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HSC19 R5: THE TAIL OF BETA LYRAE

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The Tail of Beta Lyrae

One of my absolute favourite games is back in the HSC!  Fear not, Bandits will be re-polled!

post-19705-0-64109100-1375654062_thumb.png

 

I've borrowed most of this from last time we played way back in Season 10... [links may need updating]

 

Simple rules: Play game, Post score, Repeat :grin:

 

Ok we have the same issues as before so unless you are lucky enough to have an original disk that still works* has the full titles and music, beefy firing sounds and adapts gameplay over time you'll need to download one of the versions below! Discussion on the TTOBL thread

 

1. If you can, play the Disk/ATR/XEX which has the gravity balls enabled - top players go for this one. Default 5 Ships. If you don't see the gravity balls sometime on level 1 or 3 (they pull your ship forward/towards them) then you have another version perhaps. [File version here zipped]

2. Homesoft's Cassette version on Disk/ATR with no gravity balls - easier so if you're not one of the better players go for this one and play using 7 Ships [Option/F4] if you wish!

 

* The disk version of TTOBL kept track of the number of plays and increased in difficulty over time, various images will be at different stages (I wonder if my intermittent "white out" problem is something to do with this update going too far/too many times....)

 

Downloads:

Fandal, atarionline.pl , homesoft , Vjetnam or atarimania various versions kicking around (not the cheat one!!).

 

NOTE: You lose points for firing so don't go crazy!

Hint: Those pesky ariels can be taken out by shooing their bases (usually!)

[Esc] is pause

Tips: greywest posted great info

Bonus Challenge: press 5 to start on Ace Mission (5 Ships)

 

Round Closes 9pm UK time Weds 13th April

If in doubt just play and have fun :)

Game on!

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Posted (edited)

Tail of Beta Lyrae: 89,557 (Cadet Mission)

20220325_221904.thumb.jpg.6bcf64f7767f6a714aa9f8d2f2c1aaff.jpg

 

One of my favorites - played it a lot as a kid! In fact, the main theme music from this game pops into my head randomly at least 3-4 times a year.

 

Some tips:

  • I love this game, but yeah, the collision detection is wonky as hell. Be prepared to move your ship out of the way quickly if your shots pass right through an enemy that you clearly hit, or are absorbed by enemies with no effect. You can, however, use this to your advantage. It's often possible to shoot right through narrow bits of terrain to hit an enemy on the other side.
  • The way the laser works is also odd for this type of game, in that you LOSE points for every shot. My best strategy is to NOT fire as much as possible in the first several levels. Only shoot to destroy something that is in your way, or at wide, easy targets that are worth a lot of points (the purple mining machines, the power stations, the command centers). The one pixel wide aerial antennas definitely aren't worth it in terms of points, and your shots will often pass right through. They're only worth shooting if they're blocking your way forward.
  • In the early stages, focus on dodging to stay alive until the later levels. The 3rd-to-last level with no offensive enemies and tons of power generators, and especially the second-to-last level with the huge aliens taking off from the surface is where you will get most of your points, if you survive that long. Blast away in these levels and shoot as much stuff as possible. I typically score ~5000 points in the early levels, and then around 40,000-50,000 on those two levels alone.
  • The final level (asteroid field in space) is another level where you should focus on dodging and not shooting, unless something is in your way. The big asteroids are mostly indestructible, and the small ones aren't worth it in terms of points.
  • You'll find that, since the levels are randomly generated each time, there will be times when you JUST CAN'T FIT through a space. I find this to be the case often when I'm in the caves and there is an enemy in the way, or in the outdoor levels when I'm forced to the top of the screen and there is an indestructible floating dumbbell in my way. Sometimes  you just have to take the hit. Luckily, the game is generous with extra lives - you get one after each level completed.
  • Keep your ship away from the left side of the screen. Sometimes you will need to maneuver quickly, and being at the left side limits your options. I tend to stay about 1/3 of the way from the left side.
  • The gravity balls can be destroyed which also releases their gravitational pull.
  • Any explosion is deadly - don't try to fly through them. Sometimes it's better to dodge an enemy than shoot it if it's too close to your ship.
  • If you make a full circuit of all the levels (ie. if you get through the asteroid field), you loop around to the beginning, but at the next higher difficulty level. This means that you'll start seeing new enemies like the 45 degree angle arrows.
Edited by graywest
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Tail of Beta Lyrae: 10,111 (Ace Mission)

20220325_230125.thumb.jpg.34fbfddf092d2342ed82726695c56c1e.jpg

 

Ace Mission difficulty is just pure insanity. 😅 I consider myself somewhat skilled at this game, and I had a hard time even surviving the first level!

 

If you're playing the Ace Mission, all my tips above go out the window. Just blast as much as you can until a gravity ball drags you through a mountain while you're simultaneously lasered and shot in the back with an arrow. 😋

 

There is even a higher difficulty setting than this one (Champion Mission). Anyone want to give that a go??

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I'll digest graywest's info :thumbsup: after I've played -  but last time we heard from the author and he said the firing reliability was left in as a feature giving an edge of unpredicatability to the game! Have fun everyone and if anyone missed previous roiunds you can post late scores too ;-)

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4044 pts using the fixed version with gravity balls and 5 lives.

 

tail-beta-lyrae-w-gb-4044.thumb.jpg.ba9f02c0ad82c27e405ce6daf75ce396.jpg

 

After having been part of the HSC since 2017 (that makes it my 6th season) and not have won a single round, I suppose I qualify as a lesser skilled participant so I'm allowed to use the Homesoft version without gravity balls and possibly extra lives. However it seems to me that the gravity balls is what makes this game special. Without those, it would very much be yet another Scramble clone with the prohibitive scoring system. Also the gravity balls really give you a lot of points if you manage to hit them, so with some practice and luck I feel you can get quite some points from those. I might try the other version too and see if it does it for me. Many of the other enemies like the cannons shooting balls, the dumbbells in space, the antennas at inappropriate and tight passages, would still be the same for most of the difficulty, I feel. A couple more lives might get me a little father (I got to the end of stage 2 so far), but I'm not at all sure I'll score much higher.

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10 hours ago, therealbountybob said:

I'll digest graywest's info :thumbsup: after I've played -  but last time we heard from the author and he said the firing reliability was left in as a feature giving an edge of unpredicatability to the game! Have fun everyone and if anyone missed previous roiunds you can post late scores too ;-)

Philip Price was here?! That's awesome - I'll have to see if I can find the old links from when this game was played last.

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Posted (edited)

6409 5lives with gravity balls. (looks like I finally found a camera setting that looks more like real life too!)

 

20220326_221328.jpg

Edited by chevymad
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Tail of Beta Lyrae: 110,092 (Cadet Mission)

20220327_140651.thumb.jpg.fbbeb17a05d1e612dbfdd8da8d861dc1.jpg

 

If I could just get through the purple cavern on the second go-round I could really run up my score, but that level is a KILLER. I get there with 5 or 6 lives in reserve and lose them all.

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On 3/26/2022 at 11:30 PM, carlsson said:

4044 pts using the fixed version with gravity balls and 5 lives.

 

After having been part of the HSC since 2017 (that makes it my 6th season) and not have won a single round, I suppose I qualify as a lesser skilled participant so I'm allowed to use the Homesoft version without gravity balls and possibly extra lives. However it seems to me that the gravity balls is what makes this game special. Without those, it would very much be yet another Scramble clone with the prohibitive scoring system. Also the gravity balls really give you a lot of points if you manage to hit them, so with some practice and luck I feel you can get quite some points from those. I might try the other version too and see if it does it for me. Many of the other enemies like the cannons shooting balls, the dumbbells in space, the antennas at inappropriate and tight passages, would still be the same for most of the difficulty, I feel. A couple more lives might get me a little father (I got to the end of stage 2 so far), but I'm not at all sure I'll score much higher.

"skilled participant" I like it :thumbsup: Yes this is a chance for mere mortal players to start with 2 extra lives. There are extra lives after each sector so as players improve it keeps it going nicely.

On 3/27/2022 at 2:08 AM, graywest said:

Philip Price was here?! That's awesome - I'll have to see if I can find the old links from when this game was played last.

there's tons of stuff, I'm thinking of pulling it all together for a write up in the next Pro(c) Atari Magazine :idea:

On 3/27/2022 at 6:14 AM, chevymad said:

6409 5lives with gravity balls. (looks like I finally found a camera setting that looks more like real life too!)

 

nice :thumbsup:

22 hours ago, Deteacher said:

11,068!  FINALLY broke the 10K barrier.  This is hard!

 

:thumbsup:

On 3/27/2022 at 9:09 AM, McKong said:

Fandal version 7543 - Never saw the appeal to this one.

needs a bit of getting into...

 

... aftrer watching the atmospheric intro; "holy sh*t" was my first reaction on playing after loading TTOBL again, gravity balls up the ying yang :-o I had to double take it was on cadet. My original disk ver started with a "grey out" so I thought here we go but played perfectly after that for the rest of the session!!

 

1184

3366

21158

7217

7994

12820

4202

7658

16606

TTOBL.jpg.54b0f0d791f8ef54e808b65e614b5b5c.jpg

need to dig out a slightly less easy joystick I think.

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Has anyone noticed that if you play intently for a long time and then look at something stationary, that object (carpet, table, etc.) seems to be moving in the opposite direction of the scrolling screen?

 

Hopefully it's just some optical illusion. It goes away after 30 seconds or so, but I'm sort of worried that this game is giving me brain damage. 😅

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I play the version with gravity balls, and I don't think they are the hardest opponents. Most of my ships crash into the ceiling of the cave.

 

8,999 is the best result of my first tries...

 

624688816_20220328_201910_HDR2.thumb.jpg.ef20b149042b2addbb8523643bdf9723.jpg

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Posted (edited)

So far my only comment is:  wow, this is fast!

 

Edit 3:  a score I don't mind sharing.  6250.  (my first score was in the 600s LOL)

 

Note I had problems before editing this but I didn't see the zipped version that was linked here, so I now know what gravity balls look like, and I removed my previous score as it was the other version without them and I'm not interested in playing an easier version :)

Edited by 8BIT 1337
Removed my stupid question, removed my score on easier version
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Funny:  I've never played this game.  I think I'd heard of it but not even sure of that.  Well, this will get me started:  3,601

 

PXL_20220329_155603530.thumb.jpg.bd9a4bee27c3e6f030051c1b5f6f03e1.jpg

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, 8BIT 1337 said:

What do the gravity balls look like?  I have a file version on disk that I'm able to get running in 800 compatibility mode, but I have no way of knowing which version it is without knowing what a gravity ball is. (EDIT:  I'm assuming they are the rotating barbell thingies?)

They're sort of like a pulsating circle with a dot in the middle... kinda? You'd probably know if you saw one - they start dragging your ship toward themselves as soon as they appear onscreen.

Edited by graywest
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1 hour ago, graywest said:

They're sort of like a pulsating circle with a dot in the middle... kinda? You'd probably know if you saw one - they start dragging your ship toward themselves as soon as they appear onscreen.

Indeed I realized it when I saw them!  I thought maybe the bowtie things were them just not working, but that cleared up real fast :)

 

I really like this.  Another game I've never played before - which is my fave reason for being in HSC!

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1 hour ago, 8BIT 1337 said:

...

I really like this.  Another game I've never played before - which is my fave reason for being in HSC!

:cool:

 

13 hours ago, McKong said:

10495 34419

Someone else made it to Sector 5 ;-) lots of destrutables here folks :grin:

19 hours ago, graywest said:

Has anyone noticed that if you play intently for a long time and then look at something stationary, that object (carpet, table, etc.) seems to be moving in the opposite direction of the scrolling screen?

 

Hopefully it's just some optical illusion. It goes away after 30 seconds or so, but I'm sort of worried that this game is giving me brain damage. 😅

I just shut my eyes after a frantic session and can see the ships etc brain still processing / overloaded!! Scrolling things often happens for a while on many games.

15 hours ago, MichaG said:

I play the version with gravity balls, and I don't think they are the hardest opponents. Most of my ships crash into the ceiling of the cave.

 

8,999 is the best result of my first tries...

 

they are a nice feature and klike the tight caves everything can be mastered but sometimes you are unlucky!

6 hours ago, MagicMarc-er said:

Funny:  I've never played this game.  I think I'd heard of it but not even sure of that.  Well, this will get me started:  3,601

 

Good thing about Beta Lyrae is you can improve over time...

todays session:

8464

12671

19322

8406

and after playing through frequent grey outs it settled down for a clean run

33757 made it to last subsector on sector 5 ;-)

588185234_TTOBLS5.jpg.921d7ff999f2b61db2bef02ff193eb20.jpgTTOBL.jpg.7929cd14edd75c60d3278b2710ff0d67.jpg

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I bought a copy of this disk and received it today, but when I start it, it will not respond to the joystick. The ship moves forward, but I cannot go up, or down, or shoot. Am I missing something?

 

I may need to just play it on my Linux box using an emulator. But I love using the original hardware. I'll have to read up on how to use an SIO2PC as well.

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