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.


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                 |OUTLINE|
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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

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=======================================================================
<><><><><><><><><><><><><> 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 schultza@earthlink.net whose Pipe Dream(NES) FAQ 
I based the structure of this one on, and to Aaron "Rager825" Buehler 
aaronbuehler@hotmail.com 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.