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Author Topic: Defender Thread (was 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!)  (Read 13267 times)

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TOK

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Defender Thread (was 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!)
« on: May 02, 2008, 05:52:39 pm »
And I have sucked for a long time!

Since 1981 to be exact. The day I put 25 cents in a Defender machine and had my first guy obliterated before I reached 300 points. I think the whole game was just over by 1000 points and lasted less than a minute.

I tried and tried, but I just couldn't get good at Defender. Eventually, I gave up. Other games came easy, I could play Moon Patrol 40 minutes for the same quarter that bought me 5 minutes of Defender. So away Defender went. I always wanted to play, but never wanted the beatdown.

About a year later, I stumbled across another machine at Spaceport... Stargate. Defender with even more buttons.
I tried, I still sucked. Oh sure, I could fudge a game and get 40,000 or so by warping with 4 humanoids, but that was a ruse. The game still didn't last much longer. Stargate fell to Xevious, another game that I could play for 45 minutes on a quarter. When you have 3 bucks to last you all day, that kind of stuff matters.

When MAME came out, I was still haunted by Defender. Like a stalker that builds a shrine to a starlet that would never be nice to him, I built a shrine to Defender and Stargate, a bartop with a dedicated control panel. It didn't do much to lessen the cruelty.

Here is the way I always broke down Defender scores... I'm sure there are guys there that regularly get 50,000 on their first guy. Thats not me, so I grade on a curve:

0-30,000... The Rabble (aka me for 24 years).
30,000-99,000... Average
100,000 to 499,000... Good
500,000+ A God.

I've muddled in the Average range for over a year since building the bartop. Today was an ordinary day. I cut the grass then decided to play a game of Defender. I don't even have the cabinet in the house, its out on the garage workbench where it can't taunt me constantly.

I lost my first guy at 9250. The story of my life. Then something happened... I was getting 25,000 or 30,000 per guy.
When I hit 70,000, I knew I made the Top 10. This is a hiscore.dat file that has been on there since I build the cab. It basically represents my 10 luckiest breaks...

80,000.... 90,000... I started getting a little freaked out.
95,000 and no smart bombs! 98,000... Then I heard it!

wah-wah-Wah-Wah-WAH-WAH-WAH! The free man sound that liberated me. Yes, today, 27 years after I was first mauled by Defender I have graduated to a Good player. Sure, it's only Good by my calculations, but I'll take it.

I'll be in the garage having a beer if anyone wants to talk to a hero.  :laugh2:


« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 03:31:05 pm by TOK »

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 05:55:51 pm »
Hard game. Good job.

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 05:57:26 pm »
And I have sucked for a long time!

...that is far as I got...or want to get.  All I have to say is,  "WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT!"

 >:D
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TOK

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2008, 06:33:04 pm »
And I have sucked for a long time!

...that is far as I got...or want to get.  All I have to say is,  "WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT!"

 >:D

Your obvious bitterness cannot dilute my happiness, you, you... you Defender sucker-at'er.  ;)

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2008, 07:12:07 pm »
It's great to read this. I have been in the same boat as you all these years - fascinated by it as a kid but quickly decided it wasn't worth my quarters. It's strange, but in a way it has been a favorite, yet I wouldn't hardly ever play it.

Then all these years I've used mame I still haven't played it because I didn't have "proper controls". Now that I have them, I've decided to start playing it until I'm "good" at it (my standards are definitely below yours at this point - I'd consider 30,000 to be good!) and as a matter of fact, I just got started yesterday! I'm not even close to breaking 10,000 yet, but that's because I'm in essence a Defender newbie.

Thanks for the extra motivation! (one day I can be like TOK ;))
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2008, 07:24:16 pm »
And I have sucked for a long time!

Nahhhh!!! You still suck! LOL  :laugh2: You only get to be good when you're on your third free man.

There used to be one kid in my local arcade who could play on one credit for five hours or more.  They banned him from the arcade.... LOL  :laugh2: Now that sucks!!

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2008, 07:50:18 pm »
Well I guess I'm better than I thought, because at 100,000, I was on my 10th free man.
Thanks for the backhanded confidence boost!  :cheers:


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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2008, 08:23:42 pm »
It's great to read this. I have been in the same boat as you all these years - fascinated by it as a kid but quickly decided it wasn't worth my quarters. It's strange, but in a way it has been a favorite, yet I wouldn't hardly ever play it.

Then all these years I've used mame I still haven't played it because I didn't have "proper controls". Now that I have them, I've decided to start playing it until I'm "good" at it (my standards are definitely below yours at this point - I'd consider 30,000 to be good!) and as a matter of fact, I just got started yesterday! I'm not even close to breaking 10,000 yet, but that's because I'm in essence a Defender newbie.

Thanks for the extra motivation! (one day I can be like TOK ;))

I had a buddy that was so good at this when it was in the place local to us. He'd linger on the first level until he had most, if not all, of the humanoids on his ship. I think they had the difficulty cranked, because they'd pick up like crazy, 2 or 3 at a time right from the first level. It actually worked to my buddies advantage, because he could rack up so many points early. I know he'd have 5 guys going into the second level from doing that.

Think his average was between 300,000 and 400,000. He never got into Stargate. He's still around but I don't see him much. I should ask if he wants to play it again.

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2008, 05:24:42 am »
They had a Defender in the competition at Pinball at the Zoo in Kalamazoo MI a couple weeks ago. I could only manage about 35K, the guy who won got 195K...Blew everyone else away ;)

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2008, 11:32:10 am »
good story and i bet it could be told by a bunch of us (the defender beatdowns and stretching your arcade budget)

i'm hoping i can get decent at it
i never really play it on mame because of the controls

i want to be an all time greatest :)

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2008, 12:30:03 pm »
I never got past the beatdown stage. I probably never lasted over a minute on Defender. Good job!

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2008, 12:44:42 pm »
Same story here, except the part about getting good at it now! I have had my mame up for about 2 months, and I play it regularly, but I still suck.

For anyone who plays it well on the standard 6 button fighter layout...how do you have your controls configured for Defender?

I remember at the skating rink when I was a kid, the couple dudes who used to rock out at Defender were like rock stars there. I would play and get destroyed within the first 2-3 levels. Some day I will be a Defender rockstar too! I will!

Rob

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2008, 01:29:06 pm »
For anyone who plays it well on the standard 6 button fighter layout...how do you have your controls configured for Defender?

As it would be in the arcade..... Stick set for up down only. Thrust, fire, Hyperspace and smartbomb on the buttons. It's the only way to play it well.

I had to sell my real Defender a while ago, but to be honest, set up as above it doesn't feel that much different.

Best Regards,
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2008, 02:10:35 pm »
Ah, but the thing about using a 6-button fighter layout for Defender is that usually there's not just ONE six button fighter layout.  Using both, you can get a reasonable approximation of the real thing.  Reverse at the left thumb is key, and the only real drawback is you have to reach past a joystick to hit hyperspace... not that I ever really do anyway, I'm not good enough to really incorporate hyperspace into my play.  Haven't looked at the Stargate panel yet to find a good place for inviso.

Now, anyone who goes whole hog and does a first-generation Defender play using ONLY buttons... that's the kind of psycho that takes out a machinegun nest with a broken 7up bottle.

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2008, 02:41:47 pm »
I used to split up the layout on my panel. I think I changed it though to


reverse****fire*****hyperspace


thrust*****blank****smart bombs


Early on in my Mame experience I tried to combine thrust and reverse with side-ways stick motion but didn't come up with something that worked. They really need to be separate. I think on the console ports it worked because they coded it so 'right' or 'left' turned only once and then was always thrust in that direction until you moved the other way. It's more intuitive but I think arcade game designers were heavy into separated functions.
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2008, 02:44:00 pm »
I played it on the Xbox project yesterday to see how Defender and Stargate performs under a console.

I had terrible hand - eye coordination back in the day when this game came out, but was able to defy my arcade buddies on Dig Dug and Pengo.  Probably it was due to all those cool buttons you can press during play that was overwhelming.  Yes there were older kids that had ships galore and played for hours too.  Fun to watch, especially when they play without smartbombs.

The Xbox controls for the hand controller is confusing, and until I get a control panel built for Stargate, I will hold out playing it again.  BTW MameoX plays all the Williams games perfectly, freaking me out playing Sinistar and getting a bit too cocky playing Joust.

I love Stargate more wilth the Ilybian dogfights and cramped starfields in which to do battle, than Defender, but I'm sure that will change with the CP.  ;D

Congrats TOK on your scores.  Knowing you, you will double those scores in no time.  :applaud:
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2008, 03:31:12 pm »
For anyone who plays it well on the standard 6 button fighter layout...how do you have your controls configured for Defender?

Rob, before I had a dedicated Defender panel, I tried it with the 6 button fighter layout. It didn't work out due to the proximity of the thumb (reverse) button. I ended up adding a thumb button and it was pretty playable. Here is what I did.

   123           123
O 456        O 456
  7

Hopefully that won't get mangled... I use the player one stick for up and down, the player 1 #7 button for reverse.
On the two player side, I use 2 for fire, 3 for thrust and 4 for smartbomb.
The only real compromise was hyperspace for defender. Since that was the least used button, I just mapped it to button 5 on the two player side.

I also later added a second #7 button to the player 2 side that was the Inviso for Stargate.
It was a compromise, but I played this way for a year and the two player button layout approximated the Defender thrust, fire and smart bomb layout.

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2008, 03:32:48 pm »
I did play some more today and managed a score in the high 70's and another in the low 80's. The thing with Defender is there are always throw away games in between when you get crappy breaks. I had a couple 20 thousand something games between the 70 and 80 thousands.

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2008, 05:31:48 pm »
I'm trying a layout which has thrust mapped to left and right. It's not perfect but I kind of like it. I'm not sure if I'll stick with it long term though - once I get a little better at playing it I will probably switch to using 5 buttons and up/down to be a little more true to the original.
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2008, 11:31:50 am »
I never got past the beatdown stage. I probably never lasted over a minute on Defender. Good job!

What's the "beatdown stage"?  ???

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2008, 12:17:50 pm »
The first level. ;)
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2008, 12:31:30 pm »
I just played Defender for the first time on my MAME cab...

...the first time I played in about 20 years I'd figure...

I played 2 games.  High score - about 73,000 and change.  Is that good?

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2008, 07:09:34 pm »
Yes, thats good. Funny how some games are still natural to you even after a long time away. When I first played Moon Patrol on MAME, I easily made it through the first "moon" to Z.

Can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I could remember where all the tricky rocks and craters were in Moon Patrol.  :dunno

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2008, 04:09:37 am »


i call BS, that screenshot says TIM, not TOK  ;D


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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2008, 05:01:04 am »
Time to grow a mullet and sell hot sauce?
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2008, 10:44:41 am »
You are my hero.

Defender has always been the bane of my existence.

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2008, 01:15:27 pm »
Any good Defender player can easily roll the game ;D

The real trick is to come as close to 1mil without rolling it - which is not easy as every kill from 990,000 to 999,999 yields an extra ship. The only way to kill yourself off is by running into the enemy shots (which are worth 50 points as I recall).

I was never as good on Stargate, but some say it's easier than Defender once you get good.

It's tough to simulate the control layout on a MAME cab - mostly because of the joystick. It must be very short with a short throw and the reverse button needs to be directly under your thumb while using the joystick.

Defender is my favorite game of all time!  :)
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2008, 03:12:14 pm »
This thread has me seriously considering putting a duplicate button next to my joystick just for reverse in defender! :)
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2008, 03:58:15 pm »
I was just mentioning these 2 games in a different thread and yes I too suck at both. They both always scared me (probably because they sucked back my quarter faster than you can say, "Holy crap. I just wasted a another quarter on this god forsaken, money grubbing, cheating, thief of a game!"

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2008, 04:16:40 pm »
I was just mentioning these 2 games in a different thread and yes I too suck at both. They both always scared me (probably because they sucked back my quarter faster than you can say, "Holy crap. I just wasted a another quarter on this god forsaken, money grubbing, cheating, thief of a game!"

Are there any tricks that can help improve my 15 K score?

  • Learn to use the radar - it's the only way to line up shots for rescues.
  • Learn to reverse-fire-reverse; you'll need this to kill Mutants, Baiters, and the occasional Bomber.
  • On higher levels, camp out by the last human, then carry him with you - do not put him down.
  • Swarmers are easy - fly through the group, and then turn on them. If you don't go too far past the group, they will not turn back on you. Then just pick them off.
  • Save smart bombs at all costs. Some players use a smart bomb at the start of each level on the Pods. Never smart bomb fewer than 3 Pods.
  • Learn to use Hyperspace in emergencies - like when you're surrounded.
  • Lastly, learn to fire really really fast! The more shots you put on the screen, the more kills.

A well played level will score more than 10k.
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2008, 06:03:01 pm »
Any good Defender player can easily roll the game ;D

The real trick is to come as close to 1mil without rolling it - which is not easy as every kill from 990,000 to 999,999 yields an extra ship. The only way to kill yourself off is by running into the enemy shots (which are worth 50 points as I recall).

I was never as good on Stargate, but some say it's easier than Defender once you get good.

It's tough to simulate the control layout on a MAME cab - mostly because of the joystick. It must be very short with a short throw and the reverse button needs to be directly under your thumb while using the joystick.

Defender is my favorite game of all time!  :)
I remember when I first ran into a Defender.  It was July 1st, 1982 and I was in Monroe Michigan for my older sister's wedding (I can remember the date since it was the day of the bachelor party).  I found Defender to be tough to play but very difficult to resist.  The thing that I liked best about it was that it was physically difficult to coordinate all the controls.  I played it a pretty good bit over the next few months but never got all that good at it (I know I didn't break 100K during that period of time).

Then I ran into Stargate and it was love.  I played it to the point where it kinda got in the way of relationships.  But I did attain rather lofty skills at it.  My best game on Stargate was Valentine's day, 1984 - I played for 9 hours and 5 minutes, stopping at 8 million exactly (having to jump through the "blow up ships as you get close and then hyperspace until you blow up for no points" hoops).  I don't recall for sure how many levels that was, but I *think* I stopped in the 417th level.  (Note: If I recall correctly the levels went from level 254 to level 0 (which was still hard difficulty) and then started over at level 1 which was suddenly at initial difficulty (<edit> NOTE:  See my correction note below </edit>).  After going so fast for so many hours, going to back initial difficulty always felt like you slammed into a mountain.)  I remember that it was Valentine's day since I, um... didn't pay as much attention to my girlfriend as I should've.

Anyways, after getting so good at Stargate I decided to try out Defender again, but found it frustrating.  The timing is just different enough that if you're very very good at one you probably won't like the other.  I think the best I ever did on Defender was in the 300,000 range, which felt SO disappointing after being so good at Stargate.

I've long since lost the "Stargate callouses" on my fingers and thumbs, but I did purchase a Stargate from eBay about 8 or 9 years ago ago that I'd had mostly working, but then it developed major problems and has sat semi-dismantled for years (Real Life(tm) got in the way).  I gave another shot at fixing it about a year ago (I've got 2 full sets of boards, and upgraded to the better RAM and a switching power supply, resoldered all parts on both mainboards that I've got, etc.) but it's still not working.  Rather than fuss with it any more I'm planning to commit heresy by putting a PC into it to run MAME on it.  I know that many of you will shudder at that, but I'm at the point where I don't care.  I want to PLAY it not tinker with it.  And it'll NEVER be sold for as long as I'm capable of playing it.  But if it makes you feel better, I am keeping the original boards in place and wiring around them, so after I die if someone wants to do a proper restore they can have at it.

And if any of you were at the University of Houston during the 83-84 school year and saw the couple of Stargates on campus, yeah, that was me.  :)  Actually, there was this other guy who was awesome as well, and there's no way I would've gone through those marathon sessions if it hadn't been for him beating my scores.  It was back and forth for several months, but once I got several games in the 6 to 8 million point range he faded away.

I'll give some of my tips for those 2 games a little later (gotta get back to work for now).  BTW - I have NO idea how good I'd be at Defender if someone put a quarter in my hand right now.  I'm pretty sure that Tim's score would remain safely on top.  But if you gave me a roll of quarters...


Bunsen

<edit>
I found this information about the levels at MAWS:

>>>>>>
Stargate attack waves 'roll over' at wave 100, which is displayed, when started and after being completed, as Wave 0. The game keeps track of the actual number of waves, even though they are not shown properly. For example, the next wave will be counted as Wave 101, even though it shows being completed as Wave 1. The game will 'roll over' again at Wave 200, which is displayed, when started and after being completed, as Wave 0 as well. The next 'roll over' occurs at Wave 256. Upon completion of Wave 255, the next wave is a wave very similar to the very first wave, except that the Firebombers shoot. This level is counted and displayed as Wave 0, and the player is awarded a bonus of Humanoids left X 0 points (the bonus for this wave is always 0 points). The next is Wave 1, and the game now plays just as if the player had started a new game (warps are now again possible up to wave 10), except the player gets to keep his score and all of his bonus ships and Smart Bombs.
<<<<<<

After reading that I can remember that they're correct about the levels going from 255 to 0 (which was slow but with shooting Firebombers).  However, I thought that the levels did go from 99 to 100 and 199 to 200.  It's been a quarter century since I was good enough to do that, so I won't argue against them.  I'll just rebuild my box and see if I can dedicate some time to getting good again and correct MAWS if they're wrong.  :)

Also, there are some different sets of ROMs for Stargate.  It may be that some ROMs went like they reported and some how I remembered.
</edit>
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 01:47:15 pm by DrBunsen »
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2008, 07:26:57 pm »
I think the best I ever did on Defender was in the 300,000 range, which felt SO disappointing after being so good at Stargate.

My best Stargate score is around 350k which always bothered me since Defender I could roll.

Quote
I've long since lost the "Stargate callouses" on my fingers and thumbs

Ah yes, I remember the callouses well.

Quote
, but I did purchase a Stargate from eBay about 8 or 9 years ago ago that I'd had mostly working, but then it developed major problems and has sat semi-dismantled for years (Real Life(tm) got in the way).  I gave another shot at fixing it about a year ago (I've got 2 full sets of boards, and upgraded to the better RAM and a switching power supply, resoldered all parts on both mainboards that I've got, etc.) but it's still not working.

My Stargate is also non-operational (both board sets).  :(
I bought it from a Space Port in upstate NY 20 some years ago for $250. I think I paid $175 for my Defender - both were in excellent condition. Prices have gone up since then.  ::)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 07:29:41 pm by arzoo »
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2008, 07:37:57 pm »
79 872 700 more points and you'll beat the world record. :)

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2008, 08:46:05 pm »
DrBunsen, that was an awesome read. Thanks.  :D
Stargate is funny to me. I think the initial levels are a bit easier than Defender, but then it ramps up the difficulty really fast. I guess since they wanted you to exploit the Stargate play mechanic to be successful, the landers start moving the humanoids to the top of the screen really fast.

The warp was also a weakness for me. I always do it because it's easy points and couple of free guys, but it actually shortens my game. I also think Stargate contains my most hated video game enemy, those frigging spinning things that go up and down to avoid you. They shoot super fast projectiles after a couple of levels. Killing those is where I usually burn up the Inviso, just hitting it and ramming into them.

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2008, 08:52:52 pm »
One thing with the wildly differing Defender vs. Stargate scores... Defender has some difficulty options, but you need a manual to figure out what each one is, they're just numbered from like 1 to 21, and many of them do nothing.

Stargates are much easier to understand and more extensive. Very possible that guys who were good at Defender but did poorly at Stargate were playing on harder settings. I think Williams' buzzword for it was Conservative.  ;D
The Stargate that came to the corner deli where I played everything was not new. It must have been at another location for a while where guys had become very good at it. The free guys were set to 25k instead of 10k, and it was brutally hard almost immediately. I think the first time I tried playing it, I was robbed of 2 dollars in about 15 minutes.

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2008, 02:16:30 pm »
My best Stargate score is around 350k which always bothered me since Defender I could roll.
Heh - yeah, that timing difference between the two games bit you in the same way that it bit me.  They look and play almost exactly the same, but the timing is just a smidge different.  Even back then I couldn't tell you exactly what it was that was different, but while I could smoothly glide through Stargate I had to work like h3ll to get that 300K in Defender.


Quote
Ah yes, I remember the callouses well.
I had conflicting feelings about those callouses.  To a fellow gamer they were a sort of badge of honor.  But to my family and friends they were proof that I was spending way too much time playing Stargate.  The saving grace is that playing for hours on a quarter or two was very cheap entertainment.


Quote
My Stargate is also non-operational (both board sets).  :(
I bought it from a Space Port in upstate NY 20 some years ago for $250. I think I paid $175 for my Defender - both were in excellent condition. Prices have gone up since then.  ::)
Wowsers!  Great deals, especially at the time.  I paid $800 for mine, including shipping, but I was desperate for one and jumped on the first semi-good deal I could find rather than waiting for a killer deal.  It was mostly working when I got it, but sound was wonky (fixed by replacing the sound board) and the monitor needed a cap-kit to fix the top part of the screen.

I remember when it got drop-shipped at the house, I put power to it out in the driveway to make sure it worked before the driver left, and then ended up playing about 10 games on it before I had to take a break.  It'd been years since I'd played, but by the next day I'd had a game over a million already, which is proof that the part of the brain that controls those sorts of actions/reactions can be quickly retrained.

I've got a really cool wife who is actually doing the deconstruction of a closet in our "entertainment room" where the Stargate and MAME boxes will stand.  On the MAME box she's looking forward to playing Ms. Pacman and Centipede, whereas I'm planning to Robotron until I'm smelly from stress-sweat.


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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2008, 02:55:48 pm »
I remember when it got drop-shipped at the house, I put power to it out in the driveway to make sure it worked before the driver left, and then ended up playing about 10 games on it before I had to take a break. 

I transported the Stargate laying on its back on a rented U-Haul flatbed. Big mistake - never transport a video game in any position other than standing upright. I don't recall exactly what happened, but something punctured through the back door and smashed the video board on the end of the tube. So I didn't get to play for weeks until I had it repaired.

Quote
whereas I'm planning to Robotron until I'm smelly from stress-sweat.

I designed the control panel for my mame cab with Robotron and Smash TV in mind - in fact I just visited the [romsite name redacted] this past weekend  ;D
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 11:46:06 pm by PL1 »
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2008, 03:10:44 pm »
I was just mentioning these 2 games in a different thread and yes I too suck at both. They both always scared me (probably because they sucked back my quarter faster than you can say, "Holy crap. I just wasted a another quarter on this god forsaken, money grubbing, cheating, thief of a game!"

Are there any tricks that can help improve my 15 K score?

  • Learn to use the radar - it's the only way to line up shots for rescues.
  • Learn to reverse-fire-reverse; you'll need this to kill Mutants, Baiters, and the occasional Bomber.
  • On higher levels, camp out by the last human, then carry him with you - do not put him down.
  • Swarmers are easy - fly through the group, and then turn on them. If you don't go too far past the group, they will not turn back on you. Then just pick them off.
  • Save smart bombs at all costs. Some players use a smart bomb at the start of each level on the Pods. Never smart bomb fewer than 3 Pods.
  • Learn to use Hyperspace in emergencies - like when you're surrounded.
  • Lastly, learn to fire really really fast! The more shots you put on the screen, the more kills.

A well played level will score more than 10k.


Thanks arzoo!!

But what's the reason for this point

On higher levels, camp out by the last human, then carry him with you - do not put him down.

Is it to avoid having the world disappear?
BTW. I am start to love hating this game.

Thanks
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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2008, 03:21:09 pm »
Yes. You definitely don't want to go to space, especially if you're more than a wave away from a fresh batch of humanoids.
As the game gets harder, I always carry the first one I get, regardless of how many are left. Near the end of the wave if things are safe, I put them down. Every once in a while you'll get a crazy wave where the landers are picking up 3 at a time. Having the guy hanging on is worth risking the points for setting him down.  :)

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Re: 5/2/08: The Day I No Longer Suck!
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2008, 03:28:42 pm »
But what's the reason for this point

On higher levels, camp out by the last human, then carry him with you - do not put him down.

Is it to avoid having the world disappear?
 

Exactly!
Ideally you want to keep as many humans alive as possible - rescues are big points. Humans reset after every 5 levels (based on default settings) - at the higher levels pick-ups are so fast you can never keep everyone alive. But camping is not easy - staying in one place almost guarantees death.

I had a roommate in college who could fire faster than anyone - his finger was a blur on the fire button. Watching him fly at full speed through a level, hugging the landscape and picking up 7 or 8 humans was always amazing!

Here's a trick - if you're carrying a bunch of humans and a pickup occurs out of range, wait until the Lander is close to the top of the screen, then put down the humans. Usually the cpu bogs down and the code screws up causing the Lander to start from the bottom of the screen again, giving you time for a rescue.

Edit: I wonder if this bug has been simulated in MAME?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 03:30:47 pm by arzoo »
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