A 2001 Falling Blocks
and Match Three Game
by WOW Entertainment that was published by THQ
. Columns Crown
begins with Princess Dazzle
being informed by her mother that, if she wants to become the queen, she has to recollect the 24 jewels belonging to the crown
. Having uncovered four of those jewels in the castle, the princess realizes that outside help is necessary. Therein come Jade and Ruby, Dazzle's two friends from school. Happy to aid, they begin their expedition.
Apart from Player Versus Player
, there are three modes to choose from:
- Survival, which has you start with a fresh, clear board and place randomly-generated jewel sets. The goal is to keep the game going for as long as you can, with rewards given at determined intervals. This is the only mode to feature Difficulty Levels. After filling the gauge to the board's right, a special set of silver orbs drop instead of normal gems; these destroy all jewels of the same color that they land on, and can be reused by stacking at least one of the orbs above the screen's edge. Progression is determined by your earned score.
- VS. CPU pits Ruby/Jade against a band of thieves seeking to acquire the jewels themselves, with their reasons for doing so not shown until the very end. After The Reveal, the game's Big Bad becomes Princess Dazzle's cousin, Pinch, who enlisted the thieves' help in her goal to complete her own kingdom's Columns Crown. She is not referenced in the other two modes. Filling the gauge causes one of your ability jewels to drop, which, when destroyed, can help you or hinder your opponent in various ways.
- Flash Columns, where Ruby/Jade must clear preset jewels to reach and destroy one or more jewels with a white outline before progressing forward. There are fifty stages total. Every fifth level is called a “Challenging Stage,” which are actually closer to Breather Levels than anything else. After clearing five, you are awarded one jewel to the crown, and are allowed to resume playing at the next stage without penalty. note
In all of those modes, attaching jewels of the same color vertically, horizontally or diagonally causes them to disappear. With enough skill or luck, Combos
can be created, which, in Survival and VS. CPU modes, gives an increasingly bigger boost to the bonus gauge. Regardless of mode, if the middle row reaches the top of the screen, it's Game Over
Tropes used in Columns Crown include:
- Ambiguous Gender: Jinx. Its Victory Pose has it do something akin to a Pec Flex, but the pecs don't look entirely pec-like.
- Artificial Brilliance: chaining becomes commonplace not long into Vs. CPU mode.
- Artificial Stupidity: Then again, several of the characters are utterly idiotic.
- Some will commit suicide by stacking the middle row of their playing field past the screen when the sides are practically empty. They usually do this within seconds of the match starting. Happens the most with Princess Pinch.
- A few of the abilities not only add extra rows of gems to the opponent's field, but do the same to the user's. Jinx can occasionally kill itself this way. Then there's the ones which swap your boards, which, due to their overlapping brilliance and stupidity, can leave them in a worse position than you.
- Big Bad: Princess Pinch, Dazzle's cousin.
- Big Fancy House: Dazzle's.
- Black Magician Girl: Ruby is one, if her status as a Sorcerer is to be believed on the character selection screen.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: if you die in Flash Columns mode or VS. CPU mode, you can just continue.
- Difficulty Spike: You got to Rank C- in Survival Mode? You now have two seconds to place each row. C+? Less than half a second.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Princess Pinch.
- Endless Game: Survival mode.
- Event Flags: according to the manual, meeting certain conditions in one mode can unlock things in the others.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Dazzle.
- Excuse Plot: Princess Dazzle wants dem jewels.
- Falling Blocks: Rather than the typical Tetris style of game-play, each set of blocks drops in vertical threes, and cannot be rotated; instead, pressing A or B causes the order of blocks to shuffle downward or upward.
- Foreshadowing: The person that walks past while Princess Dazzle is asking for her classmates' help is her cousin, Princess Pinch, who has similar goals.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: the second opponent in VS. CPU mode.
- Its Upto You: Dazzle finds four of the crown's gems, and then just kind of shuffles the responsibility onto you.
- Gem-Encrusted: the crown.
- Gemstone Assault: Judging by how the cover depicts Jade and Ruby fighting two of the thieves, this is how things go in VS. Mode behind all the Falling Blocks.
- Gender-Blender Name: Jade is a boy. No, that's not usually a boy's name.
- Girlish Pigtails: Ruby.
- Gotta Catch Them All
- Luck-Based Mission: Flash Columns can become this, since only the Challenging Stages have absolute patterns to the jewel sets.
- Match Three Game: Vertically, horizontally or diagonally—as long as it's a straight line, it counts.
- Mineral Mac Guffins
- Modest Royalty: Not only does Princess Dazzle wear a simple white dress in more royal situations, she wears a uniform when at school.
- Nintendo Hard: The fact that you can't rotate block structures should tell you this.
- Opera Gloves: Princess Dazzle has them.
- Panty Shot: A (probably) non-fetish version occurs when Ruby wins a match in VS. CPU mode or loses in Survival mode.
- Power-Up Motif: activating a technique jewel in VS. CPU causes a short theme to play.
- Rank Inflation
- Requisite Royal Regalia
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: Flash Columns can range from hellishly difficult to ridiculously easy, just by going from a normal stage to a Challenging Stage. For evidence, the very first Challenging Stage can be cleared without the player even pressing any buttons.
- Socialization Bonus: you can trade your jewels with those of other players.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: there is no possible way Princess Pinch could be pressing the control pad so quickly that she recovers from the Paralysis effect in a matter of two seconds.
- The Tetris Effect
- The Voice: Princess Dazzle's mother.
- Timed Mission: Flash Columns usually features a limit of 3–4 minutes, with the Challenging Stages dropping that to just ten seconds.
- Victory Pose