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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:16 am 


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Great work Perikles!

I use the Gradius standard of 2 speed ups in Salamander 2, but I can't do cool things like the replays, and also have trouble with enemies coming from behind in stage 5.
How many speed ups would be necessary to do them? (i.e. 3rd boss milking)
I could learn to play at max speed but I'm just curious.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:03 am 



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I'm pretty sure you need max speed in order to pull off that scoring trick on the stage 3 boss. If not max, then only 1 less. IF you are going for a high score you pretty much need to be max speed (the powerups also add points).
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:06 am 



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Perikles wrote:
Video is up now. I'm still going at it* since I'm painfully aware that I can do a lot better (had a few runs where I ended the first loop with 900,00 points and started 2-5 with 1.3-1.35m only to then completely fall apart; one exceptional first loop ended with over 920,000 points, but I made horrendous mistakes in 2-2 :cry:), but I might make it public in case I don't get a more solid run soon. Here's what I need to improve compared to the above run:

1. Better milking at Abadon. I'm not terribly reliable at it, but I do get better. In my best runs I was able to end this stage with about 440,000 to 450,000 points.

2. Kill the brain golem in loop 2, of course. That's another 100k. That's without a doubt the biggest blunder in this run...

3. Ideally you want to do some efficient milking on Abadon in the second loop, as well. That depends on whether or not you have a force field, however, since you will have to move out of the way at least once for you cannot prevent at least one enemy wave from spawning in the middle. The other critters that come from the core section will also spray suicide bullets after a death, but if you have a force field you can tank through that. I'm not going to fixate on this, but it would be great.

4. Don't die in 2-6. I miss out on a ton of points because the regular laser sucks! Didn't get much of anything from the crystalline rocks and even the mid-boss timed out as I now realize.


I was also able to improve my routes in other stages slighty (mainly 1-2), so I should definitely be able to hit at least 1.6m. The reason why I'm having difficulties with that seamlessly segues into this question:

pegboy wrote:
What did you think of Salamander 2 overall? I think it's one of Konami's better games, right behind Gradius Gaiden (I don't count Gradius V since that was Treasure).


I love this game despite being mediocre at it. What Salamander games do great (in case of the first arcade game and Life Force: in theory) is to pronounce the eminent role of the options. Options are vital to control space (and I honestly feel that the arcade Gradius III comes closest to that ideal from the Gradius games I've played so far!) and preemptively take out threats before they become too dangerous. For that reason you want to be fast in order to properly locate those invaluable helpers apart, aiding in domination over the screen.

I adore how meticulously this is set up in all the stages and even during the boss fights - move in an elegant line and take out the fourth boss before he can ever do a thing! Circle into the final bosses face and point-blank him when you get a few seconds so that he is not able to repeat his most dangerous patterns too many times in a row. Superb implementation of the weaponry as a sort of expanded ship: options are like an additional pair of hands, granting the player various opportunities, but also taxing a lot from him as far as his execution is concerned.

And that's why I'm not overly great at it. It's a short game with distinct stages which helps me to memorize it in its entirety in no time at all, due to the fast speed of the ship (which is necessary for the options as I wrote earlier, it's also imperative for stylistic reasons) and the tricky enemy arrangements particularly in 2-5 and 2-6 I have a nasty tendency to fail at the most hapless of times. The final boss almost always kills me because his patterns are a tad bit too fast for me to clearly comprehend. I'm not blaming the game for it since I know all too well it's my own shortcoming, it does formidably halt my progress, though.

And that's just the conceptual side of it. I personally feel like Salamander 2 has one of the most energetic soundtracks out there, I squeal in joy every time stage 2 starts while Sensation disseminates heavenly tones. There's no way someone can not revere the cheesy announcer and his commendable enthusiasm. Splendid sound effects everywhere (chunky robots creak and burst, organic enemies splatter apart), fantastic visuals, too. Typical first-rate Konami production values at their best.

My only beef with the game is the odd randomized power-up system, I can't quite make heads or tail out of it. Sometimes you get four force fields in a row, other times not a single one during one loop. Occasionally you shoot down every enemy in the first stage in the right order, but still miss out on one option etc. It's either egregiously precise or partially random, both is not essential in my opinion. Wouldn't have minded fixed drops just like in the first Salamander.



*One idea I'm tinkering with is suiciding. I had one run where I managed to get through the first loop with no death at all which resulted in absurdly fast and aggressive enemies. There are some great spots to lower the rank (the beginning of 1-6, for example), so I just might experiment a bit more with that.

Another quirky thing I discovered: while you can move into the "seaweed" during the first boss fight and through the remnants of the fifth boss after it is destroyed, your force field will get nullified. So if you ever beat the fifth boss with an intact force field: do not pick up the power-ups!


Suiciding is definitely a legit tactic (I dont think you get any points for extra lives at the end either), although if you are going to do it I would probably save if for the final boss of loop 1, while you try to milk points. Now I might be full of shit because I haven't tried it, but that seems like the best spot.

Also, I really like the 2-5 music, an awesome remix if I may say so.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:55 am 


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Joined: 24 Nov 2014
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KoopaTGR wrote:
Great work Perikles!

I use the Gradius standard of 2 speed ups in Salamander 2, but I can't do cool things like the replays, and also have trouble with enemies coming from behind in stage 5.
How many speed ups would be necessary to do them? (i.e. 3rd boss milking)
I could learn to play at max speed but I'm just curious.

Thanks!

I haven't tested it extensively but I'm also pretty sure that maximum speed (or a condition very close to it) would be necessary. If the options are not properly spaced apart you'd destroy the inner parts of the third boss right away which ends the first phase immediately. There might be some workaround for this, I'd imagine that it's more complicated to implement that one instead of playing with the highest velocity, though. The last third of the second loop would also be obscenely difficult without it, both in terms of dodging and option placement.

pegboy wrote:
Suiciding is definitely a legit tactic (I dont think you get any points for extra lives at the end either), although if you are going to do it I would probably save if for the final boss of loop 1, while you try to milk points. Now I might be full of shit because I haven't tried it, but that seems like the best spot.

Oh yes, and the great thing is that I always die on him, anyway. :lol:

pegboy wrote:
Also, I really like the 2-5 music, an awesome remix if I may say so.

Indeed, Planet Ratis would be my close second after Sensation. One has to admire the effort Konami put in back in the day. Changing stage layouts and/or coloration in higher loops (Gradius II's fourth stage, Gradius III's first stage, Xexex' fourth stage etc.) and even adding new tracks like in Salamander 2!
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:26 am 


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Joined: 24 Nov 2014
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Location: Germany
Salamander 2

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Perikles - 1,612,900 - ALL - MAME

Video (Took the old one down since this one is superior in pretty much every way)


That's better! Managed to get all the huge scoring tricks to work, including very good (albeit not perfect) milking on Abadon in the first loop (accidentally killed the inner parts right away on the second loop, though, but that was to be expected). I know that I ideally could get over 1.7 or even 1.8 million points, but I'm going to move on for now. I almost lost it on the final boss in the second loop yet again, I can't consistently handle him for the life of me. I also have no idea how I could pick up the laser instead of the twin laser against him, even watching the video I have no clue how that happened. The death in 2-5 was a bad slip-up on the controller, the other fatal error against the 1-6 mid-boss was bad, but I would've suicided on the final boss anyway, so it's without consequences.

Time to bust out the PS1 and improve upon a few scores, that should be grand. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:12 pm 


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Good stuff! Updated.
Also, I only get email alerts from this thread when I get first reply to my post. So if score does not get updated, PM me.


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:50 am 


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Salamander 2

copy-paster - 716,700 - 2-1 - MAME

Still can't pass the loop 2 first boss, since killing the Biter's snakes will spread suicide bullets.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:55 am 


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Updated. You are pretty much stuck at the same point as I were, back in the 90's when I made my entry :)


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:08 pm 


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Salamander

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Jaimers - 1,751,000 - 3-3 - ShmupMame 4.2

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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:14 pm 


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Updated. Congratulations for entering the 4th place!


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