Help with some Atlas puzzles

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Joined: 2014-07-13
Help with some Atlas puzzles

Hi everyone. I hope you all had a good thanksgiving (for those who celebrate it). Over the past few weeks I have been solving all of the 1001 Atlas series puzzles. Of the 1001, I have 16 puzzles that the solutions are evading me on. All of the others are solved. The puzzles I am having trouble with are:

Atlas02:15 miracle - solved
Atlas03:18 horror square - solved
Atlas03:45 build a xmas tree - solved
Atlas03:49 nice tricks - solved
Atlas04:44 sparkling thinker - solved
Atlas04:62 sun seakers - solved
Atlas05:26 brain teaser - solved
Atlas05:31 duffy - solved
Atlas05:37 back looping - solved
Atlas06:85 return of the spiders - solved
Atlas06:92 doodle noodle - solved
Atlas07:55 serpentarium - solved
Atlas07:69 rattle snake - solved
Atlas08:27 dungeon of horror - solved
Atlas10:82 Four zorro's - solved
Atlas10:83 Four zorro's 2 - solved

As usual, I am not asking for complete solutions. I am looking for clues to help me understand how to unlock them so I can solve them. If any of you are familiar with any of them, and can provide such a clue, I would appreciate the assist. I have tried using reverse mode and have been unsuccessful in getting any clue from that mode.

Thanks in advance for any assitance rendered.

Joined: 2014-07-13

Today I was able to solve Atlas03:18 horror square, so that one is removed from the list. Yesterday evening I was able to solve Atlas03:49 nice tricks, so that's another one off the list. I noticed that this forum does not allow the strike html tag, and has no bbcode equivalent. I was going to use it to strike through the puzzle names in the previous post as I solve them. I will update this post from here out to show which puzzles have been solved.

Atlas02:15 miracle
Atlas03:18 horror square
Atlas03:45 build a xmas tree
Atlas03:49 nice tricks
Atlas04:44 sparkling thinker
Atlas04:62 sun seakers
Atlas05:26 brain teaser
Atlas05:31 duffy
Atlas05:37 back looping
Atlas06:85 return of the spiders
Atlas06:92 doodle noodle
Atlas07:55 serpentarium
Atlas07:69 rattle snake
Atlas08:27 dungeon of horror
Atlas10:82 Four zorro's
Atlas10:83 Four zorro's 2

Joined: 2012-04-02

I wish this site supports posting pictures.
It is a lot of extra work to upload pictures to other sites and then link it here.

Using a screenshot as a hint is the best way to do it.

Joined: 2014-07-13

Pictures are definitely the easiest and best way to provide hints, but I have only seen one forum that supports images uploaded to their site. All other forums have required using external sites and linking to the images.

I am quickly running out of ideas for solution for the puzzles that remain unsolved. I am just not seeing how to unlock them. I do not pretend to be a great puzzle solver, nor do I pretend to be of any greater intelligence than the average person. Any help I can get will be appreciated.

Joined: 2012-04-02

ok, let's try one and see how it works out.

For the "Atlas02:15 miracle" level, it's actually easy.

For the goals, there are generally two ways to solve it.

One way is to fill the bottom-left goals first (but don't close the path). Like this:

  Level: '
Notice' Nr: 0 Collection: ' test in C'

Another way is to fill the goals at the top section first, like this:

  Level: '
Notice' Nr: 0 Collection: ' test in C'

(from this position, you can continue filling the top goals by pushing the box below the player down by one unit, then push the box to the right to fill it...etc)

I find it easier to fill the top goals first, but you may like to fill the bottom-left 4 goals first, either way works. Whatever you're comfortable with is ok.

Generally, all of the levels you mentioned here are on the easy side.
If you find any goals to be difficult to fill, or want to find out the order to fill the goals or want to know what goals can be filled first, it's best to use reverse mode. And for whatever reason if you think space is tight, you can go to any level editor and make the level bigger to add space to make using reverse mode much easier. Remember, your intention is just to see the order on how fill the goals, so it's ok to add more space to the level to make your life easier.

For the "Atlas02:15 miracle" level in question, it's easy to see that there are at least two ways to fill the goals.
Using reverse mode, you can try both ways in less than a minute.

I know some people may find reverse mode confusing at first, but once you understand the basic concept, it's easy to learn. And once mastered, you can improve your solving skill drastically.
The basic concept is this: basically you play the level in reverse order where all goals are already filled with boxes, you just need to pull apart the level. Since you can end the level anywhere in normal push mode, in reverse mode, before you start pulling, you have the choice to place the player anywhere you like -- where-ever you think the level may end. If you're ever stuck in reverse mode, just think about how you would push it in normal mode, and then do it in reverse.

In short, that sum's up everything about reverse mode.

Joined: 2014-07-13

I have been using reverse mode, but it still confuses me more than helps me.

The issue with puzzle 15 (and most all of the puzzles I am having difficulty with) is not how to pack them, but how to unlock them so that filling the goals is achievable. I can tell that you used reverse mode to create the positions you show in your images, but they say nothing about how to arrive at a solvable arrangement. Below are 6 images. The first is the start position showing all boxes (balls in the skin I use) in their default locations. The 2nd through 6th images show each of the boxes that are movable, and where they can be moved, from the start position. You will notice that none of those positions provides any clue as to how to reach the point where the boxes can be packed into the goal cells in the arrangements you show in your images. What I need is a shot of the puzzle in an arrangement where it is unlocked, with only those boxes on goals that were already that way, or are necessary to achieve unlock. I can figure it out from there.




Joined: 2012-04-02

Though I mention reverse mode a lot, as a way to get people quickly improve their solving skills, I don't really use the method often -- unless I am really stuck.

I don't get stuck often.

For the two "intermediate" positions I mentioned above, I don't need to use reverse mode to see it. I purposely solve the level using two different ways just to show you that it can be done.
If I use reverse mode, you can easily tell that the box positions will not look like that.

Just to show you one of the way, here are the moves to get you to the position of the second "picture" where I try to fill the top goals first:


And as you can tell, my moves are no way optimized.
The same position can be reached with a lot less moves.
The important part is to show you how it can be done.
There are many ways to do it, this is just one of them.

I call this type of levels easy because there are goals to be filled easily . As a result, it created more room to allow boxes to move.
A well-thought level will prevent the players from filling goals early and with just one unit of room to move boxes.
There is no sense of tightness in this and all levels in all the Atlas sets.

Joined: 2012-04-02

And if you don't want to match what I have shown in the second "picture", here's another easy way I just played, it's near completion:


Looking at the screenshots in your post, there's an easier way to see them in YSokoban, I just need one click, so no need to show 6 images.

If you look at the level, the beginning position, there's really no other way to open the level, there is just one and only one way.
That is to push the H4 box to I4, that will open up the path.
All other boxes will lead to deadlock.

In case you're not sure what H4 is.
It is a coordinate system where we use alphabets (A-Za-zAA-ZZ...) to name the columns and numbers (1-??) to name the rows.

So, the H4 box is the box located at the 8th column and row 4.
Sokoban For Windows v3 shows the position of this box as (8, 4).

I prefer to use this system instead of the (x,y) coordinate system because it's easy to use and we will never get confused.
I can say it's the H4 box or the 4H box, it means the same thing.

If you use YSokoban, you can press "CTRL+R" to see this "Ruler" displayed. I use this system alot with other Sokoban fans.

Joined: 2014-07-13

From the partial solution you provided, I was able to see what I have been missing. I tend to look for the shortest, most direct route instead of how many times I may need to go around. I thought I had learned this with big band, but I guess I didn't. It occurs to me that it is abit like chess, where you have to see many moves ahead (at least three) to see where the game is going. I need to look more moves ahead and see where I may have to repeat moves (not identically, of course) to correctly unlock the puzzle.

After about 6 attempts to unlock the puzzle while going back and looking at your unlock solution, I finally got it unlocked without having to refer back. From there it was a simple matter of finishing the solution and then looking for optimizations. While not heavily optimized, below is my first solution for the puzzle starting from the beginning and not referring back to your solution.

  Moves/Pushes/Box-lines/Changes/Steps/Pusher-lines: 444/96/54/33/50/228

Thank you for the help. Perhaps now I can find solutions to the other remaining puzzles.

Joined: 2014-07-13

The issue I have with Atlas03:45 build a xmas tree is that I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the last box on its goal. Below is the snapshot I have for that puzzle showing solution up to the final box. I have tried to solve this puzzle at least a hundred times and still have found no success at solution.

  Moves/Pushes/Box-lines/Changes/Steps/Pusher-lines: 13703/5545/1213/136/1205/4559

Likewise, Atlas04:44 sparkling thinker is another puzzle I get within one box of solution, but cannot figure out how to get that box on its goal. Below is the snapshot for this puzzle.

  Moves/Pushes/Box-lines/Changes/Steps/Pusher-lines: 2057/659/195/56/194/786

Atlas05:37 back looping is yet another one that I can get within one block of solution. The snapshot follows:

  Moves/Pushes/Box-lines/Changes/Steps/Pusher-lines: 1160/420/134/31/134/521

And Atlas06:85 return of the spiders is another:

  Moves/Pushes/Box-lines/Changes/Steps/Pusher-lines: 191/35/27/19/27/115
Joined: 2012-04-02

For Atlas03:45, please look carefully at the M4 goal at the top.
(that's the same goal that you cannot fill)
This goal can only be filled from the bottom (meaning from inside the tree). As such, it's impossible to end the level on the outside of the tree. In short, whatever attempts you have to try to end the level on the outside will be fruitless.

The M4 goal is very easy to see thru analysis.
However, if you have no clue about that, you can easily find out using reverse mode.
You don't even need to do much. Just play in reverse mode with the player on the outside of the tree and try to pull. You will notice that it's impossible to pull the box at the M4 position.

That just means it's impossible to end the level on the outside of the tree.

If you start with the player on the inside of the tree in reverse mode, then you will find it's possible.

The two goals M4 and M6 are contradicting goals if you try to end on the outside of the tree. Having both goals is already enough telling yu that in order to fill both, the player must be on the M column. Since there's no room at the top, the only place you can find room on the M column is inside the tree.