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 Post subject: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:21 pm 


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Joined: 24 Nov 2014
Posts: 1204
Location: Germany
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I am fallen prey
There was a time
When fangs sank deep
My body dragged
And flesh howled
Fear's face was cold
With instinct's need

[...]


Konami's unorthodox business venture with the avowed goal to eat quarters and turn childs as well as adults to weeping husks. Feel free to give it a shot if you dare. I nearly destroyed my controller a few times, you sure won't forget the experience!

Since the Konami oversea releases usually were different from the originals I'd kindly ask you to specify the version you were playing. Thus the format:

Name - Score - Stage - Version

Code:
   Name                 Score     Stage   Version   
1. Perikles           1,745,640    ALL     Japan     
2. Shepardus             50,840     3      Japan
3.
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Last edited by Perikles on Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:00 am, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:24 pm 


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Perikles - 341,180 - 18/2-2 - Japan

Video


Only three deaths in the first loop, all of them in stupid manners - this couldn't have been much better. One of my best performances so far - the game is insanely unfair, but the satisfaction is tremendous.
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:53 pm 


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Congrats, will definitely watch that vid.


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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:24 pm 


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Perikles wrote:
the game is insanely unfair, but the satisfaction is tremendous.

oh my, if only heathens knew the real truth about shumpz!
:wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 5:55 pm 


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Joined: 24 Nov 2014
Posts: 1204
Location: Germany
Soon, ladies and gentlemen, we will have another episode of

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I want the 2-ALL and the game made me sufficiently angry with its various antics. Thus, I sat down, drew myself little maps of every stage in the second loop and even recorded a stage-by-stage loop 2 series without any deaths. Provided you play absolutely perfectly and get lucky with some power-ups, you can beat every stage in loop 2 without dying, although it's almost impossible against the final boss, you're realistically going to lose a few lives in order to lower the rank. I got several pixel-perfect manoeuvres and also the double K.O. which - in an act of uncharacteristical mercy - will instantly revive you in this game. In case you're interested to watch the above playlist, here are a few particular nuggets within this asylum:

- My price for the most outrageous total package goes to stage 29. Some other stages are as bad and so are some of the bosses, the combination of both is unmatched in this level, however. You're constantly a few frames away from getting killed by several barbarians while you have to weaken the correct shield wielders at the right time so that you can barely win this battle. The boss fight is by far the most infuriating one in the game: you have to kill two teleporting ghosts whilst avoiding to hit the two insectoid men in the back lest they shift positions and come to close. More often than not, the ghosts spawn/move in/to an unfortunate spot, or are covered by million projectiles, or you're screwed anyway. It's like having a staged boxing match against a member of the mob: you just want to lash out, but you have to restrain yourself for the consequences of fighting back are much worse.

- I had to suffer for a long time before I finally stumbled upon the pseudo safespot in stage 31 against the barbarians. It only works against the first two bosses and they have to behave in just the right way, yet if you can get this to work you're pretty much done with this fight. Fighting the lower barbarian in any other way is madness, he's way too close for his potentially aimed boomerangs, this battle can easily kill a credit.

- If you get the wrong power-up in stage 30 then lawls you're gonna die. Simple as that.

- Stage 24 is probably the strictest one in terms of precision, you even have to walk through enemy fire at the right moments.

- Stage 22 is equally tense, at least all the power-ups in this stage are useful.


Will have to practice some more and also go through the first loop again to perfect my performance there, everything has to work without frictions. It might take me some days or weeks, but I'm going to slaughter this bastard. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 10:06 pm 


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Location: Germany
And a better score for now:

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Perikles - 504,940 - 24/2-8 - Japan


Ye gods, the frustration. I can honestly say that every death was either due to some laughable design decision or by virtue of unavoidable patterns (lost two lives on the three insect men in stage 23). Since the first loop is already so hard, you're never going to reach a point where it becomes trivial to enter the second loop with a bunch of resources. That'd be commendable in a perfect world (having an exciting first loop even after a lot of experience is a great thing, after all), not with this game, though. Oftentimes it feels like you're playing chess against a master who willingly sacrifices all his expendable materiel in order to achieve the checkmate, just with the added bonus that Battlantis also is blatantly unfair. I'll continue to post better scores until I get the 2-ALL, let's see how long it'll take. At least the game's short...
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 10:50 am 


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Perikles - 642,300 - 30/2-14 - Japan


Could've been the 2-ALL if not for an excessive amount of ridiculous deaths - I played like a goddamn expert during all the absurdly difficult parts, got constantly shafted in various other situations (explosions lingered around, walking enemies point-blanked me, my shots went right through certain foes)... Image
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 11:58 pm 


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Perikles - 715,460 - 32/2-16 - Japan


Abysmal first loop, amazing second loop, got to the final boss with two lives, lost both, o' course. Had a run where I entered the second loop with five lives, all for naught. It's just a game of chance at this point, I have certain probabilities to beat any given stage without dying (depending on random elements/insulting debility you cannot possibly avoid; also a few really hard/precise stages/bosses), it just needs to come together. Hopefully in the next few days.
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 8:25 pm 


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Perikles - 1,745,640 - ALL - Japan

Video

At last! By far the hardest clear I've gotten so far, even Tatsujin Ou or the Xexex 2-ALL were fairly mild compared to this. Even when I wanted some other clears, I've not played too much at any given day since I find that concentration and motivation starts to deteriorate if you force things too much - I culpably neglected this tenet here, I've spent the last afternoons with several attempts beating this hellspawn. Had a few runs where I managed to beat the entire first loop without dying, or where the first stretch of the second loop went really well, but I always fell apart somewhere. I thought I lost it with this run when I got murdered three times on the bosses in stage 29, yet somehow survived the next two stages without dying, allowing me to start the final boss fight with four lives total which is realistically the bare minimum to beat it (you need to die three times for a "manageable" rank; manageable in quotation marks, just look at the last pattern I've had to dodge!).

It's safe to say that I know no other shmup as well as I do Battlantis, as shameful as it is. The amount of time I've had to invest even for the smallest things is laughable, I could probably create an instructive ST had I the nerve to put in the time and effort. And while this run was barely victorious, this is probably as close as I ever got (get?) to a great clear. Due to how the game works, you just have to play extraordinarily well to stand a chance, the extends will only get you so far. I was actually thinking about how you could tweak several parameters to make the game so much more enjoyable:

- Allow more than two shots on-screen at a time. This restriction is particularly bad at the final boss in loop 2 since it's almost impossible to destroy the hatches while fending off their scions at high rank. You have to wait for too long before your shots hit the former, leaving you adrift against the swarms of enemies. And there are dozens of other instances where at least one more shot would be such a mercy, I really don't see a necessity to have such a constraint.

- Let those shots cover more than what feels like a millimeter. You have to do so many things simultaneously and with only two shots at your disposal, don't implement such a harsh penalty for missing by one or two pixels as well.

- Don't make power-ups random. For Christ's sake, what a dumb idea. Some stages have fixed drops (e.g. stage 6), most don't, however. There is quite a difference between getting a speed-up and complete invincibility, though, and it shouldn't come down to luck in such a precise game.

- Don't permit enemies to point-blank you. It's disgusting.

- In a similar manner: don't allow enemies to cut off your path to a climbing barbarian. This oftentimes happens when some rock detonates on the battlement, meaning that the hit is still active for a second or so before you can move past it. You're just standing there with no hopes of survival.

- There is a glitch at certain frames of the climbing animation of enemies where you shoot right through them. Fix that.

- Speaking of shooting right through stuff, the directly aimed boomerangs from the bosses in stages 10 and 21 are capable of sailing right through the crenels, as are some other boss projectiles. It depends on the angle and was obviously not intentional, someone just didn't notice or cared enough to amend that.

- It should be self-explanatory, but don't have unavoidable patterns in the game. The six ghosts in stage 19 do that from time to time, as does the final boss in loop 2, or the barbarian bosses in stage 31. You could always argue that you made some mistake several seconds ago where you should've dodged to the one side instead of the other, yet the fact of the matter is that you cannot know that beforehand since the patterns are random. It's insanely unfair.

- Also, some bosses are just way too close for comfort, especially the aforementioned boomerang guys. You sometimes have to guess where the boomerangs will fly to in advance because you cannot dodge on reaction. Since most of the attacks are just heading somewhere, you may well run right into something in the process. Just position the guys a tad bit further back.

- Some bosses have way too much resilience.

- If you don't want to address any of the above things, you could at least make the protagonist a bit faster as a redress. Or change the hit detection a little.


It's a miracle this game works at all. I don't have an inkling how long this game was in development, it feels like a bunch of people were crafting it for an considerable period of time to make absolutely sure that several sections may work out at all, but just barely.

Anyway, while I never want to touch this ever again, I'm immensely glad to have it in the bag. I'm usually not one to even mull about it, I nonetheless am quite sure that this is the first 2-ALL of this bastard in a long time, I doubt anyone outside of Japan bothered to even go this far (for good reasons).

To sum things up, a couple of my doodles and a spoof picture:

Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:19 pm 


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Look at this madman :o

Well done! :shock:
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:38 pm 


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I have a hard time imagining that the devs made such a huge effort to balance it to that precise level of intensity, instead of fixing some of the more obvious issues. Congrats on this insane clear.

You are excellent.
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:24 am 


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Woohoo second place!

Shepardus - 50,840 - 3 - Japan, program code E
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:40 am 


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Fucking intense reading. Grudge matches rule. :cool:

Perikles wrote:
It's safe to say that I know no other shmup as well as I do Battlantis, as shameful as it is. The amount of time I've had to invest even for the smallest things is laughable, I could probably create an instructive ST had I the nerve to put in the time and effort.


As per your usual instructive standards, your notes here are a pretty good stride towards a fully-fledged ST if you go that route. :smile:
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 Post subject: Re: Battlantis [Arcade]
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:12 am 


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Thanks a lot, guys, I really appreciate it! :) Also good job on your score, Shepardus, stage 2 was the first time where I seriously started to doubt the game when I played it the first time. :lol:

BIL wrote:
As per your usual instructive standards, your notes here are a pretty good stride towards a fully-fledged ST if you go that route. :smile:

There are certain rules you can follow which are related to the enemy columns*, but in order to get anywhere, you'd really have to make a stage-by-stage guide, with explanations for different strategies depending on which power-up you get and some of the RNG patterns of the bosses. With most games - even harder ones -, a general idea suffices, I find, but not so with Battlantis. And I know who's not going to write all that text. :mrgreen:


*You usually want to take out either the left-most or right-most column first so that the rest of the enemies has to walk the entire width of the screen; just killing the front enemies in every column makes them move faster and faster, and since all the columns are intact they will start to climb the battlement from all places at once, killing you invariably in the process; the worst thing that can happen is if you have one enemy on the far left and the far right and lose a life, both of them will be absurdly fast the next time, climbing the battlement from the extreme ends and killing you one more time unless you get lucky and manage to kill one. This only gets exacerbated by the storming barbarians that also demand your attention, of course.
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