Marisa and Alice's Trap Tower/Gameplay
The basic gameplay of Marisa and Alice's Trap Tower involves having two playable characters, Marisa Kirisame and Alice Margatroid, navigate through each stage to collect books in chests and reach for the goal. Despite the title, Trap Tower plays quite differently from the first MariAri game; what's common in the two games is that there's much multitasking involved. This is due to not only how the different objects in a stage interact together, but also how you have some control over both characters at once.
- The currently selected stage or option. Press the Confirm button to enter the stage or confirm the option.
- Each stage icon includes the score (number of books, not the points) and rank for the stage, and the color depends on the rank. The stage description for the currently selected stage is below.
- The clear quota for the world (books collected/requirement). Meet the quota to unlock the next world. To the right is the world name.
You can select Prev World and Next World options to go to another world. Press the Open Menu button to open the pause menu; it has the option to return to the title screen.
- Marisa and Alice, your playable characters.
- The scroll bars for the respective sides of the stage.
- Information bar. In order: stage number, stage name, high score for the stage, number of books (collected/total) and remaining time.
Press the Open Menu button to open the in-game pause menu.
- View Map: Allows you to view the stage while the game is paused. Press Up or Down to scroll the selected side, and Left or Right to switch sides; holding Call button allows you to scroll both sides simultaneously.
- Reset Stage: Restarts the stage.
- Stage Select: Go to the stage selection.
- Title: Go directly to the title screen.
- Nevermind: Return to the game.
The following are the buttons used in the game:
- Arrow Keys: Move the character, scroll the map in View Map mode, and navigate through menus.
- Magic Action/Confirm (Z / Pad Button 0): Use the character's magic attack, and cancel in menus.
- Jump / Cancel (X / Pad Button 1): Make your character jump, and confirm in menus.
- Call (C / Pad Button 2): While holding this button, you can control both characters at once, to some extent.
- Character Change (A / Pad Button 6): Switch the character that is being controlled directly, and hold the button during a cutscene to skip through it.
- Display Minimap (V / Pad Button 3): Toggle the display of the miniature map of the stage.
- Open Menu (Space / Pad Button 9): Open the menu and pause the game.
Although there are two playable characters, only one character is selected at a time. You have direct control over this character. The selected character has a triangular cursor over her head (green if Marisa, red if Alice).
The directly controlled character react to these commands:
- Press Left or Right to move in that direction; be aware that the character moves relatively fast and reaches full speed almost immediately.
- Press Jump to have the character jump. The maximum jump height is slightly above two blocks.
- Press the Magic Action button to use the character's magic attack. The magic can defeat certain enemies and can help you navigate through the stage.
The arrange of the background music depends on which character is selected. Marisa's BGM is more jazzy and synthesized; Alice's BGM is more classy and orchestral.
The magic is where Marisa and Alice are used differently.
Marisa's magic is her broom. When used, Marisa glides horizontally in whichever direction she was facing. The glide distance is about two and a half blocks. She can glide on the ground or mid-air, but she needs to land before using it again. Gliding resets her momentum, and Marisa will drop down after the glide, so you can stop her mid-ascent with the broom. Use it to jump over larger distances and perform maneuvers that cannot be done with jumps alone. The broom attack can also safely pierce through certain enemies and defeat them.
Alice's magic is the Shanghai Doll. When used, a doll is released from Alice and walks in the direction Alice was facing at the moment of use. The doll automatically drops down at an edge of a platform (or if the floor underneath it disappears) while maintaining the horizontal movement, and it continues to walk after landing. Colliding with a wall, bricks, or certain enemies makes the doll burst in a small explosion. This explosion can take out the bricks and said enemies. Only one doll can be out at a time; sending the doll to a wrong place can waste time because you have to wait until it explodes. In addition, the doll can activate switches and scrollers.
To switch the direct control over to the other character, press the Character Change button. The formerly selected character will at this point stop (and drop down, if midair) if there is nothing else that causes her to move. If she used a magic attack and you switch characters, the magic action continues after switching.
When a stage begins, you initially control Marisa. Sometimes you may want to move Alice first, so press the Character Change button to switch over to her.
While one character is selected for direct control, you can indirectly control the other character using call commands. Hold the Call button and a revolving "CALL" will be displayed around the called character. The call control will be enabled while the Call button is held.
The call-controlled character can be given these commands:
- Press Left or Right to have the called character move in that direction. The important difference is that the character will continue to move in that direction after you let go, and she will turn around and change direction if she runs into a wall. Movement via call control is much slower than movement via direct control.
- Press Up to make the called character jump. If she runs into a wall during the jump, she will stop her horizontal movement. She always jumps up to the maximum height, regardless of how long you press Up.
- Press Down to make the called character stop. This also works mid-air. She will stop her horizontal movement, drop down if mid-air, and stay still if nothing causes her to move. This is useful because otherwise the character will mostly be walking around on her own.
The called character cannot use magic action; you need the character selected if you want to use her magic attack.
While calling the other character, you cannot command the selected character to move, though she can still jump and use magic action. Take care to not mix up the controls; the selected character jumps with the Jump button, while the called character jumps with Up. However, if you press and hold Call while the selected character is moving, she will continue moving during the call, until you let go of movement or until she runs into an obstruction.
There are also visual cues associated with calling a character. Calling the other character makes her face the selected character, and respond to her call (indicated visually). This also happens whenever the called character is not moving. Also, switching the selected character while holding Call makes the newly selected character exclaim (also indicated visually); there are some other ways to get her to exclaim. The exclaim makes the selected character face the called character; keep in mind that this affects the direction of the selected character's magic.
There are (at least) two goal doors in each stage. Bring each girl safely to a goal door to complete the stage.
In each stage, Marisa and Alice find chests to collect books. Collect as many books as you can (preferably all of them) as you aim for the goal. Once the girls reach the goal, the number of books you collected (in that attempt) contributes to your score, as well as the "book record", the highest number of books collected in an attempt of that stage.
Each world (called "Floor X" for world x) has a clear quota. The number of books collected for that world is the sum of the book records in the stages of that world. This sum needs to be at least equal the quota number in order to beat the world. Once you reach the quota, a cutscene begins to play and you unlock the next world.
As you play, pay attention to the different kinds of blocks and other objects in the stage. The stage may contain keys, ladders, or springboards that can assist you (but also can turn against you). Use the switches to enable or disable solid blocks, and avoid hazards that can hurt the girls; keep in mind that some enemies can help you.
Stages typically have Marisa start on the left side of the stage and Alice on the right; in some stages, they only need to manage things from their respective sides. However, there are stages where the characters and other things can go to the other side of the stage.
Stage Reset (Getting Hurt)
To beat a stage, you have to get Marisa and Alice to the goal without getting hurt. If a character gets hurt, the stage resets and you have to try again.
There are a number of ways to get hurt:
- Contact with an enemy or a hazard, in a way that hurts the character (e.g. touching the sharp side of spikes). Some enemies can be jumped on from the top or defeated with magic attacks, but just touching it elsewhere will hurt the girls.
- A solid block appearing where the character is. Be careful not to crush the girls when toggling switches.
- Falling off the lower boundary of the stage. Aside from pits, also remember that the floor can disappear below you when the stage scrolls down (see Stage Scrolling section below).
- Marisa and Alice cannot go past the upper boundary of the stage, so when the stage scrolls up, the boundary can push the girls into the scrolling blocks and get the girls crushed.
- Running out of time. In many stages, the time limit is at a generous 300 and isn't a big issue if you want to simply want to complete the stage. Some, however, are designed specifically with a stringent time limit.
You can manually reset the stage from the pause menu, or force a stage reset by pressing the Call and Character Change buttons at the same time.
Stage Scrolling and Viewing the Map
The screen has a limited display. In general, you can only see and interact with a segment of the whole stage, the rest of the stage being hidden past the screen boundaries.
In most stages, you need to scroll the stage up or down to access other parts of the stage outside the screen boundaries. This is done by activating the scroller objects found in the stage. A scroller can be a one-time use item or a perpetual block; you can activate it by touching and stepping, respectively. Each scroller has a color (blue, red, or yellow), indicating which side(s) of the stage is affected, and a number indicating how many steps that side scrolls.
Remember that the boundaries can affect the girls adversely as the stage scrolls. Mobile objects will stop moving once outside the boundaries, and will resume moving once the stage scrolls to bring them into the screen. For blocks and objects that are off-screen but adjacent to a boundary, most objects interact with them, but Marisa and Alice do not for the most part. Scrolling may also be needed to align one side of the stage with respect to the other side so that the girls or other objects can move from one side to the other.
There are also two ways to view the layout of the stage without actually scrolling the stage itself.
- In the pause menu, select the View Map option to see the stage layout. While in the map check mode, you can press Up or Down to scroll the selected side (use Left and Right to switch sides). Both sides are scrolled while you are holding the Call button. The stage reverts to how it was before once you exit the map check. You begin at the map viewing mode whenever you start (or retry) a stage.
- To see a miniature map of the whole stage, press the Display Minimap button to enable or disable it. This map is transparent and is displayed at the top center of the screen.
When you complete a stage, you will see the Stage Results where you get scored based on the remaining amount of time and the number of books collected. Obviously, you should aim to collect all of the books (in one attempt of the stage) to get a good score. Optimize your method for the stage to do well time-wise. Tip: First get used to the stage to ensure that you know how to beat it. Once you're comfortable with it, try to identify the optimal solution for it. As you attempt the stage, refine the execution, and make modifications to the steps you take if needed.
The score determines the rank you receive. Scores ranging up to 100 points translate to these ranks: C, B, A, AA, S. The lower ranks have quite generous score requirements. Generally, any rank lower than an AA is easy to get, as long as you know what to do. But a rank of S requires a "perfect" score of 100. This means you need to collect all the books and excel at speedrunning the stage.
It is possible to get over 100 points if you beat the stage sufficiently faster than the threshold allowed for an S rank. A score greater than 100 translates to the God rank.
In the stage selection screen, for each stage, you can see the record for most books collected in an attempt, and the highest rank earned. The color of a stage is blue if not yet cleared, red if the rank is lower than an S, and yellow if the rank is S or God. Also, if you go to the Battle Records (select Misc in the title screen), you can see the best rank, score and time, along with number of times you have played and beaten that stage. Note that these indicate the best record for each category, not necessarily the records of the best overall attempt.