A Note And A Suggestion About The Newzealand Story In The Next Round

Discussion in 'Gp32 Offline Gaming League' started by Prometheus, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    Alright, so, the arcade version of The NewZealand Story is coming up in the next round. However, as I'm sure everyone's aware, there are several different revisions of this game, and the later ones have completely different levels to the original. (In earlier MAME versions, these are nicknamed "The NewZealand Story 2", if my memory serves me correctly, but later on they're labelled as being the "World" and "newer" ones.)

    Which one are we using? I would like to suggest the "Japan, old" version (in MAME4All, this is tnzs.zip, and in MAME 0.106 this is tnszj.zip), as this was not only the first version of the game, but also the one on which almost all home ports (notably excluding the Mega Drive one) were based, so it should be more familiar to most people.

    Is anyone else with me on this one? (And is there anyone out there who didn't know of the revisions? If you didn't, now you know that there's more fun to be had if you've mastered the original version of the game. :p )
     
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  2. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Ta, I didn't know about those revisions. But then, I've never played the game before ;) I'm happy to make 'Japan, old' be the version to play if no one's got any objections.
     
  3. Dunny

    Dunny Exophase ApprovedĀ® Forum Troll

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    God, I love this game. Played it to death on the Amiga, then became very disappointed on the GP2X when the Megadrive version was so different. Then played the original Jap version on Mame4All on the Pandora, and can't put it down :)

    Wonderful game.

    D.
     
  4. mal_CanDo

    mal_CanDo Still Fresh

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    +1 on the Japanese version - I didn't realise myself about the different versions, I just remembered playing it years ( well, decades lol ) ago in the arcade, so I thought I'd nominate it for the competition.
     
  5. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    As promised, my strategy.

    New Zealand Story, scoring strategy guide
    As mentioned in the scoring thread of round 3 of the Retro Offline Tournament (ROT) there is an exploit in this game which allows warping back from level 2.1 to 1.4.

    As was agreed upon in the thread, we will NOT be using this backwards warp in our strategy as it is deemed an exploit and would ruin the fun of the competition.
    This exploit however, did enlighten me to the better way to get really high scores.

    The competition in this round had the goal to reach the highest score, not to reach the highest level or achieve the quickest run. Hence, we must ask ourselves how do we gain points?
    • A. quickly finish the level (can yield up to 10.000 or so points)
    • B. destroy enemies and their vehicles
    • C. pick up fruit and powerups
    So, in order to achieve the highest possible score we need to maximize it each level. It isn't too hard to see that option A is totally dominated by combination of B and C. From this we derive our strategy: take it as slow as possible. Let's dance with the devil. The timeout devil that is. The second time the game mentions to hurry up a devil appears which starts chasing you. This is the time we head towards the exit and no sooner. Until then: we fight!

    Though we will not use the backwards warp exploit, there is absolutely no reason to not use the forward warps. We do this, so we can beat as many enemies as possible and still have a quick exit to the next level. Furthermore, it needs to be noted that some warps warp to a later spot in the same level. These warps reset the level timer in doing so, which allows us to advance our score even further.

    Two notable paths to take: (-> finish normally, ~> warp)

    Path in my high scores:
    1-1 -> 1-2 ~> 1-2 -> 1-3 ~> 2-1 -> 2-2 ~> 2-2 -> 2-3 ~> 2-3 -> 2-4 ~> 3-1

    Slightly longer path: 1-3 ~> 1-4 -> 2-1\

    I'm not sure which one scores better as 1-3 ~> 2-1 warps directly to our combat hot-spot (allowing more enemies to be killed) and level 1-4 has a fairly short timer. In an untrained test run it didn't matter much, but I haven't optimized my traversal of the long path at all, so perhaps the longer path is better if you score enough points while going to the end of 2-1. The warp from 1-3 to 1-4 is located on the top plateau above the exit.

    I made a series of screenshots of a typical run last week. So let's go through them. I'll be showing the warps and the good spots for fighting enemies.

    @Level 1-1.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    There is a warp in this level which takes us through the box in level 2-1 to level 1-4. This skips over quite a few early levels, which is detrimental to our total score, so we are skipping this one. Instead we race to the finish while eliminating all enemies and collecting all fruit.

    @Level 1-2.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    There is a warp in the first section of this level, we first clear out all enemies and collect their items and then we jump in. The warp goes to a hidden level with two exits. The left one takes us below level 2 and leads us straight to the exit. The right one, which we take, takes us to the top of level 2 (a screen above the warp) where there are a lot of apples for some extra points. From this point on we start fighting enemies until the timeout. The plateaus next to the exit respawn their enemies if you move far enough to the left. My goal is to pass 50.000 points here.

    In the run shown, I was actually killed by the time-demon. This allowed me to get even more points before exiting (and earning my life back due to 70.000! points).

    @Level 1-3.
    [​IMG]
    This is a fairly good level for scoring. The large open area which is the bulk of this level is a great place to fight enemies. On the left side of this area is a warp which we take to evade the demon (once we can no longer dodge him).
    Note that by now we already have 135.780 points. I was actually killed once by the time-demon at 119.880 points. This is pretty advantageous as we cannot stock infinite lives, so dying a few times allows us to get more points.

    @Level 2-1.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    After a small transition through the secret warp level, we exit above the finish of level 2-1. Steer to the left when you drop down here to avoid being killed by the spawning enemies.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The box above the exit which we see here is where the exploit is located. By shooting it form the side with a laser or below with the firerod we can open the warp in the right of this box and jump in. We don't do that here, but as you can see by the score progression it is quite profitable. In the last image, I dodged the time-demon and exit the level. We have gained about 100.000 points here.

    @Level 2-2
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The top right corner of the starting area contains our quick exit. The area to the left of there spawns quite some enemies and is a good place to fight for more points. I failed to evade the devil here once more and had to sprint to the exit afterwards. Again, a gain of about 100.000 points.
    This warp takes us to the exit of level 2-2 and resets the clock. We have the option to backtrack a bit and fight even more enemies, but timing is of the essence as travel through the water takes quite a bit of time and we are unlikely to reach the exit while evading the time-demon in a single life. I just exit the level right away and collect the time bonus.

    @Level 2-3
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    We are now at 339.190 points and have almost beaten the second score of the ROT competition this round. This happens to be an absolutely fantastic round to score points, but I botch it in this run. Otherwise, this could have been a 600.000 run.

    The warp in this level takes us to a point further in the level, such that we can collect points twice (remember: the warp resets the timer). Directly to the left of the warp, we can easily and safely fight enemies from the water.

    [​IMG]
    Unfortunately, I accidentally picked up a mirror which resets the timer and warps us to the end. This should NOT have happened and easily cost us 100.000 points total. When taking the warp, the exit point in level 2-3 is a good place to fight. Just be sure to sprint as quickly as possible to the exit once the FIRST timeout warning appears.

    @Level 2-4.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    We are now at 403.290 points. I'm seriously frustrated because of the mirror and as a consequence lose 2 lives because I hurry too much to compensate for lost points. The area visible in the lower-right corner of this picture is where we will fight for points. At the moment of the FIRST timeout warning go to the exit as quickly as possible. I opted to take the warp here, unfortunately I forgot to make a screenshot of its location.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The warp exits into a special room which we need to clear of all enemies such that we can progress through the warp exit to level 3-1.

    [​IMG]
    I made a separate (speed-)run to show you where the warp in 2-4 is located.

    @Level 3-1.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I haven't trained this level much at all. Hence I quickly died and went to heaven. From level 3-1 on, dying takes you here and gives you an opportunity to return back to life (which I fail :p). Here is my final score for this (far from optimal) run: (507.240).

    My emulator crashed miserably at some time when I closed the lid of my Pandora with the emulator still running. This resetted my scores to the factory default with the exception of the 1st score which is some messed up value (??49000). I am submitting my run with screenshots here to substantiate my claim of attaining my mentioned high-scores as well as to inform you guys of how to improve your scoring in the New Zealand Story.

    Luckily my highest submitted score was attained after this crash and does show up as the 2nd score here. When making the run, I did register the points I attained at key points and will list them below. This crash together with the fact that my score is so much higher than that of Prometheus (the number two) made me feel obliged to prove my scores.

    This strategy is not so hard to execute, but optimizing the scoring run does take some practice. I am confident that when trying this you will soon get similar or higher scores as well.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2015
  6. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thanks for posting that, Caine. :D There are some warps in your run that I hadn't yet discovered, so those are really awesome to know about.

    By the way, a quick note about the Heaven stages: Firstly, you can only go to them if you die due to a solid projectile (like axes, rocks, bullets, and suchlike), NOT anything else (such as fire, lasers, or spikes). Secondly, there are three different ones (the first one which you will go to if you die in world 3, the second which you'll find yourself in if you die in world 4, and the third which you'll visit if you die in world 5), and some are harder to escape from than others. The first one, in particular, is very devious (I've only been to that one, and have not yet reached the exit myself, but out of curiousity I read a document about it in order to find out where it's hidden) - the exit is hidden below a couple of platforms that lead you to the Goddess, and you need to jump between a couple of the platforms (if memory serves, it's the gap between the you and the two platforms closest to the Goddess) and let yourself fall down in order to get to it.

    Furthermore, if your points are at the right values, it is possible to earn an extra life within the Heaven stages, should you happen to screw up your escape.

    I hope those help you to get your runs even further. :D
     
  7. Dunny

    Dunny Exophase ApprovedĀ® Forum Troll

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    Wow, loving this thread. NZS is one of my all-time favourite Amiga games (though having played it on MAME I can't say I'm at all fond of the lower-colour depth of the Amiga version!), and I thought I knew most of the warps...

    This game is so good.

    D.
     

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