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Cynicaster last won the day on February 15

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  1. For me, it’s not so much that I wish the game were higher speed, just consistent speed. What makes it annoying is that the game slows down and speeds back up in fits and starts, which can really throw your timing off. Like, you’ll be walking all sloooooooowww then suddenly the game kicks back to full speed, and you walk off a cliff and die because it catches you by surprise. Or, your character does a bunch of things you don’t want him to because the slow down affects how button presses are processed—you’re jumping and head-butting and kicking when you don’t mean to, etc. I’m not aware of any hacks to fix the slow down, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that existed. If you want to get a feel for how the game plays without slow down, try the Genesis version; it looks almost identical to the arcade but runs more smoothly. If you want to play a really great version, check out the Game Boy Advance version. It’s actually more of a re-imagining than a port, but it’s really good.
  2. R-Type Syndrome [AR-type-SIN-drohm] Noun 1. a common video game construct characterized by the gradual build-up of ass-kicking weaponry and power-ups, accompanied by a short-lived euphoric sense of omnipotence on the part of the player, followed immediately by a phase of existential dread, when a stray enemy bullet ends the party and the player is left with a pea-shooter of a weapon amidst an insurmountable onslaught, dying every few seconds until all reserve lives have been exhausted and the game ends. Exemplified in Irem's R-Type, and popular in retro shoot-em-games. 2. an instance of a video game player being forced to retread the same stretch of a level over and over again when they lose a life, rather than allowing the player to proceed from the spot where their previous life was lost, often resulting in a rapid succession of deaths Example sentence: "Ah man, I made it all the way to the last level without losing a life and was about to steal the world record, but then the game's R-Type Syndrome kicked in and I lost all 5 of my lives over the course of the next 30 seconds!" Synonyms: oppression algorithm, mockery of gaming justice, Ghosts N Goblins Syndrome Antonyms: coddling, fairness, nurturing of sanity ^^ Ok, I made all that up. But it really belongs in the dictionary. 195,600
  3. Double Dragon is a historic game for sure. I love the soundtrack and graphics, and the game mechanics were hugely influential in the 5 or so years that followed. At the same time, Double Dragon might be the strongest example of a game "not aging well" that I have ever seen. The slow-down is atrocious, the hit detection is iffy, and you pretty much have to exploit a cheap tactic (elbow smash) to survive. Regarding the slow-down problem, we mustn't forget that the primary purpose of MAME is accurate preservation of old technology; the developers do not set out to tinker with old games to make them more fun to play in the present day at home on a computer. That is usually a good thing, but the flip side is that it means that if the original game had bad slow-down or lag, then those problems will be present in MAME as well, by design. I played a fair bit of DD in arcades back then, and I remember the slow-down, but I just can't believe that we weren't more bothered by it at the time. I think the game was so revolutionary with its graphics and action--and so many light years ahead of what we could get on our home consoles--that we were willing to overlook the major flaws. 84,110
  4. 127,700 Never played this one before. Not a huge fan, to be honest. I can see how this would have a nostalgic appeal if I had played it in the 80s, but to me, the "one on one fighter" type game is defined by Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken. It's kind of hard to start with those games and then go back to this one and try to appreciate it.
  5. 36,950
  6. 35,350
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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:
  13. 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.]
  14. 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
  15. 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.