Super Qix(ARC/PS2) FAQ version 1.0.1 by Johann Mueller ArveduinNO@SPAMTHANKSyahoo.com (that's arveduin, an a in a circle, and yahoo.com) This guide is Copyright © 2003 Johann Mueller. This guide may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for private/ personal use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without my advance permission. Use of this guide on any other website or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. However, if you write a polite e-mail to me asking permission, and referring to me (and this FAQ) by name, then I will probably say OK. ========================================== +=======+ |OUTLINE| +=======+ 1. INTRODUCTION 2. CONTROLS AND BASIC SCORING 2.1 WHAT TO DO 2.2 ENEMIES 2.3 LETTER BONUSES/POWER-UPS 2.3.1 LIST OF POWER-UPS 2.4 SCORING 2.4.1 DURING PLAY 2.4.2 END-OF-LEVEL BONUSES 2.5 MISCELLANEOUS DETAILS 2.5.1 DEFAULT HIGH SCORES 2.5.2 LIST OF COMPLETION-CREATURES 2.5.3 DIFFERENCES FROM 'QIX' 3. LEVELS 3.1 FINAL L.16 MESSAGE 4. SKILL LEVELS 4.1 EASY MODE 4.2 MEDIUM MODE 4.3 HARD MODE 5. VARIOUS STRATEGIES 5.1 GREMLIN-TRAPPING 5.2 SPELLING BEE 5.3 MULTIPLIER EFFECT 6. VERSIONS 7. CREDITS ========================================== ======================================================================= <><><><><><><><><><><><><> 1. INTRODUCTION <><><><><><><><><><><><><><> ======================================================================= Super Qix is a nice upgrade from the original Qix (which was released by Taito in 1981) featuring improved graphics and a few other changes, but the gameplay remains largely the same. The objective of Qix is to claim a certain percentage (or greater) of the playfield, at which point the background picture is fully revealed and animated while the End-of-Level bonuses are added up. At the start of each level, the playing field is a large, empty rectangle, containing the Gremlin—a mischievous green creature who bounces semi-randomly around the field—and two Skulls. The player controls a small diamond-shaped marker which starts at the center of the bottom border, and can move around the edges of the rectangle. To claim an area of the screen, the player must detach from an edge by holding the Draw button and moving out into the field to draw Stix within the rectangle. Stix are simply lines traced out by moving the marker. When the marker completes a closed shape, the captured area reveals a portion of a picture, points are awarded, and Bonus Letters or Power-ups may be released. Once the player has claimed an area, the marker can safely move along the outside border of that claimed area, but internal lines become inaccessible. The outside border of the playing field is composed of squares which serve as a Time Meter. As you play, they change colour two at a time, until the whole border is red at which point two more Skulls are released onto the field and the counter resets and starts again. Neither the Gremlin nor the Skulls can be destroyed, only outmaneuvered. As the player completes levels, the enemies begin to move faster and more aggressively, and the timer counts down more quickly. This appears to be the only difference, however. You do not, for example, seem to get any more points for completing an area on a higher level than on a lower one. Super Qix was ported to the PlayStation 2 as part of the Taito Legends compilation, where it functions exactly as it did in the arcades, except of course that you now use a PS2 controller to play. ======================================================================= <><><><><><><><><>< 2. CONTROLS AND BASIC SCORING ><><><><><><><><><><> ======================================================================= 2.1 WHAT TO DO Super Qix has intuitive controls, but there are a few things to be aware of. The joystick moves your marker around the playing field, but only along either the border (if no area has been claimed in front of it) or the inside edges of any areas you have successfully marked off. While you are on one of these edges, you are safe from the Gremlin, but vulnerable to the Skulls which move around the lines towards you. You cannot leave the field's edge. Holding the Draw button allows your marker to move freely inside the playing field, leaving a yellow line behind you, which turns blue and becomes "Safe" if you can connect the other end either back to the border or to part of a previously-finished line. You are not allowed to cross your own line, which can result in painting yourself into a corner if you're not careful, most commonly by drawing a "Spiral Death Trap". In Super Qix, unlike the original, you ARE allowed to backtrack along your incomplete lines, but it's better just to avoid getting trapped in the first place. When you are Drawing a line, the Skulls can't reach you, but you become vulnerable to the unpredictable Gremlin. If the Gremlin touches either your marker or the incomplete lines (sometimes called "stix") behind you before you have formed a closed shape, you will lose a life. Once you have marked off a complete shape, the area containing the Gremlin is always considered "Outside" and the complementary area without the Gremlin is filled in. This is true even (or especially!) if you manage to cut the Gremlin off while he's trapped in a corner or a trap you've constructed—it's not that uncommon to see someone fill in 70% of the screen in a single shot with a well-timed (and lucky!) line. On the PS2, Select simulates putting a quarter (or "Credit") into the machine, while L1 and L2 are the "One Player Start" and "Two Player Start" buttons, respectively. There are no other controls. The most likely beginner's mistake you'll make is to constantly hold the Draw button while you're moving around the field. The problem with doing this is that, instead of moving around corners safely (since the game won't let you move off the edges unless the Draw button is held down), you're likely to accidentally detatch from the edge and run straight into the Gremlin as it bounces by. 2.2 ENEMIES The game has only three enemies, but these will prove to be more than enough. THE GREMLIN: Bounces around the field in a random pattern, though apparently weighted somewhat towards your marker—he will tend to find his way into whichever corner of the field you happen to be working in at the moment. He cannot touch you when you are against a wall or closed area, but if you detach from a wall with the Draw button, he can kill you either by running into your marker or into any point of the incomplete line you have marked out so far. In later levels and at higher difficulty levels, he will get extremely aggressive and zoom towards you every time you detach from a wall. In later levels, the Gremlin will actually split into multiple independently-moving copies of himself. If you manage to draw a Stix between two of the copies, then "Outside" is considered to be the larger of the two areas and the the Gremlin trapped in the smaller area will disappear when it fills in. I don't think this gets you any bonus points, unfortunately. THE SKULLS: Two of these start directly opposite you at the beginning of each level, and move in opposite directions around the edge of the screen. They move slightly more quickly than do Power-ups and Letters, but slightly slower than your marker does, i.e. you can outrun them if the way forward is clear. While they can follow any line on the screen (including internal lines which you can't travel on anymore), they can't follow you up incomplete Stix, so if the Gremlin isn't nearby and you're hemmed in by Skulls, you can dodge around them with the Draw button. Skulls will never instantly reverse direction on a line (i.e. after you dodge around one by drawing a small box, they can't immediately turn around and chase you), but they can still use interior lines to turn around and keep chasing you. Every time the timer runs out, two more Skulls are released onto the field from the center-top and the counter resets. If you should die, all but two Skulls will disappear. THE FUSE: If you stop moving at any point while drawing Stix, a fuse begins burning at the end of your line and travels along the line towards you. If you begin moving again, the fuse stops, but another pause will cause it to light up wherever it left off. In Super Qix, unlike the original, you ARE allowed to backtrack along your line, so you can still sometimes escape from a "Spiral Death Trap", but backtracking counts as not moving for the purposes of the Fuse, so be quick about it! 2.3 LETTER BONUSES/POWER-UPS Every time you fill an area of the picture (no matter how small), there's a chance a random Letter or heart-shaped Power-up will be released. When created, Letters will tend to drift across the playing field in a straight line towards the far wall, then move back around the edges. In contrast, Power-ups will begin following the nearest lines ("stix") already laid down, but like the Skulls, can sometimes get lost following internal lines which you can't reach anymore. Collecting the Letters needed to spell the level's name will not give you any points until you complete the level, but will net you 1000 points each if the word is incomplete when you reach the normal fill threshold, or 10,000 points each and instant level-completion if you can spell the entire word. Getting Letters you already have or which are not part of the current word give you an instant 500 points. The letters are lost, of course, if you lose and Continue. 2.3.1 LIST OF POWER-UPS NOTE: The Power-ups are mutually exclusive, i.e. if you have a Shield and then pick up a Hurry, you will lose the Shield and begin moving faster. The exception seems to be the stacking-effect of multiple Hurry's: getting another Power-up such as Freeze will only cancel the LAST Hurry, so you still get to move a bit faster than normal while enjoying the new Power-up's benefit. HURRY: (Heart with an 'H') Speeds up EVERYTHING in the game (including the music!) for approximately 10 seconds each. These are cumulative, so if you pick up several in quick succession, the game may get unmanageably fast. SHIELD: (Blue/black heart) Creates a shield (circle) around your diamond which will protect you from one encounter with a Skull. Will also stun the Skull in question for one second. Will NOT protect you from the Gremlin hitting either you or your line. FREEZE: (Heart with a white bar) Freezes all enemies on the field for 5 seconds, including the Gremlin who remains in whatever state he was in when you picked it up, i.e. if there was just one of him occupying a small space, or a large string of him all the way across the field, this is how he stays until the Freeze wears off. This is possibly one of the most useful Power-ups of all if you can manage to stop the Gremlin in a small corner and quickly seal it off. NOTE: All enemies are still deadly if YOU run into THEM, they just can't move for a moment. WARP: (Black/yellow 'W') Opens a small doorway at the point you picked it up. The doorway takes a second or two to open, remains open for another second or so, then closes. If you can move your diamond into it while it is fully open, you advance directly to the next level. (NOTE: if you warp, you get no end-of-level bonuses, e.g. for partially-spelled words.) 1-UP: (Heart with a fireball in it) An extremely rare bonus, which gives you one free life. 2.4 SCORING (I may have missed something here!) 2.4.1 DURING PLAY * Variable points for completing sections of the picture—the bigger the section, the more points you get. NOTE: It is possible to complete such a small section that you get NO points for doing so, but this may still trigger the release of a bonus letter or power-up. * 500 points for collecting a letter which you don't need (or already have enough of) for spelling the level's name. * Multipliers occur when the point where you finish outlining an area is as close as possible (within about 2 pixels) to the point where you began. Achieving a multiplier will give you 20x normal points for the area filled. If you manage another multiplier within a second or two of the last one, it increases to 30x and possibly further (I've never done more than two). 2.4.2 END-OF-LEVEL BONUSES * 1000 points x (each 1% above required fill threshold). So completing 80% of a picture on Easy mode (which needs 70% to win) would give you 10,000 points, while completing 80% on Medium Mode (which requires 75%) would only give you 5,000 points. * 1000 points x (Key letters collected) if word is still incomplete. * 10,000 points x (Key letters collected) if word is completed. * 1 extra credit if you fill at least 98% of the picture. (This is alluded to at the start when the game flashes a screen saying "Let's Try 98% ...?") 2.5 MISCELLANEOUS DETAILS 2.5.1 DEFAULT HIGH SCORES Thought I might as well include this—the default high score list. It's the same for all three pre-set difficulty levels. NAME LEVEL SCORE 1 CAS 6 32750 2 THU 5 30010 3 ROC 5 28200 4 DRA 4 21280 5 FAN 3 20570 2.5.2 LIST OF COMPLETION-CREATURES When you have completed a level, the Gremlin becomes a Joker card which flies up to the top of the screen and erases the Stix you've drawn while revealing the completed picture. It can become any one of a number of creatures, though I could detect no pattern that determines which one you'll get. They include: Witch Pony Dragon-pony Mermaid Joker/Jester Gremlin Baby Wizard Medusa Clown rolling on a beachball (There may be others...) 2.5.3 DIFFERENCES FROM 'QIX' * The most obvious difference are the graphics, which improved significantly in the 6 years since the original was released. Instead of filling completed areas with solid colours (or patterns as in the NES version), you reveal a detailed picture which comes to life when the level is finished. The graphics can be compared here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qix and here http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?game_id=9933 * The Qix ("a sticklike entity that performs graceful, but unpredictable motions within the confines of the rectangle") has become the Gremlin, and the Sparx have become Skulls. There are no Super Skulls capable of chasing your marker up an unfinished line. * There is usually only one Gremlin in Super Qix (though he sometimes divides into two or more during a level) and drawing a line between two instances of the divided Gremlin will no longer result in an instant win. * There's no longer an option to complete lines quickly for safety or slowly for extra points. * The original Qix didn't include the Bonus Letter-collection aspect or the various Power-ups. * The basic fill threshold in Qix was always 75% unless the arcade operator adjusted it. * The marker is now able to retrace its path, making the Spiral Death Trap slightly less deadly. ======================================================================= <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 3. LEVELS <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> ======================================================================= There are 16 levels/pictures to complete. Once you uncover them all, you go back to level 1 and continue playing to increase your score. There are no changes that I can detect between the initial L.1 and the L.1 you come back to after finishing L.16. Even the enemy speeds are the same, which, after you've gotten used to the craziness of the upper levels, almost makes for a relaxing vacation! Here is the list of Level Names so you can tell which letters to focus on. (It shows you the letters needed in L.1, but all future levels merely have a blank space for the word.) Remember, if you can spell the whole word, you get a huge bonus and move immediately to the next level, while collecting letters you don't actually "need" will get you only 500 points each. L.01 - CASTLE L.09 - TOYBOX L.02 - THUNDER L.10 - FOUNTAIN L.03 - ROCKMAN L.11 - MERMAID L.04 - DRAGON L.12 - CARP L.05 - FANFARE L.13 - FLOWER L.06 - PLANET L.14 - TENGU L.07 - GERDEN (yes, GERDEN) L.15 - ROCKET L.08 - JUNGLE L.16 - REDCATS 3.1 FINAL L.16 MESSAGE Completing L.16 (on Easy/Normal modes, at least) results in a picture of a blond girl sitting in a red convertible with about a half-dozen black or yellow cats dancing around (there are no red cats to be seen). After a moment, a voice-bubble appears, coming from everyone (cats included), and says: * WE CAN NOT FIGHT ANY MORE * BUT WE ARE NOT LOSE YET * WE NEVER LOSE NEXT You then find yourself back at Level 1 of the same difficulty level, and continue playing all over again. I don't know if it says anything different at the highest skill level or if you get there without losing a single life. ======================================================================= <><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 4. SKILL LEVELS <><><><><><><><><><><><><> ======================================================================= The game came with 3 pre-set Skill Levels which the arcade operator could set. Custom levels could also be set, but in the PS2 version at least, playing a custom level means High Scores will not be saved. I don't know if setting a custom level in the arcade also made the High Score list inoperable. In the following list, I believe "Difficulty" refers mainly to how quickly/ unpredictably and aggressively the Gremlin and Skulls move, and how often new Skulls appear. "Fill Area" determines how much of the picture you need to complete before moving on to the next stage. 4.1 EASY MODE Lives: 5 Bonus lives at 20,000 and 50,000 points Difficulty: Easy Fill area: 70% Allow continues ("Continuous Play"): YES 4.2 MEDIUM MODE Lives: 3 Bonus lives at 30,000 and 100,000 points Difficulty: Medium Fill area: 75% Allow continues ("Continuous Play"): YES 4.3 HARD MODE Lives: 2 Bonus lives: NONE Difficulty: Very Hard Fill area: 85% Allow continues ("Continuous Play"): NO NOTE: All three modes score points exactly the same way. There are no bonus points for playing at higher skill levels. If anything, scores tend to be lower due to the reduced Area Bonuses, since the completion thresholds are higher. ======================================================================= <><><><><><><><><><><><><> 5. VARIOUS STRATEGIES <><><><><><><><><><><> ======================================================================= 5.1 GREMLIN-TRAPPING Perhaps the most obvious strategy (definitely the one which can lead to the most spectacular results) is to claim areas out into the middle of the playing field, creating pockets with overhanging ledges towards one side of the field or the other, and hoping that the Gremlin will wander down into one of the enclosed corners. If you're positioned properly when he does so, you can zip across the mouth of the trap and fill in a vast area of the field with a single shot. This is the way to get the really big Area bonuses, including the Free-Credit-earning 98% Completion (particularly when combined with the Freeze Power-up). 5.2 SPELLING BEE If you want to win by spelling the Level Name (which leads to the highest scores), then you have to concentrate on drawing the smallest boxes possible, in order to release the maximum number of bonus letters before reaching the winning threshold (remember, each completed area-fill seems to have an equal chance of releasing a bonus, regardless of its size). Once released, the letters will tend to drift immediately towards the farthest possible wall before wandering back along the edges, though you can sometimes zip out into the field and quickly catch them before they get too far—but be careful of the Gremlin if you try that! 5.3 MULTIPLIER EFFECT The score for completing an area is multiplied by 20x if your marker rejoins the wall within 2 pixels of the point it originally left from. So, instead of drawing three walls of a box, stop just before completing the third line, make your way back towards the first line you drew, and when the marker stops because it can't cross itself, rejoin the wall for a much nicer-scoring area (assuming the Gremlin hasn't bounced into you by then). This can also be combined (with great difficulty) with the Gremlin-Trapping strategy. If he's pinned in a corner and you can complete the overhanging ledge to within a couple of pixels of the border, then filling that tiny gap will apply the multiplier to the huge chunk of the screen that fills in all at once, resulting in some very nice scores indeed! End of FAQ proper ================================ ======================================================================= <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 6. VERSIONS <><><><><><><><><><><><><><> ======================================================================= 1.0.0 submitted to GameFAQS 7/24/2006. Further updates doubtful, but you never know! If anyone sends me corrections or information that should be included, I'll definitely put it in. 1.0.1 submitted to GameFAQS 8/04/2006. What do you know, found a few clarifications to make already. Figured out what the 1-UP was, and made a few other minor corrections. Also made the legal blurb a bit more official. (Are those things really necessary/effective?) ======================================================================= <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 7. CREDITS <><><><><><><><><><><><><><> ======================================================================= Thanks to Andrew Schultz email@example.com whose Pipe Dream(NES) FAQ I based the structure of this one on, and to Aaron "Rager825" Buehler firstname.lastname@example.org whose Dark Cloud 2 FAQ I based the legal bit on. Also thanks to the authors of the Wikipedia entry on Qix — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qix — for some of the paragraphs on gameplay.