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This is it, the final showdown with my thoughts. Wait, this is a thinly veiled FFX reference isn't it. HA HA HA HA HA okay this joke is overdone.


46. Synthetic Coral

One thing I find quite interesting to play is a field of blocks and water or bombs, and all you have to do is move around, building islands as you go. In particular, Plastic in the Ocean from UC5 directly inspired this- what if instead of having to bridge to the corners, you just had to pick up chips? Ultimately, it's quite easy- no Pentomino Lake without picking up the flippers, that's for sure. Unfortunately, splash delay does seriously hurt the level in Lynx... and I still need to finish CCLP4 in Lynx, right.


47. Blast from the Past

Finally, the first level I designed for this set! The only goal I had was to throw back about a decade, with pointless rooms, diagonal walls, and pointless boosting! Unfortunately, the level still ends up being fairly modern in its design, but hey- it's a fun variety level with 12 completely separate rooms with absolutely no interaction between them, nope. Don't even try sending the fireballs and gliders into the bomb room, I definitely didn't plan that to be a useful strategy and it most certainly wasn't forced on an older version of the level.


48. Happy as a Clam

I think few levels show my usual design style more than this level. I built the central room first (symmetry, level branching off of one core interesting room) and then the fireball room to the right. The gliders followed (single block+monsters in varied forms, simple collision telegraphed) and the rest of the level followed in the order it gets played. I'm especially happy with the fireball stream trick to get the blue key, and the final tank shuffling puzzle. Unfortunately SOMEONE (Tyler) busted this level and didn't get the full experience... but Shane did because I fixed the level.


49. Confusion Cave

My designer note for this level simply reads "Creative One Ways, Part 3?". I'm not sure how accurate that is, but when I tried resolving it well after I'd designed it I was quite confused, so I guess it does what I wanted it to. The highlight here is the fireball room and how it's completely impassible without a block.


50. Opal Shrine

For this level, I used the walls of Wall Jumping Up Waterfalls to craft a non-linearly ordered variety level. The very first thing I tried to build in was a very lengthy final block path that would reuse most of the level, but this kept having to be scaled back and nerfed as there were ways around most of it. The initial release didn't require the block path it currently does as I had liked the shortcut, but after Tyler didn't even entertain the possibility of the intended path I took another look at the level and managed to require the oversized loop. In the final form, it's a fun level- I only wish the fireball manipulation was a little more clearly telegraphed in advance, as it's possible to fail right at the end.


51. Despotism

Walls from Communism. There are some weird hallway block loops to manipulate a single fireball through most of the level. It's not too interesting to play, but I'm still proud of the fact that I fit a completely different level inside Communism.


52. Outlast

Say hello to probably the only original concept in the entire set, because truly original concepts are hard to come by. Original executions, sure those are easy. But concepts? Have you ever seen a room where you had to keep a teeth from leaving a certain range, while also having to leave that range? The left room came first while experimenting with the concept of extending where you could step, and is rigid as a result. The right room followed as a "alright, now you understand it, now apply what you've learned" kind of room. It is possible to extract all 10 blocks, albeit not easily and it's not required in any case.


53. Immersion Circulator

Walls from Miika's Hexominoes. While I was skimming through custom sets for interesting arrangements of walls, that level jumped out at me. Sure, it was originally used for a collectathon, but there was some serious potential for reinvention there. Once I stripped the level bare... I had nothing. So I built the outside aesthetic, laid down a few objects to partition the level (most notably the tank guarding two red keys) and just built upwards from there. This is probably the longest level in the set despite only having a 496 time limit. Why 496? Because it's the third perfect number, after 6 and... 28. Naturally, I ensured that's how many chips there were. That sounds like something Miika would do.


54. Navigating Neptune

Obligatory blue wall maze with some shortcuts and I made the fireball puzzle first and kept that theming for rooms to open shortcuts.


Okay bye.


55. Lebanon

So, funny story about skimming through custom sets for interesting walls- Cyprus was a given. I immediately hit on the idea of limiting cloning to make a sardine can and then blockslide multiple blocks off of the same slide... but then actually executing the area took hours and was still broken for quite a while. Eventually though, I had a first puzzle and the tanks always changing (everything up to the fireball+tank room) and had no ideas for the remainder of the level, and it'd been sitting there for a while. Well, I had clone machines in place as partitions, but still.


A month or so later Josh and I collabed and I sent him the half finished level.


I got back the dodging sections and outer block part a day or so later- not what I would have gone with, but hey- it worked and was pretty fun! Though I noticed a few ways to squeeze out extra blocks from the end and made it required (touching the border is also required!) and telegraphed the gimmick of all blocks having gravel under them early, as it could be seen as unfair without that first block. Then I added my own block manipulation section to reach a hidden hint and called it a level.


Time limit is 961 because apparently that's the area code of Lebanon.


56. Monotone

I hope you don't dislike invisible walls.


57. Mystery Caves

Mission statement: difficult linear campaign level. The first section was meant to have a bit of tangential story to it of a prison, and also set the tone with an "In a Nutshell" style area. In hindsight, it's a little mean to start there and force redoing it every time the teeth+ball room goes awry. I went back and forth on whether that dodging and manipulation was fair, but ultimately decided that it was since you can see what needs doing in advance. That said, the tank button to start the manipulation was the last thing I added to make it a little easier. Then you have a fantastic blockslide puzzle before a really cool ball room and a few assorted puzzles before a fake-out exit. I wonder if anyone will ever die to that walker. Probably not, but the room is lol.


58. Flight of the Prince

Entered in the Movie Madness Create, which it won. Inspired entirely by chasing Snape down in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and the gameplay suits this. You see a green flash and something go off the tower, immobile, and then get to move when it dies, just like the story. Then you have around 20 seconds that demand perfection in Lynx and near perfection in MS, with some pinpoint dodging checkpoints and minor itemswapping. I love how carefully tuned this level is to work in both rulesets, something I couldn't manage with Extreme Hold Right Adventure. I do wonder if the design is too mean, though, as you do need to get a decent amount of boosts to even solve the level in MS.


Regrettably, I couldn't keep a section in which the glider would merge into a 3 tile gap of pink balls and clone another, blocking the path for Chip. Why? Slide delay- waiting at the upper force floors would allow the glider to delay, bounce off a ball instead of merging in resulting in its death, and Chip could just walk into the fake exit. I tinkered with a few potential fixes, but ultimately settled on just making the slide delay not matter.


59. The Party We Have Never Seen

Soundtrack for this commentary.


Fire and water have such a lovely aesthetic that I underuse.


Open-ended cloning puzzles are such an interesting design that, again, are underused.


Sooooo I made one with a semi-open order. Gotta get to the bug on the right first to open the block cloner, then do the three chip challenges before the two socket challenges that subvert the normal flow. Shane picked up on the main trick pretty quickly, likely because I telegraphed it in advance. He also spotted a solution I didn't catch to the upper area, which I'm not unhappy with. Originally I wanted to force bridging around the bomb, but he found a clever way to use the existing blocks to guide a fireball over- nicely done!


I'm not sorry for the random force floors on the exit path- good luck J.B., and at least it's untimed :P


60. A Chip Down Memory Lane

And finally, the walls from Archie's RUN OUT OF GAS in a spiritual sibling to Mental Marvel Monastery.


Fully intended alternate solution follows, with the description copied below:


Everything seen here is intended- I designed the level to have two solutions, and this one to feel busted. But nope- every little detail that juuuust works out is completely intended!


That being said, I did not tune any of the monster order or timings for this route. I'm pleasantly surprised by how little waiting around there is here. The overall design goal was to make a level like Josh's Mental Marvel Monastery- a throwback medley, of sorts. Strengthening the connection, I used the walls from Archie's "RUN OUT OF GAS" as my starting point, as Josh used Andrew R.'s "Producing". I also took care to make each part try to feel like something out of CC1- I'm not sure I succeeded, but that's why there are the (few) random pointless bits and certain other design choices.


Levels referenced in some way:

Nuts and Bolts, Elementary, Tossed Salad, Oorto Geld, Scavenger Hunt, On the Rocks, Lemmings, Seeing Stars, Chipmine, Bounce City (skipped), Reverse Alley, Block Buster, Now You See It, Short Circuit, Torturechamber, Miss Direction, and Alphabet Soup.



Another day, another 15 levels worth of thoughts.


31. Blocks Aren't Us

I remember I was just toying around with bridging levels and hit on the teleport arrangement in the southern room, and how just those teleports would allow access to an entire room of water. From there, I decided to make a symmetric minimalist bridging level, because it's a rarely done genre. Bridging levels are really hard to keep from being tedious, and I figured that 4 distinct approaches/minor deviations from full water would work perfectly for making an enjoyable bridging level. With those two thoughts in mind, I built the force floor room, then the ice room and the glider room. In the first version of the level, the glider room had 2 gliders and it was manageable, but ultimately I decided it didn't really mesh with the rest of the level so I removed one of them.


32. Autumnal Forest

This was the last level I made for UC6, and stemmed from realizing I hadn't built the obligatory "variety/puzzle level where all the walls are actually blocks". While trying to come up with some new ideas of what to do with that design trope late at night, I had the following thought. "heheheh, what if instead of blocks I used LOCKS lol".

Naturally, this turned out to be a legitimately great idea. The individual challenges aren't too complicated in this level, but to me it's one of those fun levels that just flows. I also love revisiting older areas, and passing back through the fireball room was something that I felt just needed to be included as one of the final steps. Keeping the current key count in memory while designing was pretty tricky, and keeping it bust-proof was trickier.


33. Betwixt and Between

Walls from Fossilized Snow, before it became a CCLP4 level but after it was pretty clear it was going to make the cut. Around halfway through the sets' construction I looked through a bunch of custom sets for interesting walls to use as launching points, and figured that this could be used for... something. Quite some time later, I built a one block glider manipulation puzzle, using gravel and water to set two sets of boundaries. Finally, the means of exiting was something I hadn't really seen done too much, being a blind partial post off of the glider. Unfortunately, this wasn't very fun/fair, so I added the tank buttons to give an auditory cue. I play with sound on basically always, which seems to be a minority stance- but it makes sections like this so much easier! Oh, and the level is named after an area in Kingdom Hearts 2.


34. Hyperspace Runway

Walls from The Last Starfighter and level originally made for the Walls of CCLP1 create. TLS was selected not because the walls looked interesting, but because it was level 28 and I asked Jessi what level I should use. Naturally, 28 was selected because a while back, I got a 28 cycle Specter in an any% no infinite jump run that still turned out to be the record (linked below). From there, I realized that TLS was actually quite an interesting layout, so I ruined it with a bunch of force floor slides and blocksliding. At least the glider room is legit.


35. Snow Worries

Hey, another level named after a level in a game I used to speedrun, this time the 6th level in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger! In hindsight, this and the previous level probably shouldn't be next to each other, as Snow Worries is a blocksliding puzzle where the puzzle is figuring out how to set up a blockslide. Honestly, this is a level because I noticed the socket puzzle was possible (making a block bounce off a bouncing block) and wanted to make a level around it. The ending can be a little mean, but it's not too bad I don't think.


36. Center of Attention

Nothing too special here, just a four quadrants variety level with a sokoban, a monster manipulation, and some dodging. Sorry about the ending, I realllllly shouldn't have left it like that but since I found a way to do it without precise timing or the monster partial post, I left it >_<


37. Unlicensed Archaeology

Level originally designed for "The Five Rooms" create, where it placed second. I really didn't have any ideas for how restrictive the guidelines were for quite a while, and then I decided to just theme a level around blocks. Not just use blocks, but actually have that as the core theme. From there, the first room became an explosive romp, the third room a simple tank bypass, and the final room a simple symmetric bridging puzzle. That still left the second and fourth rooms, and the fourth seemed to fit a partial posting puzzle and socket clearing fun part easily. I can't think of a better description for the blue key search than "fun part" lol. Anyway, the second room was actually the first one I built and sent me down the rest of that path. I'm not sure exactly why I decided to use single blocks as walls with dirt as the enforcer, but I'm glad I did because it creates a natural series of small puzzles to figure out how to progress, and as the designer I had to make sure to leave a way back!

Level named while streaming Tetris Plus and just discussing random things with Jessi. The phrase came up, and I knew it fit this level perfectly.


38. It's a Small World

The very... second level I made for this set! Nothing too complicated here, just a teleport puzzle. I still had a lot of fun working out how to build 7x7 rooms in each corner, and I very much like the starting FF spiral. I guess being able to touch the border is unusual, too.


39. Christmas Armament

This is easily one of my favorite levels in the set, less due to how it plays and more due to the combination of concept and execution. Basically, I had the idea of farming red keys to get to the next room from the center, but wasn't sure how to fill each sub-room. Cue me (blob) pestering my brother (tank), my sister (walker), and my mom (teeth) to each build a 7x7 and 8x8 room. The tank maze room and block/bomb room are probably the best two, but the teeth puzzle is interesting as well. The force floor room underwent a lot of iterations before I settled on the more complex variation- originally it was a lot simpler.


40. Obligatory Block Shuffling Level

I needed to make a block shuffling level. I made a block shuffling level. The upper room came first and set the shape of the level and honestly isn't too hard, but the lower room took me a solid hour of tweaking to come up with. This is probably my best sokoban design to date with a couple tricky steps involved in the solution. What more is there to say about it?


41. Just Another Regular Thursday

Walls from Dave's A Puzzle. Other than the invisible wall with the tank (not required to make the level possible, but made it more fun) and the throwaway joke of blue walls + deadly obstacles in one of MY levels... there's not much here. It's kind of generic in a charming sort of way. Hey Dave, if you ever read this does this level look/feel like something you'd have built? :P


42. Choice Tools

Walls from Nitroglycerin, and entered in the Walls of CCLP1 create. This ended up being Miika's preferred level of my three submissions, but it couldn't go too far due to only being a maze. Which is a shame, because I put a solid 3-4 hours into making sure every combination was possible to beat the level with! Not even building sections, just tweaking the "final" level until I had a version that didn't care what you picked. The inspirations here are quite obvious I think- choices, choices and Tool Shed. This level is the reason I ran the mazes only create, which my brother ended up winning with TOTALLY RANDOM MAZE. I could be accused of nepotism with that judgment... but even Josh (runner-up) agreed that it should win :P If you're reading this Andrew- make more levels! They're good!


43. Fahrenheit Frenzy

About halfway through construction, I decided I wanted to make a time crunch level. A linear fire themed gauntlet named after another Wrath of Cortex level. So I built the bug dodging area, and then it all went downhill when I couldn't resist from building a puzzle. However, I think the puzzle is actually pretty good despite relying on stuff under blocks (I may or may not have been trying to make a statement) even if Tyler busted it with spam cloning somehow. Another of my favorite designs.


44. Celsius Scramble

Another of my favorite designs- Doublemaze already overlaid 2 mazes on top of each other, and Archie's Double Puzzle overlaid 2 sokobans on top of each other. What if we took this further with larger tiles (3x3) and took full advantage of the fact that there was ice? The result was this semi-maze, semi block moving, semi dodging/timing variety experience. The two best moments to me are using the tank to deflect a sliding bug into the teleport, and pushing a block into a teleport and then walking around to push it as it pops back out where it started.


45. Blue Narciss

After designing time trial levels, I felt like making a level with the aesthetic of Eddy's Melody Rain. A single block monster manipulation puzzle followed. Those are kind of a theme in this set, aren't they.


Onwards to the second quarter!


16. Arctic Antics

I've noticed there are a lot of horizontally designed levels compared to the amount of vertically structured levels, which is interesting. Specifically, mazes often seem to have more horizontal paths with vertical connectors compared to vertical hallways with horizontal doors- not counting curvy paths. It's a strange observation to make, and this level was designed in response to that observation. It's "only" a maze with a blue wall/blue lock aesthetic and long vertical ice slides, but some of the blue walls are fake and there are a few extra chips. Just a couple more of those bonuses for the attentive, though of those who've streamed the set (Tyler and Shane), I don't think either of them caught the fake blue walls. Named after the first level of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex.


17. Retroactive Invocation

Most keyswapping levels have you pick up keys, go somewhere with that key, and pick up more keys behind a lock. More advanced keyswapping levels will use the locks as the only gates to progress in a denser environment, such as Three Color Problem (me), Thinner (Cyberdog I think?), or even too many keys (pieguy). This level tried to do something a little different- recessed walls to "break into" the keyswapping area and get some early keys, and a way to save extra keys. Of course, some of those keys end up used in the second half of the level, which gives the monsters circling an extra purpose. Dual purpose design is always pretty cool, and something I've been trying to include more often.


18/19. Tanks / Tanks, But No Tanks

Ahhh, yes. One of the few levels where I came up with a title before the contents. I don't make tank levels very often, and J.B.'s Genetic Experimentation seemed like an interesting set of walls for a constrained idea. After I set out to make a tank level, I had the brilliantly terrible idea of copying the level, but removing all of the tanks from it to make a pun. From there, I just built a few distinct challenges for Tanks, and added hidden walls and tweaked areas for No Tanks. There should honestly be more level that build off of/toy with adjacent levels- neither of these are too special on their own, but as a combination I absolutely love how they work.


20. Special Little Snowflake

One of the sillier ways I make levels is to just start toying with interesting tessellations and see how they develop. Fossilized Snow and Three Color Problem are two examples of where I've done this in the past, but there are others. Anyway, this level is just a blocksliding challenge with an interesting twist- in MS, a ram is required. This was somewhat controversial, and Shane though it was unfair, so I'll defend this decision a little bit here- this could easily have been relegated to i^e, for instance. I decided to keep this level for three main reasons, but first, watch the Lynx solution if you haven't already.

1. There was no easy way to change the aesthetic/ice placements to make something else interesting, but non-trivial.

2. The solution plays out nearly the same in both rulesets.

3. After the Rainstorm has already canonized the ram.


Now, point 3 on its own is fairly weak as it can create an inequality, and that's something I try to avoid. But that combined with point 2 was enough for me to give into point 1 and keep the level in its current form. Hope that makes sense!


21. Deflection Field

Another level originally conceived as a time trial that was ran as one- though it turned out to be fairly easy to route. In the first version, the exit was where the suction boots are, but Miika had the idea of adding a runback and I liked it for both optimizing and casual play. Though there are 2 balls on every line, the dirt makes for a lot of safe places and ultimately makes this a very cerebral dodging level, which naturally is the kind I prefer. There's just something fun about alternating bursts of preplanning movements and mad dashes/quick reactions to things that you just don't get with a lot of melee levels. Naturally, Seeing Red is one of my best examples of this design style.


22. The Sound of Silence

More than any other level in the set, this is the one that got me designing heavily again. After releasing the update to UC5, I really didn't have any more ideas for levels. Sure, I built the stray level here and there, but it seemed unlikely I'd have a large CC1 release again. After a couple months of downtime, I tried designing some levels meant for time trials, to varying degrees of success. But even that didn't really get anywhere, and roughly 6 months after the UC5 update, I had maybe a dozen levels. For comparison, I've built more than that in the past few weeks! Anyway, CCLP4 construction was ongoing at the time- I think voting had just opened, and I'd spent a lot of time playtesting the submission pool alongside the rest of the staff. And then, Idle Contrast by Eddy came up as a topic of discussion. Was it better or worse than Suspended Animation, which used the concept of trapped monsters springing to life first? Was it too simple? Was Suspended Animation too complex? Why was there no middle ground? Well, I decided to try my hand at designing that concept with the goal of settling the debate. In favor of my own newly design level, of course :P


I started with the ball rooms where you start- I figured the best way to immediately communicate that this used the Suspended Animation concept was to have a visible exit blocked by trapped monsters, in a room that would allow passage if they started moving. From there the level built off naturally, with various challenges, connections and revisits. By far the hardest part was getting the controller/boss glitch to cooperate. If you look at the bottom right, when the tanks switch the pink balls can start moving, alternating directions every move. This conveniently matches the 5 moves between traps for the paramecia on the left side. The bugs were even trickier, and required some careful tuning of locations and sliding tiles, controller by the fireballs on the bottom left. The ice makes sure they alternate facing up and right when the bugs try to move. Finally, the teeth was the hardest of all- I needed 2 teeth, as only one would have it be released in the opposite direction. Even still, I couldn't find a way to make the teeth release in any direction, so I settled for just up/down.


I'm really happy with how the flow of this level turned out, and even though it uses an existing concept, I think I changed enough and added my own flavor to it to be an original level. Besides, did the monsters ever... stop moving in the original? ;)


23. What Lies Beneath

And now, another level that was used for a time trial! Unlike the other time trial levels in this set, I didn't intend for this to be one. I just built another maze where the walls could be pushed (and had to be in the outside areas) hid 4 chips under blocks that lined up with the pattern (not required, of course) and noticed that it would probably be quite interesting to optimize. Well, it was, and Miika ended up sniping first by 2 seconds :P


This is probably my favorite maze level that I've ever designed.


24. A Glide Amongst the Clouds

Late in construction, I realized I didn't have a glider level yet! So I made one. The ending underwent a lot of changes, and I went back and forth on if 2 gliders were fair in that toggle room, but ultimately decided that yes, they were. One was too easy, anyway. Other than the ending, it's just some cloning to disrupt and some simple dodging. Enjoyable enough, but not really standout.


25. To the Dungeons!

Recommended viewing:

Alright, you back? Great. I'm sure you can see the obvious inspirations, with traps, layout, unreachable objects, and a leap of faith for that blue key. By far my favorite part of this level is the bottom right- the force floors spice up some otherwise simple ball dodging, and the single block manipulation of 2 gliders is <3. Also, that's going to become a recurring theme here...


26. A Wish Upon a Distant Blob

Obligatory blob level but more interesting than the obligatory walker level. The lower left can be a little mean, but with the right strategy it doesn't actually take very much luck to complete. The middle section has a minor bust, but I'm okay with its existence. Overall, this level has some really weird moments and I think it succeeds as a blob level. Time limit is 436, the current bold to Blobnet.


27. Uphill Battle

Hi I like hand-built block shuffling puzzles and you can't adapt them with ice or force floors and there's a gotcha/minor shift in style right at the end and I really really like this level. The force floor puzzle in particular, as it's half sardine can, half "how is this even possible" until you use the force floors to your full advantage. Another of my absolute favorites from the set.


28. Demolitions Expert

Yet another time trial level- we're running out of those :P

This one was paired with Red, Brown and Red and uses gliders as a counterpoint to the fireball cloner. It can get a little out of hand with routing, but ultimately I think it succeeded as a reasonable optimization challenge. Especially because everybody missed something sizable here. I couldn't figure out a way to clone all the gliders at once, and both Miika and Ruben missed the method of using only 5 red locks instead of all of them! I'm still surprised at this, as I specifically designed that in as a shortcut and I thought it was obvious... anyway, building the layouts was quite difficult to keep them rotationally symmetric and nontrivial, but also hard to cook.


29. Congregate

Just a fun little monster dodging collection level with a blob and teeth that can wreak havoc if released early, but screw up fast routes if released late. Have fun J.B.!


30. Dissonance Amid the Storm

Title taken from Touhou 14's Stage 4 title. Random force floors look quite nice, and using them as a path for hidden walls I thought was a really neat idea. Mostly, those paths just break up some precise running from monster in varied arrangements. Oh, and there's a joke at the players' expense here with the teeth.


Another 15 bits of behind the scenes knowledge tomorrow, probably!


Unless I'm too busy with a tournament. Or practicing for said tournament. Or working on CCLP4. Or working on Ape Escape time attacks. Or job hunting. Or relaxing. Or level designing. Or playing FF9. Or working on my backlog. Or coming up with more "or [activity]" phrases to include here...


Yep, it's that time again, where a designer puts some record of their thoughts about their levels for everyone else to read. Today I'm going to be talking about Ultimate Chip 6, which contains 60 levels and will probably not be updated for quite a while to come. So let's dive right in!


1. Welcome to the 21st Century

This was one of the first levels I put together after the time trial designs, and the goal was to craft a simple itemswapper with a very sprawling feeling to it. Does it feel like something that would have been made around the time CCLP2 was made? Possibly- but the design still has the modern touches of no rooms or hallways being diagonally adjacent. That's something that I personally don't like the look of in most cases, and that's why this level curls back in on itself. In hindsight, it's not the best introductory level for this set, but I didn't really have a better one, and I'm not unhappy with it as it shows that UC6 can and will contain... whatever I felt like throwing in.


2. Quantum Tunneling

After Miika ran a mini TT with his own level, Twice the Fun, I decided I liked running through the upper ball corridor, especially with how the balls would bounce off to always allow passage if the first was survived. So I went with that on a smaller scale, added a bunch of bombs and a force floor slide to give the balls a second purpose, and had an easy level that was pretty fun to play.


3. Snowball Mountain

Back to back ice aesthetic levels! I tend to use ice and force floors a lot in my designs, and also have an aversion to large empty spaces (that I'm working on, thankfully). Anyway, this level was originally conceived as a maze TT level, but it proved too easy to route. Level name borrowed from Ape Escape 2, continuing the trend of monkey game named ice themed levels after UC3's Frosty Retreat, UC4's Hot Springs, and UC5's Snowy Mammoth. Unfortunately, I'm out of Ape Escape ice levels without monkey puns in the name for the future!


4. Repetitive Repetition

I had just watched the Game Maker's Toolkit episode on Hitman and the art of repetition, and had the thought- what if I could turn that into a CC level? That's kind of what optimizing already does, but how can I capture that feeling to create an entire level around it? Then the concept kind of morphed into "hey, let's make the same room 3 times but with minor variations that allow shortcuts lol" and it's not that good of a level. However, I've since re-used this repeated room idea to make a much better level that very few people have seen- I'll release it eventually guys, but for now, James says it's super legit.


5. Key Free

The original idea here was a puzzle level where you'd alternate sides taking keys and boots and having to move several objects around in a multi-stage puzzle. Then I couldn't figure out how to begin designing such a puzzle and still don't have a clue (concept is up for grabs!), so around Thanksgiving I sat down at a relatives' house and threw this together. One of Tyler or Shane got tripped up by this level, surprisingly. It's pretty easy with a load of extra keys, but as a little optimizing bonus it's possible to end with the fire boots on the left side, saving some time. Honestly, that little tidbit is why this level stayed in its current form- I added a decent amount of little bonuses for the attentive in this set, and I'll point them out in these musings.


6. Sneaking in the Back Door

Ahhh, this level. When I set out to build this level, I knew I wanted it to be rotationally symmetric and on an island, but beyond that I didn't have too much of an idea. Then I decided to place chips with a lock on one side, and a bomb on the other. This led to adding a teeth monster in order to skip a key, and the original design had 2 of each key and 1 teeth, requiring 0 teeth bombs. Then I changed it to 4 teeth and 1 of each key, and wasn't sure which version was better, as this was meant to be a fairly easy level. Mostly thanks to Miika's suggestion, I took a third option of 3 teeth (better symmetry at the start!) and 1 of each key, requiring 3 back door entries. You do have to be a little careful, but it's still not too difficult.


7. Tonberry Estates

Walls from Key Farming, was entered in the Walls of CCLP1 create competition. Again, I'm mentioning Miika, but I'm sorry- that sokoban is clever and fits perfectly in the room. Oftentimes teleport sokobans revolved around partial posts, so I set out to build one that was non-trivial in that space and used the teleports as alternate loops. The rest of the level is some simple itemswapping, dodging and chip collecting, before some semi-blind fireball manipulations with a toggle button. I went through great pains to keep this part from being cookable, and I think I succeeded- though if you're not careful with the locks used earlier, you can render the fireball stuck. Don't do that.


8. Encased, Just In Case

Oh look, a Time Trial level! This sort of chip collecting romp isn't too interesting to just play, but routing it was actually quite interesting. The original version of the level had recessed walls instead of red and blue obstacles, which would have created easier shortcuts but ultimately been less interesting. Other than that, there's not much to say here.


9. Tunnel Boring Machine

I do like monster manipulation challenges quite a bit, and this level is nothing but a monster manipulation challenge, albeit a very lenient one with respect to monsters. You only need 8 or 9 total I think, and there are 16 in the level. That said, the dirt involved is a limited resource that has to be used somewhat carefully in order to access the central chips. Some will probably find this level boring (insert rimshot here) but I liked playing it in testing and still think it's a fun level- takes a little thought, but not full focus.


10. Tesla Foil

Josh mentioned a concept about unmaking partial posts, so I tried my hand at building a level like that. Unfortunately, teleports can be pretty broken and the level is irredeemably busted. Despite this, the intended path is pretty interesting, using symmetry in design but distinct rooms to keep a theme going without overstaying its welcome. Oh and the ending has been described as "what" and "bonkers", even though it's just a toggle door path :P Even with the bust, this is one of my favorites from the set.


Now I see why Andrew has done his designer commentary in groups of 10 levels. Must upstage everyone though- onwards to another... 5.


11. Red, Brown and Red

Another time trial level, this time with a cloning theme and obviously inspired by Red, Green and Blue. Optimizing cloning is very difficult, as it generally devolves into chaos and just trying everything. My goal with this and the other level was to craft a cloning level based around ideas and specific smaller scale collisions, rather than spamming the button and hoping everything works. Did it work here? For the most part- the toggle door at the end was the trickiest part to try to route, and a solution one second faster than my 90% logical solution exists. When I was optimizing this (as I did so before the competition to ensure the process was reasonable) I identified a timing that would clear out the lowest bombs, and then tried a few variations with the spare moves I had until I found one that was fast. As a casual level, it's okay, borrowing more from Four Plex without the toggle buttons. Slightly tedious perhaps, but not uninteresting, thankfully.


12. Primordial Ooze

Mazes with force floor walls have become slightly overdone in recent times- Forced Circuit by Josh, Jungle Fever by J.B., Cluttered Crosswalks and Bisection by me... these all do different things with the core concept, but ultimately are mazes where the walls aren't always walls. In this level, named after the second level of Ape Escape, I didn't really do anything to spice up the force floor sections. However, the water mazes I took advantage of the fact that they're water and added a few blocks to bridge to otherwise unreachable areas, adding a small thinking element to the maze. A few toggle doors to take advantage of the force floors later, and I had a symmetric chip placement maze that's actually pretty fun to play.

The time limit is 280 because my time attack time is 2.80, though this will be dropping about .05 soon ;)


13. Transmission

After You Can't Teach an Old Frog New Tricks came onto the scene, full level monster guidance puzzles have almost universally been difficult, with Andrew's One Tank's Adventure being the easiest. Others that come to mind are Guiding Light (me), Set-up (Shane), Get the Ball Rolling (J.B.) and A Bug's Life (me), using most of the monsters in the game. I'd even tried making a level like this before I'd played OFNT that featured a blob, titled... A Boy and His Blob in UC2. However, that left a gap in easy guidance levels, and the humble paramecia is often forgotten, so I elected to change that. Side note- gliders and walkers still need this kind of level, unless there is one for either of them that I'm unaware of.

Anyway, this level has another one of those bonuses for the attentive- there's no chip socket, as the chips were a last minute addition to try to trick people into doing extra steps. The dirt section can be done from either direction, the toggle and tank rooms require active attention (and setting up the tank room was a pain) and the ice room has been complained about, but it can be set up in advance or you can actually move the blocks with the paramecia chasing you! Yes, it's possible!


14. Interdependent Line

Walls from Eddy's Honey Bomb, found in NSG-Rejects. This one was honestly inspired by The Witness, in a weird sort of way. There's nothing too out of the ordinary here, just a key ordering puzzle with a simple gotcha, a recessed wall section outlining some gravel, and luring a teeth through half the level to gain access to the exit. The means of exiting was something I'd specifically wanted to use for a little while, and the socket being only the first step out of several was another common design trope I wanted to avoid. Yep, UC6 as a whole looks at conventional design decisions, uses them for the most part, but the moment they became inconvenient I ignored them... which wasn't often.


15. Crazy Box

LOL walker level. I still think Hysteria from UC5 is my best walker dodging level, but come on- it's practically mandatory to include one of these.




I'm still letting that sink in. 500 is such a small, unassuming number as a number. It's a fairly short period of time in seconds, being just over 8 minutes. You can't do very much in 8 minutes.


You can do a lot in 8 minutes (complete all but 5 or 6 official CC levels). It's an incredibly long time to have to make 0 mistakes during (Warehouse II, Cityblock). And when taken one item at a time, 500 is a veritable mountain. I'm not done optimizing, nor am I done with any of these scores (ok maaaaaybe done with CCLP1), but this is a good point to take a hiatus. These past dozen bolds have all taken a lot out of me and I definitely need the break to work on other pursuits, so for now I will just reflect on what it took to get here. (as well as the Chip Cup from the past 2 years, since I need to average 7th to lose this year... heheh) 500. Wow.


February of last year, I scored 700 on Cake Walk to take 10th place in the original set and claim the Bit Buster award. I had 403 bolds at the time. Trying to go chronologically from here would be confusing, since I don't remember a lot of the specifics, but I do remember Ruben gained 1 second each on Teleblock, Lemmings and Jailer to reach 5,977,030 points and knock me out of the top 10 (November 30th). Naturally I refused to let this stand and went to improve my 413 Blobnet. That same day I spent a couple hours playing the level, at first copying Miika's 422 safe route directly and later using judgment to skip waits (but still no risks). This resulted in a quick 427, settling me firmly in 7th for the time being. But then I realized I could take a couple risks early on, cut a few corners and before long reached 431, meeting my goal of 430+ for the level. I am still yet to improve Block Buster or Cake Walk, but I'm much more confident in my ability to get a solid score now. The new goal is to pass Andrew Bennett on all sets: this seems doable with significant effort, but it feels like it can't be a bigger mountain than 500 bolds from 0 in this span of time.


CCLP2 I'd gone through and picked off the easy bolds while playing through for the first time. This left me with some fairly significant execution challenges to overcome, and I made the mistake of sorting these into the same classifications I gave CC1 levels: Definite, Probable, Unlikely and HAHAHANO. Funny aside about HAHAHANO- originally CC1 had 4 levels in this category, being Blobnet, Blobdance, Cityblock and Doublemaze (I could see Block N Roll being something that happens at some point as 433 takes very little reacting). Now there are three, as I not only found 549 on Cityblock, but found and scored 550, beating pieguy!!! I'm not convinced my route is optimal, but I'm in the CC1 MS evolution page now anyway and nothing can take that from me (of the 500 bolds I have this is one of the ones I'm most happy with, and if you want to match it...well, don't be afraid to break the patterns.)


Anyway back to CCLP2. The Definite pile was fairly small and easily scored. The Probable pile had a couple naive placements, like Jungle (seriously me?) and Island Hopping (only took about a half hour or so, wasn't too bad). Working through these didn't take too long to reach around 120 bolds, at which point I hit a wall. Oorto Geld II was a pain and I had to score it twice as the first time I missed the -.9 and got a -.0 instead. Iron Mysticus and Key Color also both proved much more challenging than I expected (Key Color in particular with a 1/10000 string of bad luck with the blob cloner blocking me the first time 10 times in a row...), but as usual persistence in attempting and practicing specific sections helped significantly. Wrongly pegging difficulties of levels continued as Icy Moat fell quickly (I expected to struggle with the timing, but it was close to 49 Cell which I already knew) but Madd Maze was a full day grind, with an abyssal RFF room success rate (my route through has an extra input compared to the AVI or TWS routes, but this extra input helped me as it meant I had a consistent input rhythm), and then the blobs kept directing the gliders wrong >_<.


Eventually I worked through all the easy levels, and so progress slowed significantly at 480ish total (I'd been working on other sets during the CCLP2 focus, but not as much). Pauseless Captured and first try traps Gauntlet helped, as well as saving a bunch of long sokoban routes for all in a row. After Cityblock, I moved to CCLP3, scoring two new records (Countdown with Hornlitz and Get a Clue solo!) and copying a bunch more routes. Checkers and Flame Thrower were two non-public routes I was able to find with minimal difficulty as well. Flame Thrower in particular was a lot of fun to work out a route for in the editor, and then I just adjusted when I would pick up certain chips and scored 370.6 immediately. A small tweak to the last room to trade [1] for [2] and a chip was all it took for the bold of 371. I also found the Alphabet Soup route a few days before scoring it (thanks James for pointing out that my 948 was the 949, but missing a move in execution which snowballed >_<).


Three days ago I got access to MSCC. It was the second most frustrating experience I've had with this game (I'm getting to the most frustrating, don't worry) as Every. Single. Input. was delayed by an entire move. I had to count out how many times to press the key individually, then not screw up the rhythm and on the longer walks I was counting "1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3" or "1-2-3-4 1-2-3" or something else like that. The actual teleport skip in Graduation was trivial. This was bold 493.


The previous two days were spent on long sokobans. On the Rocks and Mind Block were both very simple to score, especially after noticing Mind Block had a consistent pattern and 'merge point' in cloning another block. One of the biggest route memorization aids I've found is finding a place that must be visited between phases and remembering what happens between those visits to that point. For Warehouse I, the next bold I scored, that was dropping a block into a bomb. Executing and remembering the route took a couple attempts, but was ultimately much easier than I anticipated. Yet Another Puzzle took a few more tries than I expected but was still fairly easy.


And then we got to Warehouse II.


I tried scoring Warehouse II back when I first played through CCLP2 last year. It didn't end well and I took b-191 initial solve. I expected a repeat, but all the maneuvers made sense to me this time around (thank you, optimizing Shifting Maze out to 832!) and I was able to score the perfect decimal after only about 60 minutes! I expected it to take much longer than that. Oracle II on the other hand, was an interesting blend of everything thus far. Long opening (2.5 minute first room, very easy to remember) and then a more complex second half that I kept making small mistakes during. I was still able to score 598 after another hour or so, though it nearly gave me a heart attack when I lost 3 moves on the final trip up from the bottom! (oof, oof, missed spring slide)


And so I reached 499 MS bolds.


All the way back at 470ish I decided that number 500 should have an appropriate title and you already know it's Which One Next?


This was a dumb decision. I regret everything. This was the most frustrating experience- not for remembering the route, no, that was easy with a carefully notated map ( http://i.imgur.com/VldpXwA.png). All of my frustration here came from execution, as there is really nothing hard in this level (other than the 11 teleport run about halfway through). But I kept screwing up the simplest things, and it took me 3 hours of attempts (over the span of a lot longer than that) to realize I was trying to teleport too fast. Slowed down the pace, found the right rate, and had a flawless run going all the way until 30 seconds left, where entered a station from the wrong side. Then I had another perfect run to the very last teleport sequence, where I still went too fast. Finally, I managed to not screw up the ending after losing [1] in the 11 teleports to take my 795 and 500th bold.


I am not looking forward to Oversea Delivery after that.


Anyway, thoughts on a couple levels and stuff!


CC1 levels

Lesson 7: Taught me how to boost sort of okay. I kind of brute forced attempts until scoring bold 20+ months ago.

Trinity: Taught me how spring slides sort of worked. I kind of held the key every time and hoped to change directions right. Now I know to double tap things.

Hunt: Taught me that following every step exactly the same as a reference route is a recipe for dumb mistakes. I copied the beginning and then just made up a path for the rest as it really didn't matter.

Blobnet: Much much later, taught me how to spot whether blobs were on their moving turns or their non-moving turns.

Blink: Taught me how to spring slide properly- with the double tap and then direction change. I do still hold sometimes for when all the direction changes are equally offset, however.

Arcticflow: Taught me that practicing specific areas was much easier with a copy of the level edited to only be that area. It still wasn't an easy bold at all.

Mishmesh: Taught me how to play off a map. This has come in handy a LOT.

Seeing Stars: Taught me that pausing to help remember routes was viable. I've since honed this quite a bit farther, but for the sake of real time I rarely use this technique.

I Slide: Taught me the value of good notes. This has also come in handy a LOT, and not just with simple moves. Combining an encoding, textual instructions and a map on the side is how I execute routes with a lot of variety and backtracking.

Spooks: Taught me that pieguy is unsurpassable, and sometimes unreachable. Also taught me that J.B. is nearly on the same level.

Four Plex: Taught me that the publicly available route, even when it's the bold, isn't always perfect.

Cityblock: Taught me that pieguy is beatable, hooray!

Mixed Nuts: Chips under blocks are apparently my specialty and I learned more about how spring slides work to save time here. Still not enough for a new record.. :/

Mix Up: Taught me I could remember long sokoban routes. It was around here that the reasons why certain orders saved time started clicking for me.

Yorkhouse, and to a lesser extent Catacombs: Taught me not to trust Andrew Bennett's probability calculations. They always err on the side of optimistic, as Catacombs is 1/655 and not 1/455 and Yorkhouse is way below 10% odds. The grind was annoying, but...


CCLP1 levels

Graduation: Taught me that MSCC is garbage and how did I ever play with this and how did anyone ever put up with this and how does James even manage now it's impossible. Also, Teleport Skip Glitch is easy someone add to Tile World please so I can score Skelzie.

Wedges: I can blocks!

Tetragons: RFFs aren't that bad...

Square Dancing: Always test your routes before counting moves, and always count the free first move when counting moves.

Descending Ceiling: If something seems weird about the scores people have, there's probably a couple tricks to find and each person missed a different thing. Applied to Get a Clue. (hint, hint)

Who's the Boss?: Shift-O is dumb.

H2O Below 273 K: holy crap this game gets hard to execute fast wow (273 -.9 still very happy with this thanks)

Mini Pyramid: Yeah, chips under blocks are definitely my specialty.

Chip Kart 64: Note to self: sliding less tiles is faster than sliding more tiles due to more overrides and boosts.

Colors for Extreme: Keep an eye out for blocksliding opportunities. Technically applies to Booster Shots as well, but this came first chronologically so :P

Bowling Alleys: Just because a lot of the top players have the score doesn't mean it's optimal. Also applies to Get a Clue, but this came first. Also, just because you barely scraped another second out of the level doesn't mean that your decimal is optimal.

The Shifting Maze: Yep. I can definitely blocks. Shuffling everything around, more loops, small timesaves, small "hey I don't need that!" moments... this is probably one of the most complex CCLP1 routes to develop.

Time Suspension: When grinding RNG, set aside an entire day, have other things prepared to keep from getting bored, and the pull of a new record can outweigh a lot of tedium/boredom. Also, walkers are worst monster. By a lot.

Portcullis: You can slip by the single ice tile clone thingy in Lynx. Huh.

Easier Than It Looks: Ok seriously if the same route hasn't scored a second higher yet it's not going to without a change. Also, pay attention to teleports and where they lead. This can shortcut (hi Countdown!)

Cineworld: Half waits suck.


CCLP2 levels

Use the Fish: Taught me to just boost for it when failure means death: going to slow means a restart in this setting!

Madd Maze: RFFs suck. Just thought you ought to know.

Just Enough: Tedious, tedious, tedious, so glad I get to copy a route instead of have to iterate the timing of everything myself...ugh.

Roller Coaster: Just because the AVI is perfect doesn't mean I have to be perfect. Think through if moves can be lost, and if so, where do they start mattering. This goes double for the TWS losing 0 to the blobs but 6 to the walkers. I lost 8 to the blobs and 0 to the walkers in my run, since the walkers will often either let you past or kill the attempt.

Monster Factory: Sideswipes exist. Better routes for travelling salesman problems don't.

CircleMaze: Pay VERY close attention to heavy boosting sequences. 475 takes very little luck and 476 does not require >R (override) >R (override) >R at the end.

Captured: Mouse clicks aren't so bad...

Gauntlet: Random results will behave differently for everyone. I knew this already, but James mentioning how bad it feels getting stuck in the trap on 458 potential had me expecting it to happen on my first try past the walkers, so I was pleasantly shocked when it didn't!


CCLP3 levels

Lot in Life: Illogical routes sometimes trump logical routes. My poor 95 MS....my 95 Lynx though is pretty logical. Not easy to find without the right insight, though.

Map the Path: It pays to be in the right place at the right time for the scoreboards. I was around when J.B. found 245, and was able to find it before anyone else came online. Looking back, I think this is the moment I realized "yeah. I can actually do this optimization thing."

Recess: Even bad levels make CCLPs sometimes.

Spiral: See previous level comment.

Blazes: James gets ridiculous insights with monster interactions. Pay attention to them.

Get a Clue: Pieguy is not perfect. I am able to find things he missed sometimes. (This, combined with the imminent J.B. look got me to take a look at Cityblock and score 550).

Flame Thrower: Just because one person found routing the level easy/hard does not mean I will find it easy/hard. J.B struggled, I had no trouble. Conversely, James found 825 on ACD and I still don't see how an improvement isn't 826. I suppose finding a "half cycle" on the balls would be the key.

Once Upon a Troubadour: Moving mouse clicks are a pain when boosting is involved. At least it's short.

Countdown: Just because bold has been reached doesn't mean you should stop looking. Shoutouts to Shane for finding the trick I missed to raise 71 to 72, though if we hadn't, triple joint bold with J.B. would have ensued :P

Checkers: Miika is really good with blocks. Listen to his ideas. In Lynx, slaps are awesome, splash delay is not, avoiding splash delay is.

Mediterranean: Collabs are awesome. Long teleport runs are not.

Which One Next?: Ok, what did I just say? Oh right, long teleport runs are not awesome. This is a bad level. Yay 500 bolds with appropriate title (and 501 has a recommendation already).

Lead Us Not into Temptation: Walkers are still worst monster. Also this is more likely than Time Suspension, which is still unconfirmed. Despite the route having been public since I scored it.

Manic Depression: Sometimes, just sometimes, randomness will go your way the first chance it gets. Also cross checking into rams is awful and the first bunch of this level is a huge pain.

Mr. McCallahan Presents: Some busts are convoluted and use every part of a level and several obscure mechanics. This helped me fix Fish in a Barrel before anyone else caught the ridiculous MS only bust in UC4.


Chip Cup

I would have had a real shot in the 2014 Cup had I been around to enter the super competition...oh well. I still did well for what I was able to enter. I went into the 2015 season aiming to win, and so far I've built up quite the lead. Got sniped on the pieguy award with the survival competition last year by pieguy himself. Still haven't had a single treasure hunt competition to enter. Sometimes, the rule that better Lynx scores are counted as equivalent is silly when Lynx is clearly faster by a significant margin. The Power of Slide Delay Compels You! is a great level and I had a lot of fun trying to make everything I wanted to do with it fit into the level, as well as tweaking the slide delay rooms. J.B. is not infallible with optimization and can be beaten in time trials (I did so twice!). If a level gets updated, always look over the new possibilities.


The past 22 months have been a ton of fun. Here's to another long period of time, more intricate routes, more fun levels and stellar community packs! I'm coming for that CCZone Awards Leaderboard overall first


Now You See It: J.B. said this would would be really hellish in Lynx, so after making a notated map I attempted it there first. Took 3 tries, then 1 to match the 906 in MS. The map I used replaced all wall/floor equivalents with wall and floor tiles, then marked the path to the exit with dirt. Paths to chips had gravel, dead ends were marked with a single trap at the entrance. I also had recessed walls for the fork to take second, but these were obsoleted by the dirt/gravel notation.


Skipped ahead to Perfect Match at this point because the solution I had was 964 and I was missing something. That something turned out to be the additional clone and kill to block the fireball stream earlier. I scored 968 on the 2nd attempt. In Lynx, it only transfers as a 965...but the trick to 966 is really neat and feels good to execute.


Paranoia: At first, I thought the boosting was 4 ice tiles, so I could drop 1 boost and just spring slide to not waste any time. Unfortunately, it was actually 5-but fortunately, I could do it every time! I forgot to wait at the paramecia once, but beyond that this was a fairly easy bold to score.

Catacombs: 1/455 shot. I've had worse. (on later calculation & anecdotal evidence, it's more like 1/655.)

3 minutes later, I had 379.8. Reason for the lost move? Being sent left at the first RFF and overriding right. Ah well, going in 379 was what I was going to go for, due to having to head off to class soon anyway. But with how quickly and painlessly that came, I knew in the hour between classes, this would be the goal.

Unfortunately the luck was not on my side, though I did reach the final RFF 3 times. Amusingly the second RFF moved the block where Chip was supposed to go and Chip where the block was supposed to go 6 times in a row! After arriving at home, I spent another hour and a half on it-still without success.

A couple days later I spent a half hour working on it again, got nowhere, hopped in a call with Zorasknight, got it 17 minutes later. Pretty convincing anecdotal evidence towards RNG-based CC levels playing nice while I'm in a call with an Ape Escape speedrunner. Unfortunately LUNiT had to go kill this plan to score luck based bolds before it could begin...


Colony: It took me more time to note down room directions than to score. For completions' sake, here are the notes I used (an * denotes skipping the chip in the room).





I used FINISH because at that point, the remainder of the path is obvious.

Apartment: Watched the route once, wrote down directions as above, scored it in one try.

Icehouse: See above, but without notes and 2 tries to execute. The first attempt forgot to take the ice path to the red lock area.

Memory: I expected this one to take a few tries, but like Colony, encoding the route correctly resulted in a quick execution of the route: actually first try!






Every directional input was which direction I needed to leave the room from. An * meant hitting the button in the room was required. Every space was used as a separator for chips, allowing me to remember when I was supposed to pick certain chips up. I still messed up and grabbed a chip early, but played the rest perfectly and still got the 488.

Jailer: I had to wait in the northwest for 2 moves, which fortunately is allowed by the route. Aside from forgetting where to go after the 2 chips on the right wall once, this was an easy route.

Short Circuit: I expected this to be an easy first try bold, but my first attempt came up 1 second short. My second attempt turned the wrong way with 7 chips left, and my third got it despite seeming the same as my first.

Kablam: This one proved rather boring. Thankfully, I got it first try.

Balls O Fire: Took 2 tries. I forgot what to do on the first and got 258.

Block Out: I repeatedly messed up the ball section at the bottom, mostly because I watched the AVI once and went "alright I know how to do this, let me do it real quick before homework". 10 minutes later, I had bold but was in no mood for homework, so I pressed on to...

Torturechamber: ...a dumb idea. My very first attempt forgot to wait at the last chip, and then I could not do the boosting right. After another 5 minutes, in which I died at the last chip another 3 or 4 times, I finally remembered to wait...and then waited too long. Thankfully, the next attempt got the 133.


Blah blah blah CCLP1 public routes blah blah blah Cineworld sucks blah blah blah public half of CCLP3 for 76 bolds & 6,000,000 points blah blah blah tried Block Buster a bit and the first 2 seconds didn't work repeatedly because half waits. Specifically, my down input is ignored half the time and the other half the time my second right input was ignored. Have I mentioned I hate half waits? I'll try this again after other routes with them. I took a 387 with "fast" green key, though I messed up and cloned extra blocks.


Chiller: A route that was both surprisingly difficult and surprisingly simple. At first, I had trouble remembering what to do, but after following the top row block once (and playing the rest out to be 274) I had very little difficulty remembering what to do.

Time Lapse: Boosted wrong, [963].

Open Question: I've gotten better at dodging levels. Specifically, playing my own level "Amorphous" (currently unreleased, but will probably be in a demo of sorts for UC5, yes, that exists, fairly soon). Said level has lots of pink ball dodging in similar patterns to this level, and block pushing through it. I watched the public TWS route for the general route between chips, and scored 462 in one attempt following.

Deception: Watched once, played once, made a mistake, still got bold. This keeps happening now: I've noticed I have a lot less difficulty remembering longer or more involved routes than I did when I started out. I had trouble remembering the sequence of actions for Iceberg before, but now I can remember the entirety of things like Paranoia easily, and for routes like Colony and Memory I can encode the route in such a way so that I can reference while playing and easily score bold.

Oversea Delivery: hahahahahahahahaha later. Even after that spiel this route is still a little too involved and a little too execution heavy for the moment. It does allow 2 mistakes, but remembering the route and then having to execute...I'll definitely be back later.

Block Buster II: Oh, you again. I don't like you. I was able to get the first half down pretty quickly and reliably, but, again, the half waits refused to cooperate. After a dozen successful first halves, I finally got the 1st 2 half waits...and realized I didn't know what to do after that. An hour or so later, I was getting the first half 25% of the time, and the first half wait about half the time. However, I still couldn't get the slide delay shenanigans right, with my best attempt moving up after 'button 6' instead of half wait DL. My hand had slowed down at this point and I could no longer get the boosting in the first half, so I took a break and moved on.

The Marsh: It took me a couple tries to remember the block pushing at the end, but it was easy.

Miss Direction: First try, bad boosting at the end :P. On checking my Partial Post decimal with the command line -t, I found out that this was a -.9.

Slide Step: With my hand still not fully back up to speed, I knew this would pose an interesting challenge. I watched the route in the public TWS, and scored 208 on the first attempt. That wasn't too bad, 210 should be easy, right? A couple restarts later, 209 with mistakes in the bugs. A few tries later, I oofed twice after the bugs, but played the lower half perfectly to score 210.


Alphabet Soup got a skip for now: untimed, non-public bold. I'll look for it eventually.


Totally Fair: Took a few tries to manipulate the tooth monster correctly, but it was a simple enough level.

The Prisoner: It took me the longest time to direct the fireball into the bomb, and then I kept mis-ordering the rest of the 'prison'. When I finally escaped, I forget to take the ice slides as a shortcut, scored 271, but scored 272 immediately after. Fun fact: at this point I was missing more untimed CC1 bolds than timed CC1 bolds!

Tried Block Buster II a bit more. Decided to do an easier route if I dropped any boosts in the beginning. Ended up with 693. Another hour of attempting later, I forgot to wait before following the final block and ended up with a 713. Since it was now 2 AM, I let the time sit there for the night.

Firetrap: I watched the route once, thought I had it down but when I went to score it, I kept making small mistakes. Forgetting to get the red key, forgetting to get the blue key, forgetting there's a wait before pushing the block onto the fire, forgetting to wait for the tank before the fireboots, forgetting where to go after the ice corner hit after the fireboots...after about 15 minutes I had the 667, though, without having to reference the route again.

Block N Roll: SKIP



All Full: As a kid this was one of my favorite levels. Scored bold on the 2nd attempt, because the first took the ice slide and cloned a bug.

Ice Cube: 2 attempts, going off the directions on the wiki. The first misinterpreted (2R) to be right, right, backtrack instead of right, right, left, left. I clarified the notation and scored 933 on the 2nd try.

Totally Unfair: Made the mistake of setting odd step first attempt, bold on the second. Common theme, that is.


Recommended listening music for the remainder of this post:

. This is what I was listening to during everything from Mix Up onwards.


Mix Up: I expected this to be a torturous endeavour, and I was not mistaken. However, I expected the reason to be remembering the 5+ minute sokoban route, not execution mistakes outside of the boosting! My first few attempts at the level were with heavy pausing, alternating between gameplay and the public TWS every block. In the bomb room, though, there would be stretches of gameplay only 7 moves long-that room was complicated! The farthest one of these pause attempts went was 717 seconds remaining: the tooth dodging. I accidentally ran into a wall after the sideswipe, then input down left...but the down was post oof so the left input went after, stepping onto the tooth. I wasn't pleased, but get trying. At this point, I found I knew most of the route by memory, and get forgetting minor details in the bomb room. Eventually, I executed correctly to the tooth room again, with 3 or 4 pauses to catch my place in the route, and dodged the tooth monster right! After taking the chip, I paused again and checked the TWS to make sure I wouldn't lose this attempt. The boosting went perfectly...and then I spaced out and didn't move for 2 moves in the bug room. 682.8, I pulled a Spiral (Andrew Bennett's Spiral route in the CCLP3 public TWS was a 395.8, with a move lost after picking up the final chip). I was actually somewhat angry, now, but kept going, determined to pull off a 683 without pausing. 2 attempts at the bomb room later, I messed up the boosting at the end and lost 1 move but that was still good enough to score 683. I can safely say that's one of the most difficult bolds I've ever scored, as the next longest route I've executed correctly is (I believe) Metal Harbor Lynx, at 208 seconds, though Seeing Stars at 203 MS seconds is longer. This comes in at 316 seconds: the longest timed route in CC1!


Blobdance, Pain, Doublemaze: hahahahanope, hahahahahahahafinemaybelater, hahahahahahahahahahahahahanotachanceidon'tevenhaveH2Oyet.


Goldkey: Forgot to tap up 3 times at the end of the force floor area, forgot where to go after the northwest, 392. That's one forgiving route.

Partial Post: After attempting to remember after a single watch, and failing horribly, I fell back on the old standby: notes.

Teleport x5

Feed 3 blocks in up

Adjacent block in, swing around DOWN UDUD

Loop around, stagger 3, swing around UP DUD

Next in, swing around UP DUD

Straight shot, swing around DOWN UD

Clear the bottom, swing around UP DU

Closest in, swing around D U

Closest in, swing around D U

Stagger 2, left and feed down, feed left

Bottom block left 3, middle left 3, bottom down 1, topleft left all the way

Set up post, feed 2 down and slide 3 in front

Swing around to the left, then the top

Partial Post 2, then D(LU)R

The first attempt with notes scored 237. Many, many attempts of ignored inputs later, I had what I thought was perfect, but it turned out to be a 239.6, 2 moves lost. A few attempts later, I realized I had lost a spring slide on the DUD® stretch and another on a R(DL)U(UU). It didn't take too much longer after that to score the bold.

Yorkhouse: New day, new attitude towards random elements. How bad could it be? Well, I made some dumb execution mistakes but still scored a 919 on the 3rd attempt. When going for 920, though, everything seemed to go wrong. The first 2 walkers seemed to strike 50% of the time apiece, but surviving them would guarantee passage to the right side of the level. The next 2 walkers were murderous, though, and I died many times with 143 chips remaining. Finally, I survived that walker...except the final caged walker killed me. I even had a cool reactionary route change to avoid a walker pileup, too... The next attempt died at 86 chips remaining. Next 2 long attempts died at 207 and 293, both from ridiculous collisions and forced chip takes. Then 198 releasing the right corridor walker...you get the idea. Lots of dumb unavoidable deaths. Finally, I was able to survive releasing the final walker and wasn't killed cleaning up the last chips. That was rather annoying.


Icedeath: Woohoo, boosting! Another level where I looked at the route on the wiki and executed. My first attempt clocked in at 262, and my second attempt at 262.8. This was surprisingly easy, as not 5 minutes later I had 263.2.

Underground: Notated the route onto a map of the level, took a while to score because I kept making small mistakes.

Stripes?: Made an altered map of the level with gravel and keys, scored 856 on the first attempt. 858 followed immediately after.

Fireflies: Noted down the chip orders and when to wait on an image of the map, scored bold in 2 attempts. The first forgot the 2nd wait in the southeast.

Cake Walk: Some other day I'll execute the "proper" route. Right now, I just played the level once to remove my initial time, scoring a completely improvised 681. I even made the mistake of going for the yellow key before picking up the green key!

Force Field, Mind Block: Some other time.

Special: Overboosted once to score 954, 955 next attempt.


At this point, I went back for Block N Roll and scored 432 in one attempt. The walkers played really nasty and I had to wait a lot, so I went for another attempt. That died on 436-437 pace at the last walker. And another, that got 431. Then I got 434 (stalled a bunch approaching the top...). The 4th completion was my initial goal of 437, and I'm more than satisfied with that for now. This reminds me too much of Time Suspension, but with more walkers involved. A few days after the original posting I played Cake Walk again and scored 700.


And that's it for the initial pass through CC1, aside from some untimed levels near the end. Here's the current score/bold/seconds to gain breakdown.




CC1 MS score: 5,977,020 (131 bolds), 10th place

Missing seconds:

Blobnet: 413 (-23)

Spooks: 547 (-1)

Block Buster: 387 (-15)

Block Buster II: 713 (-1)

Block N Roll: 437 (-6)

Skelzie: 453 (-1)

Cake Walk: 700 (-17)


I'm planning on picking up a 430 on Blobnet, 400+ on Block Buster if not the 402 outright, 714 on Block Buster II, 439+ on Block N Roll, 454 on Skelzie when I have access to MSCC (eventually), and a 710+ on Cake Walk. Once these are completed in the least optimistic scenario, my score would be 5,977,460, which would be enough for 5th place currently, 1 second ahead of James.


Missing untimed bolds, entirely from lack of trying: On the Rocks, Rink, Writers Block, Cityblock, Oversea Delivery, Alphabet Soup, Blobdance, Pain, Doublemaze, Force Field, Mind Block.

Of these I will probably be scoring On the Rocks, Rink, Oversea Delivery, Alphabet Soup, Force Field and Mind Block. Writer's Block and Pain, being public, I may go for eventually. Cityblock, Blobdance and Doublemaze are on the HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHANOTLIKELY pile. Perhaps in a few years.


Well, I suppose next on the list is CCLP2 since there's a lot of public routes I haven't attempted there. After that, finishing up CCLP1 (gotta get that 6,005,xx0!), and then I can turn my attention towards CCLP3 and beyond! Oh and Lynx. There's a lot left to do, but rising to 10th on the CC1 MS scoreboards from having never finished the set in a little over a year? That's been fun.


- Jeffrey/IHNN :chipwin:


After a long break, I started working on CC1 bold-scoring again.


Corridor: Ended up taking a few tries from minor input mistakes, even though I remembered the route completely after watching it once.

Reverse Alley: I expected to have a lot of difficulty remembering where the waits were and which column to run down, so I noted a number from 1-4 for how close to the outer edge of the spiral I needed to run, and a paired number for how long of a wait was required. I lost my place in the list a few times, but 5-10 minutes after starting, I had scored the 961.

Morton: Another level I expected to have serious difficulties scoring, but ended up getting quite quickly. I messed up the teeth section the first time I got there, and immediately after getting it I ran into a wall. Still, I pressed on and scored bold.

Playtime: My first couple tries all came up as a 358.0, and I couldn't figure out why until I looked at the AVI again. I was riding the force floor path too far, and also moving the 2nd block up instead of down first. After correcting these mistakes, I got 359 in 1 try.

Steam: There hasn't been one this easy in ages.

Four Plex: This was an interesting one. First, let me drop my notes for it here:

*Right, red key, blue key, RLR, yellow key, LRL, out of first part.

*No wait on first chip, 1 wait on second, use multi-push. No ball waits, 2 bug waits.

*Toggles closed, clone, trap, clone, trap, LLUURU, lowest chip, clone, trap, clone, trap, LLUURUR, top chip, 2nd lowest, climb up.

*Recessed walls, wedges, left for fire (no wait), swap, no wait for bug, exit!

Compared to the AVI on the wiki, I gained 2 moves in the ice section which had to be dropped before cloning the first ball or it WOULD result in death later on. The block pushing section gave me no trouble to get down beyond that, other than sometimes gaining a further [1] on the bug (which again, would be equalized at the large wait). The cloning room was very easy to remember, being the same logical path twice in a row. I did die the first time I got there in an attempt, though, from taking the wrong path to the 2nd lowest chip! The itemswapping area was as easy as I expected, and I walked away with the 416 fairly easily-though I would have liked to have had the gained moves /not/ be equalized somewhere :P

Invincible Champion: First try, no references. Alright, second try, because my first try forgot to wait before grabbing a chip XD

Force Square: I practiced a bit on an edited section of the center with walls blocking the incorrect passages to get the moves into muscle memory, then spent 6 minutes playing the level. In that time, I got the boosting perfect at least a half dozen times...but messed up the teleports. I did score a 480, though it was with a move lost in the opening. I kept going and improved the tenth because it was fun- and only took me one additional try.


At this point, after scoring Time Suspension 849, I saw James' upload of Mixed Nuts on the side. I thought one of the rooms looked poorly optimized, rerouted it and found 2 extra moves. The first of these was equalized by the pink balls, so I reordered that room too to still have 0 waits. I scored 830 on my 2nd attempt, accidentally running into a bomb on the first try. It would be a really fun level if that block staircase didn't exist... A couple weeks later, I discovered another 2 moves that I have not made public since it only raises the route to a .8, and though I don't believe any other moves are possible, I may go back someday and find something, and I'd rather not be sniped. If you find anything else, let me know and if it's /not/ what I found, we can joint on this :P. Still, +4 moves on public in CC1 MS...


Also before continuing with scoring bolds, I finished up solving CCLP3 in what seems to be a record pace: 28 hours, 30 minutes, give or take a bit. No external help or solutions were referenced during the playthrough, and the entirety was streamed and later archived

. I'll probably write up a similar post for CCLP3 as I did for CCLP1, since I had a lot of fun with this. For now, I'll just say that the puzzles were as difficult as I expected but took nowhere near as long as I was led to believe...especially Avalanche :P


Then there was the CC1 race on the first day of 2015, and that was a blast. I'm surprised I not only kept pace with J.B., but was way ahead until losing 10 minutes to a mistake on Writer's Block...and even after that I kept pace and finished 10 minutes behind (final time 6:21:47 to his 6:11:58). I don't believe I picked up any new bolds during the race, but did finally solve the entire original set in the MS ruleset for the first time in my life. I found the route to Four Square during, though, and scored 335 within a few minutes the following day with minimal difficulty, along with scoring 968 on Pentagram in the time following the race.


Drawn and Quartered: Forgot to release, forgot to wait, scored the bold.

Vanishing Act: Once I realized I had to take the bottom fork on returning to the center, I scored 733 first try.

Writers Block: Skipped for now...maybe someday I'll try copying the public TWS.

Socialist Action: Watched the AVI, copied it after a few attempts.

Up the Block: Second attempt, because the first pushed the block too soon and died by a glider.

Wars: It took me a while to remember to push the block left...whoops!

Telenet: I knew this one would be interesting to face, and indeed it was. My initial set of notes had the direction to teleport and the direction to move after teleporting, but this was missing the next direction to go as well. My final notes looked like this:





This immediately got me into the RLRLRLRLRLRLRLR run, which I failed the first time but survived to score 235. Undeterred by how close this was, I pressed on and repeatedly moved too quickly in the teleport rooms. On the 3rd time reaching the alternating run, I counted out 1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4 on right key presses, and boosted perfectly, scoring the 236.2.

Suicide: Cloned too many gliders once!

Cityblock: Also skipped for now, and probably forever unless I feel like looking for the pieguy insane block pushing route...yeah right :P

Spirals: I kept turning the wrong direction upon reaching the top half of the level...once I added a couple chip checkpoints to the directions I scored 317 easily.


In the CC1 race, Block Buster gave me a rough time, mostly at the 3rd section. I knew it would be much more difficult to score 402, but I wanted revenge. I was going to pull this off...but not for a while. I needed easier boosting levels on my new laptop to get used to the different feel of the keyboard, and so I skipped Block Buster as well for now, and also put H2O Below 273K 273+ on hold.


Playhouse: Took one attempt after watching the route. I was a little worried about remembering how to deal with the GOOD JOB part, but after JaBoL stuff like that feels a lot easier.

Jumping Swarm: I spent a couple tries getting the route down, and kept having to wait 2 moves for walkers. Finally, I didn't have to wait at all...and ended up having 4 walkers converge on the exit at the same time, dying right next to the socket >.<. 10 minutes later, all the random factors finally went right and I scored 367. "However, with a route as quick as this, Chip rarely gets hit." -Andrew Bennett, ChipWiki annotation. THIS IS A BLATANT LIE...when going for bold. With all waits allowed, it'd be the most likely route to succeed, but in the context the claim is made...

Vortex: After a half dozen attempts where I ran into blue walls left and right, I opened the level in an editor on the side and played off that. The walker blocked my path 3 times in a row, then I forgot how to deal with the teleport and scored 443. The walker blocked me once more, and I scored 444 on the next attempt.

Roadsign: When I said 'easier boosting level' this isn't what I had in mind! To make matters worse, my new laptop has a slightly different input to screen refresh rate than my old laptop, and as I found out with Guitar Hero 3, a difference of as little as 15 milliseconds can make precise timing much more difficult for me. Despite everything stacked against me, I went for the 650 directly...and scored 634 on the first attempt after watching the AVI. Well, that didn't go as planned. I watched the portions I forgot again, and spent a few minutes practicing the sequence 40 seconds in. Before long, I gave it another try...and scored 638. A few tries later, I had 641 with the main mistake having been forgetting to move the 2nd/3rd block over while navigating the 3rd/1st block through the 'maze'. At this point I wrote everything after "Roadsign:" because interesting stuff happened, and maybe writing down to move that block would help me remember.

It did. I remembered to move the block over, but forgot the fastest way to move after pushing the next block in. Combined with forgetting the force floor to ice combo near the end, I ended up with a 646. However, my first half was perfect, so I knew it was just a matter of time. That time was taking way too long, in no small part due to the additional latency I was experiencing. A half hour later, and the best run I had would have only been 648 if I hadn't overcompensated and failed the boost in the northwest.

And then this happened. I had overstepped once after the ice tile in the southwest, but as an annotation on the ChipWiki AVI said, that was acceptable. The choppiness of the recording made the wait hard to see, and since I knew I was matching the AVI (a .0, IIRC) I pressed on. Being that close, even once, made it clear that 650 was an inevitability.

Next good attempt: low 647, overboosted at the end by 1 space costing 2 moves, but the real killer was forgetting to move the block off (5, 25). Then finally, I broke through (while recording with input display, because why not)...though partway through I realized "wait, what am I doing?" because I collected the chip behind the bombs before I was supposed to! Rather than restart, I kept going, remembering that 2 moves had to be lost at some point, and that mistake cost me 2. Video



Current MS official overall scores and bolds:


Current Lynx official overall scores and bolds:



As far as CC1 goes, there's very few routes left that could be considered 'easy'. We'll see how frequent further progress is.


Alright, so...this is going to be a long post, covering everything I've done with CCLP1 so far. That said, I've done a bit more with CC1 and even scored 47 bolds in CCLP2 while simply playing through it, so the overall counts are hugely inflated since last time. Be very aware, wall of text incoming.




Skelzie: Due to not having access to MSCC without huge input lag (for now, I have a couple potential workarounds), I simply learned and executed the 453 route. Didn't take too long, the rapid teleport sequences weren't very hard for me, instead I struggled with the blobs-they killed me incredibly frequently, but eventually the RNG fell the right way and I got to the ending teleport sequence. Got it first try, of course-453 scored for the TWS, I'll worry about 454 after I get 320 on Graduation.

Monster Lab: I'd been spending some time grinding this when I didn't really have anything going on, and on April 27th I got 1 tile away from the exit, but was killed at 50% odds by a rebounding walker. I pressed on and not 5 minutes later scored the 292. Did not expect that...but the first massive obstacle to 5,977,000 is out of the way.

Shrinking: Felt like trying for this a while ago, got bored, tried again randomly and scored 338 quickly.

Thanks To...: Had some time to kill with nothing to really do, scored this in around 40 attempts...with 2 failed 990 attempts. I got really lucky with the RFFs...


In terms of CCLP2 bolds, I picked up 24 from the first 90 levels, all on fairly simple routes, no learning of them-just a first solve while looking at an editor and then a further 23 in the last 60. I suspect when I start optimizing CCLP2 I'll pick up another 30 without any effort, at least. The list is Maze of One Way, The Serial Port, Debug File (mouse panel ftw), Ranger Denmark, How Goes?, Work Fast, Chase Race, The Mystery of the Seven Chips, Mads' Rush I, Ray of Light, Fun House Rink, Breaking the Rules, Hurry Up, Chip!, And Then There Were... Four?, Just a Minute!!, Security Breach, Planet of the Teeth (I did optimize this, since it was a fun level to work on), Reversi, Hobgoblins and Chimera, So Many Chips!, Killer Spiral, Bumble Boy, Cra-zy, The Walker Machine, Exit Chip, Loop, One-Block Sokoban, Torch, Hard as Rock, Pyramid, Bounce, Joyride I, Counter Clockwise, Turn Turn Turn, Frost Rings, Flame Boy, Paramecia, Blocks 'n Bombs, Dodge!, Fantasy Island, Miscellaneous, Frozen Birdbath, Microcosm, Zartacla, Trapped, Wormwood and Neptune.


And then we move on to CCLP1, a set where I have 88 bolds, with very few routes copied, instead finding them for myself...it's a very different experience to CC1 and it's been a very enjoyable one, though coming up a second short is a bit frustrating at times :P. I've also been optimizing the same levels on the Lynx side of things, with 93 bolds there (including a joint bold and several unconfirmed records!) In order, the levels I've optimized, without outright giving away most of the routes I used (since CCLP1 is shaping up to be half public, half private...)


Key Pyramid: Fairly straightforward, just leaving a couple things behind and a lot of running back and forth. Still not really a fan of this level. MS: 168/168 (bold, my time) Lynx: 168/168

Slip and Slide: This one took a couple tries to hit on the right route, but it's definitely very easy to find. MS: 180/180 Lynx: 179/179

Present Company: Also really straightforward-grab the right boot, clean out the other room, clean out the first room, exit. MS: 183/183 Lynx: 183/183

Block Party: Now this was a fun route to find, 201 was the first I scored here, I immediately improved to 204 and 205, and quickly 206 after working out the key section. 207 took a small trick near the end (the force floor trick I used from the 201 even!). On the Lynx side of things, direct copy of the MS route. MS: 207/207 Lynx: 201/201

Facades: Learn the wall locations, easy to score. MS: 232/232 Lynx: 232/232

When Insects Attack: Took a couple tries to find a 185, transferred to Lynx. Buuuut, after that random 8 scored 186 in Lynx, and finding that was a bit annoying. I found the one thing with the paramecium and the dirt but didn't put together the rest of the route for a half hour. MS: 185/185 Lynx: 186/186

Under Pressure: 185.6, gave the route to Ben to upload to ChipWiki after he uploaded a 185.0. Lynx is a bit annoying due to the hint tile, but oh well. MS: 185/185 Lynx: 184/184

Switcheroo: A bit annoying, but there were only so many configurations that could have worked. MS: 230/230 Lynx: 229/229

Swept Away: Would you believe me if I said this was my first try at optimizing the level? Because it was. MS: 228/228 Lynx: 225/225

Graduation: The first really big level in CCLP1, and also the first level I lack a bold on-though not because I didn't know how to score it! 318 in MS took all of 3 tries to execute correctly, and a base 317 in Lynx took 5 or 6 due to being very tight without either trick. The night before Mike reported a 319 using the Teleport Skip Glitch, I had actually looked at the level and went "huh, the Teleport Skip Glitch would save at least a second here". I started trying to get my laptop able to run MSCC, but alas, it can't, and so I had to go to sleep without a new record despite having seen a way to. The next morning I counted spaces and it seemed like it would yield a 320, which J.B. confirmed. I knew how to score this, just don't have the means...on the Lynx side of things, Miika reported a 318, which I started looking for. I found the useful block slap immediately, but the other trick to push it to a barely 318 eluded me for hours. Eventually, thanks to some very vague hints from Ben, I figured out the one thing I had overlooked: tanks don't turn if they're already moving. After that, it still took a couple tries, but I did score the bold. MS: 320/318 (318 is maximum in Tile World) Lynx: 318/318


Basketball: Straightforward itemswapper, took a couple iterations to work out how to dodge the balls but once I did it was a very easy bold. MS: 226/226 Lynx: 225/225

Leave No Stone Unturned: In MS, fairly simple route with a small sokoban section to optimize-didn't take too long. In Lynx, block slaps and splash delay make it a lot more complicated...and I'm down 2 seconds without knowing where. MS: 289/289 Lynx: 287/285

The Monster Cages: James why did you have to find the thing with the walker stalling all 3 paramecia ;-; Took a solid 2 hour grind session (made easier by talking with a friend working on a Touhou fangame, discussing ideas and such) to actually score, but I did get it...at least in Lynx the different monster behavior makes this a freebie. MS: 263/263 Lynx: 263/263

Wedges: My initial score was a 204.8. Then I realized I had done a dumb with the 3 wedge rooms and could save 2 moves in each of 2 places, and that gave 205.6...I'd already found the teleport shortcut but hadn't quite pieced together how to avoid losing 2 moves to the extra block in the region yet. When I found it and scored 206, I was quite happy and immediately turned around and made the route public. I think this is the level that really showed that I could definitely optimize block pushing somewhat well on my own. In Lynx, the block slaps make the wedges 2 moves faster, so despite the splash delay and lack of boosting, it's still faster. I only just found the moves I was missing-stupid being greedy and getting the red key early >.< MS: 206/206 Lynx: 208/208

Twister: When I first played this level, I hated it. On a second play, I realized that no spaces ever had to be stepped on twice, and immediately revised my opinion of the level. Naturally, this second play was optimizing and netted me the bold-first try in each ruleset. MS: 315/315 Lynx: 306/306

Tetragons: My first attempt was 1 second short, even after triple checking the sokoban section for improvements. I said I had no interest in returning due to the RFFs, but I later revisited and noticed that I had been treating the central chip in the right rooms as a 1 path detour, instead of passing through the center. MS: 281/281 Lynx: 277/277

Tiny: Small level, not very complicated, easy enough bold. MS: 990/990 Lynx: 989/989

Square Dancing: Ruben reported 264, I started looking to confirm. I didn't feel like actually testing any routes, so I plotted the distance from each chip to each other chip worth considering, and started developing routes. Found 1 "263.8" and 2 "263.6" routes, but after 2 hours, never found a 264. So I went to go execute the 263.8 and found that it was the 264 route all along and my count was off by one >__<. MS: 264/264 Lynx: 263/263

Feel the Static: After figuring out which chips could be picked up at less time cost, this was an easy bold. I put off optimizing it for a while though for some reason. MS: 351/351 Lynx: 348/348

Chip Suey: Honestly wasn't that bad to figure out, I scored the bold in Lynx very quickly due to the consistent walker behavior, then switched over to MS and scored...379.6. Every time. Both Miika and James told me that it was probably in the teleports (I was going through each teleport once, Miika went through twice and James 3 times), which due to boosting was equal. I suspected it was the sokoban at the end, but trusted the expert judgement...and after rigorous testing, proved that the teleports were equal with all 3 routes. I then started listing off to James every little thing I did, and when I got to the sokoban, I spotted the 2 missing moves and scored the bold quickly-the walkers played nice after realizing this, and gave me the 1/6 shot 3 out of 6 tries. Third time I nailed the boosting and got the bold. MS: 380/380 Lynx: 375/375


Generic Ice Level: Not picking up the skates ASAP was all it took to find the bold route here. MS: 175/175 Lynx: 172/172

Repair the Maze: This one was really fun to work on due to the aspect of where to spend the 2 extra keys. The first thing I did was replace all red locks that I would never want to remove with yellow locks, and then did the same with locks that were outright worse than other ones. I ended up with a total of 3 locks potentially worth removing, picked 2, scored 325. Looked at the level again, spotted a shortcut that could be used if I used the lock I left behind, and that was enough for the 330. MS: 330/330 Lynx: 330/330

Circles: Annoying due to the walkers getting the way more often than not. MS: 226/226 Lynx: 226/226

Chip's Checkers: Thanks for the route here Ben :D. This was a really fun level to score the bold on-I came up with a 342 route on my own, but after seeing Ben's route spotted the obvious mistake I had made-being greedy and grabbing a chip early, of course. Still took a while to execute, but it was fun. MS: 343/343 Lynx: 329/329

Mind Lock: Pretty simple level, not really many options. MS: 139/139 Lynx: 139/139

Trafalgar Square: I love this sort of puzzle, and optimizing this was a little easier than expected. There was really only one potential point of entry, and from there it was pretty obvious where to go. My first attempt missed an extra push that saved a bit later on, but when I revisited the level later I found it quickly. On the Lynx side of things, there's 2 slaps that save time-this got me the confirm on Miika's 172! MS: 173/173 Lynx: 172/172

Teleport Depot: Bold is a 283.8, my first route was a 283.0. I found this out when I went over to Lynx and came up short of the bold there, and quickly noticed I was breaking the wrong blue lock! Oops. MS: 283/283 Lynx: 276/276

The Last Starfighter: In MS, I got stuck at 273 for a while then randomly pulled a 274.8...and a 274.6 with 2 wasted moves returning from the top >.<. In Lynx, the old record of 255 is trivial, but random8 beat me to scoring the 256 by having a blob clone extra blobs. I still intended to get this second for myself though...until another trick was found that allowed 257...and 258 with a blob! MS: 275/274 Lynx: 257/257

Sky High or Deep Down: Pretty simple route, just a matter of trying top to bottom and bottom to top. I think the order is different in each ruleset, but I don't completely recall. MS: 326/326 Lynx: 326/326

Button Brigade: I optimized this one in Lynx first-had a bit of trouble figuring out the best way to set up the fireball room near the end, but it didn't take too long to find. MS was even easier, though I thought I was triggering some bug with boosting and toggles-nope, just a cross-check! MS: 219/219 Lynx: 217/217


Quincunx: Evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil evil level. I still hate it. At least Lynx is trivial, but MS demands perfection. MS: 144/142 Lynx: 114/114

Nitroglycerin: Very well designed maze, fairly simple to optimize. I had more trouble remembering my route than discovering it. Still didn't take too long-I still have a couple more free bolds like this later on. MS: 263/263 Lynx: 263/263

Spitting Image: I scored 955 immediately, then could not find the 956 at all. I kept overcomplicating things trying to split the first room up-which still scored 955. Of course, the trick was something simple again (a simple teleport twice..), which I didn't realize until James told me the difference between MS and Lynx was 8 moves, not 10. MS: 956/956 Lynx: 954/954

Just a Bunch of Letters: Honestly, on the MS side of things it was a matter of looking at the map and picking a route through the letters. The Ls in the middle kind of forced a specific route, and the monsters didn't interfere. Lynx though...the waits dropped the route to a 287, so I had to leave a chip behind to skip having to wait-it resulted in a lower 289, but a 289 is a 289. MS: 289/289 Lynx: 289/289

Mystery Wall: A common theme is figuring out the hard part of the route optimally and then missing something simple elsewhere in the level. I figured out the optimal way of doing the block cloning on my own relatively quickly, but this came up 2 moves short of the bold. I kept looking there, trying more and more outlandish things until James outright told me I had that part right. That left only the top section...where I realized I was doing a dumb again. MS: 379/379 Lynx: 374/374

Rhombus: Another really easy level, thankfully. It was just a matter of figuring out the teleports in the beginning to beat the fireball cycle. MS: 219/219 Lynx: 216/216

Habitat: I can't be bothered to work on this one for a while- my first route turned up a 331 in MS, and in Lynx it was 330. Ended up getting a tick-perfect run along the 4 chips in the lower section on a second attempt /by accident/, and matched my 331. MS: 332/331 Lynx: 332/331

Heat Conductor: My first approach to this level netted me a 480 in MS and a 462 in Lynx-this was with way too many extra teleports. I was able to increase the decimal by reordering a few sequences to avoid teleporting 5 times at the end twice in a row, but it wasn't enough for extra seconds. Then I compared routes with Ben, and after confirmed I teleported too much found 481.0/465-exactly what Ben had, only a lower decimal. We compared routes directly at this point, and one particular arrangement of chips ((9,9) (6,5) (14,4)) being collected on their own pass I hadn't considered before...and that was enough to get a 482. Then James wondered where I was dropping only a bit and I noticed I could save [2] by teleporting vertically going to the fireboots. That bumped me up to 482.6/466.almost467, with [2] left to find. I'm...not sure where. MS: 483/482 Lynx: 467/466

Dig and Dig: Very simple level, just a matter of avoiding the monsters. MS: 237/237 Lynx: 237/237

Sea Side: Another travelling salesman level-plot a path between islands, then plot the chip path. MS: 962/962 Lynx: 960/960


Descending Ceiling: In MS, the bold of 166 was fairly well established. I found all the cycle skips and scored it pretty quickly. In Lynx, however, I noted that the bold was 160...with a partial confirm of 159? I wasn't sure how this was quite possible, until it hit me: each person missed one cycle skip, one of them at the very end. I found them all and scored a new record of 163. MS: 166/166 Lynx: 163/163

Mughfe: I didn't put too much effort into this, just enough to purge my initial time. MS: 419/413 Lynx: 403/397

Gears: Trivial level is trivial. MS: 206/206 Lynx: 206/206

Frozen Labyrinth: Even without Miika's AVI, the right route for this level was fairly straightforward. Nothing difficult in the execution either-just a matter of remembering when to slide. MS: 365/365 Lynx: 360/360

Who's the Boss?: In MS there were lots of routes that scored 279 due to the boosting allowing certain cycles to be reached...in Lynx, optimizing was a bit more of a mess, with the bold going up and up and up from 272 to 273 to 274 to 275 to 276 to 277. No clue what Miika did for the 277 honestly. MS: 279/279 Lynx: 277/276

Sapphire Cavern: My initial route was down 1 second, upon trying a slightly different path I found 286. MS: 286/286 Lynx: 286/286

Bombs Away: Well, the route before James messed with monster collisions was easy to find...no matter what I did I couldn't make having monsters clone monsters be worthwhile, though. MS: 955/943 Lynx: 942/942

Sundance: Another trivial bold is trivial. MS: 180/180 Lynx: 180/180

49 Cell: I...do not like optimizing this level. In either ruleset. MS: 430/422 Lynx: 413/406

The Grass is Greener on the Other Side: MS ruleset was trivial to find, since the teeth just cooperate. Lynx required a small wait, but this was still a fairly straightforward level. MS: 167/167 Lynx: 166/166


H2O Below 273K: This level...this level is insane to optimize in MS because it's an approximately 30 second long nonstop boosting frenzy. When I started working on it, Ben had bold at 256. It took me about 10 minutes to score 259, but I couldn't stay away, scoring 263, 265 and then 267 -.9. Later that day I went back and scored several more 267s before topping out at 268. At that point I went over to Lynx and scored 231 (bold) first try. A while later I kept working my way up, scoring 269 and 270 the same day. From there, I was positive I wouldn't be able to improve it...until I decided to play the level for a bit while screensharing. I scored 270 again a half dozen times, including a -.1! Finally, I broke through and scored 271, and I don't think I'll be improving this anytime soon. MS: 274/271 Lynx: 231/231

The Bone: Scored bold in MS, switched to Lynx, improved the record by 1 second with a block slap and splash delay dodge, then it got improved again. MS: 309/309 Lynx: 306/305

Start at the End: I optimized this in Lynx first, and my first attempt found the bold easily enough. In MS, I derandomized the level to see how much slack there was with the boosting, did it fast enough and scored 408 , and then took an hour to actually scored it on the stock version...then James pointed out I was missing a lot of moves in a very obvious place, and I then found the 410 route immediately after. Unfortunately, I was annoyed with the boosting and didn't really feel like going for it, so I got a 409.8 and called it a day. MS: 410/409 Lynx: 400/400

Mini Pyramid: Found 231 in MS, added a ram to score 232, then realized the next day that skipping the suction boots might be viable...found 234 and polished the route to score 235. In Lynx, I scored 229, then tried a different approach with the water blocks and scored 230. I'd accidentally snatched a chip under a block sliding off ice at one point, though, and optimized the route further to net a new record. MS: 235/235 Lynx: 231/231

The Chambers: Very easy in both rulesets. MS: 322/322 Lynx: 323/323

Connect the Chips: See above. MS: 963/963 Lynx: 963/963

Key Farming: Fairly simple route to discover, and the execution wasn't too bad since you have 4 mistakes. MS: 296/296 Lynx: 285/285

Corral: I kind of fluked into bold in MS on one singular attempt with 0 interference...in Lynx I didn't try too hard. MS: 327/327 Lynx: 327/321

Asterisk: See 3 levels above. MS: 970/970 Lynx: 970/970

Guard: One of those levels where you try everything until it works. Kind of annoying, especially in Lynx where you have to get rid of one of the fake walls to trap the teeth. MS: 263/263 Lynx: 262/262


Highways: This level was so much fun, and I usually don't like boosting after a 2 ice slide. Probably due to all the boosts being like that. MS: 424/424 Lynx: 412/412

Design Swap: I found 333 on my first attempt, and quickly improved it to a 340. I then found all manner of other times like 341, 339, 336, and 343. At this point I noticed the potential to disrupt the bugs to hold down the trap button for me, and scored 345 with that. James then told me that this was not part of the 346 route, at which point I looked for a 'vanilla' route a bit longer and ended up finding 346. Switching over to Lynx, you fall 1 cycle behind MS resulting in a 340...except due to different cycles the bug-button approach actually saves a second, netting me another new record. MS: 346/346 Lynx: 341/341

New Block in Town: Annoying level, easy route at least. MS: 174/174 Lynx: 169/169

Chip Kart 64: This one was quite fun, though I honestly don't see how a 45 is possible...it's probably something really silly. MS: 45/44 Lynx: 35/35

Squared in a Circle: Copied Miika's AVI for the 427 and 413, was nowhere near convinced it was optimal in Lynx. I found a nifty little trick that saves [2.5], and when random 8 said he found a trick that saved [2] in both rulesets...we merged routes and suddenly 414 joint bold. MS: 427/427 Lynx: 414/414

Klausswergner: I didn't put too much time into this route, just enough to try the obvious route (scores 281), and a couple faster routes. Ended up with 285/284, which isn't too bad for the amount of effort. MS: 288/285 Lynx: 285/284

Booster Shots: Lynx bust, annoying route in MS. MS: 304/299 Lynx: 386/386

Flames and Ashes: Juggling one block around was actually really fun here. MS: 947/947 Lynx: 946/946

Double Diversion: Just like back in the blind race, I'm still not a huge fan of this level. It was just annoying to optimize, with testing waiting/not waiting and which side. MS: 288/288 Lynx: 285/285

Juxtaposition: THIS MAZE IS AMAZING. Learning the paths didn't take too long, either, even for Lynx. MS: 426/426 Lynx: 426/426


Tree: Another level I put a bit of effort into-improvized the sokoban every time, most of my missing time is probably there. MS: 302/298 Lynx: 280/276

Breathing Room: Small and fairly simple, not too many different things to try to find bold. MS: 183/183 Lynx: 180/180

ToggleTank: I found the bold route literally first attempt optimizing this. MS: 243/243 Lynx: 241/241

Shuttle Run: This...is probably one of the easiest bolds in the set. MS: 8/8 Lynx: 6/6

Secret Passages: Upon looking at the level in the editor, my initial route idea counted keys...and came up with just enough to go through all the locks I wanted to. The result was a 533.8. MS: 533/533 Lynx: 533/533

Elevators: This is another of the easiest bolds in the set. MS: 957/957 Lynx: 957/957

Flipside: Most of the difficulty here is in avoiding the few walkers-funnily enough, the optimized route was much safer than my casual routes. MS: 390/390 Lynx: 390/390


Colors for Extreme: I found both of the old records the day before James improved both, and J.B. and random8 both confirmed the same day. I got hung up on trying to disrupt the glider path with the blocks and couldn't think of any way to break the level that night. When random8 uploaded the 889 Lynx solution, though, I took another look and saw the potential blockslide. From there, the bolds followed. MS: 900/900 Lynx: 889/889.

Launch: I'm not sure where the extra second in Lynx is-maybe a block slap I missed? MS bold was first try. MS: 95/95 Lynx: 92/91

Ruined World: I got stuck at 970 for a while, and then realized I was ordering a couple blocks silly. MS: 971/971 Lynx: 971/971

Black Hole: Every route I tried fell short, until I realized the bugs were all offset by 1...that turned the route into a mad dash into the bugs snatching all the chips from certain death. MS: 971/971 Lynx: 969/969

Starry Night: This route didn't take very long to find either-and executing the boosting didn't take too long either. I had more trouble working out how to dodge the walker in Lynx! MS: 309/309 Lynx: 302/302

Chip Block Galaxy: I put a bit of effort into this, not much though. Ended up with a partial confirm and Lynx record because no one else tried. MS: 908/890 Lynx: 893/893


Roundabout: Due to boosting, the bold was trivial to find in MS. In Lynx, 350 required splitting rooms and detouring later sometimes, sooner other times...it was quite tricky! MS: 350/350 Lynx: 350/350

Flame War: My initial idea of a route netted bold in MS, but -1 in Lynx. I had a couple other ideas involving maneuvering an extra block, but they never quite panned out. MS: 322/322 Lynx: 321/320

Gate Keeper: Straightforward level. MS: 365/365 Lynx: 362/362

Deserted Battlefield: After wandering around for 5 minutes on my first play, I wanted revenge. I looked at the editor, found the 17 second route, and executed it in both rulesets. MS: 982/982 Lynx: 982/982

Loose Pocket: Another surprisingly simple level to optimize for its position. MS: 332/332 Lynx: 334/334

Frozen in Time: see Loose Pocket. MS: 944/944 Lynx: 943/943

Portcullis: Both of my initial routes came up a second short, though I found some improvements pretty quickly. I still don't know where the missing second in Lynx is, though. MS: 977/977 Lynx: 978/977

Tunnel Clearance: Lynx demands perfection, but perfection is simple enough to obtain. MS has so much room for error, but remembering which direction is tougher. I'm not sure which ruleset has the harder to score bold here. MS: 257/257 Lynx: 235/235

Jailbird: My first routes came up 4 or 5 seconds short, but they didn't have any monster collisions. After that I found 366, 367 and 368 fairly quickly, and switched over to Lynx where the collisions behaved differently. It took a bit of tinkering, but I found a 366 route...and then accidentally stumbled upon the perfect set of collisions and scored 368 in Lynx for an unconfirmed new record. MS: 369/368 Lynx: 368/368


Alternate Universe: After learning the center segment, this didn't take long to score. MS: 959/959 Lynx: 954/954

California: I didn't spend too long on this, just enough for an initial route. Somehow, still +19 on everyone outside the joint bold in MS. MS: 426/419 Lynx: 414/404

Blobs on a Plane: Derandomized, found the 255.4 route, executed 248 in MS after an hour, scored 247 in Lynx within 10 minutes. Decided to keep going, suddenly 250 5 minutes later...another hour later, 249 partial confirm in MS. MS: 252/249 Lynx: 250/250

Runaway Train: The walker killed me way too often for my liking in MS-thankfully, Lynx played nice. The only tricky part was the paramecia room. MS: 104/104 Lynx: 98/98

Metal Harbor: I happened to stop on this level flipping through CCLP1 in the editor, forgot how to solve it and spotted a way to have an extra block in Lynx with some creative block slaps. I figured the bold route already used this, did a lazily optimized dry run and scored b+4. Further optimizations yielded another +3, +2 and +3 for a 787: +12 on random 8's 775. random 8 then found the bust and scored 788, I switched extra blocks and scored 789, then the next day spotted an extra splash delay and an extra 0.5 near the end...and scored 790. MS was easy-merging Lynx routes less slaps was enough :P MS: 798/798 Lynx: 790/790

Chip Plank Galleon: Lynx bold was easy, MS I'm down 1. MS: 282/281 Lynx: 280/280

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Simple route. MS; 60/60 Lynx: 58/58

Blockade: Another pretty simple route. MS: 210/210 Lynx: 207/207

Elemental Park: Yet another simple route, though the execution is quite difficult in MS. I did 2 attempts after scoring bold in Lynx. MS: 596/588 Lynx: 573/573

Frogger: A simple test of iterating permutations of waits and runs. MS: 272/272 Lynx: 271/271


Easier Than It Looks: My initial optimization was a .8, once I realized I could just teleport down in the walker room...I felt really dumb. MS: 106/106 Lynx: 103/103

Spumoni: The only MS record I have, and only because I got to it first. The level interested me, and I routed it and executed-the execution was fun too. MS: 446/446 Lynx: 439/439

Steam Cleaner Simulator: I also optimized this within the first week, but it was a bad 463. Today I went back to improve my Lynx score from b-14 and ended up with 464, then did the same with MS and netted 469. Then I realized my ending in both rulesets was dumb and gained another second. MS: 472/470 Lynx: 468/465

(Ir)reversible: Straightforward level with no options=just execute it. Lots of boosting, but nothing hard. MS: 333/333 Lynx: 328/328

Thief Street: It's a .8 with a mouse-assisted flick. MS: 179/179 Lynx: 178/178

Bummbua Banubauabgv: Another very simple level to optimize, just a matter of organizing blocks in the solution path. MS: 383/383 Lynx: 380/380

Chance Time!: Simple, fun level. Bit of luck, but nothing too bad. MS: 235/235 Lynx: 235/235


I still have another 40 CCLP1 levels to go before I've got at least a base score for the set...maybe I'll hit 6,000,000?


What? Retrospective? But the set hasn't even been out 2 weeks! Well, I think it's worth putting down my initial thoughts on the set, partly due to the way I experienced it. Some of you may know that I played through the entire set in one sitting, in a blind race.[1] I had not played any of the levels in the voting packs (though I had played through some of the levels from their original set, though I only remembered about 4 in any detail, and certainly not enough to remember the exact solution), and so it was a fresh experience, a new set to play through. I expected to have a bit of difficulty with some of the levels, but for the most part blast through and have a blast playing.


I could have been a bit more accurate with that assessment.


For the most part, I did speed through the levels, figuring out the trick to levels such as Loose Pocket (#100) in around a minute (my solve time was a 315 with a 326 reset after exploring past the pink ball, totaling 59 seconds playing the level) while taking forever on Deserted Battlefield (#99) and some other levels. And yet, as I've gone back and optimized, these levels are about the same length. I did struggle to solve some of the puzzles, especially in the 130s and 140s, though I think the easier levels are perfectly placed between the harder ones. I do still have to complain about Clubhouse (#149) as I don't think it's particularly engaging, being a simple Sokoban level with nothing really memorable about it other than the crude cooks possible in the starting room. I don't think it's a bad level, or a bad level for CCLP1 even (I just wish there was a bit more fire in the first room to remove the possibility of cooking the level by moving the block to the top left), but I don't think it was suitable for a level 149. On the whole, the final part of my expectation going in was met: I had a lot of fun playing the set, and the people I raced generally agreed, though none of them had time to finish the race, they have gone on to complete the set. I even got someone who'd never played the game to join, and they got quite stuck on #37 (Habitat) for over a half an hour before finally breaking through. For comparison, I had solved level 25 by the 28 minute mark-certainly a slow pace if I was executing all the bold routes, but for blind, that was fast! (Hornlitz was around for the first couple hours before having to leave, and was playing alongside-I was keeping pace with him and even passed at one point). Overall, this shows CCLP1 is definitely a good CC1 stand-in; I had more fun playing through this set than CC1 (in Lynx), both of which I did in the past couple weeks. The race shows it's good for beginners as well, and it proves to have a few challenges for experts. Still, it has a few shortcomings for me...


The first and most glaring to me may come as a bit of a surprise, but I feel like the lesson levels are too long and involved on the whole. I'm going to take just the first level from each set here, as it shows my point the best I feel.


It's a sense of scale that the rest of CCLP1 does better, I feel. These levels both teach you the exact same mechanics and Lesson 1 did it near perfectly, showing almost everything you need from the first window. As the introduction to the set, no, the game as a whole it's not very overwhelming, in fact, it's quite welcoming. Key Pyramid might as well be pieguy's "too many keys?" compared to Lesson 1. You can't see the exit from the starting point, and though the order of unlocking doesn't matter like Lesson 1 there's a lot more running around. In fact, Key Pyramid takes 32 seconds to Lesson 1's 17, with only one additional key/lock pair. As an intro, it's much more overwhelming. I feel like the lessons could have been more compact and gotten the same point across, but that's coming from someone who solved them all in 5 minutes. This sense of scale is gotten absolutely correct, however, by Present Company (#3). Even Block Party (#4), despite being a 43 second bold compared to Lesson 2's 10 second time, nails the sense of scale. Every room is different and shows something new about blocks, and you're constantly doing something instead of running from small room to small room. Key Pyramid is a small complaint, and since it's my biggest that speaks very well for the set as a whole.


Graduation (#10) vs. Nuts and Bolts is another no brainer-Graduation is the better level for the recap. The red herring exit still shows a new concept, similar to what I believe Nuts and Bolts tried for in the end with the fireball and trap room (monster guiding-or at least that's always what I did as a kid). Graduation nails everything you could want as a first campaign level-no difficult parts, room to explore, and yet a clear progression and goal in mind.


As I played through, I had a few levels that I really really liked, easily becoming some of my favorite CC levels. In the order they appear in the set...

Tiny (#17): A perfect example of how to teach a concept without explicitly stating what needs to be done. Moving 2U to the fireboots immediately cooks the level, but due to the small size this is an "ohhhhh, so that's what I do" moment. Similar to Lesson 7 from the original CC, it teaches "when in doubt, don't get a boot", though in a more up front manner-Lesson 7 is so stealthy about it I didn't even notice until recently, while this does it perfectly. Also, this took longer for you to read than the level takes to solve!

Generic Ice Level (#21): This is anything but generic. I've never seen another ice level give you skates immediately (Dodge! doesn't count!), the blocks sliding feel natural and everything about this level just screams win, aesthetically and gameplay-wise. Easily in my top 10, if not top 5.

Repair the Maze (#22): One of the few I remembered from before CCLP1, I love the concept of having a maze being able to breaking through parts-in CC1, Strange Maze was one of my favorites as a kid. Like the bold route, I would always end with the sockets, though unlike the bold route I would go through and dispose of every single socket in the level before walking to the exit! Now, if this had 3 color keys and 2 of each...

The Last Starfighter (#28): Perfect use of blob cloners, blowing up the walkers with no randomness is cathartic, the aesthetic is beautiful and the level is pretty fun too.

Spitting Image and Alternate Universe (#33 and #111): These are just such a cool concept of taking one room as an exact forecast of what's in another room. For the most part, I hate hot blocks. These 2 levels use them perfectly with no treachery involved.

Sundance (#48): It looks like a difficult dodging level, but it's simpler than meets the eye. Perfect appearance as well, I only wish it were a bit longer, though I suppose that would ruin some of the appeal.

Juxtaposition (#70): I was wondering why there hadn't been any blue wall mazes up to this point, as CC1 had Mishmesh and Chipmine by this point in the game. Then this level came up and I couldn't get enough of it. Thin walls don't see enough use, and fake wall mazes are incredibly difficulty to design without being predictable or overly tedious. This level uses all of them flawlessly. Another top 10 for sure.

Colors for Extreme (#81): The opening room is amazingly designed to manipulate the glider in a progression, the level is another itemswapper but it feels like such an epic campaign level. It's also relatively simple, though certainly not easy. A perfect fit for the middle of CCLP1.

Loose Pocket (#100): Though I figured out the trick fairly quickly, it's a perfectly executed twist on the Trust Me style level. Most of the red herrings are obviously so, but that only makes some of them look more realistic. It's short, simple, and arbitrary in its design in places.

Frozen in Time (#102): Chip's Challenge is not an eerie game. It's not a spooky game. It doesn't have an environment. It doesn't have anything that creeps the player out. This...this manages to do all of the above. It's incredibly simple, and yet it's perfect. I remarked in the call when I got to this level that it was spooky, and wasn't exactly believed. Well, someone else got to this level around the time I was in the 140 range and immediately gave a cry of shock at the teeth, and then agreed that yes, it was spooky. Beautifully done, and not what I was expecting at all. Not needing the chips is a nice touch, too-now I wonder what the level would play like if everything were to be unfrozen...

Tunnel Clearence (#105): Amazing concept, amazing design, almost goes on too long but in the end it's just the right length. The ability to ignore the red key at the start and explore makes this level just that little bit better.

Exhibit Hall (#108): A level I'd seen a variant of but never played. Said variant being the background for J.B.'s commentary on Chuck's Challenge 3D, which I had watched less than a week before CCLP1! (by the way, I agree with pretty much everything you said-if I wasn't optimizing the game, it'd have been over and done with very quickly, though the editor has a lot of nice possibilities) The avoidance level is a rarely seen concept, due to its difficulty to pull off well. This does it with 8 4x4 rooms, some with puzzles, some with dodging, some with simply items to collect. The ability to skip the fireboots by taking a block from the water room doesn't hurt either. Incredibly fun level.

Runaway Train (#118): This level has such an amazing aesthetic to it, and the design, through cramped, still feels exploitative. The teleports to switch cars and give the illusion of a longer level space than actually exist is pure brilliance as well-I caught it immediately, but I've been playing this game for years. A newer player would probably wonder how the designer made a level bigger than the grid, if they even thought about it. Oh, and the level is fun too.

Automatic (Caution) Doors (#140): Another level with lots of branching paths, lots of exploration, lots of ways to go-and yet, it's linear. The concept is unique (I've never seen it done before) and beautifully executed in how each step grants you access to another area. The chips are only the first step in this epic level. Easy top 5 level right now, and it will probably remain in the top 10 regardless of what CCLP2 and 3 hold for me.


Of course, there were a few I did not enjoy that much-in the same order...

Quincunx (#31): Too easy to die, not very interesting either. If it was smaller (say, lop off the bottom 2 rows) it might be better, but it's one of only 3 levels in the set I would rate as 1star

Just a Bunch of Letters (#34): The cypher level of the set, but it's very dull. The original Cypher was cryptic yet obvious in hindsight, Cypher II was brutally difficult but the name and connotation it came with was a useful hint, Motion Blur was an amazing concept and beautifully executed, and this falls flat in comparison. Maybe I'm being too hard on it due to it's slot, but I don't enjoy it as a level either.

Design Swap (#62): CCLP1 has a lot of itemswappers, and this is one of the most bland. It's also hurt by its huge size, though it gets better when you open up the center, it's still very boring running back and forth across the entire length of the grid.

New Block in Town (#63): Another 1star level. Too many things that must be done in the exact right order or the level is unsolvable, and then right at the end subverting the order that had to be used for the rest (chip then button). Thankfully, I didn't run into the hidden wall, if I did I would have been seriously pissed at this level. As it is, cool concept, poor execution.

Ruined World (#83): Bleh. It's one of 2 "push all the block" levels in the 81-90 decade, along with Chip Block Galaxy (#88). I was neutral on #88, but I do not like Ruined World. In both it's very easy to miss a block, but here it's easily lethal while in #88,the worst that can happen is trapping the block-though there are many places to put the used blocks, mitigating it.

Time Suspension (#101): The button device is cool. The toggles and tanks are interesting. However, I absolutely detest the walkers in this level, mostly the one in the 3x4 room. Retrieving the blocks for the bombs is so much of a hassle, and there's quite a bit to do on each run up that just gets old fast.

Comfort Zone (#114): Incredibly easy to cook the level, especially if you stay in the comfort zone given as long as possible. I can't really say why I dislike it as much as I do, but it falls into this bottom CCLP1 levels list.

Utter Clutter (#124): Very long, very tedious level. It feels like it attempts to emulate All Full from CC1, but it fails in that its puzzles are based around key snatching and then realizing something incredibly non-obvious near the very end-which, for me, took 5+ minutes to reach every time. Requiring all the chips works for forcing all the puzzles to be completed, but works against the concept.

Amphibia (#143): The final 1star level. If you were around at the end of my stream you would have heard a LOT of raging at this level. I hate it. There's a lot of waiting for cycles that aren't exactly clear, and though it's similar to Fireflies, I liked Fireflies. However, I figured out why-Fireflies is completely symmetrical and has a much lower monster density, and loops around to itself. Amphibia forces a specific path to each chip, turning a monster dodging cycle waiting level into an incredibly tedious and lethal maze. My only praise is that it's infinitely better than a similar level I played in a voting pack (more on that later).


And finally, my top 5 hardest levels in the set.

5: Bummbua Banubauabgv (#142): I took forever to figure out this puzzle, even though the solution is painfully simple.

4: Flush (#141): This is a flawlessly crafted puzzle (barring the bold route, which I've figured out the method but not the timing...) where every step is timed with a pink ball chute that holding a trap button drowns. Avoiding the keys took 2 plays to realize, and even still I cooked the level several times after that point. However, every time it was my fault and foreseeable in advance, so I can't hold it against the level. (related note: levels 141-145 took me nearly an hour, with the last 2 of those taking about 10 minutes. 141-143 are the hardest run of levels by far!)

3: Double Diversion (#69): Didn't see that coming, did you! I struggled quite a bit with this level, triggering things too early, too late, standing in the wrong spot, moving at the wrong time, into toggle walls...it's a simple level, but I struggled quite a bit finding the solution.

2. Utter Clutter (#124): I covered this above. I believe this is the level I spent the most time on, due to the length before the part I screwed myself on. Twice.

1: Thief, You've Taken All That Was Me (#147): Of course #147 is the hardest level. It's an amazingly crafted puzzle, up front with what it expects you to do. The 4 sections of the level are all tricky puzzles in their own right, with special mention going to the sokoban in the bottom right-that took me a solid minute of looking at to figure out, and there's only 3 blocks in it! Nothing is unreasonably difficult, 3 of the 4 puzzles are logic based, the order they can be tackled is up to the player-everything is done to make this as anti-frustration as possible. The result is a puzzle that feels right at home in the #147 slot, alongside the fast paced Force Field, the monster manipulating Cloner's Maze and the ultimate (outside its sequel) sardine can level, Avalanche.


CCLP1 does capture everything I liked about the original Chip's Challenge, avoids the long tedious block pushing levels, is fairly varied and unique in places. I've been playing through the voting packs after the release as well, not for the award okay maybe slightly but for a sense of perspective-I can appreciate the final product that is CCLP1 much better if I have a frame of reference for what didn't make the cut. If the voting packs are the best levels the community had to offer for the set, then CCLP1 is made up of the best of the best. So far, I agree with a vast majority of the levels that made it in (though I still don't like Amphibia or Blobs on a Plane, and think that Asteroid #44, Chip Joins Mensa Club would have been awesome to see) and most of the ones that got cut (Asteroid #3, !? for being what is this I don't even, I still don't know how you would solve this in Lynx as my route was VERY MS only, Baguette #44, I Hate You for being unnecessarily sadistic, Bookshelf #35, Coovet Blocks taking 10 minutes and having difficult dodging AND easy screws, Bookshelf #44, Audacious Scavenger Hunt for being incredibly overwhelming in its design and easy to screw without realizing it, and Cardboard #39, What's Rightfully Mine for taking its concept too far).


I would give CCLP1 a 9.5 out of 10, compared to about an 8 for CC1 (I still want to finish CCLP2 and 3 before I can fairly compare to them, but I'm pretty sure my order will go CCLP1>CCLP3=CC1 for different reasons>CCLP2).


Job well done CCLP1 staff. Mission accomplished. (Y):chipwin:


[1] If you desire, you can watch my playthrough here.


Even more bolds!

I Slide: Fairly simple-there's more than enough time on the long ice slides to remember/reference a set of notes, resulting in a fairly easy bold.

Traffic Cop: Another very easy bold to obtain, a nice breather level among breather levels. As a kid I never though to bridge across water with a block...

Grail: Another really fun level to play, despite the heavy randomness of the start. Didn't take too long to pull off.

Potpourri: The wiki hyped up the ice section to be really difficult, but I got the boosting down instantly and took only 3 attempts to that point-one failed boost, and one where I derped and moved UL into a ball.

Deepfreeze: Aside from one attempt where the I forgot the double ice slide en route to the skates, the bold came smoothly.

Strange Maze: Another first try bold. I was beginning to wonder when the next challenging level would come up, but I had forgotten about...

Loop Around: ...which proved to be nowhere near as hard as I expected. The 50s are definitely on the easy side for bolds. Took a couple tries to pull off, but it was definitely on the easy side again.

Hidden Danger: 2 tries, the first boosted past the teleport.

Slo Mo: Having already done level 60 and 61 being untimed, Slo Mo ramped up the difficulty again...with luck. I blew one attempt literally 2 spaces from the exit, though 3/4 of the time it would have worked, luck was not on my side, as nearly every time I was next to a blob, the blob would move onto Chip at 1/4 odds...until the winning run, where Chip ran past no less than 3 blobs. I did not expect that.

Block Factory: The boosting at the start took a couple tries to get down, as usual, but oddly I never stopped messing up the chip grabs off the force floors. Humorously, one attempt failed by going on the long ice slide below the last chip. The wiki says that waiting [1/2] before pushing the final button is easier, but I could never get that timing (scoring 476.8) whereas every time I tried the [1/2] wait before the button, I got it. After throwing 3 attempts to the "easier" method, I scored 477 first try using the "harder" method.

Spooks: The first of the non-public bold routes...well, I scored the old bold of 547, and then started looking for potential improvements to see if I could find the 548 route...unfortunately, every different start I tried was unable to pick up a chip, and Luc's route is incredibly tight-whatever pieguy found, I'd sure love to see it...

Amsterdam: Another pair of false difficulties-this one is ranked at 3 stars, while the 547 route for Spooks is ranked 4 stars. This is a hard one. Like, a really really hard one. I scored 395 easily enough (using the 397 route), scored it again, and then scored 396 (-2 moves) on what I thought was perfect. Re-watching my 396 and the 397 in the public TWS revealed to me that I lost 1 move (maybe both?) in the section with the single tile ice slide. Further attempts and studying were able to save the first move and pinpoint where the second was, but actually scoring the bold was no easy task-including one try where I ran into a wall with 16 chips to go. *sigh*. Then I scored a -.1, failing only the single ice tile (accidentally boosting past it until of turning south), chaining together each half of the level on a separate run. It was only a matter of time...but I couldn't get it. So I stepped back for a couple days, and then scored the 397 literally first try when I went back. That always seems to be how these things work...


It was at this point that I went through the existing bold difficulties and adjusted them to be for respective of their actual difficulty to obtain-I'll mention any further old rankings I seriously disagree with.


Chipmine: Made a map similar to Mishmesh, played the level a few times to work out the best path to take to reveal pathways based on other opened pathways, scored 518 fairly easily. I personally wouldn't rank it 4 stars, but I can definitely see why it was ranked that high-the fact that I could reference back and forth between an edited map and the game itself definitely helped, and the maze...it's a hard feeling to describe, I want to say I already knew the maze, but I didn't. This was one of my favorite levels as a kid, so maybe I subconsciously remembered a few of the pathways? Either that or the spacefilling nature (2 dead ends, each only 2 tiles long) made the required turns simpler to 'guess'. Regardless of why, I coasted through a level I expected to be difficult, despite running into a wall once.

Eeny Miny Moe: Pretty simple bold to score, took a couple tries to remember the bridge section route, but from there it was just 2 and a half minutes of movement. No big deal.

Bounce City: The wiki overcomplicated the key grabbing section-I just ran through, and due to the ball towers I could even forget where I was going for a second and still easily score the bold.

Nightmare: Literally first try. The force floor right before the red key I deliberately dropped the boost, noting that there was a wait up ahead and that failing the boost would result in a swift plunge into the water.




With that, I was "halfway" through the game, only down 3 bolds (4, if you count untimed levels) and a score of 1,666,230. The real question of if I can keep up this pace of scoring when the levels get harder will be answered...eventually. I have a CCLP1 race in an hour! and you can watch on my stream too! twitch.tv/ihavenonamesda


Another week, another TON of bolds scored. Quick summary:

Mishmesh: for a 3 star difficulty this one was on the harder side for me. Eventually I made a map with all walls and floor displayed as such, with recessed walls to show which way to go second, traps showing dead ends and even a red key/lock for the one area on the top where the recessed wall method wouldn't work. Took about 45 minutes to score.


Knot: Piece of cake, got this 2nd or 3rd try due to some boosting mishaps.

Scavenger Hunt: I watched the AVI to see which directions to go at forks, this bold followed up immediately.

On the Rocks: Some untimed levels I've scored. This one I simply played through to get it out of the way.

Cypher: First try, no reference.

Lemmings: The first of a few levels I had to reference the public TWS for-there's no AVI of a 577! Definitely a fun route to perform due to all of the organized chaos going on-I also messed with alternate block timings to see what the results would be, and the 577 seems to work by cutting off the lead monster in the monster order. I wonder what bold would be if the entire monster order was reversed?

Ladder: I identified that I could move the chip collecting ladder to the end of the route without wasting any moves, so I did just to get the (marginally) trickier part out of the way as soon as possible. All in all, smooth sailing through here...

Seeing Stars: ...until Seeing Stars. This is way too hard to remember to be only 3 star difficulty (for on this later). I spent an hour on this and only had the first 40-50 seconds (out of 200!) completely memorized. From there, I decided to switch gears from rote memorization to trying to get a better understanding of why the move savers saved moves. As a result, the corners all became much easier to remember-though if you asked me now, I wouldn't remember the specifics of how to move the blocks to the spots, I could tell you the spots that blocks need to be parked. It still took another hour to remember everything past that point, but I did eventually score 597 with 0 dropped moves. Not the kind of level I like working on.

Sampler: The bold difficulties seem to be more based on how hard an optimal tenth is than an optimal second, to me. Just comparing Sampler, Seeing Stars, Lemmings and Mishmesh, they're all ranked evenly, and yet Sampler and Lemmings I found easier than Trinity, which is ranked as 2 stars! It took a couple tries to remember the teleport sequence, but executing was pretty easy.

Glut: Too easy, even though as a kid I could never figure out the teeth exits-I thought they were traps :P

Floorgasborg: Oh come on, seriously? This is 3 stars? It took a few attempts to get the timing down on the initial force floors, but this is nowhere near the difficulty of Seeing Stars. I got the 195 on my second attempt reaching the random force floor-the first time they sent Chip left and down, straight into the fake wall on the back wall.

I. C. You: Interesting happening while attempting this-on an attempt with 0 lost moves, I actually got prevented from pushing the block by the blob! I couldn't be mad about that, since the probability must be something like 1/1000. It's pretty funny (the blob moved immediately after, so with odd step the odds of this happening are 0, for anyone curious). Beyond that, remembering which way to spring slide caused the bulk of my issues, but it was a relatively easy bold. Still, I'd rank Sampler equal to it, not 3 stars vs. the 2 stars here.

Beware of Bug: First try, not much else to say.

Lock Block: This was also a first try bold.

Refraction: This is another level, like Blink, where I used text notes to remember which direction to move in.

SE(L->R), NE(R->L), tanks, NE(R->L), SE(1L->R->1L), toggle

NW(R->L), SW(1R->L->1R), tanks, SW(L->R), NW(R->L)

As a result, remembering which quadrant to go to, and then which side in that quadrant became trivially easy. I lost 1 move stupidly, but it evened out due to having to wait. I nearly died due to it though! Funny story about this level-I actually ran out of time on it as a kid-300 seconds did not feel like enough.

Monster Lab: I tried for the 292 for 5 minutes, scored 225, and kept going back while paying attention to something else. Still no 292, and I can't be bothered to get a 226 if I plan to obsolete it anyway. It's a real shame about the walkers in the southwest-this was always one of my favorite levels to play, and knowing that you can skip pretty much the entire thing makes me sad.

Three Doors: First try that got the opening ice slides.

Pier Seven: THIS is why I think the bold difficulty needs a bit of a re-evalution. This level is ranked as 4 star difficulty. I got it in around 10 minutes, and 10 minutes later had the perfect tenth value. Compare to Seeing Stars, a 3 star level that took well over 2 hours. It seems like boosting=+1 star-except Trinity, though my opinion on Trinity may be biased due to scoring it so early. The thought still remains: the bold difficulties on the wiki seem pretty arbitrary, and Jimmy V.'s site of easiest bolds is fairly outdated. Looks like I'm on my own on determining these difficulties :P

Mugger Square: After the mini rant, the wiki pegs this one at 4 stars. Ironically, the hardest part for me was any ice to force floor slide-I died because I failed the override after picking up the flippers no less than 3 times on 377 pace runs. Fun level to play though, definitely a learning experience on how to deal with force floors going into teleports a bit better, and the fireball cycle was a good way of knowing if I was ahead of pace or behind pace.

Problems: It's just walking around, I'm not sure how that garners a 2 star rating.

Digdirt: Trying to remember waits by cell number wasn't too effective, so I remembered them by how many chips are left. Once I made this switch in how I learned it, instant bold.



I said I could get an award on CCZone in less than 5 minutes, that isn't a 5g award. Well, it's the "Let's Play" award, for let's playing 20 official CC levels. Well, I've picked out quite the set...

Lesson 1 17 Glut 3

Lesson 2 10 Floorgasborg 5

Lesson 3 11 The Last Laugh 18

Lesson 5 15 Scoundrel 6

Lesson 6 6 Victim 8

Lesson 7 11 Metastable to Chaos 10

Lesson 8 4 Fortune Favours The 14

Southpole 16 Lobster Trap 14

Nice Day 17 Trust Me 6

Forced Entry 7 Thanks To... 12

The longest level in this group has a bold time of 18 seconds-even taking into account tenths and time spent switching levels, these 20 can go down in 4 minutes (210 seconds, to be precise)-5 is enough for an intro and mistakes to be made. As a result, I learned a few other bolds, so here's my thoughts on them!

The Last Laugh is nifty. Scoundrel I did as a kid. Victim I never would have thought of. Metastable to Chaos is mindblowingly simple. Fortune Favours The had me facepalm with how simple it was. Lobster Trap I saw the time and found the route for. Trust Me might as well have said Bust Me. Thanks To... I didn't score bold on, but it's quick even without the 1/64 shot. I'll probably record this later today and claim a couple other awards at the same time, for efficiency's sake.




Miika requested this, so even though it's still really bad: my current score my CC1 is 1,091,100, with 51 timed bolds and 57 solved levels, 4 of which are untimed on this TWS. 5,970,000 should be fairly easy to obtain, but the real test will come when I must return to RNG hell, level 23...and this turned into a wall of text I don't even know how I just typed what I thought ;_;


It's been nearly a month since my last entry here, due to a couple things. The first and most obvious from looking around the site is that I released my levelset, Ultimate Chip 2 (those curious can go get it from the downloads section) yesterday night. I've spent a while working on this, so I haven't really been working on optimizing these levels. The less obvious reason is that I was optimizing my entry for this month's Time Trial competition-I can't say what times I got yet, but I can say that I'm satisfied with what I did get and can't see any improvements.


The least obvious reason is that I hit my first really big roadblock bold. No, not Blobnet, I got a 41x and called it a day there. I'll have to return eventually, but I'll cross that bridge when it comes time. No, I hit a huge roadblock on Blink. Teleblock took roughly an hour to get down, mostly because I was trying to teleport in such a way so that I would miss a spring slide. Elementary took 3 tries in comparison, though the long hallways were useful for getting a tapping rhythm down. I also realized that I could always hold for a longer hallway to even out the steps back to the earliest possible timeframe. Nice Day was a bit annoying with the walkers, but nothing too bad. Castle Moat and Tossed Salad were easy, Digger was also fairly easy and quite fun too.


Then came Iceberg, with a shortcut to the exit I never knew about! Naturally I fell victim to the cross checking once, it's practically a rite of passage. Forced Entry took a solid half hour to pull off, but overall the timing wasn't too bad-lots of stretches where you just hold one key and tap a second one between chips. The hardest part was definitely the very end of the level. Blobnet I didn't even try for. Not worth it right now. Oorto Geld took a few tries to get the block cages down, and then I scored 424 twice in a row before realized I needed to take a block into the 7th cage :facepalm:


Blink...I gave it quite a few tries, kept bonking into walls or forgetting the route. Eventually I wrote down notes on when to double teleport and switch 'parity', but these weren't exactly helpful because they were confusing. I realized putting down when chips are collected could help me find my place in the route, and it did. It was enough to score 433. Too many hesitations. At this point I overhauled the notes I'd made to show the direction and chips collected, with brackets to show when I would have to spring slide perpendicular to the emerging direction. My notes looked like this:

V1[V1]V1 VV1

V1 V1 HH1H2

HH1H1 H1 HH1

V1 V1 V1 VV0

H1[H1]H1 H1 H1 H1 HH2


The only difference was I collected the 2 chips in the lower right ASAP forcing a 3rd perpendicular slide compared to what I ended up getting bold with. However, this scored 434 a few times, at which point I basically said "screw it" and moved on.


This proved wise as Chchchips, Go With the Flow and Ping Pong were all done within 10 minutes. Ping Pong was first try despite losing [4]. This was all done a couple weeks ago, and rather than leave 2 difficult bolds for where I left off, I took a break from going for bold to work on the other aforementioned things.


Today I decided to go back, warmed up with saving the [4] in Ping Pong (one try of course), and spent literally 8 minutes getting Blink. All it took was a step back...well, I wasn't about to stop there, and went straight into Arcticflow. This was a mistake. The first 73 seconds of the 98 second level are trivial. The last 14 are trivial. This leave 11 seconds where everything can and will go wrong...all I can say is I'm sooo glad the exit isn't one step closer to the socket, which WOULD force perfect boosting. I made a copy of the level with Chip starting after the slide and placed an exit where I needed the timer to be a certain value in the level. From there, I practiced the boosting, got it fast enough once and went back to the main level. Failed 3 times, went back to practice. Repeated this cycle a few times, then decided to change it up a bit. I practiced the boosting to the point where I scored a run of the section fast enough 5 times in a row, figuring with that consistency, 302 would be easy. I scored 301.8, twice in a row, then couldn't even do the boosting. I wish I could say I'm surprised by this, but I'm really not with all the speedruns I've done. It took another 20 minutes of grinding to finally go fast enough and score a 302.0. I don't even care about the lost [4], even though I know where most of them are, there's no gain to going for it. I did what I set out to do, and that was score 302 on Arcticflow. :chipwin:


The current count for bolds stands at 26, skipping only Blobnet so far. I wonder if I should stream my attempts at these next bolds, since I already know I'm going to stream Monster Lab...


I'm probably going to be blogging a lot, since I have a lot to say that I don't think is worth making a new thread. Anyway, today I started going for bold times seriously, for the first time...ever. Even as a kid though I did some optimizations, I found the faster path to Southpole, got a 50 on Brushfire and a couple other things. Well, today I started in on CC1 proper, trying to go in order and get as many bolds as I could. I didn't get as far as I would have liked, mostly because boosting well is a touch harder than I expected!


This is the progress I have so far and the tracker I made to, well, track it. All but 3 of these took me one or two tries to pull off, those 3 being exactly what you would expect them to be: Lesson 7, Nuts and Bolts, and Trinity. Lesson 7 I took a lot of tries due to getting a feel for boosting again, as well as starting by going for the wrong route (the description on the ChipWiki page is irrespective of the AVI and seemed to only give 137, I updated the page to reflect the AVI). After watching the AVI to see where I was losing time, I got a few 138s and then got the 137. Nothing too bad. Then Nuts and Bolts, where I got the initial boosting down pretty quickly. Honestly, I didn't have too much trouble with it once I realized exactly what to do with the fireballs. I did accidentally run into one though :rolleyes: . Finally, Trinity. Trinity was actually really hard for me to get, for a while I didn't fully understand the Spring Slide mechanic but then I realized it was as simple as just holding the arrow key. After that realization, I was still falling short, so I checked the video and realized that after the bug I should backtrack out and get the skates! Never thought to do that before. :lol: Still, most attempts I bonked a wall before the glider, boosted past the key or just ran into a wall after it, not even getting to the bottom right corner. Then I had an attempt lose no moves only to fail that section for the first time...then I lost a move somewhere between the bug and the glider, knowing that I could still get the bold if I didn't fail any boosts, I kept going and nailed all of them. The last 30 seconds are just walking and waiting to see what the time was, and it turned out to be the 211. I picked up Hunt, finished Southpole and called it a night. I'll learn Teleblock some other time, since the route goes against everything I've ever done in that level...and I love it :teeth:


This is going to be a looooong blog post.


I first played Chip's Challenge way back in 1998, when I was 3 or 4 years old. My mom and I were able to beat most of the levels, and managed to get all the way to and through Special, albeit by skipping a few levels. I remember we never beat Cake Walk, Mind Block, Mix Up, Mixed Nuts, Totally Unfair, Stripes?, The Last Laugh, Eeny Meeny Miney Moe and Icedeath. There were probably other levels we had to skip that I can't remember, but we had fun playing through. Even then I wasn't satisfied with simply "beating" the game, I wanted to beat every level, despite not being skilled enough to at the time. So I kept playing to have fun, not really having any other games to play at the time-my favorite levels included All Full and I Slide. Then at the turn of the millennium we got a PS1 and I shifted to playing Spyro, Crash Team Racing and Ape Escape, and the next year a PS2 which added more games to the list I would play. Chip's Challenge faded from most played to hardly touched, though I still went back every so often and picked off another level or 2. Until about 2004 this cycle continued, and the computer Chip's Challenge was on stopped being used, its monitor needed for another computer. I had beaten every level barring Totally Unfair, Icedeath, and Cake Walk despite (perhaps due to?) an uncle hitting F2 to start a new game, not realizing that going back to level 1 would have the same effect. It certainly got me to go through the torture that was On the Rocks.


A couple years later, in 2007, I got a laptop. It didn't take too long for me to remember Chip's Challenge, and I searched for it on the internet and found a download. Unfortunately, I wasn't too smart when it came to being safe on the internet and the download contained a virus. I'd also spotted Tile World, and grabbed that too off of Mike L.'s site. Also linked there was a nifty little program that offered the impossible dream of being able to design your own levels: ChipEdit. I immediately began work on a sort of test set, known as 25 levels.dat. I believe I posted this to the Yahoo group, but I can't find it on the internet anymore. The levels in it were all very simple or had rather lame concepts, outside of Level 6: Gauntlet. That's the oldest level I'm actually happy with, even if it is pretty simple, I utilized a few concepts that at the time seemed pretty rare, including a miniature maze of toggle buttons where hitting one would result in the level being cooked.


It was around this time that I caught wind of CCLP2, and I started playing that. I didn't get too far though, as the levels just weren't that enjoyable to me. I did realize I could load the set into an editor and get the password for the next level, and did so. Still, I beat very few levels as I felt the designs were rather cheap. It did open my eyes to the idea of invalid tiles, an idea I used with abandon while making levels in my next set, meant to be a full 149 level set. This is to date my best set, Ultimate Chip.dat. I'm working on a much better one that's been announced with some teasers, with luck I'll have it out before CCLP1. I worked on this and banged out 149 levels then made a bonus level after, which I still feel is one of my better levels. The process took a month and a half...most levels had very little effort put into them and were made because I wanted to make a level, without having a real idea for it. This is best exemplified with Mega Bomb, which I fully admit is a terrible level and it should not exist.


Shortly after that I found out about CCEdit, and made a quick 10 level set in a day to test out its features. Rather than keep this to myself like a sensible person, I posted it to pieguy's site. It was at this point that I played every set I could find, at least trying every level...once. CCEdit's test feature that let you skip between levels at will was exactly what I needed, and I still use it to test today...despite having switched to CCDesign. There were a few levels I liked, a few sets I liked, but nothing really stood out to me. Nothing ever really captured the feeling of going through CC1 for the first time. I found MLMaze and PC Block Dude and played those, made a few levels in each (which no longer exist) and actually beat one of the best move scores in Block Dude (but didn't submit because I didn't realize how). Then I began work on a set that was meant to be the greatest CC set ever created, 999 levels with no blank levels. This was a foolish endeavor.


I got up to about level 200 by making every level part of a series consecutive to the one before it. This was lazy designing, best shown with a series I was calling "+1-x", where x was the level in the series. The first of these was literally dodging 2 balls and stepping into the exit. Thankfully (though I didn't think it at the time), I lost the set to a bug with set saving, which is why I've been backing up everything I edit now. I was pretty mad because of this and left to go do other stuff, but not before submitting Ultimate Chip.dat for consideration in CCLP3. At the time, I thought it was a guarantee I'd have some levels in, though looking back I'm shocked any got in. Anyway, I left the scene for a couple years, then by chance I stumbled on a CC video on Youtube. In the related videos was a rockdet LP of 25 levels.dat. I just had to watch to confirm if it was mine or someone else's.


It was my set. I did a bit more looking around and found James A.'s started LP of Ultimate Chip, and watched what he had for that. This was enough for me to dig up the old CCDesign (which I'd downloaded shortly before taking a break) and began work on the real Ultimate Chip 2, working in bursts. When I release the set I'll give a bit more insight into what I was thinking for each level, it's kind of interesting to see how my design process has changed. I also saw the wiki page for CCLP3 and immediately did a double take. I was credited for a level in it? What could it possibly have been? Well, Recess. I'm going to be completely hoenst, that level took me less than 10 minutes to create. I guess it does show one criteria often overlooked these days: simplicity. Sometimes a simple level with a minor challenge can be fun, and clearly that's why it made it in. CCLP3 was much better than CCLP2, though I didn't get even a third of the way in before stopping. I had also discovered speedrunning around this time, and Touhou shortly later, so CC again took a backseat, with Ultimate Chip 2 sitting at ~50 levels.


2011-2013 were marked by no CC play or design outside of a level idea here and there until around November. I took a class on board game design, and came up with an idea for a level that required you to go through it twice, but a bit different the second time. I didn't do as much with the concept as I could have, but I hand drew the level so it was a bit tougher to design-I couldn't move a tile if something went wrong. I also mapped Icedeath out as the computer with CC1 was still running, albeit lagging after a few minutes. It took a day to map the stage on graph paper, I solved it on the map and the next day executed the solution. This left Pain and Cake Walk as the only levels I had never solved, though I'd done the top half of Pain. Still, I didn't really mess with CC too much until this February, when of all things seeing the existence of the CC1 149 level blind race on SRL got me interested in trying again. I dug out the old CCDesign, did some research and began designing levels again. I had 80 levels or so done, and now I'm sitting at 110 or so. I had a lot of ideas that I was able to implement, which is why my progress was so rapid.


A couple days ago someone I met through speedrunning asked if I wanted to blind race CCLP2...to which I had to answer it would be blind, and I explained why it wouldn't be a good race-invalid tiles and such. I also mentioned CCLP3 wouldn't be a good idea, but CCLP1 would be perfect...if it existed. That resulted in checking up on the CC community for the first time since 2010-2011, finding this site, seeing a release date set for CCLP1, and just generally rekindling an old interest. I joined this forum, kept designing levels, and now I'm trying to take a more active role. Hopefully CCLP1 can recapture that feeling of playing though CC1 for the first time. I know I'm trying to do that to the best of my ability with my set, with a mix of puzzles, aesthetically pleasing levels, some overlap, some melee, all mixed throughout.


That's pretty much my story of how I got here. Now, if anyone could suggest a fun set that's not too hard for me to just play through, I'd appreciate that. It's been a while so I have no idea what the best ones are any more :V

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