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I don’t know about armoured vs unarmoured, but I played this game some months ago on another site, so I have some experience beating it. Close call pretty much all depends on releasing an entire column(one line from top to bottom or vice versa) as soon as the bug passes the very rightmost rock in the middle(back leg of Big Momma in the last level).
Well I finished my guide up to level 9 and then decided to try my own guide out and wing levels 10 and 11… ended up with a score of 98,414. 100,000 is definitely possible… but man, some of these later levels are crazy with respect to keeping the flower meter in gold-mode. Sometimes you have to find creative ways to ensure nothing is wasted (my level 9 strategy is just crazy… I’m taking chunks everywhere). Really, this badge is a matter of just not wasting anything. The close-calls tend to come naturally because in order to not waste, you have to release things pretty late anyway.
I’ve gotten over 100,000 a few times now — got the badge, first try using my own guide (103,000 or so). I have all videos uploaded and I sent the guide to Kongreguide.
There is actually much more upside potential for scores than I initially realized. Even if you screw up a few times when following my guide, you still end up with a pretty good score (I was like 3,000 behind at one point and somehow made up an extra 6,000 by the end to push me to 103,000). I don’t even know the maximum score — if you want to see something crazy, check out my Level 10 video to see what’s possible in a very good run (8 close calls, only one tar and it was the intentional last one for maximizing time points): [http://youtube.com/watch?v=dx4pTY-gsHs](http://youtube.com/watch?v=dx4pTY-gsHs) where 8 Close Calls is in itself 2000 points. If you think about what other kinds of crazy optimizations exist for other levels, 100,000 is actually not that high. Of course, most people with scores much higher than 100k probably hacked it but whatever