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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 11:28 am 


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For what it's worth, I'm of course still interested in getting the 10m+ scores in the arcade versions of Gradius I & II (also II PCE and Gaiden). I also know that I can theoretically do it since there is no difference difficulty-wise between loop 4, 8, 15 or 123, it's all about keeping the concentration and knowing checkpoint recoveries.

The main problem in both Gradius games is stage 4, the checkpoints in that stage are brutal beyond belief. It's safe to assume that I wouldn't be able to manage those stages for six hours without dying at some point which means that I would have to get more consistent at the recoveries. Furthermore, I really ought to learn how to earn more points from the moai mid-boss (by using the highly specific safespot) and the actual moai boss (dito) on higher loops, my current scoring in Gradius II is not efficient enough for my liking. I would have to play for ~8 hours instead of the ~6 hours that should suffice with decent play in order to acquire the 10m.

However, while I will focus my efforts on Konami games for now, I'm currently more interested in goals that can be achieved without spending an entire day. :mrgreen: I am not yet done, however!


Shepardus wrote:
Motion to rank stage over score! :P

Just clear more loops, then you're bound to beat your score in no time at all. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 7:27 pm 


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:shock: Bloody Good Gradius and Gradius II scores Perikles :!:

GRADIUS: Perikles 3,732,200 9-4 MAME

GRADIUS 2 Gofer: Perikles 3,207,400 6-4 4 F MAME

SHEESH Kebabs! I never did figure out how to handle Gofer's 2-4 and that Gradius arcade score is sick.

Congrats!
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 12:20 am 


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Thanks a lot, had to put quite some time into these, hopefully there will be even better scores in the future! But I'm sure you could best these since at least theoretically, checkpoint recoveries are always possible in those two Gradius games while it is completely out of the question in both Thunder Cross games, making the latter ultimately harder by dint of having no margin of error. :)

DEL wrote:
I never did figure out how to handle Gofer's 2-4 [...]

That and the final stage are indeed the toughest sections in the game (and also naturally the hardest checkpoints). You want to memorize when to rush forwards during the eruptions of the volcanoes, ideally always with a force field selected on the power-up meter. It might be a good idea to activate a fourth option since the added firepower makes a huge difference in this stage, but I decided to skip it altogether, cannot stand the option thief in this game. You could stall some bosses for ideal appearances of that bastard, but you still have to implement this factor into your entire game plan, and one mistake will cost you dearly.
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:00 pm 


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Perikles wrote:
Thanks a lot, had to put quite some time into these, hopefully there will be even better scores in the future!

Gradius - Arcade

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Perikles - 10,011,800 - 24-1 - MAME

Videos and some musings will hopefully follow in the next days! For now, I shall contentedly rest. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:46 pm 


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Sweet Jesus. :shock: Damn near the WR, if I'm not mistaken. Looking forward to your report. :smile:
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:24 pm 


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Video of loops 21-23; I've linked to the playlist containing the other 20 loops in the video description.

BIL wrote:
Sweet Jesus. :shock: Damn near the WR, if I'm not mistaken. Looking forward to your report. :smile:

Cheers guv! I would surmise that there are some particularly dedicated individuals out there who played until they got 99.999m (I guess that there's no ninth digit after that) considering that our Hall of Records also mentions some loop 182 Hishouzame scores and loop 58 Vimana results, but as I understand it, the classic cesura lies at 10m. I'm satisfied with that in any case - I ended loop 23 with 10,004,900 points and then allowed the game to kill me. I've gained 100 points per death since you lose your lives by dint of a popcorn crashing into you at the start of the first stage, meaning that I had 69 lives in stock when I stopped, I can most assuredly rest easy with such a conclusion.


Speaking of passings: the worst stretch was certainly 12-7 where I got ruffled quite a bit before finally moving onwards - karma had it that I got the single best recovery in 13-7 as a redress, managed to trash the stage after only one death. Most other deaths were in the first stage on various loops, sometimes followed by a few more in stage 2. The most peculiar demise was in 7-5, I haven't lost a life there in many, many years. No deaths elsewhere, but that is mostly inherent to my inability to recover from the mid-checkpoint in stage 4, i.e. run's over when I die in stages 3 & 4. I've practiced that checkpoint hundred of times, only got past it twice. Definitely one of the hardest in the series from loop 3 onwards.

A few other notes of interest:

- I wonder how exactly the game calculates/handles its suicide bullets. There's clearly some "unit system" in place, you sometimes get lucky enough that three or four entire enemy waves won't retaliate at all. This is especially helpful at the beginning of stage 7.

- I really want to use this opportunity to imprecate Konami for crafting arcade Parodius Da! the way they did: duckers in Gradius never counter with suicide bullets, obviously because there's not enough space in the final stage to avoid them. Penguin walkers on the other hand strive to leave not one, but two suicide bullets behind in the second loop, in similarly narrow corridors. Jerks.

- It seems like the few rough spots regarding checkpoint recoveries could easily be fixed with a slightly better hit detection and/or at least one power-up upon spawning. Incidentally, the worst checkpoints in Gradius II are also in stage 4 where you have to deal with volcanoes whilst not getting a single power-up (once you reach loop 2). It certainly doesn't look like they merely forgot to add the appropriate enemies, strikes me as quite intentional.

- Even though I prefer other Gradius games over this one, I have to commend the shot behaviour, both regular and in conjunction with suicide bullets. If you miss a few ships or kill some enemy at a bad angle with your options, your best bet is to move in a straight line (provided you don't run into another bullet or terrain in the process, of course). Later games add delayed suicide bullets and slightly different trajectories/bullet speeds that prevent simple solutions like this, and it does belong in the context of these games, but I find that this economy works splendidly in the first Gradius.

- At first I thought I was being superstitious, now I'm almost certain that using the missiles indiscriminately while firing the laser will effectively deaden the effect of the latter. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the sprite maximum (using missiles causes quite a bit of slowdown), but you can easily observe the effect when you try to cut through terrain with the laser. If you also deploy missiles at the same time it'll be a lot harder to actually hit anything. This is quite important in the final stage.

- The Big Core in stage 5 is the only one that has a chance of exploding almost instantly in my experience, I would imagine this is due to the fact you can hit him quite a while before he becomes active for usually, one last brain will fly by before the fight starts.
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:52 am 


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I did this all in one sitting. I got tired after the 8th hour and it was about 7 AM. I forgot I had this score too.

Gradius II - Famicom

Kidpanda - 7,042,880 - 9?-?

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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:07 am 


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Since this thread is all the way up, I might as well add this:

Gradius II - Arcade
Perikles - 5,819,600 - 9-8 - 4 - F

Didn't even make a screenshot, I was so disgusted that I immediately shut the game off after losing my last life. :lol: I did upload the last minutes of my struggles, though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSKJVHhrAYA

There will be a higher score (10m+, hopefully) with a full run in the near future, that's at least what I want to happen.
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:05 pm 


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Gradius II - Arcade

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Perikles - 10,259,600 - 17-1 - 4 - F

... and in an act that couldn't be more bereft of subterfuge Image:


Community: Perikles - 10,259,600 - 17-1 playlist


For more practical purposes, here's a link for the last two loops.

It is done! Were I to stop playing the genre henceforth, I'd be a glad man to finally have gotten this. The run has its fair share of inattentive errors (especially towards the beginning, interestingly enough) all the way to laughably bad execution mistakes (managed to milk the moai boss in loop 1 and inadvertently killed it too soon in loop 10 without dying myself, every other loop failed at some point during the process, right away as a rule, sometimes I've accomplished to get some points out of it before kicking the bucket), but it is still by far the best result I've gotten so far, even more notably so when considering the sheer brobdingnagian length of it.

I also somewhat underestimated the increase in difficulty after loop 3. It's not that substantial anymore for sure, but it can still prove to be quite lethal. The little barriers in front of the gunwall for example have a fair chance of killing you with suicide bullets from around loop 5 onwards if you idly sit in front of the hatches, hence my timing this guy out in later loops. The moai boss will likewise hit its maximum of small moai heads at loop 6, I believe, which would turn my former herding technique into a dangerous endeavour. Regular enemies retaliating with up to five suicide bullets is nothing to sneeze at, either.

One aspect that emerged in the most pronounced manner whilst striving after the lofty goal of 10m was how stellar the indeterministic situations work in this game, in particular compared to Gradius III. Almost everyone can agree that the two stages with the most random aspects in III (the bubble stage from loop 2 onwards, the crystal stage in general) are by far the worst of the bunch, whereas dealing with the unpredictable elements of II is always a joy to behold no matter how many times you've played the game prior. The crystal blocks can sometimes be a little aggravating, but the first stage and its roaring, blazing chaos of myriads of dragons is simply magnificent, trying to find a good balance between squeezing a few more points out of volcanoes and moais and staying alive is also immensely exciting. The random nature of the suicide bullets then is the concluding ingredience in this fine recipe. III on the other hand (even though I still have a lot of love for it) is much, much more technical, although that comes with the benefit of offering the best tactical option placement the series has to offer.

Anyway, I'll do the PCE port next (actually started already, albeit with pauses in-between, it being a console port) but afterwards, I need something brief. I remember scant little of the time when I played some arcade shmup with only a single loop. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:32 pm 


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An absolutely monumental achievement!
Perikles wrote:
I need something brief. I remember scant little of the time when I played some arcade shmup with only a single loop. :lol:

I hear Parodius Da! is pretty short compared to these marathon runs you've been doing. :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:10 pm 



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8 hours of Gradius II :shock: , incredible stamina Perikles, big congrats!
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:56 am 


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Thanks a lot, guys! :)

Shepardus wrote:
I hear Parodius Da! is pretty short compared to these marathon runs you've been doing. :wink:

Isn't that a fortunate coincidence? :o It's probably going to be my next main project, but as to the prospect of success... The most demoralizing thing is that while it is indeed shorter, the first loop alone will still consume 40 minutes or so with all the checkpoint milking at the end. Considering just how hard everything in the second loop is and that you only have a single life left, it's quite the exercise in frustration tolerance, too. It's really a shame that you have to a) juggle a few specific bells in the second loop and b) that the game also suffers from the Gradius III syndrome of massive slowdowns that abate all of a sudden, without these two things it'd be a lot less daunting.
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:31 am 


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Gradius II - Arcade
CloudyMusic - 669,300 - 2-2 - 4 - F - MAME

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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:04 pm 


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Gradius Arcade
M.Knight - 117,100 - 1-4 - ShmupMAME v4.2
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 Post subject: Re: Gradius & Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou [Arcade/Famicom/NES
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:05 am 


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Gradius II - Arcade
Square_Air - 441,800 - 2-1 - 4 - F - ShmupMAME v4.2

Those stage 8 checkpoints get pretty horrific, thank god the first loop isn't too hard to no-miss. I really appreciated those recovery videos that Perikles posted, even if they didn't come into play in my clear.
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