developers for creating such an
    amazing and addictive game.
    
    I would like to thank the Sony corporation for creating such a unique and 
    powerful gaming system.
    
    I would like to thank the sites that will be posting this to allow me to help 
    others play Lumines better.
    
    I would like to thank all the guys at http://www.network-science.de/ascii/ for
     the ASCII art.
    
    Finally, I would like to thank all of the people that pushed me to begin, and 
    to finish this guide. 
    
    
    0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
    |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
    
            ___________ _______  ________    ________________   ________   
            \_   _____/ \      \ \______ \   \_   _____/  _  \  \_____  \  
             |    __)_  /   |   \ |    |  \   |    __)/  /_\  \  /  / \  \ 
             |        \/    |    \|    `   \  |     \/    |    \/   \_/.  \
            /_______  /\____|__  /_______  /  \___  /\____|__  /\_____\ \_/
                    \/         \/        \/       \/         \/        \__>
     
    
    0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
    |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
    0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
    
    			Copyright 2005 Andrew Selle
    

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