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The Devil Dice FAQ version 1.1 First created/released January 3, 1999. Most recent version released March 15, 1999. Compiled by Mark McEvoy (firstname.lastname@example.org) with much help from Norman Richards (email@example.com) Additional contributors: Brian Kennedy (through usenet discussion, stars: 38, 49) T. Dang (through usenet discussion) Scott Scriven (star heads-up: 48, 52, 75) Eric Heimburg (star heads-up: 47) Warren Man-Son-Hing (star heads-up: 50, 99) Eric Ellingson (star heads-up: 63) Brian Osman (star heads-up: 44, 85) G. Pong (star heads-up: 81) John Talbot (webpage, star: 34) Jim Krieger (by-the-hint help) Thanks, everyone! Table of Contents: A: Information 1: What is Devil Dice, or Why Should I Buy This Silly Dice Game? 2: What does "Alea Jacta Est!" mean? B: General 1: How do I unlock the nice pretty pictures to play on? 2: How can I go faster than the default maximum speed setting of two stars? 3: Is there anything I should know that the manual doesn't explain well? 4: Are there any bonus modes or 'easter eggs' in this game? 5: Are there any web pages dedicated to Devil Dice? C: Puzzle Mode 1: How many puzzle levels are there, anyways? 2: What do the stars mean? 3: On which levels are stars attainable? 4: How do I get past puzzle #xx? 5: Are all levels solvable by the given hint? D: Trial Mode 1: When I'm done playing, I get three letters beside my score. What do they mean, and how do I improve them? 2: What's a good score? E: Multiplayer Modes 1: How does one's strategy for multiplayer differ from one-player mode? 2: How do I speed up the computers in a Wars game with no surviving humans? F: Advanced Strategy 1: Are there any general attitudes or tactics that lead to better scores? 2: How can I get a really high Chain? 3: How can I get a huge Maximum Chain Score? A: Information A1: What is Devil Dice, or Why Should I Buy This Silly Dice Game? Devil Dice (also known as Xi, its original Japanese incarnation) is an action strategy puzzle game that requires some quick thinking, not entirely unlike Tetris in that regard. Similarities to Tetris, or any other of the puzzle genre, end there. The object is to roll a bunch of dice around on a playfield, trying to get six sixes, or five fives (and so on), to line up. When they do, you score points, and they start to vanish. Adding more dice to vanishing ones leads to combinations, which net really big amounts of points. But these details are all better handled by the manual and in-game tutorial, so all you really need to know is that it's fun. Oh, and if you like multiplayer, it has a great 2-player mode and a vicious 5-player mode, as well. A2: What does "Alea Jacta Est!" mean? "The Die Is Cast!" - Julius Caesar B: General B1: How do I unlock the nice pretty pictures to play on? The fifteen pictures are unlocked by the following accomplishments: 1 : Finish all of puzzles 1 through 10 2 : Finish all of puzzles 11 through 20 3 : Finish all of puzzles 21 through 30 4 : Finish all of puzzles 31 through 40 5 : Finish all of puzzles 41 through 50 6 : Finish all of puzzles 51 through 60 7 : Finish all of puzzles 61 through 70 8 : Finish all of puzzles 71 through 80 9 : Finish all of puzzles 81 through 90 10: Finish all of puzzles 91 through 100 11: Record Unlimited Level Reached (30 or better) 12: Record Score in Unlimited mode (10000 or better) 13: Record Chain Size (20 or better) 14: Record Score in Time Limited (4210 or better) 15: Record Maximum Chain Score (250 or better) B2: How can I go faster than the default maximum speed setting of two stars? There are (to my knowledge) three 'triggers' for increases to maximum speed. One happens when you get a grade of at least 'BBB' in unlimited. The other two increases happen at 'AAA' and 'XXX' (see D1 for more info). B3: Is there anything I should know that the manual doesn't explain well? One thing got me - if you move a one beside a sinking die, it destroys all ones *except the one you're standing on*. Of course, if you're on the ground and pushing the one, all ones including the pushed one are removed. B4: Are there any bonus modes or 'easter eggs' in this game? Yup. For one, there are nice pictures you can earn the ability to play on, as outlined in B1. There're two speaking rules demonstrations that are activated by pushing the control pad right on the title screen. And when you finish ALL of the puzzles in puzzle mode, stars float down from the sky when you replay a puzzle. Or so I've heard - I'm not that patient. B5: Are there any web pages dedicated to Devil Dice? Indeed. For review links and puzzle solutions, go to John Talbot's page: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/7893/dd/dd.htm C: Puzzle Mode C1: How many puzzle levels are there, anyways? There are 1100 puzzles! The first 100 are unlocked in rows of 10 when eight of the preceding row of 10 are solved. When all of the first 100 puzzles are solved, 'Random' mode is enabled - 1000 more puzzles, every one consisting of six dice and 20 steps allowed. C2: What do the stars mean? On the first 100 levels, you get a star if you complete the level in fewer than the given number of steps allowed. This often means ignoring the given hint - that hint usually leads you to a solution taking exactly the suggested number of steps. On the next 1000 levels, you earn one star if you complete the puzzle by joining all six dice as sixes. You earn a second star if you do it with all sixes in 14 steps or less. C3: On which levels are stars attainable? I have attained them on these 23 levels: [levelnum(steps/allowed)] 13(5/6) 19(4/9) 23(9/10) 26(6/8) 34(5/7) 38(11/12) 44(6/7) 46(8/9) 47(6/9) 48(10/12) 49(8/9) 50(9/10) 52(7/9) 55(11/12) 59(12/14) 63(10/12) 75(5/7) 81(6/7) 82(5/6) 85(6/7) 86(8/9) 87(10/11) 99(10/12) Thanks to everyone who tipped me off about a level being star-solvable! Please email me if you know another that's attainable. Just give me the level number, let me figure out how to do it. :) C4: How do I get past puzzle #?? This FAQ would be enormous if I went through each level with a how-to. If you've tried to start the puzzle as per the given hint and had no success, then go your own way. Many puzzles are much easier solved by joining some twos and pushing in a one when everything else has been positioned ones-up. Dare to be different. As a last resort, there is a walkthrough page out there, courtesy of John Talbot. See question B5 for the link. C5: Are all levels solvable by the given hint? They are. Thanks to Jim Krieger for starting this quest, and John Talbot's walkthrough page for finishing it.(55 took me forever - and I don't know why) D: Trial Mode D1: When I'm done playing, I get three letters beside my score. What do they mean, and how do I improve them? They're grades - the first representing your achievement in score, the second in chain size, and the third in maximum chain score. Required amounts for each grade are as follows: Score: D : 0 - 999 C : 1000 - 9999 B : 10000 - 49999 A : 50000 - 99999 X : 100000+ Chain: D : 0 - 4 C : 5 - 9 B : 10 - 29 A : 30 - 49 X : 50+ MCS: D : 0 - 99 C : 100 - 249 B : 250 - 499 A : 500 - 2999 X : 3000+ D2: What's a good score? Well, this is entirely subjective, but I'd say you're doing very well if you can get into the A's - 50,000 unlimited score, 30 chain, 500 MCS. In time limited mode, a good score is about 5000. A great score is in the 10,000 range. I've heard of 140,000, 180,000 and 240,000 scores in time limited mode, but those people are superhuman. :) Be very happy if you break 10,000. And don't be too dissapointed if your time limited scores are dwindling in the 1000 range - keep plugging away, and the big scoring combos will come. E: Multiplayer Modes E1: How does one's strategy for multiplayer differ from one-player mode? The most important issue is ownership of a chain, or more appropriately, the lack of ownership of a chain. Since anyone can steal an easy victory by rolling one die into your hard work, don't let them. Roll over your sinking dice so they're unavailable for theft. Roll over your opponents, too - more for demoralization than anything else. Don't be afraid to ride the same die as an opponent and waste time and foil their plans. Honourable play is unrewarded and therefore stupid. :) Be as nasty as possible. E2: How do I speed up the computers in a Wars game with no surviving humans? Hold down the triangle button to see the remaining computers play at superfast speed. F: Advanced Strategy F1: Are there any general attitudes or tactics that lead to better scores? Yes. Do the puzzle mode - it'll force you to teach yourself some devious tricks. Take your time - you usually have plenty of time to set up what you want - it's the panic that kills. Never let your feet touch the ground - the 'random' dice appearances strictly adhere to Murphy's Law. Watch out for potential 'accidental triggers' - when rolling a die towards a chain, careful you don't roll it 2-up next to another 2, and so on. Never count on the continued presence of a die at rest with a 1-up. And, very importantly, increase your speed! Go to options, and set your speed to the fastest available - it will pay off, trust me. F2: How can I get a really high Chain? In general, take your time setting up a situation where you always have multiple routes back to dice 'continents' from your sinking 'island'. Be patient. Now, if you want a REALLY high chain, you can try this trick: in Unlimited mode, let the entire board fill in (avoid 1's and inner-row 2's) except for a 4x2 "Pit" in the center. When a new die comes in, roll it to a 2-up and wait for the next die. Roll the next die into a 2 to join the other. Wait for the next die, roll it into the combo. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. This tactic can be used to attain the 'ultimate' chain of 999, and 'ultimate' score of 999,999. Watch out your brain doesn't ooze out your ears, though. F3: How can I get a huge Maximum Chain Score? In general - just work at it. I don't have any real advice beyond the chain advice above. The above "Pit" trick will do it if you have a lifetime to spend. Another trick which I will better document in a later version is known as the "Dragon Chain", which involves creating a snakelike 'braid' of properly aligned 1-up dice, then 'unwinding' the braid into a HUGE series of sixes. Uh, that's all. Any comments/corrections/additions, feel free to email me.