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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:51 am 


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Stevens wrote:
Ninja's neutral jump is one of my favorite "taunts".


Indeed, I bust it out all the time just for the coolness. One of many sharp improvements to his already imposing SFC aesthetic. Conveys not only his murderous bulk, but also the GODLIKE POWWA of his propulsion system. Image

1 HEFTY BOI
Spoiler: show
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Yaksha's sneaky (yet massively stacked) crouch-walk animation works too! :cool:

Lately I've wanted taunts in a few 1P games, or similar AI-influencing moves... a GET THE FUCK BACK HERE YOU PRANCING BEARDY TWATS button would go great for Metal Slug's more urgent POW rescues. :lol: (fiendish, how they escape just slowly enough to create a false sense of security). Outside of head-to-head combat games, the example I'm most familiar with is the original Devil May Cry (taunt to build Devil Meter, if I remember right), but nothing that actually affects enemies comes to mind.

There's Brutal DOOM I guess, but I play that with taunts and bunch of other daft stuff (like rolling - u wot m8?!) disabled!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:13 am 


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BIL have you ever tried play MS games with autofire? playing with them is fun experience imo. Some MS game have kind of different firing rate (pistol only) as follows:

MS1: 10hz, but if you jump during fire it ramps up to blistering 20hz!
MSX: 15hz
MS3: 10hz while standing, 15hz while crouching. This is makes sense to what Mike Uyama said that crouching gives you higher fire rate in his No-miss run
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:09 am 


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I used autofire for my MS3 no-miss (sadly done long before I had any notion of uploading, but TBH, I know it wouldn't have been very watchable anyway). Got tired of my forearm hurting while mashing out pistol rounds. Crouching rapid shot is a very cool mechanic, I've missed it in MS1 - it always seemed logical, with the characters' recoil animations.

I didn't know about the jumping firing rate increase, but that makes perfect sense! I always start a credit hopping along and blanketing the screen with bullets, to wipe out those first few grunts before the HMG pickup*.

I've noticed a few small hiccups in MS1's controls, refined away in the four years between MS1 and MS3. The way MS1's crouching knife locks you in place for its duration made me think my d-pad was dying, at first. Now I know to be extra-careful with those. Its handling is still impressively tight given how hard (I assume) it pushes the Neo hardware, and MSX actually took at least one step backwards, with its far lengthier turnaround attack input cancel. MS1 and MS3 both outdo it on that count.

Unfortunately ACA's "Fastest" autofire seems a bit weak in MS1/X/3, so I've just been tapping for now. It helps that MS1 is not only shorter than MS3, but also a lot more generous with special weapons, which don't need fast tapping to hit their maximum shot rate (yet another Saigo resemblance). So it's not like I'm pistol-only much at all - only one spot comes to mind (Final Mission's infamous bridge, while finishing off the first half's Girida-O/"Rebel Slug").

If I can sort out a decent arcade stick with autofire I'll crank it up once again. :mrgreen:

Speaking of the bridge, I didn't realise until this revisit that the enemies you get are actually determined by your vertical position. Taking the top route will get you a trio of Flying Taras, but even if you go the bottom route (spawning a Dararin Dara Dara/girder truck... this series' enemy names have always cracked me up, can't resist!), jumping too early will bring on the planes. Something similar happens in the second half. I'm wondering if my current route (bottom, spawning a DiCokka/fatty flame tank) is needlessly dangerous. Top gets a Melty Honey/bulldozer tank, but something nailed me before I could observe more, and I decided to stick with my existing route for now.

I know this is all ancient knowledge, especially with the game's popularity, but it's all new to me! Image /slowpoke.jpg

Those girder trucks are so friggin' hardcore, I never tire of seeing that one roll in during the boat trip. What a mundane yet nightmarish attack, getting a shit-ton of steel girders dumped on you, particularly while stuck on a boat. :shock: :lol:

Image

They make perfect narrative sense, too. The Rebels are on their last legs, their outposts smashed and the enemy at the gates. They're repelling your attack with absolutely everything they've got, even their construction materials!

*Sometimes those guys will really come flying in. Actually, this is something I've meant to post about - MS's habit of giving the basic "green dude" sprite a bunch of diverse "characters," Famicom Ikari III/Guevara-style. For the most part, you can tell straight away who you're dealing with by their weapons, but there's still some of that classic Ikari ambiguity... jumping knifers look a lot like grenadiers until they attack, and I'm pretty sure both types of shield dude look the same until they draw either a pistol or a machete.

Saigo does this a bit too, its first stage's Brown Ninjas are invisibly divided between ground and air attackers. I like the effect on uniformed zako - creates the sense of an army, disparate individuals united in purpose - but I do think Saigo pushed it a bit with its badass samurai Ryuichi. Stage 6-2's jumping variety are like a nightmare inversion of the groundtype, to the point the game even gives them separate spawn slots (you can have two of each onscreen, though the game won't spawn any more groundtypes once you're on the jumpers' turf). With quasi-midboss types, I prefer to know at a glance exactly what I'm up against.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:05 pm 


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This reminds me to play more of the Metal Slug games. I hadn't touched any of them before last year where there was a scoring tournament. It's a lot of fun - I initially had my reservations cause it's a wildly popular Neo Geo game and I figured it was probably overrated but it truly does deserve its notoriety though for being fun.

The scoring in MS1 is ass though. Randomized items mean sometimes you'll get some pretty lucrative scoring items S2 and other times not, and then in the second last stage optimal scoring requires suiciding twice on a milking exploit using the tank, and an enemy vehicle that's invulnerable when it's only barely onscreen that I am sure was not intended to be milked. It's still damn fun to play for sheer survival for the 1CC though! My current best run is about 1/4 of the way through the last stage (on a double suicide scorerun).
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:40 pm 


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Hmm, oddly I've never thought of playing through MS with autofire before; it just seems like it lowers the difficulty too much and circumvents the game's design. That said, copy-paster, it does sound like fun—I think I'll give it a try (after ~20 years of playing these games)!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:16 pm 


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The random items make me laugh, honestly. One run, Mission 2's riverbank might hold a 50,000pt teddy. The next, a literal piece of shit (10pt). :lol: My introduction to MS scoring was the first game's Mission 5 APC milk, so I knew pretty quickly it wasn't gonna be for me.

Fantastic performance piece regardless, as mentioned. This is also an exemplar of my type of "sandbox game." Tons of freedom within a carefully-calibrated course. With the generous resources and dominant player character you can get up to all sorts of inadvisable things, or even play for score if that's what you're into. Currently finding the best spots for spectacular self-destruct attacks (you can make the Slug damn near fly launching it from the right spots).

Unlike here!
Spoiler: show
Image


I do like rescuing what POWs I can (I really hate the "wait for" ones in Missions 3 and 4, though I went for the former in my first 1LC, just to get the UR GR8 100k, and AFAIK the ones up trees in Mission 3 are completely random). Just recorded a slightly more fluid nomiss that gets the three extras in the lower-left of Mission 4's boss arena. I think that's all the ones in there? I know you can also get some from the ceiling by hitting the upper tank with grenades, but it seems either/or. I could easily be totally wrong, not really bothered either way, since you'll get over 10 regardless. Tragically I couldn't save the Slug this time around so I empty my HMG into the back of Morden's unconscious head. :sad:

I don't think autofire would make MS1 much easier than it already is, at least if you can reliably no-miss it. All the weapons beside handgun have low firing caps and you get tons of grenades + Slugs.

Bridge was a bit more stable, though still more fraught than I'd like. Noticed the first half's grenadiers will run away in terror after one throw, previously I was busying myself chasing them down while more dangerous bazookas took advantage. I hadn't appreciated how friggin dangerous the bridge Bazooka corps' movement was until recent runs, the fuckers are wavedashing all over the place. Obviously elite troops! The "Catch-22" positional spawn triggers are quite clever, even following a set route I find slight RNG hiccups forcing me to improvise, though unlike the rest of the game, between the dangerously agile bazookas, aggressive grenade chuckers and barging tanks it's decidedly improv or die.
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Last edited by BIL on Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:26 pm 


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Quote:
I don't think autofire would make MS1 much easier than it already is, at least if you can reliably no-miss it. All the weapons beside handgun have low firing caps and you get tons of grenades + Slugs.


This. It's rare when you're genuinely forced to fall-back on the handgun. While I still prefer being able to save my fingers with autofire, Metal Slug is a lot less taxing to play as far as mashing goes compared to something like Blazing Star and autofire won't be super advantageous in this game for a clear.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:50 pm 


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its super easy to suicide your slug with autofire too due to jumping while holding it down
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:04 pm 


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idk, I can't hammer a fire button at 10-20hz for the 40min or so it takes to get through MS1. It's true that you're generally not reliant on the handgun anyway, but there are spots where you are, and particularly later in the series your fire rate can mean life or death there (Subway scene in 2/X comes to mind). Same thing if one happens to die on a boss (again, particularly later in the series where you can't just grenade cheese everything to death).

I agree that if you can no-miss the first game autofire prob isn't a big deal one way or another. My best to date is 1ccing the game, which I've done a few times but not reliably (last stage always murders me), and for someone at my level I think using autofire would have made those clears just easy enough to have felt 'not legit' to me. That said I probably will try playing with AF for a while just to enjoy the game in a different way.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:18 pm 


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40 minutes for MS1?? i guess youre doing the milk?

but yeah the first game is really the only one I would ever try to play without auto. I was learning MS3 on a real machine with no auto earlier this year and I gave up cuz the zombie stage is such a slog; youre just mashing constantly
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:24 pm 


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40 minutes is just a guesstimate, might be more like 30? I do go a bit slow in some spots, particularly stage 4's trenches and stage 5's streets—I like to clear out all the obstacles (fortications, cars etc) before scrolling.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:11 pm 


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I've been getting around twenty from MISSION ONE, START to Morden's last guttural OAWAAAH. I ain't scurred and I make a point of killing anything mobile, but I do think it looks cooler to just tear through Mission 4's Death Valley doing the Mario on DiCokkas, rather than hang around bringing down those unsupported Bull-chans. The turrets following are toast though!

Doing The Mario on DiCokkas, it's not an innuendo you dirty devils!
Spoiler: show
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Likewise Mission 5's first few destructible houses, since the POWs I need for UR GR8 can be found in trees I can shoot while murdering a screenload of enemies apiece. I think they'd add maybe two minutes' plinking tops, though. Otherwise the game's eminently killable.

BTW, did anyone else first encounter most of these stock sound effects in Slug (or Geostorm, or GunForce?) Spoilers for BEATSY BOYS tribute to DANGER: DIABOLIK BODY MOVIN, do watch, such a rad vid Image)

mycophobia wrote:
its super easy to suicide your slug with autofire too due to jumping while holding it down


It's nowhere as bad as Image Fight's "IREM why you no C button" Pod Shoot, but I do wonder why they didn't make use of that nice fat D button!
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:25 pm 


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i change speeds so infrequently in Image Fight that I never really got bit by that one
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:28 pm 


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BIL wrote:
It's nowhere as bad as Image Fight's "IREM why you no C button" Pod Shoot, but I do wonder why they didn't make use of that nice fat D button!


IIRC some of the later games do let you configure it that way in the AES options menu.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:31 pm 


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mycophobia wrote:
i change speeds so infrequently in Image Fight that I never really got bit by that one


OT, but I was so perturbed by ACA Image Fight's dedicated Pod Shoot button, I looked up the arcade flyer just to make sure I'd not been slandering the game all these years. (I knew the PS1/Saturn Arcade Gears added one, but that's a conversion, and one I've since retired because ho ho hoooly fuck, nice try chaps, but Image Fight with screen cropping is a god damn nightmare squared)

Image

It was true though! What, was CHACK JONSTON aka HENTAI COLONEL the last guy in the VR booth or something?! Sometimes I swear factories charged per JAMMA input... points for including BOOSTER BURN right there on the flyer though! And now I'll say my usual sutra for Saigo not doing something similar.

EDIT: oh nice, my run's up. Seems to have knocked a few minutes off the previous. As ever, I don't do speedrunning but I do love my efficiency, particularly when it entails sweeping the hellish battlefield in a raging torrent of FIRE N BLOOD Image If Saigo is my harrowing survival game of choice ("We are coming to kill you!"), this is my goodtime showboating piece. RAD SHIT ALWAYS HAPPENS

KANASHIMI no MID-AIR COLLISION (`ω´メ)
Spoiler: show
Image


Bahaha, I didn't even notice this at the time, Marioing like mad and possessed by a fury that burns from inside. Image Image You might have a sweet wavedash, but without good spacing? UR FUKT SONNY
Spoiler: show
Image

Don't feel bad though, I woulda raked you with the HMG sweep just like your backshotting buddy got gashed by me CROCODAHL KNOIF. Image (hey WTF, look at his shredded remains tumbling down... I've never seen that happen before! I swear this game has a singular heft to its sprites. sometimes stage 3 elevator guard will smack the icy ledge so hard he slides offscreen, other times it's a dead impact. ultimate Comical Horrific Carnage™! Peace Forever! Keep it in the videogames bros! Image oh wait that'll make you a psycho killer too :shock:)

Lame Allen fight this time though. Inspired by masterful PASKY, I always go straight at the fucker, but this time he uses his bullshit EZ ledge drop (WTB) to get away. You gotta watch it, if he knifes during the drop, you're gonna get gashed! I was a bit frazzled after two consecutive Morden tragicomedies, so I got SCURRED and hung back. :oops: My favourite runs are the rare occasions where he jumps straight across the gap at you, but I know it's ultimately a gimme, since once you're safely in close he's kinda screwed if your technique is sound.

SEE U IN HELL
Spoiler: show
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<333 Strider blade arcs.

Coolest KNOIFIN' method imo is to get the drop on him with death from above VS anti-air HMG (or below, where you'll have to watch out for grenades)
TACTICAL ESPIONAGE ASSASSINATION
Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:11 pm 


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it290 wrote:
Hmm, oddly I've never thought of playing through MS with autofire before; it just seems like it lowers the difficulty too much and circumvents the game's design. That said, copy-paster, it does sound like fun—I think I'll give it a try (after ~20 years of playing these games)!


Thanks. I did play MS game w/o autofire BITD and nowadays I hate mashing TBH. Autofire helps a lot in MSX and MS3 and I did 1CC MS1 and MS3 with them too.

Make sure to set fire rate from your button to 12hz-10hz as any rate beyond that sometimes will eat your input when slowdown occurs
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:03 am 


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Oh I was mistaken - MS1's bridge grenadiers don't do the terror flee after attacking. They do jog off and never return, though. Smart dudes! Creating a diversion while their deadlier comrades move in. Don't chase after 'em, just kill as convenient.

Image

I've got several near-1LCs on the boil at the moment, never an unhappy situation. However, one of them is Akumajou Dracula (AC), and holy cow - this thing isn't fit to shine the others' boots. Some are mid/late 90s (Metal Slug X, Shock Troopers) but its contemporaries dunk on it too (Rygar, Saigo, and needless to say, VS Castlevania).

I was ready to pile in and say BAH GAWD ITS TRUE, ITS RLY BAD - until I read up on its dev history (ta CV wiki). It's a sad case. Random horror sidescroller, falling behind schedule, hastily rebadged with the newly-minted Dracula IP. Then (this is the sad bit), the devs enlisted to get it ship-shape returned to their own projects, and it was shoved out the door sans playtesting.

Game tagline wrote:
"The ultimate version of the game that appeared on the Famicom and MSX".


NO ITS NOT 凸(■`W´■)凸 FIGHT ME IRL YOU FUCKIN LOUSY PRICKS

Explains the awful, sometimes outright broken collision. The fourth boss will landmine your ass clean off the stage, despite he and his projectiles being nowhere in evidence. Tap-dodging Creature's falling masonry is inadvisable, the blocks do not reflect their hitboxes. Your broadsword may appear to cut a lethal swathe, but it handles like a stick of uncooked spaghetti. Either that, or Ravens are rocking some pixel hitboxes. They'd be entertaining foes, if Simon wasn't a gigantic heaving target.

YEAH ROCKDUDE, THAT MAKES SENSE Image
Spoiler: show
Image


Game design is a petty, mean-spirited shadow of the original's artfully-tempered discipline. First loop is an easy 1CC, in classic rote memoriser mode. First everything kills you, then nothing does. A near-inversion of the original's good/bad (aka stage 6-1) ratio, right down the Stopwatch being the only decent subweapon of the lot.

DR. WANKENSTEIN PLS Image
Spoiler: show
Image


Stage 5's elevator packs a kusoge cheap-shot on par with Saigo's execrable ninja pit. I am inordinately proud of figuring out the below method, in a fit of annoyance at myself for trying to learn the route.

BIG SPOILERS for BAD AUTOSCROLLER:
Spoiler: show
https://youtu.be/Aucy6DGMlkY


Phew, good thing they allowed that. I honestly cannot tell if they meant to or not!

All this said: the runtime is decently tight, the collision is not un-salvageable with experience, and there is an interesting survival aspect (the reason I'm still playing this). In its sole bit of excellence, the end-stage life restore isn't free. Rather, you pay one heart for each restored hitpoint. Any hearts left over, you keep for the next stage.

It's a great twist - the logical progression from Vampire Killer's letting you amass ammo over the game's course. Consistently excellent performance means more hearts to... watch-cheese your way through stuff Simon's gigantic swinging ass, zero mobility and weaksauce attacks can't handle without TASlike execution. More fun than it sounds, honestly. Image

The loop cranks up the bats, the game's one element that can't be memorised to oblivion - a far livelier challenge than the first loop, which gains new purpose as a supply run. Besides your end-game hearts and HP, it also lets you bring in your sword, to strike down st1's zombies and boneys with a little more vitriol. Sadly, you will never slay a leaping fleaman with a single deadly backhand, for whatever silly reason. A shame - the second hit spoils the simple satisfaction of the first.

Seems like a typical Konami infinite-looper. Not really interested in going beyond a 2-ALL for now, feels about right. I'm really fond of IREM's dedicated second loops nowadays, EG Metal Storm... or even better, their balls-hard single loops EG Saigo.

---

Image

"The legend is once again stained with blood."

Very cool, but as far as I'm concerned, that flyer and tagline are reserved for VS Castlevania. Image

Other than the neat survival quirk, the most interesting things on offer are aesthetic. It's not a success within the game itself - the first two stage's striking vistas and enticing air of wicked ruin don't last, unfortunately.

It's a fantastic opening, as Cross Your Heart surges evilly. Undead horrors erupt beneath crumbling crosses, golden sunset plunges into black tempest as the cemetary wall unleashes its murderous hail, a tangled forest path turns deathtrap via diabolically toppling brazier... it's a glimpse of the continuous setpiece barrage perfected in Strider. Stage 2 slows down a little, after a champion reveal of the moonlit castle, but compensates with a roving over/underground trek culminating in a surreal, bloody sky over a sepulchral realm, for all the world prefiguring Takumi's samhain-shaded Night Raid.

Stage 3 gives the last of this wonderful AMUSEMENT MACHINE largesse. Everyone seems to slam that dining table as off-scale to Simon's model, but I took it as a menacingly blunt indicator of just how helpless humans are in this evil place. Meat, in so many words. Regardless, where stages 1 and 2 exude novelty and cinematic drive, stage 3 begins to flag. To paraphrase Christopher from The Sopranos, Dracula's house looks like shit. Stages 4, 5 and 6 could pass for random launch-era HuCards, though the latter's collapsing bridge at least returns some sense of spectacle.

Of more note is the surprising amount of series firsts, seemingly borrowed by later, more accomplished entries - Rondo & Nocturne in particular. The aforementioned god-awful elevator's background instantly recalls the latter's Outer Wall, which contains its own (aesthetically) brutal take on the device, both leading up to a clock tower patrolled by Rondo-styled ghosts. Harpies debut here, in a similarly feral bare-breasted form to Nocturne's. The broadsword's vividly-coloured fuller and crisp lateral swing decidedly recall that game's zweihanders. Old favourite setpiece the collapsing bridge w/ bat chasers gets its first outing here, yet again directly referenced by Rondo.

There's also the tree monsters later seen in IV+X68k, and the lethally unstable statues of the former's library. I could swear the dragon sigil atop the first stage's evil wall even resembles the form of said statues from IV. The haunted paintings of both games seem prefigured here, as does the parallax-boosted inferno of X68k's late-game. The stained glass knight debuts as the third boss, interestingly enough in a form far more directly referenced by Mokushiroku's vicious pursuers than X68k's staunch defender.

Other stuff might be simply common horror stock, like the series' first intact Gorgon boss - but Creature's ceiling-caving attack is an interesting parallel with Akumajou Densetsu's take. Did he do that in the old Universal flicks? (I always wanted to see him rolling up in Husky-drawn sled packing dual hunting rifles, ala ye olde book!)

It's likely total coincidence, and a dubious one at that, but the garish hallucinatory scenery accompanying the castle gate is totally in the Harmony of Dissonance mode of Argento-styled extreme hue terror.

---

It's an alright game provided you can work with its harsh limitations. Whether that is worth it will depend on your tolerance for rote memorisers, your interest in long-haul survival play, and likely your affection for the Dracula series. VS Castlevania blows it out of the water, but that is probably to be expected given this thing's awful dev history. Badly unpolished but not without merits.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:03 pm 


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Excellent overview as always. I 1-ALL'd it a few years ago and never felt compelled to return, it's just too jank, and too dependent on having the watch. Like for me it was always, if I miss that one bat carrying it in stage 2 I may as well reset. I had no idea about its development history but it definitely makes sense.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:25 pm 


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BIL - Did you ever played the MSX2 Dracula? I never gotten any further than Stage 14 (the equivalent of Block 5-2) myself when playing it emulated on the Wii. In some screens you can fall down into a bottomless pit and simply emerge into another screen, but in other places you die immediately. I made the mistake of assuming a certain screen in Stage 14 was like the former and lost my last life instead. The game is pretty hardcore without the Game Master cartridge: just three lives, no extends and no continues. It feels more like an action-puzzle game than a pure platformer like the Famicom version, although it might not be your cup of tea. If you ever get around to playing it, I suggest to focus on stocking up hearts, since those are the only things that get carried over to a new stage after defeating a boss.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:32 pm 


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mycophobia wrote:
too dependent on having the watch. Like for me it was always, if I miss that one bat carrying it in stage 2 I may as well reset.


It's so telling that there's all of one Stopwatch (AFAIK), and the way the game's item drops work, it's infernally easy to lose until you've memorised exactly which enemies are safe to kill at pointblank. So much useless garbage thrown your way, like the stage 3 Fleaman/Ghost duo both carrying Crosses. Image

I glanced at some crazy-ass Replayburners stuff, and the player seemed to be using the Cross on Loop 5, but I've no intention of learning this game to that extent. 2-ALL has been surprisingly fun, the survival aspect and the Fledermaus Effect improve it a lot (that and having the first loop down!).

Jonny2x4 wrote:
BIL - Did you ever played the MSX2 Dracula? I never gotten any further than Stage 14 (the equivalent of Block 5-2) myself when playing it emulated on the Wii.


A game I've put off for way too long! In addition to your appraisal, SuperDeadite and trap15 always mentioned it being decidedly hardcore. I was going to say AC Dracula was the debut of a sword-wielding character for another SOTN connection, but I hesitated because I know the MSX2 game has lots of unique stuff that tends to trip me up on series lore. :mrgreen: Speaking of, Dracula's second arcade form seems like an obvious reference to MSX2...

Out of curiosity, do you know if AC & Dracula II's dev periods overlapped at all? I seem to remember some controversy over which game debuted Bloody Tears and the Game Over jingle called "Never End" on the arcade soundtrack. AC st1's bridge over the river and its style of horizon are unmistakably reminiscent, but I wonder who influenced who.

AC st1's presentation is so good. That river takes on a Stygian aspect with all the strange things going on in stage 2.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:36 pm 


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BIL wrote:
I was going to say AC Dracula was the debut of a sword-wielding character for another SOTN connection, but I hesitated because I know the MSX2 game has lots of unique stuff that tends to trip me up on series lore. :mrgreen:

Technically, the MSX2 Dracula does have an item called the "hero's sword" (勇者の剣, not sure what name they used for the English localization) that replaces your standard whip as a main weapon, but it works more like Grant's throwing knives in Akumajou Densetsu than the sword in AC Dracula.

That's one of the thing that sets the MSX2 Dracula apart from the FC version. While there are a few sub-weapons, there's more main weapon replacement. In addition to the standard whip and the aforementioned sword, there's also a chain whip, a boomerang cross and a boomerang axe. The cross has a wider reach and the axe is stronger, but they both can be lost if you fail to catch either on its return path. Of course, you can also cancel the effect by moving to another screen before the weapon goes off-screen itself.

Quote:
Speaking of, Dracula's second arcade form seems like an obvious reference to MSX2...

Yeah, no Curse of Man in either of those versions.

Quote:
Out of curiosity, do you know if AC & Dracula II's dev periods overlapped at all? I seem to remember some controversy over which game debuted Bloody Tears and the Game Over jingle called "Never End" on the arcade soundtrack. AC st1's bridge over the river and its style of horizon are unmistakably reminiscent, but I wonder who influenced who.

Dracula II came out on November '87, while AC Dracula came out three month later sometime in February '88, so there might had been an overlap. I don't know if AC Dracula had a staff roll, but apparently Ken-ichi Matsubara, who appears credited by his last name only in Dracula II, did the music for the arcade game. I don't think Konami composers were assigned to a specific platform like their programmers were.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:36 pm 


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Seems MSX2 Dracula's not in the recent Anniversary Collection, I think I'll have to get a Wii U. :o (this has happened a lot lately, I completely slept on the previous generation's digital releases. picked up a PS3 specifically for Capcom Arcade Cabinet and Daytona :mrgreen:)

Jonny2x4 wrote:
Technically, the MSX2 Dracula does have an item called the "hero's sword" (勇者の剣, not sure what name they used for the English localization) that replaces your standard whip as a main weapon, but it works more like Grant's throwing knives in Akumajou Densetsu than the sword in AC Dracula.


Ah yes, I remember the Hero's Sword now. The MSX2 game and Dracula II both had a bit of a throwing knife fetish, it seems. Grant's primary JP weapon being a projectile seems a lot less unusual, considering that. I remember II's Golden Knife and its multiple hits seeming the coolest thing ever.

Quote:
The cross has a wider reach and the axe is stronger, but they both can be lost if you fail to catch either on its return path. Of course, you can also cancel the effect by moving to another screen before the weapon goes off-screen itself.


I wonder if AC Dracula's boomerang having no return mechanic whatsoever was another programming snafu. I'd mis-remembered it as a one-time throwing weapon, which would be yet another SOTN connection to chalk up. :lol:

Quote:
Dracula II came out on November '87, while AC Dracula came out three month later sometime in February '88, so there might had been an overlap. I don't know if AC Dracula had a staff roll, but apparently Ken-ichi Matsubara, who appears credited by his last name only in Dracula II, did the music for the arcade game. I don't think Konami composers were assigned to a specific platform like their programmers were.


Interesting... given the apparent snap re-branding of the AC game, I could imagine them grabbing whatever was most current in the console series at the time. AC Dracula's stage 2 cavern also reminds me a lot of Dracula II's similar areas.

I just realised the AC game is the first traditional I've played since the Dracula Densetsus that lacks an appearance from Death. I'm sure it'd have been yet another Stopwatch cheese-a-thon, can't imagine the classic sickle dragnet working with this game's hitboxes.

Sadly I don't think AC Dracula has a staff roll, actually it barely has an ending sequence. Didn't notice anything while skipping around that Replayburners run. The High Score table doesn't give any hints either.

I wonder what Akamatsu might've thought of it. As much as I bag on Dracula II's lacking mansion designs, it at least handles as well as the adjacent FC games. Can't imagine he was fond of the AC's "ultimate version" tagline, haha.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:33 pm 


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BIL wrote:
Seems MSX2 Dracula's not in the recent Anniversary Collection, I think I'll have to get a Wii U. :o (this has happened a lot lately, I completely slept on the previous generation's digital releases. picked up a PS3 specifically for Capcom Arcade Cabinet and Daytona :mrgreen:)


I used a softmodded Wii myself. Were any of Konami's MSX games available outside Japan on the Wii U's Virtual Console? I know the original Wii's eshop selection is based on your region, which is fixed to your console. Not sure if it's the same with the Wii U (unless you own a Japanese console). If I'm not mistaken, I believe the Nintendo Switch's allows you to buy content from any region.

Quote:
Ah yes, I remember the Hero's Sword now. The MSX2 game and Dracula II both had a bit of a throwing knife fetish, it seems. Grant's primary JP weapon being a projectile seems a lot less unusual, considering that. I remember II's Golden Knife and its multiple hits seeming the coolest thing ever.


The shield in Dracula II was also an idea that was carried from the MSX2 version. IIRC, there's a red shield disintegrates incoming projectiles for up to 10 hits and a yellow shield reduces damage by half (although it may be the other way around).

Quote:
I wonder what Akamatsu might've thought of it. As much as I bag on Dracula II's lacking mansion designs, it at least handles as well as the adjacent FC games. Can't imagine he was fond of the AC's "ultimate version" tagline, haha.


I wonder if he's even still alive. Masami-san pretty much lost track of him after they worked on the first Tsuridou on the first PS1. Maybe he's probably very secretive about his whereabouts.


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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:56 am 


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Crumbs, you're right - region locked. :o Looks like it'll have to be a JP Wii U if I'm to avoid bustin' out TEH HAX - good job Nintendo. :cool:

Also, if there was ever a time I was tempted to break my Dick Stock vows and post a non-shump... ( ・`ω`・)>⌐■-■

NOTICES UR BULGE (■`ω´■)

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CRUELLY CENSORED ON PCE (■`W´■)

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Nah, more likely they wanted to give CHZ-CHZA The Lone Rock Dragon a spot after they cleared out the pit. Clearly IREM looked out for their best. I still need to look up Metal Storm director KENGO MIYATA. Saigo's sublime anti-gravity battling makes me wonder if someone wanted to make a whole game of it.

Enough dicks! I must defeat you utterly, SAIGO NO NINDOU! Image Stage 6-1 would seem to be my final frontier. Used to fear leaving it and entering 6-2, but now, I'm more relieved. Much honing of bunnyhop spoofs and staggered kills makes 6-2 relatively controllable. 6-1's Ryuichi mk1 & Monk tag team aren't as viscerally arresting as the mk2 & Ghost HELL BULLDOZER, but they have a nasty way of punishing techniques that are sound when facing them individually.

Worse yet, they can do this:

Spoiler: show
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And worst of all, this :shock:

Spoiler: show
Image


GOD DAMN, SPRITE PRIORITY SWAP PLS Image If you're leaping over them, it's unnerving but ultimately harmless - good technique will clear the Monk and his lurking pal alike, as shown in the first GIF. If you're not leaping the Monk for whatever reason, only technique and reflex will pull your ass out of the fire (that's a pretty nice Ryuichi Drop in the second GIF).

Always hopping the Monk would seem safest, but it's a risky maneuver with Ryuichi mk1's rushing in from the sides. Survival could come down to frames if you get really bad spawn timing. Evil battlefield. Image

Strongly considering nuking the lot with grenades, but in typically fiendish IREM style, Green Ninjas complicate this easy solution.
Still, it's sounding better than this.

White Rain doesn't help matters either, although TBH I didn't even see the ones in those GIFs until reviewing footage. It wasn't fatigue on my part, they're just easily foiled by forward movement and general POW Shadow fire. The other night Tsukikage just randomly crumpled over and died at the outskirts of 6-1, and I thought "fuck, that's not good" only to check the replay and see a friggin' Ryuichi had ran up and gashed me, while I hyper-focused on the Very Annoying Rock AKA SHINOBI CATAPULT MECHANISM in my path. I promptly retired! Motion-induced blindness is a bitch even at peak operating condition. Image

This was the first run where I really consciously smashed Boney-sama, strategy below copied from description. Largely the same as my prior runs but now I deliberately target his weak point at the finish, rather than landing what I can on the run. Still not quite stable but gradually taking shape. Fiendish!

Spoiler: show
1) immediately run underneath him, to the left. Try to connect with a few grenades as you land in the arena, but don't break your stride.

2) once you're to his left, execute the absolute longest-lasting jump you can to draw the bolts upward, while landing whatever hits you can. Moderate your leftward momentum, according to the bolts' speed; you want to draw them to you, but you mustn't land so far away that running back underneath him becomes dangerous.

3) immediately upon landing, run back under him to the right, firing bunnyhopped shots as shown. Once you're clear of him, execute a moderately high jump that aligns with his weak spot. When you land, your Shadow will take this spot. Hammer him with focused fire throughout this process.

4) THE GREAT UNKNOWN: I'm forced to make a nerve-wracking jump through his bolts at the end. It goes well, but this is something I'm trying to refine away - Boney-sama's bolt RNG is rather terrifying. In my previous run, he dies around this point as I make a desperation leap upwards... maybe this is a reliable tactic, but it'd suggest to me that missing even one previous hit could be disastrous.

Also, this is my usual mid-rank game (2xPOW, 2xShadows), so he may die quicker or slower depending on your setup.


Quoth dear WOLFTEAM, this game is profound and will always be new. Image
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Last edited by BIL on Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:56 am 


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Any Ninja Cop/Ninja Five-O love from you guys? I was lucky enough to snag a cart of it back in the day, but I'm getting back into it thanks to the MiSTer GBA core. This game is a fucking one in a million diamond.
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 Post subject: Re: Ninja Gaiden [NES] + Scrolling Action Monogatari
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:00 am 


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One of my favourite ever sidescrollers, among the best in the ninja and grappling hook sub-genres. Also a killer Time Attack game! I know Skye and Volteccer_Jack swear by it too. I wasn't so lucky (got an EU cart in 2015), but talk about zero regrets. Seamless fusion of Shinobi, Umihara Kawase and Elevator Action Returns. Crazy that it never got a JP release. Although it was technically developed by Hudson I know at least a few staff were ex-Konami. It shows!

Also has a stealth appearance by the best VG take on Guts from Berserk ever!

Too big to be called a sword!
Spoiler: show
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Good fighting is required!
Spoiler: show
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