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therealbountybob

HSC18 Round 2: BLUE MAX

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IF ANYONE MISSED ROUND 1 POST A LATE SCORE AND JOIN IN HERE!

 

Holding off a late surge by Qix 5200 it's...

BLUE MAX

blue_max.png

I've copied most of this from last time :idea:

 

Returning to the HSC Blue Max is one of the best games there is; not only have you to complete your mission but you have to aim to achieve the ultimate rank too. Some of the file versions may have a few issues, checkout links below.

 

Settings (Option[F4])

Novice

Gravity ON [players who are new to the game or finished outside the top 10 places in round 1 can turn gravity off]

You might want to Reverse the controls too so that you pull back to climb.

 

Tips

Take off: Trundle down the runway and pull back once your speed reaches 100 display changes from red to white. Any other movement or leaving it too late will result in a wreck! Firing: Destroy enemy planes by changing to their altitude (display goes blue) then line up behind them. Bombing: Push down to descend and press fire, use your shadow as a guide to where the bomb will land (fire early!) Landing: Press fire to drop the "L"anding gear when "R"unway is approaching and get down to altitude 0!

Space to pause.

 

>>>
Summary of top-secret intelligence the spies have gathered:
When a freindly airfield approaches a tone will be heard and a green "R" will appear on the command bar. Press the fire button to lower the landing gear, and the "R" will change to a "L". when you are over the runway, decend and land. Repairs will begin and then you will take off.

Uaaaa... Blue Max, one of my top favourite games... I think there should not be any problem with landing. You can land safely in any speed and with any damage. Just remember: when airport comes near, green letter "R" appears and you MUST press fire button to confirm you're going to land. "R" changes to blue "L" and your speed goes down then...

I remember there being a little easter egg built in that allowed you to crash the game by crashing/landing or something like that

You have to drop a bomb over your base!

I have made it to "Blue Max" but only 4th class... every time I get all the targets early and hit the bunkers in the city on the first pass I somehow manage to crash into another plane. But I still go back... I can get to the city, but can't get past it.

Once you get to the city, you have to bomb every special large target building that pops up. Then the next time you land, the game ends.

Yeah, I remember having to bomb targets, can't remember if I get missing them or maybe they had turrets or something and I'd get shot at and then killed. But I know it was the bombing targets bit that I kept failing on and being game overed.

<<<

 

Scoring

There's not long to capture your score pic and doesn't seem to show high score anywhere... Please POST YOUR RANKS with your SCORES chaps, will use these for the tables.

Bonus point: for first person to rank as Blue Max

 

Downloads

Fandal XEX, Atarionline.pl's Blue Max (1983)(Synapse Software)(UK)[a].atr seems to work well

Instructions on Atarimania: Synsoft 1984 UK (also has Synapse 1983 USA and later 1987 version)

 

Round NOW ends 14th Feb 2021 *10pm* UK time

 

Tally-ho & Chocks Away!!

 

Edited by therealbountybob
NOW ENDS 10PM (5PM EST) on SUNDAY 14th FEB.
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Yeah...I suck at this, but looking forward to getting better at it.  :)

 

Air Cadet:  Class 4.  1,540!

Air Cadet Class 4 1540.png

Edited by Deteacher
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This might be a silly tip, but I only say it because I was today years old when I figured this out.

 

You don't have to actually hit the flashing white target when bombing targets.  If a bridge has flashing target, just bomb the bridge anywhere and you'll get credit for it.

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Hm. I must have misremembered this game for something else. It is far more difficult than I anticipated.

 

My best so far: 230 pts 450 pts, Runway sweeper

blue-max-450.thumb.jpg.23c12030376591ea8ac8610ecd947a75.jpg

Edited by carlsson
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Air Cadet Class 4, 1710 points, died during underspeed take-off...

 

If I get 1/10 of the enemy planes I have good run.

image.thumb.png.ccc6078861465b3f541519df05e7fb2d.png

 

Anyone playing this with "normal" controls (which feel rather inverted to me)?

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Ooh, this is going to be tricky. I had Blue Max when I was a kid and played it quite a bit, but I always played with gravity OFF. Turning the gravity on is going to be a real challenge.

 

Also, I could be mistaken, but I believe that the classes are in reverse order of what you might expect them to be. Ie. Class 4 is the highest, while Class 1 is the lowest. I'll see if I can find confirmation somewhere.

 

EDIT: Yes, the manual mentions that Class 1 is the lowest, while Class 4 is the highest. So congrats @therealbountybob, you reached the highest rank/class!
Manual on AtariMania: http://www.atarimania.com/8bit/files/Blue_Max_Atari.pdf

Edited by graywest
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32 minutes ago, thank you said:

Class 1 Air Cadet, maybe the manual is wrong

That's possible, but I remember discussing this with some others many years ago. I'm not sure that anyone has ever seen a Blue Max rank with anything other than Class 4:

The manual *IS* wrong in a few ways. For example, I've seen a rank called "Squadron Leader" that isn't mentioned in the manual. Also, it says that you can't bomb the tall buildings in the city level, but you can. You have to climb to 80+ feet and they don't collapse, you just see a small explosion on the roof and get 30 points.

 

The thread above also has some good tips and tricks in it.

 

Blue Max: 3,610 (Class 2, Air Cadet)

20210131_134600.thumb.jpg.c7e85738afada7b4544f2af08bc0e16a.jpg

 

The gravity really throws off my normal strategy, which is to fly at 20-25 feet about 95% of the time and strafe ground targets, only rising to shoot down a plane or bomb something. With the gravity on, that's too dangerous. And flying at higher altitudes means I'm more vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire. Going to need some practice on this one. 😁

Edited by graywest
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I note that the 1983 and 1984 manuals mention nothing about ranks, only the Atari cartridge version from 1987 does. It also adds a lot extra information about the game that Synapse withheld in the earlier releases.

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28 minutes ago, graywest said:

That's possible, but I remember discussing this with some others many years ago. I'm not sure that anyone has ever seen a Blue Max rank with anything other than Class 4:

 

 

 

 

You remembered my message.  Nice!!  I have seen Blue Max class 1 and 3 since that time.

 

Have to play this soon.  Should be interesting with gravity.

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40 minutes ago, doctorclu said:

 

You remembered my message.  Nice!!  I have seen Blue Max class 1 and 3 since that time.

 

Have to play this soon.  Should be interesting with gravity.

Yes! And I can't believe it has been almost 8 years since that thread.

 

Another piece of evidence that "Class 1" is intended to be the lowest class: if you push the wrong direction upon take off and explode on the runway at the beginning of the game, you get "Kamikaze Trainee - Class 1".

 

I am sort of curious to know how the ranks and classes are calculated - the manual says it's based on score, number of primary targets destroyed, and time elapsed. But I think someone would have to disassemble the game to learn more...

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4 hours ago, slx said:

Anyone playing this with "normal" controls (which feel rather inverted to me)?

I use the normal controls, but only because I've been playing that way since I was a kid. Otherwise, I'm sure the "aircraft" controls would be better.

Edited by graywest
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17 minutes ago, graywest said:

if you push the wrong direction upon take off and explode on the runway at the beginning of the game, you get "Kamikaze Trainee - Class 1"

Perhaps rank depends on which targets you hit, not the scoring you reached? So far we had five players reaching Air Cadet as follows:

 

1540 pts Class 4

1050 pts Class 4

1710 pts Class 4

5790 pts Class 1

3610 pts Class 2

 

If it would be strictly linked to score, it would make more sense if 4 is the lowest and 1 is the highest, but probably it isn't?

 

I would assume that as soon as you score any points, you get upgraded from Kamikaze Trainee to Runway Sweeper, but in this case it appears that 1 is the lowest and then increases as suggested. Now if the game goes KT R1, RS R1, RS R2 ... AC R4, AC R3, AC R2, AC R1 until you finish the game with one of the top ranks, it is really weird.

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Oof, sorry for so many posts... but there's a snowstorm raging outside and I have nothing else to do on a Sunday. 😂

 

Anyway, I found a few interesting items just now.

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Curse you Red Baron!!  :P

 

(on the plus side I took out a bridge when I went). 

 

20210201_001209.thumb.jpg.f7c5ca85fd0dffd430ca08ee552cfa18.jpg

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16 hours ago, graywest said:

if anyone wants to poke around and find out how the ranks/classes are calculated, it's here

I had an unqualified look, and neither of the ranking strings seems to be present within the source code, including the binary files. I saw that files may be missing, and possibly the strings are encoded in a very non-ASCII way so those are hidden in the binary files after all. Thus we have to assume some form of rank based scoring. I presume that when the manual mentions Flying Tiger, it really means Squadron Leader (as one of the two ranks only given after you finished the game) and that the actual Flying Tiger is inbetween Air Cadet and Squadron Leader and can be given even if the game isn't finished.

 

Edit: Or well, I noticed from earlier HSC runs that the ranking was awarded as Blue Max > Flying Tiger > Squadron Leader. Also the highscore of 99,990 pts by Fandal was achieved by using save states and I suppose backtracking to maximizing the scoring for every situation which doesn't sound quite far. Prbably Mr. Amiga500's previous score around 14,000 pts should be the actual HSC highscore.

Edited by carlsson
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Lower score, higher rank.  :P

 

 

2091500784_ScreenShot2021-02-01at6_27_22AM.thumb.png.f26bdf5020b6f8992aa1d6e440b5ce26.png

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