2. General hints and tips
Quickest achievement: Bean Dive
That would be the Mapnipulator achievement. From the Title screen it can be unlocked in 2 minutes. Quick guide: When you press Start at the Title Screen you'll be thrown directly into Story mode. Keep pressing Start to skip the intro and open the pause menu. Choose "Exit to Game Board". You will end up at the map. Annoyingly enough you won't be able to move the pen cursor, so start up Toy Box mode with any character. Again keep pressing Start to skip intro and bring up the pause menu. Again choose "Exit to Game Board". NOW you'll be able to move the cursor and will be able to unlock Mapnipulator. See guide in the Story walkthrough.
What character to play?
You have access to three playable characters: Woody, Jessie and Buzz. In Story mode you'll be forced to play a specific character in some levels, while in others you can can swap between all three to your own liking. They all have the same jumping capabilities, so the difference between them lies in their Special Ability:
Woody: Can use the string in his back to attach to hooks and swing across wide gaps.
Jessie: Can balance on small objects and thus make her way to places only she can reach.
Buzz: Can pick up the other characters and throw them to otherwise inaccessible places.
Learn their respective abilities by heart as this walkthrough won't give you instructions on how to make your way through the levels or how to reach collectibles except in certain cases.
When playing in Toy Box mode the choice of character doesn't matter, as they don't have their Special Ability in this mode. Pick the one to your liking. Note that each character have their own records in races but share the same story, Gold Stars and Prize Capsules.
Grab all the gold you can
In Toy Box mode you will receive gold coins for almost everything you do: Completing missions, earning Gold Stars, smashing objects, winning races or putting bandits behind bars. You will need a lot of gold in order to buy everything from the Toy Shop (achievement) and there is also a Gold Star for accumulating 30,000 gold coins. The story will force you to buy stuff from the Toy Shop in order to proceed. Although this walkthrough will progress the story at a rather slow pace it will assume that you have the gold coins needed to proceed as it continues. Therefore make sure to grab all the coins you can, use your pick-axe on gold veins when passing near them, especially if you skip the optional quests or postpone Gold Stars until later. In the end you will have a major surplus of gold, but they will come in handy when facing the final boss.
HINT: Turn balls into gold: If you don't run around throwing balls at each and everyone you will eventually have thousands of balls in abundance. These balls can easily be turned into gold with some button mashing. Press B to activate the balls and then press X to turn the ball into 10 golds. Just keep hammering the X-button to repeat. 10 Gold for each ball is well paid. Use this trick if you lack the funds to continue according to the walkthrough.
In Toy Box mode there are A LOT of Prize Capsules to be found (290 pieces). They all have a name - but unfortunately that name is only revealed upon pick up. In decoration and outfit menus each prize will be anonymous which makes it very hard to figure out what capsules you've already collected. Therefore it is highly recommended to print the "Prize Capsule checklist" and tick them of one at a time as you pick them up. Also take extra notice when you pick up a capsule marked with bold italic text. These capsules are necessary to complete missions. Make a mental note of what they look like.
In some levels you're required to grab a handle and pull/push open a door or window. The control for doing this is extremely buggy as the character seem to let go of the grabbed object the instance he/she grabs it. Just keep pressing the X-button while slowly moving the character back and forth along the grabbable surface.
Here are a few expressions that will be used in the walkthrough:
Climb: This is when you jump up alongside a wall while grabbing onto cavities.
Wall jump: This refers to jumping back and forth between two close walls and gaining altitude to reach a higher ledge.
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