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Busted level

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A busted level is a popular term used by most Chipsters to identify levels, in whole or part, that are solvable in a way different from how the level is designed to operate. Busts are usually accidents on the part of the level designer and often do not require Chip to perform all the intended tasks - most infamously, amassing the computer chips. Sometimes, a level may be intentionally busted because the designer judges the solution is more appealing and/or instructive, or for some other reason ad lib.

The term bust, as a noun, refers to the part of the level which does not work properly, or the method by which the level is broken, such as an ice space next to a force floor which allows Chip to pass it. As a verb, bust describes the actual action of finding the bust and using it.

Minor busts most frequently add very little time to the intended method and usually involve skipping one specific aspect of the level in an unintended manner, while still maintaining the intended solution's core traits; major busts are the opposite, being generally responsible for cutting the solution down significantly, and always changing the core objective of the level.

A special category of solutions that are not busts are "secret" solutions, as they are intended based on the basic elements of the level design and, chiefly, are written into the levels for the inquisitive Chipster. Castle Moat and its hidden flippers, and Glut and its special exits guarded by teeth, are two famed examples.


Most of Chip's Challenge 1's busted levels are by consequence of either the changes in boosting between the rulesets or the Controller and Boss Glitch. True errors are rare, as they would be possible in either ruleset.

CCLP2's busts still contain these varieties, as the levels they are part of were loans from the earliest custom level sets, usually by Tyrethali Ansrath and Eric Schmidt, constructed in a time period with subtractive knowledge of the Chip's Challenge mechanics and glitches that would lead to these busts. Its non-Lynx compatible nature, allowing for invalid tiles and combinations of tiles that had not previously existed, is responsible for unearthing further mechanics of gameplay that were discovered along with the busted routes, such as transparency and erasable tiles on the lower layer of the grid.

By the release of CCLP3, common busts were essentially eradicated thanks to a greater diffusion of game resources (including this wiki) even among the amateur audience, and any bust due to MS vs. Lynx rulesets was either remedied or was so minor that it did not affect the "unequal" disqualification factor for CCLP3 voting. Due to an orientation towards logic and puzzles, the specifically ordered sequences of tasks that make up many CCLP3 solutions were more convoluted than in the past, thus increasing the propensity for design faults. Fortunately, the aptitude of the pre-release playtester panel had also increased accordingly, with J.B. Lewis and Mike Lask among them, and the vast majority of such busts were averted before release.

CC1 Busts[edit]

Busted due to designer error[edit]

  • Hidden Danger (major): Chip can exit via teleport with no chips required in either ruleset.
  • Fortune Favours The (major): Chip can sneak through a gap in the fireball stream - the fireballs are 3 tiles apart in MS, 2.5 in Lynx - rendering the block superfluous.
  • Cake Walk (major): There are significantly more blocks in the upper right room of the level than necessary to reach the items in the water below, which allows to block the clone machine and circumvent the sokoban-like puzzle in the upper left section. It is also possible to use the suction boots to sneak around the locks and use the first red key for the exit section, without having to fetch the second red key from the fire room.

Busted due to MS and Lynx differences[edit]

  • Monster Lab (major): Chip can sneak through the stream of walkers around the exit, though this requires an immense amount of luck. In Lynx, since walkers are no longer random, a different bust is required: Chip can use block slapping to shove a block off the fire barrier to completely stop the walkers from cloning.
  • Invincible Champion (major): One bug is pointed the wrong way and in the wrong monster order, disrupting the intended structure of the level where Chip aims gliders into the bugs to disperse them; the different treatment of monster movement in Lynx means this solution is required.
  • Block Out (minor): Pink balls die in fire in MS, so a block is not needed to shield Chip as he walks through the northwest room. It is also theorized that the water section in the southwest is a designer error bust, as Chip still has flippers and can simply swim across.

Busted due to Controller and Boss Glitch[edit]

  • Problems (minor): A paramecium does not activate another row of pink balls which would interfere with collecting the chips, though this does not change the intended objective of such section.
  • Nightmare (minor): There are several monsters that never release, or release at such a time that accounting for such release is less complicated, simplifying the intended route.
  • Miss Direction (minor): Some monsters fail to release, making the level slightly easier in MS.
  • All Full (major): In MS, Chip does not need to fill the west fireball room to stop the bugs from being cloned.
  • Trust Me (major): A yellow key's guard bug doesn't clone until Chip has already made off with the loot - in fact, the 293 route is complete before this happens.

Busted due to boosting changes[edit]

  • Three Doors (major): A force floor behind ice which guards the exit from one direction can be overriden.
  • Traffic Cop (major): Chip requires no blocks to reach the green button (although he can use one to cut a shortcut through the water, making the round trip a lot faster).
  • Scoundrel (major): Chip can simply override directly into the exit.
  • Mix Up (major): Chip can use the ice strip around the outside to bypass an entire block pushing section. This bust saves the most seconds in any CC levelset to date.

Possible intentional busts[edit]

  • Tossed Salad: The socket is missing. Originally in Lynx, this was unintentional by designer error, but the level was left unchanged for MS and, in this version, is an intentional bust.

CCLP1 Busts[edit]

Busted due to designer error[edit]

  • The Last Starfighter (minor): With extreme luck, Chip can clone only 3 blobs and have the 3rd blob clone further blobs, saving 1 second. In the Lynx ruleset only, additional blocks can be cloned in the northwest and the dirt tiles they are bouncing against snatched without dying, saving 2 seconds. In MS, no amount of slide delay will allow this approach with all chips taken. Finally, with luck beyond even that Blobnet's Melinda time requires, a blob can wander all the way into the trap button room and spare Chip the trouble of releasing walkers, saving a further 4 seconds.
  • Design Swap (minor): Chip can manipulate the bugs and toggle walls to avoid having to push the block onto the trap button, instead trapping a bug on it. This is 1 second slower in MS and 1 second faster in Lynx.
  • Colors for Extreme (minor): Chip can use only one recessed wall per visit to the ice room, therefore allowing the second block to be used to hold down the trap button, rather than the glider.
  • Black Hole (major): Under the MS ruleset, Chip can lead the bugs into the teleports and still be able to safely travel through them in the horizontal direction. Thus, Chip can grab all the computer chips and use the teleport at (20,21) to exit, rather than the one at (23,8).
  • Bowling Alleys (minor): In the second room, Chip can use two blocks to create a nail, then ram a block below the trap button. From there, Chip can push the block up over the down force floor, which skips taking a third block up the alley.
  • Time Suspension (minor): Chip can use the first block to deflect the lower walker onto one of the 2 bombs in the top half of the hourglass.
  • The Sewers (minor): A combination of slide delay and the Headbanger Rule allows Chip to skip bringing 2 of the 3 blocks intended to stop the gliders to the central force floor slide.

Busted due to Twice Step Glitch[edit]

  • Graduation (minor): Chip can release a teeth into the teleport towards the end, then click on the other teleport while the teeth attempts to enter it such that he slides across, reaching its other side two seconds quicker.

Busted in Lynx only[edit]

  • Booster Shots (major): Under the Lynx ruleset, Chip can obtain a block from the pink ball room and use it to blow up the bomb guarding the exit.
  • Communism (major): Due to differing monster and toggle wall interactions, Chip can force 2 gliders into an alcove only intended to pass one through. This saves approximately 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Metal Harbor (major): Under the Lynx ruleset, Chip can save 1 block from the right side of the level with a block slap across the fire. In MS, this device takes 5 blocks but only 4 in Lynx. The final island also holds minor shortcuts with block slapping off of fire.

Intentional busts[edit]

  • Frozen in Time (major): No chips are required because all monsters are "frozen" and made to be ineffective obstacles while frozen.
  • Easier Than It Looks (major): As per the title, the level looks difficult at first glance, but it can be coasted through without the need to collect any chips.
  • Chip Alone (minor): Partial post puzzle can be skipped by allowing the fireball through the teleport.

CCLP2 Busts[edit]

Busted due to designer error[edit]

  • Maze of One Way (major): Chip can override a force floor next to the suction boots.
  • BuggyWall (minor): A green lock was substituted accidentally for a yellow one, so the yellow key is not required.
  • The Search for the Exit (major): The buried trap guarding an exit in the middle of the level can be erased by the teeth placed at the start of the level.
  • Just Enough (minor): One section of the ice rink is not blocked by invisible walls, such that Chip can use three blocks to trap two of them inside the rink using the previous block, allowing Chip - with correct timing - to catch the blocks as he slides past that section rather than slide all the way back to the clone block each time.
  • Blocks 'n Bombs (major): Chip can push a block through the teleport and use this to terminate the cloning fireball stream guarding the exit, rather than use the block reached in the level's final section.
  • Wormwood (major): By leaving specific chips in the starting room untaken for a period of time, Chip can keep the continuous stream of fireballs muzzled long enough by the teeth in the room for Chip to exit.

Busted due to Controller and Boss Glitch[edit]

  • Dangers of Fire and Beasts (minor): Some red buttons hooked up to teeth clone machines can be pressed since it is possible to kill the teeth later, but only if one of them is released south from a trap when it was facing west originally.
  • Trapped (major): The paramecium may not always clone in time to block Chip from collecting a blue key, because its boss is a blob.

Miscellaneous causes[edit]

  • Flame Boy (major): Chip can use a spring step to minimize time spent under the control of the force floor at [0, 1], keeping a block next to him just long enough to use the Headbanger Rule and leap into the exit. This applies to the boosting changes as well, but its other elements are otherwise uncategorizable.

Busted in Lynx only[edit]

  • Zartacla (major): The hot block guarding the exit can be sidled L by block slapping, opening the exit immediately from the start.

CCLP3 Busts[edit]

Busted due to designer error[edit]

  • Replay (minor): Chip can avoid the socket entirely by cloning blocks in the southeast corner, pushing them into and out of room 4 and building a nail to cross the force floors into the exit; this is, unlike all other officially recognized busts, slower than the bold route. The bold utilizes a separate bust, where the Steam style of room 4 allows Chip to swim out of the room with flippers and across water in room 8 when a bridge was intended, and still finish room 4 later.
  • Lead Us Not into Temptation (major): Chip can, with exceptional fortune, sneak through a corridor of walkers as with Monster Lab and reach the teleport sequence that brings Chip to the water-protected exit without losing his flippers to thieves. Although there are many intentional busts scattered throughout the level, this was never intended.
  • Twisted Chambers (minor): Because it is possible to reach the green button at [18, 5] from the teleport at [27, 18] without negotiating any new obstacles, and there are enough blocks to hold down the traps in front of this teleport at all times, the blue and yellow keys that eventually access a different green button are not required.
  • Mr. McCallahan Presents (major): With a combination of slide delay, a flick and a dirty trick Chip can completely break the levels intended sequence, scoring a time up to 34 seconds faster than the intended route. An 803 route can be seen in the public TWS.

Miscellaneous causes[edit]

  • Cheap Shots and Dirty Tricks (minor): Because two clone blocks clone directly onto force floors and never move again, slide delay results. In the northwest room, Chip can combine the slide delay with a spring step to sneak behind a block without being smashed, even though the block is pushed onto a force floor that repels it straight back. Without slide delay, even a spring step is not enough.

Busted in Lynx only[edit]

  • Billiards (minor): Hints can deflect fireballs from the first room onto some brown buttons, when further block maneuvering would otherwise be necessary.

Intentional busts[edit]

  • Go Back to Start (major): There are sufficient blocks in the section to the right of the level to build a bridge out of the recessed wall maze in the southeast, bypassing the socket. Mike Lask intended this level to have multiple solutions including this possibility.

CCLP4 Busts[edit]

Busted due to designer error[edit]

  • Split Path (minor): In MS, the player is able to path through the beginning of the level without ever having to pick up the yellow key.
  • How to Retune Your Harp (major): In MS, the player can obtain two red keys from the block room, enter the teleport below the green button then boost north upon exit. The player can pick up the suction boots and use the second red key to head straight to the exit.
  • Dual (minor): In MS, the player does not need to open the green lock in the dirt room to allow the tank to pass, because the dirt tile above the tank, if not collected, will stop it.
  • Bam Thwok (minor): The ice skates can be grabbed from the bottom section after the player obtains the suction boots from the top-right section, avoiding the partial posting puzzle.

Busted due to Twice Step Glitch[edit]

  • Lean Thinking (major): The entire level relies on a mechanism which puts a walker in such a position that it will kill you at the end of level if a green button is pressed. This mechanism can be entirely avoided thanks to the twice step glitch by clicking on the exit and sneaking past the walker.

CC2 Busts[edit]

Busted due to designer error[edit]

  • Mazes (minor): The blue key is not needed since the skates can be obtained directly.
  • Quick Thinking (minor): The keys are not needed.
  • Rail Bowling (minor): The bowling balls used to clear the tank and bomb can be thrown at them directly, rather than through the railroad tracks.
  • Strict Process (minor): Because the mirror Chip's room contains acting walls, the order of the chips and the sunken floors can be bypassed using very specific movements. This saves several seconds in the optimized route but is not likely to be encountered in casual play.
  • Avalanche (minor): There is no socket in the level.
  • Maze of the Obeyor (minor): The second maze can be solved with the fire boots instead of the suction boots, saving some time, though it requires setting the random force floor.
  • Bowl to Freedom (major): Chip can enter the exit from the bottom rather than the right.
  • Re:Think II (major): Boots can be dropped in such a way that the fireball toggles the switch, making the red key, ice blocks, and bowling ball extra.
  • Venice (minor): Some of the itemswapping can be skipped by using the fire boots to pass the flame jet instead of using the lightning bolt to deactivate it.
  • Swivel Motel (minor): The suction boots can be skipped.
  • Phase Four (major): Chip can enter the exit room through the switch door rather than the red teleport, skipping all the chips. Chip can also block the bug cloner with the skates, making the bonus flags much easier.
  • Bombs Quad (major): Ice blocks and directional blocks can clear the water and bombs behind the exit.
  • Practice to Perfect (minor): The player can fill in (3,27) instead of bridging all the way to the left side. The player can also bring a key from that corner to the ghost section, or 2 keys if the player bridges to the left anyway.
  • Thinktank (minor): The 2 yellow doors by the blocks do not need to be opened.
  • Hired Hand (minor): There is no socket in the level.
  • Slambam (major)
  • Clone (minor): The dirt block cloner in the bottom left is not needed. The water can be cleared with just the ice block and time bombs.
  • Dysphoria (major): The ice block cloner can be used to bridge to the exit, bypassing the sockets.
  • Spare Me (major): The teeth can be lead out of the room, saving a bowling ball for the directional block and skipping the railroad puzzle.

Busted due to ice corner ramming[edit]

  • Ice Dancing (minor): The cloning stream can be stopped by an ice corner ram. This doesn't make the level much easier, but it does make the bonuses somewhat easier, since the player can just hold down to move most of the blocks out of the way, as is done in the score bold route (see level page).
  • Ice Threat (minor): The cloning stream can be stopped by an ice corner ram. If pulled off successfully, this makes the level easier, but it costs time.

Busted due to block slapping[edit]

Miscellaneous causes[edit]

  • Hotkeys (minor): The flame jet can be traversed with precise timing, removing the need to push a directional block on the orange button.
  • Freeze Frame (major): Collecting a time penalty while the time is frozen with less than 10 seconds will set the time remaining to 1, but will never kill the player until time resumes. This behavior can be used to clear a lot of time penalties at the start, then picking up some time bonuses to bring the time limit back up before resuming the timer.
  • Onion (minor): The switches have a one-tick delay before changing the states of the switch doors connected to them, which means Chip is allowed to leave each switch in whichever state he wants before moving to the next.
  • Obstacles (major): The switch door blocking the exit can be opened by pressing its corresponding button as Chip rather than clearing a path for the ice block.
  • Breaking In (major): Instead of the usual partial posting, the player can push 3 blocks through the same teleport which will cause the 3rd block to be stuck on the teleport and effectively remove that teleport from the network. The player can then walk across the opposite teleport as if it were floor.
  • On the Run (minor): The player can override the yellow teleport and wait until the tank reaches the other teleport, and then take their time.
  • In & Out (minor): The transmogrifier puzzle can be skipped by using the yellow teleports to override the force floor guarding the red key.

Possibly intentional busts[edit]

  • Clueless (major): The itemswapper can be skipped because the gray button puzzle is solvable.
  • Da Bomb (major): Only 2 items are needed to get the block across.