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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:10 pm 


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pegboy wrote:
Yeah I mean why even program all that if it's harmless? I could swear it kills you in the nes version but don't have the ability to test it right now.


I always think of Dangun Feveron, whose TLB is harmless unless you bomb him, entirely due to programmer error. Although, a second boss is a lot more visible than a TLB only a fraction of players would ever see. I guess the bean counters won out in the end. PCBs pulling in mad stacks at the arcade, why dent the bottom line with a recall? :cool:

FC/NES mystery was bugging me, but I'm away from my stuff atm, so I tried out both via M2's Anniversary Collection. What an unexpected bro this PS4 I got for all of one game (The Ninja Warriors Once Again) has been, haha. Both the rods and the arc kill you dead in both versions - which kinda surprised me, as I played the AC version for the first time like 15yrs later. Memory's a funny thing.

Spoiler: show
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Then again, I was pretty bad at NES Contras as a kid. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:44 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
Some times the shield/electric powerups are also so close to eachother that I can't figure out what the point was. The vertical autoscroller in stage 3 notably does this, and anything you pick up always replaces what you already have, so it seems quite pointless. Is there some feature I'm missing here? The point-blank recharge move is a fun idea but seems very underutilized, but maybe it's also because I never really found much use for the electric weapon outside of a couple of miniboss speedkills. Generally the shield is so useful it would be dumb not to go with it, so a scoring system tied to picking a less defensive approach might have been fun.

Electric can be used to speedkill the ST1 boss without having to constantly jump (just keep whipping upwards and it'll hit her, which also allows you to safely get some damage in during her danmaku pattern), and is also useful in some situations if you manage to save it up (such as simply dealing with the dreaded ST3 electrified pit jump by hitting the pigbot on the other end with Electric, and it's incredibly useful for the flying zakos in ST4 who like to stay out of range. For the ST2 boss it can be used to score some extra hits when the boss weakpoint travels alongside the Electric projectiles long enough for the invincibility to wear off after being damaged by your whip first).

The subweapon system isn't really explained at all. For example, you can whip the power-up icons to make it switch from Shield to Electric and vice versa, and Shield will actually drain your subweapon energy over time. Taking one hit to your Shield seems to drain it faster, so it's basically a limited-time power-up a la Contra 3 unless you punch absolutely everything for the energy pick-ups... which depending on the stage simply isn't feasible (let alone on an Arcade Mode run). I suppose the logic here is to take more risks by getting up close so you can preserve your Shield... except I pick Shield instead of Electric precisely because I want to play it safe? What's more, the fact that Shield keeps draining your subweapon energy whether you like it or not means there are also certain sections where I counter-intuitively let myself lose my Shield on purpose, so that I can enter upcoming sections with 200% subweapon energy for a Shield/Electric (picking up a power-up refills subweapon energy by 100%), instead of only 100% because I kept the Shield until it bled me dry. I don't really see what's gained doing things this way instead of having Shield work like a permanent power-up like in most games.

One thing about the ST3 bird boss is that you can just keep whacking it and kill it before it can do its fire wheel attacks (or legitimately threaten you in any way). Just stand under it and keep hammering the attack button, it's easy as pie. Sometimes the RNG will make a birdbot spawn a bit closer to you, so you have to whack right once, but other than that you can just mash to win as iconoclast showed in his clear video. The ensuing lion fight can be speedkilled in one cycle when you remember that close-range punches can put out damage much faster than your regular weapons, too.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:22 pm 


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Confirmed - no health refill at stage end on expert, made it to the dark room.

Got to vert room stage three arcade. Noticed fewer power ups in arcade.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:49 pm 


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What exactly is killing you on stage 3's vertical room? There's something really weird about that place, like enemies forgetting to attack you?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:49 am 


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Last run (arcade) I jumped into one of those tiny robots.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:44 pm 


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Got a slightly less clumsy no-death run with better recording quality.

Steel Assault Expert no-death

Took a few really dumb hits, but I can totally see myself doing a no-damage run too, I just really don't have the patience to grind it out. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:21 pm 


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Durandal wrote:
Taking one hit to your Shield seems to drain it faster, so it's basically a limited-time power-up a la Contra 3 unless you punch absolutely everything for the energy pick-ups... which depending on the stage simply isn't feasible (let alone on an Arcade Mode run). I suppose the logic here is to take more risks by getting up close so you can preserve your Shield... except I pick Shield instead of Electric precisely because I want to play it safe? What's more, the fact that Shield keeps draining your subweapon energy whether you like it or not means there are also certain sections where I counter-intuitively let myself lose my Shield on purpose, so that I can enter upcoming sections with 200% subweapon energy for a Shield/Electric (picking up a power-up refills subweapon energy by 100%), instead of only 100% because I kept the Shield until it bled me dry. I don't really see what's gained doing things this way instead of having Shield work like a permanent power-up like in most games.

With the possible exception of stage 2 I think punching on a regular basis (enough to maintain a shield at least) is eminently feasible, I punch a LOT when I play. Shield drain is very slow. Certainly Electric runs out far quicker in my experience, although I think the ability to burst things down makes Electric a bit stronger than Shield overall tbh. Regardless, the idea of intentionally forgoing a powerup in order to maximize your ammo for a later section seems like a cool and desirable aspect of strategy to have in a game, in moderation of course. Maybe that's just a difference of personal preference though.

I also don't think it's at all clear that Shield is the "play it safe" option. When I want to play it safe I take Electric so I can kill things from the other side of the screen. I take Shield when I want to dive into the fray and take risks, after all if the shield never tanks any hits then what did I gain by picking it up?
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:16 pm 


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It's a safety precaution. When you don't have any heals from stage 3 onward (not even between stages) on arcade mode, it's pretty nice to be able to take a hit without taking damage.

I love the electric though, and now that I have a bunch of no-death clears, I think I'm going to be using it a lot more to get some more fast paced momentum going. Obviously it does make the game easier, so it's not like shield is the automatic "best" choice, but if you screw up with electric, you still take damage. If you screw up with shield it got your ass. :)

For some reason electric doesn't give you any advantage against the stage 2 boss at all, which is a bit regrettable I think, because it feels good to make it to him with a near full ammo meter. The st1 boss just dies when you have it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:28 am 


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Sumez wrote:


Game looks cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:39 am 


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Just accidentally found out you can punch pows to change them.

Dark room still my end point, but made it to the third PC.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:55 pm 


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Steel Assault

Finally getting to stage three boss with consistency. Saw the BG and said "This reminds me of Gunstars stage six boss" and then proceeded to be treated to a nice homage to Seven Force. *Hand Clap*
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:07 pm 


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Don't have much time to play Steel Assaut still, but I was approaching the Stage 4 boss with full health in Arcade Mode yesterday only to somehow fall into the pit between buildings and die embarassingly because I mistimed the zipline>_>
That really sucks, because that could very easily have turned into a clear.

That said, the first miniboss on st4 is probably still my biggest obstacle towards this mode. I have no way of consistently dodging his bullet spray, seems to just be pure luck when I do.
Any tips?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:52 am 


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Alright, beat arcade mode. :)
A bit embarassing it was the run where I got hit like three times on the first stage, but a clear is a clear.

Steel Assault Arcade mode clear
Image



With the game now "mostly" mastered, I should revise some of my thoughts about it.


I'm really, really, happy arcade mode exists. An expert no-death run is a fun self-imposed challenge, but having a mode that recognizes this way of playing feels much better. Carrying over your health bar between stages felt absurd to me when I first saw it, but it really is the best balance for this game. Really makes you think much harder about how you approach bosses instead of allowing you to just take it easy as long as you get there with enough health.
The only thing truly missing in terms of challenging players is some sort of scoring metric. I'm not sure how I'd implement it though, and it would be tough to make it completely safe from exploits, due to the lack of timer and infinitely spawning enemies. But I'd definitely involve the point-black punch, which is such a satisfying approach to enemies that I often find myself punching their face out even when I'm not in a situation where I benefit from it.

Speedkilling bosses just feels great. I take back what I said about the electric weapon not being an advantage on st2's boss. Even though it doesn't do extra damage, you can get so many extra hits in early on, making it very easy to finish it off before it even gets to demonstrate its projectiles. With arcade mode done, I think the only other goal I have for this game would be going through it all using only electric, seeing how much havoc I can cause.

Stage 5 is brilliant when you don't have the bug of constantly getting healed to support you (which doesn't exist on arcade mode), but playing it like that at first was honestly a good way to practice. My Arcade Mode run got to the stage with full life, but I still took two hits in what I'd consider the easiest part of it, showing you should never feel too safe.

Some of my early gripes with the game quickly turned out to be non-issues. The robo pig that guards the ledge has suffered to my electric shots ever since I brought it up, never posing an issue to me. Stage 2's first part is less of a memorizer when you got a better feel for the enemies' behavior and learn to just blast through it, and it's in fact one of the better run'n'gun moments of the game. Would have been a good fit later in the game, with no shield to protect you from mistakes.

Still just slightly iffy on stage 3 though. The first part would be better if not for the robots that pop out of the water in locations where their indications are mostly obscure, and the chance that the green flying guys just spawn in your face. This is a really dangerous part of arcade mode, since it is past the point of no more HP powerups, and easy to screw up. But if you know what you're doing it's pretty consistent. After this you get a shield, and you have to really screw up to not keep that until the end of the stage, making most of it non-treatening. I'm still confused about the vertical scrolling area. Is the yellow robots not attacking you a bug? I feel like this part should have been harder. I love the segment near the end with the gates you have to destroy though - there's a really nice rhythm to it once you get it down.
The boss somehow turned out to be the single biggest obstacle for me on arcade mode, despite it being pretty easy. I was so hellbent on getting the "dog" form down in its first cycle, I'd consistently screw up and get hit by a bomb or its laser shot.

The other big obstacle for my arcade mode clear was the st4 sub-boss (Joshua Harris) with the grabby claws. I had to make my way there on expert mode and reload a save a few times to get consistent at it (due to the lack of a training mode ;)) - I never found a reliable way to dodge the bullet spray, but there's a good pattern to get enough hits in there before that starts getting dangerous. 4 hits before the first claw, 2 before the next (and dash under it), and 2 before the third. You can afford to miss two of those hits (which I did in this video) and still get him down before you need to dodge bullets. Rest of the stage is ez-pz, but still super fun. The big hitbox on the boss had me scared for a while, but with enough experience he stops being a risk at all.

The final boss is just brilliant. The more I play it, the more I enjoy it. It's ideal in the way it demands expertise in every aspect of the game's controls, as a final challenge should! You need to slide, zipline, and quickly whip in the correct diagonal directions. I've died to him by accidentally jumping when trying to slide, or whipping sideways when it should have been a diagonal to cancel his green bullets, or just not managing to deploy the zipline in the right direction. All inputs that would have been simple on their own, but when you need to maintain a quick flow, it's very easy to miss the one button you need to do what you should. There's just no room for mistakes on this boss, and I'm glad I did him without taking a hit on my clear.

As a final note, the wall/ceiling turrets that shoot at you when you pass them seem so basic, but somehow they're subtly one of the coolest enemies in the game. Very very easy to dodge on their own, but they actively demand that you stay active as you move past them, making them a brilliant asset in a hectic stage design, and very satisfying to weave inbetween.

Kudos on making this game, SriK, and congratulations again on completing it. Absolutely among the best video game experiences of 2021, no doubt.
I'm curious, are there any "secrets" in the game I have somehow missed? The only place in the game you're ever given the choice of an optional detour is for a health powerup on the first stage. While I'm happy I didn't have any more healing options for arcade mode, it almost seems like there would have been more of those. Or maybe there were during earlier stages of the game's development?


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:56 pm 


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I'm delighted to see you chaps enjoying Steel Assault - I knew it was a modern classic when I was very kindly given playtest access by SriK. Will be getting around to it myself before long!

Lately, I have been playing Namco's 1986 megahit - the inimitably carnivalesque Heian revenge tale Genpei Toumaden. This fucking game. :evil: :lol:

Image

> Genpei Toumaden 1CC (no scoring attempted; goes straight for the last boss)

Genpei may be better-known to Westerners by its localised Namco Museum Vol.4 title, The Genji and the Heike Clans - or perhaps via Samurai Ghost, the TG16 release of its PCE sequel Kan no Ni, which followed its port to that system. It got a customarily excellent Arcade Archives release last week, and I'd always meant to follow up on Kino's recommendation ITT, so I hopped in.

While Steel Assault reflects a tradition of crisp accuracy dating back to at least Green Beret, Genpei differs starkly. Disregard invocations of Castlevania or Ninja Gaiden; this is by nature a wildly careening, skidding affair. Whether in its action/platformer Small Mode, its scrolling fighter Big Mode, or its Druaga-esque Over Mode, you will take hits - lots of them.

And this works out fine - the designers having an unmistakable, consistent ethos of their own. Kagekiyo is a head-lopping, body-dropping undead killing machine. Plunge him through volleys of arrows and flak, butchering the senders without missing a step. Get up in Benkei and Yoshitsune's faces, smashing their skulls in with your bent, battered blade-gone-crowbar. Mow through hordes of zombie maidens and gibbering fiends, demolishing walls and reaping loot. The caveat is this: lose momentum, or play overly safe, and attrition will bring you down. Health restores are generous, but spaced far enough to banish notions of lifebar slumming; it's up to the player to close the distance, in a trail of hated Genji corpses. That Dragon tearing about the screen, blasting you with fire? Clamber onto its back and hack its flame-spewing head off - we're not playing Daimakaimura here!

Certain later opponents demand slightly defter touches - Benny and Yoshi eventually figure out how to block - and Small Mode is increasingly menaced by The Pit: a near-instant Game Over, only mildly deferrable via exorbitant cost and/or blind luck. While it's not my scrolling action ideal (cf Dai, Rygar and Saigo for that), it's no pretender; only a different breed of hardcore.

Image

Unfortunately, while Genpei's action is deceptively player-friendly, the mechanics constituting it are not. Small Mode holds the lion's share of potential annoyances; its quirks ranging from merely odd, to potentially game-wrecking. Momentum is the most obvious. Kagekiyo takes a few steps to reach sprint, the game happily letting you pace back and forth to accelerate. This necessitates a weird, but mostly harmless back/forth wiggle on narrow footholds, in order to make long jumps.

The platforms themselves are a bigger issue. Rather than smoothly ferrying Kagekiyo about, Mario-style, his footing is effectively non-existent; you need to manually walk him along with horizontal cyclers, or face an unceremonious dumping. Vertically-cycling platforms are especially tricky; on their downward phase, Kagekiyo will "fall after" them, disabling your jump. All of this can be worked around - Genpei's platforming is involved, but not especially harrowing, mostly due to the absence of CV-style knockback - but it'd undeniably flow better if they'd simply copied SMB1.

Genpei's absolute worst flaw, the one that delayed my 1CC a full two days, is its jump height input. Basically, you mash jump for more height. This is mostly irrelevant, until the game's mandatory Three-Headed Dragon boss. Enable 15hz+ autofire, and you can hack him down at leisure, parrying away the brunt of his fire. In human hands, your jump height isn't enough, leaving you largely at RNG's mercy. He might bend down and attack... or he might stall for stultifying lengths of time, chipping away your HP all the while. A clean kill is very possible, and what I eventually decided on - resolving to weather the damage, and take down the subsequent Benkei at the game's minimal recover of 40hp. The damage-boost through, seen here, is too inconsistent for my liking, with all three heads intact. I noticed a bit more success with one head chopped; gave it a go, and got lucky on my first attempt.

I've a particular dislike for overly luck-reliant 1CCs; everything after a winning roll gains unnatural pressure, this now being "a good run." I'll use autojump on this joker from now on. Happily, while Big Mode and Over Mode are quirky, it's never to the same mortal extents. The former is simplistic, and knows it; you're not called upon to do much more than swat zako and punish obvious openings, with a bit of swingy-dingy trap evasion for variety. Over Mode is by far the easiest of the three gametypes; mostly about tracking down passages and treasures before timeout, in the sacred tradition of bashing the fuck out of every wall and brazier in sight.

Image

The aspect of Genpei that really hooked me is its nonlinear treasure hunt. Your path is wide-open, to the extent that you might find yourself going in circles... my first prospective 1CC route fought that blasted Three-Headed Dragon twice, sending me back to the drawing board not only for risk minimisation, but also the simple pleasure of plotting an efficient journey. The ACA manual is pretty thorough, detailing the three sacred treasures required to slay the last boss (the sword, the mirror, and the jewel), as well as giving quick lowdowns on Genpei's lightweight shop and weapon durability systems. What it can't do is list the game's myriad stages; non-JP readers (like me) will have to memorise places by look, rather than by name. They're all pretty distinct, and it's not that long a game - so it's not really an issue. Expect just a tad more trial and error than a translation would entail, or perhaps consider the Namco Museum Vol.4 port (haven't played in years, but I remember it being very well-regarded).

As an action game, I had a good time with Genpei. I had a fantastic time with it as a nonlinear coinop ARPG. It's not to be approached with expectations of crisp, deadly-precise action ala Rygar, Dai, or Saigo; it's best approached with no expectations at all, save that a distinct method underlies its weirdness. I might suggest autofire on [jump], to eliminate that dumb lategame wall; and if you're not on the ACA or Namco Museum Vol.4 versions, nor JP-literate, you might want a spoiler-free guide for its status bar and items (StrategyWiki's is good; just stick to the earlier sections). A potentially great experience for scrolling ARPG fans who want arcade pressure and don't mind a bit of jank.

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Last edited by BIL on Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:21 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:41 pm 


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How does the PCE version of Genpei stack up? I acquired it eons ago, but never played it much. I wasn't sure what to really think of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:50 pm 


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I'm wondering, myself - it looks accurate from footage, and I'd like to think (in the best tradition of PCE Salamander) they took the opportunity to clean up some of the AC's issues. Will take a look this weekend. :smile:

Genpei's a bizarre game, especially for a mainstream hit (albeit a Japan-only one). It's kinda my introduction to Namco's arcade games, now I think of it. I've played many casual credits of Baraduke, Rolling Thunder and Assault, but this is the first of theirs I've really gotten to grips with. I'd call it only a moderately difficult clear from home perspective, with the luxury of unlimited credits and savestates - though I can imagine how much trial/error-derived word of mouth it'd have taken for a 1CC, back in the day. Kinda Druaga in that sense, though it's absolutely not that extreme WRT its secrets.

I wonder about their earlier coinop sidescrolling ARPG Dragon Buster, now. From my few credits in Namco Museum, I thought it seemed near-unplayably janky, but that was forever ago.

I hope Yokai Dokuchi gets an ACA release, too - that's the other mid-80s weird as all hell Namco scrolling action game I've been idly curious about forever. I think they even teamed its weird little kid protagonist with Kagekiyo in Namco X Capcom.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:55 pm 


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Dragon Buster rules; it being technically a 4-way game with lots of mandatory diagonal jumps is a bit painful though, so I tend to prefer the X68000 port which makes the game properly 8-way and otherwise is pretty much spot-on. It's the first game to introduce the ARPG down-stab (with traditionally absurd damage), so that alone makes it an instant classic in my book :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:00 am 


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All the recommendation I need :mrgreen:

Totally forgot to post Genpei's manful 1986 promo short, astutely linked by Klatrymadon in the main forum's ACA thread! It's amazing. :cool:

Klatrymadon wrote:
Can't let the Genpei news pass without posting what is hands-down the best piece of videogame promotional material ever produced. It's also the most black metal, being similar aesthetically and conceptually to the video for Blashyrkh: a mad lad runs through his native countryside pulling faces.


Did you think I would not return to fulfill their vengeance? Image Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:07 am 


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BIL wrote:
Totally forgot to post Genpei's manful 1986 promo short, astutely linked by Klatrymadon in the main forum's ACA thread! It's amazing. :cool:

Klatrymadon wrote:
Can't let the Genpei news pass without posting what is hands-down the best piece of videogame promotional material ever produced. It's also the most black metal, being similar aesthetically and conceptually to the video for Blashyrkh: a mad lad runs through his native countryside pulling faces.

Goddamn that really is the coolest shit ever.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:53 am 


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I first played Dragon Buster via Namco Museum v. 2, which I mainly bought for Super Pac-Man, Mappy, and "Galaga 3". A bit rough around the edges, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:14 am 


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I'd misremembered DB being on Vol.3, shows how long it's been! Seems Rally-X is this week's Namco release.

Haha, goddamn. Browsing ReplayBurners' extensive library of Genpei runs... so the three-way juncture in third stage (first Over Mode) - turns out it's a difficulty select. Aaaand it's the exact opposite of Darius's usual lower=harder. So I got an Easy 1CC. :shock: Although tbh, I know most of the Mid/Hard stages already, from when I was screwing about with random paths. So that's nice. :o Still, got quite a bit more revengeoning to do! Now that's value. Image

EDIT: Oh lmao. Offered an easy exit from st5/BOULDERMANIA (feat. GAROUMAKU) early on, went NAW, IMMA GO 2 THA TOP, and ended up back on my usual route. I guess the split just determines your first few stages. Which makes sense, with the last stage being set, and at least one being mandatory in the lategame.

Still, nice bit of early-game variety. I wonder if those weenie exits lead anywhere interesting - seems as long as you hit the Bonus Round, you'll end up fighting BIWAHOSHI in the bamboo grove, no matter which early gate you took. Perhaps greater terrors loom behind those craven, easlier escapes Image

Boof! One blow - take head off clean! Image Image
Spoiler: show
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Arf arf arf Bitches leave Image Image
Spoiler: show
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The way score (or "virtue") works in Genpei is interesting. Besides the conventional whacking of stuff, you can also offer alms at traveller's shrines. True to life, I decided to be a stingy muhfucka and blow all my Zeni on sweet painkilling booze. Image (the stash behind that three-headed assclown is particularly welcome) You can also buy sword repairs, but my route never called for it. Incorporating at least one Bonus Round (by going for those aforementioned, further-flung stage exits) should fix you right up, provided you get Benny and Yoshi's lategame versions down.

I wonder if it's possible to lose virtue, setting up a Low Score run. Falling in a pit will actually send Kagekiyo back to Hell, where you can either pay granny a whopping 70zeni for guaranteed escape, minus your accumulated HP candles... or play Russian roulette with Enma-daou. Might escape FO FREE, might eat shit. :cool: TBH though, F all that noise, I'd rather just not fall in. Unless there's something neat down there? Damn, I see why this board kept 'em coming back.

Sumez wrote:
How does the PCE version of Genpei stack up? I acquired it eons ago, but never played it much. I wasn't sure what to really think of it.


Put some time on it last night - it's an impressive HuCard, overall. Mechanics are largely 1:1, and pardon the lower res and slightly less luxuriant parallax, it really captures the AC's aesthetic. ala Splatterhouse and IREM's Saigo no Nindou, it's the kind of port many would've hailed "arcade perfect" at the time, and while that's obviously not literal truth, you can still imagine it being a godsend for console-bound players.

A little disappointingly, from modern perspective, the AC quirk I'd hoped they might address - finicky platforming - is untouched. Conversely, Big Mode's duels do seem to have been rejigged; they're stricter, but also easier. In AC, Skelebro just kinda yeets himself onscreen; in my current 1CC, he actually ended up behind me, something I'd never seen before. It doesn't matter, though; toss out some pokes, any pokes, and he's done. (of course, stepping on his scattered bones will damage you :evil: remember to destroy his ribcage for bonus HP! Image)

On PCE, he sticks to a rigid pattern of jumping head-height thrusts, much likelier to counter random pokes... but crouch pokes will do him just as well. Yoshitsune and Benkei's first forms (daggers / iron ball) fare similarly. They're best rushed down, in the AC version. You'll wreck your katana on their armour, but not before dealing mortal damage, and both drop large sword repairs, besides. On PCE, their armour is tough enough to foil this approach - but crouching pokes now deal them enormous damage, unheard of on AC. So again, play along and it's a cinch. Big Mode is kind of a joke, but that said, I prefer the AC's looser combat; gives more of a berserker aesthetic. Plus, the later Yoshi/Benny duels already have a nice element of precision, like you're performing a traditional marionette show.

This was where they fucked me up the first time around, kids!
Spoiler: show
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Koroshite yaruuu!
Spoiler: show
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The only PCE issue that actually bothers me is Big Mode's slightly smaller viewable playfield. On AC, you can see nuisance enemies creeping up on Kagekiyo - it's a snap to forge ahead, batting them away on reflex. On PCE, your six is blind, necessitating regular stop-and-turns to spot tails. Walking backwards (turn, then hold ATK) can somewhat help... but this mostly flips the blind spot to your front. These sequences are short, and simple, so the added vigilance is far from the burden it'd be in other games - still, I'm glad to be without it on AC. I'd still like to pick this card up sometime, to go with Kan no Ni. Strong rendition of a JP arcade icon.

Speaking of, went looking for fanart of Namco's badass Minamoto no Yoshitsune design - stumbled across PC doujin fighter Genpei Touran.

Image

Spoiler: show
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Image


At a glance, I'd have thought it was a pro release - lots of love apparent! Besides the historic Kagekiyo, Yoshitsune, Benkei and Yoritomo, it's fun spotting all the minor enemies reimagined in fully-fledged 1v1 form, in BGs, cameoed via supers, etc. Skelebro even calls in his yari boys, haha.

---

Image

"Crumbs," I thought, "with the recent censoring of Big Boss Dick in R-Type Final 2, how am I gonna finish my Saigo no Nindou CERTAIN VICTORY Nomiss Guide? Half my stage 7 landmarks are dicks and muffs!" Stewing on this, I enjoyed a few casual credits as I tidied up my movie backlog. While the conundrum of muffs and dicks is TBD, I was pleasantly surprised to see my Boney-sama pattern (as of January this year) continue to perform - not only at my usual Rank50 play, but also in this morning's accidental Rank100 one. :shock: (a series of unfortunate events saw me blunder onto excess POWs, jacking up big enemy+boss HP).

> Rank50 (a bit rusty; NB the needlessly risky early bunnyhop, and my being off-mark at the finish)
> Rank100 (see immediately below)

I really wasn't expecting to survive the latter example, it being so long since I'd attempted Rank100 - so I fatalistically indulged in not just an opening bunnyhop, but a returning one, too. I survive some pretty hellacious bolt RNG, which makes me wonder if, with good timing at the drop-in, this might be safely repeatable. Back in Jan, I was going with the more conservative, but potentially nerve-wracking approach of diagonally-upshotting him at the outset. With lucky RNG, you can actually kill him outright, here. More likely, though, you'll be forced away by bolts, at which point the idea is to execute the pattern, taking his remaining HP (which will hopefully have receded to Rank50 levels).

Rank50 doesn't need to cram in extra damage; just the basic pattern will suffice. That's a run-under to the left, followed by a head-height barrage (aimed to kill), a max-height jump all the way to the wall (aimed to misdirect bolts, dragging them upward), a runback under Boney to the right (bunnyhopped upshot optional if RNG allows), then finally, a couple of head-height barrages for the kill, hanging the Options for maximal damage. These were both captured in the field after approaching a year away, so I'm quite happy with 'em. Boney can be a real prick! And TBH, currently going for a Rygar 1LC with its perfunctory sendoff, I'm okay with that. Not that Rygar isn't a legendary scrolling action journey entirely as-is. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:52 am 


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As a side game for shmupping session these days, I'm going to No-miss Ninja Gaiden. Should not be too hard as long as I keep jumpslash intact and memorize weapon item placement.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:12 am 


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You'll nail it :smile: Just beware losing your jumpslash at... EDMANS' BANE :shock:

Spoiler: show
Image

Image


You might end up doing this Image (witness a man so rusty, he dumps his perfectly good JS for a Windmill Star that he thought was a HP restore :cool:)
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:50 am 



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I've been jonesing for some HARD SCROLLING NINJA ACTION lately. Should I grab that Irem ninja game? Or is there a better one? I want to play some ninja scroll.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:04 am 


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Saigo no Nindou is in my top three with Daimakaimura and Rygar - all three have perfect controls, tight runtimes, and an immortal balance of volatility to tactical precision. (Dai and Rygar may not technically be ninja-themed, but they are ninja-spirited! one against many, run and jump and kill or be killed!)

Saigo is my favourite, but also the most flawed; any recommendation must mention The Ninja Pit, one of the worst rote memorisers in videogame history. But that just knocks it down from an 11 to a 10. Image Use ancient ninja wisdom to excise the bastard with extreme prejudice - once you're going for nomiss runs, it'll be laughably trivial in comparison to the roiling RNG cauldron of the other 99%.

The ACA release is excellent, but it should be noted that despite going by its World title "Ninja Spirit," it includes only the subtly meaner JP rev, Saigo. Basically, you get one checkpoint per stage (at the midpoint), and less POW carriers, in exchange for AFAIK slightly less tanky enemies. I have to confirm that last detail, sometime... the JP rev is fine, regardless.

I'd also recommend Dai and Rygar just as strongly. Annoyingly, the most accessible version of the former (Capcom Arcade Stadium) has a small degree of input lag. It's next to unnoticeable (I'm really only bothered in the STGs, with their innately pinpoint-precise movement - I can enjoy Dai and Strider just fine), but it stops me from recommending it as unreservedly as ACA Rygar (which includes both the JP rev, Argus no Senshi, and the again subtly more forgiving World rev). Any of these three will likely last you months, longer if you really drill down for 1LC mastery.

Saigo is doubly recommendable to any fan of Ninja Scroll, which is the official anime of this thread! ;3

ATTN Task Force! Your mission is to watch Ninja Scroll this weekend - or die trying! Image Image
Spoiler: show
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Instantly familiar necro-feudal style... Saigo homies will most definitely burrow through earth and ride in on kites to kill your ass - and death is no guarantee of defeat for their most daemonic forces! I like to think of Scroll as Saigo's dark ninja fantasy meets MGS1's elite FOXHOUND killers - though Kojima's game OFC came years later. (I wonder if Kawajiri was any influence on Shinkawa and company) I always play the latter half of Saigo's st2 forest with "floor is lava" rules, hopping from branch to branch before duelling its hulking killer boss a couple hundred feet off the ground. :cool:
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:37 am 



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Oh, I love Daimakaimura. It's one of my favorite arcade games. I can't play it for shit, but I love it. I especially love Ghouls and Ghosts. The original is just a little too mean-spirited at times. When even speedrunners talk about unwinnable random patterns, you know an arcade game is mean.

Ninja Scroll is so fantastic. One of the things I'll always love about it is the story, actually. So many people write it off as action shlock because it's unrealistic or it has themed superpower ninjas. Well, no shit it's not realistic. It's a dark fantasy infused with mythology. But the story is still compelling. It's surprisingly mature not just in "muh extreme ADULT content" but also in, well, maturity. The scale is small and our hero isn't saving the world. It's a tragic love story. The other anime it most reminds me of is Basilisk. I think Basilisk came after and was therefore probably inspired by Ninja Scroll. The artist who created the look of Ninja Scroll is a favorite of mine. He's done work on other series and it's always very obvious which ones are his, because they're stunningly beautiful. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is another great one to showcase his art.

Now that I think of it, the story progression in Ninja Scroll does remind me a little of Kojima's work, especially Snake Eater. The character archetypes are nearly the exact same.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:08 am 


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Quote:
When even speedrunners talk about unwinnable random patterns, you know an arcade game is mean.

It's hard to imagine Daimakaimura isn't able to throw a pattern against you that would screw you up like that, but to be perfectly honest - after tons and tons of playthroughs of that game, I've never experienced a single death that I didn't feel I could have avoided. So I don't think it's really a noteworthy issue. :P

I could see it being a pain for speedrunners though.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:51 am 


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Sima Tuna wrote:
Ninja Scroll is so fantastic. One of the things I'll always love about it is the story, actually. So many people write it off as action shlock because it's unrealistic or it has themed superpower ninjas. Well, no shit it's not realistic. It's a dark fantasy infused with mythology. But the story is still compelling. It's surprisingly mature not just in "muh extreme ADULT content" but also in, well, maturity. The scale is small and our hero isn't saving the world. It's a tragic love story. The other anime it most reminds me of is Basilisk. I think Basilisk came after and was therefore probably inspired by Ninja Scroll. The artist who created the look of Ninja Scroll is a favorite of mine. He's done work on other series and it's always very obvious which ones are his, because they're stunningly beautiful. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is another great one to showcase his art.


One of those rare action films with a perfect balance of joyous superhuman escapism to sober human grounding. I'd put it in the company of stuff like Robocop, The Road Warrior and Darkman; vividly characterful, spectacularly staged, steeped in and fired by loss, vengeance, fury! Image

I've not heard Basilisk's name in ages, I'll give that one a go this week! I remember it coming recommended on here, forever ago.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:07 am 



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BIL wrote:
Sima Tuna wrote:
Ninja Scroll is so fantastic. One of the things I'll always love about it is the story, actually. So many people write it off as action shlock because it's unrealistic or it has themed superpower ninjas. Well, no shit it's not realistic. It's a dark fantasy infused with mythology. But the story is still compelling. It's surprisingly mature not just in "muh extreme ADULT content" but also in, well, maturity. The scale is small and our hero isn't saving the world. It's a tragic love story. The other anime it most reminds me of is Basilisk. I think Basilisk came after and was therefore probably inspired by Ninja Scroll. The artist who created the look of Ninja Scroll is a favorite of mine. He's done work on other series and it's always very obvious which ones are his, because they're stunningly beautiful. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is another great one to showcase his art.


One of those rare action films with a perfect balance of joyous superhuman escapism to sober human grounding. I'd put it in the company of stuff like Robocop, The Road Warrior and Darkman; vividly characterful, spectacularly staged, steeped in and fired by loss, vengeance, fury! Image

I've not heard Basilisk's name in ages, I'll give that one a go this week! I remember it coming recommended on here, forever ago.

You can add Total Recall, the first Terminator movie and The Warriors to that list of films that are thought to be "dumb action shlock" but which work when taken seriously. I love bleak storytelling mixed with kickass action.

Basilisk is fantastic. It isn't as perfect as Ninja Scroll, just by virtue of being a series rather than a single piece. It is more episodic as a result, but retains the same serious tone.

Have you tried Huntdown or Cyber Shadow? I'm curious if those are any good.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + R2RKMF: Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:08 am 


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Stevens posted quite a bit on Huntdown ITT; as for Cyber Shadow, it got some decent buzz at release, IIRC in its dedicated thread. Haven't gotten around to either myself, but I'll vouch for peeps here, they're why I stick around. :mrgreen:

Stevens, Huntdown 1
viewtopic.php?p=1412341#p1412341
Huntdown 2
viewtopic.php?p=1412638#p1412638
Huntdown 3
viewtopic.php?p=1413125#p1413125
Huntdown 4
viewtopic.php?p=1413549#p1413549

I need to get the thread index updated this week, I keep telling myself "just one more clear" but yeah, tomorrow never comes. Never trust a shumpy! :3 Here's Cyber Shadow's thread.
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