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



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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.

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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.

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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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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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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2021 12:54 pm 



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Crazy ammount of details in this game, thanks for the insights MathU. Odious Trident is the one Gaiden boss I never really understood. It's the final boss of my first first 1CC ever (on the Saturn port) but it's definetely the one I've faced the least. I always thought it was very random until MathU told us that no bosses were really random in this game. I've always had some trouble with this attack : https://youtu.be/WGFRNTTRDGQ?t=1457, never understood how to dodge it consistently despite the fact that it looks real easy here. Obviously before thinking of milking this boss I'd need to be able to defeat it without bombing :P

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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.


I've always been puzzled by that, thanks for clearing it up !

Quote:
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.


Do you feel you could beat Erppo and Jaimers if you do it successfully ?


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2021 1:31 pm 


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Prickly Angler wrote:
I've always had some trouble with this attack : https://youtu.be/WGFRNTTRDGQ?t=1457, never understood how to dodge it consistently despite the fact that it looks real easy here.

There's two ways to dodge that attack that I'm aware of. If you just want to survive, then by far the safest method is to anticipate when the attack is coming and hang out far away on the lower right side of the screen to dodge the yellow bullet stream with small adjustments. The much riskier method is to hug the bottom of the cannon where it can't turn enough to attack you with either the blue beams or yellow bullets, like I demonstrated (helps to have a video that doesn't look like vomit due to dumpster-fire transcoding). The latter method is necessary to damage the cannon enough to destroy it.

Edit: "button" -> "bottom"
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Last edited by MathU on Mon May 10, 2021 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2021 2:45 pm 


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Quote:
Do you feel you could beat Erppo and Jaimers if you do it successfully ?


So I think an autofire Zone Z run with all the tricks and boss parts, a bit of rank boosting and the milking will come out to around 12.35 to 12.4 M allowing for absolutely terrible luck on the silver items. 12.5 plus is definitely possible with decent luck and at least a couple 51k items.

I can't really account for all the optimizations that let the most skilled players reach 12.8 on this route, even with early red 5k power ups, unusual silver medal luck etc. I think they might be getting an abnormally high Zone J bombing section.

It's a bit hard to compare runs in this game across different routes. For example if those players are using V route there's a slightly different max score possible. Then there's the whole random element too.

Either way MathU's 12.2M score without auto is probably the best Western score achievement so far.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2021 5:45 pm 



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Thanks for the tip MathU, I've never even though of that. I'll definetely try it out when I'll go back to the game 8).

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So I think an autofire Zone Z run with all the tricks and boss parts, a bit of rank boosting and the milking will come out to around 12.35 to 12.4 M allowing for absolutely terrible luck on the silver items. 12.5 plus is definitely possible with decent luck and at least a couple 51k items.


Oh sorry I misread you, I thought you meant Z' and Great Thing's drills. I'd be so cool to see you beat the auto records with a route ending in Z, it's really one of the routes that scores the least. Also have you ever thought of trying the Titanic Lance's turret milk ? They are worth a lot !

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Either way MathU's 12.2M score without auto is probably the best Western score achievement so far.


Yeah that score is something. With auto I'm positive MathU could get really close to the japanese, and perhaps even beat them.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 1:59 pm 


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I'd be so cool to see you beat the auto records with a route ending in Z, it's really one of the routes that scores the least. Also have you ever thought of trying the Titanic Lance's turret milk ? They are worth a lot !


Thanks for the words of encouragement. I almost pulled it off last night but things went south at the stage 6 capture. I need to work on my plan B strategies on the last two midbosses when I don't get a quick orb kill and they give a bad pattern. I think I was a little thrown at how fast the bullets were coming into stage 6 right after doing a full milk of Golden Ogre, King Fossil, and Fatty Glutton. Also had perfect bombs and tentacles on Zone J. Good to know I have it down now though.

Finally realized that it's so easy to avoid having the stage 5 captain kill enemies and reduce your points. That's the long snakey one. You just have to repeatedly do the hadoken motion towards the left to have him move backwards and go completely off the screen. Honestly it's easier to play without him on the screen anyway bc he fucks with visibility due to his distracting animations.

Yeah I'll be looking to try a higher scoring route down the road if time allows. I agree it would be cool to see a different route than V on top for the auto scores. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 10:33 am 


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Deadly Crescent is such a frustrating boss to milk without homing missiles. I can't find any alternative to surviving two whole cycles of its nasty pink bullet spread attack (one at near maximum difficulty).
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 4:56 pm 


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So is that fighting him on Zone S and there aren't enough green medals? When you say milk do you mean taking out all of his fins? And have you decided if the tail fin is doable without auto? Do you know if the final purple spread pattern is triggered by time or by the amount he's damaged?

One minor optimization that made a difference for me on his last phase where he starts doing the HR Giger style alien neck thing is follow the neck back in to get point blank missiles in for a second or two each time it retracts. Every bit helps and the horizontal movement helps clear a path through the little red destructible amoeba shots. It's easiest to do on the first few cycles before things get too chaotic.

I do have some overall observations about getting the tail fin on DC quickly that may help anyone trying to learn this. It's similar to Neon Light Illusion J 2nd big tentacle where a pixel here or there makes a huge difference in how quick you deal damage.

You want to speed kill the upper spines to be able to get into the right position as soon as possible. Count through the 8 bursts of spheres and after the 7th one position upper middle. That lets you dodge the 8th burst with a movement to the right that puts you in position to start damaging the tail ASAP. I use the T in start from the HUD to get horizontal position and then move straight down using the large muzzle flash from my shot to gauge vertical position compared to the boss. This is much more consistent than trying to get there by an arbitrary series of movements every cycle. The boss part damage gadget on Cozmic is a big help in seeing if your actually getting good damage on the tail or not. It can be deceiving.

I think the reason it's so finicky is when you're sitting right above the boss' butt his body can interfere. It seems like in this game "spent" wave shots that have already collided with a boss' main body and do little to no damage will still cause destructible parts to flash. You can see this on Fatty Glutton's tail fin. If you just keep shooting at him from the front you'll be causing the tail fin to flash but you need to destroy the other lower fins to clear a path and then sneak shots up under him to get some direct hits on the tail to do real damage.

I haven't seen the hitboxes, but there is definitely some amount of spread to a lot of the wave and white sphere shot patterns as they leave your ship that allows you to sneak shots around objects to a small degree. The sweet spot on DC is where you're getting missiles and unobstructed shots directly onto the tail alone.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 5:47 pm 


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Yeah some routes don't have enough power-ups to get homing missiles before Deadly Crescent. And no I still don't see any way to get the caudal fin without rapidfire cheats. It's ridiculous enough just to get all the other ones and survive without homing missiles! The purple bullet spread is part of its normal phase 2 attack cycling, which starts up after half its health is gone (and you attack the mouth when it's open). You probably don't see the attack too often with inhuman firing rates because you can wipe out the other half of the boss's health in an instant when you're ready to end the fight, but it's a nasty threat with human shot rates that you have be prepared to dodge if you're trying to destroy its body parts safely. You will die if it's attacking you with the neck extension at the same time, which is why my tactic always involves saving a dorsal spine until the boss has a small amount of health left.

And yeah, penetrating shots reduce in damage the more frames they spend traveling through certain targets. It's an important effect to keep in mind when attacking Odious Trident's rear body parts--as you blow up targets on its belly your shots start to do more damage to the rear. On Crusty Hammer your shots can spend enough time traveling through targets that they reduce all the way to 1 or zero damage (from a scale of tens of thousands!). It's not a universal rule, however; some targets don't have this effect on penetrating shots. Your penetrating shots do the same damage per frame over the entire travel distance through Neon Light Illusion's body for example.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 7:14 pm 


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The order I've been doing DC in is:
Destroy all dorsal spines
Destroy tail fin
Trigger second phase
Bottom fin
Middle fin
Kill boss

This way you never trigger the purple homing lasers bc you wait to do the lower fins. Could this order work for no autofire? Basically after destroying all the dorsal spines, where you would be focusing on the tail fin, instead focus on weakening the two bottom fins to near the breaking point and doing the hidden tick damage to his mouth. This part of the fight is super safe as long as you're good at dodging his aimed shot bursts, so you can kind of hang out and do whatever you want with him. Seems like in theory it could work but the tricky part would be managing how much damage you've done to each part.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 8:37 pm 


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I dunno, the trick I've highlighted in that video is neat in theory, but in practice it's really challenging not to accidentally land a shot when its mouth is open. Deadly Crescent has quite a lot of health to whittle down (even when only half is left) through small potshot windows when its mouth is closed, and a single accidental bullet in the mouth will probably get you killed. You have to be really aggressive to pull it off just as the spinning cubes of doom start showing up. Even when you're not attempting that exploit, the large amount of health is why my current no-homing strategy requires dodging two whole cycles of pink bullet spread. In the end I'm not sure the exploit actually makes the fight any easier than other methods.

Just in case you and I are discussing two different attacks here, this is the pink bullet spread which I'm loathing having to deal with two cycles. That happens in the 2nd phase whether you destroy the pelvic fin or not. It's really nasty when the adaptive difficulty gets close to maxed out, as it does on the route I'm investigating. Leaving the pelvic fin around isn't a concern for me because the pink tracking shots aren't a problem.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 9:45 pm 


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Oh right. I knew that's the attack you were having trouble with. In the post right above I meant that you can avoid the other purple laser pattern (the individual ones that track your current position) from the 1st phase by saving the bottom fin for the 2nd phase.

Sounds like the nasty final 2nd phase lasers you're referring to just have to be gutted out if not using auto. It sucks that your run can basically be ruined if you have bad luck with the combo of that and the extending neck attack. Even on an autofire run, the combo of the white spheres that can sort of lock you into a lane, the red amoeba, and the extending neck can put you in a nasty spot. Especially if you had a particularly slow tail fin and now you have to deal with the cubes on top of that.

Sometimes it seems like I'm able to get him far off to the right during the last phase, making the fight much easier. The extending neck is really the most nasty when he gets close to you. I'm not sure if his position is totally random? (I've seen certain bosses get in some really unusual spots in this game). I need to double check to see if it's the knock back effect of destroying the last bottom two fins during this phase. This does push him back at least temporarily. It almost seems like firing pushes him away like it does with the spinning dorsal fins, but I think this is just my imagination.


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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 1:50 am 


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The little red blobs only come out while you're shooting at the open mouth; I usually stop shooting when Deadly Crescent switches to its pink bullet spread attack so I can focus on dodging undistracted and avoid generating even more things to dodge.

And yeah, when you blow body parts up on some bosses it tends to knock them away a bit. Their position usually doesn't get reset until they move to the next attack in a cycle. If you're not careful this can get you trapped if you let it happen during some of Odious Trident's more claustrophobic attacks.
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 Post subject: Re: GD: Darius Gaiden
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 4:07 pm 


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Ah good to know you can stop firing to reduce the blobs if needed. I was playing around with this boss fight at high rank on Zone S and wow he is extremely tanky without auto or the homing missiles. Seems like the fight will go on forever. And yeah that damn purple laser. :evil:


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