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Welcome!  To my Columns FAQ
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What is Columns?  Columns is a Tetris clone, but a good one at that.  The main 
object is to eliminate sets of jewels, horizontally, vertically or diagonally.  
This is explained in more detail later.

Sections:

Full Object of the game
Controls
How to Play - Arcade Mode
The Other Game Modes
Chain Reactions
The Magic Jewel
Legal Information and Contacting Me

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FULL OBJECT OF THE GAME
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The proper object of the game is to rank up a high score.  You can do this by 
eliminating sets of jewels, horizontally, vertically or diagonally.  This is 
done by placing columns of jewels in a playing area (rectangular).  When 3 or 
more of the same colour jewels match up in the 3 directions, they disappear 
and any jewels above them, fall down into the available space.  The jewels 
that fall down may even form new sets on their own.

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CONTROLS
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The controls are simple, quick and effective.  

Directional Pad (D-PAD)

This moves the jewels, Left and Right, move the current column of jewels left 
or right while the down key moves the jewels sharply toward the ground.

Buttons A, B and C

Any of these buttons shuffle the order of the current column of jewels.

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How to Play - Arcade Mode
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In Arcade mode, which is the main mode, you begin the game by setting a 
difficulty level, Easy starts you at Level 1 speed, Normal at Level 5, and 
Hard at level 9.  I recommend that for new players, that they start at Easy.
Also in easy, the game will give you hints on where to place the jewels until 
level 3.  When you begin, place your first column of jewels at one of the 
sides, and then begin to match them up.  The points marking goes like this:

Pressing Down - 1pt per Millisecond held.
Each Jewel - 10 points for each jewel at level 1, 20 for each at level 2, 30 
for each at level 3 etc.

Therefore a set of 30 jewels at level 1 would score 30 points.

When you pass certain score levels, the level of speed will increase, there 
are 25 levels of speed in total.  Some higher speed levels, are strangely 
slower than the lower speed levels, e.g. level 6 is slower than level5.  I 
think it has something to do with normal starting at level 5, but I digress.

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The Other Game Modes
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In the "Menu" screen you can find some other modes, Classic Columns is where 
you can play at any difficulty level and even select heights of jewels I.e., 
there will already be some jewels there when you start to play.  This is 
marked by score.

The other mode is Flash Columns, this involves on of the already places jewels 
flashing, you have to involve this jewel in a set of it's own colour.  This 
game is marked by the time you take to do it.  It most definitely can be done 
in less than 10 seconds.

The other thing is, in these modes, you can have 2 player races, i.e. higher 
score or first to eliminate jewel, or you can do it co-operative.  This 
involves player 1 placing one column of jewels down, and the second player 
then placing theirs down.  Thus both players are involved in one game.

You can also get the choice of switching the music here, there are three 
tracks, but I still believe that the original track (the "Clotho") is still 
the best.

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CHAIN REACTIONS
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If you eliminate one set of jewels and then the ones on top of it and form 
another set of jewels, the score doubles with the more sets you make.  This is 
called a chain reaction.  They really boost your score.

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THE MAGIC JEWEL
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When you are in trouble, the Magic Jewel will come to the rescue (arcade mode 
only though I think).  When this touches a jewel, it eliminates all of the 
jewels in the playing area of that colour.  It is real useful.  However, if 
your pretty low on jewels, you can gain a nice 10,000 if you touch the bottom 
of the playing area.

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Legal Information and Contacting Me
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Do not reproduce this guide as it is protected under copyright law.  Do not 
link directly to this guide, link only to the html page you visit before 
entering this guide.  Do not sell this guide for money or sell a CD with this 
guide on.  If you use this guide on a personal website without permission.  If 
you wish to use this guide contact me at the address below.

The only websites allowed to use this guide so far are:

www.gamefaqs.com

You may ask any questions by e-mailing to t.reeves@blueyonder.co.uk
But please - send no file attachments
Credited:

Sega - for making the game and releasing it + making the Genesis/Mega drive

You = for reading this guide!

Thank you and goodbye! ;)