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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:04 pm 


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Stevens wrote:
Few run this morning.

Made it back to Banglar with Kunoichi but fell just a little short of the 1 CC this time.

Yaksha run fizzled out on stage five, which not surprising since the whole run was rather meh. I did discover if you meter grab you can throw them in either direction. This was unknown to me for some reason.

Also (and this was one of the first things I realized about her) her hit box on down + jump is insane. It extends around the width of her foot in front of her. It's one of my favorite ways to get in.

Haven't played much in the past few days but would like to get a few more runs in this weekend.


Yaksha has some killer normals. I think I'll learn Raiden's basics this weekend, so I don't have to constantly caveat that I dunno nuffin about him - but among the other four, Yaksha's the only one whose combo ender moves her forward. So even though her punches are cruelly stubby, they're quick as all hell and one good ender will buy you enormous momentum.

Spoiler: show
Image

Spoiler: show
Image


HYUUUGE hitbox on her neutral jump attack too. Execute out of the grapple flurry [up + attack] and it's an invincible hyuge hitbox with mortaring forward momentum!

Spoiler: show
Image


Spoiler: show
Image


Also, her crouching combo ender is legitimately one of the best moves in the game. Yet again, BIGGU HITTOBOXU that'll cover you front to back.

GIFS from my riveting Yaksha startup >:3
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:40 pm 


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BIL wrote:

Also, her crouching combo ender is legitimately one of the best moves in the game. Yet again, BIGGU HITTOBOXU that'll cover you front to back.

GIFS from my riveting Yaksha startup >:3


Thanks for the primer. Yeah crouching ender is also great and it looks cool.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:40 pm 


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1 CC with Kunoichi last night. Fairly clean run all around. Gave Jubei a particularly satisfying ass whooping. Had a close call in the hangar on the final stage but kept it together.

That's two with Ninja and two with Kunoichi. Haven't broken through yet with Yaksha but I'm close. Once again Jubei turned my 1 CC into a two CC.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:50 pm 


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They did really well with Neo-Jubei. On SFC you can just crouch-P the shit out of him. :lol:

Makes collaring the slippery bugger especially satisfying. >¦3
Spoiler: show
Image
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:12 pm 


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I'm actually glad to hear that. The bosses of stages two, three, and four are pretty free at this point for me, at least on normal.

That said I can't sleep on Gigante, the twins, and never ever on Jubei. The outcome of Jubei is never a sure thing no matter how much energy I have when I get there.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:09 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
Sumez wrote:
I wish I could get into Saigo.
(...)


You said before that you didn't care for Dragon Fighter, that and Saigo are both similar in that they don't put much importance on level geometry. They're both about repeated, slightly differing encounters with the same enemy types. You don't learn the specific way to approach each segment so much as you learn the principles of how each enemy type should be dealt with and then try to keep the different mixups under control. Maybe that has something to do with it?

I don't have experience with the PCE version, but Saigo no Nindou with a life bar would be an entirely different game. Go straight to arcade mode.


Interesting comparison, because my impression of Dragon Fighter is kind of similar now that you mention it. Neither game comes across to me as tight, reaction based action games, but rather a little random and inconsequential most of the way. Mind you, I trust people's takes on these games, and I believe that they are, but they just aren't clicking for me.
I appreciate your description of how both of these games work, mostly because I don't actually perceive them that way. I think I need to be able to "see" the gameplay mechanics at work, and they don't really shine through to me. Maybe responding to level geometry just feels a lot more intuitive to me? Then again, a game like TNWA is 100% about different mixups of enemy types, and that clicked with me instantly.

Next time I pick up either of them, I'll try to keep thinking of them this way, and maybe at one point I'll be able to see the thing I'm missing.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:19 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Neither game comes across to me as tight, reaction based action games.


Structurally speaking, Saigo's action is not tight - indeed it's near-formless, outside of restricting some enemy types to certain stage sectors (Ghosts in 3-1, Monks in 3-2).

By that same token, though, it is profoundly reaction-based and deadly consequential. If you're not good at quickly assessing threats, often multiple overlapping ones, and tailoring tactical responses on the fly... you'll hit a painful brick wall around stage 4, if not 3. Even if persistence and lucky RNG lets you stagger into st6, its red sea of steel and fangs will obliterate you with biblical force*. :shock:

You can't just twitch and spam, either. Major enemies are not only relentless pursuers, they're also durable enough to tank through heavy fire and double-KO you. They also attack in pairs, often from both directions. And if you're running scared instead of smartly outplaying them, the swarming zako will get you. As per IREM, you have all the tools you need to deal with the absolute worst the RNG can summon, provided you can improvise. It's not some weenie-ass creep n' snipe! It's a Badass Ninja Sidescroller with a relentless air of bloody doom**! Turn the doom back on them with superhuman agility, cock-slapping firepower and sharp tactical response. Or else. Image

Spoiler: show
Image

Desire: I really want to jump in that spooky tree! For aesthetic reasons.
Obstacle: THIS PLACE IS FUCKING HAUNTED AND THE SHINOBI RIFLE CORPS IS UP MY ASS
Solution: Get some BAWS noob IDGAF about no Ghosts and GUNS R 4 PUSSIES ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Splitting bullets and their sender's skulls in one sweep ain't no thang, L2CHAIN

Tricky balance! Not to repeat myself, but the only other quality sidescroller I've found this dependably "no two credits go alike" is Daimakaimura. Just like Dai, it's no shit-sprayer but a carefully calibrated killer.

Mechanically speaking, Saigo's action is tight as fuck - they might look a snap, but those Ryuichi slips are Apex Ninja. Image Why would you bother with such a dangerous move? Well, it lets you gain ground without killing him. Why wouldn't you kill him? Because major enemies in back are taking up a slot for major enemies in front. Handy to move ahead where you can.

Also it feel rad. Image

Mean Mister Ryuichi! HE MAD BECUZ I'M STYLIN ON EM Image
Spoiler: show
Image


He's missing his last draw frame on PCE, making the maneuver significantly easier Image (better than leaving the hitbox active and invisible, OFC!) Besides the tight collision, this move also demonstrates the ultra-fine jump dynamics. The enormous range, from rapid bunnyhops to soaring wuxia quasi-flight, plus the subtle air handling and the ensuing tactical implications, makes Saigo a shoe-in for that Art of Jumping thread I never get around to. (I can never decide whether to make new threads or just keep it to tangents within this one, my big comfy hardcore scrolling couch AKA unfathomably sprawling fatal labyrinth!)

The above GIF's first jump, an enormous indulgent leap, is actually not a very safe move... but at this point I'm used to dealing with nasty surprises from below. Plus it shuts down Monks and lets me whack zako, with a decent reaction window for landings, so I'm comfy enough.

Also, it feel rad. Image

The second, that low hop that goes straight for Ryuichi's deadzone, was deliberately aimed. Saigo's jumps may seem the antithesis of Dai's set-in-stone arcs, but believe me, you will learn to never sacrifice your footing (= your jump!) without damn good reason. This is why the PCE's slippery st6 rocks gall so badly - they can legit get you killed, owing to the sudden denial of control.

It must be noted that while each stage's designated enemies spawn randomly, the terrain is of course set and is very meaningful, directly informing your tactics. Don't superjump over that rock when a Ryuichi mkII is charging in from the opposite side, you're gonna get a hellacious brush with flying death at best. Let him vault over while you hustle past underneath, raking him from below if need be. Mysterious Monk has spawned in a tree? bad shit - you're gonna have to either vault him outright with a superjump, or make a temporary retreat... or maybe just blow him up with grenades? but that could expose you to Katanas and White Rain. Saigo is the sort of tactical improv masterpiece I find myself wanting to fire up even as I type out these hypotheticals. Image

*on PCB only! PCE st6+7 are sadly botched, and unlike the conversion's highly accurate other 80%, they'll do little to prepare you.
**st3 onward! st1+2 are easy, but they're just there to let you enjoy the moon-jumps while powering up (or not, depending on the rank you want). they are pretty moody though!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:47 pm 


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Man, all that TNWOA talk has me waiting for an hypothetical PC port (à la Wild Guns Reloaded) to pick it up. By the sounds of it, it seems like a very fun game. I have only tried the Super Famicom version a bit through emulation but wasn't aware of that wide moveset so I missed a lot of the game's appeal.

----

There's a indie run&gun by the name of REDPULSE that was released not too long ago, have any of you guys heard about it? It's available here and is quite fun. The enemies and bosses in the game have shmup-inspired bullet patterns and the robot avatar's hitbox is rather small so I think it's a good fit for us shmup players. It's got brisk pacing, plenty of explosions, a dash move for the courageous players who want to add style and speed to their playstyle, and a bomb-like secondary weapon.

I am not too great at the game yet but if you want to see a 1CC of the game to give you an idea of how it plays, there's this recording from another player : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cku3Bqka5fg
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:41 pm 


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Very satisfying clean (ish) run with Yaksha. Got to Jubei with a full bar and proceeded to win what was a tooth and nail battle. Wound up eating it just outside the twins due to poor positioning.

To add insult the health up was on the ground. Doh.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:44 pm 


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Yaksha 1 CC unlocked. Jumping ex murder arms are godlike.

I keel everyone. I never say shit like this - but the run was never in jeopardy.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:00 am 


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OURYAAAAAAA

Image

*hwaaa*

I just 1LCd Saigo with the worst stage 6-2 RNG I've ever seen in my FUCKING LIFE. The dreaded Ghost + Ryuichi mk II HELL BULLDOZER drives me back - then a Monk piles in to force a full tactical retreat! I got 'em though.

The worst shit... the worst shit happens!
Spoiler: show
Image


Blocky-kun's outrage has been avenged. This morning's previous credit 1LCd to BONEY-SAMA, only for my would-be Hyper Aggressive Wedgie strat to end in a mortifying reversal. So this time around I was all "Kakatte koi muhfucka." Image Seems to get good results, that, but you can't be stubborn. Bolt RNG will leave you a blackened smouldering ruin if you're too inflexible. There's a deadly angle (FOR BONEY) I exploit in this replay, may be promising. What a motherfucker. Great final boss!

I think it's time to write that ST, I feel sufficiently adept to offer minor counsel to fellow R2RKMFers. Current 1CC success rate 95%, current 1LC rate... 10%? Bangin'. The way of the shinobi is terribly harsh. Image

Blasted Cambria Sword OST throughout, was rad. Image Image Imma look at editing up a video walkthrough to go with my ST, ala Icarus's rad Special Demonstrations (which are, even if you're not playing the specific titles covered, highly recommended watching for any arcade fan!)

Also I gotta do the Catacomb Crypt Killer for VS. Castlevania, and by extension NES PRG1 and FC cartridge. I dunno if it'll work on FDS or PRG0. They before my time. Image

M.Knight wrote:
There's a indie run&gun by the name of REDPULSE that was released not too long ago, have any of you guys heard about it? It's available here and is quite fun.


First I've heard of it - took an instant liking to the DDP-esque player shot, and the way you roll into a sphere while airborne looks very sleek! Will have to give it a look before I dive back into VS.CV.

Stevens wrote:
Yaksha 1 CC unlocked. Jumping ex murder arms are godlike.

I keel everyone. I never say shit like this - but the run was never in jeopardy.


Superb - she's a goddamn beast, huh? When she clicked I knew they'd managed the impossible and created Ninja Again. :smile: Eccentric yet mortally effective tentacle monster.
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Last edited by BIL on Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:53 pm 


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BIL wrote:

Superb - she's a goddamn beast, huh? When she clicked I knew they'd managed the impossible and created Ninja Again. :smile: Eccentric yet mortally effective tentacle monster.


You continue to dismantle Saigo. Maybe I will get back to it one day. I did enjoy it when I tried it last year. Think I topped out at stage five or six.

Yeah she is a monster. Although if I have one tiny complaint about TNWAA it is that I wish Banglar had a Shiva type body guard.

Been working on hard with Ninja. Haven't tried it yet with anyone else.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:59 pm 


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Thanks. :mrgreen: What a fiendishly dangerous game! Very masterable to 1CC standard - there's a lot to marshal in your favour. But a 1LC seems a bit scary altogether. Image Image

EDIT: oh nice, it's done. Handy thing with this game, a 1LC's only about 12 minutes. Works out for my crap upload speed. Image

Not so evident in this particular run, but I've picked up some tricks for stalling in stage 6, if you get absolute hell RNG (ben.shinobi's replays impress as always). Even then though, it feels more like keeping a rabidly snapping thing at arm's length than any real safety.

This innate threat makes Saigo my current pick for (kudos to trap15) REAL WAR action gaming (scrolling or otherwise). :cool: The improbability of survival for even a practised combatant becomes part of the ethos. Brr. Ain't Game of Thrones. This army of killers will in fact run you down and grind you into frickin hamburger. :o Don't get cocky just because you gashed a deadly foe, either! His bros are gonna trample over his corpse to get at you.

Favourite hated thing... Ryuichis spawning same-frame with Monks, so that when you spoof 'em with a hop he rushes out from behind them all "GOTCHA BITCH!" :lol:

I think there's some hardcoded rule against enemies spawning in duplicate, perhaps even from different sides of the screen. Can't remember ever "seeing double," but I sure as hell know about mixed pairs. See the HELL BULLDOZER - you can jump Ghost and run under Ryuichi, but if they form up like Voltron, either move is gonna get you gashed. There's a helluva performance ceiling in this game... I wonder if with enough deftness, it'd be possible to taptaptap to grenades and blow them up. But as always in st6, you've got to consider zako and their flak. A lot of the times that I fire the chain while airborne, it's not primarily to kill enemies, but to exploit the full-body projectile invincibility its attack gives.

A better player than me would've used a smaller hop approaching that rock, rather than uselessly prolonging airtime, and could've probably outjumped the bulldozer from there. Long way to go. Image Image

---

Awards for:

HET THA FUCKEN DECK LADDEH: st3.2 Shinobi Rifle Corpsman - hey, that's my Contra move! :shock: Then again, so is advancing jump downshot. Image
Spoiler: show
Image

WHY U DIRTY MUH FUCKA: st4.1 Purple Ninja - never let your guard down, no matter how alluring the smell of charred Samurai!
Spoiler: show
Image

NICE TRY SON: st6.1 White Rain - WAROOO, COMIN 4 DAT BOO*womp-womp*
Spoiler: show
Image

COR BURIMEY: st6.2 Ryuichi mkII - bunnyhop punked his Monk pal and him in short order - but the bugger damn near shaved me stache! Image *waxing frantically*
Spoiler: show
Image


---

Agreed on the need for a real badass regular enemy in TNWOA. If there's ever any sort of update, beyond an input patch, I hope they add a trio of new enemies that are pretty much ANDROID DEMOLITION CORPS. Like those three guys you run into halfway through Super Shinobi II, agile/balanced/heavy-type cyborgs. Plasma swords, miniguns, EMP shuriken, jetpacks... I know it's part of its aesthetic, controlling an unstoppable killing machine that tosses hardened killers around like ragdolls. But crushing the occasional truly menacing foes would only enhance that. I'd like an aggressive attacker along the lines of Zelos, though obviously not quite so much HP. Something convincingly deadly, to erase the slight pathos I feel when smashing even biggies like Shinobus into the floor.

Should be enemies you're relieved to see die, basically. GIGANTO is big but honestly I feel bad for the guy, especially with his look of bewildered sadness as he asplode. :sad:

"I hope for your sake you've got something inside that big body of yours.”

I actually always wanted the SFC game to do the usual trick of re-using stage bosses, beyond Giganto. With TNWA's tactical depth and volatility, it's an example of a game where it'd actually be welcome.

======

Made a start on Castlevania PRG1/VS Castlevania/Akumajou Dracula CATACOMB KILLER. Some details in description - will write real good n things shortly. Image I think I've cracked it at this point, pending further research. There's a fair bit I don't understand on a technical level (like how my rate of advance affects the raft's positions, or why the alcove-guarding fishman triggers the way he does) - but I know the route works, and it's easily reproduced from run to run, so for now I'm happy!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:22 pm 


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Generally tight run with Yaksha all the way to Banglar. Then I just could seem to generate anything once I got him 2/3's down.

Also I was wondering if Yaksha's ex arms should cost one more energy to use. I almost feel it's too good.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:55 pm 


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Experimenting with MIJIN-style stage 6-2 in Saigo, that is, blasting the sweet balls out of everything in sight with BAMBOO THUNDER GRENADE. I only partially comprehended it during the runs themselves, but as the name implies, the objective is to reduce all before you to so much shinobi dust. Image So they can't shoot at you! Although I killed the enemy, I performed shamefully with regards to total atomisation, and survived in much the same lowly fashion - scurrying beneath a hail of kunai! It looked hilarious at least! Image

OPERATIONAL DATA OF BAMBOO THUNDER GRENADE

GOOD: Powerful as all hell. Technically the game's second-highest DPS after SWIRLING LEAF/shuriken, whose focused fire will shred single targets like Ryuichis and Ghosts a tad quicker. But in practice, the grenades' huge splash, snap aiming, blisteringly high shot rate and armor/terrain-piercing capability make them far easier to connect with, and de facto your most destructive weapon.

BAD: The dead man's click. Until it's gone, that same lingering splash will bar you from firing any other weapon. Furthermore, there is no such thing as a crouching grenade shot; only the landmine. Adept players can prevent Tsukikage himself from setting mines, but if you're fifty feet in the air and have to fire downward, while a shadow is on the ground? That's gonna be a landmine, and they hang around an eternity in game time. Assuming nobody steps on them ofc.

===

Having accepted quick-switching grenade/chain action was off the table, my first attempt went stormingly well, as I attacked with considerable violence and the Wind Demons didn't get to shoot much. Fairly minimal close shaves, though there's a couple of real pants-shitters in there! Then I stepped on 7-1's first gas trap and died instantly. :lol: Clipped for illustrative purposes.

Tried again but had lost my ULTRAVAIORENCE and was kinda SCURRED :oops: so Wind Demons went full protodanmaku. This run will illustrate just how lenient Saigo's projectile hitboxes are, as I survive by the skin of my shivering arse again and again! For a late 80s game it's very progressive on player+projectile hitboxes - the edges of Tsuki's sprite can safely touch those of flying kunai or fireballs - fatal contact seems reserved to center-mass. Accordingly, Rifles' bullets (small, red n' angry) aren't to be trifled with, not much give there. Smart design from IREM, with the sheer fusillade this game looses on the player.

May also provoke howls of FALSIFICARE from the scrub gallery, and I will get to have some fun by asking where the ACA version's invincibility DIP switch is. Image (sound chaps, these ACA devs... that's one bit of hardware accuracy I can do without! however, I would like them to explore no-wait and forced 60hz options! idgaf if it runs a bit fast, i can stand teh pain Image I grew up with R-Types lmao! Adapt or die, kids! Image)

EDIT: HOLY FUCK

Image

Reviewing the clips, I'm pretty sure WIND DEMONS use the same "startup delay" as Metal Storm's shooting enemies. That is, a set-in-stone delay between spawning and firing. That was a critical bit of info in conquering MS's rather nasty loop, and it could be very handy here too. Most of the aggressive jump-throughs in the above clip were sheer desperate aggression, but this hugely organises things.

Now I wonder if they also have Toaplanesque pointblank guard, ala the Red Ninjas/grenadiers. I'm guessing not. Metal Storm's shooters sure as hell don't, bahaha.

TENTATIVE JUDGMENT: Kusarigama's bullet-cancelling, huge sweep and considerable destructive power still seems the overall best bet, but this could be a good option for experienced clearers. I wonder if with enough utter aggression / quick Kite-sniping you could really steamroll this fearful combat sequence. Shuriken also need trying out, particularly as they don't jam up the other weaponry like Grenades tend to. They're of limited use VS Monks, however.

Also holy cow, I never really comprehended that 6-1 and 6-2 are only thirty seconds or so apiece! A riveting ordeal at the controls. Image

Second attempt went on to 1LC. Interestingly enough BONEY-sama went down in a virtual instant replay of my previous no-miss. Hmm. May be onto something there. Where the last time around I uneasily eyed the grounded bolt, which was all "yarr I'll bite yer legs off, grrr" this time I deliberately let it snap n' snarl near to my foot, before being all "KUDARAN" Image and vaulting away to finish its master, that calciferous RNG-crazed knob-jockey!

EDIT2: oh nice, it's done. My quickest 1LC so far, I believe, though I wasn't going for speed and have no interest in doing so, outside of not dawdling in 7-1. It's about the HARDCORE KILLING Image

TBH, 6-2 Wind Demons had me dead to rights at least twice here. I'm gonna see if I can produce something truly dominating with the Metal Storm-derived data above.

Stage 3/VALLEY OF TSUKI and Stage 4/CAVE OF ISHI remain two of my favourite anythings EVAR yo. Pure action gaming expression, tearing them apart at adept level.

I mean look at this smart boy! ULTIMATE SURVIVOR UNCLOUDED BY DELUSIONS OF MORALITY
Spoiler: show
Image

HOW HE COULD LEFT ALL OF HIS HOMIES 2 DIE :shock: (tail prop <333 )


===

Oh shit son. Image ACA T-A-N-K is out now (JP PSN). Been looking forward to this one, being an admirer of its slightly ARPG-inflected Famicom sequel Great Tank (aka Iron Tank). SNK archaeologists will of course know this as the debut of RARUFU - long before he started drinking heavily and punching metrosexuals in the mouth, he roamed occupied Europe in his IRON BEAST WAR-CRY, mowing down and mulching and generally fucking up der Nazi schweinhunds!

Quote:
Colonel Ralph, a special unit, knew that it was an important matter to win or lose, and decided to do the destruction work alone.


Be for always DOING THE DESTRUCTION WORK ALONE Image

I wonder if they'll do AC Ikari III and, for SNK macho manliness completism, Datsugoku. Those two have excellent and quite good Famicom interpretations, respectively. I've often seen the AC ones slagged off as inferior... very curious though.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:28 pm 


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I 100% cleared Wandering Souls. I hit the level cap a good ways before reaching the end and was a bit concerned that the enemies on lunatic difficulty might keep getting stronger until it's a lost cause. Fortunately that isn't the case, the final stages and true last boss fight are all well balanced for an optimized endgame party.

It's a big sloppy RPG, far from this thread's preference for tight arcade games, but if you've alright with that sort of thing, give it a shot.

Spoiler: show
Image

It's quite a bit longer than I had expected.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:25 pm 


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I was gonna say that between you, me and Obscura, this is probably the forum's #1 thread for Legacy of the Wizard aka Dragon Slayer IV: Draisle Family appreciators. But then, I saw what you meant about those clear times, and recalled that DSIV is actually just right for single-session Shin Labyrinth Survivor runs! Image Not really an RPG at all anyway, huh. More of a Taitoesque stomp chumps / eat breads single-screener, gone all Search Action.

However, the thought was not in vain! Because three years on from trap recommending it to me, I've finally given UPL's Ninja-kun: Ashura no Shou a go!

Image

Has a passing resemblance to DSIV's goofy hop/shoot combat. You'll know it when you see it! You can even blast defeated enemies as they tumble offscreen for extra points, bahaha. Also recalls Capcom's Son Son with its simple, deadly point n' shoot, as well as Taito's classic cutesy platformers. Due entirely to my chronic lack of L2P, the latter tend to make me feel a bit thick. :oops: I whack chumps left and right to meager result, while the pros do all kinds of crazy shit and reap obscenely big fruits! This feels like a straight stomp/shoot in similarly bubblewrap-compulsive mode.

Recorded a very quick demo of the first five minutes - shows off a little of the game's instant pace, and also how to get the Bombs early. For a much better idea of the game's handling than I can provide at this stage, see here! Yes, those gigantic skeletons are a pain in the ass! You can kill them far quicker with the Fire weapon, not sure if you'll have it in that stage though. Here's a ten-second kill with Fire, which in sharp contrast to Contra's flittery POS, is actually good at arcing up n' over enemy defenses!

Boney fucks plague my ninja gaming life!
Spoiler: show
Image


I wonder if you can whack 'em with the "normal" weapons. Takes me 40secs with Bomb.

The ACA release is customarily superb, and includes the game's Set 1 and Set 2 revisions. Far more experienced heads than me recommend the former, so that's what I'm sticking with ATM (for anyone else playing the ACA release in Japanese, Sets 1 and 2 are on the left and right of the startup screen, respectively).

Puts an interesting spin on contact damage. With the usual exception of feral varmints that bite, bumping armed enemies isn't fatal. Rather, one of you gets bumped and stunned. Who exactly depends on context. I'm an absolute beginner, but AFAIK, aggression = good. Don't assume high ground is all - you can Mario Fist the bejesus out of enemies lurking above! Reminds me of Ex-Ranza's badass automelee, translated to tense 1HKO format. Cut off would-be killers with a deft kick in the teeth and a swift dispatch.

The bumping also feels a bit Ys-esque - perhaps how DSIV might've handled, if Falcom had poached their own mechanic. Some unarmed enemies actually can't hurt you at all, but they'll bulldoze you into something that will, or even immobilise you until the dreaded camper-killing Wheel of Dharma comes along. Some foes have to be stunned before you can finish them off (see the armoured samurai at the top of stage B2), and they'll avidly try to do the same to you! What a badass little dude that samurai is - like a mini Genichiro from Sekiro, with his vicious arrow volleys.

Yeah, despite the wonderfully restrained necro-chibi aesthetic (some genuinely elegant and/or creepy things going on!), this game is actually Ninja As All Hell. Enemies are cute but deadly, particularly LIGHTNING BOY whose posse kicks off Route B in rousing fashion! (the theme of lightning boy - you ain't gonna get outta here! we're gonna fuck you up!)

Image

The walljumping is superb - distinctive yet intuitive. Just leap towards a wall, letting off [jump] then holding it. Provided you're holding [jump+away], you'll kick off on impact - no need for exacting timing. When presented with sheer vertical shafts, you will know what to do! You'd better, with this thread approaching its seventh year. Image Holding [toward] the wall will let you cling on, though it's not to be relied on too heavily, with climbing a grueling process. Wouldn't surprise me if climbing up stage 3B's vertical shaft could get you Dharma'd.

Acrobatics have a surprisingly gritty physicality. There's no direct fall damage, but big drops can stun Ninja-kun and leave him at enemies' mercy - unless you hit [jump] just before impact to stick the landing (1000pt bonus!). As a compromise, you can hold [either side] for a random shot at rolling on impact. Not sure of the odds, and it's no free lunch besides - you'll roll off ledges, into hazards, etc. Normal landings see Ninja-kun kneel on impact for a split-second - not only a cool detail, but also a really handy visual marker for your next jump input, particularly when clambering up platforms at speed.

Instant caveat goes to the weapon-switching input. You press [up], diagonals included. Oh god damn it. This can be worked around with disciplined "four way stick" play ala Makaimura, but it's undeniably distracting and sub-optimal. One of those cases where the devs seemingly forgot the third JAMMA button. (Image Fight, same damn year as Saigo... where is my dedicated Pod Shoot button, irem?! Image oh god, never mind, I'm just glad Saigo didn't do something similarly unfortunate :shock:)

An easy recommendation in spite of that minor annoyance. Cute and compact but deadlier than it may appear at first glance!

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:32 pm 


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Another 1 CC with murder arms. 300 seconds faster than my first and only 12 seconds slower than my best time (with Kunoichi). Don't recall it offhand, but fast enough to get the murder machine achievement.

The run itself was great and like my other Yaksha clear never in doubt.

I do wish it kept top times locally. Minor gripe.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:35 am 


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Ninja-kun seemed good from what little I've played.

BIL wrote:
Boney fucks plague my ninja gaming life!
Spoiler: show
Image


How do these guys work anyway? I don't know how to tell if I'm doing damage. Is a bomb's splash radius enough to get through their swords? Do I need to throw the bomb as they approach so they walk into the explosion?

BIL wrote:
There's no direct fall damage, but big drops can stun Ninja-kun and leave him at enemies' mercy - unless you hit [jump] just before impact to stick the landing (1000pt bonus!).


I love this. Great way to reconcile cartoon slapstick with ninja precision.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:18 am 


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Very tentatively, I think that's about it. Exploit the splash to bypass their sword - however, I've had a few attempts where I get in close without dying, and one where I flat-out killed him before he got me. IIRC it involved crawling. So I wonder if something cooler is possible? I was surprised to learn the giant Daruma dolls are harmless on bump, it's their ground slam that kills - so maybe boney's similarly limited. His infinite bat cloud makes it harder than it otherwise might be to tell. The Darumas go down in two direct bombs to the eyes, and from that GIF it looks like the boneys aren't much more durable provided you nail 'em square in the head.

Wouldn't surprise me if the answer's readily available on Youtube, I skimmed a replay and saw someone asking how the uploader was taking down skeletons so quickly. I'm enjoying the mystery, haha.

Noticed just now that the bombs' arc is analogue - hold the button for a longer, higher throw. This game... it has lots of really cool, well-implemented mechanics, then they went and stuck weapon switch on [up] and both diagonals! WTF! Adjustment isn't quite the brain-rewiring body horror of Holy Diver, thank god, but I still get the odd run where I vault a pit ready to nail a ledge guarder, aaand *womp womp* As some tiny compensation, it does at least let you switch weapons while running. Diagonals stopping you dead in your tracks ala Makaimura would truly take the piss.

...though I'd accept that for a third button. I thought it was the number four/shi/DEATH that's considered unlucky in Japanese folklore. I could swear certain JAMMA wiring standard devs were afraid of that third button.

Speaking of cool mechanics, I've always found Strategywiki a surprisingly trusty resource, but I wonder if the "safe fall" ground roll is actually random. I suspect it requires the same timing as the safe landing. Then again I'm pretty sure the Monk/Princess punish/reward scrolls are random, so I dunno.

EDIT: oho! I'm really starting to like this now. The Fire weapon's implementation is very clever. The "permanent" version that you win for clearing a bonus stage will in fact exhaust and disappear after forty seconds of total use. Stow it quick whenever you're not using it. Good Alien Soldier vibe! The benefit of the permanent Fire pickup is, it'll always reappear in your inventory at the start of a new stage. Pretty sure the "acquired" version, earned by snatching up three consecutive Fire items before they can time out (as demonstrated in my clip) doesn't return for new stages once exhausted, but I'm still figuring it out.

Important thing to me right now is that Fire will consistently demolish Giant Boneys as shown, so that's a relief. That's the sort of enemy that could really drag a game down, otherwise. Quick kill felt like a fluke at the time. Also tears through Darumas, even double Darumas, as I just found out in a "holy fuck their ground slam stopped me switching to bombs, I'm dead - oh nice!" But I was so hyped up I fumbled the Share button, so the clip went down the pan! Oh well. I'll be back, assholes!

The Boney encounter giffed above seems designed specifically for Fire, with the rather nasty bat presence also handily driven back. Cool chibi-necro vibes in this game. The dark corners of the earth are dark indeed, in need of righteous flame to drive back the fell denizens. Dynamite contrast with the green meadows and sandy beaches of the overland stages. I see why this has such a cult following, despite its slight rough edges. Rugged chibi-ninja sidescroller with tons of charm.

EDIT2: Never mind, I'm an asshole. :lol: Hard-won Flame didn't come back for the next stage. Still, knowing it can be stowed for special occasions ( Image Image Image ) is good enough for me.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:07 am 


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Wow, does the Famicom version of Ashura no Shou even have anything to do with the arcade one? This game looks way more fun than the one I've played.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:38 am 


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trap immediately warned me that the FC version was crap, and also it's by those perennially license-gobbling shitbirds Micronics, so I double never tried it out. :cool: That's a DOUBLE-HARD NOPE Image

---

It vexes me that I bottled it on stage 7-1 of my first Saigo BOMBA run. Because while the second, successful run illustrated little besides how far a lucky chicken can make it on mildly tactical flapping (flapping towards the hope, you could say!), the first was quite rad. This little gem showcases the worst of the game's RNG, the best of its air handling flex, and why sometimes, you gotta just immolate a motherfucker:

Except from 0471AMs The Perfect Works BILRZR ~ Memoirs Of The Hellish Battlefield
Spoiler: show
Image


1) On one hand, I could've blown up the Ghost from the relative safety of the rocks. Ryuichis and Monks can't get close, and Ghosts are slow.

2) OTOH, superjump carpetbombing can gain tons of ground, as it had been for most of this replay's 6-2. What's the worst that could happen? Do you wieners want to live forever?! Image

3) Unfortunately, just because one-half of tag team champs HELL BULLDOZER is onscreen, that doesn't mean you're safe from... HECK BULLDOZER. Ryuich mkII & Monk can be bunnyhop-spoofed as easily together as apart. However, you can't bunnyhop mid-superjump! OWNED! Or so they thought. Image

    *Mild backwards tapping keeps my beautiful strawberry topknot clear of Ryuichi's jealous blade. The Monk receives my undivided attention, and is obliterated under the heaviest bombardment seen in the Japanese archipelago prior to the outbreak of WWII. Even having unleashed an unbridled barrage of death from above, I was genuinely surprised to not meet a prompt death from below. I've never flat-out annihilated a fresh Monk out of a jump like that. LESSON: their staff throw startup is a valuable 11th-hour window.

    (Note also that I'm playing at mid-rank: two shadows and a pair of POW weapons. As detailed previously, I think this is the optimal power/spread setup, provided you can fill in for Sword & Shuriken's rare but valuable roles)

    *A badly-singed Ryuichi landed on a stack of unexploded grenades and was immediately blown to pieces. A magnificent departure; God rest he soul. Image

    *Amid all this excitement, Ghost, the one who caused all this fuckery, took much collateral pounding and just kind of died. Image He was in cooldown after swinging his mighty necrotic zweihander so I wasn't bothered about him tbh, but the speed with which I GTFO his reach should illustrate the mortal threat he posed to the very end! Double-kill, the most annoying kill.

    *Wind Demon Pincer Attack. With the immediate threat below, I didn't even see 'em sneaking in. However I knew my explosive VTOL acceleration would beat their cowardly kunais. With subsequent data, I might've exploited the Metal Storm Principle to blow away the rightmost and regain my footing a bit quicker.

However, as much as I like its look, the first run was every bit as unrefined and tense as the second, just more aggressive. Still much to iron out before I can finally put my boot on 6-2's neck and ask it if it feels lucky, punk. Well do ya?! Image (don't do this corny-ass movie shit, just put the fiend down. A wounded 6-2 will find a way to Jiujitsu you face-first into a pile of Lego :shock:)

I was wondering why I didn't feel compelled to try grenades in 6-1, and quickly realised 1) no Ghosts to hop 2) no Ryuichi mkIIs to terrorise the friendly skies 3) a raining shitstorm of White Rain and Green Ninjas. EDIT: though I do want to experiment there a bit, too!

---

Crumbs! Between Ninja-kun II and good ol' Metal Slug AECKS, I am drifting into too many games territory again! I would also like to nail VS Castlevania's miserly coffin shut for good. The way of the shinobi is terribly harsh.

I read on JP Wikipedia that certain ACA releases had strobe-light effects coded out, due to modern safety concerns. That seems the case with Saigo and its The Howling™ werewolf transformation... but as noted a page or so back, VS Castlevania's rosary still blisters at 30hz fury, and Metal Slug X's SHOT-GUN still proudly sports its James Cameron-style white frames for XTREEM explosive force!

Sleep tight pupper?
Spoiler: show
Image


Also, when the doors get blown off stage 1's building, your photosensitive friends may wish to dive behind the couch, as if the lethally careening wooden panels are flying out of the screen, straight into the living room! Now that's immersion! Prepare a bucket of sand beforehand and chuck a handful over them, too!

FLASH FLASH FLASH
Spoiler: show
Image


I APPROVE (`ω´メ)
Any time I see a photosensitity warning I STARE STARE STARE
Do you young noobs want to live forever?! (・`W´・)

TBH, I wonder if the JP Wiki's claim might be false, with ACA Saigo's toned-down flash simply due to its native 55hz refresh rate.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:54 pm 


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Another 1 CC with Kunoichi. Time down to 2712.

What kind of times is everyone else here doing? Would love to get it sub 2500.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:07 pm 


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Zaarock is the man for TNWOA time attack deets, don't think he's around ATM though. Just booting up my records aaand the current best is... *drum roll*

...2523.59 with Ninja. I'm guessing that's pretty bad given his br00tal efficiency. :oops: EDIT: holy shit yeah, look at this guy's times. I'm just glad my boy is doing well in the rankings tbh Image

---

Oh nice, minor epiphany with Ninja-kun II's safe landing VS roll. Seems the "safe landing" is just the startup frames of the roll, making it easier to visualise and time. Previously I'd thought it was an invisible, binary right/wrong input check. Very cool, much comfier when approached this way.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:32 am 


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In my quest for quality doujin games I've found an interesting, Cave Story-inspired platformer called Hack9. The Cave Story influence is very strong, if you've played or seen that then you should have the basic idea of how this works.

Spoiler: show
Image

What a ripoff


The biggest point of differentiation between the two games is Hack9's item system. Hack9 includes both currency and random drops from enemies, and the great majority of weapons and equipment are only available as drops. There's a shopkeeper at your base who buys and sells items, though the weapons he offers are basic and quickly outdated. Most of what you buy from him will be healing items and permanent HP boosts. HP boosts increase your max health by 1-4 HP so - and I don't say this lightly - I recommend savescumming. Any items sold will be identified and, provided they aren't worthless, can be bought back later at a markup.

Save points and shortcuts in Hack9 are few and far between. Indeed, for the great majority of a playthrough you'll only have access to the one save point inside your home base. To my knowledge the only other is found at the beginning of the path to the true last boss, after the point of no return. It's important not to overextend yourself. Anything you do in an excursion only counts if you make it back alive. Hack9 is an extremely stubborn game that refuses to yield even an inch of progress to the undeserving.

I've grown to love that obstinacy. The long periods between chances to save and heal make everything feel so dangerous. It's a genuine relief to arrive back at the base after a lucrative trip.

Spoiler: show
Image

Great rewards await those who can survive SPIKEHELL


Normal enemies are overall pretty good, boss fights tend to be fairly poor, though there aren't many of them. There are some stealth mechanics where enemies can only see you approaching from the direction they're facing. There are cameras that sound an alarm if they spot you, making the guards more alert. In the very beginning when all you have is a knife, it's a good idea to sneak up on enemies whenever possible. Once you find or buy your first gun stealth becomes a lot less mandatory.

There are a good number of weapons and accessories to be found. Some are pretty cool, though unsurprisingly it all pales compared to what Cave Story has to offer. You start the game with a pathetic kukri that does 1 damage per hit. If you sell your kukri to the shopkeeper you'll have exactly enough money to buy a 2 damage dagger. Do that.

The beginning of Hack9 is the most difficult part. Your initial 4 HP won't last you very long, and the dagger, while much better than the kukri, is still a pretty poor weapon. I've seen some claims around the internet that you're required to grind to get past the beginning area. Let me assure you that this is merely scrub talk. I've got a gameplay demo up that shows how to get a relatively easy HP boost and make it back to base. That'll bring you up to 8 HP which will make exploration much easier.

There's one segment I thought was kind of bullshit so I'm just going to give you the solution now. Towards the end of the game you need to disable an out-of-control nuclear reactor, but approaching it abruptly kills you. The solution is to use the dragonuv sniper rifle you found earlier to shoot the off switch. The switch is an inconspicuous grey circle near the upper right corner of the room. Make sure you don't lose the dragonuv, I don't believe it can be replaced. It might be possible to hit the switch with a different long-ranged weapon, but the dragonuv is the only one that allows you to scroll the camera away from your character while aiming, so it's the best tool for the job.

Spoiler: show
Image

The hazmat suit prevents damage from poisonous gas. It's not strictly necessary if you're willing to tank the damage


Hack9 really recaptures that feeling of being a dumb clumsy kid struggling to make any headway into a new game. I recommend it! You can get the official English version for free here.

Hack9 has quite a few sequels. The first of these, Hacker9, is available in English and for free here. I've tried a little bit of Hacker9 and it appears to be a reboot - the same characters are present, but they act like they're meeting each other for the first time. The first cavern seems to be a near copy of the first cavern in Hack9 too. Seems dubious, but Hack9 has bought enough good will that I'll definitely give it a shot sometime. Everything after Hacker9 is Japanese language only. The newer entries are also commercial rather than freeware, and at some point the series transitioned into strange and interesting-looking 2.5D platformers.

Spoiler: show
Image

An official screenshot of GHost9 Solid. Weird!


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:25 am 


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been playing Master System Sonic 1 and quite enjoying it. the level design is quite nice and compact, meaning pretty much the opposite of the sprawling layouts of the genesis games. it's also a bit tougher. on the downside, theres a not insignificant amount of slowdown in pretty much any stage; labyrinth zone becomes a slog. also theres a couple of irritating maze-style stages in the latter half. graphics-wise it has some really nice looking background art. music isn't anything super special on the whole but the bridge zone theme is very catchy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYJkol00JCE
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:27 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
It's important not to overextend yourself. Anything you do in an excursion only counts if you make it back alive. Hack9 is an extremely stubborn game that refuses to yield even an inch of progress to the undeserving.

I've grown to love that obstinacy. The long periods between chances to save and heal make everything feel so dangerous. It's a genuine relief to arrive back at the base after a lucrative trip.

I love this approach. It's an essential element of any good dungeon crawler in my opinion.

mycophobia wrote:
music isn't anything super special on the whole but the bridge zone theme is very catchy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYJkol00JCE

I never bothered playing much of the game, but this tune stands as a classic Koshiro track to me from the period where it sounded like he was trying to create pop songs, not unlike the tunes from Misty Blue.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:01 pm 


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i've still not played TNWOA, and am not sure if i am going to for a little bit. i've been meaning to go back to the SFC original and record a run or two, but haven't felt like the time is right. last i was looking over tentatively writing a top 100 again, i had ordered TNWA at the no. 10 spot, and it's kind of hit this spot in my mind where i revere the game so much it's hard to approach without wanting to give it my all. i deal a lot with severe mental health issues, and it feels like a game i want to tackle when i'm in a really good state of mind as to enjoy best - which i just haven't been in, lately. i also know that if i pop it in to give it a spin i won't be able to put it down, so i'm holding off on getting my feet wet, even. the temptation might overcome me and i might make a surprise post after a fueled night of playing it, though.

i've got some depression gaming lined up in both the outer worlds and death stranding, so aside from trying to bang out a recording of jackal (which i haven't touched since the day before i last mentioned playing it), i think i'm probably tied up for a while. i'm really glad to hear all the overwhelming praise and consistent analysis, though! i'm sure it's going to be an evergreen game on here and that whenever i do get to posting about it that it will be far from irrelevant
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:36 pm 


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At this point, I've no doubt TNWOA has at least as much longevity as the SFC game, ie utterly immortal. The wider playfield does lessen the relentless danger of the SFC's 4:3 pressure cooker; it was startling returning to it and getting dogpiled for the tiniest hesistances. OTOH, the remake's massively expanded combo mechanics make it a more compelling performance piece. It's easier to stay alive, but not easy at all to flatten its massive crowds with consistently watchable grace. It's really compulsive in that regard, and getting legsweeped or sniped in the middle of a crowd-juggling EX rampage is every bit the "taptaptaptaptaptapFUCK!" vexation of the SFC's cruel dogpiles. Image

As mentioned, I do think TNWOA could've used a new "nemesis" tier of enemy, to return a bit of the SFC's raw survival focus. Main concern is getting that input patch sorted out. Its feedback and i-frame sense is yet more sublime than the SFC's, but the command interpreter needs to be equally airtight for me to commit as enthusiastically.

Particularly with Kunoichi, whose agile grappler concept is better-realised than ever. I was initially aghast at flurry becoming invincible, with so much of her SFC game tied to the devastating but intensely vulnerable full sequence. It makes perfect sense in TNWOA's widescreen context, though. With the massive crowd melees and expanded combos, the flurry's damage is no longer worth risking your neck for. Invincibility gives it a new lease on life, a means of exploding crowds from within. Deftly somersault into the heart of the scrum, maul a priority target or two as their backup haplessly whiffs, then bulldoze and head-slicer your way out. Spectacular expression of the TNWA/OA "outnumbered predator" ethos.

There was a CROWD here. It's gone now.

I can't be babysitting the inputs, though! Gotta get my Haddaway on in absolute confidence. Image

Spoiler: show
Image
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Last edited by BIL on Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:42 am, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:56 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
I love this approach. It's an essential element of any good dungeon crawler in my opinion.


Yeah, now that you mention it, Hack9 does capture a bit of that cruel CRPG dungeon crawler feeling in a platformer. Also, it was a mistake for the Etrian Odyssey series to make warp wire infinitely available and usable anywhere.


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