NNEs and why the game freezes

By PushingPillsPushingPills. Last updated

A Non-Newtonian Elimination, or NNE for short, is what I like to call it when one or more viruses are eliminated without there being 4 or more of the same color in a row.

It seems to be the case that the game has to be done with whatever needs to be done, at certain time intervals, and if it can't get things done in time, unintended things are likely to happen.
For NTSC the refresh frequency is roughly 60Hz and for PAL 50Hz, which I think sets the time limit.
If I am right about this it means that on the NTSC version the game has to finish its calculations in under 1/60 seconds, and on the PAL version 1/50 seconds.

There are probably many things that can add up to fill a time interval(which would account for different results on seemingly equal combos), but the biggest contributor by far seems to be the allotment of points.
For whatever reason, the more points you get, the more time the game needs to allot them.
If we consider the length of the time interval, it becomes clear that it is not the point allotment of the entire combo that is of interest, but rather what is allotted from viruses being removed "at the same time"(i.e. no falling of pills in between).

Let's say you make a 16 virus combo on LOW speed. First you remove 9 viruses at once, then some pills fall, then you remove 4, then some pills fall, then you remove 1, then some pills fall, then you remove 2.

Here's how the game sees that:
Virus 1-9 => 15900 points
New time interval, virus 10-13 => 7700 points
New time interval, virus 14 => 25600 points
New time interval, virus 15-16 => 300 points

As you can see, removing only the 14th virus is a bigger deal for the game than removing virus 1-9 and a much bigger deal than removing virus 15-16 even though they are "higher up" in the combo.

If time runs out by a sufficient margin while a virus is eliminated from the side we get an NNE.
If time runs out while a virus is eliminated vertically we get a freeze of varying degree. The bigger the margin the more severe the consequences usually.
If a virus looks to be eliminated both from the side and vertically, it is eliminated from the side.

It is actually possible to do an NNE by removing the virus vertically...
When you do an NNE from the side, all pills and viruses to the right of the tipping point virus and on all rows below it are usually removed. And you seem to be totally spared from hard freezes.
When you do an NNE vertically, only pills and viruses on the same column are removed, and you are really likely to get a hard freeze.

While you get a lot more points on MED and HI, this does NOT translate the way one might expect.
However, if you divide your MED score with 2 and HI score with 3 to get the equivalent LOW score, you need pretty much the same amount of points for an NNE.
Perhaps a little less on HI than on MED, and a little less on MED than on LOW, but the difference is really small.