It seems to be an acknowledged fact that the Candy Cove stage in Christmas Carol is the deadliest, most hated level of the game. I know I hate it with the burning passion of ten-thousand suns, and many people have expressed their deep distress at losing life after life of an otherwise successful play run, once they reach that level -- especially on the higher difficulty ranks.
However, year after year, basic statistics extracted from the player's entries of the Carol vs. The World! Championship reflect a different reality: Frosted Maze, the second stage of the adventure, is as deadly -- and at times even deadlier -- than the infamous Candy Cove itself!
To me this is not only surprising, but very disturbing, for I find this level to be one of the easiest ones. It is a stage in which I can always get a Perfect Score, no matter the difficulty, and no matter how many mistakes I make. In fact, time after time, I make mistakes and keep hitting that Ghost and resetting the presents -- but no matter how long it takes, I always manage to recover by cleverly exploiting the "platform" level design to keep the Snowman away.
This leads to fun sessions of several minutes to complete a single board, losing the presents as fast as I can pick them up, until eventually I complete it. Always a "Perfect" score.
So in order to help those elves who for some reason or another haven't manage to figure out the Frosted Maze environment, I present to you...
The Frosted Maze Solution.
Here's a video of me casually playing this level. Notice that there is no real pattern, and no real strategy, just an overall idea of where to go.
Things to note on that video that may help you succeed:
- Once the Snowman enters a "platform," he is committed to it until he gets to the other side. Use this to your advantage by making sure to stay on the opposite side of where he's going.
- Avoid the center platforms; there is a split level in there that helps the Snowman be able to switch directions and get on your tail.
- If you must enter the center platforms, stay close to the tunnels and flip back and forth to make sure you are always in the opposite side of the Snowman. Then, when the coast is clear, dash in, pick up whatever, and return to the tunnel!
- Try to pick up the center candy first. Presents and Snowflakes you'll get while running around, but that center is dangerous and clearing the candy will help you get a Perfect score.
- Mind the candy and snowflake positions around the presents -- especially on the last one! Remember that once you enter a "platform" corridor you will get stuck in that direction if the Ghost or Snowman enters after you. That means that, if there is a candy or a snowflake after it, you won't be able to get from the side you're on if it is the last present.
- Try to clear candy first, ignore presents (mostly). Stay close to a tunnel, wait for an appropriate moment when the coast is clear, dash in and pick up some candies surrounding the presents, then bolt out and back to the tunnel area. With the screen cleared of candy, it's easier to get a perfect score.
- Take your time, don't rush. Use the tunnels as a safe spot and clear the board by sections: go in, pickup, get out and back to tunnel. Wash, rinse, repeat until you get all candy, snowflakes, and presents.
- Remember that when you pick up a present, the Ghost will turn around and go to it! It is best to just wait until he is away to pick one up.
- Remember also that a Snowman will flip directions if you eat a Snowflake, so make sure he is in another level or far away before eating one.
- Ignore the Ghost (mostly). Your enemy is the Snowman, who can kill you. The Ghost is annoying, and it is certainly frustrating to lose all your presents in a flash; but don't fret. As long as you avoid the Snowman, you are still in play, and you can recover. Go back to the tunnel area and do the dash-pickup-escape routine again.
I know that people may have patterns for this level, but I don't think they are necessary. I feel it is more fun to actually use some clever techniques to avoid danger, and observe the behaviour of the enemies.
If anybody else has any other tips or tricks on how to beat the Frosted Maze stage, please post them here.
Now, everyone, on to play and post your contest entries!
Edited by DZ-Jay, Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:34 AM.