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ericwierson

What were the hardest arcade coin-op games?

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Played Donkey Kong on an original cabinet today. I forgot how hard it was. I could not get past the 1st elevator screen in 3 attempts, I stopped playing after that. I might be going out on a limb here, but this is one tough game.

 

 

You're not - Donkey Kong was voted the toughest arcade game of all time.

I guess it depends on which list you go by, but the lists I have seen voted Ghosts and goblins the hardest. And I agree it is a pretty impossible game.

 

 

ive finished it. :)

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Some of the toughest arcade games are the early 80's platformers eg. "Burger Time", "Popeye" and "Donkey Kong"/"Donkey Kong Jr". Pure quarter munchers. Good luck even clearing the first screen. They're usually the kind of game that you need to play with the keyboard in MAME because most PC gamepads aren't precise enough.

Edited by mbd30

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I vote the Donkey Kong trilogy of arcade games.

 

Donkey Kong: The barrel stages from level 3, and up are a super pain. And then you have the third elevator stage. I have not yet gotten past this level, and I have killed 9 men trying to do so.

 

Donkey Kong Junior: First board can be hard. The first hideout stage than becomes the next big challenge. Than the board spring stage on Level 4 becomes an insanely difficult thing to pass. Probably as hard as the elevator stage except there are actually more obstacle like the board spring, and the flying birds that are extremely tuff to navigate. And then you finally get the chain stage on level 4 and up that also becomes an insane obstacle.

 

Donkey Kong 3 This one starts out pretty easily, but don't be fooled. It gets progressively harder. I will go over it will quick.

 

Level 1: You just get the bees, and the worm only goes on the top board, and they rarely shoot at you.

 

Level 2: First board where Donkey Kong throws barrels at you. Getting the super spray or getting Donkey Kong to the top is pretty easy.

 

Level 3, and 4: The Queen Bee is introduced. This Super Bee can be a pain, and it stays for the rest of the game. Takes two shots to kill, and when it dies it explodes into 4 pieces of shrapnel that will kill you instantly. The worms now are on the top 2 levels, and the bees are shooting at you more often.

 

Level 6, and 7: The beetle is introduced (I call them mesquitos. They don't shoot but they go sideways in ram into you. The busbees also shoot more often. Also the worms can even go on the ground. If you run into you, you will die. They can't be killed.

 

Level 12, and 13: The bees are now replaced with moths. They fly at flutter, and can be harder to predict.

 

Level 14, the worm now moves to the top level, and it makes shooting donkey kong up the ropes to get the super spray extremely hard. The bee is also replaced with the moth.

 

 

 

Level 15, and 16: This is probably the first true very hard test. Donkey Kong is now throwing coconuts at you at on every single level.

 

Level 17: The worm now goes down to the second level, making getting Donkey Kong up the ropes even harder.

 

Level 18, and 19: the Super mosquito is introduced this sucker will sideswipe you immediatley. Very hard to get out of the way of.

 

Level 20 worms are on all levels, even the bottom one.

 

level 24, The Butterfly, the games last insect is introduced. This moves similarly like the moth but is much, much quicker when stealing a flower.

 

 

Level 32 and on: The Donkey Kong is now moving much, much quicker down the vines. It now becomes a major challenge just to knock down the super spray from the ropes.

 

990,000 point mark. The game stops giving out extra men.

 

Level 159. I found this one out. The game throws its final monkey wrench by eliminating the gray, and orange boards. All that is left is the blue board. Which can be call the Eternal Blue Board, or the Blue Screen of Death.

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My personal opinion would be

 

Defender

Stargate

Robotron

 

Basically any of the games with multiple control buttons.

 

I've always considered Donkey Kong a pretty easy game (and one of my favorites). Back in the day I could sit down at a DK machine and play for a long time on one token. I know I've at least hit the 500,000 mark before.

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I’m a week into having a MAME cab in my basement so I’ve had the opportunity to really have a go at some of these games (many of which I never had the pleasure of seeing “for real” back in the arcade days).

 

Ghosts n’ Goblins. I played this at the bowling alley in the 80’s and was kind of intimidated by it. Now that I can play for free, I am convinced this game is utterly retarded. I want to enjoy it, but it’s just too frustrating. The whole idea of getting knocked back to checkpoints on a pay-to-play game is just dumb, IMO. I’ll probably never play it again.

 

Missile Command. Again, stupid difficult. I’ve played it several times and struggle to reach 20,000 points. What is up with those cruise missles that dodge your shots? It’s like, yeah, the game wasn’t hard enough already. Still, unlike GnG, there is something about the soul of this game that I love and I think I’ll always come back to it for another ass-kicking.

 

Gravitar. I had never seen or played this game until a week ago. I really like it. Like many classics of its era, and unlike some of the button-masher type games of the 90’s, once you feel like you’re making progress getting a hang of the controls, it’s a rewarding experience. But man, this game is tough. The first few games I played, I would plunge full speed into the planets and it’d be game over in about 20-30 seconds. It almost seems cruel to think that people would pay to play this and have that happen. One thing I’m not really clear on is how you can go right to that “challenging” planet where you’re racing against a clock to fly safely through a narrow and twisty tunnel to shoot some reactor thingy. After several tries I managed to accomplish that only to find out nothing happens. I’m forced to conclude that in order to beat that level I need to fly OUT of the tunnel as well before the timer hits zero. You’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me! I don’t see myself accomplishing that feat any time soon. :(

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Missile Command. Again, stupid difficult. I’ve played it several times and struggle to reach 20,000 points. What is up with those cruise missles that dodge your shots? It’s like, yeah, the game wasn’t hard enough already. Still, unlike GnG, there is something about the soul of this game that I love and I think I’ll always come back to it for another ass-kicking.

 

 

You need to use the "spray and pray" technique starting at the 3rd level. Position your cursor halfway down the screen and send a blanket of missiles using one of the edge missile bases (don't use the middle missile base cuz you need that one since it fires the fastest).

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Heh, I read about that technique recently. Makes sense. I've tried it, and I think it helped my score a bit, but clearly my technique needs work.

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Another vote for Sinistar. Pretty much any "hard" game, such as Defender or Robotron, you can learn techniques and get really good at... but not Sinistar. It was the first coin-op I owned (about 20 years ago now) and I still have it, but I've never really gotten any better at playing it. It says a lot that the Twin Galaxies tournament settings are actually easier than the default factory settings!

 

I've always struggled with Donkey Kong Jr. Something about it just doesn't click with me and before I know it, I'm dead. Super Cobra was pretty evil too.

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Another vote for Sinistar. Pretty much any "hard" game, such as Defender or Robotron, you can learn techniques and get really good at... but not Sinistar. It was the first coin-op I owned (about 20 years ago now) and I still have it, but I've never really gotten any better at playing it.

 

What's your high score on Sinistar?

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What's your high score on Sinistar?

Not got the machine in the house here to check the exact score. I've been just over 200K a couple of times in 20 years, but that's it. This is on factory settings. I used to score much higher on a machine in a London arcade, but I realised when I got my own machine that it was set at a much lower difficulty and was a *lot* more generous with extra lives than it should have been.

 

It's fun to set it to give out loads of extra lives, just to see how insanely murderous it gets later on. Whoever had the idea of the Void Zone is a sadist! :)

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Im a week into having a MAME cab in my basement so Ive had the opportunity to really have a go at some of these games (many of which I never had the pleasure of seeing for real back in the arcade days).

 

Ghosts n Goblins. I played this at the bowling alley in the 80s and was kind of intimidated by it. Now that I can play for free, I am convinced this game is utterly retarded. I want to enjoy it, but its just too frustrating. The whole idea of getting knocked back to checkpoints on a pay-to-play game is just dumb, IMO. Ill probably never play it again.

 

Missile Command. Again, stupid difficult. Ive played it several times and struggle to reach 20,000 points. What is up with those cruise missles that dodge your shots? Its like, yeah, the game wasnt hard enough already. Still, unlike GnG, there is something about the soul of this game that I love and I think Ill always come back to it for another ass-kicking.

 

Gravitar. I had never seen or played this game until a week ago. I really like it. Like many classics of its era, and unlike some of the button-masher type games of the 90s, once you feel like youre making progress getting a hang of the controls, its a rewarding experience. But man, this game is tough. The first few games I played, I would plunge full speed into the planets and itd be game over in about 20-30 seconds. It almost seems cruel to think that people would pay to play this and have that happen. One thing Im not really clear on is how you can go right to that challenging planet where youre racing against a clock to fly safely through a narrow and twisty tunnel to shoot some reactor thingy. After several tries I managed to accomplish that only to find out nothing happens. Im forced to conclude that in order to beat that level I need to fly OUT of the tunnel as well before the timer hits zero. Youve got to be freakin kidding me! I dont see myself accomplishing that feat any time soon. :(

O.K. since you have a MAME cab. you can try over and over again on the games you like to play for free. I own a dedicated Missile Command and can pretty much play as long as I want. There are TWO accepted methods of playing. One is the spray and pray already talked about and specific targeting (very hard to master) method. The specific targeting is hitting your base firing button in correlation to incoming missiles, smart bombs, etc. One missile at a time. Spray and pray is basically laying down a wall of missiles around 5/8ths from the bottom on a rainbow arc with 5/8ths being the top of the arc.

 

Try the specific targeting method and see how you do. I promise you if you stick with it you will eventually be able to marathon the game. Hope this helps.

Edited by Mxyzptlk

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What's your high score on Sinistar?

Not got the machine in the house here to check the exact score. I've been just over 200K a couple of times in 20 years, but that's it. This is on factory settings. I used to score much higher on a machine in a London arcade, but I realised when I got my own machine that it was set at a much lower difficulty and was a *lot* more generous with extra lives than it should have been.

 

It's fun to set it to give out loads of extra lives, just to see how insanely murderous it gets later on. Whoever had the idea of the Void Zone is a sadist! :)

200 K? That is incredible. It might be a record. I can't check 'cause Twin Galixies won't let you check anymore. Unless you register and give them your pers. info.

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What's your high score on Sinistar?

Not got the machine in the house here to check the exact score. I've been just over 200K a couple of times in 20 years, but that's it. This is on factory settings. I used to score much higher on a machine in a London arcade, but I realised when I got my own machine that it was set at a much lower difficulty and was a *lot* more generous with extra lives than it should have been.

 

It's fun to set it to give out loads of extra lives, just to see how insanely murderous it gets later on. Whoever had the idea of the Void Zone is a sadist! :)

200 K? That is incredible. It might be a record. I can't check 'cause Twin Galixies won't let you check anymore. Unless you register and give them your pers. info.

 

The record on the TG scoreboard is 761K. But, there is a report recently that someone scored 1 million.

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O.K. since you have a MAME cab. you can try over and over again on the games you like to play for free. I own a dedicated Missile Command and can pretty much play as long as I want. There are TWO accepted methods of playing. One is the spray and pray already talked about and specific targeting (very hard to master) method. The specific targeting is hitting your base firing button in correlation to incoming missiles, smart bombs, etc. One missile at a time. Spray and pray is basically laying down a wall of missiles around 5/8ths from the bottom on a rainbow arc with 5/8ths being the top of the arc.

 

Try the specific targeting method and see how you do. I promise you if you stick with it you will eventually be able to marathon the game. Hope this helps.

 

Thanks for the tips. Regarding the part above in bold, when you say "correlation" I assume you mean that you roughly divide the screen into 3 vertical strips, and fire with the base that corresponds to the strip containing the target?

 

Sounds logical but man, it just moves so damn quickly. Another thing that screws me up big time is when my bases get hit and lose all their ammo. It throws me off every time because I keep hitting the fire button and hearing that dreaded "squeak" sound, and then I just start panicking and completely shit the bed for the rest of the level. :x

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Sounds logical but man, it just moves so damn quickly. Another thing that screws me up big time is when my bases get hit and lose all their ammo. It throws me off every time because I keep hitting the fire button and hearing that dreaded "squeak" sound, and then I just start panicking and completely shit the bed for the rest of the level. :x

 

Well yeah that's the game. Try not to let your bases get hit :P That being said I've always sucked at Missile Command probably because I've never been all that good with trackball controls, and Missile Command has a big fat heavy one :lol: If you see top players play though, it's crazy how good they are, but after a point it becomes a lot of repetition and endurance.

 

Have you ever heard of the movie "High Score" by the way? It's about some guys quest for the world record in Missile Command. Might be interesting. :) I think it's for sale on Itunes too if you can't find a place to download it.

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Sounds logical but man, it just moves so damn quickly. Another thing that screws me up big time is when my bases get hit and lose all their ammo. It throws me off every time because I keep hitting the fire button and hearing that dreaded "squeak" sound, and then I just start panicking and completely shit the bed for the rest of the level. :x

 

Well yeah that's the game. Try not to let your bases get hit :P That being said I've always sucked at Missile Command probably because I've never been all that good with trackball controls, and Missile Command has a big fat heavy one :lol: If you see top players play though, it's crazy how good they are, but after a point it becomes a lot of repetition and endurance.

 

Have you ever heard of the movie "High Score" by the way? It's about some guys quest for the world record in Missile Command. Might be interesting. :) I think it's for sale on Itunes too if you can't find a place to download it.

Thanks for that link. I had never heard of that movie before. I will now try to find it online somewhere for free (hopefully).

edit: I just found it on Hulu.com

Edited by Mxyzptlk

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O.K. since you have a MAME cab. you can try over and over again on the games you like to play for free. I own a dedicated Missile Command and can pretty much play as long as I want. There are TWO accepted methods of playing. One is the spray and pray already talked about and specific targeting (very hard to master) method. The specific targeting is hitting your base firing button in correlation to incoming missiles, smart bombs, etc. One missile at a time. Spray and pray is basically laying down a wall of missiles around 5/8ths from the bottom on a rainbow arc with 5/8ths being the top of the arc.

 

Try the specific targeting method and see how you do. I promise you if you stick with it you will eventually be able to marathon the game. Hope this helps.

 

Thanks for the tips. Regarding the part above in bold, when you say "correlation" I assume you mean that you roughly divide the screen into 3 vertical strips, and fire with the base that corresponds to the strip containing the target?

 

Sounds logical but man, it just moves so damn quickly. Another thing that screws me up big time is when my bases get hit and lose all their ammo. It throws me off every time because I keep hitting the fire button and hearing that dreaded "squeak" sound, and then I just start panicking and completely shit the bed for the rest of the level. :x

Yes, that is exactly right, I should have been a little more specific. Watch that movie on Hulu and do what that guy does. Honestly, Missile Command, Asteroids, Robotron, and many others are games that can be marathoned by most anyone with a lot of practice. Keep at it and I promise you that you will get better and better until one day, you will be able to play as long as you want.

 

NE146 has great point about the trac-ball controls, the full size stand-ups have a huge ball and in my opinion are a pain in the ass. Luckily I bought the cocktail version and it is much easier to use due to the small trac-ball. The downside is the awkward position on my wrists. I play for an hour and my wrists cramp up. I wish I would have waited for a nice cabaret cabinet, which had the small ball and is a stand up. Best combo for me. So keep playing and tell us how you are doing.

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Jail Break pisses me off to no end. Brutal.

I never heard of Jail break. Do you have any video links for it?

I made a video of me getting killed often.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uHa52sX6b4

I hate late 80's and early nineties arcade games (with a few exceptions of course). This game here is a perfect example. It looks not fun to play and very difficult. How the F does the Bazooka count as a power up or whatever? It seems your intro. firing method is WAY more effective. Yeah, this game looks pretty damn hard, but I have never played it or even heard of it.

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Honestly, Missile Command, Asteroids, Robotron, and many others are games that can be marathoned by most anyone with a lot of practice. Keep at it and I promise you that you will get better and better until one day, you will be able to play as long as you want.

 

 

I hope you're right! It just seems so hopeless when you first start playing some of these games (Defender, I'm looking at you). :)

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