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Cynicaster last won the day on January 14

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  1. Hey, I'm in Canada too. But you're right--retro arcades are pretty rare in Canada, compared to the US (as far as I can tell, anyway). There is certainly no such thing in my city; the arcade I will be visiting tonight is in Michigan.
  2. Hmm, I must say, not being able to hit a button with your thumb for reverse like on the original cabinet would be disappointing. As a happy accident when I built my control panel, there is a button in the perfect spot for the thumb. This is the configuration I've been using lately: left-most joystick - up/down (left hand) 1 - reverse (left thumb) 2 - thrust (right hand) 3 - fire (right hand) 4 - smart bomb (right hand) I don't even bother mapping a button to hyperspace because I'm not good enough to make any use of it. If all goes to plan I'll be testing my mettle on a real machine on Friday evening. Any score I get will probably not be admissible here because I doubt the machine will be set up for TGTS, but I'm looking forward to it nonetheless.
  3. Yeah, never mind trying to work around the controls, just spend your time learning them as they are. If you survey retro gaming forums where this game is discussed, I'm willing to bet that over 75% of the messages will be from people dismissing the game because its control scheme is too complicated. But it's really not that bad with just a little bit of getting-used-to. And I can assure you, simplifying the controls is not going to simplify the game. Controls don't make Defender difficult, Defender makes Defender difficult.
  4. It’s possible in MAME to map “buttons” to “directions” and vice versa, but I can’t think of a good way to do it such that it mimics the home console type control scheme. The home consoles kind of combine thrust and reverse into one control input (pressing left or right), whereas in arcade/MAME, flying direction is “toggled” back and forth using a single button. In theory you could fake it by mapping “reverse” to both left and right joystick movements, but it would get confusing and probably wouldn’t be very usable. If your ship is facing left and you hit right on the joystick, the ship would turn around and face right as you want it to, but if you accidentally press right while your ship is already facing right, it will still flip and face the other way.
  5. 33,925 I played credit after credit and just could not improve my score on this punishingly difficult game. I know my score isn't much to write home about, but believe me, in the midst of learning Defender there is a big difference between scoring 20k and 30k. I was about to throw in the towel when I figured out one of the main things I was doing wrong: hanging out in a single area of the planet for too long trying to kill groups of enemies. Instead, you need to keep moving in one direction (I find right to be easier) and pick off the landers as quickly as you can as they enter the screen. You're not going to get all of them, but that's OK. If your shots miss, keep going anyway, and get them on the next pass. Before figuring this out, I would have 3-4 landers enter the screen, I'd hit 1 or 2 of them quickly but miss the others. Then, I'd hit reverse and chase after the ones I missed, often firing several missed shots and wasting all kinds of time. Sometimes, I'd still not hit those targets and even end up getting shot myself. While distracted in this way, dozens of landers all across the planet are descending in an intergalactic free-for-all to pick up humanoids and turn into mutants, which is pretty much certain doom for a novice Defender player.
  6. That's cool. I have set mine to 5 lives, no free lives, which is TGTS I believe. As a side note, for anybody up for some light reading, I found the following link from some Defender enthusiast who wrote a strategy guide back in the 80s but could not find a publisher at the time. A few years ago he published his guide online for all to read. Some good tips in there:
  7. I think there is some ambiguity here on the correct game settings. If I’m reading Han’s opening post correctly—and I believe I am—then the game should be set up to give you 5 lives to start, with no free lives. I assume that’s the TGTS (Twin Galaxies Tournament Settings). If that’s the case then MO’s score is invalid, and he’ll have to crush everybody using the correct settings instead. Han, can you confirm this was the intent? As stated earlier, the standard Tab menu -> Dip switch method does not work in this game to change game settings. Here is how to do it: - Load the game - Press F1 + F2 together until the service mode comes up - When it does, you will be presented with a crude “settings” screen, which shows only one item at a time. You need to cycle through the settings to get to the ones you want to change. There are many settings, but you only need to change (2) of them (lives and bonus level as described in opening post). - Cycle forward through the settings by pressing F2 - Cycle in reverse through the settings by pressing F1 + F2 - When you get to the setting you want to change, cycle through the various available options with the ‘9’ key - Once you have correctly set the 2 settings, cycle forward through the list of settings (I think there are 30-40 of them) until the game title screen reappears Having set up the game like this, my weak submission: 24,550 [the eagle-eyed might notice that our beloved MO holds the top score in the “all time” list at the right of my screen shot—probably achieved a few years ago before his skills had reached their current heights. Either that, or he was trying to take it easy on me during one of our friendly competitions.]
  8. For anybody curious, the parts are as follows: 8-way joystick (left one) - Dominux8 4-way joystick - Pac-Pro Dial - TurboTwist 2 All fine products from
  9. 66,130 For the longest time I liked Pac-Man better than Ms. Pac, but frankly I don't know what I was thinking--Ms. Pac is so much more fun.
  10. No, my last two submissions have had photos hosted in the cloud.
  11. Han, I think you said you play MAME with an XBOX 360 controller or something similar... if that's the case, then you're really making it hard on yourself with DK. Sometimes when I'm traveling I'll play MAME using a d-pad controller and frankly, I can't stand to play DK that way for more than a minute or two because I just can't control Mario with a d-pad. Same goes for maze games. Pac-Man is even worse than DK with a d-pad.. completely unplayable. For me, anyway.
  12. Put a beating on my previous personal best: 348,100 I was on fire for a while, and actually had 2 lives left right up until the end when I died twice back-to-back on the elevator stage. So frustrating, because once you figure out how it works, it pretty much needs to be a freebie on any good-scoring run so that you can save your lives for the other three screens, especially the cement factory and rivets that go crazy random.
  13. 42,890 I will never figure this game out. Hopefully I can at least break 50k.