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 Post subject: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:17 am 



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 377
Long time player of shmups, but not a frequent poster. I put together a list intended to help people discover otherwise unknown shmups and this list is especially targeted at newer players to help steer them towards achievable 1CC's. This "easy and awesome" index combines quality ratings together with difficulty ratings to help others discover worthwhile shmups that may have been otherwise lost to time. For example if you are just starting out you might not have heard of Twin Cobra II or Magical Chase before, but I hope this list will encourage you to check them out.

I'm probably one of the older players here but without giving anything away some of these games were beaten upwards of 15 years ago so some memories may be slightly fuzzy.

All difficulties and quality rankings are based on a 1-10 scale and the entire scale was used, with 5 being average. Games that have a quality rating of 8 and above I generally hold in really high regard as top tier games. I certainly am not a super player like some of you guys who can 2-All CAVE games and what not. I used DOJ Black Label as a base line for the hardest game I can beat (a 10 on the 1-10 scale) and blind 1CC's as the easiest (a 1 on the 1-10 scale). I also tried to take execution into account as well. A game with heavy memorization and strict death punishment but easy execution like R-Type 1 will rank lower than something like Giga Wing which also requires consistent reflexes on top of route precision. Generally speaking, if you frequent this forum, you probably know how to practice these games.

I used generally well known, well regarded, and modestly difficult games like like Mushi Futari Black Label and Deathsmiles as the baseline for an average "5" difficulty.

I used save states to practice for most games if they were available in MAME or other emulators. For example, R-Type took me three days to 1CC with save state practice. At my "kuso" level of skill I generally expect most games will take four days of 2 hours+ per day of save state practice to memorize. That is about a "5" in difficulty. Though various factors may also affect the final difficulty ratings (R-Type basically requiring a one life clear bumps it up a couple points). "1's" were generally blind 1CC's. DDP DOJ, the only "10" in my ratings so far, took me 60 hours with focused practice. All final runs were done clean without save states. Much like learning an instrument, I firmly believe in trying to use the most efficient practice possible until you are ready to perform the real thing. Not all games have save state practice available like X-Box 360 only ports and that may affect difficulty ratings as well. I also generally used auto fire when available. I understand there will be some disagreements about this, as I was initially was hesitant as well. However, over time auto fire has become the Japanese arcade standard to the point where it is generally expected, and therefore, I feel it is generally acceptable to use. I have notated the games where auto fire was used.

I hope this list is useful to you. There is the Japanese rankings available here but I always wished I had a resource like this starting out.



I encourage you to make your own list using the criteria that makes sense to you. I'd especially like to hear from some of you who are really good at these games.
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:28 am 


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Awesome stuff man! I think this list is pretty cool. It looks like DOJ BL is the highest in terms of difficulty. I can see that, it took me quiet a bit of time to get my 1st 1-all of that badboy.
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:36 am 


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I wonder where Crimzon Clover Unlimited would rank.
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:06 am 


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....I think I'm missing something here. I'm not seeing a list or a link to a list that has any ranks or numbers. The link in your sig brings me to another post you made but that only seems to be an alphabetized list of games you've played.


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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:21 am 



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 377
komatik wrote:
....I think I'm missing something here. I'm not seeing a list or a link to a list that has any ranks or numbers. The link in your sig brings me to another post you made but that only seems to be an alphabetized list of games you've played.

I have a hyperlink to a Japaense 1CC difficulty list I've used before. Below that there should be a table that I made this thread about. I wonder if it doesnt show in your browser?
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:37 am 


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I like this list. To some extent difficulty is in the eye of the beholder, but the difficulty rankings here generally line up with where I would rank the games that I've cleared. I like that you've highlighted good games - some of the easy arcade clears out there (like Asuka & Asuka) are not that fun, while others (Batsugun Special) are delicious.

As a quick PSA - this list by Perikles is another good resource: https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59651.

Between that list, this list, and the STG wiki, those are a lot of options to choose from to scoop up a first 1cc, or aim for something a little spicier.
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:47 am 


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To Far Away Times wrote:
I have a hyperlink to a Japaense 1CC difficulty list I've used before. Below that there should be a table that I made this thread about. I wonder if it doesnt show in your browser?

Yeah ok, I figured it out, this is some weirdness between the forum and my adblocker.

I only see the Japanese link sentence immediately followed by "I encourage you to make your own list...". I went to quote your post to show you, but the edit window (and only the edit window) shows a bunch of BBCode markdown with all your table stuff jumbled up in it. Doing a 'view source' on the thread itself it looks like whatever you did to make/insert the table, shmups.system11.org is not actually outputting an html table like it should it's instead outputting an embedded javascript (inserted into your post) that dynamically draws a table on page load. Said embedded script trips my adblocker and doesn't run so all I see is a single blank line. No idea why the forum software decided a flat table needs to be dynamically generated by every browser on every load, but here we are.

Anyway, question answered. Thanks for the list.


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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:32 pm 


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It's worth noting that Futari BL Original is massively harder than 1.5 to play for a score run as opposed to a survival 1CC due to having to learn vastly more aggressive pointblanking techniques, whereas it's quite easy to keep your distance, bomb frequently and keep the rank from spiking, so Futari BL Original is a vastly different beast of a game depending on if you play for a 1CC or play for a serious score. It's the same as with Batsugun Special - I assume the ranking here is just for clearing the first loop, as opposed to doing all the loops in Batsugun Special (which is harder IMO than clearing the original Batsugun which doesn't loop).

As someone who has 1CC'd Giga Wing without reflecting, I can tell you its difficulty ranking here is massively overstated. It's rated at a 9, just below a DOJ Black Label 1-All at 10, Whereas Futari 1.5 Original is at an 8 and Futari Black Label Original at a 5. I'd comfortably put Giga Wing at a 6 or 7 in terms of relative difficulty - it was my first arcade 1CC and the game only really gets nasty at stage 4. You don't get any 1UPs (the only way to get one is to be doing really badly and have died twice by the time you get to stage 4), but it's balanced by having a large number of bombs available on top of reflecting as a survival mechanic. A lot of players don't realize that Sinnosuke is actually the worst shot type (weak spread and slowest movement); if you go for a survival 1CC with Isha or better yet Stuck (who has a strong piercing wideshot with second-highest movement speed), the game is much easier. Reserve your Reflect Barrier for survival purposes and during the recharge aggressively bomb if you have to (which also gives a guaranteed Reflect Barrier recover).

The first four stages tend to have relatively slow bullets and nothing really insanely difficult; the hardest part of the game is stage 5 which requires some very aggressive routing and memorization of enemy appearance so you save resources. The bosses after can be difficult, but not unfairly so and with a bit of practice and learning where the best bits are to reflect for safety, it's not unreasonably difficult to get the clear. Rank also isn't a factor (if there is rank in the game, it appears to be fairly minimal). You have fewer lives available in Giga Wing compared to DOJ, but you also are generally much less likely to lose a life if you're good at reflecting, whereas DOJ has some downright nasty stuff at stage 4 and beyond, and generally faster bullets throughout the game.

I admit I could just be biased for Giga Wing being easy due to having played it a bunch. I think it's a great beginner shmup though as the last few bosses do not have bullet speeds anywhere near DOJ, so I'm pretty sure my assessment of Giga Wing's relative difficulty is a fair one.

Eschatos at a 9 difficulty for Original Normal also seems out-of-place. Its Hardest difficulty would be well above this list's equivalent of a 10, no questions asked, but I'd peg Normal at about a 5 for a 1CC, Hard at a 7 to possibly high as 9 for a 1CC.
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:35 am 



Joined: 11 Sep 2012
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Giga Wing seemed really hard to me. The first four stages can get pretty mindless after a while but stage 5 is a huge spike with the insane bullet spreads and count, stage 6 is pretty wasy once routed but the TLB is a real asshole. I can"t even imagine the game without reflecting... stage 5 must have been ridiculous.

Eschatos I may have embelished a bit, but the back half of the game gets pretty hard. I definitely felt like I had to bring in a bunch of resources to outlast the final boss.

Futari Original mught just be me being terrible but I always thought it was quite hard, much harder than its reputation. Black Label is an easy clear but you gotta earn that shit in Futari Original.
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:15 pm 


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I would put DOJ BL as a 8 and then place Pink Sweets as the 10.
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:17 pm 


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Also worth nothing there's also this difficulty list which has a wider range of games listed for those curious about relative 1CC difficulty: viewtopic.php?p=1157621#p1157621
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:50 pm 


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I would suggest sorting this list by perceived 1CC difficulty, rather than the game title.


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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:55 pm 


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mikejmoffitt wrote:
I would suggest sorting this list by perceived 1CC difficulty, rather than the game title.


I agree, or perhaps putting into a google sheet as well to sort by any cloumn.

Thanks for making this either way though!
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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:14 pm 


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There you go: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0

Unfortunately GDocs won't let you create a sortable table for other people, so I have resorted to creating sorted views.

You can access them by going to:

Data -> Filter Views -> Sort by ...

All the sorted views are made so that Quality is always the most important criteria, followed by the lowest difficulty and lowest routing.

BTW, I really want to find a good alternative as Google Sheets really suck and I'd love to let people freely sort the spreadsheet to their liking.

If the OP isn't ok with this I can bring it down at any time, just let me know.


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 Post subject: Re: The 1CC Difficulty Index
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:41 am 


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Thank you for this list! It's helped me identify which games to start with. You've also inspired me to keep my own list.
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