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


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This was a fun but also significantly more frustrating than usual, game to play for a solid week.  There's not really anything I dislike outside of the fact that it is really flukey.  Twice tonight I was on level 3 looking to collect the 3rd dipper with a score of  30,200 and 30,400 and the dipper wasn't there.  I know I've picked up other dippers with a zero in the 1000's so I can't imagine what would preempt its appearance like that.  I was thinking that maybe there's some kind of internal timer that has to have an even number in a particular spot to go along with the score in order to get the power meter filled but I couldn't say for certain.  Also, it was really flukey about allowing the pick-up of the dipper.  At times I had to jump through it several times before it would finally get picked up.  May have just been coincidence but I seemed to be able to pick it up most readily as well as getting the power meter filled when there were enemies directly below...  Also, when fighting Shin my guy would spontaneously change direction as soon as I started punching if I had just been punching in that same direction without re-orienting him before a 2nd round of blows... 

Edited by PII
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21 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

Nice snipe @PII.  I actually think it would be possible to do a 10 kill run (5 bosses plus five red guys to get 5 stars to run fast), but it would take an insane amount of practice to pull off...

I thought a fair bit early on about only collecting 5 power-ups from the pink-punks but quickly realized that 6 would be necessary for me to take out Souther consistently without loosing a lot of power.  Might just be me but I also feel like air punches are better for deflecting projectiles than air kicks...

A 10 kill run would be insane.  I feel slightly ill just thinking about trying to get through the last level without taking out some guys here and there.  I could probably do it through level four easily enough, but that last level was brutal.  Its a good thing that Raoh is a super easy final boss..  Also, I don't think it records the defeat of a boss as a hit...

Edited by PII
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6 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

There are four Hokuto No Ken games on the Famicom; we are playing the first one, released in 1986.  There is also some confusion with the NES release, as it's called Fist of the North Star with no number after it, but it is actually a port of the second game from the Famicom: Hokuto No Ken 2.

EDIT - And there are also four games called Hiryuu No Ken, so maybe you were playing the first game in that series... ?

Hiryuu No Ken is completely unreleated...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiryū_no_Ken

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4 hours ago, PII said:

Also, I don't think it records the defeat of a boss as a hit...

Krunch made level 2 without recording a kill, so yeah, bosses don't count.  But even without that proof, I went into my battle against Raoh with 119 kills - I remember specifically because I was hoping to get one last one to regain a bit of health before the fight, but it was not to be.  Killing Raoh didn't change the tally.  But Krunch provided proof of it simply by making level 2 without a kill - his 2000 points is exactly the reward you get from killing Heart.

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16 hours ago, the_wizard_666 said:

Krunch made level 2 without recording a kill, so yeah, bosses don't count.

You know what that means: it's technically possible to beat the game with a zero kill count!  Now who's good at making tool-assisted cheat videos to show us how it's done?

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30 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

You know what that means: it's technically possible to beat the game with a zero kill count!  Now who's good at making tool-assisted cheat videos to show us how it's done?

Whoever embarks on this one, would want to get through each level and boss with most of their life bar intact since the program rewards the player with significant life bar replenishment for completing a level this way and punishes the player with very little life bar left with very little life replenished.  Plus they'd have to take out bosses without upgrades so that would rule out special kills on Souther and Jagi, which probably wouldn't be too big of a deal with Jagi, but Souther would be a lot harder.  And then, will the players score from beating bosses always be sufficient to manifest the Dippers?

Edited by PII
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27 minutes ago, PII said:

Whoever embarks on this one, would want to get through each level and boss with most of their life bar intact since the program rewards the player with significant life bar replenishment for completing a level this way and punishes the player with very little life bar left with very little life replenished.  Plus they'd have to take out bosses without upgrades so that would rule out special kills on Souther and Jagi, which probably wouldn't be too big of a deal with Jagi, but Souther would be a lot harder.  And then, will the players score from beating bosses always be sufficient to manifest the Dippers?

If it's a TAS, you wouldn't have to worry about the Dippers, but if it's a legit attempt, well God help the guy who tries.  Even the supposed world record has 32 kills (though, to be fair, he was going for lowest time, not lowest kill count):

 

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16 minutes ago, Dr. Morbis said:

If it's a TAS, you wouldn't have to worry about the Dippers, but if it's a legit attempt, well God help the guy who tries.

True.  I was just thinking that being able to incorporate the Dippers would make the completion of a TAS video easier and quicker.

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3 hours ago, PII said:

Whoever embarks on this one, would want to get through each level and boss with most of their life bar intact since the program rewards the player with significant life bar replenishment for completing a level this way and punishes the player with very little life bar left with very little life replenished.  Plus they'd have to take out bosses without upgrades so that would rule out special kills on Souther and Jagi, which probably wouldn't be too big of a deal with Jagi, but Souther would be a lot harder.  And then, will the players score from beating bosses always be sufficient to manifest the Dippers?

Heart and Shin would not be an issue, as they're worth 2000 points each.  Jagi is worth 3000 though, so either one would need a few kills to spawn the dipper on the fourth stage, or just avoid that one.  With all that said, you have to be able to hit it in midair, so a 0-kill run would be impossible to complete getting the dippers anyway (you can't jump kick until you get your first star).

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1 hour ago, the_wizard_666 said:

Heart and Shin would not be an issue, as they're worth 2000 points each.  Jagi is worth 3000 though, so either one would need a few kills to spawn the dipper on the fourth stage, or just avoid that one.  With all that said, you have to be able to hit it in midair, so a 0-kill run would be impossible to complete getting the dippers anyway (you can't jump kick until you get your first star).

You don't have to hit the dipper to collect it.  You only have to jump into it, although it is flukey.  You're right anyway though, I think, because you wouldn't be able to jump high enough without the first star power-up to collect the dipper.  I neglected to think about that earlier...

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40 minutes ago, PII said:

You don't have to hit the dipper to collect it.  You only have to jump into it, although it is flukey.  You're right anyway though, I think, because you wouldn't be able to jump high enough without the first star power-up to collect the dipper.  I neglected to think about that earlier...

Well, I just quickly tested it out, and you're right, you just need to jump into it to collect it (it said to kick it on the site I found, so that's what I'd been doing).  But that said, you are also correct in that you need the first star to jump high enough to collect it, so yeah, it would be redundant to go for that detour if you're trying for 0 kills.  For the purposes of this contest, had I had time this weekend I would've tried for a much lower kill count.  You only need to kill 5 enemies to get the speed up, so the first few levels shouldn't be too hard to get.  If I could just trim down my later level kill counts I would've been able to compete with the rest of you 😛

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2 hours ago, the_wizard_666 said:

Well, I just quickly tested it out, and you're right, you just need to jump into it to collect it (it said to kick it on the site I found, so that's what I'd been doing).  But that said, you are also correct in that you need the first star to jump high enough to collect it, so yeah, it would be redundant to go for that detour if you're trying for 0 kills.  For the purposes of this contest, had I had time this weekend I would've tried for a much lower kill count.  You only need to kill 5 enemies to get the speed up, so the first few levels shouldn't be too hard to get.  If I could just trim down my later level kill counts I would've been able to compete with the rest of you 😛

Getting through the first 4 levels with 0 kills really wouldn't be too tall an order except for doing Souther without relying on the special kill AND taking minimal enough damage to start level 5 with a full life meter.  But that last level would take a ton of figuring to get through without any kills, especially without being able to jump full height. 

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15 hours ago, PII said:

Getting through the first 4 levels with 0 kills really wouldn't be too tall an order except for doing Souther without relying on the special kill AND taking minimal enough damage to start level 5 with a full life meter.

That depends on whether you're going for a 0 kill 1CC or a 0 kill No-Death Run.  If you're just going for no kills beating the game in one credit, you could strategically time your death(s) such that you start Stage 5 with full life.  It would still be a bear to complete that final level, but definitely a lot easier than a No-Death Run where you're trying to conserve energy through a couple of tough boss fights as well...

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