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Started by darkidol, May 22, 2012, 04:42:32 PM

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Player: DRM

Deathsmiles (no EX)

220,580,221 - ALL - Casper (X360 Mode)


Only concentrating on Death Smiles at first.  This is the first time I've played a Cave game for a 'proper' score.  I've been trying out lots of different strats, which is the reason for making this (b)log.

I don't have access to the JP leaderboards and can't find anything really game-changing through Nico Nico Douga, so if I end up with a higher score this thread should be worth it.

First target is a stable 250m - that is, a ~250m score even though things went wrong a couple times.  Going to try to update this thread strictly once a week - gain or status quo.


Have been playing a different route today to the one I made my high score with - instead of Forest, Volcano, Port, Graveyard, Train, Swamp, Castle it has been Forest, Graveyard, Train, Volcano, Port, Swamp, Castle.  The reason for this change is because in a few runs I have managed a recharge at the end of the Graveyard and Train, respectively.  I find Casper's lock shot less forgiving than Follett or Rosa's towards recharging so I cottoned on to this to see if I could make it work regularly.  Have had mixed success with the Graveyard, despite the haunted house bringing so many crowns (and you'd think frames), actually getting the last three enemies on the Train more regularly - not always 1000, but 300-600; factor in Mary and it works out quite well for the Volcano - which I actually tried without power-up before writing that idea off.

Another thing I've been exploring is whether to spawn suicide bullets or not - and if I do, the best way to milk them.  My best success in Death Mode is far-screening enemies as much as possible, because of the awkward way the bullets close in on you in this mode.  I'd been doing that for the lower level suicide bullets but today found it easier to point blank my way through the Canyon.  The problem I enountered was I gained almost no score three times in a row despite no-missing the Canyon (and using power up at least twice each time).  It got a lot better when I concentrated on recharging my counter fast, but obviously the danger is much higher here.  Something I'm going to practice a bit with but not focus on.  I'm not even sure at this stage if I'll use the EX stage or not - just focussing on the score.

Things I'm going to be keeping an eye out for in the coming weeks are: seeing if I can get skulls to break on the turrets at the beginning of the Castle.  Trying to get a 1000 counter before the fourth Floating Island in the Forest (this is the difference between 10 million points or not, when starting the stage with 0 counter).  Seeing if I can get any sort of recharge working in the Port with suicide bullets.


No new high score.  Had been intending to play 30-60mins every day but a combination of the bi-annual week of summer in Scotland, as well as completing Final Fantasy X13-2, and sneaking in credits in Ketsui and DFK BL meant that I was never really going to do it.

However, I did gain enough to see a clear route for a stable 250m.  So it's just a matter of getting a run where everything goes right.  It'll happen... as long as you play.

Things I've discovered/learned this week:


Can now get at least 64-67 on the counter from the first mermen every time.  I've discovered it all revolves around having as less time as possible hitting them with the magic button.  How to do this best?  Position Kiki about 4-5pm and time your boomerang to land on the second jumping merman the moment you press lock shot.  It actually is easier to time than it sounds...  As for maxing the tiaras from the first floating snake... still can not figure out how it's done.  I'm at the stage of thinking it may just be there is a certain second in time - with no room for flux - that you have to destroy it at.  This snake alone is costing me 10 million points in this level, because I'm finding the rest of it pretty easy now.


I've underestimated this stage in the past, I think.  I ruined my recharge at the end of the train and was forced between this and the Volcano.  Instead of reseting, assuming the run potential was over, like I would have done in the past, I went through here at level 2 with the view to using the Port as a buffer for the Volcano (like I did for a long time - since starting the game).  I didn't count the score I gained but it seemed pretty decent.  I wonder if level 3 here and then level 1 Port to buffer the counter would spawn suicide bullets in an otherwise rank 3 run..?  Might try this next time I ruin the train recharge.


There has been big improvement in this stage for me this week.  I was getting 20 million from it most shots, even when messing up one or two enemies.  I also found a technique where you move diagonally down the screen and gain masses of points using magic on two enemies.  It would be too long and hard to describe here (if anyone's actually reading  :laugh: ) but when this all comes together you will see it in my replay.  I've also been experimenting with the recharge.  I've had the best success with it just happening 'naturally' - that is, just waiting until I'm around 200 on the counter then lock-shoting the end enemies.  I think the birds approaching from the top may be helping slow the game down here and give those crucial frames so you can recharge, not sure, maybe not.


Another level that was always simply a no-scoring buffer for my counter.  Worryingly, in my last few shots of this game I've been messing up the recharge, when I was getting it every time at the start of the week.  Need to look at the replay I made from then to see where I'm going wrong.  I find this level pretty solid to play with suicide bullets.  In my current ideal run I think it will be second last (before the swamp - another great one to play with suicide bullets) but I'm tempted, if I can master this recharge (it's at the two part ship) to maybe attempt it, dare I say, at level 2...  Regardless, scoring in this level and doing the exact same run for my high score (which I recognised had loads of faults in it at the time) would have scored 250 million with ease.  This level has been the real score-changer this week.


Always been an easy high-scoring level compared to some of the others for me.  If someone was looking to learn scoring in this game this would be the stage I would recommend to learn it on.  The big improvement here was simply powering up one set of enemies later than I previously had.  I'm not sure what my scores where before (maybe 20-25 million) but I got 28 million here with an unoptimized haunted house break.  I've also found it is perhaps better to not look to the house for the recharge but instead to let your counter drop as slow as possible and try to still have it when the green eyeballs appear before the boss.  I've fallen short most times - usually only getting the first eyeballs on screen as it runs out - but I'm going to experiment on this in the coming week.  The full counter going into the Train isn't necessary for that level (700+ really does fine) but it's obviously prefered.


I've never particularly liked this level, as a last level or it's music much or the enemy placement.  I think Cave have done better on lots of occasions.  As such I've never paid much attention to it - in terms of optimal scoring and enemy placement.  The more I play it that is changing and I'm not only finding it easier to go through, but looking for certain points to score.  I've managed to get the skulls breaking on most of the turrets (especially the last one in the first row you encounter) and am looking next to optimal breaking on the green eyeballs just as you pass the mid-part of the level (hard to describe where I mean here).  I'm still not decided whether I want to avoid or spawn suicide bullets but I'm probably leaning towards the latter.  I get a strong impression your score may rocket with a good run with them compared to without.  I've also found Mary (with suicide bullets) much easier to not only survive, but kill, than I have in the past.  This level is very much a work-in-progress for me, even though I know it's not only crucial to my current high score, but vital to later targets, just wish I liked it more.

Things to try in the coming week: that damn first snake in the forest.  :-\  I'm going to experiment with optimal power-up spots and also breaking in the swamp, I've got a feeling I'm missing something out in my runs that is maybe missing me 5 million or so points.  Graveyard, it's all about the recharge at this point, while scoring high on the broken house.  Port is definitely my most 'live' level and I'll be experimenting in this one heavily over the next week.  Train, which I practiced most last week, it's all about mastering that last recharge and refining the breaking of the enemies - hopefully improving scoring on the birds mostly.  Volcano, might try a recharge or two... never seen it done with Casper but I'm thinking at the exploding central rock with perfect timing... long shot but might be worth trying.