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sirlynxalot

Unofficial Zarlor Mercenary competition 2019

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I love Zarlor Mercenary, which is why I would like to hold this score competition for it. The rules are simple:
-beat the entire game and then post evidence of your score

-if you play via emulation, I request on your honor that you do not use save states :)

-entries must be submitted in this thread before December 16

 

What makes this an interesting challenge and different from previous hi score challenges we've done for just the first level of the game, is that in this game you can sell items and weapons between levels to increase your score (or reduce your score by buying powerups), yet you often want to have good weapons and supplies in order to make it through the final levels, especially the final boss. This presents an interesting dynamic - do you need to heavily reduce your score in order to buy 20 megabombs to defeat the final boss easily? Or do you sell a bunch of stuff to greatly increase your score, but risk dying in the final level?

 

In any case, I think this concept of risking your survivability for score could make for a very interesting competition. 

I believe the entire game takes about 25 minutes to beat.

If you die before finishing the game, I encourage you to post that score as well for us to see how well you have done up to that point :)  It won't count toward the competition though. 

 

The winner of the competition will receive the coveted Zarlor championship belt! 

 

 

Current scores for completed game:
Sirlynxalot - 2,545,271

agradeneu - 2,864,128

 

 

 

 

379426103_zarlorbelt.jpg.989f387cf3741ff667728e4f2ce69bdf.jpg

 

Edited by sirlynxalot
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I gave this my first shot today and to my surprise, I was not able to complete the game.  I died on level 4, in order to do better I will probably need to buy more stuff in the shop next time, which I intentionally avoided in this run to conserve score. 
zarlor1.thumb.png.d7a473291f94989c160176ce68eebaef.png
 

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I gave it another go. Got to the last level but died before encountering the boss. This is embarassing as the contest holder ;) I've been playing this game for 20 years and in the past have rarely had an issue beating the game. It must be that I am playing on an emulator rather than my actual lynx.  I'll have to get some batteries to fire up the old lynx!

zarlor2.thumb.jpg.fc3762380416c6ef68ce3f45c1bffe57.jpg

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McWill is def. a big improvement for this game - you actually can see all the bullets and small sprites and evade them. Plus McWill makes the game a little slower (because of upscaling processing?). I really wonder why nobody recognizes this game as one of the first genuine "bullet hell" shmups. For 1990 these are mighty impressive sprite graphics!

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Wow tbh I don't think I can beat that at all.  Did you sell everything but one set of weapons before the last level?   What is your strategy for the last boss? Do you primarily hit it with conventional weapons or spam mega bombs? 

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2 hours ago, sirlynxalot said:

Wow tbh I don't think I can beat that at all.  Did you sell everything but one set of weapons before the last level?   What is your strategy for the last boss? Do you primarily hit it with conventional weapons or spam mega bombs? 

Did not sell anything, otherwise the score would have been higher ;-) Saving bombs for the last boss is crucial, but you have to be good with your playing to do that. 

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I was just playing through again and had a thought.  The ice stage boss is two tanks, and on either side of the screen, a train of ships continuously passes down (if they hit you, they kill you).  If it is possible to almost kill the boss by taking out most of its turrets, and then focus on only trying to kill the non-stop trains of small enemies of either side of the screen, theoretically this could give you an infinite score as I do not think there is a time limit for the bosses and the trains of small enemies keep coming so long as the boss battle is going on.  I might have to see if this strategy is feasible or not, that might be the only way to beat your score short of having a very lucky/skilled playthrough :)

Edited by sirlynxalot

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1 hour ago, sirlynxalot said:

I was just playing through again and had a thought.  The ice stage boss is two tanks, and on either side of the screen, a train of ships continuously passes down (if they hit you, they kill you).  If it is possible to almost kill the boss by taking out most of its turrets, and then focus on only trying to kill the non-stop trains of small enemies of either side of the screen, theoretically this could give you an infinite score as I do not think there is a time limit for the bosses and the trains of small enemies keep coming so long as the boss battle is going on.  I might have to see if this strategy is feasible or not, that might be the only way to beat your score short of having a very lucky/skilled playthrough :)

If that cheat/exploit was possible, the hiscore/compo would become meaningless. Because it should be always a matter of skill, not endurance test. ;-) 

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For what it's worth I tried it out and I do not think it's possible. I wasn't able to kill any of the small ships before they either rammed me and i died or else they traveled off the screen since they move quickly. If it is somehow possible it would not be easy to do indefinitely, there's too much on screen that you need to dodge. 

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I got to the last level but did not make it to the boss. I also sold all but one life (and extra equipment other than bombs) to get this score. I think if I can do that but make it through the level and past the boss I ought to be closer to your score, or maybe higher  :)  Now that I've been playing the game so much lately with different characters, I think the robot is the most advantageous player to choose for scoring.

 

 

zarlor4.thumb.jpg.e5cd98dce753fefee953ff989a438091.jpg

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I think this must be about my limit, this is certainly the highest score I've ever had in the game (as before this competition I never sold any items during a playthrough).  There's certainly still room for higher scores as I had to use 2 lives (and items for each of those lives) and 12+ bombs to get through the final level.  I did sell all my surplus items other than what I needed for the two lives. No deaths before the final level.  I think if someone was able to get through the entire game on one life, sell everything outside of the items for that one life, and not need to use a lot of bombs in the final level, 3,000,000 could be reached.

 

 

zarlor5.jpg

Edited by sirlynxalot
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Congratulations, I think you will be the winner! But I will wait another day before officially declaring you the winner just in case.

 

For fun I used save states to try and do the perfect game.  I got a score just slightly above 3,000,000. It looks like supreme mercenary is the final designation. I think one could still do just a little better than this because I still started the final level with 8 bombs, and now I think I can get through the entire final level including the boss with maybe 2 bombs total.

 

zarlor6.png

 

Another interesting bit I found while playing the game so in depth these past few weeks is that there is a spot to theoretically get infinite score. That would be the level 3 boss. At least one or two of the undersea platform bosses launch an endless supply of drones at you while shooting lasers at you.  You can manuever around the screen to dodge the lasers (very very hard imo) while using your own homing laser to pick off the drones.  Unfortunately, the drones only give you a measly ~100 points each, so you would need to do this for hours to make a meaningful addition to your score. I find it very difficult to dodge the boss's lasers for any significant length of time, so this is not an easy or effective strategy :) 

Edited by sirlynxalot

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hi 

you guys are amazing players 

i m a just a supreme cheater in that game....

i can imagine the number of spent hours on it..

congrats

 

20191219_214450.jpg

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