Golden Era Game of the Week 11/20/04: Gravitar

Golden Era Game of the Week
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Postby Twix » Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:45 am

Ian Sutton wrote:
Twix wrote:I'll not be submitting a game -- at this point it's unnecessary to do so. I would have won this week's competition with a score of 614,200 if we had been able to figure out the technical side of recording a game correctly -- oh well.

Hmm, I expect you feel like you got "Tanged" again. I hope there's no hard feelings there, but I felt I had to give it a shot. Re: submitting an inp, I believe TG accepts wolf78 submissions for world records if your neighbour (and your wife!) has the patience. You might have to check the site on that.

Not quite sure what "Tanged" means -- this was my first attempt with Marp. It was the recording proceedure that messed me up, not the game play -- so no hard feelings. I'm glad there are other players that are now aware of Gravitar as a challenging game of skill and finesse. As for submitting a recording, the only record I really care about is breaking Ray Mueller's 4.7M world record on the arcade version. I don't own a video camera so I have to wait for Brien King to tape my game -- he's a Twin Galaxy referee and lives here in Phoenix. It's just a matter of him having the time to tape the game -- and me having the stamina -- the WR will take over 12 hours to play. Ray Mueller's world record is even more amazing when you consider he was playing for less than a year, and he set the record (playing for 12 hours, 21 minutes) at a Chuck E. Cheese in Boulder, Colorado, where he had no control over sound, light and temperature. Some people are just wired differently. :-)

Twix wrote:My question to Ian and JBS is:
Did my web site http://www.cooganphoto.com/gravitar/ help you in any degree with the game play (hints etc) and especially regarding the answer to completing the final planet (Northwest - upper left planet) in the invisible landscapes?

Ian Sutton wrote:I'd say that your site was fairly comprehensive, definitely entertaining, and extremely helpful. As for the final planet - I copied your strategy for the most part. If the bottom two turrets are left it makes navigation easier for sure. Of course you have to leave the left one to find the entrance. The right one I think you could destroy early and save a little fuel. Your method seems easier so that's what I did. Once I destroyed the final turret I went back through the maze picking up the fuel, trying in vain to destroy those last 2 turrets and finish it on one life.

Well I'm glad the site was helpful -- that was one of my goals for posting it up to other gamers that might need some help to complete the game. I started playing Gravitar in Mame and used a screen capture of the final planet to discect the strategy to complete that final planet. I figure if you still have to have the playing skills to get there -- once you are there, you might just need a bit of friendly advice on how to get through the tough parts.

As for the final planet -- I do leave the 3rd and 4th turrets, then destroy the remaining turrets, while collecting the fuel from the first 3 fuel cells along the way. I leave the last fuel cell until after destroying the 8th turret (it helps to have a land mark there), then I pick up that fuel and at that point I usually let my ship crash into the wall, as it's impossible to make your way back through the invisible maze -- you will expend way to much fuel trying to do that. Sometimes I try and make my way out through the exit at the end of the maze, but that's still near impossible to do (though I've actually done it several times in the invisible landscapes, and can't believe it when it happens) Then I go back in and destroy the #3 & #4 gun turrets to complete the game.

Ian Sutton wrote:Seriously I think those designers must have been smoking crack when they came up with that invisible idea. Those levels are impossible without a good knowledge of the layout.

I don't believe Mike Hally and Rich Adam were using any illegal substances while designing the game -- Mike never mentioned any of that to me though.

I give you a lot of credit for learning the game so quickly -- it took me nearly 18 months to complete the game.

Congrats,
Dan
Last edited by Twix on Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.cooganphoto.com
"Photography with a Vision"
Also, visit my Gravitar site
http://www.cooganphoto.com/gravitar/
- dedicated to the 1982 Atari classic video arcade game Gravitar. Hints and playing tips with screen captures, etc. included...
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Postby Ian Sutton » Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:24 am

Twix wrote:Not quite sure what "Tanged means -- this was my first attempt with Marp.


Haha, I was just referencing your earlier Seinfeld quote. I'm not aware of any secret Marp lingo although God only knows what goes on in the Marp irc channel.

Twix wrote:As for submitting a recording, the only record I really care about is breaking Ray Mueller's 4.7M world record on the arcade version.


Yeah I meant you could beat the record in MAME wolf78 and submit the inp recording to TG, but I can understand wanting to do it on the arcade.

Twix wrote:It's just a matter of him having the time to tape the game -- and me having the stamina -- the WR will take over 12 hours to play. Ray Mueller's world record is even more amazing when you consider he was playing for less than a year, and he set the record (playing for 12 hours, 21 minutes) at a Chuck E. Cheese in Boulder, Colorado, where he had no control over sound, light and temperature. Some people are just wired differently.


I hope you make it. What would be more interesting to me for a TG record is to see how far you could get on 5 lives like Robotron. Now that would take some real mastery to complete the game.

Twix wrote:As for the final planet -- I do leave the 3rd and 4th turrets, then destroy the remaining turrets, while collecting the fuel from the first 3 fuel cells along the way. I leave the last fuel cell until after destroying the 8th turret (it helps to have a land mark there), then I pick up that fuel and at that point I usually let my ship crash into the wall, as it's impossible to make your way back through the invisible maze -- you will expend way to much fuel trying to do that. Sometimes I try and make my way out through the exit at the end of the maze, but that's still near impossible to do (though I've actually done it several times in the invisible landscapes, and can't believe it when it happens) Then I go back in and destroy the #3 & #4 gun turrets to complete the game.


Here's where I diverged. I only picked up fuel cell F4 on the way, simply because if I died before killing turret 8 then it would be troublesome returning to it without the fuel cell landmarks. It wasn't too hard to go left back through with the fuel cells remaining, and then you can try and kill turret 4 shooting back down from the turret 5 position. In my recording I managed that but then died trying to get into position for turret 3.

Twix wrote:I give you a lot of credit for learning the game so quickly -- it took me nearly 18 months to complete the game.


Well a big part of that, apart from your site, is using MAME save states to practice the tougher levels. Something which I'm guessing you and certainly Ray Mueller didn't avail yourselves of.
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Postby tar » Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:28 am

ian sutton wrote: those designers must have been smoking crack when they came up with that invisible idea.
yes that way the authorities will be unable to see them.

in 1982 they called it freebase
might have taken it orally(nose)

in case you were wondering it has been well over a month since i have had any
kicked the habit
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Postby Twix » Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:25 am

Ian Sutton wrote:
Twix wrote:Not quite sure what "Tanged" means?

Haha, I was just referencing your earlier Seinfeld quote.

GEORGE: "It's like I'm Neil Armstrong. I turn around for a sip of Tang and you jump out first"
-- Ah yes, a sip of tang... I was just saying that I should have been the one to submit and win the competition, but due to my own personal "sip of tang" or inability to record a game correctly... well, C'est La Vie

Ian Sutton wrote:
Twix wrote:As for submitting a recording, the only record I really care about is breaking Ray Mueller's 4.7M world record on the arcade version.

Yeah I meant you could beat the record in MAME wolf78 and submit the inp recording to TG, but I can understand wanting to do it on the arcade.

Twix wrote:It's just a matter of him having the time to tape the game -- and me having the stamina -- the WR will take over 12 hours to play. Ray Mueller's world record is even more amazing when you consider he was playing for less than a year, and he set the record (playing for 12 hours, 21 minutes) at a Chuck E. Cheese in Boulder, Colorado, where he had no control over sound, light and temperature. Some people are just wired differently.

Ian Sutton wrote:I hope you make it. What would be more interesting to me for a TG record is to see how far you could get on 5 lives like Robotron. Now that would take some real mastery to complete the game.

That would be some trick -- my own personal best for my 1st ship scored is 207,450 points before being destroyed -- I'm glad Mike Hally designed the game to award a ship every 10,000 points -- try a game of Lunar Battle some time if you want to raise the Gravitar bar.

Ian Sutton wrote:
Twix wrote:As for the final planet -- I do leave the 3rd and 4th turrets, then destroy the remaining turrets, while collecting the fuel from the first 3 fuel cells along the way. I leave the last fuel cell until after destroying the 8th turret (it helps to have a land mark there), then I pick up that fuel and at that point I usually let my ship crash into the wall, as it's impossible to make your way back through the invisible maze -- you will expend way to much fuel trying to do that. Sometimes I try and make my way out through the exit at the end of the maze, but that's still near impossible to do (though I've actually done it several times in the invisible landscapes, and can't believe it when it happens) Then I go back in and destroy the #3 & #4 gun turrets to complete the game.

Here's where I diverged. I only picked up fuel cell F4 on the way, simply because if I died before killing turret 8 then it would be troublesome returning to it without the fuel cell landmarks. It wasn't too hard to go left back through with the fuel cells remaining, and then you can try and kill turret 4 shooting back down from the turret 5 position. In my recording I managed that but then died trying to get into position for turret 3.

I've never tried to leave all the fuel cells and then go back and pick them up -- I'll give it a try next time. I've had several games where my ship crashed into a wall or was shot at the end of the maze of the last planet and then I had to go back into the Maze and make my way to the end without the aid of the fuel cells as landmarks -- sometimes I am able to make it and sometimes not -- either way it's very difficult. Usually at that point in the game I need the fuel and want to make sure I have it, in case I need to go back in if my ship is destroyed near the end of the planet maze.

Ian Sutton wrote:
Twix wrote:I give you a lot of credit for learning the game so quickly -- it took me nearly 18 months to complete the game.

Well a big part of that, apart from your site, is using MAME save states to practice the tougher levels. Something which I'm guessing you and certainly Ray Mueller didn't avail yourselves of.

I did use Mame to practice on, and fell in love with the game ~ that's why I ultimately decided to buy a real full size Gravitar. My high score in mame was only 128,000 points before getting the real game in my home. I actually emailed Ray Mueller (you can read the email correspondence on the Ray Mueller page on my Gravitar site) asking him how it's possible to score 4.7M points -- I think it's pretty funny now, looking back. We keep in contact through email ~ a few months ago he emailed saying he was surprised I had not broken his record yet. Yeah, yeah, well it takes more stamina than anything else I think (at this point) to score a 5M point game -- at 41 I'm a bit older than Ray was in 1982 (I think we are actually the same age). I know he is looking to buy a game of his own (perhaps I will break the WR and he will then be forced out of retirement :-).

I do wonder if his record is one of the longest standing from the classic arcade titles? At some point I hope to meet Ray Mueller in person as well as Mike Hally -- hopefully I'll make it to CA Extreme next year -- I know Mike was there this past year.

best,
Dan
http://www.cooganphoto.com
"Photography with a Vision"
Also, visit my Gravitar site
http://www.cooganphoto.com/gravitar/
- dedicated to the 1982 Atari classic video arcade game Gravitar. Hints and playing tips with screen captures, etc. included...
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Postby diabolik » Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:22 am

tar wrote:in case you were wondering it has been well over a month since i have had any
kicked the habit


That's awesome!

With any addiction, it is always good to get yourself obsessed with something else... Like MARP for example :) Anything to keep your focus off of boredom.

Keep a strong will.
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Postby The TJT » Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:14 pm

tar, I hope you don't crack.

You should have somebody you know try help you.
Take care man!!!!
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Postby By-Tor » Sun Feb 13, 2005 1:02 am

Hi, just popping in. I read many threads here and this seemed very interesting.

I'm a MAME / arcade games freak and to me Gravitar has always been the ultimate players' game. Sort of "thinking man's Asteroids". It has so much more depth and sheer playability than ANY of the 80's video games. It's just fantastic.

It's also interesting to realize how much more respect and attention it has gotten after MAME. It didn't do well in the arcades. People always talk about the difficulty but I don't think it's THAT difficult, really. It's just a players' game like the slogan says. Learning those controls shouldn't be too hard for anyone who mastered Space Duel or Asteroids.

Anyway, my highest score isn't that much compared to what I've seen in this thread. 351.600 and you can probably guess what planet was too much for me in the invisible landscape. I never even got to the 4th round but I'm working on it. :)
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Postby Twix » Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:11 am

By-Tor wrote:Anyway, my highest score isn't that much compared to what I've seen in this thread. 351.600 and you can probably guess what planet was too much for me in the invisible landscape. I never even got to the 4th round but I'm working on it. :)

That's a great score. Keep practicing and you will get through the entire game. Take a look at my Gravitar site for help on getting through the final planet.
http://www.cooganphoto.com
"Photography with a Vision"
Also, visit my Gravitar site
http://www.cooganphoto.com/gravitar/
- dedicated to the 1982 Atari classic video arcade game Gravitar. Hints and playing tips with screen captures, etc. included...
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Postby By-Tor » Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:35 am

Wow, that site is amazing. Great work. I wish there were more sites like that.

thanks for the link.
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Postby Weehawk » Sat Dec 23, 2006 3:03 am

Congratulations to Dan Coogan who has now surpassed the record on this game held by Ray Mueller since 1982.

Very happy for you, Dan.

As of this posting Dan is still continuing his game in excess of the record.

http://www.twingalaxies.com/forums/view ... 2942#62942
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Postby Weehawk » Sat Dec 23, 2006 7:54 pm

Weehawk wrote:Congratulations to Dan Coogan who has now surpassed the record on this game held by Ray Mueller since 1982.

Very happy for you, Dan.

As of this posting Dan is still continuing his game in excess of the record.

http://www.twingalaxies.com/forums/view ... 2942#62942

And wound up with 8,029,450:

http://www.twingalaxies.com/forums/view ... 2991#62991

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