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Published July 30, 2008

It is time to make amends. When you listen to episode 55 this week, you will unfortunately hear my co-hosts ridiculing me for purchasing Elefunk, Sony’s pachyderm-infused civil engineering crash course (selling for a paltry five bucks). Unfortunately, I was only a few stages into the game, and thus unprepared to counter their baseless ridicule. That, and the game is really frustrating for the first hour or so. However, now that I’ve warmed up to this PSN sleeper, I thought I’d help provide the tutorial that the developers mysteriously forgot to include. Hopefully these quick (admittedly common sense) tips will make up for the outright dismissal of Elefunk on this week’s podcast.

1. Pay attention to your happy accidents – Some of the principles you discover early on will be used frequently throughout the later stages. Be sure to keep track of what works and what doesn’t.

2. Put the bulk of the weight against the walls of the chasm – Watching your bridges collapse in on themselves can be maddening, but you can alleviate some of the burden by taking the weight out from under the center and moving it to the ends. Triangular pieces work wonders here (think arches).

Nothing a history major can’t handle!

3. You’re not supposed to use all of the pieces! – Each utilized piece will deduct points from your final score, but you’ll have bigger problems if you use everything at your disposal. Remember, heavy bridges can barely support themselves, let alone three hulking elephants.

4. Minimize exposed corners and hanging planks – Do your best to keep your workspace as compact as possible. Triangular pieces sometimes offer just as much structural integrity as square pieces but take up half as much space.

5. Make judicious use of support pegs – This is something to keep in mind for World 2 (the desert stages). These levels are centered entirely around those small support rods sticking out alongside each bridge. You can usually get away with some pretty sloppy construction as long as you focus on these helpful hangers.

6. Double check your connections – Perhaps the biggest no-brainer here, but even a single flimsy tile can end in heartbreak. Zoom in and pan over everything to make sure you didn’t forget a crucial piece.

7. Taut bridges aid in speed runs – For rolling elephant drops, watch to see where the bridge starts to wobble. You’ll never make it up the ramp at the end of “It’s a Pharoah Way” if the slope and straightaway aren’t completely stable. Weak joints can be your undoing!

8. Retry once if you think you’re onto something – The game has an annoying habit of occasionally crushing your dreams even when conditions are perfect. Try replaying once and you may find your elephant passing by the skin of his tusk.

9. Enter the following code to use the ivory of your fallen brethren as building material – Sorry, just making sure you’re still awake. Sadly, this cheat does not exist, though I’m holding out for DLC.

Nothing against elephants, I swear!

If this was helpful to anyone, I’d love to hear some feedback. Again, sorry to our listeners (and developer 8bit games) for not giving you the full scoop earlier.

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