Pro tip: A medium difficulty skill chain in Tetris Attack

Today we're going to look at one of the slightly more advanced skill chains you can do in Tetris Attack / Puzzle League, something that I'm going to call a Delayed Skill Chain.

Starting with this puzzle here

we first slide the Green Tile to the right so that it falls down and creates a 4-combo

Then, moving quickly, we move the first Yellow Tile over so that it falls on the Green Tiles as they clear

Then we (quickly!) move the second Yellow Tile over to the gap between the two that are already there

So that it falls to where the Green Tiles were before the other Yellow Tiles fall

So when they do fall, you get a quick chain!

And since it's a little bit easier to see the timing in video form, I've prepared a short clip for you

Pro tip: creating squares in The New Tetris

The New Tetris is one of the many, many versions of Tetris to have been released that just barely tweaks the basic formula. This one introduces the concept of Squares.

As you're playing this game, you're going to want to create 4x4 squares of blocks. You can do this by using different pieces, which will yield a silver Multisquare

Or you can do it with all of the same shape piece, which will yield a gold Monosquare

Now, why would you want to do such a thing?

Every line that you clear that includes one of these squares will give you Bonus Lines. And since Lines is the only way to keep track of what your score is, that becomes fairly important fairly quickly to get one of those really high scores.

Pro tip: forbidden glitches

Occasionally you'll run into instructions for a few glitches for your favorite games (typically NES games) that require you to do something that your operations manual (you totally read that, right?) expressly told you not to do: to partially remove the cartridge from the system while it's powered on. I don't like these glitches for a number of reasons.

First, removing (or inserting, for that matter) a cartridge while your system is on has the potential to damage your system, your cartridge, or both (admittedly kind of rare, but still possible). Consoles typically aren't designed for hot-swapping.

Secondly, the results are completely unpredictable. Most of the time you're just going to freeze the game and that'll be the end of it, but occasionally something will happen. Your character will gain superpowers or (more likely) your inventory of special items will be completely scrambled. And, if you can continue, you're going to have lots of in-game stuff to play around with... maybe. Which will be great, until you try to do the trick again which brings me to:

Thirdly, the trick is nigh unrepeatable. Since you're working with trying to get a moderately complex program to glitch out by partially removing it from its system while it's running, there's almost no chance that you can repeat the glitch with any kind of regularity. I'm sure that minutes after this goes live I'm going to get inundated with emails telling me how wrong I am, but the point stands. The effects are essentially random.

So, potential hardware damage combined with unreliable and unrepeatable results? Yeah, I'll stick to programming errors and easter eggs, thanks.

Pro tip: Sometimes completing challenges is its own reward

Pokemon Snap is a game about taking pictures of pokemon, which should be fairly obvious from the title.

You just kind of go around taking photos, getting them graded, and getting points for them.

Eventually, you'll open up 'challenge scores', one for each level.

Now, what do you get for exceeding the challenge score for all of the levels?

Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

Other than the satisfaction of knowing that you've bested the last challenge the game could throw at you, which counts for something, right?

Pro tip: playing as Gargos

If you've played Killer Instinct Gold for any length of time and gotten more than terrible at it, then you've probably run up against the brick wall at the end of the game, Gargos.

"He cheats", you probably think to yourself, "but I'd sure like to play as him, since he's way overpowered".

Well, then go right ahead!

Turn on the game and wait a while for one of the character bios to pop up.

Then hit these buttons on controller 1:

Z, A, R, Z, A, B

Done right, you'll hear Gargos's devilish laugh. Then start up a game and check out who's between Maya and Jago

Pick him and go to town.

He's kind of tough to use, though, so you might want to take him to training mode first.

Pro tip: Getting 50 Conkers

Conker's Bad Fur Day is tough, but not that tough. But, you might need to have some help getting around in the world.

So, go to the Cheat menu.


Go into any stage and zing! 50 spare squirrels!

Maybe with more tries you can progress faster? Couldn't hurt.

Pro tip: Pipsy is for pro players only

Diddy Kong Racing is just all kinds of weird. You have anthropomorphic animals racing go-karts around an island to get magic balloons from a blue elephant-genie to liberate said island from a maniacal wizard pig. Standard stuff.

One of your choices to help liberate the island is a diminutive mouse named Pipsy. Pipsy is a little slow, and kind of light, so she's hard to control. But if you can control her, oh man, you've got something here.

One thing you have to know is the controls. Your basic controls are A to go forward, B to brake, and R to do a sliding turny-thing.

Two things to remember, then, is: the slower you go, the tighter you can turn; and pressing R to turn means you can take a slide around a curve and turn without losing much speed.

The thing we want to do is combine them into one super-technique. Let's take a course, any course at all. How about... Star City?

The thing about Star City is that it has these brutal right-angle turns right in the middle of the track. Lame!

But if you combine the gas, the brakes, and the slide-turn-thing, you can totally take the turns without even touching the walls. She hugs that track like it's velcro.

Which is kind of tough to see in these shots, so I've prepared a (4MB) animated .gif file to show it in action here. I almost botch it because her control is just so tight. Pretty awesome, really.

Pro tip: Wave Race 64, Ride that Dolphin!

Wave Race is all about racing Kawasaki branded jetskis through a variety of waterways, which you could probably have gleaned from the title. But, nestled within the cartridge is one ride that I'm pretty sure Kawasaki doesn't yet have a patent on.

Okay, so go to Stunt Mode and pick Dolphin Park.

Then complete the course by doing all the stunts (handstand, spin across the handlebars, stand up (and do backflip), a left barrel roll, a right barrel roll, a backflip, and an underwater dive), while simultaneously passing through all the rings on the course. A pretty tall order, actually.

If you don't know how to do some of these moves, I'm pretty sure they're detailed in your manual, which you totally still have, right?

But if you're successful, you'll hear dolphin noises, and you'll notice that the riders are riding dolphins on the title screen, a good sign.

So now pick Championship mode, normal difficulty, and warm-up. While you're choosing your driver, hold Down (the direction) on the control stick (or pad, it doesn't matter which).

Once you get to Dolphin Park, you should be riding on your very own dolphin.

You can do pretty much anything on your dolphin that you could do on the Jetskis, barrel rolls and back flips are pretty fun.

There are a couple of tricks you can't do, like standing up on it, but I think that's understandable.

Pro tip: Tetrisphere's vortex

Any way you think about it, Tetrisphere is weird. You're playing Tetris on a sphere (duh) with some bizarre little robots.

But what would happen if, say, you went to start a new profile and named it 'vortex' (without quotes, obviously)

You'd hear a sound like you did something, but nothing would happen. Odd.

If you push and hold down the Reset button on your console, however...

A black hole appears and sucks the game's characters into the void! And it'll keep on repeating as long as you hold down the Reset button.

Pro tip: A use for Mischief Makers' gold gems

The Nintendo 64 game Mischief Makers tasks you with collecting gems of all kinds of colors, green

blue and red

are the most common, but there are also the elusive Gold Gems. Gold gems give you lots of health, but they're kind of rare.

You'll notice that there's one per stage, and some stages have them pretty well hidden... like the boss stages. You have to defeat the boss without taking a hit, which is a pretty tall order. But, what are they good for, other than a minor health boost?

Excellent question!

Turns out that they're a kind of currency you use to purchase the ending sequence. You start watching the ending and your gold gems are up in the corner, slowly counting down.

Eventually, you'll see the credits, and assuming you've got a healthy amount of gems left over, you might assume that you've seen all there is to see until...

Now you're going to want to have lots of gems left so you can see the rest of the story. There are some excerpts after the jump, which are slightly spoilerish if you haven't yet played the game. But, hey, the game's over 10 years old at this point.

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