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2022 VGS NES Weekly Contest - Hokuto no Ken (Famicom)!


BeaIank
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Events Team · Posted

Welcome, welcome!
It is time for some Famicom goodness chockful of VIOLENCE!
It is time for HOKUTO NO KEN!

For this week, the rules are as simple as it gets.

  • Play till game over or till you beat the game
  • You are not allowed to loop the game.
  • Highest progress with lowest score wins
  • Genre: Beat'em up

The contest ends Sunday, 09/18/22 at 11 PM VGS time.  Your user name MUST be written or typed on a piece of paper and be in the picture for your score to be valid.  The entire TV screen, or computer monitor if you are playing on an emulator, MUST be in the picture for the score to be valid.  No partial screenshots will be considered or accepted.  No screenshots by hitting "print screen" on a computer will be allowed.  You must take a picture of your computer monitor.  There may be instances where this will be acceptable, but it will be at the discretion of myself and the contest organizers.  Also, the use of turbo controllers is forbidden, as well as any cheat codes, Game Genies, slow motion functions, or save states if playing on an emulator.  Also, we will only be using NTSC systems for the contests.  The use of PAL systems will NOT be allowed.  Good luck everyone and have fun.

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This may be a war of attrition since enemies come forever and there is no real incentive to progress through the levels, but we'll see how it goes.  Time to make some heads explode!

SCORE EDIT - This was way too frustrating, but I can finally get back to football.  Final score: 79,100

 

HNK-3.JPG

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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10 minutes ago, BeaIank said:

If it proves to be a problem in the first two days, I can change it to progress + lowest score

I just tried it out and the enemies have spawn points based on screen position so you can't just stand in one spot, but the levels are mazes and loop forever, so it will be possible to spend all your time on one level until game over.  Whether or not this would be considered an issue for this contest, I don't know...

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23 minutes ago, BeaIank said:

Adjusted the rules so that you HAVE to enter the doors where the little girl shows up.

The only issue is that sometimes the girl is a red herring and it's possible to follow her and get into a loop on the same couple of sections.  Also, some sections the girl doesn't show up at all and you have to trial and error to find the right door, so a player could stay on such a section forever racking up points without falling afoul of the rules.

After playing this for a while just now, I got myself fully powered up (7 stars and my shirt ripped off) and have full life after 350 kills and I still have a full life bar on my first man and could literally last forever (see picture).  Another issue is that it gives you an automatic health boost every 3000 points, which is every 10 kills.  So, considering the many "flaws" of this game, I strongly recommend changing the rules to Progress First with Low Score as the tie-breaker as I think that would honestly take the most skill with the least garbage-style play of people looking for spots to sit and rack up their scores.  That's my two cents...

 

Hokuto No Ken.JPG

Edited by Dr. Morbis
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I'd have to go with @Dr. Morbis on this one.  If it's possible to infinitely point press, and the only signal to progress forward is possibly a red herring, I'd say progress + low score would be the way to go.  Regardless, I'm totally looking forward to running this one, it was an old pirate multicart favourite of mine!

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After doing some research, the only time you can really rely on the child in the doorway is if you're at 7 stars.  Anything less and they will pop up in wrong doors too, which is why the "red herring" thing.  There is always a child in the correct door, but before seven stars the children will pop in other doors as well.  The only way you can tell for sure if you're back on the right path is if the pink enemies start spawning again.

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6 minutes ago, the_wizard_666 said:

After doing some research, the only time you can really rely on the child in the doorway is if you're at 7 stars.  Anything less and they will pop up in wrong doors too, which is why the "red herring" thing.  There is always a child in the correct door, but before seven stars the children will pop in other doors as well.  The only way you can tell for sure if you're back on the right path is if the pink enemies start spawning again.

And the final nail in the coffin on playing this game for high score is the fact that there is no time limit, so you could pick a "safe" stage where the girl doesn't show up and rack up your score literally forever...

Progress + low score is definitely the way to go with this one, especially since the later levels can get pretty tough.  Beating this game isn't exactly a gimme like it is with the sequel (Fist of the North Star on the NES).

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Game Completed; 100,30020220914_175536.jpg.52339a8e216765a3bbd56e9d0755249b.jpg

Talk about setting the bar...

Anyway, it turns out (according to the strategy guide) that the enemy spawns are set - even the flying jump kick dudes, so it's just a matter of knowing and avoiding.  The hardest part is really just avoiding the enemies...if you spawn too far ahead, you can get swarmed with more projectiles than you can see (thus getting hit by objects not visible to you), though if you keep two enemies (three on later stages) following you, no more seem to be able to spawn.  Haven't tested this much, and definitely not much on the last stage, though I managed to get to Raoh with enough health to take him out (though I intentionally died at the start of level 5 due to low health).  I would recommend getting to at least 5 stars to increase your walking speed (makes dodging a hell of a lot easier).  I also noticed the big dipper can be finicky about filling your health up...occasionally it just refuses to...but I didn't notice a score increase so it's not a huge deal to grab them anyway, and the fact that it appears near the end of level 3 makes it worth snagging at least the first two in order to make the boss fight a touch easier.  Speaking of bosses, I found only Souther (fourth boss) to be of any difficulty.  Him jumping around like a Mexican bean makes him a pain in the ass, and I haven't quite worked out the timing on his projectiles.  The other bosses though...Heart just kick until his stomach bulges and then punch him (secret kill, gives a bonus screen before stage 2 starts), Shin just punch (you can even get him stuck on the edge while you do this, thus giving two potential special kills, though neither is necessary to kill him...they're just satisfying to pull off), and Jagi...well, he's harder to hit for the special kill (four midair kicks, then punch him), but not hard to hit in general, so just go nuts and take him out fast.  Raoh is actually easier than Souther is, though he hits far harder and has no easy way to kill him.  I typically just jump kick in, and jump away when I land.  Usually I'll eat a hit or two, but nowhere near as many as he takes from me.  Speaking of which, on later levels, jump kicking your enemies will take them out in one hit, while punching them takes three, so it's beneficial to master the jump kick early.  Also learn to time when to kick projectiles back - not really necessary early on, but man does it help on stage 5 when rushing through is death.  For the record, I had around 70 kills on this run after killing Souther, and added around 50 by the end of it.

 

Well, here's my submission.  Really dig the game, there's actually a LOT more to it than I initially realized.  There's secret ways to kill the bosses to get a bonus message, there's hidden "big dipper" power ups (not sure what they do, only got one of them... @0xDEAFC0DE may have to make an appearance to dig in the code and figure that out), and overall a lot of depth I wouldn't have expected from it.  I might be able to tone the score down a bit...I lost way too much health on Heart (first boss), so I ended up grinding a few kills to get my health back up through most of the rest of the game...still, a very awesome game overall!  Great choice @BeaIank!

Edited by the_wizard_666
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14 minutes ago, the_wizard_666 said:

Game Completed; 115,100

20220912_200501.jpg.f82919c7abfefd739320a0ff5e0d0fed.jpg

Well, here's my submission.  Really dig the game, there's actually a LOT more to it than I initially realized.  There's secret ways to kill the bosses to get a bonus message, there's hidden "big dipper" power ups (not sure what they do, only got one of them... @0xDEAFC0DE may have to make an appearance to dig in the code and figure that out), and overall a lot of depth I wouldn't have expected from it.  I might be able to tone the score down a bit...I lost way too much health on Heart (first boss), so I ended up grinding a few kills to get my health back up through most of the rest of the game...still, a very awesome game overall!  Great choice @BeaIank!

It took me a while to beat it the first time (on a real console) and here you are with a completion already.  Is this the same guy I saw struggle through the ridiculously wimpy last level of Dynowarz for like an hour and a half?  Are you on steroids or something?  Anyway congrats on your newfound gaming skills; I'm probably going to actually have to work on re-memorizing the tricky parts of the game and how to get through them since I don't have whatever superpowers you possess.  And my offer to see you match these feats on my NES for $$$ is always open, just tell me what weekend you're free... 🙂

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5 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

It took me a while to beat it the first time (on a real console) and here you are with a completion already.  Is this the same guy I saw struggle through the ridiculously wimpy last level of Dynowarz for like an hour and a half?  Are you on steroids or something?  Anyway congrats on your newfound gaming skills; I'm probably going to actually have to work on re-memorizing the tricky parts of the game and how to get through them since I don't have whatever superpowers you possess.  And my offer to see you match these feats on my NES for $$$ is always open, just tell me what weekend you're free... 🙂

I've been playing most of the last two days.  It was tricky to get the hang of it, but once I did, and learned the routes, it wasn't too tough.  Remember as well, I'm the guy who can spot patterns in seconds where you can't seem to get them in months, so that's a thing too.  Also, remember that although I had no idea how to progress the game in any way, I did play the crap out of it as a kid...it was one of my favourite pirate multicart games.  So even though I had no idea how to go in doors, I did learn how to make a life last for hours at a time.  Honestly, the bosses are the only real tough part (though some sections on stage 5 were absolutely brutal to get through with minimal damage taken).

And as for my "superpowers," having a walkthrough open on my second monitor while I'm playing never hurts 😉

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19 minutes ago, the_wizard_666 said:

I've been playing most of the last two days.  It was tricky to get the hang of it, but once I did, and learned the routes, it wasn't too tough.  Remember as well, I'm the guy who can spot patterns in seconds where you can't seem to get them in months, so that's a thing too.  Also, remember that although I had no idea how to progress the game in any way, I did play the crap out of it as a kid...it was one of my favourite pirate multicart games.  So even though I had no idea how to go in doors, I did learn how to make a life last for hours at a time.  Honestly, the bosses are the only real tough part (though some sections on stage 5 were absolutely brutal to get through with minimal damage taken).

And as for my "superpowers," having a walkthrough open on my second monitor while I'm playing never hurts 😉

Sorry man, not trying to accuse you of anything, just having a really difficult time reconciling what I've seen in real life for like 18 years with completions like this one you just posted.  The wiz I know is this guy:

How did that guy get this fucking good at Hokuto No Ken this quickly?!?  Seriously, that guy playing Batman in that video is a ringer for Hokuto no Ken all of a sudden?  I mean, the last level of Ken isn't exactly a cakewalk.  There are dudes and projectiles flying around everywhere, like way more than the one-or-two-at-a-time slow-ass foes you face in Batman.  Even with a walkthrough, it's one thing to watch someone else do something but quite another to work up the skills required to be able to execute yourself.

I really wish emulators didn't have save states, so as to remove all doubt from my mind, but it is what it is.  Congrats on being able to accomplish such feats so quickly and effortlessly.  I'll have to really work on getting to the end again, myself.

And hey, if other people start posting in here about how easy this actually is, I'll happily concede that I'm the crazy one... 😛

 

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I never said it was easy dude.  The execution was the hardest part, and took several attempts.  Loving the game made me much more inclined to get it done.  And yeah, the projectiles go pretty quick and frequent, but if you inch forward the spawns can be controlled.  Well, at least for 95% of the game...there's one part of level 5 where shit spawns even if you stand still...but aside from that one section you can progress through most of the game with minimal effort.

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So I figured out what the Big Dipper pickups do - they fully restore your health and give bonus points.  Although it's out of the way on level 1, I would suggest going for it anyway.  Even though it gives a point bonus, enemies are fairly easy to avoid, and a ton of pink enemies spawn between the start and the Dipper's spawn.  I usually get around 5 stars by that point.  Also, since the later ones only appear if you find the earlier ones, and the health bonuses are a boon, especially on level 3 (the one on level 4 comes too early to make a difference, and there isn't one on level 5).  I haven't noticed if the special kills give anything other than a bonus message when they trigger, but some of them can make the boss fights pretty short, so I'd try and learn them if possible, if only to make one's life easier.  Anyway, I can reasonably consistently get to level 4 with very few kills, so it's just a matter of figuring out how to speed through level 5 without absorbing a shitload of damage...

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11 hours ago, the_wizard_666 said:

So I figured out what the Big Dipper pickups do - they fully restore your health and give bonus points.  Although it's out of the way on level 1, I would suggest going for it anyway.  Even though it gives a point bonus, enemies are fairly easy to avoid, and a ton of pink enemies spawn between the start and the Dipper's spawn.  I usually get around 5 stars by that point.  Also, since the later ones only appear if you find the earlier ones, and the health bonuses are a boon, especially on level 3 (the one on level 4 comes too early to make a difference, and there isn't one on level 5).  I haven't noticed if the special kills give anything other than a bonus message when they trigger, but some of them can make the boss fights pretty short, so I'd try and learn them if possible, if only to make one's life easier.  Anyway, I can reasonably consistently get to level 4 with very few kills, so it's just a matter of figuring out how to speed through level 5 without absorbing a shitload of damage...

Well Stage 5 is tougher than the rest of the game combined, so figuring out how to do that Stage easily really is the trick to the whole game.  It sounds like you've been playing it non-stop at this point...

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Member · Posted
15 hours ago, the_wizard_666 said:

So I figured out what the Big Dipper pickups do - they fully restore your health and give bonus points.  Although it's out of the way on level 1, I would suggest going for it anyway.  Even though it gives a point bonus, enemies are fairly easy to avoid, and a ton of pink enemies spawn between the start and the Dipper's spawn.  I usually get around 5 stars by that point.  Also, since the later ones only appear if you find the earlier ones, and the health bonuses are a boon, especially on level 3 (the one on level 4 comes too early to make a difference, and there isn't one on level 5).  I haven't noticed if the special kills give anything other than a bonus message when they trigger, but some of them can make the boss fights pretty short, so I'd try and learn them if possible, if only to make one's life easier.  Anyway, I can reasonably consistently get to level 4 with very few kills, so it's just a matter of figuring out how to speed through level 5 without absorbing a shitload of damage...

What/Where/How on Earth are Dipper Spawn, Big Dipper Pickups and Special Kills?  I've played this game and yet I have no clue what these things are...

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Events Team · Posted
On 9/12/2022 at 11:10 PM, the_wizard_666 said:

I might be able to tone the score down a bit...I lost way too much health on Heart (first boss), so I ended up grinding a few kills to get my health back up through most of the rest of the game...still, a very awesome game overall!  Great choice @BeaIank!

I love this game. I couldn't understand how it worked back when I was a wee lass, but I always had fun with it.
It is an unknown gem.

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Member · Posted
1 hour ago, BeaIank said:

I love this game. I couldn't understand how it worked back when I was a wee lass, but I always had fun with it.
It is an unknown gem.

Yeah, this one is def. fun.  Makes me wanna check out all those sequels.  We really got screwed in North America, only getting 1 out of 6 games...

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41 minutes ago, PII said:

Yeah, this one is def. fun.  Makes me wanna check out all those sequels.  We really got screwed in North America, only getting 1 out of 6 games...

Sadly, 3 and 4 were RPGs (not sure of the Super Famicom ones, but likely them too)...and neither of them have an English translation available publicly 😞 There's a Spanish translation of 3 though, but that don't help us English-only folks 😞

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