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 Post subject: GD: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:27 am 


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I'm beginning to get into this shmup in a big way, but sadly it doesn't seem to have an HTML manual I can give the babelfish treatment. Could someone here give me the skinny on the basic mechanics of the scoring system?

I already know that certain enemies cancel bullets when destroyed, and that the hidden bonus items give 10xcombo amount in points, but I'm still not clear on what fills the combo bar, and the approach bar is a mystery to me.


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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:27 am 


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Figured I'd necro this in case anyone else is wondering. I picked up the game a while ago but it was too hard for me; I'm getting back into it and hoping to fight the TLB.

Stuff that raises combo and fully refills the combo timeout meter:

* Hitting enemies/secret items at close range with rapid shots or laser (close enough to raise the approach meter) will raise your combo meter by +5 per hit.

* Killing an enemy or uncovering a point item with the rapid shot or laser is worth +20 to the combo meter.

* Hitting bosses appears to give +1 per hit (your combo does slowly drop during boss fights but hitting bosses will outpace the drop rate).

You seem to gain combo at the same rate regardless of whether or not you're using the rapid shot or laser. You don't gain combo or get the combo meter refilled when using a bomb, though.

The game's scoring is similar to Donpachi chaining meaning it's really important to maintain your combo throughout an entire stage. It is a bit weird in that there's long stretches of sections where there aren't enemies (right after the stage 1 midboss for instance) and the combo meter will empty. You only score points for killing an enemy (not hitting it seems), for collecting the yellow point items/crystals released by killing an enemy/boss segment that cancels bullets or for the end of level bonuses.

Note that the combo doesn't immediately drop though so long as your approach meter isn't empty. Combos aren't dropped when you use a bomb or if you're killed. Combos don't appear to transfer from stage to stage.

The approach meter fills when you attack enemies at close-range. You can tell when you're filling the approach meter because your shots/laser will create small red explosions when hitting the enemy (as well as raise the combo by +5 per close range hit). Strangely, the distance at which hits count as close-range seem to vary wildly between enemies. Popcorn enemies will earn you approach meter if you hit them from as far as two ship lengths away whereas certain bosses or enemies like the turrets in stage 3 require nearly pointblanking in order to gain approach meter from them.

Approach meter appears to max out at like 3000 or so (the number just indicates maximum approach you earned and thus the score bonus you'll get at the end of the level, letting the blue bar beneath it go down won't lower the number). Building your approach meter gives an end of level bonus, but its main purpose is to keep your combo from dropping when the combo meter runs out. If your combo meter runs out, the blue approach meter will start dropping; it's only when the approach meter runs out that your combo is dropped. The approach meter is reduced to zero at the start of each stage.

Basically, it looks like you need to kill enemies at close range in order to build approach meter early in each level so that for sections where there's not too many enemies you'll be able to keep the combo. At first glance, it looks more forgiving because there's a mechanic to prevent combo dropping, but to get a good score on it you need to be aggressive about hitting stuff at close range in order to prevent a combo loss at later sections in the levels. Memorizing exactly when it's safe to run up to enemies is crucial from the looks of it (for instance, you can go for a quick kill on the stage 2 midboss by attacking its wings, but you can gain a ton of approach meter by point-blanking the main body during its first attack).

Another thing to mention is that when you kill a bullet cancel enemy that not only are the current onscreen bullets turned into crystals, all shots fired for the next second or so get cancelled as well. You can milk quite a bit of points by leaving other enemies alive when you kill a bullet cancel enemy to get points from their shots. You will autocollect/vaccuum up the yellow crystals only when you are firing the rapid shot; using the laser or not shooting at all will cause them to slowly fall off the screen!

Stage 1 seems to be very lucrative if you milk those enemies that fire the large pink shot rings (they cancel bullets when you kill them). Shoot them a few times to make them start firing pink bullets and wait to kill them and you get a crazy ton of points. There's even a couple that show up if you kill the midboss quickly (by taking advantage of its secret weakness to being point-blanked). I got the three scoring extends by the end of stage 1 this way (although it's hard to keep my 8000 combo going between the midboss and the start of the laser ship section near the end, even with 1300 approach meter built up :| ).

There seems to be some kind of multiplier mechanic you can get with the medal/point items you uncover by shooting; I just got a red "x2" to pop up when I collected one right after the other in Stage 1. Can't seem to reproduce it reliably (tried uncovering multiple point items in Stage 3 then collecting them, didn't work). Anyone know what causes this?
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Last edited by BareKnuckleRoo on Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:27 am 


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Dude, that's fucking radical! I'd figured out the basic stuff like the caps of the pink-shooters in Stage 1 and the Approach meter (which is most important at the final boss section - that entire stage is getting your Approach to 3000 and carefully hitting enemies only when you have to at the end part). But I had no idea getting ALL THREE score-based extends were possible at the first stage!

Do you know of the hidden extends? There's an additional two, so including autobomb (which is the default setting in this) and considering lives as hits you can get hit 3 * (3 + 3 + 2) = 24 hits before Game Over. The game really cranks up by Stage 5/6 though so you need all you can get!

EDIT: Two things. I don't know about the x2 thing but it looks vaguely familiar. I think I saw a similar functionality in GwangeDash (which of course also takes it scoring system from the Dodonpachis) where once the chain was broken and your chain count is still flashing on the screen, popping hidden bees and picking them up would give a x2 multiplier. Maybe Solid State Survivor does the same thing here if you still have or have just ran out of Approach?
Secondly, I spotted an enemy in stage 2 after playing with your tips in mind and scoring heaps! It doesn't usually appear there from what I remember so I must've triggered it by scoring awesomely compared to how I usually do. It appears towards the end of the stage before the boss and has a mad bullet pattern compared to the rest BUT it dies quickly. I think there's a secret to scoring high by letting it spam heaps of these bullets and then killing it off like with the pink-shooters in stage 1 and reap in the rewards.

Jesus I had no idea about all these secret goodies. Even the website via Google Translate didn't seem this helpful.
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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:45 am 


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Quote:
But I had no idea getting ALL THREE score-based extends were possible at the first stage!


Yeah, it's kind of crazy how you can nab them even if you drop an 8000 chain after the midboss. Keeping the chain is possible in which case I got about 15000 by the end of the first boss but it seems you need to build up an approach meter of 1350-1400 AND shoot an enemy at the last second before the extra wave after the quick midboss ends. Way harder to do on normal mode though because you need to pointblank the midboss for the approach meter boost, and god help you if you're playing hard where things are throwing suicide bullets.

Edit: Got a normal 1cc recorded where I grab the extends in stage 1 except OH GOD VIRTUALDUB WHY, MY EARS, need to find recording software that Solid State Survivor plays nicely with

Edit: Okay, got VirtualDub to record without the sound crapping out constantly (except for a minute at the giant WARNING spam before Stage 5 boss):

Stage 1 & 2 - 3 extends in Stage 1 (I don't get the x2 from the medals at the end to show up sadly)

Quote:
Do you know of the hidden extends? There's an additional two, so including autobomb (which is the default setting in this) and considering lives as hits you can get hit 3 * (3 + 3 + 2) = 24 hits before Game Over.


Actually, if you go into the settings and select the reset to defaults option, autobomb is disabled. Although, for whatever reason, when you first install the game (v6.4) the settings that come with the game have autobomb turned on. I suck at the game with autobomb disabled, so until I get better I'm definitely leaving it!

The other strategy thread mentioned the extends; I missed the Stage 5 one the first time I'd played, heh. The stage 3 one actually requires you kill 5 (!) turrets in a row in a specific order (order determined at random it seems). It's the first set of turrets on the battleship you encounter (the two large things on either side, the two small pop up turrets and the giant laser turret at the back), and if you shoot each turret once one of them will blink red when hit instead of simply flashing white. Kill the one that's blinking red, find the next turret that's now blinking red and keep killing them in that order and you get the 1up from the big dual-laser turret at the back (it always seems to be last in the order).

Problem is, the small round turrets that pop in and out at the front seem obnoxious to kill without damaging the laser turret too much... I'm quite bad at nabbing this extend honestly (like 2 or 3 times in many, many attempts).

Quote:
Maybe Solid State Survivor does the same thing here if you still have or have just ran out of Approach?


All I know is that I seem to have only ever been able to trigger it on the very last set of medals in stage 1 for some reason (it looks like if you make the last two medals appear then collect both you get it?). I'm not familiar enough with medal chaining systems to know how this is working, but it would certainly be interesting to figure out a way to nab them consistently or even see if you can get x3 or x4 to pop up, especially if you can do it while keeping a high combo!

Quote:
It appears towards the end of the stage before the boss and has a mad bullet pattern compared to the rest BUT it dies quickly.


Are you talking about that purple ship that sometimes shows up in the middle of the screen before the stage 2 boss? Forgot about that thing; I keep killing it too quickly by accident to get a good look at it, heh, but I imagine it's worth a good chunk of points if you kill it at the last second. No clue what triggers it, sadly. Scoring high I'm sure involves letting it spam heaps of these bullets and then killing it off for the bullet cancel, but I'm not very good at chaining anything other than stage 1 yet anyways...

Quote:
Jesus I had no idea about all these secret goodies. Even the website via Google Translate didn't seem this helpful.


I just thought it was a shame there wasn't more info on the game. I remember I'd been confused by the approach meter when I first played the game years ago (I didn't have a clue about shmups rewarding close range hits back then).

Is it me or is there no rank system in the game? It doesn't appear to get noticeably harder even if you grab a whole bunch of points early on.

Does the stage 4 mech's appearances have a weakness? Is there a weakness for the stage 5 midboss? All of the other mech encounters have secret weakpoints you can abuse if you want to get rid of them quickly in a few seconds (stage 1 is pointblanking, stage 2 mech is weak to being shot in its grey wings, stage 3 mech encounter has a weakness to having its spiked ball it throws at you shot).

Edit: the first stage 5 midboss (that shoot those large fireballs) is weak to rapid shots! Don't use the laser on it; instead you should go for a speedkill via rapid shots which causes a huge wave of easily pointblanked enemies to appear; great for score!
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Last edited by BareKnuckleRoo on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:54 am 


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Nice video! Definitely needed on YouTube that's for sure. I think we've almost got enough info here to actually come up with a proper ST thread for this if we can just figure out a bit more about the intricacies of the enemy spawning stuff and the 2x medals. I just tried doing what your video suggested and the 2x didn't appear, but in my 1cc run of it today I did see it a few times. Not sure how I got it.

I can't get the Approach bar above 1200 yet but I get close - getting two of the extends in the first part and then getting the third thanks to not-dying and end-of-stage bonus.

As for the stage 3 extend, that's what I had figured. I do believe they are randomised. In fact I've noticed a few spots where spawning of some enemies (the walls) and those are randomised which is a bit of a bummer and explains why input replays weren't implemented. Easier with the Type A IMO.

And yeah, the purple one in stage 2. I've been able to trigger it consistently each time I do a scoring run though it dies so easily and that initial shot spam doesn't actually seem to give you much - and the pattern it pops out next is pretty stupid too. I think it might actually be the point-blanking of the midboss that might trigger it, as point-blanking and killing off the first midboss in Stage 5 (the one that launches the big fireballs) result in these elite ships that appear which you use to keep your combo going up to the railtracks - pretty sure there's only one or two that appear otherwise and you have to drop your chain.

The Stage 4 mechs don't seem to have any weakness though point-blanking will result in a quicker death before they start with the arms-stretched-out-and-spitting-bullets-from-each-ballpoint attack. The second midboss in Stage 5 doesn't have a weakness of sorts either but rather a safespot: careful manoeuvring of your ship around to blow up the arms will get you heaps of Approach and you can actually put your ship above the part of the cannon where it shoots the big laser while still doing damage. Again, quicker death, bonus enemies of sorts appear and you avoided its most annoying pattern. By the way, the Stage 5 boss might be mostly invincible when it has the shield on but once it stops shooting you can actually point-blank that too and find that your options will hit it and give red glow which racks up the combo meter by a fair bit.
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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:18 pm 


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Quote:
As for the stage 3 extend, that's what I had figured. I do believe they are randomised. In fact I've noticed a few spots where spawning of some enemies (the walls) and those are randomised which is a bit of a bummer and explains why input replays weren't implemented. Easier with the Type A IMO.


I wondered why the replay option never is highlighted; that explains it.

Speaking of randomness, Hard Mode seems to be a patently fucking ridiculous jump in difficulty from Normal Mode. I'm not fond of games resorting to suicide bullets to increase difficulty (as it fundamentally changes the way you need to deal with popcorn enemies) but I can deal with it when it's something simple like Gradius's 1 bullet aimed directly at you per kill. Almost all enemies use suicide bullets in SSS and they're randomly aimed sets of 3 balls. Seriously, I've sat still and had suicide balls miss me; they seem to be aimed at random doing anything from being mostly aimed at you to spreading out quite wide. Getting through certain sections like the opening of stage 5 where the enemies rush at you to ram you seems to be way, WAY more difficult with suicide balls due to how erratic they are (you can't reliably tap dodge to the side as the balls aren't always aimed at your hitbox). Even worse, suicide bullets are fired even if you kill the enemy at pointblank range. At least some shmups with suicide bullets prevent them from being fired if you kill things at close range...

The increased boss pattern difficulty is nowhere near the leap in difficulty in the stages caused by everything firing erratic suicide balls. :(

Quote:
The Stage 4 mechs don't seem to have any weakness though point-blanking will result in a quicker death before they start with the arms-stretched-out-and-spitting-bullets-from-each-ballpoint attack.


Now that I've gotten more confident with getting up close to stuff, it seems that at point blank range you do noticeably more damage to all enemies (not counting the stage 1 midboss's speedkill weakness), in addition to the combo+approach boost. There's several enemies where if I sit back and laser them they manage to get a shot off before death but pointblanking will kill them before they can shoot (stage 5 extra wave enemies if you speedkill the first midboss). Neat!
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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:43 am 


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Yeah Hard mode seems like a bit of an afterthought. I avoid it at all costs: it was obviously not the way it was meant to be played.

Pretty sure the Japanese text that appears over the greyed out Input Replay option is meant to say that it isn't supported yet - but considering the last version of this came out in like 2008 I'm pretty sure we're not going to see it implemented ever, nor will we find a fix for the whiteness on the screen (saw it firsthand on a friend's Win7 machine, nothing helped).

My personal gripe is that 'Stage 6' isn't available to pick from Stage select, and if you use Stage Select you can't progress to Stage 6. I think it should be made available if you actually get up to it first or beat the game. Furthermore unlocking the Type C is a bit of a joke - I know its supposed to be unlocked when you 1CC normal but replacing a letter in the secret.dat file (or whatever it was called) with e and a bunch of spaces unlocks it anyway. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:50 pm 


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Yeah, it's annoying that you can't fight the TLB without basically 1ccing the game, no way to practise it.

I thought Type-C was unlocked just by beating the game even if you used a continue? Pretty sure I unlocked it before I even got my 1cc, I just said screw it and credit fed the game. What I unlocked from actually 1ccing the game was some kind of option under Screen Setting called "V-Sync Adjustment". No idea what it does though; description says something about the "NO WAIT" V-Sync setting above.

Edit: I just got a x2 to show up on a medal right before the purple thing shows up in Stage 2. It certainly seems like there's a way of chaining the medal collections together, but it's darn irritating to not know how to do it consistently (especially since there's like 5 medals in Stage 3 you could grab one after the other).
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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:45 am 


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Interesting. I was told that the Type C was unlocked by 1CCing the game but I guess you can stick in as many credits as you need to. Didn't notice the V-Sync adjustment but I'll check that again later on.

I still think the medal multiplier must have something to do with the current state of your combo chain. Next time you see it quickly stop shooting and look over to the right to see what kind of state your Approach/Combo meter is in. I for one can never really replicate the 2x thing.
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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:34 am 


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To fix the graphical issues with vista and seven change the mame [sic, does he mean 'main'?] exe to 640x480 and disable high dpi settings disable desktop compositions disable´╗┐ visual themes run in xp sevice pack 3 and run as admin that should sort the graphic issues.


Just got this suggestion posted on a video. Anyone try this and confirm/deny this works?
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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:12 am 


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BareknuckleRoo wrote:
Quote:
To fix the graphical issues with vista and seven change the mame [sic, does he mean 'main'?] exe to 640x480 and disable high dpi settings disable desktop compositions disable´╗┐ visual themes run in xp sevice pack 3 and run as admin that should sort the graphic issues.


Just got this suggestion posted on a video. Anyone try this and confirm/deny this works?

I tried this on a computer which I thought had the issue present and it appeared to work, however I did not check for the issue's prescence to begin with. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. :?
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 Post subject: Re: RQ: Solid State Survivor Scoring System
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:01 am 


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EDIT: Never mind.

Go and get the new version now, which will fix the issue. :D
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