02 April 2014

Sokoban lessons - Staircases

"niwa" has encouraged me to dedicate a "Sokoban lesson" to the theme of the "staircases". Well, this is my selection.

It is not easy to establish a concept of "starcaise". In this post, on an interim basis, I define the staircase as a passageway with stepped walls. The typical width of the passageway is 4 floors, as in this simple "staircase" of Nakamiya:

Hirohiko Nakamiya - Monster Sokoban 4-1

However, in this selection I include also widths of 6 and up to 8 floors, but not higher widths, because the "effect staircase" fades away (I have done an exception with Sasquatch X #31). Moreover, the typical "step" is the width of 1 floor, but I have also included examples of other step widths: 2 floors (JPK #12) and up to 3 floors (Sasquatch X #37).

In these structures is very important the placement of the goals and/or boxes: outside or inside the starcaise, and in the latter case, what is the distribution of the boxes and/or goals (alternate or continuous, etc.). This distribution of the boxes/goals determines the type of puzzle and the technique of its solution.

This type of structure sometimes gives rise to spectacular levels. Especially highlight two great authors: David W. Skinner
and especially Přemysl Zíka, with authentic masterpieces, result of an exquisite constructive technique.

A special case: the starcaise is the storage area, and is entirely occupied by goals. I do not include these cases, because I reserve them for a specific post.

You can download all puzzles (except commercial) here:
 




Author: Yoshio Sakae + Jordi Doménech
Title: Sokoban Perfect #202
Comment: added a box
Set: The beautiful world of remodels 4 #38
Date: 1989. Remodel: 2011.8.24
Difficulty: 6
Best moves/pushes: 3793/1126

This level is a classic. I added a goal in the stairs, which increases a little the difficulty. 





Author: Shinji Kai
Title: Sokoban Revenge #261 人間失格 (No longer human)
Date: 1991
Difficulty: 5
Best moves/pushes: 189/64
 

No longer human (1948) is a famous Japanese novel by Osamu Dazai. What relation has this novel with the "X"? I don't know. There is a remodel of York Shen with 2 more boxes.

The theme of the "X" is a classic of the staircases. See especially Sokoban Selection (Itochu Corp., 1997) #44; Howard Abed, SokoCreation #45; David W. Skinner, Microban III #46; Přemysl Zíka, First levels #130, Primus gradus ad Olympo #93, Secundus gradus... #43.





Author: Jean-Pierre Kent
Title: JPK Levels #12
Date: November 1998

Website: sokoban-jd.blogspot.com/2012/10/my-favorite-authors-jean-pierre-kent.html
Difficulty: 6
Best moves/pushes: 2060/737 (Archanfel)

Unusual staircases, with double sized steps. Fun level, but the storage is easy.





Author: David W. Skinner
Title: Sasquatch II #7
Date: August 1999
Difficulty: 6
Best moves/pushes: 793/299

The difficulty is to put all the boxes in the stairs, which is the cargo area. See an extension in Sasquatch X #39.





Author: François Marques
Title: Kokoban #41 The staircase
Date: September 2001

Website: sokoban.online.fr/
Difficulty: 7
Best moves/pushes: 136/44

Excellent! Stairs inside a cruciform structure. The secret to solve this fantastic level is to change wall boxes: there are 4 changes of wall, one for each arm of the cross.





Author: Kevin B. Reilly + gyjgw
Title: kbr1120 c
Date: August-November 2002. Remodel: c. May 2005
Difficulty: 6.5
Best moves/pushes: 522/140

Double staircases, fun to solve.





Author: Aymeric du Peloux
Title: Cosmonotes #2
Date: c. June 2003
Website: membres.multimania.fr/nabokos/index.html
Difficulty: 5 (A. du P.)
Best moves/pushes: 292/87

Simple and nice rotary level. Totally classic.





Author: David W. Skinner
Title: Sasquatch VII #3
Date: June 2004
Difficulty: 5.5
Best moves/pushes: 190/82

Two rows of boxes within the stairs. You will still have to find a space to put another box...





Author: David W. Skinner
Title: Sasquatch VII #23
Date: June 2004
Difficulty: 6.5
Best moves/pushes: 195/83 (HyunHa Woo)

Similar problem to that of the previous puzzle, but with 3 rows of boxes within the stairs. This level is an extension of Sasquatch VII #1, and was again extended in Sasquatch VIII #39 with +12 boxes.





Author: gyjgw
Title: gyjgw_0020
Date: c. June 2004
Difficulty: 8
Best moves/pushes: 502/158

Fantastic "Z", which looks like a replica of the level of Howard Abed, Second Set #38. It is a hard and technical level that I recommend only to experienced players.

To solve this level it is necessary to use the technique that we can call the "zipper". See a solution here:


video




Author: Sven Egevad
Title: SE 1507

Date: 2006
Website: www.egevad.nu/sven/
Difficulty: 7
Best moves/pushes:
405/123 (Wolfgang Haas)

Interesting staircase "fix one" of 8 floors of width. Perhaps it is not so difficult as gyjgw's "Z" (see above), but it is not easy.
 



Author: Kenyam (Kenya Maruyama)
Title: Kenyam Set A #44 Superfluity
Comment:
A trick at the right-bottom is called as "JABARA-KUZUSHI" in Japan.
Date: Released 6.12.2006
Website: www.geocities.co.jp/Playtown-Domino/7999/soko/skrmc_a.htm
Difficulty: 7
Best moves/pushes: 505/161

蛇腹-崩し (jabara-kuzushi) = "break-bellows" (according to Google). Well, always learn something... Difficult storage, but interesting level and fun to solve.





Author: David Dahlem
Title: DD-2 #29
Date: April 2009
Difficulty: 6
Best moves/pushes: 347/117

Fun stairs.





Author: David W. Skinner + zhenying
Title: Microban III #101 re
Date: December 2009. Remodel: 2010.10.10
Comment: Tedious time-consuming cultivation
URL: blog.163.com/changkai_8428/blog/static/77451918201010159613860/
Estimated difficulty: 7

Best moves/pushes:  33052/8409 (Paul Voyer)
 
Spectacular! But I think that to solve this level takes many hours... (I have not solved it). See a simpler version: Microban III variations #31.


My thanks to Paul Voyer, that had the kindness to send me your solution :)




Author: Tui Leshan + gyjgw
Title: Pistol b
Date: 2010.5.28. Remodel: 2010.5.31
Difficulty: 7
Best moves/pushes: 1141/351

Triple staircases with alternate goals: the difficulty is guaranteed! I still remember with emotion this superb puzzle. Anian and myself we made arrangements, but, finally, was gyjgw who made this version masterful. Excellent puzzle and one of my favorites!





Author: David W. Skinner
Title: Sasquatch X #26
Date: July 2010
Difficulty: 5.5
Best moves/pushes: 134/34

Circular staircases inside a diamond shaped structure. The design reminds Sokoban Perfect #215.





Author: David W. Skinner
Title: Sasquatch X #31
Date: July 2010
Difficulty: 6.5
Best moves/pushes: 159/96 (esseger)

Fun level where you can use the "zipper" technique with pleasure. This level is a more complicated version of Microban II #131. Finally, there is a remodel of stopheart with a box more.





Author: David W. Skinner
Title: Sasquatch X #37
Date: July 2010
Difficulty: 6.5
Best moves/pushes: 392/116 (ken glass)

Circular staircases with steps of triple size.





Author: zhenying
Title: 61-00 Fangshuangjian
Date: 2010.06.23
URL: blog.163.com/changkai_8428/blog/static/77451918201061534745528/
Difficulty: 7
Best moves/pushes: 844/246

Spectacular crossed swords (剑, "jian" = sword). It is more difficult than it seems... This puzzle is a replica of 双剑 ("shuang jian", double sword) of Tui Leshan.





Author: laizhufu + Jordi Doménech
Title: Magic Sokoban #91 M
Date: 2011.4.15. Remodel: 2011.4.16
Difficulty: 6
Best moves/pushes: 195/50

laizhufu liked a lot this arranged "M", that I included in Magic Sokoban.





Author: Přemysl Zíka
Title: First levels #130
Comment: "X"
Date: 2011
Website: www.zusbreznice.cz/rozvrhy-zika-premysl-sokoban.cz
Difficulty: 5 (P.Z.)
Best moves/pushes: 684/226 (Wolfgang Haas)

Fun X, with alternate goals.





Author: niwa
Title: Square Dance #16 Libertango
Date: 14.4.2012
Difficulty: 7
Best moves/pushes: 418/104

Double stairs with alternate goals, and boxes in line continues: the difficulty is guaranteed!





Author: Přemysl Zíka
Title: First levels #220
Date: April 2012
Website: www.zusbreznice.cz/rozvrhy-zika-premysl-sokoban.cz
Difficulty: 6.5
Best moves/pushes: 2010/500 (Sokobano)

Spectacular and fun rotary staircases.





Author: SokoWind + laizhufu
Title: 龙图腾 (Dragon totem)
Date: 2012.11.29
Difficulty: 7.5
Best moves/pushes: 1709/546

Excellent! It is more difficult than it seems... I love this Chinese dragon, within an octagonal medallion!







Author: Přemysl Zíka
Title: Primus gradus ad Olympo #59
Date: December 2012
Website: www.zusbreznice.cz/rozvrhy-zika-premysl-sokoban.cz
Difficulty: 4 (P.Z.)
Best moves/pushes: 598/73

Hard! Well, I think Přemysl is confused: it is impossible that the difficulty is 4... My difficulty rating: 7.5... or 8... :P





Author: Přemysl Zíka
Title: Primus gradus ad Olympo #70
Date: December 2012
Website: www.zusbreznice.cz/rozvrhy-zika-premysl-sokoban.cz
Difficulty: 4 (P.Z.)
Best moves/pushes: 172/44

Difficult and spectacular double staircases. My difficulty rating: 7.





Author: Přemysl Zíka
Title: Primus gradus ad Olympo #78
Date: December 2012
Website: www.zusbreznice.cz/rozvrhy-zika-premysl-sokoban.cz
Difficulty: 4 (P.Z.)
Best moves/pushes: 149/42

Symmetrical staircases in the shape of semicircle. Nice and fun to solve. My difficulty rating: 6.5.





Author: Přemysl Zíka
Title: Primus gradus ad Olympo #98
Date: December 2012
Website: www.zusbreznice.cz/rozvrhy-zika-premysl-sokoban.cz
Difficulty: 8 (P.Z.)
Best moves/pushes: 1239/284 (Wolfgang Haas)

Hard rotary staircases. See also level #90, easier, and another version: Secundus gradus ad Olympo #62.





Author: Alberto Garcia + Jordi Doménech
Title: Alberto Garcia remixed #89
Comment: based on Alberto Garcia 1-2 #4
Date: January 2013
Website: sokoban-jd.blogspot.com/
Difficulty: 7
Best moves/pushes: 2310/667 (ejsantos123)

Long stairs with alternate goals.





Author: Přemysl Zíka
Title: Secundus gradus ad Olympo #58
Date: December 2013
Website: www.zusbreznice.cz/rozvrhy-zika-premysl-sokoban.cz
Difficulty: 7 (P.Z.)
Best moves/pushes: 229/76 (Archanfel + Tiaoa)

Fantastic staircases, with a double line of boxes. Beautiful and spectacular!





Author: Přemysl Zíka
Title: Secundus gradus ad Olympo #60
Date: December 2013
Website: www.zusbreznice.cz/rozvrhy-zika-premysl-sokoban.cz
Difficulty: 6.5 (P.Z.)
Best moves/pushes: 459/136

Stairs in a spiral shape. Another beautiful puzzle, really spectacular! I love this level!




Author: Kevin B. Reilly + niwa
Title: kevin210 r002
Date: 2014.4.3
Difficulty: 7

Best moves/pushes:  862/242

"niwa" has sent me this excellent remodel. I think that it is unpublished. Good job! Thank you very much!



Author: Thomas Reinke
Title: Quagmire 3 #9 Felix
Date: April 2014
Difficulty: 8
Best moves/pushes: 292/64


Hard! Stairs "fix one", with two rows of goals and within a ring structure. It is really difficult to find spaces where to break the continuous chain of boxes. See also #70 Felix II.


In addition to the levels above-mentioned, see also:

- Howard Abed
    Second Set #38 (arranged version)

    SokoCreation #45

- Alberto Borella #29

- David Dahlem
    DD-2 26, 27, 31, 32, 72

- Bruno Druille
     Tableau 89

- Lee J. Haywood
     SokoHard #123

- Jordi Doménech
     Magic Sokoban 2 #68 Stairs; 4 #44
     Alberto Garcia remixed #19, #58
     Microban II variations #40; III #5, #22, #31
     SokoStation variations #67, #71

- Sven Egevad
     SE 292, 1168, 1359

- Christian Eggermont #1 (see also remodel of stopheart)

- Marcus Hof
     Revenge 27 #33; 35 #22; 39 #31

- morganine
     Sokomet #9, #17

- Hirohiko Nakamiya
     Monster Sokoban 4-1

- Aymeric du Peloux
     Microcosmos #28, #30
     Myriocosmos #5
     Nabokosmos #4
     Picokosmos #2

- Kevin B. Reilly
     kbr1120

- Thomas Reinke
    Quagmire 3 #70

- Shaggath
     V2010 #7

- David W. Skinner
     Microban II #117, #131; III #19, #46 (see remodel of niwa); IV #2, #6
     Sasquatch #2, #48; X #30, #34; XII #41

- Thinking Rabbit
     Sokoban 2 (1984) #39 (= Original #50)
     Sokoban Perfect #125 (Masaki Ishino), #280 (see remodel of GRIGoRusha), #296 (Masaki Ishino)
     Sokoban Revenge #78 "Doctor K" (Yoshio Sakae), #139 "Q & A" (Yoshio Sakae)
     Ultimate Sokoban (1996) Stage 2 Chapter 4 Level 1

- niwa
     Escapology #13 Chain Escape
     Simple staircase 01

- XSokoban #66 (see remodel of niwa), #69

- Přemysl Zíka
     First levels 181
     Primus gradus ad Olympo 90, 93
     Secundus gradus ad Olympo 35, 43


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