Peggle Deluxe: FAQ/Strategy Guide

* PEGGLE DELUXE         *
* Inspired by Peggle    *
* Written by Mr. Burger *

Contact the author:

Game:       “Peggle Deluxe”
Developer:  PopCap
Release:    11 March 2009, US EU JP



While writing this player’s guide, I kept Peggle on in the background.  I had 
to.  This was so that I wouldn’t lose focus on what it was I sought to write.  
I couldn’t leave the game, lest my muse slip away or go flaccid or change form.

You see, there is a certain way of thinking about the nature of the way I 
experience my surroundings and its contents that only ever occurs to me as 
clearly as it does when I’m playing Peggle.  And I know others must share this 
sense of paradigmatic wholeness while playing, too.  Readers who have played 
Peggle for extended periods of time, late into the wee-most hours, squinting at
the screen through that solipsistic haze of delirium, surely must know what I 
mean, although it is hard to articulate.  Hard as eff.  All one can really say 
is that some uncommon aspect of ourselves is made known through Peggle play.  
Some hard, tight sphincter deep inside our minds gets a special chance to 
dilate only if and when we breach that 3rd or 4th consecutive hour of launching
ball bearings into peg-addled gameboards.  What is it?  I don’t know.  I am 
not here to give it a name.  I have merely known it, and can say that I have.

Regardless of its spoken intent, Peggle is ultimately all about This One Thing.
It is about this philosophical secret that can only be visited, never taken 
home.  Though PopCap did not perhaps intend for this to be the case, and though
in fact they probably only aspired as much as to make a fun game blending 
elements of Plinko, Pinball, and Bust-a-Move, that there is to the gameplay
this unique and eerie element is nevertheless so.



You know where the ball’s going to go when you first shoot it out into the 
board, that's what the arrow's for.

From there, however, things require a bit of fancy guesswork.  Which guesswork 
is, I must add, conspicuously and *addictively* different from random, stab-in-
the-dark-type guesswork.  That is to say, there is an element of *skill* to 
this bit of guesswork.  It takes nothing less than a great deal of practice to 
figure out how certain angles of reflection, in tandem with the simulated 
gravity of the gameboard, will tend to make your ball do this or that thing.  
There is, additionally, and this is important, an element of roleplaying to 
this element of semi-controllability of the gameplay, yes an element within an 
element, by which I mean one can pretend to be some kind of prescient Peggle 
wizard totally and deliberately responsible for every aspect of a shot when it
turns out the ball does some amazingly lucky thing.  Thing is, it is a blissy 
rush when things go right, and downright giddy-making when they go *better* 
than right, and I'd be a hypocrite not to suggest just giving into the delusion
that you are amazing, rather than lucky.  It can make you a better player, this
delusion.  Which is mostly a lie, but also kind of true, in that this kind of 
attitude seems to beget careful, thought-out, confident play, which is good to 
practice, if only because it can make you associate more positively with the 
game, like the game more, and in turn play more (=> practice more => get better
as a player).

Anyway, let me explain what I mean by "semi-controllability."  After the 
initial launch of the ball, described at the top of this page, which with 
practice should become fully controllable assuming you can develop decent aim
with the cannon thing, after the initial launch and the subsequent collision 
with its intended peg, a practiced player can still be like 80% sure of where 
the ball's going to go.  Like you can learn how to kind of tweak your aim to 
make sure the ball veers perfectly left, or glances some corner in just such a
way that it comes off at this really nice angle, or you can make sure it 
jangles around gorgeously in this tight cluster of pegs, illuminating 
practically all of them before leaving.  And so on.  It is possible to get good 
at this, and you’ll notice pretty quick it’s the difference between experienced
players and their noobier brethren.  (Relevant Aside: Bjorn the Unicorn (also 
affectionately called Bjornicorn by those in the know)'s special ability is to 
grant the player delicious 100% access to what I'm talking about here, of what 
the ball will do after its first bounce.  The power is called Super Guide.  
That Bjorn is the first character players use in the game is no coincidence, 
for his is a skill one must quickly understand is vital.)

Where it bounces after *that* bounce, whether using Bjorn or not, however, will
always be a significantly less predictable phenomenon, like let's say 40% 

A trained player, however, will know how to make the most of that 40%, of that
rough but crucially usable idea of what's going to happen.  A trained player 
can generally develop a vague, probability-cloud-like hypothesis.  "It will 
stay on the right side of the screen," is one kind of hypothesis.  "I really
hope it does something over here in this little area, gets some of those 
oranges, maybe hits the purple one," is another kind.  A trained player can 
even pretend to develop a kind of plan around one of these hypotheses, is 
another kind of hypothesis; like if there are a lot of orange pegs on one side
of the screen, then she can "hope" the ball does what she’s "trying" to get it
to do, i.e., what she’s like 19% sure it could conceivably do.  

Once you've predicted the first and second bounces, you basically have to step
up to a conceptual wheel of fortune and give it a spin.  There are roughly five
regions on the wheel:  %&#@ luck, bad luck, neutral luck, good luck, and
amazing luck.  This shouldn’t require much explanation.  But, hey, this is all
for fun anyway:

%&#@ luck:  the ball does more or less nothing you wanted it to do.  It hits
maybe one peg and then plummets to its death.  Or it hits NO pegs, and you of
course lose the subsequent coin-toss for a free ball.  If anyone’s watching you
play, they will laugh at you, and will tell you to chill, it’s just a game, if
you freak out.  This player’s guide author suggests you don’t chill.  Let the 
fury become you.  Peggle is not just a game.  Peggle is a means of getting in 
touch with your emotions and, in a sense, with the universe.

Bad luck:  the ball does a useless, mutant version of what you needed it to do,
and nothing good comes of it.  At first you’ll just groan when this happens.  
If it happens too much, though, or a few times in a row, you’ll go, “Eff’s 
sake, come on,” and probably want to switch characters.  Switching characters 
sometimes works.

Neutral luck:  the ball just farts about randomly, and you get like, what, 
maybe a handful of points for it.  Neutral luck will define the bulk of your 
Peggle experience.  You will become very familiar with neutral luck.  You will
become so familiar with neutral luck it will be hard to describe, like how it’s
hard to describe what breathing feels like.  In fact, you won’t “become” 
familiar with neutral luck, you will just notice one day, after maybe a long 
Peggle session, that, man, neutral luck's just *like* that.  Neutral luck is 
just the stuff of being.  Appreciate it, or don’t.  It doesn’t care.

Good luck:  the ball surprises you in a nice way.  It does what you expected, 
and then some, and like maybe lands in the free ball bucket or something.  One
decently lucky shot isn’t enough to bring you out of an emotional slump if 
you’ve been having a run of neutral/bad/$&%@ luck, but it still feels, like I
said, kind of nice.

Amazing luck:  the ball does your every bidding and more.  You are the master
of your domain, AND you are lucky.  Anything, bloody *anything*, is possible.
“Please hit the orange ones,” you might say, and the ball will hit the orange 
ones.  “Oh my god, hit the pink one, hit the pink one, hit the *effing* pink 
one,” and the ball will do as bidden, even though you called it “the pink one” 
and technically it’s the purple one.  You want such a high score that you get 
three free balls?  Effing done.  And a couple of random bonuses for like long 
shots or wall-bounces or whatnot?  Done.  Need the ball to land in the bucket?
You didn’t even have to ask.  You knew it was going to go in there.  Eff you.
You rock.  (Relevant aside:  the Zen Ball, property of Master Hu, is programmed
to do the best possible thing based on the ball’s initial trajectory (plus or 
minus a little bit of computer-aided adjustment), and is thus highly prone to 
doing Amazingly Lucky things.  However, it feels a little less cool, a little 
less like your own fault, when Master Hu is the one making these amazing things
happen for you, and for that reason, well … I don’t know what I was going to 
say, there, but it just kind of sucks.)



BJORN:  The first character you’ll use is Bjorn.  He’s kind of the mascot of 
Peggle, for a number of fun and obvious vibe-related reasons.  His magic 
ability, “Super Guide,” activated the turn following the one in which you hit 
a green peg and lasting for not merely one but a *few* turns, is useful AND 
educational.  Bjorn basically teaches players what it feels like to see the 
future, a feeling a Peggle player must get used to.  A trained player will 
*regularly* ponder deeply the nature of time, and how he or she stands in 
respect to it.

JIMMY LIGHTNING:  His skill, “Multiball,” duplicates the ballbearing the moment
it hits the green peg, which twin balls then diverge from the point of 
duplication and continue on unlike paths throughout the gameboard.  The balls 
*can* collide with each other.  Beyond the game, Jimmy will make you think 
about determinism and/or about quantum flux and/or about the tangibility of a
multiverse, about how without his magic your original ballbearing might have
gone *either* of two (or more) routes, but not both.  Chew on that.  Then move
on, because Jimmy kind of sucks.

KAT TUT:  “Pyramid Power” sets up long shallow ramps on either side of the
bucket at the bottom of the game board, each ramp sloping up to its rim.  This
makes it easier to get the ball into the hole, but doesn’t guarantee anything.
A new kind of frustration is born out of when the ball bounces along the 
pyramid but fails to go in.  Sigh.  Still, one can’t deny that it’s a helpful
power.  And it teaches one the value of a safety net.

SPLORK:  If you can take advantage of it early enough or in a densely packed
enough location, Splork’s “Space Blast” is like a wild, powerful burp, one of
those that makes you sound like Optimus Prime if you talk while you’re doing 
it, and that almost feels like how being a big powerful robot in charge of 
other big powerful robots must feel.  Every peg around the green peg just 
explodes and is made gone in one powerful instant, and it’s wonderful.  If the
green peg is in a sparsely populated region of the gameboard, however, whether 
out of bad luck or because you accidentally got rid of all the pegs around it,
then it sucks and you might as well restart the level because you’re missing
the point.

CLAUDE:  “Flippers,” as in pinball flippers, appear at the bottom corners of
\the screen, and are both flipped simultaneously with the same button press.
Now, note:  there are certain levels where using Claude’s flippers is just
stupid.  These are levels where nothing is set up to bias the ballbearing’s
path so that it should end up in either the left or right corners where the
flippers are, or levels where things outright *block* the left and right 
corners so that the ball either never ends up there or, when it does, stays 
trapped there.  Using Claude in levels built to favor his flippers, however, is
inextinguishable fun.  You can keep the ball in play for minutes at a time in
these levels, if you’re careful enough, and rack up scores that are like OMG.
Beware, though, that after these extended rallies, the gameboard tends to be
kind of hollowed out in such a way that it then actively *does not* favor the
flippers.  So it’s kind of a one-shot deal.  Use wisely.

RENFIELD:  Renfield’s “Spooky Ball” is a green ball that drops out of the top
of the screen at the same point along the X-axis at which the original ball
vanished at the bottom of the screen.  The spooky ball will retain the
trajectory of the original ball.  So if the original ball went barreling
diagonally to its death, then the spooky ball will barrel diagonally out of the
top of the screen.  Um, also, the free ball bucket is lidded until the original
ball vanishes.  And that’s the power.  It is about as hard to control as it
sounds, since it’s practically impossible to predict/plan for what the original
ball will be doing by the time it reaches the bottom of the screen.  The only
way around this is to wait until the screen is mostly empty (= devoid of chaos-
producing obstacles) and then strategize as to what you want to hit with your
original ball so that it hits the bottom of the screen in just such a way that
the spooky ball does this or that thing.  At the end of the day, Renfield *can*
potentially make fun things happen, but it’s mostly so largely out of your
control that’s it not all that rewarding, and even when it is in your control
it’s in such an awkward, roundabout way that… well, expect, just out of your
own natural inclination, meaning regardless of what I’ve said here, not to come
back to him very often.

TULA:  Tula’s a champ, maybe THE champ.  Her power, “Flower Power,” illuminates
10% of the total orange pegs on the gameboard, starting with those closest to
whichever green peg you just hit and blossoming outward from there.  If you can
hit both of the green pegs in the first turn, you Can. Know. Happiness.  And if
maybe you’re trying to fill up the Fevermeter and the point multiplier early on
in a round in order to, say, do the best you can possibly do on some given 
level, then Tula’s your man.  She will never be the “wrong” character for *any*
level (although there are a few levels, IDK, like flipper-friendly levels, 
where other characters are maybe “better” choices).  When you get to her, 
you’ll be like “Man, why would I use any other character?”  And you’ll be 
right to wonder.

Okay.  Now let’s hold on a sec.  I need a breather.  

Truth be told, I’m kind of regretting saying I’d write an entire section about
*every* character.  I feel like I'm deviating from what is at the heart of this
game and, if things work out, this player's guide.

But okay, on with it.  Almost done, and then we'll get back to the point.

WARREN:  Warren’s power, “Lucky Spin” can make a few different things happen.
It can grant you a free extra ball.  It can triple your score for the remainder
of the shot.  It give you any other character's power, chosen at random.  Or it 
can put a ghostly little “Magic Hat” atop your ball that essentially turns your 
ball from a little sphere plinking about into a kind of dinky vertical light-
saber that cuts *swaths* through the pegs.  As you mightimagine, the magic hat 
can do important things to a gameboard.  Thing is, there’s only a one-in-three 
chance you’ll get it in any given round.  If you’re trying to strategize with 
Warren, then you’ll have to put up with his flakiness.

LORD CINDERBOTTOM:  LC’s power, “Fireball,” turns your next shot into a
smoldering boulder that obliterates all in its path.  To use it properly, you
have to aim for the bucket (temporarily lidded, until you hit it once) to make 
the fireball bounce back up into the gameboard and do a little extra damage.  If
the oranges are arranged in a couple of tidy little arcs, then you can really
eff $&%@ up.  Also, one of the greatest, crowd-pleasingest sensations in the 
game arises from bouncing the fireball off the bucket and then a second later
getting it to land back *in* the bucket.  A trained player will yadda yadda 

MASTER HU:  This controversial figure (I’ll explain) grants one the power of the
“Zen Ball” (which I actually explained earlier, but in parenthesis, so I think
technically have to explain it again).  Then “Zen Ball” takes advantage of the
fact that what you’re playing is entirely a simulation run by a computer that is
smarter than you and has no real understanding of the concepts of “probability”
or “uncertainty.”  You line up the Zen Ball shot, and the computer then 
readjusts your aim a little bit so as to get you the most possible points out of
your shot.  It’s effing sweet, is what you’ll probably notice the first time you
use it.  Thing is, and here’s what I meant by the aforementioned controversy, 
the Zen Ball is only reliable when it’s reliable.  It’s not magic.  If you 
accidentally feed it a lousy shot, one for which even the sweetest and most
improved Zen adjustment garners only mere pittance--and note that sometimes it’s
sincerely hard for even a trained player to tell what will be a good shot and
what will be a crap shot--then Master Hu won’t do you much good.  Maybe it’ll
still tell you “Maximum Zen Achieved!” but you’ll only hit a few pegs before
[poop sound].  There’ll go whole rounds where you’ll be like, “Wait, I already
used *both* my Zen Balls?”  And that’s when you’ll have no choice but to make
this one face that all players make when they become disillusioned with Master
Hu.  NOTE: Peggle tells you, in game, that with Zen Ball you need to make sure
and aim at pegs or at corners so that the ball bearing has lots of “alternate
angles to consider” in calculating an optimum rout.  But you go ahead and try
that and see if it keeps you from inevitably making the face.  Go ahead.



If you’re playing correctly, Peggle will challenge your sense of self-agency.
Why can’t you make the ball do exactly what you want?  Because the apparatus--
the game board, the ball, the simulated gravity--is altogether too complex, and
your brain is too much jelly and not enough computer.  The aim arrow protruding
from your Peggle cannon is less an aide to injury than an insult; like a
flashlight held out to the abyss, it serves no purpose other than to show you
what you cannot see.  Where do you venture?  You cannot set a goal.  You can
plan only so far ahead before your route must give way to the darkness of 

The moment you launch it, you know about as much about what is about to happen
to the ball as the ball itself does.  You and the ball both know it will hit
the first peg.  And from there, it may hit that other peg that you want it to,
and it may not; either way, what happens after *that* is just an ever-branching
fractal of IDKs and Maybes.  It doesn’t just get complicated, it gets downright
poignant.  It gets to where the lesson we’re supposed to learn here applies to
much more than the game.  Peggle has existential and epistemic consequences.

What so curiously makes Peggle both fulfilling and emptying is that it 
gorgeously blurs the line between what the player is responsible for getting
right and what the player has no control over.  We are responsible only to an
extent, and no amount of practice can bring us above or beyond.

Imagine playing Bobby Fischer in a game of chess.  You would expect to lose,
no?  You would expect that, no matter how far ahead you anticipated his moves,
he would see farther.  He would outthink you.  But now imagine that with a
great deal of practice, you could conceivably get better than Bobby Fischer at
chess.  It’s totally doable.  The human mind is no abyss.  It is subject to
much simpler, more elegant patterns than those governed (or, more accurately,
not governed) by chaos.  

Peggle is a game of chess against something far harder to predict than any
human.  In fact, to call Peggle an “opponent” is to belittle just how much
better it is than you.  You could sooner win against yourself.

And, in a sense, that is what you’re aiming to do, isn’t it?  Bear with me.
Deglaze those eyes.  Do not look away from the screen.  Do not pass the
controller.  Do not blame yourself for a little bad luck.

For when there is good luck, there is no such thing as good luck.  There is
only you, and the abyss, and the sensation.



If any readers find themselves niggled with troubling or seemingly insoluble
questions, they should please feel most free to email me:
I have a baccalaureate degree in Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology, and
so am somewhat prepared to at least *endeavour* to help answer many of the ilk
of challengingly bleak, behemoth questions Peggle summons from the mire.  And 
should some surprise species of question rear its heinous, pox-ridden head, 
then I am at the very least a good and able combatant to have at one's side.
The direst point I need to make is just that I am contactable, and that *I am*
period--that is, that you are not utterly, darkly, hideously alone.

Or if you just want to talk about Peggle, like in general, then that's also a 
healthy reason to email me.  One more time:

Also, if you see anything in need of adjustment, just let me know.  I'm always
tweaking this thing in my spare time.  I know there are probably a few holes
or flubs in its logic.


Copyright 2011 by Mr. Burger and maybe GameFAQs

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