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 Post subject: Comparing/contrasting Cave's scoring systems.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:47 am 


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An offshoot of the other Cave topic on the top of the page. Wondering how close exactly or perhaps even different Cave's scoring systems are to each other. I don't have in-depth knowledge of any of them, only basic ideas. What I do know is I'm not talking about coins, x16 boxes, rings, etc. Forget the visual gimmickry involved. In Progear, do you have to actively retrieve the rings/gems? From what I've seen they go right to the ship, so if that's the case then it's not relevant to this discussion. In Dangun Feveron you have to collect the items, so that is.

As far as I know there's the time-based chaining as in DPs, Mushihimesama, Guwange. And bullet cancelling as in ESP Galuda, Progear, again Guwange. How do you see the lineage, where does Dangun Feveron fit in, etc.

(futile attempt at gameplay discussion)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:11 am 


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In Progear, Rings only home toward the ship while in firing in Jewel mode, and vice versa. So in the footage you've seen, the player has been very smoothly alternating between the two firing modes.

Personally I like ESP RaDe just because I've played it the most and I'm already used to it, but I also like Ketsui because it seems a bit more forgiving, I can just start a chain wherever I want.

Never could get used to Guwange's system so I couldn't really do score plays.


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing/contrasting Cave's scoring systems.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:14 am 


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All of them involve some type of chaining, although some are much less forgiving than others. The two that have the most painful scoring systems are DOJ and Mushihime-sama (maniac and ultra). A broken chain in the middle of the stage can be the difference between a great score and a shit score. Of course, if you die, your chain is broken, so that can be very paniful.

Guwange is a close cousin to these systems. It does have a coin meter which is I believe a multiplier, which grows incremently. Broken mid-stage, and you're fucked. Guwange's chaining spans through the whole game. IE - it's carried over each stage. The good side is, the chaining isn't nearly as hard in this game as the other two, and not nearly as strict. Getting hit depletes your coins/chain by 200-300, and dying knocks it in half. Of course, the no-miss incentive is there, but dying on stage 4 won't require you to throw your controller out the window. Losing your chain though will.

I'm not familiar enough w/ Progear's scoring to really comment, although the "chaining" aspect isn't as apparent. You generally fill the screen up w/ bullets, and kill a nearby enemy to get the best jewel, then use your lockon w/ a bunch more bullets on the screen for all those bullets to become the jewel you've attained. Rinse->repeat very quickly. It's the rinse/repeat that's nothing like the aforementioned games. You do attain a number of gems which are applied to an end-of-stage bonus, although I'm not sure if having more gems DURING the stage results in more points.


ESPGaluda's chaining is pretty unique. While it is closest to Progear, it's a little more difficult to adapt to. In short, you can bullet cancel (like Progear) but you have to use gems. When the gems run out, you can't bullet cancel. Certain enemies (depending on size) consume more gems when you kill them in bullet-cancel mode, and others give more gems in normal mode. Knowing these details is pretty essential to high scoring. The multiplier is incremented for each bullet you cancel (up to x100). What is multplied by the multiplier also depends on how many gold pieces you have (which you get by cancelling bullets). So the idea isn't to jump in and out of each mode cancelling bullets, but cancelling as many bullets as possible while in the bullet cancel mode. It's also necessary to keep as much gold w/ you as possible to get a high score. Dying takes half your gold, so the no-miss reward is very prevelant. The rinse and repeat found in Progear is here, but in longer increments. There's many parts of ESPGaluda where the player saves up 200-300 or more gems and does a really long chain of bullet cancelling. You don't see that in Progear AFAIK.

ESPGaluda II is basically the same as the first, but there's a new mode where cancelled bullets are respanwed, In this mode, the multiplier goes up to x500, gems deplete faster, and gold is also depleted. It's like the first one on steroids. Now, not only do you have to replenish your gems, but also your gold in a lot of places, whereas in the first one, on a no-miss run, you only lose gold during boss fights (and not that much).

Ketsui, next to DOJ, is the hardest of the Cave games, but with a much simpler scoring system. You get a chip w/ a number when you kill an enemy. By killing an enemy close up w/ the shot, the chip is a 5 (the highest). Kill it w/ the lock-on, or far away, and it's a 1. The idea is to shoot 1 close w/ the shot and get a 5-chip, then mow down everything on the screen w/ the lock-on and get 5-chips. It gets confusing b/c there's a multiplier which goes up and down throughout the stage, depending on how you killed the enemy (w/ the shot or laser). You of course lose chips if you die, but it's not as bad as some of the other games. You also don't see a lot of manipulation of the multplier, even though it's. The overall premise of "shoot one w/ the shot, the rest w/ the laser before the time runs out" can take you pretty far. I would say the "rinse->repeat" found in Progear is here.

ESPRade: The weirdest of the scoring systems. I would say this has the most forgiving system... someone correct me if I'm wrong. Multplied boxes are calculated when you get them, and not saved, so dying doesn't have such a painful effect. The only thing that does is your power level... which is very strange.

Dangun, which I've played very little of, has some type of counter which is reset if one of the little discomen disappears, AFAIK.

Man, that got long. I should get back to work.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:18 am 


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I agree, more or less with the basics of what you said, in that you've got, on a basic level, "time-based chaining" and "bullet cancelling" systems, though when they're "tweaked" for different games the overall feel of the game changes. A few examples:

The DonPachis. The first game's chaining was, as other have said, based more on "short bursts." DDP, on the other hand, allowed you to chain most of a stage; in addition, you had to do things a bit differently, depending not only on the ship you selected, but whether you had a "shot" or "laser" type. DOJ took that same concept and added in the Hyper for a bit more of a risk/reward ratio (and the ability to bridge otherwise impossible enemy-less areas with your chain intact); also, by then the "bee" items were changed, since by now even they relied on chaining for their value. Of course, there's also the "bomb-hoarding" bonus to consider, which few other Cave games have. Guwange, for its part added in the fact that different enemies increase your skull meter at different rates depending on whether you use your shot or "spirit" to squish 'em, and also allowed you to use enemy bullets to keep a chain going. Plus, as you said, adding in a bit of "bullet cancelling." Mushi just took the DDP chain, more or less, and made it more forgiving, by only requiring "hitting" as opposed to "destroying" to keep it going, and chain "deterioration" rather than "cancellation" on a miss.

On to bullet cancelling: in Progear, to score well you're cancelling stuff pretty much constantly; first looking for a nice bunch o' bullets to convert to rings (only a large enough chunk collected at once will raise the "stone" level to satisfaction), and then a chunk of stones to "cash in" the rings, and then you're immediately back to collecting rings again. Of course, to do this requires tight timing, because you have to destroy enemies at a precise moment to catch the bullets around them in the explosion and cancel them. In Galuda, by contrast, when playing for score you go through "droughts" of sorts to score optimally; for a while you stick to killing enemies "regularly" to build up your green gems, and then "cash in" those all at once as well, in a bullet-heavy spot, to keep the x100 ingots coming. Here, your timing doesn't have to be nearly as exact as Progear's, since 1) enemy bullets are slowed down anyways, and not as much of a threat, and 2) as was mentioned, as long as an enemy's bullet is somewhere onscreen when you destroy it, it's cancelled, unlike in Progear. Also, in Galuda you can pretty much ignore bullet cancelling and save your green gems to slow down bullets in short (low-scoring) bursts, at tricky spots if you don't care about score; in Progear, you need to cancel bullets more often simply for survival, so there's no real reason not to learn when to use your different types of shots to cancel rings and stones at the best times.

I consider Feveron and Ra.de the "outsiders" of sorts...the former, of course, demands that you simply be adept at zooming around all over the place without killing yourself to collect all the disco men, as opposed to most Cave games which require slow, careful weaving through bullet clouds. Ra.de I consider sort of "pseudo-chaining"...while you do want to kill some smaller stuff quickly after building up a x16 on a larger enemy, you're (slightly) limited in how frequently you can use the piercing gun, and after one "mini-chain" ends, you can quickly build it right back up to max again with the next hardy-enough enemy that comes by, unlike in the Pachis et al.

I haven't played Ketsui, Ibara or Galuda 2, so I can't comment on those.

Hopefully the above is at least halfway accurate...
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:05 am 


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ESPrade remains one of my favorite Cave games because of the forgiveness towards dying... you don't have to start over because your massive chain was broken, but getting maximum points out of the enemies still requires a certain technique. It prevents the game from getting overbearing, in a way.

It's true that almost all of Cave's games rely on chaining in some shape or form, but it's hard to say that this has been a bad thing for shooters in general. The chaining vs. survival mechanic creates tension in the player, which is essential for any game that relies on a combination of strategy and twitch skills in my opinion. Risk vs. reward is a classic design for all types of games, and Cave's balance is amongst the finest in that department.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:17 am 


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well there is
-the bullet cancel family (progear, guwange, galuda)
-the combo family (DP,DDP,DDOJ)
-the scratch family (DDP2) (not out of personal experience)
-the kill as fast as possible family (dangun)
-the kill as close as possible family (ketsui)
-the shot gimmick family (esp.rade, mushi)
-the raizing family (ibara)

even within a family, guwange and galuda play nothing like each other. that's much more variability than say psikyo.
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 Post subject: Re: Comparing/contrasting Cave's scoring systems.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:18 am 



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GaijinPunch wrote:
Ketsui, next to DOJ, is the hardest of the Cave games, but with a much simpler scoring system. You get a chip w/ a number when you kill an enemy. By killing an enemy close up w/ the shot, the chip is a 5 (the highest). Kill it w/ the lock-on, or far away, and it's a 1. The idea is to shoot 1 close w/ the shot and get a 5-chip, then mow down everything on the screen w/ the lock-on and get 5-chips. It gets confusing b/c there's a multiplier which goes up and down throughout the stage, depending on how you killed the enemy (w/ the shot or laser). You of course lose chips if you die, but it's not as bad as some of the other games. You also don't see a lot of manipulation of the multplier, even though it's. The overall premise of "shoot one w/ the shot, the rest w/ the laser before the time runs out" can take you pretty far. I would say the "rinse->repeat" found in Progear is here.


You actually see fairly heavy manipulation of the multiplier when trying to maximize score. Basically, midbosses have high base point values, you need to kill things in such a way as to maximize your multiplier when you reach the midboss. However AFTER the midboss, you generally want to maximize your total chip count; this is what determines your end of level bonus, and point gain from stage boss death.

Factoring into this is the whole bit where lock shot kills reduce your multiplier. They also tend to cause enemies to release more chips. Bigger enemies usually give more chips. Small enemies give maybe 1 or 2 chips, and some reduce your multiplier by a signifigant amount. The tanks especially. What you'll see is lots of normal-shot killing of popcorn enemies in order to minimize the reduction of the multiplier. In stage 3 you will typically start normal-shot only right after the first big stealth ship, and only use lock shot to kill a few of the big planes and a boat; because they're worth more chips when killed that way (not to mention more points). Using this technique it is possible to max your multiplier (999) before the midboss. You see this occuring before certain big enemies too, like the big tanks in stage 4.

Now if all this is too simple, there's an additional trick. If you're holding the autofire button down (C) and you press A to activate lock shot, there will be a short burst of normal shot just as the pods move into position. If you kill an enemy with this burst, you get as many chips as you would have if you lock shot killed them, and none of the multiplier decrease. You see this technique used in the first stage, nearly anything large is killed this way.

Oh, even more complication. Some enemies release chips in 'stages'. Usually timed with multiple explosions. (large helicopters, some turrets, some large tanks). However, the 2nd explosion will not release chips unless you have an active chip AND you have A held down. You don't necessarily need lock shot engaged, you just need the pods moving into position. (I think).

So yeah, that's pretty much the complicated underside of the ketsui score system. In the first loop, at least.

Edit: s/mistakes/corrections/g
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:37 am 


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I translated a page or so for Valgar not long ago. After reading it, it's way more indepth than most poeple give it credit for (your explanation is way better than mine) but it seems that even w/ multiplier manipulating, the spread between the scores is not that big. At least not that I have seen. Then again, there's not a lot of games where the multiplying number goes up and down so much... unless the chain is completely broken.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:01 pm 


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Item-based chaining:
  • Progear - primary attack (Shot) releases Rings, which also affects the kind of Jewels you can collect with secondary attack (Gunner). Continually grab Rings until the Jewels count is up to a high enough level, then release Jewels until count is depleted. (sounds like Espgaluda: Seireiseki, then Gold...)

    Items are automatically vacuumed to your ship on use of the Gunner secondary attack. Also features heavy bullet cancelling, based on bullets' proximity to enemy explosions.
  • Esprade - use a "secondary to primary" attack combination, often at close proximity, which results in a multiplier based on how many secondary attack "bubbles" are still in contact with the enemy by the time they are destroyed with the primary attack. This combo also releases green powerup boxes. Once your power is maxed, you start to release brown score boxes which add to a counter. Once this counter is maxed, your release even more boxes per successful combo attack.

    These brown boxes move down screen at a speed relative to the size of the multiplier gained - 16x means the boxes will be travelling at high spped - making it tougher to sustain a high multiplier. These brown boxes also start a small timer which sustains your current multiplier, the more of these boxes you collect with a similar multiplier, the longer you can sustain the multiplier for. (hmmm... Ketsui: start timer with 5 box, chain while timer is active to sustain 5 box timer...)

    There is very limited bullet cancelling present in Esprade, and like usual, cancelling bullets using the combo attack can generate more item boxes to sustain the multiplier with.
  • Guwange - use your secondary attack (Shikigami) to build up a skull meter, and once the meter is past half-full, enemies will start to release coins when destroyed. The coin count is also a multiplier, and affects enemy values and values of coins collected. Coin chaining can go on for the duration of the game, and is carried over stages.

    Primary system involves bullet cancelling using the Shikigami attack. Bullets cancelled using the Shkigami attack are automatically vacuumed to your character (as are coins generated using the Shot when the skull meter is past half way). The Shikigami can also grab coins on the ground, and coins dropping down the screen.

    The item chaining here is very unforgiving and ranks as evil as the Pachi's enemy chaining systems: break your chain at any point, and it is very tough to regain the lost points.
  • Feveron - Destroy an enemy within a couple of seconds of it appearing, and it'll drop one or more "discomen" items. These items, when collected, add to a stage-specific multiplier and affects the values of enemies destroyed and discomen collected. Miss a discoman, and you "break" your stage chain.

    A more forgiving system to most of Cave's efforts, but balanced by the risk of darting around screen at high speed.

Enemy based chaining:
  • Donpachi - the first of the enemy chaining systems Cave would adopt, and probably one of the more forgiving. Donpachi's system is more geared to "short burst" chaining.
  • Dodonpachi - A more refined enemy chaining system, which features a visible chaining timer, and stage-long chains. Also has an item-based multiplier, in the form of the Bomb Maximum bonus.
  • Dodonpachi Daioujou - An even more refined enemy chaining system, which while inherently similar to Dodonpachi, also features a secondary attack fuelled by items - the Hyper - which dramatically increases the hit count. Item based multipliers exist in some form, with Bomb Maximum and Bee Medal multipliers.
  • Mushihimesama - Hit based chaining system which is fuelled by using your attacks to strike enemies. System adpoted in part from Dodonpachi 2, but with many modifications and improvements.

Hybrid systems:
  • Ketsui - "Short burst" chaining system which is similar to Donpachi, but with item-based scoring multipliers. Item timers are based on proximity (a throwback to Esprade), started by using a primary attack and can be sustained by using the secondary attack to generate more items (Guwange).
  • Espgaluda - Item based scoring system, based on using a primary attack system (Shot and Rapier) to generate Seireiseki, which fuels a timer that affects a secondary attack system (Kakusei System). Enemies destroyed in Kakusei system will have the bullets they have fired cancelled and converted into Gold items.

    Obviously takes bullet cancelling as its primary system. Also involves short burst chaining, within the secondary attack events, as the more bullets you cancel while within one burst of Kakusei, the higher the item multiplier you get for that burst (up to 100x).
  • Espgaluda 2 - Takes all of Espgaluda's systems and adds one extra - Kakusei Zesshikai (sp?) - which is an extension of Kakusei System. By activating Zesshikai, both Gold and Seireiseki count down, and both bullet count and maximum cancel multipliers are multiplied by a factor of 5x.

    Bullet cancelling is definitely a more important issue in Espg2 due to the inclusion of Zesshikai, and careful planning of short burst chaining in both Original and Zesshikai Modes is paramount.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:51 pm 



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Fake interlaced madness!

where?

here !

Since it's old, i never added Ibara and Esp.Galuda II, of course.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:17 pm 


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zakk wrote:
So yeah, that's pretty much the complicated underside of the ketsui score system. In the first loop, at least.


Second loop is just forget all and DIE, lovely :twisted:
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 Post subject: Re: Comparing/contrasting Cave's scoring systems.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:43 pm 


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GaijinPunch wrote:
All of them involve some type of chaining, although some are much less forgiving than others. The two that have the most painful scoring systems are DOJ and Mushihime-sama (maniac and ultra). A broken chain in the middle of the stage can be the difference between a great score and a shit score. Of course, if you die, your chain is broken, so that can be very paniful.


I would safely state that DOJ is even more painful than Mushihime. If you make a mistake, not only you've screwed up the stage, you've probably messed up the whole game from that point on. If you brake a chain, for example, you won't have the enough hyper gauge to make an hyper appear on a certain section that needs hyper usage (stage 4, anyone?). AFAIK, Mushi doesn't have any kind of element affecting the score that is kept between stages (feel free to correct if I'm wrong).

It still stuns me how restrictive and frustrating DOJ can get if you're going for a perfect run. A single msitake and it's all down the drain =X
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