_       ______ _     _ _______ ______  _     _ 
               /\  | |     / _____) |   | (_______)  ___ \| |   | |
              /  \ | |    | /     | |__ | |_____  | | _ | | |___| |
             / /\ \| |    | |     |  __)| |  ___) | || || |\_____/ 
            | |__| | |____| \_____| |   | | |_____| || || |  ___   
            |______|_______)______)_|   |_|_______)_||_||_| (___)  



.-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=.
|                                                                            |
|                           AUTHOR: TrulyDexterous                           |
|                                VERSION: 1.0                                |
|                           LAST UPDATE: 27/11/10                            |
|                                PLATFORM: PC                                |
|                                                                            |
'=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-'


_____________                                                   ______________
\           /|                                                 |\            /
 )         |ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|         (
/          |            T a b l e  o f  C o n t e n t s           |          \
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|______________________________________________________|ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

                         1)..........Revision History
                         2)..............Legal Notice
                         3)..............Introduction
                         4)...............Game Basics
                         5)...Strategies, Hint & Tips
                         6)...................Scoring
                         7)...................Credits

_____________                                                    _____________
\           /|                                                  |\           /
 )         |ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|         (
/          |          1)  R e v i s i o n  H i s t o r y          |          \
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|______________________________________________________|ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

  V e r s i o n  1 . 0  ( 27 / 11 / 10 )
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
FAQ complete, file size 24KB.


_____________                                                    _____________
\           /|                                                  |\           /
 )         |ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|         (
/          |              2)  L e g a l  N o t i c e              |          \
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|______________________________________________________|ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

This guide can only be viewed on the following sites:

GameFAQs    - http://www.gamefaqs.com
Neoseeker   - http://www.neoseeker.com
SuperCheats - http://www.supercheats.com

These are the only sites that I trust and that keep my guide updated. For
this reason I won't allow my guides on other sites. Please don't email to
ask. 

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN CHEATCC.COM USE THIS DOCUMENT.

This guide is the and everything included herein is the sole property of 
TrulyDexterous. It may not be used for profitable purposes (whether money is
involved or not) or for promotional purposes. It may not be used for any
reason other than to provide help on a free to view website. Printing of
this document is allowed, but only for personal use. It may not be displayed
or offered publicly.


_____________                                                    _____________
\           /|                                                  |\           /
 )         |ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|         (
/          |             3)  I n t r o d u c t i o n              |          \
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|______________________________________________________|ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

Hello and welcome to my FAQ for Alchemy. I first came across this game
sometime in 2000 or 2001 on the MSN Gaming Zone. Anyone remember the original
Age of Empires (before all this Mythology filth and various sequels)? Well
whilst playing this early online multiplayer, I came across Alchemy and
various others including Bejewelled (yes, this existed before the iPhone).

So in more recent times, I can't imagine that Alchemy is pulling in a huge
audience, but if you do play it and want some help, read on! I've written this
FAQ using the free version of this game, but the full version can be
downloaded from Popcap.

If you would like to see any more of my work, follow this link:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/76852.html

Cheers, I hope you find this FAQ helpful!

-TrulyDexterous


_____________                                                    _____________
\           /|                                                  |\           /
 )         |ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|         (
/          |             4)  G a m e  B a s i c s                 |          \
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|______________________________________________________|ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

,----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
|                       W h a t ' s  A l c h e m y ?                         |
'----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

Alchemy is a puzzle game that is played on a 8X9 board. You goal is to turn
each one of the tiles into gold. This is done by placing runes. Every time you
place a rune onto a grey tile, it will turn to gold. Once you have turned all
the tiles to gold, you will have cleared the board and you will move onto a
more challenging one. After placing a rune, another one will be automatically
spawned.

You can play a free version of Alchemy online. This is usually limited to the
Survival Mode. For the full version, including Timed Mode, you'll have to
visit the PopCap website and download it there. There is a small fee, but I
don't think this is a fortune.


,----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
|                         P l a c i n g  R u n e s                           |
'----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

Sounds easy no? Well, it's not just as simple as putting the runes down
anywhere. There are certain rules to be followed before you can place a rune.
The main essence of this is that you can only place a rune next to another
rune of the same shape or colour. Only one of these criteria has to be filled.

Example: .---.---.---. The shape of the next tile to be placed must be either
         | 8 | 8 |   | the same (an 8) or the same colour (since I'm typing in
         '---'---'---' text that would be black).

Sometimes it isn't as easy as this though.

Example: .---.---.---. Let's say the 8 is red and the @ is green. There are
         | 8 |   | @ | only two runes that you could place between them,
         '---'---'---' either a green 8 or a red @. Situations like this
                       will occur a lot, so keep an eye out. Basically, a rune
                       must be the same colour or shape as ALL the other runes
                       that it is adjacent to.

In more extreme circumstances, it could be that only one specific rune can
be place or even none at all. This doesn't mean that your game is over, it
just means that you will need to work your way around the problem. This will
be covered later in the FAQ.

All runes must be placed next to another rune already on the board. You can't
just place one onto an isolated tile. This is what makes the game challenging
to play.


,----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
|                       D i s c a r d i n g  R u n e s                       |
'----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

Since runes are picked at random, sometimes you will be given a rune that
cannot physically be placed, or it would be unwise to put it down in the only
place that it can go. In this situation, you can discard the rune. Do this by
pressing the "Discard" button on left or by right clicking.

In Strategic Mode, you can only safely discard three runes in a row. Discard
one rune and the forge will rise. Discard another it it will rise again. On
the third discard it will be full. Should you be forced into a fourth discard,
you be hit with a GAME OVER.

For every rune that you successfully place, the forge will empty by one level.
So, even if the forge is full, you can completely empty it by placing three
runes in a row.


,----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
|                       R o w s  a n d  C o l u m n s                        |
'----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

Sometimes you will find that you have placed enough runes to make a solid
vertical or horizontal line. This is a good thing. If you make a vertical
column of 8 or a horizontal row of 9, the line will disappear and you will get
some bonus points. More importantly, this will free up extra space for more
runes to be placed. Even though the runes are gone, the tiles beneath them
will remain gold. Completing a column or row will clear the forge.


,----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
|                                 R u n e s                                  |
'----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

  T y p e s  o f  R u n e
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
The shapes of the ruins are based upon the Zodiac symbols.

AQUARIUS   : Symbol with two squiggly lines (/\/).

ARIES      : Looks like a female symbol with horns. I'm not entirely sure this
             is supposed to be Aries, but whatever.

CANCER     : Symbol similar to the Yin-Yang.

CAPRICORN  : I'm not entirely sure but I think this is Capricorn. It is a
             letter (Z) with a swirl on the bottom.

CROSS      : Not technically a cross, but it has a circle at the bottom and a
             cross with two curved lines at the top.

FEMALE     : A female rune (a cross with a larger circle on it).

GEMINI     : Symbol looks like a Roman numerals 2 (II).

LEO        : Symbol looks like a snake or a backward letter (S).

LIBRA      : Symbol looks sort of like an arch:   /Ż\
                                                 _\ /_
                                                 ŻŻŻŻŻ
PICESE     : Symbol looks like a letter (H).

SAGITTARIUS: Symbol looks like a sword (/).

SCORPIO    : Looks like letter (M). Similar to the Virgo Zodiac symbol.

TAURUS     : A circle with "horns" ('O').


  S p e c i a l  R u n e s
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
There are two "special runes" that will appear from time to time. Technically,
they aren't runes, but power-ups.

GREY STONE: This is a sort of wild card. You can place the Grey Stone anywhere
            as long as it is touching another rune (with the exception of when
            you first start a board). These are very useful, as they can be
            placed in very difficult positions. Any rune may be put adjacent
            to the Stone.

SKULL     : Use the Skull to destroy a rune. This can be helpful, if you need
            to clear a space next to a grey tile. However, on occasion you
            might find it more of a hinderance than a help, so you should
            think about discarding it.


  C o l o u r s
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
You will probably have noticed, but the runes come in allsorts of colours as
well as shapes. Most of these are in evidence on Board 1, but more are
introduced as you go along.

When you start on Board 1, you will have 5 available colours: yellow, red,
blue, purple and green. As you move through the boards, you'll pick up more
colours.


,----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
|                                B o a r d s                                 |
'----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

Everytime you complete a board, you will move onto another completely empty
one. The next board that you play on will be of an increased difficulty. This
is usually achieved by introducing a new rune or a new colour. However, you
may also notice that the game is more cruel in the "random" runes that it
gives you to place. You can check what board you are on by looking in the top
right hand corner.

Since each board in turn is more difficult, your scores will be increased on
each board too. i.e. you will earn more points for placing a rune on Board 2
than on Board 1 and more on Board 3 than on Board 2. Your scores for
completing rows and columns will also be increased.


,----------------------------------------------------------------------------.
|                           S k i l l  L e v e l s                           |
'----------------------------------------------------------------------------'

There are three skill levels to choose from. In reality, these aren't so much
"skill levels" as a level select capability. On Level 1 you will begin on
Board 1. On Level 2 you will begin on Board 4 and on Level 3, Board 7.

The scoring works differently on each skill level. Although you may work your
way up to Board 7 on Level 1, you will still score less points-per-rune than
if you had just started on Level 3.


_____________                                                    _____________
\           /|                                                  |\           /
 )         |ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|         (
/          |  5)  S t a t e g i e s ,  H i n t s  a n d  T i p s  |          \
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|______________________________________________________|ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

  F i r s t  P h a s e
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
  ,---.---.---.---.---.---.---.---.---.  On the first board, the Grey Stone is
  |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |  already placed for you. On the boards
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  following this, you'll have to place
  |   |   |   |   | 1 |   |   |   |   |  this yourself. You should always put
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  it in the same position in the centre
  |   |   |   |   | 1 |   |   |   |   |  of the board as this is the best use
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  of space and allows you to expand out
  |   | 2 | 2 | 2 |###| 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 |  nicely.
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
  |   |   |   |   | 4 |   |   |   |   |  You should try to limit yourself to
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  using four colours. Always work on
  |   |   |   |   | 4 |   |   |   |   |  keeping colours together, rather than
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  rune types since there are more of
  |   |   |   |   | 4 |   |   |   |   |  the same colour runes than there are
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  of the same type.
  |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
  '---'---'---'---'---'---'---'---'---'  Obviously you should place one colour
on each side of the Grey Stone, then expand outwards (see diagram above). If
you are given a colour other than one of the four you are using, you should
discard it, so it doesn't mess up your strategy.

You may think that working like this will make it difficult to keep colours
together but that isn't the case. Your main concern at the moment is to make
sure you don't complete a row or column and make all the runes disappear. At
this early stage, you need a few runes around so that you can place other
runes.

You need to continue placing runes, but  .---.---.---.---.---.---.---.---.---.
you still need to make sure that you     | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |   |   |   | 3 |
don't complete the columns and rows,     |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
then lose the runes. The most effective  |   |   |   |   | 1 |   |   |   | 3 |
way to do this can be seen on the        |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
diagram on the right.                    |   |   |   |   | 1 |   |   |   | 3 |
                                         |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
Basically (and this might not be the     |   | 2 | 2 | 2 |###| 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 |
best way to describe it) you need to     |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
a "crooked cross" or swastika shape.     |   | 2 |   |   | 4 |   |   |   |   |
This isn't a nod to Nazi Germany, it's   |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
just the best way to do things.          |   | 2 |   |   | 4 |   |   |   |   |
                                         |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
Once your board begins to look like the  |   | 2 |   |   | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 |
one on the right, you know that you've   |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
made a decent start and you'll soon be   |   | 2 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
making moves towards completing the      '---'---'---'---'---'---'---'---'---'
board. Try to leave the space at the bottom of the column, since there are
only three free spaces above the Grey Stone and four below. 


  S e c o n d  P h a s e
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
  ,---.---.---.---.---.---.---.---.---.  Well done on the fantastic start that
  | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |   | 3 | 3 | 3 |  you've undoubtedly made. With your
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  board looking something like the one
  | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |   | 3 | 3 | 3 |  above, you'll now have plenty of
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  chance to fill in a few blank spaces.
  |   |   |   |   | 1 |   | 3 | 3 | 3 |  
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  If you look to the left, you'll see
  |   | 2 | 2 | 2 |###| 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 |  how you can create squares of runes
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  without any hassle. If you manage to
  | 2 | 2 | 2 |   | 4 |   |   |   |   |  get to this point, you'll only have
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  sixteen blank spaces.
  | 2 | 2 | 2 |   | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 |  
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  Around now and probably a little
  | 2 | 2 | 2 |   | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 |  earlier, you can begin to complete
  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  rows and columns to give you a little
  | 2 | 2 | 2 |   |   | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 |  more space to work in. With less runes
  '---'---'---'---'---'---'---'---'---'  cluttering up the place, you'll be
able to get to the stone spaces easier. If you still can't get to a certain
space, you'll have to keep an eye out of a certain rune. For example look at
the diagram below. See the two stars?   ,---.---.---.---.---.---.---.---.---.
Imagine one is a Yellow Leo and the     | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |   |   | 3 | 3 | 3 |
other is a Red Libra. You can place     |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
either a Yellow Libra or a Red Leo in   | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |   |   | 3 | 3 | 3 |
that space. You should keep an eye out  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
for opportunties like this at all       |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3 | 3 | 3 |
times.                                  |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
                                        |   | 2 | 2 | 2 |   | 3 | 3 | 3 | * |  
You should now be in a position where   |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
you are pretty close to completing the  | 2 | 2 | 2 |   |   |   |   |   |   |  
board. You should be able to get over   |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  
the line by a combination of placing    | 2 | 2 | 2 |   |   | 4 | 4 | 4 | * |  
the "specific runes" mentioned above,   |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|  
finishing rows and columns and by using | 2 | 2 | 2 |   |   | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 
Grey Stones and Skulls.                 |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
                                        | 2 | 2 | 2 |   |   | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 |
                                        '---'---'---'---'---'---'---'---'---' 

  A n d  A f t e r w a r d s . . .
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
This is the strategy that I use throughout the game. It works very well for
the first three or four boards and you can cruise through them with relatively
little effort. However, from Board 5 onwards, there seems to be too many
colours and shapes to accomadate. That's not to say you can't make it work,
it's just that you will have to try a little harder. Some modification and
improvisation will probably have to come into effect on later boards. On Skill
Level 3, you'll have to continually adapt this strategy to make it work.


_____________                                                    _____________
\           /|                                                  |\           /
 )         |ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|         (
/          |                 6)  S c o r i n g                    |          \
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|______________________________________________________|ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

  ,---------------.--------------------------.
  |     Score     |         Ranking          |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |    0-399      | Cursed                   |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   400-699     | Bungler                  |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   700-999     | Dabbler                  |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   1000-1499   | Junior Apprentice        |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   1500-1999   | Apprentice               |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   2000-2499   | Senior Apprentice        |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   2500-2999   | Prestidigitator          |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   3000-3499   | Hedge Wizard             |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   3500-4499   | Concoctionist            |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   4500-4999   | Thaumaturge              |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   5000-5999   | Transmuter               |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   6000-6999   | Wizard 3rd Class         |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   7000-7999   | Wizard 2nd Class         |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |   8000-9999   | Wizard 1st Class         |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  | 10,000-11,999 | Grand Wizard             |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  | 12,000-13,999 | Alchemist 3rd Class      |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  | 14,000-15,999 | Alchemist 2nd Class      |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  | 16,000-19,999 | Alchemist 1st Class      |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  | 20,000-24,999 | Master Alchemist         |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  | 25,000-29,999 | Grand Alchemist          |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  | 30,000-39,999 | Supreme Alchemist        |
  |---------------|--------------------------|
  |    40,000+    | Grand Alchemical Emperor |
  '---------------'--------------------------'


_____________                                                    _____________
\           /|                                                  |\           /
 )         |ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|         (
/          |                 7)  C r e d i t s                    |          \
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ|______________________________________________________|ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ

  T h a n k  Y o u s
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
• GameFAQs for hosting this.

• You for reading.

• The FCB for everything FAQ-related.

• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchemy_%28game%29 for various bits of info.


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This is the end. Thanks for using my FAQ.