Here is the current list of the most optimized solutions (smallest number of moves) claimed for each level so far.
Update: Lexaloffle has made an official solutions page where you can actually see the solutions themselves: @
This list has thus become more of a historical reference. The additional information contained here is the order in which the solutions were claimed.
Participant initials (up to 3 per puzzle) are shown in the order of claiming a solution with the given number of moves. Solution claims made after a solution was posted are not shown unless the solution is substantially different.
B = Brendansoma
C = cptg
D = danklein4
F = FredFish
G = Gray
L = Lexaloffle
M = mllr532
W = Weedhopper
Room     Easy   Medium   Hard
1      9 WGM   9 GWM  11 C
2     14 WG   15 WG   22 GW
3     10 GWM  16 WG   24 WG
4     12 WGM  13 WG   10 MGW
5      5 GWM   4 GWM  19 WG
6      7 GWM  24 W    16 GW
7      6 GWM   6 GWM  32 G
8      2 GWM  11 WGM  10 WG
9      5 GWM  16 WG   19 WG
10      8 GWM  21 WG   28 GW
11      7 GWM   6 GWM  21 WG
12      7 GWM   9 WGM  37 GW
13     14 WGM  14 GW   22 GW
14      8 WGM  12 B    42 L
15     10 WG   16 GW   31 W
16     10 WGM  18 WG   16 B
17     17 GW   20 GW   12 WG
18      9 GWM  12 WG   14 GW
19      6 WGM  21 W    14 GW
20      9 MWG  21 WG   35 WG
21      6 GWM   7 GW   64 W
22     16 WG   40 WG   22 GW
23     21 GWM   9 WG   16 WG
24      6 GWM  18 WG   42 W
25      5 WG   13 WG   19 GW
26     26 WG    8 WG   29 G
27      9 W    12 WG   19 WG
28     11 GWM  15 D    18 W
29     13 WGM  39 W    17 GW
30      6 GW   31 WG   18 GW
31      8 GWM  11 GW    9 GW
32      9 WG   43 W    32 G
33     12 GWM  19 GW   24 WG
34      3 GWM  15 WG   21 G
35      9 GW   22 C    15 WG
36     17 GW   24 GW   17 WG
37      8 WGM  25 C    42 W
38     26 WGM  25 GW   11 GF
39     17 WGM  35 WG   47 W
40      8 GWM  21 GW   16 G
Minimum number of moves required to finish the game: 2060
Last update: 2007-12-07 (1 new)
There's a semi-secret feature which allows you to view your total score for a puzzle set. Click on the top flag of the castle in the puzzle selection screen. It also gives you a few other totals which you might not want to know about (:
Thanks for the chart, Gray! I'm glad to see the competition already started. :)  My lower scores are listed below -- of course, solutions are available on request. EDIT: scores moved to next post
My 21-move solution for 40 Hard is very different from both yours and Joseph's:
I've worked my way through the Easy and Medium castles, trying to match your scores. If you hadn't posted your numbers, I would never have thought that some of those levels could be optimized so much.
In the more complex Medium levels, the number of ways to play is impressive. I played some of the levels a dozen different ways, getting one or two fewer moves until I'd hit your number, or more commonly, one or two below it. (I wasn't even trying to outdo you, I'd just hit a new strategy that knocked 4 moves off my previous best.)
I'm also posting my scores for Hard, although I've only optimized a handful of them. I haven't finished the Hard castle either; level 33 is really getting me down. (Not quite enough to ask for hints yet, though I did need the forum clues to finish 38.)
The scores below yours are marked with an asterisk; the scores above yours are marked with a minus. I'm hiding the table just for brevity's sake.
Hi Weedhopper! Thanks for your participation :) I had the same feeling today: without your numbers I wouldn't have returned to optimize many of the solutions. I was able to match or beat some of your numbers, but some seem pretty tough. I have updated my list above and made it into a general "best solution list". I hope the "rules" are OK for everyone, but they can be discussed, of course.
Regarding level Hard 40, I must say, I didn't think there could be another approach that worked just as well, nice solution! BTW, I could improve my solution (basically eliminating 1 move) to match your 21 moves:
Sweet table! I like both the layout and the rules -- now all we need is some more folks to join in the fun.
I like your 40 Hard; it looks cleaner than mine somehow. I couldn't find any more shortcuts in either solution, but I had some fun remixing yours: now Mogwash doesn't leave his corner until feeding time, and the white group is unified before the brown is eaten. It's still 21 moves, of course; the first change is in move 14.
Some of my favorites to optimize have been 33 Easy and 23 Hard -- they look so simple once you figure them out. 37 Hard and 15 Medium took me forever, and 24 Hard drove me crazy until I found a better beginning. I'm only trailing you by 1 level now, so watch your back :)
I updated the table. Looks like we are through with the easy levels.
I noticed that I missed an unnecessary "double move" in my 33 Medium solution and now you beat me to it :)
I'm still puzzled about how you got 13 moves on 25 Medium, I can't get below 14. But I'll keep trying. I must say you are a worthy competitor, very thorough and dedicated. Some of the more complex puzzles require a lot of time and thought to optimize.
Right now you lead on a lot more levels than I do, too bad I'm going to have a rather busy weekend. But I will be back :)
I think you're right about the easy levels, though I plan to go through them once more. Most of those puzzles are straightforward enough that it's hard to miss the 1-move improvements so common in the medium and hard levels.
I double-checked 25 Medium, to make sure it wasn't a typo on my part; I assure you it can be done. :) I feel the same way about 34 Hard, I've played it over and over and can only manage 25. At the moment it's the only level on which I'm behind, but I've only been playing catch-up, instead of finding new optimizations on the tied levels like you've been doing. (I also have the advantage, as a contracted programmer, to reallocate my time when a new game comes out.)
In my last post, I greatly underestimated Lexaloffle's ingenuity at puzzle creation. After a pass through the easy levels, I was able to reduce the minimum scores on 11 of the 40. (My favorite is 32 Easy in 9, a sequence which requires Hard-style sneakiness and planning.) What a lovely, deep game!
I found some time to play today. I'm impressed with Weedhopper's progress once again. Several of his numbers are out of my reach for now. Still, I could improve a couple of the easy level solutions even further! I absolutely agree that the puzzles are excellent and have a lot more depth than one would expect. Makes me wish for an expansion pack :)
Edit: 17 Hard is painful. Another obvious move I could optimize away in 15 seconds. It's amazing how I'm suddenly able to improve my solution as soon as I get told it can be done.
It's amazing how I'm suddenly able to improve my solution as soon as I get told it can be done.
I know what you mean, Gray. I spent half an hour getting down to 20 on 39 Easy; after seeing your score, I matched it in about 5 minutes. I might never have done that if you hadn't managed it first. It's so hard to optimize the Turkish delight; in fact, I shaved another 2 moves from 39, and I'm still not sure if that's the minimum.
Due to a bug that corrupts the playfield, my scores for 36 Medium and 33 Hard are invalid. I apologize for any frustration if you tried to match my impossible scores. Without the bug, I can get 24 moves on 36 Medium (instead of the 23 claimed) and 38 moves on 33 Hard (instead of 34). Again, I'm sorry for not realizing this sooner. If you've matched these higher scores, Gray, then you have seniority.
I see, seems like a nasty bug. Although I must say I also experience some playfield corruption sometimes, but it seems to be connected to glass blocks somehow. Sometimes pieces disappear on a redo, or 2 moves get contracted into one. I have sent Joseph instructions on how to reproduce that one, but it doesn't occur on his machine. He mentioned it might have something to do with machine speed, but he's not sure yet.
I have updated the table. I did spend some time pondering the 23 moves on 36 Medium lately, but that's no problem :) My solution (previously in the table) had 24 moves already. On 33 Hard, I have a 36 move one. Still, it seems I have a lot of catching up to do :)
When I use Undo after using the turkish delight, random squares can disappear, sometimes enabling extra shortcuts. The only issue I've encountered with glass blocks is the opposite of your move-condensing one -- I can record moves on glass blocks even when they're blocked and don't actually move. As long as I move the mouse by 1 square, the move won't reset.
I always have a devil of a time solving 33 Hard, and I'm still behind by 2 moves?!? Aw man... ;)
I keep discovering levels that seem to have been designed with a hard-to-find optimal solution in mind. The final, minimal solution oftentimes seems to "make the most sense" when compared to one's previous attempts. If 38 Medium was meant to be solved in 25 moves, I take my hat off to Lexaloffle. I wonder what his (their?) best solutions list looks like.
BTW, I can also confirm the aforementioned bug: attempts to move blocked glass pieces are incorrectly recorded as moves.
Ooh, that is cool! I don't know if it's design or just mathematical coincidence, but 38 Medium and others have that one ideal opening sequence. I can get 25 moves in a dozen ways, but the first 4 moves are always identical -- everything just falls into place after that. 21 Medium in 7 is a blast as well (I love breaking the "intended" sequence), but any way you look at it, 38 Medium is just beautifully put together.
I noticed that too Weedhopper. Often a puzzle would be either unsolvable, or the solution would go through a 'bottleneck', after which it could be solved in a variety of ways which took a similar number of moves. I certainly didn't design puzzles to be like that - it just turned out that way. Actually, same goes for the other interesting properties that have been discovered (:
Looking through Gray's table, I can't see any scores that I could beat by much, except for 19 Hard in 15, which does have a very particular trick to it.
Lexaloffle: "I can't see any scores that I could beat by much"
In some rooms, finding that "by much" bit can get pretty tricky, too. (: These levels haven't given up all their secrets yet, but it's nice to know we're not missing too many obvious things. Even with the hint on 19 Hard, I only saw half of the trick for the longest time.
Gray: I see that you've pulled ahead on another snake level... I half expect to see a new score on 5 Medium next time I drop by. I probably won't get another chance to play till next weekend, but I've tried to leave you with a few interesting scores to repay the fun I've had chasing yours.
Weedhopper - That's a good point about being just one move ahead. What I meant to say was - "I can't see any scores that I can beat". (: I haven't tried optimising my solutions much (I'm usually happy just to know that they are solvable!), but I'm surprised by how much has been squeezed out of them so far.
Nice one, mllr523! That's a neat solution that completely escaped me before. With skills like that, you're probably keeping up quite well with Gray and myself -- feel free to post your other scores for the Big Board.
I just downloaded Chocolate Castle 3 days ago and I am looking at the solutions board and seeing lots of different initials. I have matched the <i>majority</i> of my rooms to those amounts of moves, should I post which rooms I have matched or just leave it be?
Hi mllr523! Whether or not you should post your results is up to you. If you post your scores, I will definitely add them to the table. You could be the second or third player to claim record scores on those levels (or maybe even the first if you manage to get even lower numbers). I think I will limit the number of recorded score claims to 3 per level.
Easy Levels: 3 in 10 moves, 4 in 12 moves, 5 in 5 moves, 6 in 7 moves, 7 in 6 moves, 8 in 2 moves, 9 in 5 moves, 10 in 8 moves, 12 in 7 moves, 14 in 8 moves, 16 in 10 moves, 18 in 9 moves, 19 in 6 moves, 20 in 9 moves, 21 in 6 moves, 23 in 21 moves, 31 in 8 moves, 33 in 12 moves, 34 in 3 moves, 37 in 8 moves
Medium Levels: 1 in 9 moves, 5 in 4 moves, 7 in 6 moves, 8 in 11 moves, 11 in 6, 12 in 9, and that is as far as I have gotten so far.
So close to 2100... must save 5 more moves... [EDIT: made it! Still need to match 2 of Gray's to get there myself, though.]
Happy one-month anniversary on this thread. In that time, we've surprised the game's creator, tracked down a release's worth of bugs and suggestions, and generally played the heck out of Chocolate Castle. And three different Easy rooms have been optimized further, by three different people, in the past week. Thanks to Joseph for a terrific game, and to Gray and the rest of the BBS for making this such a fun place to visit!
Sounds like you need the 1.03 update, mllr523. A bug that caused the same symptoms was fixed then.
Good job on your latest records! The levels you match first are surprising compared to my history. It's good to have players with different styles, that way we're more likely to find new solutions like 4 Hard in 10.
Congrats on improving 25 Medium, Gray! It gives me hope for one day catching up to your records on those 2 snake levels. I found a second way to get through 26 Hard, but it's still 30 moves; maybe in another 2 months I'll figure it out.
The new 40 Hard record is impressive. My 17-move is an optimized version of my originally posted 21-move, but I can't see how to shave any more from that approach, and any other method I try doesn't come close.
Thanks, I must say it was a huge relief to have matched your 13 moves on 25 Medium. If I didn't know it was possible, I wouldn't have had the slightest doubt that 14 is the minimum. That puzzle is really evil.
Regarding 40 Hard and the other ones, I'm sure you'll get there if you don't give up, since you seem to have a lot more patience than me. In any case, it will happen sooner than my  matching all of your solutions. My next Everest is Easy 27 :)
I think it's less patience than pure brute force. :) A lot of my evenings are spent half-watching TV while idly playing CC or some other game on my laptop. Since I'm not paying full attention, I don't get bored if I spend two hours going over and over a sequence, which is how I lead mainly on the painfully long levels. (I won't mind if I never play that crosses room again...) Only occasionally do I get a flash of cleverness on the short ones, and give you a nice challenge in return for the ones you've given me.
I'm not quite ready to give up yet, though I think I'm out of steam for setting new records. I wonder if it's time to compare notes on some of the replays. I'm curious how close our solutions are on some of the more open-ended puzzles, and we may be able to improve each other's sequences where we're stuck individually.
I must admit, my motivation has weakened somewhat as well, but I made some more progress today and that brought me more optimism again :) I agree to comparing some solutions, but I'd like to take another good look at them before we start "reducing the competitiveness".
Actually, I think we can discuss 31 Hard now... I found an "embarrassing" 9 move solution that we both seem to have been missing all this time. I still can't believe it works and I suspect that it was not intended to, since it takes the "Hardness" out of the puzzle. My previous best was 24 moves, and I'd be interested to know how you got 21 (hints are welcome).
Regarding "brute forcing" the puzzles - I somehow tend to require full concentration to play CC well. I don't think I can do it without really paying attention. Setting all those records while half-watching TV sounds impressive :)
On the occasions I've come back to CC lately, I have trouble matching my old scores, much less coming up with new ways to shave moves. I'll have to look into this "full concentration" thing, it sounds promising.
31 Hard... all I can say is 'wow'. Somehow my brain skipped over your second paragraph when I read your post, and only picked up the score from the table. I played over and over again, thinking "Gray must have meant 19, but how'd he ever get it?" Today I re-read your post and, as usual, got it in minutes once I knew for sure it was possible.
It seems unlikely that Joseph would deviously hold that trick back after revealing 19 Hard. Though he can callously vaporize a monk for misusing a rake...
I think I can reproduce your 24-move solution, mine is very similar with one small exception:
The larger pink block only moves once.
If that's not enough, or if lurkers are following along:
1. First, the obvious: eat the brown chocolate on move 9. The one-time block is next to the pink section.
2. Bring the first pink block in place to get the "ice key" to the bottom position. If I bring the other block to the left now, I can get a nice 24-move solution (probably the same as yours), but instead put the smaller block there. That should be move 13.
3. It's all downhill from here. Get the small pink block below the horizontal blocker, unattached against the left side. Put the ice key in the upper left, and finally move the big block down. Shove the key over and bridge the chocolate with the small block. Feeding frenzy on move 21.
It seems the progress on the records has slowed down considerably in the last couple of months. I'm thinking of starting a "solutions" thread and collecting all the best solutions for posterity (and as a reference). I hope Weedhopper comes around once more, since it'd be a shame if we never got to see his solutions.
That's a great idea Gray. Actually - to make things a bit easier, I'll set up a web page like the ZPG one with hints and solutions (something I've been meaning to do). So if you don't want to post a whole bunch of solutions one by one, you can send me your player history file (e.g. player1.txt) and I'll pick out the best solutions according to the table.
When adding new scores later on, I'll leave a history of the past records so that pioneers in puzzle solving won't have their legacy clobbered after someone comes along and makes a subtle optimisaion (:
BTW, for anyone out there who doesn't have optimised scores.. send me your player file anyway and I'll store a collection of solutions for each room. It's always interesting to see the variety of ways puzzles are solved.
Maybe they can.. I'll try automatically generating strips of thumbnails so that you can get an idea of the solution without having to load it into the game. It would work for short solutions, at least.
Sorry for being MIA. I've been too busy to play CC, which previously had served as a nice reminder to check the leaderboard and the rest of the BBS threads. I just emailed Joseph my data file, so hopefully you can check out my replays to your heart's content, Gray. I intend to do the same with yours; even when we hit the same number of moves, we can use very different thought processes.
Hi Lexaloffle: Have you published the best solutions yet or just the best scores?  I'm asking because I've tried to find the page with the solutions (movs.) but it keeps sending me to the score table so I wonder if I'm doing something wrong.