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    FAQ/Walkthrough by ASchultz

    Version: 1.0.0 | Updated: 09/16/06 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Faster Harder More Challenging Q*Bert(Arcade) FAQ
    by Andrew Schultz schultz.andrew@sbcglobal.net
    version 1.0.0
    copyright (2002-)2006 by Andrew Schultz schultza@earthlink.net
    Please do not reproduce for profit without my consent. You won't be getting 
    much profit anyway, but that's not the point. This took time and effort, and 
    I just wanted to save a memory of a great game and the odd solutions any way 
    I could. Please send me an email referring to me and this guide by name if 
    you'd like to post it on your site.
      2. CONTROLS
      5. VERSIONS
      6. CREDITS
    Faster Harder More Challenging Q*Bert(FHMC) is a take-off on the popular 
    classic Q*Bert. The board is still the same, as is the object--move Q*Bert 
    diagonally across a triangle of squares and turn them all the target color. 
    But some of the enemies are different or behave differently, which makes the 
    game rather wretched to play. And the way you fill in squares on the pyramids 
    can get tougher from round to round.
    For instance, Sam and Slick don't just change colors back, they change it to 
    a rainbow, which looks cooler but is even worse. You need Coily or Q*Bertha 
    to step on it to change it--back to the original color. This isn't bad early 
    on but later when you need to jump on squares and not touch them again, it 
    makes letting S&S go nearly fatal.
    And who is Q*Bertha? A bigger purpler version of Q*Bert who also sometimes 
    undoes his work. It's slightly scary. But not as scary as when Q*Bertha has 
    to land on a S&S-infested square TWICE.Fortunately the level shows you what 
    to do at the beginning, but you will be treading water a LOT unless you use 
    save states on an emulator to see what goes where next. Even still, you will 
    make mistakes, but it is a nice puzzle if you can't ever lose too badly.
    But unfortunately as things stand, even for the bonus round, the best plans 
    seem to be just waiting somewhere and then making a flurry of activity--
    making the game less spontaneous than the original Q*Bert. Running around 
    aimlessly isn't even fun here as it gets you in a worse mess than when you 
    Oh and just to be mean they don't give you as many ways to score, and it 
    takes more points to get an extra life. Nasty, nasty.
      2. THE BASICS
        2-1. CONTROLS
    You can move diagonally from one cube to another. You can jump off the 
    structure safely only if a disc is to the left/right. You are slightly faster 
    than your enemies or the green balls that drop down.
    If you are using the standard arrows for controls, you will have to hold the 
    keyboard at a 45 degree clockwise angle. This creates a lot of errors you 
    don't want, especially since the arrows on most keyboards aren't in a 
    comfortable square. But wait! You don't have to do that!
    With any arcade game emulated on MAME you have the option to change the keys 
    around--specific to that game--and so here's what I did.
    (P) to pause
    (TAB) to bring up a menu
    Go to Input(this game)
    Highlight P1 right, hit enter, hit L
    Highlight P1 left, hit enter, hit U
    Highlight P1 up, hit enter, hit O
    Highlight P1 down, hit enter, hit J
    Now you have the diagonal movements defined as follows:
    U   O
     \ /
     / \
    J   L
    Use two left fingers for the UL/DL and two right for the UR/DR and you should 
    be comfortable. You can pick tetrads of other letters if you want, i.e.
    R   I
     \ /
     / \
    F   J
    T   U
     \ /
     / \
    G   H
    Whatever's most comfortable for you.
        2-3. SCORING
    25 points for each square turned the right color
    300 for Sam/Slick
    100 for the green ball
    100 for Sam/Slick in the bonus, 750 for the extra squares turned solid
    On level X you start out with a bonus of 600x+400. You lose 200 each time you 
    take a disc, but you'll probably be gaining 600 when Coily falls off.
    Extra guys at 10000, 30000, 50000, etc.
    Default high scores are below:
           1) TJD 5000
     2)RTM 4500  3) SHH 4000
     4)MFH 3500  5) JDF 3000
     6)TKP 2500  7) JAS 2000
     8)THH 1850  9) FDA 1700
    10)DAY 1650 11) JOB 1600
    12)DDT 1550 13) LEE 1500
    14)wBD 1450 15) ZAP 1400
    16)NAB 1350 17) JUN 1300
    18)HFR 1250 19) RON 1200
    20)FXS 1150 21) DLB 1100
    22)CPB 1050 23) SAM 1000
    Q*Bertha always moves diagonal-up towards you if she can. If you are 2U she 
    always goes UR and 2D she goes DL.
    Once you develop a good strategy for one level it invariably has to be 
    tweaked for the next. I might even advise just trying to get through levels 
    the first time by suiciding whenever necessary. S&S do take a while to appear 
    so you can plan that--or a trip off the discs.
    (floating discs--6 you-moves per theirs on round 1, then 3 per)
    --You can loop around instead of going to a corner and waiting for Q*Bertha--
    also you can let her follow you to the top to get rid of anything pesky.
    --Wait 2D of the top if you're close to the end but S&S haven't shown for a 
    while. They will.
    --Taking out the very bottom corners works well as does going along the 
    bottom, much like regular Q*Bert. Then you will want to cover the center and 
    finally the upper sides since a lot of traffic goes through the sides--
    Q*Bertha is bound to go there.
    --Patience is most important here for the early levels. Don't try to do too 
    much at once.
    --See my Q*Bert walkthrough for how to clear levels w/o Q*Bertha and the 
    "enhanced" S&S. Once you've mastered that, this game may be easier.
    --S&S hang in the air just long enough for you to jump on where they are 
    before they land--this saves a square turning the wrong color.
    --the pattern is 2 S&S's, 1 ball, and later it seems to be 3-1. You almost 
    have to get the green ball on later levels.
    --if there are lots of bottom squares the wrong color, don't let Q*Bertha 
    jump off yet. The nastiest squares to redo are those on the bottom, for which 
    you must let Q*Bertha tail you very closely. Squares nearer the top are much 
    easier to turn back. It's rough math to decide when to bump her off but if 
    you are able to do so with S&S hanging around at the top, you can really make 
    things easy on yourself(they can for 2 moves)
    I consider a walkthrough up through level 7 as complete, as nobody in their 
    sane mind could be expected to complete that level. Having said this I will 
    be worried one day if I start poking around and things actually work out. 
    Let's just say that if you get to level 7 on your own you probably don't need 
    this FAQ, and what's more, I'm not going to apologize for the insanity crack 
    because you are probably smart enough to figure out that it was borne out of 
    frustration anyway. You're probably smart enough to be able to tell me a 
    better coping mechanism, which might help me with some tough issues at work, 
    which can be almost as mindbending as this game.
        4-1. LEVEL 1
    Nothing too tricky here for Q*Bert fans. You just need to be aware of the 
    moving discs. Also, how to change the tiles varies between rounds.
          4-1-1. ROUND 1
    Typical old Q*Bert except the discs in the DL and DR go up every six 
    moves(assuming you don't pause) so you need to be prepared for that. Best to 
    get Coily coming at you from below and then jump another UR/UL if you need 
    to. Take out the corners when he's not there.
    You'll probably need to trap Coily only once.
          4-1-2. ROUND 2
    dk blue->brown->yellow
    Now you have to jump on each square twice. Same strategy as in Q*Bert Level 
    2--take out the corners, then go for the main part. You may have to goad 
    Coily off 2 or 3 times once he is at the bottom. No Sam or Slick here which 
    is a nice relief.
          4-1-3. ROUND 3
    Ah now the fun starts. You change a square back if you step on it a second 
    time! The same strategies as in Q*Bert Level 3 apply, though you need to be 
    careful about timing. Ugg and Wrong-Way will make things tricky, but when 
    things get tough you always have a disc to jump on. Then you can connect the 
    dots between any two white squares--don't try to carve out white squares as 
    you go, i.e.
         . .
        . . .
       . . . .
      . . . b .
     . a . . . .
    . . . . . . .
    If a and b are the only whites left, make it to point a, then UR UR UR UR DR 
    DR and UL's back to where you started. You may have to repeat this several 
    times to take care of business. Obviously if you have two white squares 
    together you can just step on them. You can also wait for a disc if you plan 
    carefully enough or bounce forward(DL DL UR DL and wait) so that Coily will 
    follow you where you need.
          4-1-4. ROUND 4
    DR 6UL DL DR UR DR UL DL UL and you have the left bit cleared off--get a disc 
    in the upper part(or on the left) and try again with the left, though you may 
    be able to beat Coily into the DL where you can move around quite a bit. Then 
    keep clearing out the center--no Sam and Slick but you may wish to use a disc 
    or two on Coily to keep him in check, then repair whatever damage you did to 
    the side. Remembernot to be too hasty as if a ball forces you to jump one 
    way, do so--you can make it up quickly enough.
        4-2. LEVEL 2
    Oh dear. If you thought Sam and Slick were annoying in Q*Bert, FHMC is even 
    worse. Per the introduction:
    1. Sam and Slick turn a brick a weird color
    2. Q*Bert can't change it
    3. Only Coily can, back to the original
    So now you need to keep Coily on the board as he runs around! Lead him on the 
    path to cover where Sam and Slick are going. You may, if you lose a guy, have 
    to go up to 2D of the start and catch Sam and Slick as they fall and duck 
    everything else. You will see them before they fall. Also the green ball 
    doesn't help here if you still have S&S's remains.
    What's worse, while Coily is following you around, Sam and Slick strike 
    again. New players could do worse than get killed before S&S fall, but if you 
    can lead coily in a circle at/near the very top when you guess S&S are about 
    to come down, you may be able to progress. I'd say they come down every 20-30 
    jumps or so but I can't be specific.
    However if you get the green ball with everything clearable(go to the bottom 
    first BTW as those individual squares are much less likely to be touched 
    later) then you really have an advantage--another perk of staying near the 
    top. But it is also useful to hit a disc immediately after Coily makes 
    everything clearable if possible too. Just keep near the top at first to 
    catch and S&S before it drops. The key is landing on the square in the 2nd 
    row before he does.p
          4-2-1. ROUND 1
    I found this to be easy especially since I was able to get on the disc when 
    Sam/Slick first appeared. Basically I went along the bottom a bit and cut 
    halfway through to the top.
    I also recommend, if you knock Coily off the first time, that you wait for 
    Sam/Slick to jump down. You have enough time to see when they do, so just 
    drop onto the square and wait for them--they'll be a bit to the left or 
          4-2-2. ROUND 2
    You probably can't help if the first Sam/Slick comes down and messes things 
    up. You have too much to cover. So just go to a corner and clear as much of 
    that out as possible and work the bottom--Coily will not appear for a while. 
    Remember that S&S will cause squares to turn in an orderly fashion, and so 
    when Coily appears you can position yourself so he follows you up the 
    "contaminated" squares.
    There's a green ball that seems to appear right before S&S do, so if you've 
    used your time well you can finish the board while it's still blinking from 
    the ball--or you can just wait under where S&S will drop.
    You will probably have to do some damage control and waiting around with the 
    rest of the board finished and a few squares contaminated, though. For that, 
    wait 2D of the start to make sure more S&S's don't ruin your work.
          4-2-3. ROUND 3
    Here though the scheme is the same(2x on the same square, no rotate) S&S come 
    down more frequently and so if you are unable to catch them right away you 
    will have a lot to clear--the big problem is that, if one of them gets to the 
    bottom, it takes time to get Coily to jump on the squares, after which the 
    next gets to the bottom, and the only thing that breaks the chain is a green 
    ball--and if you get a green ball, Coily can't help you change the squares 
    back. Still, get the green ball and concentrate on any contaminated squares. 
    If you can clear out a diagonal and a corner 3-pyramid and then muck about 
    near the center to catch the first S&S you will save yourself a lot of grief 
    later. There'll be another, then the green ball. However, there may be too 
    many enemies on the board for you just to proceed up and paths S&S may create 
    so you need to be prepared to duck and break off chunks of a few squares at a 
    time for each Coily that appears.
          4-2-4. ROUND 4
    A green ball comes down fairly quickly here, just after a S&S so if you can 
    catch the S&S pretty high up you are in good shape. Go down one side and 
    don't worry about completeness--clear out a lot of the bottom and chase S&S 
    when it comes down. You should be more concerned with net squares turned blue 
    than any specific collection. After you drop Coily the first time you can 
    touch any isolated yellow square and walk back over the blues you used to get 
    there, and that fixes it. Then pick off other isolated yellows. It's worth it 
    to track down the green ball, too, as even squares you turned yellow can 
    quickly turn back blue.
    S&S are actually less of a bother here on the previous level since you only 
    have to go down the given path once after Coily goes back on it. The main 
    problem in this game is that there are just a lot of enemies floating around 
    and that makes 2-color flipflop levels like this less difficult than 3-color 
        4-x. BONUS ROUND
    The bonus round is rather interesting--how to maximize points? It's like a 
    big old biblical plague of frogs with S&S's jumping down everywhere. You'll 
    probably see the rules, but anyway: S&S turn black or blue squares half-blue 
    and when you jump on the half-blue square, it turns blue. But there are so 
    many of them that they can overwhelm you.
    I usually just concentrate on one side, catching S&S's on the right and then 
    moving to the left and defending the touched squares on the very side. With a 
    few seconds left I move up from the bottom and start playing defense on what 
    I was able to cover, and I am usually able to get 5 or 6 or so. Fortunately 
    it's not critical.
    But what disturbs me is that the "lazy" strategy of letting enemies fall and 
    then going up the left side and waiting in the UL gets more points than 
    activity, and it makes me feel I may be missing something else.
        4-3. LEVEL 3
    Here you are introduced to Q*Bertha, who seems to have a crush o Q*Bert and 
    undoes all the work he did! It's obviously critical to use a disc to get her 
    to jump off the board ASAP. And furthermore you will probably see that, for 
    your first trip down, you'll want to work on one side and move to the other 
    so that she undoes relatively little of your work.
          4-3-1. ROUND 1
    Here if you are quick you can outwit Q*Bertha and just have to use one disc, 
    but if you must, you can wait around and drop her off the second disc when 
    you should cruise. The usual strategy of picking the corners when no-one's 
    around should serve you well. Just don't let her run around the board too 
    much before dropping--it's not like suckering Coily when you are waiting for 
    Sam/Slick or the green ball.
          4-3-2. ROUND 2
    More of the same although this time you will not be able to escape so soon. 
    What is rough about Q*Bertha is that she changes finished squares back to the 
    original color, so when in doubt, just try to cover every square once before 
    covering completing squares--less work potentially lost that way. You may 
    also wish to note where Q*Bertha falls and leave the squares just above her 
    untouched for the moment.
    I've completed this level after dumping Q*Bertha twice but it requires exact 
    play. Count on three or four times and be patient with the red balls--if you 
    have to run around them to wait for a disc, so be it. You may also want to 
    run Q*Bertha around a circle for general strategic purposes--she'll turn 
    fewer squares that way.
          4-3-3. ROUND 3
    OK, it gets a bit confusing here, but again you will have plenty of time to 
    pick off the sides before the first Q*Bertha comes by. Unfortunately she 
    doesn't turn brown squares yellow but as before you can pick off the sides, 
    then individual squares(I go 6DR, UL and DL and the next time 5DR and back 
    UL) when she is gone and gradually pave over the squares where she wasn't.
    The general strategy for Q*Bert again works here and she is only a moderate 
    confounder as squares you didn't want to change get changed with or without 
    However the farther up you can lead Q*Bertha the better as that leaves fewer 
    squares off to the side that you have to flip when you are free of her and 
    the other monsters. Leaving you a free hand with the good stuff.
          4-3-4. ROUND 4
    Safety first is again the key here. You'll expect a lot of slow progress as 
    the board fills up with pink squares and it makes sense not to fill the top 
    bits in until the last possible moment. Judicious suicide may work well here.
    But for the first foray you should try to clear out 5 in the left corner i.e.
     + +
    + +
    Then the ones in the right corner. Keep Q*Bertha in the center and if you can 
    survive a green ball should come down eventually. Use it.
    In addition it is that much more important here to try to catch a disk on the 
    side Q*Bertha is on near the end--she needs X fewer step to get to you, 
    meaning that many fewer squares she'll change that you'll jump on later.
    Here a suicide with two squares left and Q*Bertha's ball at the bottom is a 
    very reasonable thing to do if you just want to pass the level. However, with 
    green balls floating around and no Sam/Slick you may be able to pass the time 
    and just jump on enough discs to get a green ball, which will buy you enough 
    time to step on the right squares if you're quick.
        4-4. LEVEL 1
    Now Sam and Slick join the fun and Q*Bertha, like Coily, is the only one who 
    can change the squares they contaminate back to normal. Of course, the 
    squares are changed back to the starting color, which means her love for 
    Q*Bert is that much less likely to be requited, but the game would shift from 
    obnoxiously hard to very easy if the latter happened.
          4-4-1. ROUND 1
    This first level isn't too bad. I was able to clear out most of the board and 
    then just wait for the S&S at the top. Then I led Q*Bertha to the top and 
    jumped her off with a disc, leaving the rest as rather easy. You can afford 
    to wait for S&S and in fact 2-color non-flip levels should be pretty trivial 
    by now.
          4-4-2. ROUND 2
    What's this? The same sort of scheme? Yeah, but Sam and Slick come down 
    faster. You can't really wait for them any more, so you have to use 
    Q*Bertha's dubious attempts at help. Again if you are able to pitch her off 
    just as Sam/Slick appears on top, or if you have everything nearly cleared 
    except for something in row 2 and you can lead her to the top, that is the 
    best way to finish the level.
    If a S&S makes it all the way down you may just want to have Q*Bertha clear 
    part of their mess and save cleaning the rest for after the next disc. S&S's 
    will fall continuously and if you remember the pattern of Sam/Slick/Green 
    Ball it can help you decide when to bounce Q*Bertha around and when to just 
    jump on a disc. There's no exact science to it unless you memorize the move 
    order(which is a silly idea--general strategies instead.)
          4-4-3. ROUND 3
    The first time through don't worry about S&S but try to lead Q*Bertha over 
    the paths they made as usual. Fortunately Q*Bertha only undoes your squares 
    once and you may be able to get the first green ball to win. While it takes 
    longer, there's nothing really to add in the way of strategy.
          4-4-4. ROUND 4
    Here Q*Bertha knocks a square back two colors, so you may just want to pick a 
    side to lead her over to and clear that out. And of course get her off the 
    playfield as quickly as usual. If you must duck other monsters, try to get 
    her running in a circle over squares she's already touched.
    You'll also really want to avoid clearing the sides since that is where 
    Q*Bertha goes and, again, you want to try to sucker her up to the top, on 
    squares you have to go down through anyway. Try to leave her 1 square behind 
    you especially when you need her to jump on certain squares, and remember 
    that if you have Sam/Slick coming down while she is chasing you, a lot can 
    get undone. If youi are able to use the disc right when S&S appear(i.e. if 
    they haven't been around for a while and you can loop in a general area) 
    that'll give you a head start clearing the rest of the board.
    You need some feel for the last time a little green guy came down and 
    particularly how many green guys came down--if it is 2/3 then the next will 
    be a green ball, which is very good and worth waiting for. When the ball 
    expires, position yourself so that you can get on a disc quickly.
        4-5. LEVEL 1
    With finished squares flipping back, you can imagine that this level is 
    tougher than the previous, but only really in magnitude. There aren't any 
    really new innovations and you just need to get Q*Bertha to wipe out more of 
    the S&S's work.
          4-5-1. ROUND 1
    Here you have to deal with Q*Bertha again, but now you can't step on the 
    finished squares. Basically when you've cleared all the squares you can, or 
    close to it, don't get surgical to wipe one more out. Play center field to 
    catch Sam/Slick on row 2/3 then dump Q*Bertha--unless she comes down first.
          4-5-2. ROUND 2
    The second S&S comes right after the first. But after that you have free 
    sailing for quite a while. That allows you to goad Q*Bertha where you need 
    her. There's even a green ball next which can make this very easy. But the 
    next level gets worse.
          4-5-3. ROUND 3
    Because Q*Bertha steps on a square to turn it pink here. Again there is the 
    disclaimer about not completing an upper side area unless you have to, and 
    get to the side and dump her quickly in any case. The game also stops hinting 
    so overtly when the discs change here so you may need to keep count of things 
    internally. You can see it, but it is very difficult.
          4-5-4. ROUND 4
    Finally you don't get kicked back to the original color, but you do get 
    penalized for stepping on a square again. Q*Bertha doesn't change blues but 
    she still is frustrating. This is similar enough to 4-4-4 that it doesn't 
    deserve much further comment.
        4-6. LEVEL 1
    Not appreciably different from the previous, qualitatively. You still need 
    Q*Bertha to step on the mess S&S made, but there are MORE S&S. Q*Bertha also 
    changes all matched squares back to the original.
    Other than that those green boingy bastards now sometimes leak to the corner, 
    where you have to time luring Q*Bertha to the corner so she can jump there, 
    and then you need to go BACK. Ugh.
          4-6-1. ROUND 1
          4-6-2. ROUND 2
          4-6-3. ROUND 3
          4-6-4. ROUND 4
    This is an even harder level and worse the discs seem to run out. You may 
    have to sacrifice guys just to get through. I was saving states like crazy 
    and it still didn't do any good. At this point you really have to cheat and 
    wait at the top for S&S to fall and get on the square before they do.
        4-7. LEVEL 7
    Sam/Slick jumps on a square to turn it black. Then Q*Bertha must jump on it 
    twice. Fortunately she does not change the squares you jump on, for the first 
    two rounds anyway. Again you need to wait for S&S near the top after clearing 
    off a few squares. If they land on a 2nd-top square, no biggie to cycle 
    Q*Bertha around, but if they leak down it's almost impossible. Again I can't 
    really offer comment here other than that it's more fun but still tough with 
    save states or infinite lives.
    And since this is a prototype(incomplete) I'm going to pass off my 
    walkthrough as incomplete at least for the moment once you complete level 7. 
    It's too ha-a-a-a-ard. Waaah.
          4-7-1. ROUND 1
    You can just camp out 2D of the top and grab Sam/Slick when he gets there and 
    jump on the discs when available. They don't come too often so it isn't too 
          4-7-2. ROUND 2
          4-7-3. ROUND 3
          4-7-4. ROUND 4
    grey->light grey
        4-8. ROUND 8
    At this point you step on a square and the color changes back, which will 
    leave even people whose mommies threw their 2600s out the window for playing 
    too much--calling for the relative niceness of their mommies. There's nothing 
    I can add but that the game gets more exacting and I think the reason it was 
    a prototype was that it got so nasty. I've been solving these levels using 
    save states knowing where and when certain balls fell. And I still got killed 
    a lot in the process.
    If anyone knows what happens on the next levels--Q*Bertha must jump on 
    something 3x, or even worse--let me know. I don't have the energy to find out 
    when things loop.
    End of FAQ Proper
      5. VERSIONS
    0.5.0: sent to GameFAQs 9/12/2006 through level 3. Need to add Q*Berty stuff.
    1.0.0: sent to GameFAQs 9/17/2006 complete through level 7. If you get 
    farther than that, you're probably too smart to need this guide. Except to 
    laugh at the obvious stuff I missed, or something.
      6. CREDITS
    Thanks to the usual GameFAQs gang. They know who they are, and you should, 
    too, because they get some SERIOUS writing done. Good people too--bloomer, 
    falsehead, Sashanan, Masters, Retro, Snow Dragon/Brui5ed Ego, ZoopSoul, War 
    Doc, and others I forgot. OK, even Hydrophant in his current not-yet-banned 
    message board incarnation.

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