O o--o o-o o-O-o o-O-o o-o / \ | | / | | / o---oO-Oo O | | O | || \ \ | | \ o oo o o-o o o-O-o o-o ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Arctic - Active Rail Playing ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ for the Famicom - A Guide by 'CJ' Lagoona - Table of Contents: ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ * Introduction........................[_0100_] * Game Mechanics......................[_0200_] * Game Controls.......................[_0300_] * Map Elements........................[_0400_] * General Tips........................[_0500_] * Maps guide..........................[_0600_] * Hidden Stuff........................[_0700_] * Questions...........................[_0800_] * Version History.....................[_0900_] * Legal Stuff / Donations.............[_1000_] * Credits.............................[_1100_] Use the search codes in brackets (Ctrl + F) to quickly jump to your desired chapter. ------------------------------++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- + Introduction + [_0100_] ------------------------------++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- Welcome to my guide covering the somewhat obscure Famicom title Arctic - Active Rail Playing. I decided to write one after writing a review for it, as on one hand, this is quite a good puzzle game and on the other hand, there was no FAQ available before this one... :-) As already mentioned, this is a puzzle game. And its subtitle 'Rail Playing Game' implies something along the lines of a train simulator. And indeed, it has some similarities. The maps you need to solve look like the screen of a train supervision or steering screen of a track network. You have tracks, bumpers, switches and balls that race along these tracks. The goal is to guide the blue balls and the yellow balls - once deployed - back to a dock of their respective color. Of course, that's easier said than done as there are a few obstacles and twists to it. But I hope I can help you out with this guide. -----------------------------++++++++++++++++++-------------------------------- + Game Mechanics + [_0200_] -----------------------------++++++++++++++++++-------------------------------- First of all a warning. Get your remote ready to turn down the music volume and be prepared to turn on the radio or to put a CD you like in your stereo... Well, turn on your game and press Start at the intro screen, this will directly take you to the first map. You'll see a maze of tracks and balls of different colors. The balls travel along the tracks and follow them around curves. When they reach a fork, they will continue straight on (or as straight as possible). When they hit a green bumper, their movement direction will be inversed and they travel back in the opposite direction at the same speed. But there are also forks that have switches. These switches can have two orientations (and you control them), and depending on that, the balls get directed to where the switch points to. Just like with trains. There are switches of two different colors, each assigned to one of your pad buttons. You can only change the orientation of all switches of the same color together. (Don't forget that, it's important.) Now, it will happen that two balls will 'touch' each other, either because they collide head on or because a faster ball gets to a slower ball. In both cases, the balls separate in opposite directions, giving their momentum to the other ball (a faster ball will be slowed down, a slow ball will get faster). On some maps you will find other elements, such as arrows or ramps (differently colored tracks). They all have the same effect, they accelerate the balls in one direction and slow them down (or even inverse their direction if already very slow) in the other direction. But now for the actual aim - how to win a map. At the start of the map, all blue and yellow balls are deployed from a grayish blue or grayish yellow blocks, I call them their home docks. When a ball (of any color) reaches one, it will stick to it and block it for others. To finish a map successfully, you must direct all yellow balls to a yellow dock and all blue balls to a blue dock. -----------------------------+++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- + Game Controls + [_0300_] -----------------------------+++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- On a map: ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ (To start a map: Pressing 'Start' will deploy all balls.) Start - Deploys all balls that are docked to the blue and yellow blocks Select - Stops the current map and brings up the Config menu that let's you choose the map (0 - 28) you want to play and the speed (1 - 3) of the balls' movement. A button - Change position of blue switches (all of them together) B button - Change position of yellow switches (all of them together) Right on the direction pad - Release all balls docked to the blue blocks Left on the direction pad - Release all balls docked to the yellow blocks In the Config menu: ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ (Opens upon pressing 'Select' on a map) Right on the direction pad - Increase ball speed Left on the direction pad - Decrease ball speed Up and Down on the direction pad - Choose map number (0 - 28) Start or Select - Start the chosen map (or restart current) ------------------------------++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- + Map Elements + [_0400_] ------------------------------++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- This section covers all the elements you see or encounter on the maps. Tracks: ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ White - Your basic 'rails', all balls travel along them. Brown - Act as a ramp, slowing the balls down in one direction and accelerating them in the other one. The longer the ramp, the bigger the effect. Green - Same as the brown ones. Blue - Same as the brown ones. Purple - Same as the brown ones. Balls: ¯¯¯¯¯¯ Blue - Once deployed, they travel along the tracks. The aim is to bring them back to a blue docking block. Yellow - Like the blue ones, but their home dock color is yellow. White - They just travel along, but they don't have a home dock. They can be helpful or annoying. They can dock to a colored home base, thus blocking it for others. Red - They travel along the tracks normally. But avoid a collision of a blue or yellow ball with it, or you will instantly lose the map. Other: ¯¯¯¯¯¯ Docks - They come in gray-blue and gray-yellow. Starting points and home bases for the balls of their corresponding color. Switches - They guide your balls between one of two possible tracks, depending on their position and orientation. There are switches of two different colors, blue and yellow. The 'A' button controls the blue ones, 'B' the yellow ones. Pushing one of these buttons changes the orientation of ALL switches of the corresponding color. Bumpers - They are placed on 'dead ends'. They shoot back any ball that hits them, thus reversing their movement direction. No speed is gained or lost during this. Arrows - White triangle symbols forming sort of a gate. They act as accelerators in the direction they point to. Balls that pass between those in the wrong direction lose some speed, those passing in the right direction take up speed. ------------------------------++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- + General Tips + [_0500_] ------------------------------++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- I recommend that you spend some time at the very first map to get used to the game mechanics, it won't take too long. Take your time before the start of a map to get an overview of what expects you and what might be needed to get the balls back home. Use the white balls to your advantage, sometimes collisions with them are needed get your balls to where you want them. On the maps with a red ball, try to 'lock' it in a loop where it can't hurt you. This can also be applied for white balls when they get in your way. Concerning the use of the switches: It is most often advisable to just open them quickly, let the ball you want to pass through, then immediately close them again. Thus your ball pattern will not get disturbed by other balls passing through other open switches. Don't forget, you can always re-deploy wrongly docked balls. And not only all of them together which would often make you lose some balls that were docked correctly, but you can at least reduce the losses by only re-deploying all balls placed on docks of one of the two colors. -------------------------------++++++++++++++---------------------------------- + Maps Guide + [_0600_] -------------------------------++++++++++++++---------------------------------- Due to the nature of this game, this will of course not be a step-by-step walkthrough. But I will try to help with each map as much as I can by giving you the key strategies for them. Map 0 ¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 2 yellow balls 2 white balls A very basic map with only switches and bumpers. Everything is arranged in 4 circles, with the innermost one having two bumpers. Try to get one or more balls back to a home dock already at the start by opening the corresponding switches leading to a home dock only shortly for the correctly colored ball. Then guide one ball at a time to the center (again, by opening the switches only shortly and closing them again quickly), where it turns its direction at a bumper. Guide it back outside. There, it will make a collision and give this momentum to one of the outer balls. Now you can just wait and time the opening of the corresponding switches when the good color passes the entry to the correct dock. Rinse and repeat until you're done. My best time: 0:43 Map 1 ¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 2 yellow balls 3 white balls This is the first map where you find some accelerator/decelerator arrows. Get your balls from the big loop up to the connected straight tracks. Even better if you manage to get all of them up before they catch speed at the arrows inside the big loop. To get a ball back to the home docks, make it leave the uppermost straight line very slowly - the arrows will then push them back up 'home'. If this should happen with a white ball, you can always let it pass the home docks and get it kicked back by the bumper at the end. If the balls are too fast, they'll pass the arrow without being pushed back up. But if you get them directly up to the straight line again without letting them take speed in the loop, that wasn't a bad thing, because you want them slow. My best time: 1:52 Map 2 ¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls 3 white balls This map is already a bit tricky. As a new element, there's a brown ramp on the track, which basically has the same effect as the speed arrows. There are two main loops, one of them (to the left, that looks like a toppled "T") has two arrows in it, the other one has a small inner loop (more on the right side, which also contains two arrows, but opposite to each other). For the uppermost blue dock, collisions are needed to get there, so I'd recommend 'filling' this one first. The upper 4 docks (2 blue, 2 yellow) are generally relatively easy, so fill the remaining three of them afterwards (the two yellow ones are straightforward, the blue one is easily accessed through the T-shaped loop). For the remaining two docks that are placed inside the inner loop of the second bigger loop, you need to get a slow ball into the inner circle, such as that the arrows can repel it and you can guide it to its goal. As you can make the balls enter the T-shaped loop in both directions, you can use it to slow the balls down if needed. Or trap any ball that bothers you in it (and worry for its speed afterwards) and slow down your 'good' ball by guiding it through the inner circle over and over again until it's slow enough to be pushed back to its home dock. My best time: 3:27 Map 3 ¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 2 yellow balls 1 white ball This map features a track spiral with green ramps to the left (they're a new element, but basically the same as the brown ones), a big zig-zag to the right (where your home docks are) and a small loop at the bottom. Both the zig-zag and the loop have arrows. You need to enter the home docks from the direction opposite to where the zig- zag arrows point to and the green ramps go down to. So here the trick is to use the small loop with its arrow to first slow down your balls and change their direction, then even accelerating them so much that they get up the spiral and manage to pass the arrows in the zig-zag. You can do this with the white ball before you deploy the color balls, thus you get an easy first ball home. But take care that while you accelerate a ball in the small loop, you don't allow a ball into a wrong dock... My best time: 4:09 Map 4 ¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls 4 white balls This map has basically two circular loops, one inside the other, and two short straight lines stacked between, all connected by switches. On the top right and left are two antenna-like things, one with a yellow dock, the other one with a blue one. At the start, deploy and redeploy the balls without using the switches until all of the upper ones (on yellow, one blue and the four white ones) are in the big circle. The best thing come then - you don't actually have to worry about the middle balls (one blue and one yellow), because they'll automatically go back to their home dock. That's why I said to not use the switches yet. With these two 'out of the way', you best concentrate on getting a yellow ball to the upper left and a blue ball to the upper right dock. There should be enough collisions to make the good balls pass the switches in the right direction. Time it that way and let them in one after the other. If it's getting too hectic, try to trap one or two or the white balls temporarily in the first inner straight line. And wherever your last two color balls may be now, get them to one of the straight lines (maybe you'll have to guide a white ball in the outer loop first) and adjust their direction if needed so you can easily get them home, too. My best time: 1:49 Map 5 ¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 2 yellow balls 2 white balls This map has the shape of a cross, with one dock in each corner. There are always two balls that will get no dock. Here it's all about timing your start button, maybe mixing a 'right' or 'left' once or twice. There are no switches, so that's all you can do. A general rule is that you try to first get the order of the colored balls correct, meaning blue-yellow-blue-yellow. But I cannot give you a surefire way to make this work. I always made this work by having the two free balls move synchronously. One more helpful thing: Deploy the balls just after that the color you want in one of the docks has hit the previous one. My best time: 1:07 Map 6 ¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls 4 white balls Here you've got one main line going from the top right corner (with the blue docks) to the top left corner (with the yellow docks) going through a middle curve. This middle is surrounded by two other 3/4-circles. You somehow need to get the color balls past the white ones. The best strategy here is trapping the annoying white balls in the middle one of these surrounding circles so they don't zoom around the home docks anymore. Once this is done, you've got a very easy job of getting your balls home to a correct dock. If you have trouble getting all the white to the middle, try having them rebound on already docked balls to shorten their way and change the movement pattern. My best time: 1:50 Map 7 ¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls 1 white ball This map consists mainly of a network of vertical straight lines being crossed by horizontal tracks. Well, they actually are 'bridges' over the vertical lines. There's a new element, some short blue track parts, but they are exactly the same as the green ramps. At the start, guide the big bunch of blue and yellow balls to the bumper in the upper right corner and make the go back the exact same way they came from. Now you only have one yellow ball left. Make it change its direction so it travels along the big square loop anti-clockwise, either by quickly guiding it outwards to a bumper of by making it collide with the white ball, and easily guide it back home. If you want to have the white ball out of your way, keep it locked between the two bumpers forming a reversed S. My best time: 2:00 Map 8 ¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 2 yellow balls 2 white balls This map is quite easy. The two middle balls can't be missed as they are on their own short track with a bumper always pushing them back home. But you need to use them with a well timed 'shot' (relaunch them with Start) to change the direction of the other balls that are otherwise trapped in the circle above them. Depending on when you deployed the outer balls, it is best to try to hit the white ones. They then reverse the color balls' direction and directly guide them home. My best time: 0:19 Map 9 ¯¯¯¯¯ 1 blue ball 1 yellow ball 1 white ball Another relatively easy one. There's one new element, a purple track part connecting different loops, and it's basically the same ramp type as e.g. the brown one. Deploy the balls and guide the yellow into the loop where the blue one is. Have them collide and take the blue one home to its dock. Now wait until the white one reverses its direction in the small circular loop in the bottom right corner. Then wait three or for rounds so it can gain some speed at the arrow. Then release it and directly guide it to the loop the yellow one is in. After they collide, guide the yellow one out of this loop back the way it came towards its home dock. Just make sure the switch right before it points to the dock. My best time: 1:31 Map 10 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 4 blue balls 4 yellow balls 1 white ball This map is a bit more complicated, and it has no evident easy loops. Well, however you have the switches in the beginning, you'll always end up with one yellow ball directly going back home to the yellow dock in the bottom right corner. One ball less to worry about. You can also directly guide the second yellow ball starting in the lower right corner to the yellow dock in the lower left. And without having to do much, also the blue one a bit left of the center of the map will be pushed towards its home dock, you only need to use one switch. For the remaining balls, the strategy is to make the balls turn around so they pass the rightmost track part (and the rightmost arrows) going upwards. From this general direction you can always deviate a single color ball to a corresponding home dock. It's up to you to decide, if you first want to fill the docks in the upper (left) part of the map or the ones remaining in the lower right part. (I always did the upper ones first.) In this map, the white ball can get quite annoying, as you have no place or loop to 'store' it safely. So operate your switches quickly such that only the balls you want leave the general tracks. Also take care to not let a ball that is too slow to up left, as the long blue part can trap it (there are basically to opposite ramps directly beside each other). My best time: 2:51 Map 11 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 4 blue balls 4 yellow balls 2 white balls Here we have an arrangement of interconnected horizontal straight tracks, with all blue docks to the right and all yellow ones to the left. If you don't plan this one in advance, you'll end up in a big mess. But there's a strategy that works wonders. Start the map with the blue switches 'open'. Now close them again right before the second yellow ball from the top would go down a track toward the second blue dock from the bottom. That way, the only ball that doesn't directly turn around and go to its home dock again is bottom the yellow ball. Make sure you guide it back through the forward arrow for it to get the speed needed to get home (all you actually need to do is operate one yellow and one blue switch). Voilà, easy. My best time: 0:21 Map 12 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 4 blue balls 4 yellow balls 2 white balls This map looks quite complicated. You have one bigger loop in the right part of the screen. It has a 'shortcut' with two speed arrows, and it has a connection to a smaller square loop inside of it. There's another small loop in the center that looks like a finger pointing to the right, and there's the part to the left of the map with a bumper that acts as both a connection to the 'finger loop' and as a direction inversing element. When you deploy the balls, without having changed a switch, the middle blue ball will hit a bumper, a yellow ball and again a bumper, then turn back towards its home dock. Quickly operate the blue switch(es) to guide it home. All other balls will circle around the same way infinitely if you get the switches back to their original position. Next thing to do is to guide one of the three balls out of the finger loop to the right. Have it hit the bumper and get back into the loop. Thus you can bring one of the ball home (to one of the three middle docks). Rinse and repeat for the two other balls in this loop. Remember to open the switches for a short time only and always close them behind the passing ball again. Now you can lock away the two white balls by guiding them to the left part where they will go forth and back between the two bumpers. The remaining color balls are quite easy. You will need to inverse their direction by making them hit the already docked blue ball in the middle of the map (the first one you docked) once or twice, but that's all that's to it. My best time: 1:39 Map 13 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 2 yellow balls 2 white balls 1 red ball Hah, the first map with a ball of a new color, the RED BALL OF DOOM! :-) Make sure none or your blue or yellow balls touch it, or you'll lose the map. It's not too difficult here, as the red ball will be locked in the small circular loop once it's deployed. Keep the red ball locked in the circle on the left side. Also, don't guide one of the white balls to the red one, as this can cause it to get out of the loop. Right after you deploy the balls, you'll get a few collisions in the center part (where two of your balls start. After these, directly guide the yellow ball home to the yellow dock to the right, and if you're fast, you can also get one (or even both if you play with the one already docked to the right) of the other two back home to the dock in the center. From here on, get a second ball to the small loop in the upper right corner to cause a collision with the blue ball that's trapped there, and guide that one home to the blue dock to the right. If you still have a ball that need guiding home (to the center), you can now trap the white balls either in the small loop in the upper middle part of the map or in the one to the upper right corner. Then easily guide your ball to the middle - and if needed reverse its direction using the already trapped yellow ball to the right. My best time: 0:31 Map 14 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls 4 white balls This map has a step-like arrangement of the home docks to the left, an arc going all the way over to the right side, which then leads in to a small circular loop. Then there's a short section with switches connecting the circle with the home docks. Right at the start, when you deploy all balls, get all white balls together into the small circle (you'll need to play around with the switches a bit). Then again deploy all balls (by pressing Start). You now have all but one blue and one yellow ball in a correct home dock, while the other two will end up trapped together with the white balls in the small loop. Now filter out the color balls by using the blue switch quickly twice and guide them in the right order to their home docks (first yellow, then blue). If a wrong ball passes (gets out of the circle), just leave the yellow switch blocked and send the ball back into the circle. My best time: 0:57 Map 15 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls 4 white balls This map looks like an inversed 'C', with a line of track completely going around it, and a few connections to a center line that has a bumper on both ends. And this map is indeed a bit more difficult. A good overall strategy is to get all balls (especially the white ones) to the middle so they only travel between the two bumpers. Then select your color balls and guide them out in the direction you need them. Two more things that help: right at the beginning you can directly get a yellow ball back home to the yellow dock to the lower right. And don't bother filling a blue dock other than the uppermost one (the one on the inside track) if you haven't done that one first. You'll for sure get a white or yellow ball stick to it, so you'll need to redeploy all balls at the blue docks (press right on the d-pad). Once that one is filled correctly, the map gets much easier. My best time: 1:42 Map 16 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls 1 white ball Here's another symmetric map. You have a circular loop in the center and a few dead ends with the blue docks to the right and the yellow docks to the left at its ends. Playing with the switches, you can also create small loops to either side with a bumper and a speed arrow. The annoying thing is that you can only reach the outer docks by guiding a ball to the bumper and making it collide with a ball inside the center loop when getting back to it. So you'll want to fill the center docks as soon as possible, afterwards it's basically the same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie? ;-) Umh, sorry, I got carried away... I mean, the same strategy over and over again. Guide a blue ball in the bumper-arrow loop to the right and hope it gets pushed back to the blue docks. Fill both docks that way. Then do the same thing with the yellow balls towards the left side. Probably you'll get lucky in the beginning and directly get one or two balls home. My best time: 1:20 Map 17 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls 3 white balls This map is very similar to map 7. You've got three similar parts, with always a home dock connected to a loop with a white ball inside, and a shorter arc with a ball of the other color that you need to reverse the direction of the ball in the loop. The upper two element have exactly the same arrangement (with the colors exchanged) while the bottom element is a bit different. The balls on the short arcs go home automatically. Time them so they hit a ball in the opposing loop on the go for the upper to elements, and on its way back from the bumper for the bottom element. All you actually need is the 'Start' button. Either just experiment with the timing or follow my instructions for an easy win. Deploy all balls when the upper white ball passes the first small curve (guiding it in the vertical direction). The yellow ball on the bottom element will thus directly go home again. Now redeploy all balls right BEFORE the bottom yellow ball actually sticks to its home dock - and watch the rest of the color balls get home. My best time: 0:27 Map 18 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 1 blue ball 1 yellow ball 1 red Uh-oh, a red ball again. The layout of this map is a follows. You have a stack of interconnected straight line and u-turn tracks to the right. The last one leads to a bigger upside down u-turn to the left. In the top left corner is a separated loop with the yellow ball. The loop comes close to the top part of the just mentioned u-turn. To win this map, you need to get the blue ball to that big u-turn to the left in order for it to collide with the yellow one. That way, yellow changes its direction and can get back to its home dock. But for this, you need the blue ball and the red one to cross paths. Guide red somewhere safe in the middle of the stack to the right (best on a short straight line between two bumpers, where it can't come out again), and only then start the blue and yellow balls. Then guide the blue ball past the red one and lock blue in the area where red was initially at the start until it collides with yellow and yellow is docked. Then you need to cross red again with your blue ball to get back to its starting point. Voilà. My best time: 1:22 Map 19 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 5 yellow balls 1 red ball This map is again somewhat similar to map 7. You've got no switches and you need the blue ball starting at the left to collide with the yellow ones that are trapped in their small loops in order to get them home. One more twist to it is the red ball waiting at the end of the blue ball's curvy track. The key here is the second blue ball in the bottom right part on a short separated track. Use it by timing its launch to push back the first blue ball before it gets to the right, to the red ball. So basically, once you've started the map, you'll only need to press 'right' on the direction pad. But you need to do so in a well timed manner, it's always right when the first blue is at the end of the curve directly after the second speed arrow. Make the left blue ball collide with one yellow ball after the other until all five are home - and use the second blue ball to save the first one from the red ball. I've found the movement of the yellows balls (thus also the timing to hit them) and of the left blue ball to be somewhat inconsistent, due to the speed changes upon a collision. Thus it was always try and error, which can get quite annoying. My best time: 1:13 (Man, I got lucky there) Map 20 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 2 yellow balls This is one very annoying map! You've got no white balls. Then there's a small maze with many switches and bumpers at the left, with a lonely blue dock at the bottom. And there's one connection to the three other docks (2 yellow, 1 blue). The main problem is that you have two fast balls, one slower ball and one very slow one. Thanks to the speed arrow to the right, the very slow ball will not be able to pass through to the docks. So you need the two yellows and one blue ball to be the faster ones. Additionally you can only access the connection by collisions at the right spot (in the upper left part of the tracks). Considering all this it becomes clear that the lonely blue dock will have to be filled last with the slowest ball. At least there's one thing that's a bit helpful. Put the switches to the 'open' positions, meaning the don't let the ball pass straight on the tracks, and you'll be able to keep all balls in the upper left part of the tracks. Now you need to play around a bit (shortening and deviating the balls' paths) to get the well timed collisions that will get the balls over to the triple docks. Good luck and a lot of patience! Once you managed to fill the three docks in the bottom right corner, the last blue ball is a piece of cake. My best time: 3:40 (and I don't care improving that one) Map 21 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls There are two homologous parts of square loops inside each other, both connected via one track only terminated with a bumper on both ends. Generally, again a tricky map, even if the pattern is clear. The two docks to the bottom right will be the last ones to be filled, they are also easiest. The reason for this is that you need the additional balls for collisions. The only way to get a ball to its home dock inside one of the circles is by making it travel through the inner circle and making it collide right before getting back to the outer one. Thus it turns in the right direction to enter a dock (this also needs some good reflexes when the balls become faster). In order to evade that one of the balls gets to one of the docks to the right I found it easiest to guide all 6 balls into one of the circle parts. After you've docked a blue and a yellow ball correctly, get the remaining four balls to the other circle system and there repeat the general process. If you need a ball to change its direction, take it out to the connecting track with the bumpers and let it re-enter the circle system the way you want it. Once you've filled the pair of docks in the second circle system, the tricky part is over and the last two are straightforward and very easy to dock. My best time: 4:41 (dang, this one's hard) Map 22 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 4 blue balls 4 yellow balls 2 white balls This map has many semicircles of decreasing radius inside each other, with the innermost one being connected to the outermost one via a bumper. The yellow docks are the right ends of the semicircles, the blue docks the left ends. This map can get very tedious if you don't start well. First start the map and wait. All blue balls will go to yellow docks and mostly vice versa, but the outermost yellow ball will get to the bumper and come back to the center of the semicircles. Now, right before it touches the white ball that is docked to the innermost blue dock, redeploy all balls from the yellow docks (by pressing Left on the direction pad), and right after its collision with the white ball, deploy all balls from to the blue docks (by pressing Right on the direction pad). Now you'll get all blue docks occupied by blue balls. From now on it's a matter of only deploying the balls from the yellow docks and getting the two white balls as close together as possible. Keeping these to close together will eventually get all the yellow balls to their home docks. (If you do it right the first time, you only need to redeploy the yellows once more.) My best time: 1:17 Map 23 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 4 blue balls 4 yellow balls This map is so easy you really shouldn't need any help... The tracks, which are mainly horizontal lines, form three separate parts with one pair of yellow and blue balls in the upper and the lower parts each, and two pairs in the middle. The only small challenge is in the upper part, where you have to redeploy the fast yellow ball (press Left on the direction pad) to make it collide with the blue one right before it gets down to the line the yellow one is on (or it will never get back up!). One yellow switch in the middle part needs to be operated to guide the last yellow ball home, all others get home on their own. My best time: 0:16 Map 24 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 2 yellow balls 2 white balls One of the most tedious maps... You have a broad loop at the bottom, with another partial one inside of it. Connected via some horizontal straight tracks are two circular loops in the top right and left corners, respectively. Don't bother with the upper loops in the beginning, because you need the white ball to get the respective ball in there home. And once a ball is in there, it will not come out again. And as you need the white for the lower two docks, too, you need to do these first. The general strategy is (like in others before) to get one color ball inside the inner loop part and have it collide with another ball right before it comes out again. Thus it gets the right direction to get to its home dock. This is the most tedious part of the map, so you might want to play around with the direction and speed of the balls a bit. Once you have these two get one white ball to the upper straight horizontal track. Time its release into one of the upper small loops such that it pushes the color ball to its home dock. Then rinse and repeat for the second white ball and the remaining ball. May god have mercy on you if you screw up now, because you'll basically have to start the map over again... My best time: 9:13 (I know this one is bad, but I will not bother improving it) Map 25 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 1 blue ball 1 yellow ball 2 red balls This is actually a fun map. There are two separate parts. In the upper right part there's a blue ball and its dock, in the lower left part a yellow ball with its dock. Both parts also contain a red ball. *shivers* But as long as you pay a bit attention and don't let them out, they are well contained in their loop and between two bumpers, respectively. When you deploy the balls you will first have to prevent the blue ball from going down to the red one. Doing this will get it to the triple arrows at the top, where it can't pass because it isn't fast enough. Simply leave blue on this track going back and forth between the arrows and a bumper. On the other part, redeploy the yellow ball and guide it to the left and up into the small circular loop. It's important that you only open up the switches for a very short time while doing so, or you'll risk setting the red balls free. Now simply wait until the yellow and blue balls collide. This allows the blue ball to pass the arrows and get home, and it makes the yellow ball leave the its loop. Now quickly get the yellow ball back to its starting dock, and you're done. My best time: 0:33 Map 26 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 3 blue balls 3 yellow balls 1 red ball This map again has a red ball, but it is safely turning inside its small loop to the left. To be honest, this level is a joke. All you have to worry about is that you guide the yellow ball in the lower left corner down to the right when you deploy your balls. Else the yellow one at the bottom right will never get back to its home dock. And of course, don't let your balls get to the circle with the red ball. Basically, all you need to do is to turn the yellow switches to 'open' (meaning that they will deviate the balls) before you start. Now deploy the balls and watch all yellows go back to their home dock. Keep waiting while doing nothing until the blue balls, too, get back towards their home docks at the top of the map. (With the yellow switches open they will not get to the red ball but be pushed back by a bumper.) Now quickly operate the blue switches such that you pick one blue ball after the other to get to its home dock. Too easy, really! Even if you missed a blue ball the first time, the double arrows will prevent that your blues come out at all, so simply dock them when they come again. My best time: 0:35 Map 27 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 2 blue balls 2 yellow balls 2 red balls Again a map with two red balls. And this one really is a bit tricky. You've got a yellow and a blue dock in the top left corner, both having a long brown ramp and two arrows in front of them. The two tracks merge and end at a bumper. They are connected to a stack of horizontal tracks, one long one and two short ones, each of them ends at a bumper on both sides. At the bottom is a broad loop with another blue and yellow dock pair. The main problem is that one of the upper two balls isn't fast enough to directly get back up the ramp. So you need to get past the red balls to get some speed from a collision with one of the faster balls from the bottom. First thing, before you start, trap the two red balls in the longest horizontal line in the middle, as close to each other as possible. Then start the map. Let the upper yellow ball go back to its home dock, but not the blue one. Immediately guide it down two, or even better, three stages (to the short part right above the bottom loop), past the red balls. (If you can't get by the red ones, you need to time the deploying of the balls differently.) Now get the blue ball from the bottom loop up to the first blue one. Now guide the faster of the two blues up one stage again, and then again two stages up, past the two red balls to the topmost track. (The closer the two red balls are together, the easier this gets.) And simply guide it up to its home dock. The bottom two balls are easier. Get both balls to the track directly above the loop (probably one of them is already there) and let them back down. They now have the right direction for reaching their respective home docks. My best time: 0:50 Map 28 ¯¯¯¯¯¯ 1 blue ball 1 yellow ball 1 white ball 1 red ball Again a map that looks more complicated than it is. But it combines a series of tricky elements. But you should actually already have got used to them, anyways. You have a red ball, but as long as you leave it where it is, it won't hurt you. But the most important thing is that as soon as you start the map, you need to guide the white ball immediately down to the bottom horizontal track with two bumpers. Thus it can directly push the yellow ball back to its home dock, or else it will never get there again. The rest (meaning the blue ball) is rather easy. Just time your use of switches such that the red ball can't get out of the two starting lines, and simply guide the blue ball home via the two arrows and the bumper in the top right corner. If you want to accelerate the blue one, get the white ball up after its collision with the yellow one and make it follow the blue's track and give it its speed. My best time: 0:26 Congratulations, you've now beaten all the maps - and you'll get nothing for it except for the satisfaction of having beaten the game. ------------------------------++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- + Hidden stuff + [_0700_] ------------------------------++++++++++++++++--------------------------------- Sound test - at the start screen press select to be able to listen to all the sounds featured in the game. Press 'A' to switch to the next one. Most of them are not really worth listening to, but that's my opinion (though I quite like 'Fighting Ball!' and 'Final Touch Down'). Anyway, here's the list of all tracks: - Arctic Main BGM - Arctic Game BGM - Game Over BGM - Winner BGM - Ran Ran Ran - One Night King - Fighting Ball! - Nori! Nori! - City Route XYZ - Final Touch Down - Children Plaza - Pri Pri Hips! ------------------------------+++++++++++++------------------------------------ + Questions + [_0800_] ------------------------------+++++++++++++------------------------------------ This section is dedicated to commonly asked questions. So far, it is empty. But I will update it whenever I feel the need of it - which means as soon as somebody asks a question that isn't already answered in this guide. So if you have a question, or have found a mistake or would like to have something added, don't hesitate to contact me at: DrLagoona (at) hotmail (dot) com. ----------------------------+++++++++++++++++++-------------------------------- + Version history + [_0900_] ----------------------------+++++++++++++++++++-------------------------------- Version 0.9 - Added the 'Where found' sections, added a table of contents and (2006) adjusted the general structure. This is the first official, accepted version. Version 1.0 - Added the Sound Test Section after finding out about it. (Nov. 2006) Version 1.1 - Updated contact info, fixed some minor spelling issues and (03/12/07) updated my fastest time for Map 0. Version 1.11 - Did some slight format adaptations, added search codes to the (08/07/09) chapters and added PayPal donations info. ------------------------+++++++++++++++++++++++++++---------------------------- + Legal Stuff / Donations + [_1000_] ------------------------+++++++++++++++++++++++++++---------------------------- This guide is copyrighted 2006-2009 by 'CJ' Lagoona. The only websites allowed for hosting and public display are up to now www.gamefaqs.com www.neoseeker.com No part of this file can be used without the permission of the author and credits to the author. To get permission to host this guide on your website, drop a line to chrigu_l (at) hotmail (dot) com. Make sure you have <Arctic> in the subject line, or else I'll shred and eat the e-mail without reading it. ;-) Arctic is a trademark of Pony Canyon Inc. Donations --------- If you'd like to make a donation, even a small one, showing your appreciation of my work, I will of course gladly accept it. For this, best do it via PayPal to (the same address given above): DrLagoona (at) hotmail (dot) com Of course, replace the (at) with the @ symbol and the (dot) with a . Much thanks in advance. -------------------------------+++++++++++------------------------------------- + Credits + [_1100_] -------------------------------+++++++++++------------------------------------- ...to Artdink (?) and Pony Canyon for creating and publishing this game. Thanks to me for writing this... ;-) Thanks to selmiak for proofreading this guide. And thanks to CJayC for running GameFAQs. Well, actually, as things have changes since the last update, for having created GameFAQs - and to Sailor Bacon (aka SBAllen) for taking over and doing a great job.