Help with some Atlas puzzles

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WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

For Atlas07:55 serpentarium, this is one of the easiest and brain-less snake type level. It requires almost no thinking at all.
If you didn't mention about this level, I would say this is a beginner level.

I feel stupid for the third time now. I could never see this solution. I was trying everything, but could not get past the lower section. I kept blocking myself. Your solution is fewer moves than any of my attempts. I bow to the master. Smile

WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

For Atlas08:27 dungeon of horror, this is a variation of checkerboard type level.

I am seeing how it goes now, but it will take me abit longer to find the solution. You may consider this to be an easy puzzle, but I do not. I like having the difficulty, as it helps me learn. As usual, once solved the puzzle becomes easier.

WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

For Atlas10:82 Four zorro's, not sure what you're really stuck on.
It's very easy to see that it's really four identical levels joined together to form one level.

I knew that it was as simple as solve one part and the rest comes easy. It was solving the one part that was hanging me up. Once again, the obvious was eluding me. Thanks for all of your help, Ben. It is my hope that all this will lead to me being better able to discern the method of unlocking puzzles that to me have seemed impossible.

ben
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Joined: 2012-04-02

For Atlas03:45, you can get it to this position and then can start filling the top and call it done:


  

I can easily give you the solution, but that defeats the purpose of learning.

I think it's somewhat of a cheat to give out the picture above.

There are at least 3 ways to figure out the "ending box placement" as I have shown above.

Thru analysis of deadlocks, it is possible to figure it out.
However, I wouldn't recommend this method for this level because it's a bit tedious.
It requires a great deal of knowledge about deadlock and space usage.

Another way to figure it out is what I called the "box placement" method. Just use any level editor and manually place the boxes. As long the box placement doesn't cause a deadlock, it is ok. Again, it requires some knowledge about deadlock and space usage.

The third way, you probably guessed it, is to use reverse mode.
From your picture and description, it just means you don't know how to use reverse mode yet.
Like I said before, in reverse mode, before you make any move, you can actually place the player anywhere you like in the level -- of course it needs to be an empty space in order to place the player.

You can only do this at the beginning of reverse mode prior to making any move. When you start reverse mode, the player is in the same position as in the normal mode. The tool doesn't know where you will end the level in the normal mode, so it just default the player in the original start position.
Since when you solve the level, the player is very likely in a different part of the level, you cannot assume that after you solved the level you can still move the player to the same position as the original start position. For most level, you cannot do that.

As such, in reverse mode, very likely that you have to move the player to a different position before you start making pulls.

From what you've described, you didn't even know how to move the player yet. I can imagine that every time when you see me write "reverse mode", you must have your eyes rolling already. There's nothing to be afraid of in reverse mode. Let me tell you how to use it.
Once you enter reverse mode, you can use the mouse to drag the player to any empty space where you think the level may end, then you start pulling boxes.

Like I said, I wish this site allows posting pictures.
No, I will not bother to create the screenshot and then load it on other sites and then link them here. It's not productive.

I hope the description above is clear enough.

WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

I did not realize that you could drag the player to a different position in reverse mode. If I had known that, it would have made a big difference. Thank you for the diagram above. I did see that you didn't give it all away. There are boxes that I still have to reposition in order to move the remaining boxes. I figured those out while studying the diagram.

I do not understand how such simple things can escape me so easily, but they do. With your help I can now add to my knowledge base of puzzle solving strategies. Reverse mode has been a bane to me because I did not properly understand how to use it. Since this thread began I have learned exponentially about it, and about solving puzzles that otherwise seem impossible.

Thank you again, Ben, for your patience and your explanations. While your diagrams may be "cheating" to some extent, they are invaluable to someone who is not getting it and needs that extra push.

My next goal after completing Atlas is to solve all of the Aruba series. What I have learned with Atlas, and from you, will make solving the Aruba series much easier.

WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

The only puzzles that remain unsolved are dungeon of horror and four zorros. Dungeon of horror only requires that I find the correct placement of the boxes to complete the solution, which I will find soon enough. Four zorros, however, has a different problem, though it also is a matter of correct placement. It appears that the top quadrant has a different solution order from the other three. While the left, right and bottom quadrants allow for both sides to be accessed, the top quadrant only allows one side to be accessed. The layout of the boxes and goals suggests the same pattern as the other three, but the lack of access to one side from outside the quadrant means that solving this one the same way is not possible.

I have been trying every combination I can think of and nothing works. The only solution I can see is removing the wall block at Q8 or the wall block at N9 to facilitate reaching areas not accessible from outside the quadrant. I am sure there mut be a solution that does not require altering the puzzle, even if I do not see it.

Can you offer any clue to this?

ben
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Joined: 2012-04-02

Like I said previously, for Atlas08:27 dungeon of horror, this is a variation of checkerboard type level.

For almost all checkerboard type and variation levels, line up the boxes in rows, or columns or a mixture of row and columns is enough to solve it.

I even gave you the reverse order moves to unlock the boxes:

[]uuLurrddlDruurLLLurrLLurrrLdrrLLdddrLuurrrLurrLLurLddddrLddrdrdrruru rururuuuuullldUrrdUrddllllluLddrUrUUrrrrddllllddUUrdUrrdUrddllllddUUrd UlldUlddrdR

In case you didn't know, you can just copy the moves I have above and paste it into YASC (but you need to load the level first), and it will automatically do the reverse mode moves for you. You can even step thru it move by move.

Basically, you can combine the best of both worlds.
Combine reverse mode (doing pulls) and normal mode (doing pushes) to take advantage of the offers.

All you need to do, is to play the game in normal mode and push the boxes to the same configuration as in the reverse mode, then the level is solved.
This is one way to solve a level using both reverse mode and normal mode.

The real power of reverse mode is really to tell you where the level ends? how the level ends? how the boxes are placed before you can solve it? what goals can be filled first; and if done properly, can tell if a level is solvable or not.

WayneCa
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Joined: 2014-07-13

I have used your reverse mode lurd to see what you are showing me. Finding the way to produce those straight lines in normal mode is proving more difficult, but I am working on it. That is not the puzzle I was asking about in my last post. I was asking about four zorros.

From the above post:

Four zorros, however, has a different problem, though it also is a matter of correct placement. It appears that the top quadrant has a different solution order from the other three. While the left, right and bottom quadrants allow for both sides to be accessed, the top quadrant only allows one side to be accessed. The layout of the boxes and goals suggests the same pattern as the other three, but the lack of access to one side from outside the quadrant means that solving this one the same way is not possible.

I have been trying every combination I can think of and nothing works. The only solution I can see is removing the wall block at Q8 or the wall block at N9 to facilitate reaching areas not accessible from outside the quadrant. I am sure there mut be a solution that does not require altering the puzzle, even if I do not see it.

Can you offer any clue to this?

I have assumed that four zorros is solvable, or there would have been mention of it somewhere on the net. I am not seeing how to solve the top quadrant when it appears to require access from two sides to be solvable.

ben
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Joined: 2012-04-02

>>> I have assumed that four zorros is solvable,

It is solvable.

The truth is, all of the levels from Eric are easy.
And if there are any unsolvable levels, you would have heard from other people already and the level would have been fixed on this site.

As such, you can just assume all levels provided on this site are solvable unless mentioned by somebody that it is not.

For the four zorros level, I was meant to show you how to solve one side and you would do the rest -- even if one side is not exactly the same.

Usually, for symmetric levels or near symmetric levels, if all sides are the same except for one, that's the one you need to pay more attention to. It's either more difficult or requires a different strategy or sometimes it would be the place to end the level -- once you solve it, you cannot move to other sections of the level.

In this case, it's just requires a slightly different strategy.

It turns out that all sides can look like the UP (north) side, there is no need to access on both sides to solve it.

The best way to learn is to study the moves and see why it works.

If you study the moves for the right (East) side I gave before, you should be able to see the trick.
The trick is really about filling the two goals (V11 and X11) on the center row.
Once that is filled, the right hand side 3 goals can be filled and the rest is easy.

For the other three sides, the idea is the same.
Let's take the UP side for example, once you figured out how to fill the N4 and N6 goals, then the top goals can be filled. The rest are easy.

The thing is, once I gave you the solution, it's very hard to learn anything from it. Even if you remember the solution 100%, it doesn't really help you in the next puzzle that you cannot solve.
It's best to learn thru struggle. Better yet, is to learn the basic tricks in solving Sokoban levels. Stopheart gave a very good summary in his tutorial. I will try to translate that summary and post it here.

Below are the moves to solve the right and up sides from the puzzle's beginning:

  Moves/Pushes/Box-lines/Changes/Steps/Pusher-lines: 321/62/42/33/36/148

I urge you to not to view the moves above, at least not right away.

Try to solve the UP side thru analysis of the goals.

ben
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Joined: 2012-04-02

Below is a summary that stopheart posted in his tutorial for basic skills for solving Sokoban levels:

1) First, need to figure out the order of things:
like order of fillings the goals, order to open the paths, order to push boxes.
Knowing how the level ends is very important, this can be figured out thru analyzing the goals.
In most levels, look for the area in the level with the most spaces, usually that's where the level will end.
However, many excellent levels will try to trick the player on where it ends.
Study the level carefully to avoid traps and pitfalls.

2) Need to figure out all the available spaces in the level and how they may be used.
Knowing where the spaces are can help you immensely in solving the level.

3) Need to setup paths in the level to access all the areas, at least need to be able to
access all boxes that you think you need to push in order to solve the level.
Don't easily close a path unless you think you have to do it, always think more than twice before doing so.

4) Deadlocks, need to recognize them.
Deadlock is a situation in which no matter what you do, the level will be unsolvable.
Needless to say, you should avoid deadlocks at all costs.
The better you''re able to recognize deadlocks, the quicker you will be able to solve levels.

5) Patience, you need a lot of it.
What is patience?
When you have tried it for many hundred times and still were not able to solve the level;
when you tried it for days, or even months and is still stuck -- but you didn't give up.

6) If you're stuck, try to systematically try every path, push every box. As long as it's not a deadlock situation, it's ok to push it.
Sometimes, doing so will lead to new situations where you have never seen before and may lead to a solution.

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