SPIRALS (VCZO)

Level 88: SPIRALS
Richard Field
This is actually not so bad a level. It is a race. What I did to solve it is to make a map. The level is 32 by 32, of which you can see 9 by 9 in the game window. This is only 8% of the level, so it is not easy to make the map. But once the map is made it is possible to plan a route to get the chips and beat the walkers. My strategy was to pick up the chips nearest the exit last, in order to block the walkers out. Follow this plan. Get the the first chip and travel Down through that chip. Continue along, and at the next chip you encounter, travel Down. At the third chip, travel Down. At the fourth chip, travel Down. At the fifth chip, travel Down. At the sixth, seventh, and eigth chips, travel Left. At the ninth chip, travel Up. When you get to the tenth chip, go Left back to where the ninth chip was, then Down back to where the eigth chip was, then Down. Now, when you get to the "U" near the exit square, go Down, Left, Up to travel the "U" and then continue on without picking up the chip near the exit square. At the eleventh chip, there may be walkers on the other side of the chip. Wait until they are going away from you and travel UP through the chip and head to the twelfth chip. At it, go Left and exit. My Best Time: 282 (118 seconds). It seems that there is a variation in the CC game that has a different level 88 for some people, even though the date on their CHIPS.DAT file is 07 September 1992 and is 108569 bytes long. Sent to me by Ruben Spaans is this l88-1.gif printout from level 88 that shows an extra wall two squares above the level's exit square. Strange. If anyone knows how this came about, please let me know.
Ruben Spaans
…I believe [my "corrupted" Chips.dat] is not corrupted. The only difference between [it]and the ["normal"] one … the blocked spot above the exit on level 88. I did a file compare, and this is the only difference… What's makes this a bit interesting, is that level 88 on both the Lynx and Commodore 64 is exactly like my "corrupted" version… Somehow the walkers aren't as aggressive on the C64 as on the PC, and therefore level 88 isn't at all impossible on the C64 (I haven't played the Lynx version, so I can't speak for that one). My theory is that Microsoft converted all the levels from the Lynx, with too [little] playtesting. Later they discovered that level 88 was way too difficult, so they patched it. Surely you know about all those non-working trap buttons and clone machines, so apparently they slipped up on many levels. But that's just my theory about level 88… For the technical minded, the level 88 difference in [is?] at byte offset $EC5C in the Chips.dat file. The blocked square version ("corrupted") contains the byte $09, while the open square has the byte $00. So everyone with a hex editor can fix their file.
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