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The socket is the barrier that is usually set up between Chip and the exit. In order to pass through the socket, Chip must collect the required number of computer chips, although extra chips can be taken and all sockets can be removed once Chip has the required quota.
In most CC1 levels (108 of the 119 levels where there is a socket and are not busted to allow sneak passage), the socket directly protects the exit with no further obstacles in Chip's path, or else obstacles that Chip already has the items to pass. Sometimes, though, the socket protects an item required to reach the exit, such as a key or block, an obstacle (such as an element), or a construction that accesses the exit. Nuts and Bolts, Elementary, Arcticflow, Lemmings, Sampler, I Slide, Deepfreeze, Force Square, Cityblock, Icehouse, Torturechamber, Alphabet Soup, Firetrap, Mixed Nuts, Doublemaze, and Force Field are examples for levels in CC1 with such items or obstacles after the sockets. In some levels, the socket protects the path to the exit, with no obstacles or items between them, or it sets only a space or two from the exit. Lesson 4, Trinity, Mugger Square, Victim, Writers Block, Up the Block, Telenet, Now You See It, Four Square, Apartment, Memory, Slide Step, The Prisoner, and Block N Roll are examples in CC1.
The socket acts as a wall when Chip has not collected the required number of chips, and dirt when he has.