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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:42 pm 



Joined: 24 Jan 2020
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Rapidfire is very usefull on both Darius and Darius II. In Darius it is tricky to use and I only recommend using 30hz for pointblanking, otherwise you're screwed, but it really helps (not even sure I could beat Smraedis without it). In Darius II it is even more gamebreaking than what you see in Gaiden imo, in fact I don't know anyone who's cleared the two screen version without a good rapidfire, maybe there is but I haven't seem anyone claiming they did.

For both I use 5hz to mimic tapping (some can do better but I can't get 10hz consistently), I don't mind tapping when playing a cab but tapping two buttons with the thumb on the PS4 controller is a bit painfull. Since Darius II is hard as balls without high rapid I couldn't get past stage 6 after a month of playing, so I switched to 30hz for learning the game, discovering the ennemy layout, etc. I'd like to do a clear with 5hz one day, it'd be a good and tough achievment, I feel more confy with the game now so I must definitely try this eventually. On original A difficulty (what became easy mode) the game is doable without mashing like mad, in B difficulty (arcade normal) it is possible but way harder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLEry62-O0I

At the moment I'm focusing on B with 30hz since that's what I'm going to showcase at the Shoot the Baguette event in may but I much prefer playing A with 5hz, it's what's closest to what the devs envisionned and there's less cheesing involved. With 30hz Darius II is not as bad as some people put it, though it is still hard and quite punishing.

http://shmuplations.com/dariusii/


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:04 am 


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Okay now that my memory is coming back to me there's no way you can get anywhere even close to the amount of points as rapidfire cheats on Titanic Lance because a) they can blow the adaptive difficulty up way more earlier in the game and in turn greatly increase the 30,000-point rocket canister spawning rate and b) rapidfire allows one to cluster rockets unnaturally tight, which is essential for point-blanking the cannons as soon as they spawn.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:51 pm 


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Yeah getting to 15M on Great Thing is pretty insane. That's a lot of 30k drills to destroy. Too bad we can't see DBS' run on video. I'm guessing it gets pretty hectic when you have the rank at the point where the missiles are spawning fast enough to get that many. There is a video on nico nico that's over 14M though.

On an OT side note, I also wish there was a recording of his 124M run with the Raiden MkII ship in Raiden Fighters 2. The old record with Fairy sat at 125M for years, so the fact that he did all that grazing to get close to 125 with such a cumbersome ship really speaks to his skill level.

I've been practicing the milk on Fatty Glutton with auto at roughly max rank for that stage in the game approx. 120/255. At first I found it tedious, but the more I get in the rhythm of it, it's become my favorite part of the game so far. His mouth opens and closes so fast that the window where you can fire at the fins without damaging him is really tight so you have have be precise with your timing and/or vertical positioning to safely destroy all the projectiles and fins without triggering the next phase before the 3 min mark. At the same time you want to be a bit aggressive so that you get all the fins. Then, even though autofire can destroy the last phases quickly, bc you are at high rank and will be dealing with the yazuka and the potential of timing out the boss, as well as no longer having the white balls if you're already going for max power up bonuses, there's quite a bit of tension at the last phase.

It might be trivial to some, but for my relative skill level, I think this will be a very satisfying milestone if I can add all the boss milking to a run. It's just a little disappointing that the score gain is not all that impressive. :? But then I don't really expect for all the scoring values in a game to be balanced in terms of reward/difficulty. Actually I would rather have it be a small optional bonus than be something like Ibara where pushing rank then milking 2 bosses can double your entire score. Only Great Thing gets into that territory at all, but it's still nothing compared to Ibara.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:09 pm 



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Regarding the rapidfire question :

Shinobu Yagawa : Other than that, Darius Gaiden is another game I played a lot. It was really fun as a shooter, the graphics and setting were really beautiful, and there were lots of routes. It was just a really fun game. At that time there weren’t rapid fire circuits (in the cabinets), so I had to do all the rapid fire stuff with my fingers. [laughs].

Guess it settles it then :lol: 8). Not that there's anything wrong with tool-assist or anything.

https://web.archive.org/web/20120918021 ... 214&page=4

Big thanks to Buffi who brought up that great interview !


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:35 pm 


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I've always suspected a potential connection, but now I'm especially curious if he picked up elements of Battle Garegga's adaptive difficulty system from Darius Gaiden. Darius Gaiden probably had the most complicated adaptive difficulty system of its time.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:00 pm 



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Possible, I definitely think the two have a lot in common, more than we usually think. We also know he was very influenced by Gun Frontier (he says it's the game he played the most) which has a per-bullet rank system like all the shmups he developped besides Recca and the Cave Black Labels (correct me if I'm wrong). Gun Frontier was developped by Takatsuna Senba who also worked on Darius II which is the first Darius with a real adaptative difficulty system, and don't forget that Darius Gaiden was originally supposed to be Darius III. Looking at the sketches they made (we can see them in the Cozmic book) Darius III has some striking ressembances with Metal Black (which also has rank), developped by the same guy. So it is possible that he contributed to Gaiden's rank to some extent tough it's hard to say for sure.

So yeah, definetely some Taito influences in Yagawa's works.

http://shmuplations.com/cave-yagawa/


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:17 pm 


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Interesting interview there! Thanks for sharing that find. I like that Yagawa was a fan of Samurai Shodown and Darius Gaiden. Good taste.

Sounds almost like he would've rather had the circuit and not had to mash. There's not a lot of context there whether he means at the arcade he played at or more generally. I also read that some DG players avoided arcades that didn't have rapid and pretty sure the old records from Gamest in 1995, before they cut off ranking due to discovery of the invincibility glitch, all used auto. It's kind of insane that they're barely lower than the current records even though now we have access to many more tools. They got very far in a short time!

I do think that if Gamest would have collected non auto high scores in this game the margin between the highest possible scores would be determined by mashing skills all other things between players being equal. Even if it's only specific sections where it makes a big difference.

Anyway they absolutely did have autofire circuits on Japanese cabs back in 1994 and far before that. But of course it must have varied between locations as it cost money to add the circuits or time to hand solder your own circuits. Even companies like Sanwa made plug and play autofire circuits that went onto the JAMMA harness and could toggle 15 or 30hz and leave you an extra A button for normal shot for non-point blank or holding charge shot (I still have one of these babies lying around somewhere). In some cases it could have come down to players having to ask the operator to set it up. Arcades were known to have excellent service and would fix buttons on the spot or set up cabs according to player preference sometimes. I can definitely tell you American arcades were not always that way as sometimes you were lucky if half the buttons on a cab still worked.

My general feeling is that arcades that specialized in shmups or high scoring play were already fairly niche and probably more common in Tokyo or larger cities. This is something that I think today's gamers forget about as your local proximity to a particular community made a huge difference then, even more so in America. The internet was in baby stage and info was passed mainly from player to player or since gamers in arcades were sometimes very shy or private, more often just watching over another player's shoulder. In the US fighting scene, if you didn't live in Northern or Southern California or New York more than likely you sucked at fighting games. :lol:

I did visit several Japanese arcades as a teen in summer of 1996 (yeah I'm a total old Dad gamer lol). They were so common you could just ride around aimlessly on a bike and run into 2 or 3 arcades without even trying. In most of them you would be lucky to find a few shmups here or there and they would be far in the back. They had all swapped over like 75 to 80 percent of the entire arcade to SF Zero 2. Literally rows and rows of them and it was like SF Mania in there. Kind of shows how the market for games like Darius Gaiden had already gotten very tough by the mid 90s. Which is funny bc as far as excellent classic releases go, this is sort of a golden age in the genre. It was probably mostly the devs that were really committed to shmups still making them, and many felt like well if this is our last STG let's make it count! Of course G Darius a year later in 97 was not a commercial success and became the last in the series for a long, long time.

Edit: I think you guys are definitely right about Gun Frontier and Darius having the roots of the Garegga rank system. I'm surprised the striking similarities between Gaiden and Garrega's rank systems haven't been pointed out more often!


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:21 pm 



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Yeah it could sound like he would have prefered a rapidfire setup, it's not very clear though the way he says it makes me think it wasn't as common as it is today (with auto, 15h and 30hz). Devs definetely accounted for it in their game design despite personnal opinions on what is balanced and what isn't. We don't know to what arcade he went but he does seem to be a pretty obscure guy, I know some people of the french community like Olisan got to meet Toyama Yuichi who seems really cool (guy even responded when I contacted him on fb :oops: ), but it seems nobody really knows what Yagawa is doing at the moment... The old gamest records were definetely done with rapid, so I guess the japanese record holders went to the arcades that had those, customer service is very big in Japan so it was normal that they adapted their offer to what the customers wanted. I ever heard someone say (can't remember where) that at some places you could even rent a cab for an hour and train on stage select or whatever.

Quote:
I do think that if Gamest would have collected non auto high scores in this game the margin between the highest possible scores would be determined by mashing skills all other things between players being equal. Even if it's only specific sections where it makes a big difference.


Agreed. I don't mash myself due to the fact I'm playing on a PS4 pad and I can't go beyond the native autofire with my thumb. It's definetely someting I would do on some sections if I played on a stick or at the cab.

Quote:
My general feeling is that arcades that specialized in shmups or high scoring play were already fairly niche and probably more common in Tokyo or larger cities. This is something that I think today's gamers forget about as your local proximity to a particular community made a huge difference then, even more so in America. The internet was in baby stage and info was passed mainly from player to player or since gamers in arcades were sometimes very shy or private, more often just watching over another player's shoulder. In the US fighting scene, if you didn't live in Northern or Southern California or New York more than likely you sucked at fighting games. :lol:


Agreed. I know I couldn't have gotten where I am today if it wasn't for the french community and some folks like M.Knight, Yami, raisonnable, Lyv, BOS and countless others, with all the chats and great content they made. I really appreciate to have top content that is not in english, that definetely helps a lot of good players that don't speak it. The only game where I really did everything by myself (aside for Icarus's great guide) is Sôkyûgurentai (I write it the french way btw, a guy name Shû is adamant on us writing it like that lol), because nobody plays that game and they weren't any good quality replays at the time, everything I found on youtube was inferior to what I already did. When KTL-NAL beat the WR with Kaoru I stole one or two things but most of the chaining he does in the late stages is too insane for me to try. Now that DMC released his replay I'll def come back to it since he has techs that seem managable for me. Point is community matters :wink:. Now we have internet, but back in the days community mattered even more.

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I did visit several Japanese arcades as a teen in summer of 1996 (yeah I'm a total old Dad gamer lol). They were so common you could just ride around aimlessly on a bike and run into 2 or 3 arcades without even trying. In most of them you would be lucky to find a few shmups here or there and they would be far in the back. They had all swapped over like 75 to 80 percent of the entire arcade to SF Zero 2. Literally rows and rows of them and it was like SF Mania in there. Kind of shows how the market for games like Darius Gaiden had already gotten very tough by the mid 90s. Which is funny bc as far as excellent classic releases go, this is sort of a golden age in the genre. It was probably mostly the devs that were really committed to shmups still making them, and many felt like well if this is our last STG let's make it count! Of course G Darius a year later in 97 was not a commercial success and became the last in the series for a long, long time.


Exactly, it was a golden age (and my favourite) as for artistic shmup direction but it was the slow start of a long and painfull decline. Cave managed to last a little longer but even they are dead. SF and the fighting craze made arcade operators so much money compared to shmups that it was niche already, I didn't realize this when I discovered the genre back in 2016/2017. With Darius Gaiden I def feel they were doing all they could to make it a magnum opus, despite the fact that I agree it's not really Darius if it's not multi-screen (and it's the reason why it wasn't called Darius III in the end).

http://shmuplations.com/dariusgaiden/

And It's ok to be a boomer haha :mrgreen:.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 11:17 am 


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Quote:
So if I get it right there is no real point in hugging to the right side of the screen while maintaining rapidfire (like imo and others do) ?


Turns out there is a very good reason for doing this. If you're using 30 hz auto, getting gaps in your shot patttern due to the on screen shot limit can be a big problem. Whenever you have the chance, going to the right edge, holding fire and then moving back towards the left will produce a much more even spacing compared to beginning to hold autofire from the left side.

Could be on some of the older replays, if they really camp at the right edge, they did mistakenly think it would boost rank faster. However, in terms of improving shot spacing, this method is still used at high level play even if rank is already at max 255/255.

It's helpful in many places: milking Zone A boss yellow scales safely, very first enemy wave of Zone C, milking King Fossil torpedoes safely. The list could go on, but for 99.9% of players who aren't trying to boost rank, a better solution may be just have a 15 hz auto button instead. 15 hz will actually handle sections like these better, with the only tradeoff being an almost negligible decrease to how fast rank is increased.

Side note: the autofire trick I noted earlier where you select either an odd or even timing of 30hz to nullify midboss capture bullets is most effective on the last 2 captains. If you use the wrong timing, they fire full force the same as when holding normal shot. Use the correct timing and their shots are completely cancelled.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 3:45 pm 


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The adaptive difficulty contribution when the shot button is depressed every fourth frame (~15 Hz) versus every second frame (~30Hz) is half as much. That's definitely not negligible.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 5:43 pm 


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Right but in terms of practical effect on score when boosting rank it's not going to make a huge difference in your final score if you are holding 15 hz part of the time vs 30 for all but the most extreme high level scores. Probably there are certain routes where getting bosses to spawn destructible shots at a higher rate are more lucrative than others but were talking small potatoes.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 8:08 pm 


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The contribution shooting makes towards increasing difficulty is nothing to shrug one's shoulders at. Normal button mashing is a significant enough contributor to difficulty alteration that it's something you can't ignore when playing for score. You really don't wanna mash too much in order to keep the minibosses' control orb health down because it can literally make the difference between capturing one and failing to (losing 220,000 points). With inhuman rapidfire cheats it's even more significant. For example, the typical length of Zone E is about 3 minutes. Here's a quick calculation to illustrate my point:
Difficulty modifier contribution at full-time ~30 Hz = 180 seconds * (58.97 frames / sec) * (1 input / 2 frames) * (+132 default difficulty modifier increase for stage 3 / shot input) = +700,207
Difficulty modifier contribution at full-time ~15 Hz = 180 seconds * (58.97 frames / sec) * (1 input / 4 frames) * (+132 default difficulty modifier increase for stage 3 / shot input) = +350,282

On stage three boss body parts contribute +211,462 to the difficulty modifier. So from shooting alone, that's an adaptive difficulty increase equivalent to blowing up 3.3 body parts for that stage at ~30Hz or 1.7 body parts for that stage at ~15 Hz. Put in terms of the total adaptive difficulty modifier range at normal mode difficulty (16,187,392), that represents a 4.3% increase at ~30Hz or 2.2% increase at 15Hz. All from a 3-minute stage and boss. You will max out the adaptive difficulty modifier dramatically sooner in a playthrough with ~30Hz over ~15Hz.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 5:51 am 


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So after years of uncertainly over whether it was even possible, I have finally devised a method of destroying all ten of Odious Trident's body parts at maximum difficulty. It's a truly impressive feat of choreography where every single movement and ship placement during the fight has a purpose. Now, to pull it off during an actual playthrough. :shock:
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 2:28 pm 


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Sounds cool. I didn't even know he had 10 parts. Off the top of my head there are 3 fins (top bottom middle), his eyeball, and two of the flaps under his chin that can be destroyed. What are all of the parts?


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 2:57 pm 


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Three fins, three targets under the chin, the two cannons, and two targets that roughly correspond to the spiked central scales in the back section. Half of its targets don't flash when you damage them and the art when they're destroyed is very misleading, so it took a ton of experimentation to map them all. Identifying them is only half the puzzle though. Figuring out how to destroy all of them safely before the spinning cubes of doom show up is the real challenge. I think you remarked a while back about why I take a hit to my shield from the tail exhaust attack at the start of the fight. I had forgotten myself and thought it was because I simply didn't know you can avoid it, but actually it's because this early point-blank damage is needed to move the fight along to open up necessary opportunities to attack its body parts.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 7:35 pm 


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Have you watched any replays? Taking a quick look at IMO's old replay he does get 10 x 30k on Odious Trident. Of course he's using auto and I'd assume this is much trickier without, but might be useful for seeing some safe spots or the ideal order to take them out. Looks like the 2 bottom floating cannons are left behind til the very end.

Yeah, it's very difficult to see what all the parts are or where and when they're being hit. :?

Learned to do all the milking on Z route but still haven't put it together in a good run. The real challenge is getting a chance to sit down and actually do some runs. Really I also need to get more consistent on Zone J bomb timing and boss tentacles before that.

I decided that doing full auto rank boosting isn't really worth it on the lower route. It's partly bc of the point where you can get to the max enemy spawn rate. It's right around the end of Zone J. The sweet spot is to have the rank increase from Neon Light Illusion push you over to 7 spawns by the beginning of Zone O. If you really push rank you'll probably hit the nessecary rank right near the beginning of the boss fight and the rest of the gain will be overkill without benefit, especially if you end up needing 4 cycles to get the last big tentacle. Of course it all varies a bit depending on if you're milking bosses and which auto rate you're using.

I think if I can pull off everything in a run I can go for 12.5M Z route and then I'll move over to Zone Y. At the rate I play it will probably take me months to get a decent Zone
Y score lol. I also want to play Darius II and/or G Darius, but I'm still loving Gaiden too much ATM.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 9:20 pm 


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No I had to figure all this out on my own. Getting all of Odious Trident's body parts is immensely more challenging without rapidfire cheats. Replays aren't very useful either since it's so ambiguous where the targets are because half of them don't have hit flash and some have deceptive damage graphics. For example the "eye" body part you referenced is actually a big fat lie--the target area is nowhere near the eye; in fact it's on the chin in the same spot you want to attack to destroy the other chin body part. If you enable the "hit mark" option in Darius Gaiden Extra Version you can see all the targets clearly. I wish I'd thought of that before doing all my deductive testing. :oops: I've spent hours and hours trying to figure this out and eventually isolated the memory addresses for body part health and watched them to diagnose where my attacks were damaging stuff.
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