The Bit Buster award on CCZone is worth 35g, and to obtain it you must reach a total score on the original set of 5,977,000+ points: in other words, you can afford to lose around 80 seconds total from the known theoretical maximum, and 56 from the publicly available routes. This seems quite daunting, and it's certainly not an easy task, but 56 seconds is a large amount of flexibility for the following reasons:
- That's 50+ levels you don't need to be perfect on.
- Roughly half of the set is easy to get the bold for.
- Of the 149 levels in the set, 29 are untimed. You just need to solve these for the points!
- This goes by James's site scoreboards/Tile World scoring, so if you're playing in MSCC you don't need the full level bonus: just the times.
Still with me? Well, I'm going to run down the sorts of times and methods I used to get there, along with what worked and what didn't work. Hopefully this information is interesting/helpful to someone!
Patience, persistence, practice. These are the obvious tenets that need to be followed. Don't expect instant results as this is a long process: likely over 20 hours of playing. Keep trying individual levels until either luck bends your way or you don't screw up, or both.
You don't get to jump from initial score to bold all at once, likewise you don't need to go from whatever score you have to the goal in one pass. Though I said keep trying above, don't be afraid to take a break from a level or the set in general: it's not going anywhere, and your score will be exactly the same when you go back.
Preparation is as important as the above steps: a good map or notes to reference during/between attempts will be invaluable. CC1 is incredibly well documented between the wiki, AVI archives and public TWS, and the community is helpful as well.
Don't take failures as discouraging, take them as an opportunity to learn. What led to the failure? For me, I rarely make the same mistake twice in quick succession outside of difficult execution sections.
Finally, the game has a pause button. The timer doesn't tick down while paused. This means you can pause to collect your thoughts mid-level if you need to. It's a tricky skill to learn to use effectively, but once mastered it can definitely help with more involved routes.
Ghosting is another invaluable technique. Ghosting is accomplished by making a copy of the level you're working on, altering it to reflect the relevant gamestate of a later section in the route, and playing that one part. I'll point out levels where ghosting is very helpful below.
If you can, have the editor up on the side of your screen. Being able to reference the full map while playing is a huge advantage over not being able to do so, especially on maze levels where the map can be edited to show information beyond just the maze. Mish Mesh and Chipmine are both made much easier by playing off an altered map of the level.
Though the untimed levels don't count towards score, they can be helpful to at least attempt in some cases as the skills they teach can come in handy. Don't bother with the long sokobans if you just want the score, though.
- Lesson 1 through Lesson 6 are very easy routes to execute. For Lesson 1, try to remember the entire route without references, but if this starts taking too long a map with the route notated on it can be useful. Likewise, Lesson 4 is somewhat long but the route is exactly what you'd expect. Lesson 7 is the first somewhat tricky level. It is only around 11 seconds long, but the boosting within can be a little unintuitive, so here's a mechanical interlude.
- Moves in Chip's Challenge fall into one of two categories: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary moves are the simple ones: you push the key, Chip attempts a move in that direction. Involuntary moves happen when an external force (ice, force floor, teleport) continues moving Chip after a voluntary move. These three types of tiles are sliding tiles. Moves also have two halves to them, as sliding results in a speed twice as fast as walking. So what does this mean?
- What it means is that if you're on the second half of a move and have not yet made a voluntary move in this move, Chip can move twice in quick succession: once on the back half of the previous move, and once on the first half of the next move. Functionally, this means that single sliding tiles subtract 2 tiles from the distance between 2 locations. It also means that your inputs must be at 10 per second for this section, instead of the typical 5 per second. As a final note, Chip always gets a free move after he finishes sliding, but the "spring slide" only occurs after sliding for an odd number of tiles.
- So for Lesson 7, every time Chip teleports, input the next two moves in quick succession. The force floors can be a little tricky, but once you get the spring slide rhythm down the level isn't too hard. Lesson 8 is a joke.
- (8/120 levels, 0/68 seconds)
- Nuts and Bolts is one of these levels. Skip it for now, we'll be back before too long. Score the bold on Brushfire as it's one of the easiest routes in the game.
- Trinity is similar to Lesson 7 in that you need to understand how to input in order to do well. In Tile World, Chip will automatically spring slide by holding down the key. This is good for boosts where the next turn is 3+ tiles away from the sliding tile. Likewise, if the turn is 1 tile after, pressing the first key and holding the new direction will work perfectly. These cover all but one boost in the level, and this one is a 2 tile spacing. The trick is to double tap the first key and hold the second: in this case, DDL as the spring slide. Once you get this down, the level loses a lot of its edge, especially as you do get one mistake. Hunt is a freebie.
- Teleblock has a few chained spring slides, but if you can get the first second correctly (D_LRLDR_U) and remember the route, it shouldn't take too long. Elementary through Iceberg don't have anything too difficult, though you do have to delay for [1/2] at one point in Iceberg without a mistake.
- Now back to Nuts and Bolts. Most of the level should be a cakewalk by now, with the exception of the ice section. Note that even though the AVI and TWS are perfect here, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT. This is something that takes some skill to learn to note, where gained/lost moves end up equalized. You can drop up to 3 moves in the ice section: 1 gets dropped at the first fireball, and a further 2 get dropped before the blue key. If you don't have to wait on the way down from the blue key, you're on pace.
- Forced Entry is quite difficult to get the bold on. Take a 290-292 on the first of these for now, and if your execution is good, go for the bold later. Attempts are very quick and in Tile World, you can hold keys for most of the level. The numbers here assume 290.
- Arguably the most difficult bold in the set belongs to Blobnet. However, Miika has kindly drawn up a 99% reliable route that scores 422. This may be 14 seconds behind the bold, but additional time can be gained on this by a reckless beginning (gaining increments 4 moves allows for the route to remain reliable) and by not waiting when blobs don't threaten chips that are about to be taken. For now, I'll assume you took the 422, but 428ish shouldn't take long later on.
- http://cczone.invisi...n-random-route/(video embedded in the description of the image)
- (21/120 levels, 17/68 seconds)
- Oorto Geld has exactly one difficult section: the beginning. There's not really time to reference anything while playing, so instead of trying to remember the rote moves, try to remember the goal of each move. The entire point is to separate and trap both gliders, and this is done with 5 blocks and a wall to trap them in a 1x3 space. It's a long level after the start, but nothing you can't handle now
- Blink is the first really good example of a level where notes help. But what kind of notes? The best notes for each person will vary, but I encoded which direction the teleport was entered (horizontal or vertical, though ULDR would work better) and how many chips were collected on the other side. For the 0 chip teleport runs, I would place how many times Chip had to teleport, and I also specifically marked the 2 tile spring slide turns mentioned at Trinity. This is a pretty tricky bold, but a 434 is doable.
- Chchchips through Ping Pong are easy enough: they might take a few tries, but compared to what's already been done they should go down quickly.
- Arcticflow is the first level where ghosting is helpful: placing Chip near the flippers and then running through the lower ice section is by far the best way to learn it, as the block pushing takes over a minute between attempts at the boosting. Thankfully, 302 allows for 4 moves to be lost, and 301 a whopping 9! I would take the 301 for now, as I spent a very long time on this and Blink during my own pass. The biggest tip for the boosting itself I can offer is to remember the odd sliding tile rule: floor - ice - floor - ice will drop a move to ice - floor - floor - ice.
- Again, Mishmesh is quite the challenge, but this time it's all in remembering which blue walls are real, and which ones are fake. I highly recommend playing off a map and finishing all early attempts to learn the ending better. Remember that on the way back, the paths are clear and near the end you can even use finished paths to see where the boundaries are. There are easier blue wall levels to remember, but this is the easiest CC1 has to offer. Good luck!
- (28/120 levels, 20/68 seconds)
- Knot through Ladder have nothing difficult again.
- Seeing Stars weighs in at a whopping 203 seconds of block pushing, and there really haven't been any illustrative levels for sokoban techniques yet. Lock Block and running through the route for On the Rocks (without worrying about time) can be helpful here, so we'll be back soon.
- Sampler through Refraction are more than manageable. Equalizers or a short length negate the more difficult input sequences, and notes for where to go when (rdul lulu anyone?) result in a breather stretch.
- Now back to Seeing Stars. My recommendation would be the pause and play technique: where you watch a segment in either AVI or TWS format, then play through it and pause your game. This cycle repeats throughout the level: it can be tricky to remember which direction is first to move, so this can be written down.
- Another method that works well is to note which blocks end up where, as well as their stopping points along the way. Remembering the 'double push' technique and how the bottom left works is key to this approach, but ultimately this level should be manageable to score bold on: you get one singular mistake, so don't stress about it.
- Monster Lab is where all score-players must make a choice. Perform the 8 second bust and score 292, or take the long 74 second mostly consistent route. This would use almost the entire 68 second buffer on its own, and require some of 436 Blobnet, finding Cake Walk and Spooks, and 443 Block N Roll. I highly recommend giving this level 10-15 minutes of attempts per day of optimizing going for the 292 since if you want a good score, you really do need the bust. However, if you don't care, take a 225 or 226 and move on. The numbers assume 292, eventually.
- (42/120 levels, 20/68 seconds)
- If I don't specifically mention a level, it's an easy bold that doesn't need noting.
- Pier Seven seems imposing, but you get 4 moves of mistakes and there are no sequences of more than a couple boosts. Mugger Square is the more difficult of the pair despite the shorter length: no time for notes, just input the strings of 4-5 quickly. You don't have to be perfect here either, but the cycles can get in the way if you aren't.
- I Slide is a perfect example of a note level due to how many long slides there are. I think there's something like 2 dozen inputs total across 95 seconds: perfection is required, but it's also easy to do.
- Grail has 1 move of buffer. Hold down across the first RFF since any left or right directions will cost you that move. Ignore the walkers as they aren't a threat, and hope for a lot of R pushes at the end. It's not a terribly difficult level, but the luck can add some annoyance.
- If you can do the ice section of Potpourri, you're set.
- Block Factory is an interesting case. For the start, either UR 4U or 3U R 2U will give the same result for reaching the button: I suggest the first one of these. Near the end, you need to half wait either before cloning a block or after getting the chip: I found the first of these easier to perform. When inputting a half wait, the rhythm is press wait wait press press, instead of press wait press wait press.
- Spooks is the another non-public bold. Take the 547 and move on.
- Amsterdam demands perfection for 397, and there's a lot of spring slides. Just keep trying and learn the muscle memory, but you'll probably want a 396.
- (61/120 levels, 22/68 seconds)
- Chipmine: notated map, just like Mishmesh.
- Eeny Miny Moe: ghost the bridge section, it's a lot of the same pushes over and over.
- For Morton, again you'll want to play off a map to know where the hidden walls are. I suggest editing the map further to not have dead ends at all, just showing the correct pathway.
- Ghost the beginning of Force Square. While you're at it, ghost the second half as well so you can get it right quickly. I didn't do the latter and had to get the beginning right almost a dozen times before I didn't choke the ending. There is one move to spare here, thankfully, so don't be pressured to be perfect. The numbers assume bold here.
- Up the Block isn't public, but it's not a terribly difficult route to find. I'll assume 297, though, just because it's nice to have some built in buffer space here
- Telenet can be quite a challenging level: the RLRLR LRLRL RLRLR run can be brutal to execute. Perfection isn't required, but catching up is nigh- impossible. For notes, the direction the teleport is entered + the next 2 inputs are recommended, combined with possibly pausing on each chip. The final run is 8 R inputs and ends on an R, so counting "1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4" while doing so could help. Like before, I'm assuming b-1 here.
- Spirals just needs notes for which direction to move at each intersection- nothing hard at all here!
- Why get such a huge lead, anyway? Two thirds of the levels done and only a bit over a third of the buffer used, what's the difficulty here? Well, the levels mentioned back at Monster Lab + the Block Buster series will heavily cut into that buffer, and we've only played 2 of those: including the 1 second level. There will be a 'cleanup' phase at the end where the times per player would start diverging: I took a weaker Block Buster, Cake Walk and Blobnet but scored nearly every other bold in doing so.
- Block Buster is a very difficult level to get a good score on. I have a 376 route uploaded, and I'll assume 375 is scored here. This is 27 seconds dropped, but the 375 isn't too bad to obtain.
- (82/120 levels, 51/68 seconds)
- Roadsign is a difficult route to score, with a lot of boosts and a non-public second to boot. The best advice I can give is to keep any runs going that don't ruin the route to build muscle memory in the southwest section. There are several moves of buffer from the public route here, and I think just about anyone could obtain a 649 here.
- For Shrinking, note down where the waits are required. It's only 12 seconds long, so getting every half wait should be manageable.
- Catacombs requires perfection for its bold, which is on the order of 1/655. Thankfully, finishing a run one second behind at 379 is fairly likely. If you're having trouble closing the gap for the last few seconds, this is a good place to look.
- Remembering complex routes are made much better with good notes, and Memory is no exception. What I did was notate out the direction each room is left in, with an asterisk denoting a button press. Each chip was replaced with a line break, making it easy to tell when they were supposed to be collected or ignored, especially in the southwest. It seems daunting, but you can do it!
- If you can complete Torturechamber, you can get its bold as the route is the same, just without stopping. The final chip may take a couple tries to grab optimally, but the level is short enough that this should be no obstacle.
- Chiller is another case of a memory route. Execution isn't too bad, with few boosts and timing sections. For me, noting and remembering the order in which the 5 slides were handled was all I needed to do.
- (102/120 levels, 54/68 seconds)
- Before long, you'll reach Block Buster II. This isn't quite as hard as the original, but it's still a ridiculous challenge to score well on. Unlike many other levels, I suggest practicing the first half in isolation until you're getting it most of the time. Due to varying slide delay on the bottom half impacting the top half, you'll have to restart any unsuccessful beginnings that are going for 714. I took a 713 here, but there is another option for the top half that loses about 15 seconds that I'll assume is used.
- I don't have a video of this method, but the gist of it is to number the chips from left to right, 1-10. Slide up and take chips 2 and 3, then push the lower left button. Blockslide the trapped block and take chips 9, 10 and 1. Slide onto the top left button on the way to chip 4, then take slide across both left buttons. Blockslide the trapped block again, and then push one up to where chip 3 was. Repeat with where chip 2 was, but follow it and push the chip 3 block to the right to reach chips 7 and 8. Navigate back to the bottom left button, slide one final block off the right column and push it up the third column of buttons to reach the blue key and remaining chips.
- I was able to get a 699 with this method, which wasn't played optimally.
- (103/120 levels, 69/68 seconds)
- Compared to some past levels, there's nothing too difficult here until Block N Roll and Skelzie come back to back. For the first of these, just copy the block pushing routes- I took a 437 after about 5 attempts, though 439 should be very manageable as some easy timesave later. For the latter, you're going to lose 1 second from Tile World no matter what you do (unless you're on MSCC, but the 454 is harder to execute than 453 is and 453 doesn't require perfection). 453 should be manageable after Slide Step and Block Buster II.
- For Totally Unfair, following the exact movements in the TWS or AVI solution are better than trying to understand why they're done. Manipulating a teeth blindly is.. not exactly the most fun thing to do, but the route is very similar to Totally Fair.
- Mix Up is a tougher version of Seeing Stars from way back when. I found remembering a few overall block arrangements and pushes helped, but the pause and play method works well again. The boosting at the end can be rough and dealing with the left teeth is no easier, but 682 (1 second off) should be attainable. No one said this journey would be easy!
- Partial Post has some tough boosting sequences near the beginning and end, and again b-1 (239) is a likely outcome.
- If you can complete Icedeath, you can get its bold as the route is the same, just without stopping. Take notes and play off of the notes, most of the boosts give you plenty of time to react and perfection is not required.
- Special is a huge breather after Cake Walk.
- Cake Walk is very hard to remember and almost as hard to execute. I have a 700 that uses an alternate bridging method, clearing the entire left side before using the blue lock to turn blocks towards the red key. This is much simpler to conceptualize and not much slower either, as all blocks must end up on the left wall. I'm assuming a 700 here as it's a nice round number and what I currently have, but if you can remember the public 712 then higher should be easily manageable.
- (120/120 levels, 95/68 seconds)
- Assuming you matched every target time above, you'll still be short 27 seconds until the award. 27 is a lot more manageable than it sounds, though! Here's a list of all remaining timesaves, from largest to smallest.
- Block Buster (27 seconds)
- Cake Walk (17 seconds)
- Block Buster II (15 seconds)
- Blobnet (14 seconds)
- Block N Roll (6 seconds)
- Forced Entry (3 seconds)
- Roadsign (2 seconds)
- Oorto Geld (1 second)
- Blink (1 second)
- Arcticflow (1 second)
- Spooks (1 second)
- Amsterdam (1 second)
- Up the Block (1 second)
- Telenet (1 second)
- Catacombs (1 second)
- Skelzie (1 second)
- Mix Up (1 second)
- Partial Post (1 second)
- As you can see, there are a few huge timesaves that can be used to help pick up 27 seconds.
- Any completion of Block Buster that gets a faster green key should be a high 38x, picking up 10 seconds. Cake Walk should have 6 seconds that are manageable. As mentioned earlier, Blobnet can be increased to a high 42x with very little risk, gaining 7 seconds. Assuming you don't want to mess with too much boosting, you'll need to improve Blobnet and Block N Roll a decent amount.
- Forced Entry should be much easier by now for 2 seconds, and Blink/Arcticflow/Telenet for their bolds.
- Catacombs is always an option for some luck based last second gain.
- Oorto Geld, Spooks, Up the Block, Roadsign and Cake Walk have 9 non-public seconds between them (1, 1, 1, 1, 5). Of those, only the middle is easily findable.
My personal recommendations:
Boosting focus: Forced Entry (3), Roadsign (1), Blink (1), Arcticflow (1), Partial Post (1), Telenet (1), Amsterdam (1), Block Buster II (10), Cake Walk (8)
Luck focus: Blobnet (9), Block N Roll (4), Catacombs (1), Forced Entry (1), Blink (1), Cake Walk (4), Either Block Buster (7)
"I just want to get this over with": Block Buster (27)
Overall, work out what works for you, and make sure to have fun with it!