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VGS NES Weekly Contest - Dr. Mario


BeaIank
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Member · Posted

Not really feeling doing another run cause even this one was almost two hours, unless I’m feeling it later, it’s such a heavy endurance game.  Wish I would have kept a stronger grip on this last run to get over that 2nd place score.  We’ll see…

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Member · Posted
1 hour ago, mbd39 said:

That score by level 15 is insane. I don't even have the patience to go for big combos all the time.

Thanks.  I had a few good ones along the way.  Still though, many levels in here where for the most part was grinding through it with a reasonably frontloaded score.  Think one of my last levels there was some decent combos.

this isn’t my true best but I just don’t have the gumption today to pony up another 3 hours.  Mostly just cause I’m not really on point and don’t wanna lead myself into a low score trajectory, or get pinched somewhere, that’s a big time burn

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55 minutes ago, Krunch said:

Thanks.  I had a few good ones along the way.  Still though, many levels in here where for the most part was grinding through it with a reasonably frontloaded score.  Think one of my last levels there was some decent combos.

this isn’t my true best but I just don’t have the gumption today to pony up another 3 hours.  Mostly just cause I’m not really on point and don’t wanna lead myself into a low score trajectory, or get pinched somewhere, that’s a big time burn

The nice thing about Tetris is no setting up elaborate combos to worry about. The highest scoring thing you can do is a Tetris and that's it.

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The thing is with this game is that the RNG is stable after you get past the level select screen. So, as long as you are only on that screen for a set amount of frames you get the same starting viruses and piece order for every level. I just went with the seed that I would consistently get when double pressing start (and it's a quick reset if you miss it).

From there I started mapping out big combos for every level using TAS tools up until level 6 when I realized that the lower levels were not worth the time to both plan out and execute. So, I just play normally until level 16, were I do the big erase bug combos (see the TG world record or the TAS). I only had time to plan out 16 and 17, but just those two levels give over 2.5 million points.

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Member · Posted
3 minutes ago, 0xDEAFC0DE said:

The thing is with this game is that the RNG is stable after you get past the level select screen. So, as long as you are only on that screen for a set amount of frames you get the same starting viruses and piece order for every level. I just went with the seed that I would consistently get when double pressing start (and it's a quick reset if you miss it).

From there I started mapping out big combos for every level using TAS tools up until level 6 when I realized that the lower levels were not worth the time to both plan out and execute. So, I just play normally until level 16, were I do the big erase bug combos (see the TG world record or the TAS). I only had time to plan out 16 and 17, but just those two levels give over 2.5 million points.

Now I understand why you didn't do as well at Tetris. AFAIK there's no way to break Tetris other than certain techniques to move your pieces faster.

 

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1 hour ago, mbd39 said:

Now I understand why you didn't do as well at Tetris. AFAIK there's no way to break Tetris other than certain techniques to move your pieces faster.

Yep. I have actually disassembled a bunch of Tetris' code before for other reasons, and from what I remember it's entirely impossible for a human to manipulate the rng. Also the point system is too simple to break. 

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Member · Posted
15 minutes ago, 0xDEAFC0DE said:

Yep. I have actually disassembled a bunch of Tetris' code before for other reasons, and from what I remember it's entirely impossible for a human to manipulate the rng. Also the point system is too simple to break. 

I love that about Tetris. No big combos to wrap your head around. It's nice and simple. There are key strats, but the big points mainly come from muscle memory and hours of practice.

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23 hours ago, GameboyRicky said:

 

@0xDEAFC0DE, wow i'd like to see video of your combo skills.  2.7 million at level 17?

I'm a bit lazy, and don't feel like doing it for real. Also, it's probably not super interesting since I pause a lot to check what to do next. Instead I recorded a quick video of the level 16 and 17 combos from the TAS I created as a route. Sorry, for the crappy video quality. Again, I was too lazy to remember the proper way to upscale it.

If you are curious about how all the other viruses disappear at the end, it's the same method used in the TG WR, and also explained by the TASTL;DR essentially, if your combo points are too big it will take over a frame to count up. However, right when the new frame starts, the RAM location that stores the endpoint of the line that it's erasing is overwritten by the value of P2's controller. This allows you to manipulate the endpoint to clear all the viruses. (It's a bit more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it at least)

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Events Team · Posted
39 minutes ago, 0xDEAFC0DE said:

I'm a bit lazy, and don't feel like doing it for real. Also, it's probably not super interesting since I pause a lot to check what to do next. Instead I recorded a quick video of the level 16 and 17 combos from the TAS I created as a route. Sorry, for the crappy video quality. Again, I was too lazy to remember the proper way to upscale it.

If you are curious about how all the other viruses disappear at the end, it's the same method used in the TG WR, and also explained by the TASTL;DR essentially, if your combo points are too big it will take over a frame to count up. However, right when the new frame starts, the RAM location that stores the endpoint of the line that it's erasing is overwritten by the value of P2's controller. This allows you to manipulate the endpoint to clear all the viruses. (It's a bit more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it at least)

I'm so confused.........

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Member · Posted

I don't feel like copying TAS inputs frame for frame on a puzzle game really falls within the spirit of our VGS weekly NES competition, but whatever.  People are gonna do what they're gonna do.  My Dr. Mario skills are so laughably bad that I'm like third last, so it doesn't really affect me, but seeing a guy put up a really amazing score in the millions after hours of incredible play "lose" to a guy who followed a TAS for magical points is pretty disappointing...

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Member · Posted
3 hours ago, Dr. Morbis said:

I don't feel like copying TAS inputs frame for frame on a puzzle game really falls within the spirit of our VGS weekly NES competition, but whatever.  People are gonna do what they're gonna do.  My Dr. Mario skills are so laughably bad that I'm like third last, so it doesn't really affect me, but seeing a guy put up a really amazing score in the millions after hours of incredible play "lose" to a guy who followed a TAS for magical points is pretty disappointing...

Yeah I'm not gonna lie I was kinda like ??? with this one once I seen the video, when the contest was still live/just closed I figured he had simply found that way to get constant patterns from the start, and then used that knowledge to create consistent combo chains, which I also thought was quite a bonkers approach to such a frenetic game.  But - this is just some magic point swoop based on overloading the game, and copying the pill arrangement off TAS/WRs no less?  Weird sauce.  Anyway according to Youtube this is a known glitch so maybe it comes down to rule-making and explicitly banning known glitches when it's relevant.  "Don't hate the player, hate the game" might apply but the fact is the NES is a renaissance library resting on loose scoring systems and coding shortcuts, which happened to rescue the video game industry, but also makes these things real breakable.

I did some math on the vid and basically it's roughly clearing 50 viruses for 1,290,200.  That's 25,804 per virus, versus what the manual says on a chain of 6 viruses being worth 12,600 total (2,100 per virus, then.  I can't really remember if 6 is the cap and it just keeps feeding you 6,400s from 7 on, or if the cap is higher, but clearly it's impossible to hit a 25K virus average in normal play).  I wasn't the guy with the amazing score, but I just look at this and say ah shit, I was playin the combos too, but could have just put my effort into sledgehammering the game with an epic combo instead of shooting for consistent 3-4's and as many 6+'s along the way as you can get.

...not that I did well anyways.  My effort was hot garbage couched in a pretty good point average, which is nothing new.

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Member · Posted
4 hours ago, Californication said:

I thought I was close to cracking Dr. Mario. 😞

If it’s any consolation you cracked my head wide open and pwned me cause I flubbed my run not realizing that you’d set that bar and then didn’t have the gumption to retry even with 8 hours left ….still ruminated on it all day of course 😝

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