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HSC01 Round 4: The Incredible Wizard

Astrocade High Score Club

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#26 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2016 8:57 AM

At this time, I have yet to get the cartridge to work either.  I HAVE been able to get the Bally Basic unit to work, but I just can't figure out the problem on Astrobasic.  I played L.T. off of the handy dandy Ken Lill cart (may he be praised).

 

When you say, "I have yet to get the cartridge to work either," you're referring to not being able to load an AstroBASIC program?

 

Ken Lill's Astrocade multicart (called the "UltiMulti Cartridge") certainly is very handy to load a multitude of software:

 

UltiMulti_Cart_1_5_1_(Top_View).jpg

 

I should have mentioned earlier that many BASIC games can be run from that multicart as though they were regular cartridges.  As far as I'm aware, this multicart isn't available anymore.  If you're interested in more information about it, then you'll find most of the documentation for it here:

 

http://www.ballyalle..._(GaMBITS).html

 

Maybe in future rounds I'll make sure to only pick BASIC bonus games that are available on this multicart.

 

Adam



#27 nd2003grad ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 1, 2016 9:01 AM

I think he might have one or two more.  LT is on it...no, I have yet to be able to run anything through the BASIC cart.  I'm working on it, though.  Trouble getting the light to come on.  Might be the cart.



#28 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 2, 2016 10:32 AM

Chris++ and I played several two-player games of "Incredible Wizard" this past Thursday:

 

The Incredible Wizard - 14,590 (Two Player, Real Hardware)

 

Season 1 - R 04 - Incredible Wizard (Level - Medium)(14590)(Two Player)(cropped).jpg

 

We also played "Wizard of Wor" under emulation.  These are both really fun games when played alone, but they become great games when played with two players!

 

Adam

 

 


Edited by ballyalley, Sun Apr 3, 2016 9:08 AM.


#29 Chris++ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 2, 2016 2:30 PM

Below is my one-player score: 9,870 on Medium. I never quite broke 10,000. The conversion is superb in terms of accuracy, from the enemies' behavior to the randomly sequenced dungeons. The only bit of fine-tuning that could have been applied concerns the Wizard himself. He and his first (very fast) projectile most often appear at the same time; if he happens to show up very close behind you, you literally have no reaction time.

 

This has to do with a personal bias, mind you, as I don't think the player's survival should ever depend on pure luck (unless, you know, he's playing a Poker game or something).

 

In terms of two-player sessions, the back-to-back tactic works extremely well, if you and the other player can find a corridor without nearby vertical junctions. The problem was that Adam and I rarely remembered to employ the strategy!

 

CF.jpg

 

 


Edited by Chris++, Sat Apr 2, 2016 2:35 PM.


#30 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 3, 2016 10:16 AM

L.T. is a pretty neat game, but as previously been stated by someone else in this thread, the jumping mechanic is troublesome.  Jumping works well enough (that is, jumping works as expected): I have no problems with that issue of jumping, but the lack of platforms available to jump onto (especially on level 4), makes the game a bit frustrating.  There seems to be too much luck involved when jumping around on level 2 and level 4.  My high score is:

 

Little Terrestrial - 217

 

Season 1 - R 04 - Little Terrestrial (217)(Cropped).jpg

 

WaveMakers ported (and improved) a few of their Bally BASIC and AstroBASIC games to work under Blue RAM BASIC, which had much more RAM available to it.  An upgraded version of "Little Terrestrial," with more of the game's logic devoted to level design, may have really improved this game.

 

Adam



#31 ranger_lennier OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 3, 2016 11:37 AM

So why exactly are we going into this dungeon? The story doesn't provide much motivation, but does make it clear that it's the player going to the wizard's home, which makes us sound rather like invaders harassing the wizard with shots that can't actually kill him, and slaughtering a bunch of his pets.

 

Billy and I played some two player games. Our best score was 6830 + 5780 = 12610. I prefer playing it co-op. And I definitely got better scores. It's much more likely to take out the worluk and wizard to get bonus points when you have two players to cover the exits.

 

0017.png

 

On my own, I got 2990. I tried to get Billy to submit a score, but he wasn't interested.

 

0020.png



#32 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 3, 2016 12:13 PM

the player going to the wizard's home, which makes us sound rather like invaders harassing the wizard with shots that can't actually kill him, and slaughtering a bunch of his pets.


Yes, it does seem like we're playing the invaders in "Incredible Wizard."  The flyer for the arcade game "Wizard of Wor" seems to lend support to that theory too.

 

WOW Arcade Flyer (Auction 01)_01.jpg

WOW Arcade Flyer (Auction 01)_02.jpg WOW Arcade Flyer (Auction 01)_03.jpg WOW Arcade Flyer (Auction 01)_04.jpg

 

Maybe we're trying to stop the Wizard from breeding his experimental pets.  Just imagine what would happen if little kids got a pet Burwor for Christmas.  It would probably be as bad as getting a Gremlin.  It might even be worse.  What would happen if you feed a Burwor after midnight?
 

I prefer playing it co-op. And I definitely got better scores. It's much more likely to take out the worluk and wizard to get bonus points when you have two players to cover the exits.


I agree that "Incredible Wizard" is a much more fun game with two players.  I find it interesting that whenever I used to play "Wizard of Wor" with two players on the C64 back in the 80s (a treat which was rare), I always tried to kill the second player rather than cooperating with them.  What does that say about my personality?



#33 ranger_lennier OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 3, 2016 1:54 PM

I got 205 on L.T. and made it to the last level. I think I'd do alright if not for the 2nd level. I really had trouble getting past that one. The ground kept disappearing beneath my feet before I had somewhere to jump to.

 

IMG_20160403_141726756_HDR.jpg



#34 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 3, 2016 2:23 PM

I think I'd do alright if not for the 2nd level. I really had trouble getting past that one. The ground kept disappearing beneath my feet before I had somewhere to jump to.

 

I think that level 4 is harder than level 2.  When I played, poor L.T. was never able to even make it to the second tier because there was never any "ground" that was near enough for him to jump onto it.

 

(It's nice to see a few people playing the BASIC bonus game.)



#35 glazball OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 3, 2016 7:03 PM

Had to get my score in before the deadline.  Just checked and saw that it's tonight!  I did a few runs just now and got 5480.

 

I was actually playing the Bally all day with my stepson, who's 11 and this was the first time he had played it.  We played quite a few 2p games of Incredible Wizard but I forgot that there were points to be had for 2p high score.  We were having too much fun to stop and take pictures.  Played mostly a lot of IW and Gunfight.  (Simple as it is, Gunfight is just a great 2p game!)

 

I have to say IW really is amazing with 2 players.  It's the best way to play.  It helps to have someone on the other side helping expose the invisible mobs.  Those are usually what get you, especially those darn red ones that move so fast.  Definitely, put IW down on my Best 2-Player Games Top 10 list.

 

I know I can do better in 1p than this, but it'll have to do for now.  I plan to play it these next few days and see what I can get, just for fun.  Gotta get that quadruple points bonus ftw.

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#36 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 4, 2016 5:30 PM

Round 4 ended yesterday, April 3, 2016.  There were seven qualifying entries for the high score contest.

Final Tables

The Incredible Wizard (One-Player Game)

1st  Chris++          9,870 (Dungeon 9)  10 pts
2nd  darthkur         9,150 (Dungeon 8 )  9 pts
3rd  nd2003grad       7,650 (Dungeon 6)   8 pts

4th  glazball         5,480 (Dungeon 7)   7 pts
5th  BallyAlley       5,180 (Dungeon 7)   6 pts
6th  ranger_lennier   2,990 (Dungeon 4)   5 pts
7th  roadrunner       2,260 (Dungeon 6)   4 pts


The Incredible Wizard (Two-Player Game)

1st  BallyAlley and Chris++     14,590 (Dungeon 10)
2nd  ranger_lennier and Billy   12,610 (Dungeon 12)


L.T. Little Terrestrial
 
Every player who played the BASIC bonus game gets a point. nd2003grad earns an extra point for scoring the highest.

1st nd2003grad       231 ^ (Bonus point for highest score)
2nd Bally Alley      217
3rd ranger_lennier   205


Total points awarded this round:

Chris++          10 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 13 pts @#$
nd2003grad       8  + 1 + 1     = 10 pts %^
darthkur         9              =  9 pts

BallyAlley       6  + 1 + 1     =  8 pts $%
glazball         7              =  7 pts
ranger_lennier   5  + 1 + 1     =  7 pts #%
roadrunner       4              =  4 pts


Bonus Points Key:

The Incredible Wizard

! - Beating 453,200 Points on Easy difficulty level (No Point Awarded)
@ - Highest Dungeon Reached
# - Playing a Two-Player Game
$ - Highest Two-Player Score Game


"L.T. Little Terrestrial" (Bonus Points):

% - Playing "L.T."
^ - L.T. High Score
& - Complete All Five Levels (Note: No Point Awarded)
* - Video of "L.T." (No Point Awarded)


Please, check your scores. ;)

Congratulations to Round 4's winner, Chris++!

Hmm... this may have to be the last time that Chris++ is invited to my house to play on my Astrocade.  Chris++ is the kind of guy who shows up and just completely annihilates my score, and then smiles... as if he enjoys beating me!  It's too bad that this is what always happens when he and I play games together.  You'd think I'd be used to it by now!  I'm kidding, of course.  Getting to play classic games with a local friend, who I've known since 1986 (!) is awesome!

 

I hope everyone had as much fun playing "The Incredible Wizard" as I did.  This game easily lives up to its reputation as the best game on the Astrocade system.  If you got a chance to play the game with two players, then you were treated to a game that got even better with a friend.  I found that I had as much fun, perhaps even more, exploring "The Incredible Wizard's" gameplay features as I had playing the game.  Did anyone else get inspired enough to play a few rounds of the original arcade version of "Wizard of Wor?"

 

As was the case in the last round, I did not start a poll for a game to play in Round 5.  There won't be any more polls for upcoming games.  The Astrocade's game library is small.  We'll probably just end up playing all the cartridge games eventually.  It won't take long to go through the entire library of a few dozen games.  I'll just pick a game that sounds fun for each round, and we'll dig into it.

 

The next round we're going to try something a little different: we're going to play a game that uses the hand controller's knob: Brickyard / Clowns.  On real Astrocade hardware, these two games are a blast to play.  Each of these games also plays surprisingly well under MAME emulation using a mouse.

The official start of Round 5 will be announced later today or tomorrow, but feel free to start bouncing your clowns around now!



#37 Chris++ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2016 12:02 AM

I'm genuinely surprised at that. I thought for sure that plenty of people would reach five digits and kick my ass. In fact, with more than the hour I spent using the original controller at Adam's place, I could wipe out my score above. And I'll bet all of you could, as well. It might be true that I play video games better than anybody, but...well, I mainly say that because it sounds cool when Jeff Bridges says it in Tron.

 

My point is that I encourage everyone to keep playing these games -- just fire one up every so often for the sheer in-the-moment fun of it -- and if you should happen to surpass your recorded score, add it to the pertinent thread, even if it won't count toward the overall scoreboard. Showing off is fun, especially in such a mutually supportive group!

 

(It's funny, Adam: When I saw the symbols after my score, I thought you were swearing at me. I got some comical satisfaction out of that, of course, before I realized that I hadn't been paying attention to your notation system -- and that you were not, in fact, imitating Q*Bert.)

 

 



#38 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2016 10:21 AM

My point is that I encourage everyone to keep playing these games -- [...] and if you should happen to surpass your recorded score, add it to the pertinent thread, even if it won't count toward the overall scoreboard.


Chris is right. If you now post a score to this thread that beats his "Incredible Wizard" score, then it won't count. But, there will be at least two future rounds this season that are "catch-up" rounds. In a catch-up round, you can play any (or all) of the previous games and post scores that do count. I forget exactly how catch-up rounds work in the Atari HSC (after which this Astrocade HSC club is modeled), but certainly you will all have a chance to beat Chris' score in the future.
 

(It's funny, Adam: When I saw the symbols after my score, I thought you were swearing at me. [...] I realized that I hadn't been paying attention [...] and that you were not, in fact, imitating Q*Bert.)

 

I just wish I had been clever enough to think of that idea! This reminds me of one of my favorite classic arcade game cross-over that I used to play in the early 80s: "Q*Wizard."

 

Q-Wizard Mock Art.jpg

 

(Am I the only one that remembers this game?!?)



#39 Chris++ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 5, 2016 11:07 PM

What an awesome image.

 

(Poor Q*Bert wouldn't stand a chance!)

 



#40 nd2003grad ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 6, 2016 9:34 AM

This is my first time doing this for any platform, and it's a real joy.  I'm glad there are folks like you guys around.  It's a good way to engage when it's not something everyone wants to do and my kid is still 5...but he already plays this game!!!



#41 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 6, 2016 11:27 AM

This is my first time doing this for any platform, and it's a real joy.  I'm glad there are folks like you guys around.  It's a good way to engage when it's not something everyone wants to do and my kid is still 5...but he already plays this game!!!

 

Your five year old is playing "The Incredible Wizard?"  Good for him!  My son is twenty-two years old and he cut his teeth on classic systems (mostly the Atari 2600) in the mid-to-late 90s.  The sad part is that, if you're anything like me, then it won't be long before your son can kick your butt at any game.  It isn't that we're older-- it's just that the little whippersnappers are faster.  Damn, kids.  ;)

 

Adam



#42 nd2003grad ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 6, 2016 11:57 AM

 

Your five year old is playing "The Incredible Wizard?"  Good for him!  My son is twenty-two years old and he cut his teeth on classic systems (mostly the Atari 2600) in the mid-to-late 90s.  The sad part is that, if you're anything like me, then it won't be long before your son can kick your butt at any game.  It isn't that we're older-- it's just that the little whippersnappers are faster.  Damn, kids.  ;)

 

Adam

I really thought he would find these games "lame" due to the sensory overload of the world of 2015.  Much to my surprise and delight, he will NOT stop talking about it!  I actually have something to share for this! 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=6G0BR8_Tb0Y



#43 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 6, 2016 3:13 PM

I really thought he would find these games "lame" due to the sensory overload of the world of 2015.  Much to my surprise and delight, he will NOT stop talking about it!  I actually have something to share for this! 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=6G0BR8_Tb0Y

 

Man, that video made me smile.  nd2003grad's son is in training to be an Astrocade Ninja.  Watch out!

 

Back in 2004, when my son wrote was four years old, he reviewed two classic games for the Colecovision for a newsletter called "Orphaned Computers & Game Systems" that I had with Chris++.  You can read those two (short) reviews here:

 

http://www.orphanedg...e8/dominic.html

 

Maybe you can ask you son to review an Astrocade game-- that would be cool!

 

Adam



#44 nd2003grad ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 7, 2016 10:11 AM

 

Man, that video made me smile.  nd2003grad's son is in training to be an Astrocade Ninja.  Watch out!

 

Back in 2004, when my son wrote was four years old, he reviewed two classic games for the Colecovision for a newsletter called "Orphaned Computers & Game Systems" that I had with Chris++.  You can read those two (short) reviews here:

 

http://www.orphanedg...e8/dominic.html

 

Maybe you can ask you son to review an Astrocade game-- that would be cool!

 

Adam

That was truly adorable.  I should try that too.  So far, we have "What do you think about the Incredible Wizard?"  "Uh, he's good."



#45 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:00 AM

A couple of weeks ago I listened to the Intellivisionaries podcast Episode 18: Basketball.  This episode has an interview with "Brett Weiss."

 

http://intellivision...18-basketballs/

 

He talks about some of his past videogame books, including his newest one (published in 2014), called "The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977 - 1987."  This hardcover book retails for about $35 (though you can find it cheaper online).  Since my general collection of books has grown so large over the years, I hardly ever buy them anymore: instead I get books from the library.  When my local library doesn't have a book, then I request it via Interlibrary Loan.
 
Yesterday, when I picked up the book (which came from the Dallas library system) from my library's information desk, the librarian printed a receipt for me and stuck it in about the middle of the book.  When she did that, I happened to catch a glimpse of the page-- and there was a color picture of the Astrocade's manual for "The Incredible Wizard."  Mr. Weiss lists his top console 100 games in alphabetical order: at number 46, on pages 110 and 111, is one of his favorite games of all time: "The Incredible Wizard."  Pretty neat!

Brett also includes "Artillery Duel" in his list of 100 games.  In the appendix, he includes 100 more games that narrowly missed his Top 100.  These include a few other Astrocade releases, including: "Ms. Candyman" (by L&M Software) "Muncher" and "Treasure Cove."

 

"Gamester81" made a 5 minute video review of the book, which will give you a good idea of what to expect:

 

 

I've only started reading the book-- though I've browsed the complete list of 200 games.  I guess I've heard of all of the games, but I haven't played them all before now.  Some of them I wouldn't play-- but there are others that I plan to checkout and give a proper run-through under emulation.

 

Adam



#46 ThePhotoDoc OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:41 AM

My friend Chris Embres and I were big fans of the game. In fact we are still listed in the November 29, 1983 edition of The Arcadian (Vol 6 Issue 1, pg 9) as the 2-Player record holders with a combine score of 247,350. I'm guessing that was on the Easy setting but after 33 years I don't recall. Needless to say we had a lot more time on our hands in those days.



#47 128Kgames OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2016 8:43 PM

Chris++ pointed out to me that the 1981 book called "How to Master the Video Games," by Tom Hirschfeld, has a chapter dedicated to mastering the arcade version of "Wizard of Wor."  I have this book in my personal library, sort of on a semi-permanent loan from Chris (his name is still on the inside cover of the book-- I gotta remember to cross that out with a permanent marker!).  Here is a scan of the book:

 

attachicon.gifHow to Master the Video Games (Cover).jpg

 

There are some interesting tips that I wasn't aware of in this game.  Some of them may be applicable to the home version, but I'm not sure.  There are fourteen map layouts that show "each dungeon has a couple of passageways that the monsters are programmed to enter from only one direction."  It seems that the player can take advantage of this to find safe spots in each dungeon.  I wonder if each dungeon in the Astrocade version of "The Incredible Wizard" has safe spots?

 

Adam

 

 

 

 

 

Way late to the party with my post but I actually owned that book back in the day!  I have to look through my old books and see if I still have it...





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