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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:44 am 


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Prickly Angler wrote:
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) ?


Kinda funny that the top players were so diligent about this method if it doesn't help the score at all. I mean there could be some other esoteric reason why they do it, but that seems very unlikely.

MathU wrote:
Prickly Angler wrote:
If my math is correct that would mean there is no point in raising rank past level 96/255.

Yep, that's correct. All you're doing is making things more difficult.


I'm not sure this is absolutely true because there could be other scoring benefits however minor. I noticed watching Mokkun play the lower route on Cozmic Collection he hits the point where you get 7 spawns by the beginning of Zone O. Then he still continues to aggressively push rank via autofire throughout this zone, but let's off right after Fatty Glutton. He even switches to default fire rate part of the time in the next zone, so it seems clear he wasn't just blindly holding 30 hz prior to this.

Im guessing he's also trying to speed up the rate that Fatty Glutton opens his mouth and spawns mini piranhas. There could be extra points here if you're doing the full milk on his first form. But I have no idea at what point this attack rate caps off or how many gradations there are in its speed.

Even if this does increase the score of the milk a bit, this would be something only for really aggressive scoring attempts at WR level. IMO milking in this game isn't worth it unless youre already doing literally everything else in the run.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:28 am 


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Ah that's a good point, I totally forgot about that. Some bosses continue to steadily increase destructible projectile rates at higher difficulty levels. With Fatty Glutton there's a difference in fish spewing rates even between E00000 and F00000 difficulty modifiers.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:49 pm 



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Indeed : you can clearly see rank freezing here for a bit :

https://youtu.be/EL6KbDstljo?list=PLDos ... Xjcl&t=783

Intersteting thing is that in Jaimers's run it happens a bit later and for a longer period, dunno why though :

https://youtu.be/Gee-wTlZCE4?t=868

Quote:
IMO milking in this game isn't worth it unless youre already doing literally everything else in the run.


Totally agree, Imo imo's milking ( :mrgreen: ) too is something to do when you did everything there is to do first such as (in order) : avoiding to die even once, avoiding to finish without max the maximum ammount of bombs (on some routes max is 4), capturing all the captains, destroying body parts, and finally getting max power ups. Then you can milk zako and yazukas.

Again thanks for the insights ;)


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:13 pm 


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Totally agree with your order of learning things. I think about it in much the same way. And getting consistent with every wave bonus is just something you improve all along the way. There are always a few pesky waves where if you're being lazy you'll miss one enemy. At least I do.

If you could get to the end of that list and are still 400 or 500k away from world record, it might be kind of hard to see where the extra points could be. The Switch leaderboards are full of expert players that have scores in that range. The replays look basically perfect without any obvious dropped points, but they can't catch up to Mokkun's/IMO's level.

I'd say at that point it comes down to (in no particular order) the milking, including tiny optimizations like triggering the boss form that can be milked ASAP ie King Fossil 2nd form. When milking, do last possible moment boss kills without timing out (too easy with gadgets compared to arcade?). Pushing rank with 30 hz auto where applicable. Learning tricks to keep the captains from stealing your points and bonuses. Hold onto high shield level so you can get 5000 pt. blue power ups. And most importantly get really f'ing lucky with the silver medals.

Also ignore some of that list if you're playing non auto and want to keep the captures manageable.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:28 pm 


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Honestly the reason I readily dismiss those point sources is because of the random point medals. On a route with 10 of them in a playthrough, the possible range of points added is from 500 to 512,000 points with probability of perfect luck and every one of them giving you 51,200 being (1/11)^10 = one in 26 million runs. Luck makes such a large difference in score that I can only find myself getting excited by large point sources in score play. Getting worked up over the small fry just isn't worth it in this game.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 6:44 pm 


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I know what you mean. I have mixed feelings about the luck element. Even though in theory there's a huge medal value swing possible, I'd imagine many runs average out in the middle plus or minus 100k or so. I noticed the notes about the highest Zone Y score over 13.5 M they only got 1 51.2k medal. I'm guessing that if someone was able to do everything absolutely perfectly across multiple runs it wouldn't take that long to get a run that was at least within 100k or so of WR. But at this point I don't think any Western player has come within 500k or less of WR with auto. I'm over 700k away for Z Route and IIRC Erppo's score is about the same amount away for Zone V. In other words no amount of luck is gonna be a magic silver bullet there.

I like that the Cozmic Collection adds a counter so you can easily subtract the medal values from your score and give yourself a baseline for your own personal best.

Best rule of thumb is only keep playing or going for a certain score if it's still fun.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:00 pm 



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Like it or not the grey orbs are one of the things that made the Darius series the way it is. I have no problem with them, the only thing I really didn't like was when for whatever reasons they decided to replace 90% of the golden orbs with grey ones in Darius Extra, that was just plain stupid (well Darius Extra is stupid anyway, but that's just my personnal opinion of course).

For that I never bothered with activating the grey orb gadgets, I prefer not to know how much of my score is random.

Quote:
(too easy with gadgets compared to arcade?)


Imo it doesn't change that much, it makes it easier of course but some other M2 gadgets (both here and on other games) are way more gamebreaking. Just need to count a minute in your head.

Quote:
But at this point I don't think any Western player has come within 500k or less of WR with auto


I guess it's mainly because unlike IMO-chan and others japanese Gaiden players that focused on playing the whole game, top western autoplayers only focused on the V route because of that 900 000 tail. Fact is Titanic Lance is worth 2,5 M points alone, so routes that don't pass throught M will obviously have a harder time scoring. V kinda makes up for this cuz of the easy tail milk, and then you have Z' which is also an exception. I'm pretty sure both Erppo and Jaimers, both amazing players, could get much higher scores overall if they decided to discover the game and venture into different routes, but in the end getting close to the japanese for each route would imply playing in a quite different way (in order to get the full extend of "rank points", which matter a lot by this point).


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:55 pm 


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For me I like to just pick a route or ship/character based on what I find fun and interesting rather than what will be the max possible score or quickest to 1CC. I think it's always important to separate scores for routes etc otherwise you end up with only one viable choice. I am surprised the consistency with which people only seem to play V route, but I guess it's a bit like playing Wild Snail in Garrega or Ken or Ryu in Street Fighter. Sort of the most efficient way from A to B so it makes sense. Most players across different games do go that way. Then you have the specialist that will take the path less traveled and only become expert in a tricky choice like Chitta in Garegga or Zangief in SF. Then you always have the rare super pros that will learn absolutely everything.

Thought it would be interesting to see how the routes break down in DG and have a cursory look at why, using the auto WR's as a reference for max scoring potential in a route going from highest to lowest.

Z' Zone: 15.0M by DBS
The lucrative boss milk at Great Thing means it has the highest potential. Considered a challenging route. Shrimp boss etc. You have to go all up here so there are no alternate routes, and most of what you learn won't carry over to any other high scoring routes.

Y Zone: 13.5M by Mokkun
This route can access Titanic Lance at Zone M which is a stage with a high degree of challenge and reward.

X Zone: 13.1M by Mokkun
Another route that can access Zone M.

V Zone: 13.1M by Mokkun
Widely recommended as the boss to start with for
beginners. An easy 900k bonus for destroying his tail. Relatively high score and low risk. Neon Light Illusion can be avoided if you don't want to mess with It.

W Zone: 12.9M by Mokkun
This route also goes though Titanic Lance. A player who masters the high scoring route through TL has only two more stages branched off from there to potentially get a high score ending in either Y, X or W.

Z Zone: 12.8M by Mokkun
The lower route has the smallest scoring potential, but in this case the final boss Curious Chandelier adds a large potential bonus that keeps it out of last place.

V' Zone: 11.9M by IMO
By far the lowest scoring route bc the final boss, Storm Causer, offers almost nothing in terms of points. In an autofire run if you hold onto the white balls by not overlevelling your shot power, he can simply be quick-killed with very little incentive to do the fight the oldfashioned way.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:01 pm 


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That's with rapidfire cheats. In my analyses, an unassisted scoring potential breakdown has V, Y, and Z routes all vying for the top position, with currently a very close ranking of ACEHLQV > ACFJOUZ > ACEHMSY at only one or two hundred thousand point differences between each. Rapidfire makes a big difference mainly for Titanic Lance's cannons, Great Thing's drills, and capturing the final miniboss on all zones. Great Thing route normally has a dramatically lower scoring potential without cheat assistance, substantially lower than Storm Causer.

Edit: whoops, ACEHMSY is the highest Odious Trident route. ACEIMSY has a ~250,000 point deficit since you miss a bomb and its endgame bonus.
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Last edited by MathU on Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:43 pm 


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I think cheat is a strong word since we know autofire was standard equipment then in Japan arcades and still is. Something the devs were no doubt well aware of. I would only use that word if submitting a score falsely labeled as non auto or maybe using the Saturn code, which doesn't function as intended by the arcade devs regarding the rank with auto. I'll always stand by a "to each his own" attitude and respect however anyone else wishes to play as long as they're honest when submitting scores.

Interesting to know about how the non auto routes stack up. So is it basically impossible to destroy Great Things drills without auto or just that you can only safely get small number of them? I'm kinda torn between learning Zone Y or Great Thing's route next. Kinda leaning towards Y because it took me an embarrassing amount of time to get really good at Zone C (especially positioning to get all wave bonuses and being consistent on King Fossil) and I'd like to have that carry over to a new route.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:56 pm 


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You might get a drill or two with lucky shots or several by sacrificing shields, but otherwise the only way to destroy drills is with a bomb (and not enough to be worth it).
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:02 pm 


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Quote:
I think cheat is a strong word since we know autofire was standard equipment then in Japan arcades and still is.


Heck, even button mashing quickly will get you a significant boost to your damage output over simply holding the shoot button. I find if I'm really aggressive I can come close to MAME's 8-10 hz setting.

Now, what's REALLY silly and what's convinced me never to play this without autofire again is the demo. Watch the game demos that play and look at that firing rate. It's way, WAY faster than what's the default in game so it's very clear they're encouraging you to hammer on the button.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:47 am 



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Well rapidfire is unlocked by a cheatcode/gadget on the ports, and it's still something that's not in the game itself. There's a huge difference between playing with cheats/tool-assist and being a cheater (nobody is accusing anyone of cheating here) and there's nothing wrong with calling it a cheat, same as playing with broken extra characters like Aine, Gain, Birthday, etc. Playing with rapidfire is never cheating, just a way of making survival and scoring easier. Since it does does make the game easier than playing with extra lives or bombs it is kind of an easy mode in this sense. It always puzzled me why we never heard of japanese non-rapidfire Gaiden replays (supposedly there are), even Plasmo doesn't know about them. Scoring with rapidfire is hard, scoring without it is even harder so yeah I don't buy this "more intersting" thing, especially that I usually hear this from people who haven't really played this game without rapid and are too used of cutting the bosses like a hot knife through butter to consider anything else. Attract mode doesn't always show exactly what's in the game (like in Darius II) and as much as the devs were aware of how their games were played at the arcade they didn't put rapidfire on default on purpose, instead they added a punishment especially made for it. The punishment ended up not being enough (they should have done like in Gun Frontier) not necessarily because they intended it this way, but probably because they didn't have enough time for balancing (something the devs have admitted several times). Same happened for bosses patterns that you don't get to see, even without rapid, and I have a very hard time thinking they designed their bosses for 30hz pointblanking.

Then of course it's fine for people to play the game however they want, and compete how they want, different straws for different folks. For me as it was my first shmup and that at the time I wasn't aware most shmup players used tools like this I had a hard time coping with it. Now I accept the fact that this is standard for shmuppers, especially japanese ones. It's your choice, play as you want.

@ Rastan 78 : The only western person I know off that dug into Great Thing's milk is a french guy named Doudinou. If you go that way I'd be pretty interested to see what you can do ! Tried the rapidfire milk but this is pretty hard since if you kill the drills when they're close to the boss you avoid the suicide bullets but this will mean... no points. Some serious dodging skill needed for this !

@ MathU : how much do you think one can get out of Titanic Lance without rapid ?

Quote:
but otherwise the only way to destroy drills is with a bomb (and not enough to be worth it).


Actually you can earn points by bombing the drills. I did some experiment with this after some wasted credits on both PS4 and Saturn, I'll do a recording of it. The timing is very strict and you don't make a lot with it though (390 000 - 300 000 for the wasted bomb = 90 000 at most), and of course it's utterly pointless if you die even once. But it is enough to make up a bit for the wasted lives (my PB on Sat is only 100 000 less than the one on the cozmic even though I lost two lives). I'll do a recording of it so you can see.

@ BKR : I hope you at least get to reconsider this a tiny bit after watching la soirée presqu'IRL :). And congrats again on that W clear :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:14 am 


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Quote:
The punishment ended up not being enough (they should have done like in Gun Frontier)


Stuff like what's in Gun Frontier is icky. I don't like this kind of nasty trick for players (could it be potentially triggered by accident by someone mashing quickly? I don't know Gun Frontier well enough to know exactly how its anti autofire detection works). Just give the game proper automatic firing or something.

The firing system in Darius Gaiden is simply badly designed as far as I'm concerned. Clearing it has only solidified my opinion on that. If your autofire encourages mashing and can be broken wide open with exceptionally fast mashing or external autofire, it's just bad (Sine Mora is the worst offender ever made, its score system encourages speed kills and the default firing rate is garbage, but is completely demolished by inhumanly fast autofire). Darius Gaiden is still an exceptionally cool game, but the default firing rate feels too slow and I'd be hammering on the shot button if I had to play it in an arcade without rapid fire setup to squeeze out as much damage as possible, since there's a very noticeable damage boost from rapidly pressing the shoot button.

I vastly prefer a game like Giga Wing, ChoRenSha 68k, Dodonpachi, etc, where the firing rate is capped naturally so that you fire in 3 or 5 shot bursts every time you tap the button, and there's a hard limit on how fast you can fire because each button press simply keeps the bursts going, so button mashing doesn't boost damage beyond the built in limit. 1 button press = 1 shot type games are a bit strenuous to play manually. Preferably, built in autofire that can't be broken with button mashing is best! Even with automatic firing you can still make shots interesting like how Darius encourages pointblanking to hit with shot + missiles, how DDP has the laser aura, and so on.

tl;dr, games should probably be defensively designed around not needing or being exploitable with autofire setups

DG's a neat game though, I'm looking forward to trying to clear more routes.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:18 am 


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Quote:
I find if I'm really aggressive I can come close to MAME's 8-10 hz setting.


Come on man. If you devote your whole existence to mashing you should be able to get at least 16 shots/second just like the all time mashing God Takahashi Meijin aka Master Huggins.

https://youtu.be/oJ4lmAFB7d4

Just track down that official Hudson training pad that displays your fire rate. You will also need to implement the following training regimen:

https://youtu.be/axArEP-6lMc

Congrats on the 1cc BTW. This is a good game to try for a no miss as well since you will see such a big reward to your score, and it's pretty forgiving once you get up to that silver or gold shield.

Re: Autofire breaking the game. I know the Gun Frontier devs expressed regret that the level of punishment they added for using auto in that game went too far, and that they hadn't meant to discourage arcades from installing auto circuits. My hunch is that DG was meant to be balanced with auto as well, but they went in the opposite direction and went a bit too easy. When you think about it, they had a large staff designing stages and bosses over a short period of time with limited time for balancing. One of the biggest indications that they ran out of time is that they completely recycled Zone O and used it twice with no changes.

@Prickly Angler, yeah it would be cool to try for the big scores off Great Thing, but I have to say it's a bit intimidating for somebody of my skill level (or lack of skill level :oops: ). Seems really hard to react to the bullets while aggressively going after every drill. I think it would be very cool to someday break 13 M with auto on this game, but I'm not sure if going Great Thing or Odious Trident would be more realistic for me.

Also I want to take Z a bit farther. I think 12.5 would be an amazing milestone to hit. 12.3 at least would be realistic now. I can pick up 120k more just from Fatty Glutton's fins. It's funny how it sounds like a small difference, but IMO once you're less than 1M from the max score in this game, every 100k after that will become a bit of work. Early on the score increases are big and juicy like the fat no miss bonus etc. Also it seems I might as well try for a good score on Storm Causer too, since it's just one different stage to do once you know the all down route to Z. Wish I actually had time to play lol. :(


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:00 pm 


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Ugh, edit wiped over my entire post thinking it was a new reply without realizing it. I think I wrote something about how, although I really hate making arguments like this, at this point people who think rapidfire cheats were in any way intended or that the default firing rate is poorly balanced simply aren't skilled enough at the game to make that evaluation. It's sad, but that's really what this all boils down to. Imagine if people did something like this with any other genre: "Doom is poorly balanced, I know because I played through every level with IDFA and BFG blasts!" I've made so many clear and pointed arguments around here over the years that get handwaved away without refutation that at this point the people who disbelieve do so because they want to. Perhaps they should ask themselves why.

In hindsight Taito obviously should have capped the firing rate at some sort of upper limit. Darius Gaiden shares the same problem of others like Image Fight, Metal Slug, etc. where firing ratings unattainable by humans crack the games wide open. Of course people could simply choose not to use such obvious assistance in the first place.

Prickly Angler wrote:
how much do you think one can get out of Titanic Lance without rapid ?

I've gotten around ~600,000 points from them in the past but I suspect something around 800,000-900,000 might be possible. The trick is to get a sort of rhythm going where you alternate between blowing each cannon up so fast that they never have time to shoot at you. I plan on doing some more hardcore research on -MSY after I finally finish a run of ACFJOUZ that demonstrates all the new techniques I've been developing over the last few months.

Think that was all the original stuff I wrote in this... rewritten. Hope I didn't forget some other gameplay insight I had previously written about.
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Last edited by MathU on Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:31 pm 


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Okay, so I'm aware of what the "easy" route is considered to be now. Does the hardest route involve Titanic Lance? I'm guessing it does because man it's quite rough to deal with.

What's the most reliable way to move to dodge the curvy homing lasers? Like, Zone H's Neon Light Illusion, I find the lasers keep hitting the bottom left and upper left of my ship when I'm dodging, even when I try to replicate videos I've seen; what's the trick?

Quote:
In hindsight Taito obviously should have capped the firing rate at some sort of upper limit


Yes, I agree. Just force it into burst firing when you tap shoot like Giga Wing so there's no damage boosting from mashing. Something inhuman and impossible to do like 30 hz autofire is obviously silly and broken on DG (or any shmup that lets you fire at that speed for that matter), but merely button mashing at a humanly reasonable speed on high health targets will get you kills quite a bit quicker (those blue fish in stage 1 tend to need a combo of shot + missile to kill them in a timely fashion otherwise). Is it intended or not intended that you can button mash for a substantial damage boost? I play with a reasonable firing speed that I can replicate by button mashing manually; am I cheating even if I'm hammering manually on shoot very quickly at that speed? I'd argue the demo screen encourages you button mash to damage boost with its incredibly fast firing rate it showcases. And if the demo wasn't meant to do that then hopefully we can agree the attract demos are very misleading and silly.

Even not taking external autofire setups into consideration, "damage boost by button mashing" simply isn't compelling shmup design IMO, and I'd prefer something with full autofire built in like Omega Fighter.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:29 pm 


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Titanic Lance routes are certainly some of the more challenging ones, but I consider the routes ending in Z' and V' to be the hardest by far. Fatty Glutton in both incarnations is a bigger jerk than Titanic Lance, and Great Thing and Storm Causer are the two most difficult final bosses. The biggest impact on difficulty of Titanic Lance is not from the boss itself but the considerable adaptive difficulty increase associated with blowing up most of its body sections. There are six of these sections to blow up if one attacks hastily; however, a skilled player can time out most of the sections and avoid their difficulty increase.

In theory with the homing beams you want to keep your ship's movement perpendicular to their trajectory. However, when you're dealing with tight consecutive volleys of them, the beam behind the one you're currently dodging has had some extra time to adjust its trajectory. Thus it's usually safest to add a bit of forward evasion in the direction of the beams as your dodging motion progresses. In other words, you should counter curvy beams with curvy dodging.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:26 am 


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I learned of a trick for autofire users looking at a Japanese Darius page. If you're trying to avoid killing enemies with the midboss captures, which negates their point values, you can use 30 hz auto, and when firing that way the attacks coming from the midboss will be greatly reduced. However, whether you get their attacks to stop altogether depends on if you're firing on an odd or even frame. That will be a random coin toss depending on the exact frame you happen to start your credit at. So if you have two autofire buttons, one each for the odd or even frames you can always eliminate the midboss attacks by using the appropriate button. The Cozmic Collection does allow for this setup if you cycle through the options. Tested it on the second stage midboss and it does work perfectly. Not sure how much of an impact it has and on which midbosses it's most effective yet though.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:05 pm 


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I wrote:
I plan on doing some more hardcore research on -MSY after I finally finish a run of ACFJOUZ that demonstrates all the new techniques I've been developing over the last few months.

Whew, finally pulled off a good run showcasing all the goods. 8) Check it out here, lots of cool tricks and tactics on display in this!
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 8:53 pm 


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Wow nicely done Mathu! Very impressive run there.

A lot to learn from watching this replay. I like the aggressive approach you took to get Fatty Glutton's fins. I've been timidly staying at the left side and I keep getting hit by the little piranhas when I stop firing to avoid damaging the boss.

Did you opt out on Deadly Crescent's tailfin to help control rank? Sometimes I debate whether that one is even worth it. At the same time it seems like I get an easy pattern if I do all the top spines, then the tail fin which annoyingly takes multiple cycles to whittle down, then trigger the final form and take out the two body fins. That way you don't have to deal with the purple lasers IIRC.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:45 pm 


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No, there's no point in that degree of adaptive difficulty control at Deadly Crescent on this playthrough's scoring strategy because I have good tactics for capturing the miniboss on the next stage when its control orb health is maxed out. The difficulty has already been ratcheted up so much by destruction of other boss body parts in previous stages that several Deadly Crescent body parts cross the threshold of maxing out the control orb anyway, so more body parts are simply more points.

The reason I don't bother with its caudal fin is because I'm not confident at all in my ability to destroy it fast enough before getting wrecked by the spinning cubes of doom. The final destruction of Crescent's remaining spines and body already demands high precision to avoid combining the mouth extension attack with other stuff and is precarious enough to ruin a playthrough on its own. I'm still uncertain if there exists a reliable way to blow up the caudal fin along with everything else and survive; this is one thing that rapidfire allows you to do that may be out of the range of human skill. The only tactic with some potential that I can think of is exploiting the fact that Deadly Crescent's health goes down when you attack with its mouth closed but doesn't register until a mouth-open attack: you can exploit this to functionally avoid the transition to its 2nd attack phase until it's at death's door. But pulling this off consistently may not be any less challenging than facing the 2nd phase attacks + mouth extension + spinning cubes together head-on anyway.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:32 pm 


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Yeah I played around a couple times on getting DC's tail fin without auto and I could get the fin before the yazuka come out no prob, but I see what you mean about the final phase just being a mess after that. Even with auto while it's pretty easy to get the fin with practice, the damage you get is highly variable depending on position. The gadgets on the console version really help with figuring out just the right spot. Maybe if you had perfect positioning on every cycle and some good mashing it would be possible. But for 30k? Pretty risky like you said.

I was also watching a replay where the player does Neon Light Illusion J in an interesting way. They also get the four small tentacles from the base (about 3k each for 12k net gain so not a huge deal.) To do this you have to get underneath the boss right at the beginning without using the method of stunlocking him by destroying one of the blades on the small tentacles first. Then get the uppermost small tentacle last after destroying both big tentacles so you can get at it from the top using back missiles.

What was more interesting is that they destroy the 2nd large tentacle (the partially hidden rear one) extremely quickly less than a minute into the fight and still get the big 200k from it. I was like wtf just happened? Pretty substantial rank saver and convenience there since this normally takes forever. On my current runs I'm lucky to get it before 3 mins. when the yazuka appear. I'm guessing it really just boils down to perfect timing on your missiles assuming you have the nearly pixel perfect positioning down. Not sure how the missile damage works, if it's a certain damage for direct hit and less for splash damage from the explosion etc.? But apparently you want your missiles to hit the tentacle directly right as it lowers rather than having any of them hit the fuselage first. By getting 10+ HP or so every time he lowers the tentacle it gets destroyed very quickly, which I had never seen done before even on high level replays. I'm trying to see if there's some reliable indication for timing the missiles for max damage, bc the flailing movement of his tentacle is kind of hard to gauge by. The animation of his glowing red eyeball flashing white seems to be in sync with the movement cycle of the tentacle and might provide a useful tell?


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:35 pm 


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I actually do use the flailing position of the tentacle tip as my cue for when to release rockets. There is also a one- to two-pixel ship positioning window where your rockets do peak damage (and it shifts slightly but predictably between attack cycles). If you can nail this spot consistently, you can destroy the tentacle in only two full attack cycles (sometimes a shield-ramming finishing move is required). Otherwise, three cycles is what I usually expect. There is also some degree of randomness for how the top tentacle transitions to its repetitive flailing motion. Sometimes you get a good first sweeping motion that lets you score a ton of initial damage to the base segment. The player might have gotten one of these in the replay you observed. Rapidfire cheats also make a big difference at this part because they allow you to cluster your rockets unnaturally tight, this is the only possible way to destroy the tentacle in a single cycle.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:24 pm 


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Yeah I've been using the tentacle movement as well. It sounds like maybe it's the positioning I need to work on more than my timing. I've been using the positioning of my ship under the bomb icon in the HUD. Might need to look closer at where the rockets are actually landing. I do consistently get the bonus, but it's a bit close for comfort if you're getting it at the last cycle before the cubes rain down.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:55 am 


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MathU wrote:
There is also a one- to two-pixel ship positioning window where your rockets do peak damage (and it shifts slightly but predictably between attack cycles).


From what I'm seeing it looks like he shifts to the left one pixel or so every cycle? So in that case there is an appreciable difference in positioning from the first to the 3rd or 4th cycle. They had to go and make this trick nearly pixel perfect and then go and mess with your spacing. I'm telling you these devs were trolls lol.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:19 pm 


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Yes, the body moves to the left one pixel on the 2nd cycle and two more pixels on the 3rd. Thankfully it's the same spots every playthrough so you can memorize your exact positioning beforehand and even use the time during the harmless mine-laying attack to help align yourself properly. I use the little glowing blue navigation light on the Silverhawk as my main guide for positioning. The "good enough" positioning window for three-cycle destruction is four pixels wide by the way. The forward two are just the really optimal ones.

The trick to pixel-perfect positioning in Darius Gaiden is understanding that it has "normalized" diagonals and knowing when to use cardinal- and diagonal-direction movements. The cardinals move 3 pixels per frame while diagonal movements combine and reduce the horizontal and vertical vectors to 2 pixels each per frame. Diagonals get you more precise movement in a given axis but they can only do pixel adjustments in even numbers. The only way to displace an odd number of pixels is with a bit of cardinal movement.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 5:10 pm 



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Following this conversation with great attention, sorry for not responding earlier. I've been busy with school lately (for which I'm very late due to procrastinating) and I prefer to stay focused on Darius II at the moment. I will go back to Gaiden one day, as I've always done since I first started the game in october of 2016, and when I do I will study with attention the points you brought up here (a lot of stuff is new for me). As of today I have a hard time finishing most of the hard routes without full bomb stock so I will have to improve at that first. Anyway very happy with all the recent Gaiden talk 8)

I did took a bit of time to record both the Great Thing milk with bombs, and a video showcasing the absurdity of contact dammage in Darius Gaiden :

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... nyhcMHv3IV


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:05 pm 


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So a very minor but easy to pull off bonus: This game likes to throw up those big boulders that are only on the screen for a moment and then disappear at the Warning screen before certain bosses. You can consistently get close to 10k with autofire on the one before Deadly Crescent Zone U. The goal is to get 2 boulders. Without auto you can still get one and at least 4k.

At the end of the level quickly set your vertical position to where your ship is just resting on the top of the bomb icons in the lower left corner (arcade HUD). This makes it so you'll be point blanking a boulder with your rockets as soon as it appears above you without getting hit by it. Without auto from there you can just sit under any boulder and get a free 4k.

I like to go for the 2 farthest right out of the 4, bc the ones on the left have an odd overlapped spacing. Get the vertical spacing set and then quickly move right to position under where the 3rd boulder from the left will appear. Draw a line from your ship to the top of the screen and your horizontal position will be just to the right of the yellow square that says Zone U. Be holding shot and the moment the boulders appear, hold up. Your rockets will take out the one above you and your shot will get the last one on the right.

Quote:
It always puzzled me why we never heard of japanese non-rapidfire Gaiden replays (supposedly there are), even Plasmo doesn't know about them.


@Prickly Angler: That's a good question. Apparently the Gamest strategy article back at the time said (some would say erroneously) that autofire was essential for scoring in this game and urged operators that installed this game to set up an autofire circuit.

Side note: I never realized that Darius 1 and 2 had autofire settings in the dipswitches?


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:51 pm 


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They have autofire options but they're not very helpful because their on-screen projectile limit is so strict. It may even be worse than playing without because autofire makes it extra difficult to space your shots evenly on the long multi-screen battlefields. Autofire makes your peashooter very dangerous at point-blank attacks but as soon as you upgrade to penetrating shot types that need to travel all the way to the back of the playing field before you can fire another it stops being useful outside rocket use. The first two Darius games are very much precision-shooting games in the spirit of Space Invaders and Galaxian, and autofire reduces your ability to plant successive shot attempts accurately.
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Last edited by MathU on Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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