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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:25 pm 


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Updated!

Rather impressive entry from Saucykobold, but then again it's Saucykobold, so I'm not surprised ;)

Tinytormed, what do you mean with the 100K secrets?


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:09 pm 


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MJR wrote:
Tinytormed, what do you mean with the 100K secrets?


Oh by those, you mean the one on the 1st stage of S2 where you have to kill the Brain Golem quickly before it crosses the other side mid-way, and the other one on stage 4 where you must not destroy the frigate ship parts from the two of them, and you shoot only the yellow one that appears from the top-left, the parts and then it's body.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:31 pm 


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Salamander 2
clp - 779,600 - 2-5 - Mame

Apart from the golem and stage 4 ship 100k's where else are people scoring ? My score seems dildos for how far i got... anyways pleased to be consistently looping , great game.

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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:30 am 


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Updated!


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:10 pm 



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2-ALL for Salamander 2 using Vic Viper:

pegboy - 1,412,200 - ALL - Vic Viper - Playstation
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:52 am 


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Well done!


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:44 am 


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Life Force US Region PCB, got to loop 3/stage 1 on P1 side

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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:25 am 


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Updated.

Please type your score in ready formatted text if possible, it will save me some time.


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:45 pm 


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Life Force (JP ver)

Copy-paster - 685.400 - 2-1 - MAME - P2
How can I get pass the Golem boss in loop 2 ?

Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:21 am 


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Salamander :
copy-paster - 812,000 - 2-1 - MAME

Managed into loop 2 with last life and dies quickly into the brain boss :oops:
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:51 am 


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HAN - 895,500 - 2-3 - MAME


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:50 am 


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Life Force (SAT)

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EmperorIng - 610,800 - 2-1 - Saturn - P1

I just had to join the cool kids club. Level 4 is a complete bastard, plain and simple.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:43 am 


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Bump with Salamander 2!

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EmperorIng - 616,500 - 2-3 - Saturn

I might be all Salamander'd out for now.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:08 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
Life Force (SAT)

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EmperorIng - 610,800 - 2-1 - Saturn - P1

I just had to join the cool kids club. Level 4 is a complete bastard, plain and simple.


I must assume you played the US version? No?


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:08 am 


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Lots of scores updated, sorry for the delay!


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:20 pm 



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Might as well add my Salamander & Life Force scores as well, although these were done on the highest difficulty with wait/slowdown off:

Salamander - pegboy - 746,100 - 2-1 - PS1, Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig8MJnt4G0c

Life Force (Japan) - pegboy - 605,600 - 2-1 - PS1, Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51ZBcTl5vqU
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Last edited by pegboy on Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:54 pm 


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MJR wrote:
I must assume you played the US version? No?

I think the Saturn Deluxe Pack defaults to the Japanese version? However the Deluxe pack Life Force doesn't feel like what I've read of the Japanese Life Force.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:06 pm 



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It's very confusing but I will try to clear it up, there are actually 3 different (arcade) versions of Salamander/Life Force.

#1. Salamander - Japan (original game)
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#2. Life Force - US (only released in arcades in the US/outside Japan?, no home ports exist but it is similar to #1 with some different graphics)
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#3. Life Force - Japan (A reworked game with even more different graphics and a Gradius style powerups system)
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The games on Salamander deluxe pack (both PS and Saturn versions are the same) are #1 and #3.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:43 pm 


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Yeah I was mistaken. I definitely played #3 in pegboy's list.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:50 pm 


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There we go. Updated.


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:59 am 


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Salamander
KoopaTGR - 807,600 - 2-1 - MAME

First clear and also a no-miss! I timed out the Stage 2 boss but no-missed the wall rush despite not being very familiar with it.

The loop(s) will take some time :)

My next challenge is the Life Forces.

Salamander 2
KoopaTGR - 826,900 - 2-2 - MAME

Have cleared this a bunch of times before but this is my best score.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:24 pm 


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Updated! And congrats for strong entry!


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:16 pm 


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Salamander

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Perikles - 2,126,200 - 4-1 -MAME

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Life Force, JAP version

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Perikles - 1,673,900 - 4-1 - MAME - P1

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I unintentionally made Life Force a tad bit harder, setting extends after the first one off. I had pegboy's run on the highest difficulty setting in mind (where you only get one) and after playing Salamander it somehow felt wrong to get regular extra lives. Not that it matters at all, even with all those lives I would've not made it much further.

I'm a bit sad I couldn't beat mulletgeezer's Salamander score (and I have no idea how to achieve such a score by 3-5 to be honest) but I can't see either of those games anymore, they make me sick, that death in 4-1 embodying one of the reasons. I love Konami, I revere the PCE port of Salamander (which blows the arcade game out of the water) but I cannot recommend anyone to play these two arcade games other than for a quick 1-ALL to see what they're all about. They offer a lot of fresh, great ideas, but the execution is frankly sloppy, Konami obviously rushed these games out and couldn't be bothered to fix some of the glaring issues. To pinpoint just a few:

The hit detection is horrible. Simply horrendous. The worst thing is when you die half a second before a bullet hits you and you know one second in advance there is no way out anymore. There's no excuse for this. The red organic projectiles from the first stage work like a charm so they obviously knew how to implement it in concept. I also love it when your ship just spontaneously combusts for some unknown reason. That's probably the opposite of what happens with bullets, it seems like you die a hair after some invisible terrain came in contact with the ship (happens occasionally on stage 4 with the mud even though there are no visible residues of it anymore). I suppose that varietas delectat, sometimes you die before something transpires, sometimes a little bit after something occurred. Keeps it interesting.

The shield is simply a bottomless effrontery in Salamander, they did make it functional in Life Force, at least (sort of). The only thing it does in the former is to get destroyed by power-ups (!), it will never block any bullet whatsoever in the vertical stages (or only those that wouldn't have hit your ship anyway). If you want to see just how useless it is then I recommend to sit in front of the little turrets in the final stage, you'll be the spectator of this wondrous magic trick where a bullet clearly flies through your shield and into your face. What's really baffling is that this thing works in the first stage, but nowhere else. They probably messed up the coding for the vertical stages.

The erratic slowdown is even worse than in e.g. Gradius III. I'm not exaggerating. Suddenly subsiding slowdown in a game where you die before getting hit is rage-inducing.

Outside of one or two spots recovery is simply impossible. And I mean that with a capital I. Not excruciatingly tough like some of Gradius II's checkpoints or the second loop of a hard Irem game, but as in not feasible. Even if you pick up all your options in time you stand no chance without at least one speed-up and one of the lasers, that's a matter of fact. Why they did even bother with instant respawns in the first place is a miracle.

Further loops add insult to injury. If your game suffers from numerous ailments in fundamental areas then you shouldn't just add a ton of bullets and new environmental hazards (loop 2) and suicide bullets (loop 3 and onwards), it merely elucidates the inherent flaws. Fifth stage (loop 3+) in particular has to be one of the worst offenders when it comes to oddly specific routing and a good dose of luck.

Not as big a deal, I'll mention it nonetheless: why is it so easy to get hit by a bullet and so hard to grab a power-up? It feels like a punch in the groin that the hit detection can be as lenient or strict as it wants, always to your disadvantage.

Long story short: play PCE Salamander. Or Salamander 2. I should do that, actually. Does anyone know how the WR was achieved? I watched saucykobold's run which to me seems to be close to maximum already, yet he missed some 500,000 points? How's that?



I always write these philippics as though anyone would read them. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:34 pm 


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Added. That's some seriously impressive scoring there!
I got the PCE version of Salamander year ago, and I agree that it indeed is far superior version.


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:18 pm 



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Those are some sick scores for Salamder/Life Force! I can't believe you stuck with the game long enough to do that. I was pretty much completely sick of the game after my first 1cc lol. Powerups draining your shield is just fucking unforgivably stupid. I also remember randomly dying to nothing in the Life Force run I posted (near the final boss). I was just sitting there and my ship explodes for seemingly no reason. I do think that Life Force (with the gradius style powerups)_ is a much better game than the original Salamander if that's saying anything.

Salamander 2 is MUCH better IMO.

There's a lot of milking that can be done in Salamander 2 if you so desire, mainly against the final boss in each loop. You can also milk the missiles in stage 4 for a bunch of points if I recall. And of course there is milking the stage 3 boss for a shit ton of points (it's a lot harder to do than the videos make it seem, at least it was for me).

This video has a lot of the tricks in it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w23lUsICCvY

One thing I'm not sure about is if this video is emulated or a TAS or something, because I don't remember any slowdown at all when I played the game (although I played on PS1) or from watching Saucy's video (MAME?), yet there is a bunch of slowdown in several parts of the game (Stage 4, final boss during his "flower" attack) in this video so I'm not sure it's legit. Maybe the actual PCB has slowdown, I'm not sure.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:16 pm 


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Thanks, guys! I'll certainly come back to Salamander 2 in the very near future, I'll probably throw in a few other games before that, but I can't wait to finally get the 2-ALL for this fantastic game. It's hard to really hate the first Salamander or Life Force (the latter is almost worth it for the incredible voice samples alone!) but I'm glad it's over nonetheless.

The video you posted sure is helpful, pegboy, legit or not! The player ends the first loop with over 1,1m and the second loop doesn't differ all that much in terms of scoring as far as I know (the milking against the third boss shouldn't be possible or at least not to this extent; it was also much harder for you since you were playing with the Vic Viper which prevents ideal milking :)), so we get a picture of what to do. Whether or not some of that is really worth it is another question, of course, it seems to me that he killed himself on the final boss by intention (to lower rank, maybe?). The power-ups are dependent on the order in which you destroy the enemies or pick up the power-ups itself, correct? And/or some of that might be random? I know you want to skip certain enemies/power-ups in the beginning in order to get the right set-up for the brain golem and it probably won't work if you just pick up everything indiscriminately.
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:17 am 


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Salamander 2

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Perikles - 1,415,500 - ALL - Mame

Solid first loop, failed to kill the brain golem in the second loop, got utterly destroyed by one off-screen moai in 2-6, but somehow managed to limp through the entire rest of the stage, fighting against the mini-boss in a terribly slow condition. Lost my penultimate life on the final boss and started bombing him with the options, fortunately killing him in the process. Will certainly try to get a better score, but might upload the video simply by dint of its spectatular recovery. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:15 am 


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Updated. Please do post replay video, I would also love to see how to beat brain golem in the first stage. Are there other longplay videos showing how to do this?


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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:36 pm 



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Perikles wrote:
Salamander 2

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Perikles - 1,415,500 - ALL - Mame

Solid first loop, failed to kill the brain golem in the second loop, got utterly destroyed by one off-screen moai in 2-6, but somehow managed to limp through the entire rest of the stage, fighting against the mini-boss in a terribly slow condition. Lost my penultimate life on the final boss and started bombing him with the options, fortunately killing him in the process. Will certainly try to get a better score, but might upload the video simply by dint of its spectatular recovery. :lol:


That sounds pretty epic, would love to see it. And you beat my score by 3300 points damnit!!! LOL. 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).
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 Post subject: Re: Salamander & Salamander 2 (& Life Force)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:48 am 


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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!
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