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Welcome to the Digging Tutorial!

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make the most of digging, that is, if your intent is to find Treasures. This tutorial is not for you if you just want to complete a Map. Learning from this tutorial, you will be able to get higher scores in Excavations like Fire God Mountain and Monkey Palace.

The BasicsEdit

When you Dig on any Map, a message will appear telling you how close you are to a buried Treasure.

  • If no message displays, you aren't near one.
  • If the message reads "Treasure Really Close!" in red text, there is a buried chest within one space from where you last dug.
  • The message can also read "Treasure Nearby!" in orange text, which means that there is a chest buried within 2 spaces from your last dig.

Treasure Close-dlgTreasure Near-dlg

So Lets Begin!Edit

If you want to find loot fast, you need to determine the best spots to [[Dig], not in terms of where you think the loot is, but where will Digging cover the most spaces and return the most useful information.

Lets take a look at this screen shot of Fire God Mountain:

Fire God Sample-dlg

Now lets turn it into a grid we can use:

Fire God Sample 2-dlg

To get the most of out this map the quickest, we need to identify those places that are open, away from borders and not yet dug in. This is a clean map of the first level of Fire God Mountain and is intended to be very easy, so lets take a look at where the first best possible dig location is:

Fire God Sample 3-dlg

The green square is our dig target! I chose this location because it will give me the most information. If the feedback reports no treasure message, we know that that entire location has no treasure at all. But if it returns "Treasure Nearby!", we know that its in the yellow ring of squares. And better yet, if we get "Treasure Really Close!", we know its in the red ring of squares.

Lets Assume for a second that the buried chest is located in the blue square. Since its out there in the second ring, I would then get "Treasure Nearby!". But that's a lot of squares to have to search. The next dig could be a 1 in 16 chance! Actually since only 7 squares in the outer ring are NOT in lava, its only a 1 in 7 chance, that's not so bad. But lets take it one step further!

We need to identify smaller areas we can check to get another high information output. Take a look at this next step:

Fire God Sample 4-dlg

In this step I have grayed out all the areas we KNOW that the treasure is not in. The green spots are again dig targets. You can see that its down to 1-3 digs at this point instead of 7 digs...or even 16 digs!

  • If you choose the top green square, oops, no treasure notification. So you know its none of the top section. Thats a total of 4 digs.
  • If you chose the bottom green square, you will get a "Treasure Nearby!" notice, so you know that the only spot you could dig in next would be the blue square. Thats a total of 3 digs.

You could also switch the bottom green spot one to the left, in which case it would have gone like this:

Fire God Sample 5-dlg

  • If you choose the top green square, its the same as before.
  • If you chose the bottom green square, you will get a "Treasure Really Close!" notice, so in this case you would be left with two options instead of one to choose from; the blue and the red square. Thats a total of 3-4 digs.
  • In the worst case scenario, you might have gone with the top one first, then the bottom one, then two more digs to find it, for a total of 5 digs. Still, thats under 10, but not so good.

Lets Try Another One!Edit

Here's one thats slightly harder; Fire God Mountain Floor 3. Its not much harder, but it gives me an example of how to show you what I call "corner checking".

Fire God Sample 6-dlg

The bottom green spot would be my first choice because it returns the most information, but you could start with the top if you had a hunch that it might be up there. If you didn't get a response on the bottom green spot, I would definitely try the top one next. Assuming your treasure is not out in the gray section, this map could also go very quickly for you.

Lets assume for this map that the blue spot on the map below is the buried treasure. That means we would have gotten a "Treasure Nearby!" message. That leaves a 1 in 13 chance to find the chest. That's pretty crappy, so lets find a way to bring that number down.

Fire God Sample 7-dlg

Again I've grayed out all the spots we know are NOT the treasure. These two green spots will both reduce the end dig count substantially. Both the top and bottom dig would report the same "Treasure Nearby!" message and would knock another 9 digs off the total. So far we'd be up to 2 digs! BUT you only need to pick one of the two digs. Doing both of the digs would be totally wasteful, so lets assume you took the top dig.

Fire God Sample 8-dlg

Any of the green spots or even the blue spot is a good choice. The red spot would be a poor choice for your next dig because it would return "Treasure Really Close!" leaving you with another dig to make with no idea which way to go, up or down??

  • If you choose either of the bottom green spots you would know immediately that it was not down there, so you would not pick the other bottom green spot. Your total digs would fall between 4 and 5 digs. Not bad.
  • If you choose the top green spot, you would get "Treasure Nearby!" once more and then would know exactly where the treasure was. Your total would be 4 digs.
  • If you choose the blue spot, you got it in 3 digs!! Great!

Easy Levels, Looking BackEdit

There is a definite system to finding treasure on easy maps, but there is one thing I did differently on Floor 3: I started with an area that gave me less information than I did for Floor 1.

The dig spot I used at Floor 1 had lots of space that was filled with lava, but still had a lot of searchable spaces. Using the lava to my advantage, I was able to reduce the number of both red and yellow search areas. This greatly reduces the time it takes to find a treasure on a small map.

The dig spot I chose for Floor 3 did not have a lot of lava spaces and so I was left with a lot of yellow, and even more red. But I was lucky to have chosen that spot for my first dig because had I chosen the top initial green spot, I would have added 1 to my dig total. Sometimes it just works out, and on larger maps, luck may play a large part in determining your dig total.

Easy Levels with a Fire Shovel!Edit

Lets say you have a Fire Dig or two and you want to increase your score greatly. And you will, simply by using Fire Digs! Lets go back through Floor 1 and use some...

Fire God Sample 9-dlg

By placing your initial dig in the green spaces, you can effectively get all the info you need for the entire first floor. The fire dig also gives up to three treasure messages!

In this example, you would only get one treasure message, and it will be positioned over the bottom most dig square. That greatly reduces your future digging from 26 to 2!! How is it 2? Because the other two spaces gave no message, so that means that the treasure is NOT "Nearby" either of them. So it can ONLY be the blue square or the yellow one beside it.

  • If you choose the blue space, you got it in 2 digs!
  • If you choose the yellow space under the blue one, you got it in 3 digs, because you would get the "Treasure Really Close!" message and know it was the only other square.
  • Using a Fire Dig, you've already reduced your starting score by 1 to 2 digs, thats excellent over a total of 14 floors. Now you are going for gold!

TriangulationEdit

So far I havent gone over any good rules for finding the treasure when you get the "Treasure Really Close!" message. So lets take a look at this small example:

Fire God Sample 10-dlg

Lets say you just dug in the dark grey spot, and you got the "Treasure Really Close!" message. Lets use the blue space again as our buried chest. Your odds of randomly picking the spot is 1 in 8, which is pretty bad at this point. When you get into this situation, your score is most often going to get worse. So here is a tip on what to do, assuming you don't just want to guess:

Fire God Sample 11-dlg

The example on the left assumes you picked the left side. As you can see that leaves you with 3 options to choose after you get the "Treasure Nearby!" message. But it did reduce your digs down from 8.

  • If you think its in the middle, you got it in +2 digs (+2 to your score before you got to this point).
  • If you choose either the top or right corner, you immediately know its the middle because you will get a "Treasure Really Close!" message, and the rest of the squares were previously ruled out. You get +3 digs.
  • Warning: If the blue square was instead in one of the yellow spots, having chosen the blue spot as a dig would give you a score of +3 to +4 because you would get another "Close" message and have no idea whether to choose top or right. You might have to do both.

The example on the right assumes you picked a space closer to the target. Instead of three choices you are left with 2.

  • Its a toss up, and either one will tell you the answer if you miss. Your total score gains +2 to +3 digs.

So in either scenario, the worst case is +4 to whatever you had before, as long as you play smart. The only way to get a better score than that is by luck of the dig.

Fire Dig SweepingEdit

If you have a ton of Fire Digs, you might want to try sweeping! Take a look at the previous example again:

Fire God Sample 10-dlg

You know your target is "Really Close", but you dont know where it is. You can get it in 2 digs or less with the fire dig! Here's how:

Fire God Sample 12-dlg

You have three choices, but you should stick to just two. Lets first go over the bad choice and why not to use it. If you "sweep" the gray squares again, you only checked two squares and you will get another "Close" message. Each square "sweep"ed will give a message, but in this situation it doesnt help you know to go top, bottom, right or left.

Now lets look at your good choices. Lets say for example that you miss and "sweep" left to bottom where the orange squares are: Each square will report "Treasure Nearby!" again. You would then know that the gray squares were empty, but it wouldn't tell you top or right, or in between. To get the prize in only one more dig you would need to guess or use another fire dig, "sweep"ing the green and blue areas. Good for you, you get +2 digs to your score. And if you were lucky enough to choose the top to right sweep in the green section, good for you, you add +1 digs to your score instead.

So you can see that using Fire Digs in this situation can help, but not by much. Is it worth it? It might be if you are in a hurry, have very little energy left, or if you are one point from Gold Level. Otherwise, dont bother; your overall score can only benefit by 2 points maximum.

Now check out this example using fire digs with a "Nearby" message:

Fire God Sample 13-dlg

Assuming you just used a fire dig in the orange spaces and the blue spot is the treasure, you would have gotten three "Treasure Nearby!" messages. That reduces your choices to the green, yellow and blue spaces.

  • If you have no more fire digs, you would want to target the two green spots. Targeting the lower green spot tells you that the blue spot is the treasure, you gain +2 digs to your score.
  • If you choose the top green spot, you know that its not up there at all and then you have to do the other green spot. You gain +3 digs to your score.
  • If you "sweep" the bottom strip, you get +1 dig to your score, but if you had to "sweep" both, that is still +2 digs. It may be worth it to try in certain instances, but your overall score in this situation is only reduced by 1-2 digs.
  • If you don't have any more fire digs at this point, you would probably not want to go for the top middle or even the blue space. If you chose the top yellow, and then had to pick the bottom green space, your score would be +3 digs. But you could get lucky with the blue space and then you only got +1 dig to your score. Then again, if you took chances on every dig, you wouldn't be reading this.

Looking Ahead to Larger MapsEdit

Now that you have a good idea of where to place that first dig, or if you have to, where to place all those digs to get the best information from a map, you can probably start seeing something I noticed a while back...

Many of the maps are set up for you to take advantage of this!

Many of the "rooms" on a map are no more than 5x5 or are of some combination of two diamond shaped rooms. Here are some shapes you might find on some of the Fire God Mountain and Monkey Palace floors, just start with the green squares:

Fire God Sample 14-dlg

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