Now there's even more ball on 3D maze action. 'The Final' is 20 extra levels which the game goads you into after completing the main game, at least in the PAL version. The levels are nearly twice as long on average than the main game ones, however this is inflated mainly by a few levels that combine big distances between keys with benign ways of travelling that distance rather than because they're all twice as interesting.
There's no audio commentary for this run since all the techniques are the ones used in the main run. Those being mainly:
Turn jumping - if you jump forward as the camera is rotating left and right, you can move while it's still turning, without jumping you have to wait until it re-centres itself.
and Edge jumping - The up-n-over version of turn jumping. When you roll over an edge, there's a window where you're considered on the next block but aren't affected by its static contents, and so can jump to avoid whatever it is and land on the edge of the square you land on, unaffected by its' contents too, This is mainly used in this run to avoid boost buttons and save a block of travel in the wrong direction.
It'd be much easier to just go straight for the middle arm right off the bat but the pesky hourglass blocks the route. It's possible to jump over it and still land on its block, but as we'll see later, turning would cause it to be collected, so jumping it is useless. Otherwise this level is pretty straight forward.
The only mildly irritating part here is the 'head bump' jumping off the single block before collecting the second key. It saves a whole single block of travel, but every little helps
Looks impossible until you find out there are invisible blocks, at which point it’s fairly trivial. The 'hall of mirrors' effect is caused by being too close to the edge of a block while rotating the world vertically.
This one's all in the routing. Conveniently this solution avoids all the hazards and capture stars and seems to be the fastest to boot.
So, so boring. Four actual jumps are all it takes apart from miles and miles of rolling.
Switches are easy to jump between which trivialises puzzles like this. Even so it's not possible to get the first key and turn on the required red transporter in one trip down the platform.
More simple levels that don't really pose any danger or require any dexterity.
There's no way to catch the moving platform on its first pass so urgency isn't required (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBeqmDfI-l4). You can do swag strats and jump under all the spiral stabbers on the way to the second key but jumping from the next square along is much less reckless.
This level always takes the same amount of time. You have a massive window from the start to turn off the green switch and get to the first moving platform since it's the only avenue to the exit.
The first of these levels that really flows well. There's nowhere to jump to from the exit platform, and that's the only destination from the second key platform so this is quite a linear level.
Instead of any waiting, on this level the race is on to make it past a spike square while it's safe. After that it's quite straightforward as long as you get the turn on the crumbly block and remember its six rotations of the key block before jumping.
The token broken level. The intended path is to make three trips between the platforms on the opposite sides of the level picking up a key on each trip. As demonstrated in the previous level though, you can turn and move off a crumbly block before you fall through it. Using that you can complete the level without ever going near the platforms opposite the starting block.
You can't just go down the other end and get the key as that requires use of both crumbly blocks on the key end. That'd mean there's nowhere to jump to on the underneath on the ice slide, so you either go round and round, or back where you started.
Another single block of travel is saved here by edge jumping over the boost button. The capture star on the underside is in slightly different positions depending on how quickly you get to the underside of the ice slide, but it’s not really ever a problem.
And back to the waiting, though for spikes now. Previous edge jumps have shaved perhaps a second off the time in total, here one's required to short circuit part of the level. After switching on the red button, the intended path is to roll all the way around the structure back to the initial boost button, and to use it the other direction so it shoots you to the lower level transporter. With an edge jump, you can eschew all that and just jump to the transporter block. Another bonus of the jump over the intended is that it knocks three transporter trips to down to one, since the jump lands outside the transporters hit box. The turning on the transporter block after collecting the key is to activate it.
The level is unique in the sense that it's the only one in the game where you collect more than one key without directly occupying the block their on. The slight hurdle is pausing long enough under the keys before jumping, any momentum when you press X and you jump forward rather than bounce.
Similar to 155 in spirit if not design. The keys require so much uninteresting travel to attain, and
Even longer than the last level but you have to work for the keys here and it makes for a much better experience. This was where I forgot the route the most, especially the complete turn-around-and-onto-the-underside out of the yellow & red transporters.
During my adventures with this game I've found a gameshark code that exchanges the D-Pad from manipulating the ball to manipulating the level. With that enabled, I took screenshots of either side of this maze and used those to plot the quickest route: this one.
Considering the relative complexity of which switches to hit and avoid for the three trips down switch alley and their tiny hitboxes, only about 2 decent attempts actually died here. Turning around to hit the green switch on the second trip is sadly mandatory. The 'difficult' jump is turning on the red switch and jumping to turn off the green one on the third jaunt through the alley since the tiny buttons are easy to miss.
And there you have it. 20 levels in just under 570 seconds. The game doesn't display a score screen for 'The Final' on any version so even though it keeps track of the in game time, it keeps it secret. That's why this is timed by real-time and why I used my PS2 with fast disc speed.