LEVEL 098 - SHRINKING

Kevin Gordon
Monday, October 20, 1997 2:04 PM
email to Chip's site

There are nine islands surrounded by pink balls swirling on ice. Each island gets smaller, hence the name "Shrinking." You start on the island in the middle (think of it like a Tic-Tac-Toe board). The exit is at the upper right. The basic pattern is a big letter G, starting at the center and spiraling out to the exit. You should move RIGHT first. Stop before crossing the ice to allow a pink ball to pass. From here on it's all luck-and-timing! Then move DOWN to get the second chip. Move LEFT, and LEFT again. Move UP to the fifth island, and UP again to the sixth. Then RIGHT to get the last chip, and RIGHT into the exit. So much for the easy part.

The difficult part is knowing when to jump. The basic rule is that you need TWO (or more) ice spaces between balls to jump across easily. That's no problem on the early islands, but by the time you get to the end, it's downright tricky! Pause once after getting killed trying to enter the exit and you'll notice eight balls and eight ice spaces. Every ball is one space from its neighbor - with ONE exception. The balls travel counter-clockwise here, so as the PAIR of pink balls comes over the top, you can jump in front of them and into the chip socket and the exit. (I assume this level has to be done without stopping to get a high score, since I'm still a few seconds off!)

"But I don't WANT a high score - I just want to complete the level !!" For the others out there, that is why there are blocks. It is possible to create completely safe paths on the last two or three islands by shoving blocks onto the force floors that point INTO the islands. If you pick a pair of force floors on the same side of an island where both floors point across the ice, you can create a safety zone to slide across. First, place two blocks on the first force floor, then one block on the other (You'll need two blocks on each because a single block will bounce off the walls and back onto the force floors without a supporting block to lock it in place). Now for the luck. Bring another block to the second force floor and wait for the area between the floors (and now, blocks) to clear itself of pink balls. Then shove hard and hope that the blocks lock into place before a ball can sneak back inside. If you are successful, you can then slide across the ice between the blocks in complete safety. With practice, you'll need this only on the last two islands, and eventually, not at all.

Happy sliding!

Kevin Gordon

Kevin Gordon
Tuesday, December 09, 1997 5:34 PM
email to Chip's site

I'm now getting a consistent 337 on this level. It surprised me, because I actually got "stuck" for a few Chip "grunts" in the lower left corner the first time it happened. Since I was sure I wasn't going to beat the high score, I didn't stop from there to the end, but the timing ended up being perfect! Go figure! Anyhow, I have a great way to get to the bottom corner with hardly a stop on this level, so I thought I'd share it. If you start out running fast to the right, the first pink ball will always "get" you. So I start the level by hitting the spacebar as my first "step". The I go RIGHT until I get the first chip, straight DOWN to one space BELOW the second chip, then LEFT through the bottom center island until I reach the lower left island. Then it is necessary to "pause" about a half step before entering that island. Then move L3 U2 and wait for a series of three pink balls, each separated by only one space of ice. If you jump IMMEDIATELY after the third ball, you can run to the EXIT nonstop.

Kevin Gordon