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Season 12 ~ MAJOR LEAGUE ~ 3 Strikes Knockout Tourny

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6 hours ago, kermit73 said:

This is a very impressive score - more than 40k higher than any other score I've seen so far anywhere for this game, whether it be from the season or on Twin Galaxies.  It looks like part of the difference in score is from bonuses associated with warping, so you may have uncovered a better strategy and path through this game.

Wow, thanks for this.  I knew that I'd hit a good score on the game (I think I was second in this game on the regular season round and this score is a big improvement on what I did then). but I didn't realise it was that good. The strategy was actually pretty simple, and essentially the same as the one i used in the main round (I popped an explanation of it in the thread for that week)

 

You can rack up some very big scores (in the 10s of thousands per round) by creating large and complex Klax's , especially in the earlier rounds where the game moves slower and there are fewer colours so it's easier to make something really big. I just had a very successful run doing that, and made those kind of mega Klax's on each of the first four levels. That made up well over half the score, and then I just hit survival mode from there (from level five, there's too much going on for me to really go for the big Klax's) making up the rest. 

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I love Klax but I invariably go for the big X and end up screwing myself. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me, even on the first stage, but regardless of the port I just can’t seem to do it.

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6 hours ago, jgkspsx said:

I love Klax but I invariably go for the big X and end up screwing myself. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me, even on the first stage, but regardless of the port I just can’t seem to do it.

I only go for the big X on some of the diagonal rounds or on round 6, where if successful, you get a 50k warp bonus and it advances you to level 51.  On most other rounds, I use a " big sandwich" strategy (see the post by @oyamafamily from the season for an explanation and video illustration).  The challenge is once you've warped to level 51, most of your scoring is done since it's all you can do to just survive these higher levels.  The highest scores I've seen with this strategy are around 160k.

 

I never accomplished the 50k warp bonus on round 6 during the season, and have only succeeded in doing this a couple times this past week.  Something I discovered (credit to @ZilchSr since I learned this watching his video on Twin Galaxies) is if the middle piece of the X is a wild, the entire X does not have to all be the same color.  For example, if the upper-left, upper-right, and lower-left "branches" are all yellow, but the lower-right branch is red, you get credit for the big X if the center piece is a wild.  I don't know if the scoring for the diagonals counts as good as getting the colors matching on all the branches, but this alternative does earn you the warp bonus.  I expect you'd get the warp bonus even if each of the four branches are different colors, although I've not yet had a game where I could easily confirm this.

 

The thing I noticed about the screenshot posted by @Jasonhrb is that he was allowed five "misses" on the higher levels rather than the three I always end up with, meaning he chose to warp to some level I've never tried.  I'm thinking some combination of warp bonuses and warping to levels where the "big sandwich" strategy is practical contributed to the 200k+ score.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, kermit73 said:

The thing I noticed about the screenshot posted by @Jasonhrb is that he was allowed five "misses" on the higher levels rather than the three I always end up with, meaning he chose to warp to some level I've never tried.  I'm thinking some combination of warp bonuses and warping to levels where the "big sandwich" strategy is practical contributed to the 200k+ score.

Yes, you're right on this @kermit73. My big scoring  game actually "only" went to about level 19. At the end of level 5, I took the option to warp 10 levels, which added another 20,000 points (once I'd completed a level) and gave me 5 misses. Because I'm not that hot on the later levels, I basically figured that I was better off taking the 20k bonus (and an extra couple of misses to help me get further), rather than fighting through levels individually 

 

The big scoring though come from  pulling just short of 30k a time for the big sandwiches on most of the first 5 levels. I then got 20k bonus for the warp, and the rest for completing a few more levels with a couple of big ish (but nothing like the  monsters from the early rounds) Klaxes along the way, adding a few more thousand points overall (in some cases up to a couple of thousand a time). I also scored what if I'm honest was a bit of a  fluke on round one, where I managed to put the two side columns on each side of the sandwich in the same colour (eg 2 columns of red one side, 2 of blue on the other). Then dropping the two side colours straight after I created the sandwich to finish the level created a mega Klax that earned about 70,000 points. I will try and re-create this in the week if I can, and post a screenshot.

 

The truth is that I'm nowhere near good enough to perform on the mega high levels you and Oyama talk about, so I have to get my big scoring really in the early rounds, and using the fact that those early rounds are relatively easy to consistently hit very big scores through those. 

Edited by Jasonhrb
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Ah ha ha ha ha ha. Don’t feel bad for me, everybody. The Klax on my Concerto cart (which I didn’t use for the Red Cart wave of the regular season) that I thought was the 2600 version was the 7800 prototype. I saw Klax on there, thought, “well, the 7800 didn’t have Klax,” and figured I was good. Oops.

 

In my (slight) defense, it looks amazing for a 2600 game, but it looks pretty awful for a 7800 game.

 

Here is my second game after I realized what I had done. Scoring is significantly inflated from the 2600 version, so I have a lot of work to do.

 

 

I’m going to bed. Sheesh.

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18 hours ago, Jasonhrb said:

I also scored what if I'm honest was a bit of a  fluke on round one, where I managed to put the two side columns on each side of the sandwich in the same colour (eg 2 columns of red one side, 2 of blue on the other). Then dropping the two side colours straight after I created the sandwich to finish the level created a mega Klax that earned about 70,000 points. I will try and re-create this in the week if I can, and post a screenshot.

That 70k first round made a big difference.  I typically score 24-28k on the first round and occasionally barely break 30k.  If I come back to this game, I may try to get the side columns matching as you suggest.  I'm wondering how this makes so much of a difference.  I initially thought it may have scored some diagonals, but that would only happen if at least one of the side colors matched a color in the middle column.

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Xenophobe: I did achieve rollage however missed out on a screenshot before the score resets to zero!

 

(Completely understand if I can only have 888400 as my score)

 

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This game gets a lot easier when you find the more powerful weapon!

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Starting off my efforts for this round with Road Runner, because it's the only game that I'm reasonably confident I can avoid getting a strike in :lol:

 

 

Road Runner (Game 1, B/B Difficulty): 161,100

 

IMG_20220515_182900.thumb.jpg.7890c0240afcad6ebd3f38b1436079a3.jpg

 

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I'm gonna have to hope this will be enough for Klax, cause I'm pretty sure this is every last bit of effort I've got for this game.

 

 

Klax (No Continues): 91,415

 

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Alright! I took a few hours to play some Xenophobe this afternoon and I think I did pretty darn well, more than doubling my previous personal best high score :)

 

 

Xenophobe (Game 1, B/B Difficulty): 751,080

 

IMG_20220516_164615.thumb.jpg.4abf2bd78fe7d70e08d6a7b6642f617b.jpg

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A score for Xenephobe. Massive improvement on my "main round" score, so happy with that in one sense. But I was doing really well until getting well and truly  "Snoterpillared", losing a full bar of health in  the space of a couple of screens. Hopefully this will be enough, as I need to move on to road runner now to try and get a decent score.

 

I might come back to this if I can score well on Road Runner, as  I'm far from sure this will be enough. I can't say I want to though. This looks and sounds great for a 2600 game, but it does get monotonous after a while. Definitely the weakest of the three games this round imho.

 

 

Xenophobe (1991) (Atari)_4.png

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2022 at 9:37 PM, AtariSphinx said:

 

 

Regardless I am very impressed at the execution of these red label games.  Surprisingly well done.  I would have thought Atari at that point would be pushing out inferior games given their state.

 

I agree @AtariSphinx. Given the limits of the system, they are remarkable. And while Xenophobe can get monotonous after a while imho, the other two hold the attention for a surprisingly long time. That said, the games have to be put in context imho.

 

They are fantastic for the 2600 , and I suspect far beyond what anyone expected the system to ever deliver when it was launched. But for all that, these were 1990 titles. The 16 bit era was underway, and even machines far superior to the 2600 like the C64 were becoming seen as dated by that time. While it's a real achievement to get games like of this out of the 2600, they were (visually at least) a long way behind what was being produced on pretty much every other mainstream machine at that time.

 

I'm not sure that these releases would have impressed anyone at the time, regardless of the skill it would have taken to get titles like this out of the hardware. Doesn't make them any less fund to play now though :) 

 

Edited by Jasonhrb
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8 hours ago, Jasonhrb said:

I'm not sure that these releases would have impressed anyone at the time, regardless of the skill it would have taken to get titles like this out of the hardware. Doesn't make them any less fund to play now though :) 

Fair enough for these three, but I can think of a lot of driving games that are less fun and charming than Fatal Run 2600, including Fatal Run 7800.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Jasonhrb said:

I'm not sure that these releases would have impressed anyone at the time, regardless of the skill it would have taken to get titles like this out of the hardware. Doesn't make them any less fun to play now though :) 

 

 

3 hours ago, jgkspsx said:

Fair enough for these three, but I can think of a lot of driving games that are less fun and charming than Fatal Run 2600, including Fatal Run 7800.

 

 

Agreed on both counts! While these late release red label games might not have been impressive to many people back in 1990, we're not people back in 1990. We're a group of folks who just really like the Atari 2600 and the style of games on it, and for an Atari fan these games are pretty darn amazing!

 

Fatal Run was definitely a game I considered picking for the three strikes tournament, but like Xenophobe it's one of those, "If you want to get a really good score you're going to have to sit down and play for a couple hours straight" kinda games so I've avoided selecting it thus far. I'd much rather play short 10 or 15 minute games even if I don't do quite as well at them. I know I could sit down and beat Fatal Run from beginning to end in one session again if I had to, I just don't think I want to :lol:

 

We do really need to play Secret Quest at some point in the HSC though, even if it is a longer time investment game. That's probably my favorite of the late release red label games... or maybe second favorite, after Road Runner ;-)

 

 

Edited by Skippy B. Coyote
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1 hour ago, Skippy B. Coyote said:

 

 

 

Agreed on both counts! While these late release red label games might not have been impressive to many people back in 1990, we're not people back in 1990. We're a group of folks who just really like the Atari 2600 and the style of games on it, and for an Atari fan these games are pretty darn amazing!

 

 

 

Oh, I agree. They are in their own way fantastic, and I'm loving playing them now. I just think the context of where they would sit "in their time" is interesting. It's also worth remembering that these were some of the better late releases (along with fatal run and secret quest as you and @jgkspsx point out). All three of this weeks game do that "2600 thing" of shoehorning a version of an arcade game into limited hardware, and creating something that while visually falling short of the arcade, still manages to capture the essence and "feel" of what the arcade game is. It's just that by 1990, the market expected a lot more than that. That context of timing is why the best of those earlier 2600 arcade conversions like Space Invaders and Missile command (to name a couple) are so fondly remembered among gamers, while these later games are (outside of 2600 nerds like us :) ) are largely forgotten despite being far more technically advanced

 

It's probably also worth remembering that these games and the others mentioned are at the better end of what was being turned out a this stage. Others such as Commando and Rampage were frankly bad almost to the point of being a parody.  

 

4 hours ago, jgkspsx said:

Fair enough for these three, but I can think of a lot of driving games that are less fun and charming than Fatal Run 2600, including Fatal Run 7800.

 

Oh I agree with this too. Both fatal run and Klax imho play much better than their 7800 counterparts (albeit in he latter case perhaps the comparison is unfair give the 7800 version is a prototype. That shouldn't really be the case given how much extra power the 7800 had, and that reality can't have helped the 7800 in the market place

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20 hours ago, Skippy B. Coyote said:

Fatal Run was definitely a game I considered picking for the three strikes tournament, but like Xenophobe it's one of those, "If you want to get a really good score you're going to have to sit down and play for a couple hours straight" kinda games so I've avoided selecting it thus far. I'd much rather play short 10 or 15 minute games even if I don't do quite as well at them. I know I could sit down and beat Fatal Run from beginning to end in one session again if I had to, I just don't think I want to :lol:

Not only the time but the focus.   I realize that now with Xenophobe.   You really have to focus for an extended period and as soon as you lose focus for a moment, get killed so quickly by a Snotterpillar.

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Xenophobe (1 B/B): 407,060

 

Doing so good only to get distracted for a bit and boom, dead so quickly!  Need to give this another try but need time!

20220518_011625.jpg

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Alright, finally got some games in!

 

Roadrunner: 89300

Klax: 53375

Xenophobe: 38200

 

Roadrunner - majority of the points are from the first stage. Potential for more if I can figure out how to navigate stage 4!

Klax - this one is extremely frustrating to me. I'm not great at these kind of games generally speaking, but I do have some colorblindness issues and I really struggled telling the differences between the 2 blue colors and white/mint green. Caused a lot of mistakes. Pretty sure the score I got is going to be the best I can do.

Xenophobe - even after reading the tips in the thread, still struggled with this and there's still just something I'm not "getting".

 

I'm hoping I'll somehow survive and get a better game for me next week! Unsure if I'll have time again for more attempts.

 

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2600-round2-season12-roadRunner-01.png

2600-round2-season12-xenophobe-01.png

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A score for road runner. That makes a "hat trick" for big improvements from my main round scores :)

 

 

Roadrunr.png

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Road Runner: 145300

 

I'm getting better on round 6, but the boulders still end my game.  Close to half of my scoring is on the first round, where it seems you can induce more trucks to appear by running behind them such that they run over the coyote as far to the right edge of the screen as possible. 

 

 

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