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History was made lastnight in Space Armada....

Space Armada High score Intellivision

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#1 Rickster8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 11:23 AM

Hello All,

 

So lastnight I played Space Armada game mode and got a score of 102,210. I proceeded to play a few games after that in practice mode and then it happened. The perfect storm scenario. The same one I had happen 35 years ago (in game mode). The red spaceship descended onto my right barrier immediately after I cleared the Armada from the screen. I shot him right before he landed on the barrier and I caught him there for what seemed like an hour. I held the button in an just kept crushing him again and again and again. The points were racking up, but I could not see the score obviously. I knew though that the score was going up exponentially as my right barrier kept trying to grow and the Armada from the next screen wasn't coming back up. So I kept holding the button in hopes of beating my unbelievable game score from 35 years ago when I was 15. I can finally say what my score was then because with the proof from lastnight it will now be believed. 35 years ago I got a game score of 2.835 million. Back then I took a pic of the screen with an old camera and I sent in the negative to Intellivision, but I never heard back from them.  :?  :?  :?  So lastnight I finally got some proof that you can rack up HUGE scores in Space Armada. Everything has to be perfect, but you can catch that devious red spaceship and rip him up for lots of points. So again lastnight I caught him on the far right barrier and just held the shoot button in and just kept crushing him over and over and over again. I must have gotten to about 500 to 750 (estimate) shots and then I decided to start counting. From that point on I counted atleast another 1,050 shots. by then my hand was shaking because my thumb was pressing the shoot button for around 20 straight minutes. My thumb actually fell asleep, pins and needles. I was starting to get nervous that the game would glitch out and then I would once again not have definitive proof of my crazy Space Armada scores. So after shooting the red spaceship around 1,750 times (estimate), I released my thumb and then saw the craziest BIGGEST Space Armada score I have ever seen in my life. It crushed my 2.835 million score from 35 years ago. Yeah this score was in practice mode, but it's still a crazy unbelievable Space Armada score nonetheless. After I released my thumb that was numb lol, the score flashed up. I had 31.8 million. Then the Armada came back and I shot as much as I could with a shaking hand and then they squashed me. When all was said and done my practice score was an unprecedented 31,793,900 POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o  :-o

 

Lol so now we know that Space Armada scores can go out to the 8th digit, 99,999,999. Now I want to know if they go out to the 9th digit, 999,999,999??? New challenge awaits HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!  :-D  :-D  :-D

 

I still think my score from 35 years ago 'could' be the highest Space Armada game score ever. But I really believe my practice score lastnight is the single highest Space Armada score EVER. That's my story and I'm sticking to it until I see definitive proof otherwise. Please somebody call Guinness HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!  ;)  ;)  ;)

 

Finally got the 35 year old monkey off my back......  :P  :P  :P

 

Cheers!!!

 

Rickster8 

 

 

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#2 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2018 5:03 AM

Nice!
Sounds like you've discovered a bug. I guess the saucer has to be right on top of you or it doesn't work. Interesting the programmer accounted for scores that seem impossible without the bug.

Edited by mr_me, Mon Aug 6, 2018 5:03 AM.


#3 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2018 2:33 PM

Cool!  So did you have to hold down the button, or did you have to hit the button repeatedly?



#4 Rickster8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2018 6:23 PM

Nice!
Sounds like you've discovered a bug. I guess the saucer has to be right on top of you or it doesn't work. Interesting the programmer accounted for scores that seem impossible without the bug.

 

Yeah I guess it's a bug or more like an IF THEN GOTO loop....  :D

 

If the red saucer gets to the barrier before you shoot him you won't get any credit for hitting him. It's all timing, you have to shoot him right before he lands. To catch him all has to be right... I've gotten him a bunch of times but have only trapped him for MEGA points twice in my life. Once when I was 15 lol and the other night....  :-o



#5 Rickster8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2018 6:25 PM

Cool!  So did you have to hold down the button, or did you have to hit the button repeatedly?

 

I had to hold the button down for like 20 minutes. My thumb almost fell off lol....  :P



#6 wolfy62 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 7, 2018 5:56 AM

That is really cool,congratulations!!! :)  :thumbsup:



#7 S.BAZ ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 1:09 PM

WOW !!

:-o



#8 Rev ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 9:00 PM

http://intellivision...of-31-8-million

 

nice!



#9 Ignorama OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2018 11:35 PM

Fun-Fact: In an actual HSC that would be camping and not valid for a entry :lol:



#10 Rickster8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:41 AM

Fun-Fact: In an actual HSC that would be camping and not valid for a entry :lol:

 

Camping? What does that mean?  :?  Are you saying because it was 'Practice Mode'?


Edited by Rickster8, Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:42 AM.


#11 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:36 AM

I wasn't familiar with the term camping either. To me, this is exploiting a bug. I doubt the programmer intended for saucers to be hit more than once. It's like walking up through the tunnel wall in locknchase, or driving off screen in bumpnjump. It does take some skill to do this rare feat in space armada, but I agree with Ignorama, it can't count in competition.

There's a kludge for space armada that plays it with all advanced weapons on from the start. That's for anyone that wants to see the descending saucers.
http://www.digitpres...spacearmada.htm

#12 Rickster8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:03 AM

I wasn't familiar with the term camping either. To me, this is exploiting a bug. I doubt the programmer intended for saucers to be hit more than once. It's like walking up through the tunnel wall in locknchase, or driving off screen in bumpnjump. It does take some skill to do this rare feat in space armada, but I agree with Ignorama, it can't count in competition.

There's a kludge for space armada that plays it with all advanced weapons on from the start. That's for anyone that wants to see the descending saucers.
http://www.digitpres...spacearmada.htm

 

Okay thanks for the definition. That being said. This is just me sharing my high score. No competition. In fact the only competition here is me against myself beating an old personal high score. I will eventually do it in game mode which is my next goal for this crazy game.....  :-D 

 

Whether the programmer meant for the spaceship to be hit repeatedly in certain situations is unknown, but like you said up above. 'It's interesting that the programmer accounted for such high scores that seem impossible without the bug.'   :P  :thumbsup:



#13 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:23 AM

I think the term camping comes into play when you exploit a part of the game that's not considered a bug.  Like I said, I wasn't familiar with the term. 

 

When I was a kid I recorded all my high scores.  I didn't have Space Armada, I did have Bumpnjump and I discovered that you can drive off screen which made it very easy to collect maximum scores each roadway.  I recorded my high scores with and without cheating, I wanted to know for myself what my legitimate high score was without "camping" or exploiting a bug.

 

In Space Armada you still have to play the game to get to the descending saucer and then clear the armada.  Using the kludge I can do a few multiple saucer hits but I haven't done it after clearing the armada.  If someone were able to do this move than getting a high score is just a matter of holding the button rather than playing the game.  Similarly with Bumpnjump and Locknchase cheats; you're not playing the game.  Still, I'm happy to hear about these achievements.



#14 Rickster8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:57 AM

Lol apparently my score would also fail for the HSC because it was done in practice mode. :mad: So that's two fails right there, hahahahahaha. Again, my intention was not to qualify for HSC, just to share the score. It's a good thing not a bad thing because this board is somewhat dead, maybe cuz it's the Summer? 

 

Another observation. It appears the high score (HSC) here (for Space Armada) is 130k+. Just saying that's a pretty good score in game mode, but to me there had to be some kind of 'camping' (hitting saucer numerous times repeatedly) done to get that score. Don't get me wrong I think it's part of the game. You need to keep hitting him to restore your barriers and to get points. Yeah doing it a thousand times like I did last Saturday night is ridiculous, but again it's just me trying to beat me score when I was a teenager. We kind of had a running competition in my house between my dad, my brother and me. My 2,835,000+ score was the highest in our house. Both my brother and dad got 1,000,000+.  :thumbsup:



#15 Rickster8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:02 PM

Another observation. In Space Armada you can pretty quickly get down to one guy left on the screen. If he's still up high enough you can wait for the red saucer to come out so you can shoot him for more points. Is this considered 'camping'? And if so, how do you gauge whether or not this happened in a Space Armada High Score Competition? :?  To me 'camping' is kind of a slippery slope. Very hard to quantify if it's happening or not, especially in Space Armada. 



#16 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:20 PM

Here, it's the honour system. Some places will ask for a video of the entire game.
https://www.twingala...fault-settings/
https://www.twingala...p/t-168847.html

Edited by mr_me, Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:27 PM.


#17 Oscar G. OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:59 AM

Hey Rickster,

 

Congratulations! I hope that your thumb recovers after this monumental achievement. Cheers! O



#18 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:41 AM

Another observation. In Space Armada you can pretty quickly get down to one guy left on the screen. If he's still up high enough you can wait for the red saucer to come out so you can shoot him for more points. Is this considered 'camping'? And if so, how do you gauge whether or not this happened in a Space Armada High Score Competition? :?  To me 'camping' is kind of a slippery slope. Very hard to quantify if it's happening or not, especially in Space Armada. 

 

It's not really a "slippery slope," it's perfectly clear:  You are either playing the game, or exploiting some sort of loophole.  I think we can all agree that sitting in place and pressing a button (the actual definition of "camping," since it comes from just "setting up camp" in some corner and shooting repeatedly) is not part of the intended play of Space Armada, irrespective of the skills required to find this loophole.

 

However, like mr_me said, here we* play for fun on the honour system:  everybody is expected to play on the same level, to follow the rules, and to play to the spirit of the game.  There may not be a way to tell who's not being honest, but such is life.  On balance, the HSC is a lot of fun without onerous rules, requirements for proof, or finger pointing. :)

 

None of this is to say that your score was achieved by "cheating," since obviously you had no intention to deceive.  It's just that it is not an "official" score for a competition.

 

     -dZ.

 

 

* "We" as in the people who play in the Intellivision HSC -- I include myself, even though I haven't played in a long time.



#19 AAB OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:39 PM

This is very cool, and I had never known about this glitch in the game.  Trying it out, I’ve been able to reproduce it, at least the portion where the saucer “respawns” (not that part where the appearance of the new armada is delayed as a result of continuing to shoot the saucer).

 

Having read the code for this game a few years ago to implement invincibility and other hacks, I can tell you that you shouldn’t read too much into the fact that the game allows seemingly unreachable scores.  The game does in fact allow nine-digit scores (sorry if that’s a spoiler).  The reason for this, however, is very mundane.  The game code uses 16-bit RAM to store the score.  The score is stored in a special format that allows the game code to easily display it on screen by just calling a procedure in the Intellivision’s “EXEC” (the Intellivision’s “operating system,” if you will, that is stored in ROM on the Intellivision’s circuit board).  Without boring you with the details, a score stored in this format in only one 16-bit memory location would limit the score to a number that is far too low and very achievable.  So, the programmers used two 16-bit memory locations (one memory location for the least significant 16 bits of the score and another memory location for the most significant 16 bits).  In that format, using 32 bits, the score can indeed go up to nine decimal digits.

 

As for the glitch, this is how it works:  The EXEC tells the cartridge program when a collision has occurred on the screen, such as when two sprites come into contact with each other or when a sprite comes into contact with a tile on the screen.  The Intellivision’s hardware can support only eight sprites natively, and the game code uses one of these eight sprites for the saucer and another for the missile that the player shoots.  When the saucer gets hit by a missile sprite, the game code changes the graphics of the saucer sprite to go through the animation of the saucer breaking apart.  However, if you hit the saucer while it is in the middle of its “breaking apart” animation, the EXEC registers that as another collision between the missile sprite and the saucer sprite and notifies the game code.  The game code then thinks a new saucer was struck, so it gives the player points for another saucer strike and then restarts the “breaking apart” animation.  If timed right, and the saucer is low enough that the time it takes for a new missile to hit the saucer is less than the time it takes for the full “breaking apart” animation to take its course, this can go on forever.  What the game code should have done when it receives notification of a collision between a saucer and a missile is first check whether that saucer sprite is already in the middle of its “breaking apart” animation (and, if so, not restart the animation or award additional points).



#20 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 3, 2018 7:44 AM

Thanks for the explanation. So for the glitch to happen you have to be close enoùgh to the saucer for your successive shots to hit it before the explosion animation finishes. I'm thinking it works better if the armada is clear as animating the armada could interfere with the timing. Perhaps the next armada has to wait until the saucer explosion finishes.

It seems like it's pretty hard to do. If someone were to do this in competition here, maybe they should win. But if they are that good, I'd still want to know what high scores they can do without using this glitch.

Edited by mr_me, Mon Sep 3, 2018 7:51 AM.


#21 AAB OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 6, 2018 12:33 PM

No prob, mr_me.  For sure, this is a very difficult glitch to exploit.  I was able to replicate only part of it, and then only with a few hacks to the ROM (invincibility, indestructible shields, etc.).  You have to catch the program in a very particular state.  Because the missile goes through the saucer (i.e., continues up after hitting the saucer, as opposed to disintegrating as it does when it hits a shield or armada ship), I believe you have to hit the saucer through the shield, so that your missile disintegrates fast enough to be able to shoot another missile before the saucer “breaking apart” animation is completed.  Then, on top of that, the timing must be such that the saucer has not registered as depleting your shield (this ensures both that you get points for the saucer strike and that your shield gets rebuilt, so that you can continue doing this forever).  As I have not completely replicated this (particularly the part where the appearance of the next armada is delayed), I may have some of the details wrong or missing.

 

Putting the eligibility for inclusion in high score lists aside, I would consider catching this glitch a considerable feat of skill and luck.  Having spent uncountable hours into this game as a child without ever witnessing the glitch, my hats off to anyone who is able to do it.



#22 Rickster8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 12:19 AM

No prob, mr_me.  For sure, this is a very difficult glitch to exploit.  I was able to replicate only part of it, and then only with a few hacks to the ROM (invincibility, indestructible shields, etc.).  You have to catch the program in a very particular state.  Because the missile goes through the saucer (i.e., continues up after hitting the saucer, as opposed to disintegrating as it does when it hits a shield or armada ship), I believe you have to hit the saucer through the shield, so that your missile disintegrates fast enough to be able to shoot another missile before the saucer “breaking apart” animation is completed.  Then, on top of that, the timing must be such that the saucer has not registered as depleting your shield (this ensures both that you get points for the saucer strike and that your shield gets rebuilt, so that you can continue doing this forever).  As I have not completely replicated this (particularly the part where the appearance of the next armada is delayed), I may have some of the details wrong or missing.

 

Putting the eligibility for inclusion in high score lists aside, I would consider catching this glitch a considerable feat of skill and luck.  Having spent uncountable hours into this game as a child without ever witnessing the glitch, my hats off to anyone who is able to do it.

 

 

 

 

Hello AAB, Thanks for your very detailed explanation of this 'glitch'. Yes you are correct the only way this glitch can happen repeatedly is thru the shield or barrier. If the saucer is down low and not on the shield you might be able to hit him twice but that is kind of rare. This is a very complicated glitch indeed. I have been able to do it numerous times (I probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 scores over 100k and I would have to say 95% of those scores have some variant of catching the red saucer on the barrier repeatedly) but I have only managed to do the forever glitch twice in my life. Once when I was 15 and about a month ago with the score listed up above. To do the 'forever glitch' you need to get a Perfect Storm scenario. You have to catch the red saucer precisely before he descends onto a barrier and right after an armada is defeated. If you do this the next armada will not appear until the red saucer is done taking his beating, lol.

 

So a 9 digit score is possible? Sweet, I will keep trying to do it, hopefully in game mode.....   :D 

 

Cheers!

 

Rickster8


Edited by Rickster8, Sat Sep 8, 2018 12:34 AM.






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