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Perfect Scores

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by doc eggfan, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    You know how the Pac-man has a perfect score of 3,333,360? Do the early sonic games have a perfect score?

    I was playing the Game Gear Sonic 1 and it seems perfectly geared towards score chasing, with the secret bonuses and bonus stage multipliers. Is there a maximum possible score? I imagine it would involve:

    No dying
    Collect every life
    Collect every chaos emerald
    99 rings at the end of every level.
    All rings in the bonus stages (or as many as possible in time limit)
    Kill all enemies
    and finish as quick as possible.

    Would it be possible to calculate?
     
  2. Liliam

    Liliam

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    I'm not sure about the 8-bit games, but as far as the 16-bit ones go it's impossible. You get points for killing enemies and they all respawn when you die, so all you need is a level with a 1-Up somewhere. Kill a bunch of enemies, get the 1-Up, kill yourself, repeat until the score is maxed out. Whether or not the games actually cap your score so it doesn't overflow the variable is a good question, though.

    Technically, getting this maximum, "perfect" score would count, but it kinda goes against the spirit of the challenge because you can farm it just about anywhere.
     
  3. TheInvisibleSun

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    Maybe in this sense, 'perfect' would mean a 'perfect run' score. No deaths, collecting everything, and defeating every enemy in the game with one single life. Technically, wouldn't that score be the 'perfect score'?
     
  4. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    Yeah, I was thinking about Sonic 3 with the spin dash in siren trick of Launch Base zone.

    In the Sonic 8-bit, the life monitors don't respawn, so it wouldn't work in that case.
     
  5. dsrb

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    A fair metric would be everything you said but with a limitation of only being able to destroy each badnik once. Saying that, even this is not easy to guarantee due to respawning. And anyway, how can one weigh destroying as many badniks as possible vs. finishing as quickly as possible? The two are almost never compatible. There goes any chance of empirically calculating the maximal score.

    It's definitely an interesting idea but, I think, largely doomed in reality. I'd like to be proven wrong, mind you! The closest I ever got to this was a pretty OCDish need to get Perfects on every Special Stage of S3&K back when I was a kid, but one day I suddenly realised there was no point and never looked back. :P
     
  6. Toasty

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    Is there an exploit like the spindash + siren thing in Sonic 2? I was looking at the scoreboard for Sonic 2 on PSN and some of them looked maxed out, I think it's pretty much impossible to get a score like that so I'm assuming there's a way to max out your score?
     
  7. The Game Collector

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    Emerald Hill is full of 1-ups if you count ring collecting and the couple of 1-up monitors. You could keep gaining points just by smashing all the badniks, gaining three lives and repeating the process. It is extremely tedious to do it for that long but not impossible.

    Taz-Mania has an exploit where if you spin drive next to a bush rat throwing spears you will keep getting points. One time I put a piece of scotch tape on my b-button before going to school. The results were hilarious when I returned home. It's almost as bad as the river rapid level up trick for Final Fantasy 6 with the cursor set to "memory"
     
  8. RetroKoH

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    I actually recently applied some fixes (with the help of Endri) to Sonic 1 REV C to prevent such farming, for this reason. It's not yet finished though... but if anyone likes, I can get in touch with Endri, or any other available Tech Member to help me try to get it finished... then you can go ahead and find a maximum Score for yourself. As of right now, Score farming via dying is negated as the score is reset to what it was when you died/hit a checkpoint. The Time Over cheat for easy bonus is negated as well. Just need to fix it so that one cannot farm lives anymore... and I THINK that should be all... I'll hve to check the Sonic 1 thread I started a while back, its all in there.
     
  9. That is an interesting question, but as someone said above, you couldn't really pass the level very quickly and defeat every badnik in the process. In addition I don't think that there is a score cap, or maybe it is very high (999,999,999 maybe?) So that you couldn't reach it in a normal playthrough (no farming).
     
  10. RetroKoH

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    What they are saying though, by score cap... is the highest possible score in a perfect run. I'd suggest a TAS is in order, hitting the correct amount of enemies, collecting enough rings, and in the fastest time... to attain the highest score under normal rules and circumstances. For Sonic 1, simply do an emerald free run, and add in 100 pts for EVERY ring in each Special Stage to factor what that would be... and you'd have an accurate answer.

    Sonic 2 would be similar, but I think it could only be done on a Sonic&Tails game... to factor in getting every ring in all Special Stages. (Including 7, which is probably impossible if not improbable) and then add in all of the Gem Bonus. I dunno how much a perfect bonus is in Sonic 2, but if it comes out to enough points where its more worth it to get Ring and Perfect Bonus, than it is to get the Time Bonus, then one would just go for a completionist run through certain levels instead... It'd be a bit tricky.

    Sonic 3 is the interesting one. Get a Perfect in every Special Stage for the extra 50,000 pts each time, and finish EVERY zone at 9:59 to get the big 100,000 point bonus. Then just be a kleptomaniac... AND you've got a whopping score. Bonuses alone, you have 50,000*14 = 700,000. The 100,000 Time Bonus can happen on 20 occasions where you get a Score Tally (As Sonic, this drops to 17 as Knuckles). This comes out to 2M, or 1.7M with Knux. So Bonuses combined would equate to 2.7 million in a Sonic/Tails game. AND that's just bonuses ALONE. Not counting badniks, ring bonuses, etc.
    The only tricky part is the signpost falling. You can theoretically hit it as much as you want to, and get 100 points each time, and NEVER stop. I'd suggest implementing a rule for Score Attacks regarding this, perhaps 0-2 hits per act. And as far as Bonus Stages, I don't think there should be any rule against those personally, but that's at ones own discretion.

    You know, all this talk is making me excited. I'd imagine we could make a competition out of this... perhaps turn this thread into said contest. Post a video of a playthrough and see who can acheive the highest Score Tally.
     
  11. dsrb

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    Any interest I might have in the idea goes right out of the window if this is allowed. Sure, you can argue that those willing to wait that long deserve the points from this bizarre bonus, but to me, it would destroy any enjoyability. Which otherwise may have a lot of potential.

    Other things that break the game in this respect have already been mentioned (1-Up farming, LBZ's birds, etc.); if they're allowed, it would equally remove all appeal to me.

    Otherwise, it just sounds like a normal score attack, really. But a formal contest could be great if it were arbitrated properly.
     
  12. SadisticMystic

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    In S3&K, the ideal way to handle special stages is to complete S3 stages 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 on the first try, so it throws you a neverending barrage of Special Stage 2. Keep playing that one and getting a perfect each time, but intentionally fail without collecting the last 16 spheres and you get 61,100 points for every large ring, without worrying about the bonuses coming to an end because you have all the emeralds and can't go to the special stage any more. With the last ring of Launch Base 2, finally complete that special stage, then when Mushroom Hill rolls around you can go to the super emerald chamber where you have free choice of stages. Choose Special Stage 6 every time, because that's worth 64,400, and even though you don't get any super emeralds, you can still laugh all the way to the bank. Assuming Sonic has access to enough of Knuckles' routes to get all the large rings from there (which seems pretty likely, given how many stages recent TASes have been able to demolish), special stage bonuses alone can be worth up to 2,452,300 in the first half of the game and 2,189,600 in the second half, and that's almost halfway to maxing the score counter without even worrying about anything else.

    If you hit a star post and go to the slot machine bonus stage, is there a way of surviving indefinitely there? If so (and possibly even if not, simply by making use of several different bonus stages), it should be possible to get 99,900 ring bonus in every level to go with the 100,000 time bonus (and a few hundred from hitting the bumpers in the bonus stage, come to think of it). That's another 4 million, plus about 30,000 from bosses and whatever you can scrounge up from badniks.
     
  13. RetroKoH

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    Jesus Christ... I guess we would REALLY NEED some form of regulations then, shouldn't we? For BOTH special stages AND Bonus Stages.
    I have a lot to do if I wanna TRY to prevent farming on Sonic 3, then... don't I? May as well not even try...

    THEN AGAIN, one could theoretically do something similar in Sonic's 1 and 2 if done right as well...
     
  14. dsrb

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    The first possibility is to restrict each Special Stage to one play; skilled players can achieve that without being knocked out and having to do the same one again. Then you realise that skilled players should also be able to get a Perfect every time, with the result that everyone will get the exact same number of points from all 7/14 Special Stages. So just exclude them from the contest altogether!

    Make this (still-hypothetical) contest based on ring collection, badnik-destruction, and time in-level. Special Stages are not worth doing since the score for getting them all Perfect is completely deterministic. Bonus Stages should be excluded due to the ability to farm and the sheer randomness of item generation; that makes any competition unfair when chance can throw the balance away off. Farming in-level should be disallowed, including the various respawning exploits (I'd even go as far as to suggest a hack disabling the alarms in LBZ).

    To ensure regulations like this via hacking might be quite a task. Checking everything's in order on a recorded video would be a pain in the butt, but how else can things like this be verified? Through some interface like Retro Channel? If there's nothing in place to make sure the participants are playing the right ROM or whatever, then the results aren't reliable anyway.

    I'm definitely just keeping this hypothetical since the necessary work seems to be multipling all the time, but it's still an interesting topic to brainstorm.
     
  15. SadisticMystic

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    The number of rings in each regular stage is also completely deterministic (apart from star posts, and in levels where you can hit ring boxes with the finish flag, the matter of whether you want to count those rings in act 1 or act 2). So is the number of badniks, except in some cases it might be possible to build a combo out of them, and of course levels like Launch Base and Lava Reef have the respawning sources. As for time bonus, if 100000 is allowed that obviously trumps everything; otherwise the only conceivable possibilities are "stage is quick enough to complete under a minute, and sparse on points otherwise, so get 50000" or "go ahead and explore everything, which is going to take well over 3:30 so time bonus is stuck at 100 and it doesn't mater what the finish time is beyond that".

    Since there's a baseline level of competence being assumed, is this actually a test of anything at all, or just a gradual building-up of that competence with additions to the knowledge base?
     
  16. RetroKoH

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    I definitely see your point...

    I've wondered about the Time Bonus thing myself... and have considered putting a time bonus mod into my REV C hacks where it plays a little more similar to modern games, where the Time Bonus is more relative to the level itself, and rather not simply just a set fixed amount across the board, aka deterministic as you put it. For example, leave the Time Bonus as it is for Green Hill Zone (or perhaps make it take less time for the bonus to decrease) and meanwhile, Marble Zone will allow for a higher time to reward the player with 50000 pts. I was always bothered with the fact that no matter how hard one would work at the harder levels, they would never receive anything for it... thus completely rendering the Score, and everything outside of the timer itself, completely and utterly useless.

    When I get to hacking Sonic 3K, I plan on removing the 100,000 pt bonus as it is complete bullshit... as well as modding the LBZ alarms so that they can only trigger badniks once, and will stay flashing afterwards. As for the signpost, I'm debating whether to A. just make it fall at center stage and not allow players to hit it. B. Make players able to hit it but have no effect. or C. The post gives players points, BUT the timer doesn't stop until the signpost does... Anything else and I'm all over it... Rev C = bullshit free... (at least as much as I can hope to take out... haha)
     
  17. dsrb

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    Sure, most of the elements are deterministic, but I figured that it's a lot easier to ace all 14 Special Stages than to hunt down every ring and badnik in every main Act. :v: In contrast, I may well be inclined to recommend leaving Special Stages in for the first two games, as collecting rings requires a lot more skill there.

    The fact that the timers, as KoH just said, are currently pretty gimped and not very conducive to a balance between speed and kleptomania is another big obstacle to any meaningful form of score-attacking.

    It does seem that these games would require a lot of work to make the score meaningful and fair. Thorn figured it out excellently, but of course it was almost a completely different (and absolutely brilliant) game by that point. The question, then, is whether the classic trilogy can be made suitable for this sort of thing – and even if so, whether it would be worthwhile.
     
  18. theyogwog

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    I have been thinking about this a lot recently as well, believe it or not. I wouldn't mind if special/bonus stages and the 9:59 bonus were excluded from the calculations as I don't think anyone watching really wants to sit there for the huge amount of extra time that would add to a video of such a run. I agree that no deaths should be a rule too to prevent farming enemies for points etc.


    But wouldn't that just encourage players to constantly strive to finish all of the levels as quickly as possible no matter what? That seriously diminishes the value of having interesting level design since the player will never have to pay attention to anything that isn't relevant to finishing the level as fast as possible to get a high score. That blurs the line between score run and speed run, which are (and should be) two different things with two different objectives.

    The consequence of having a static time bonus scoring system in a score run, is that there is variety in ways to play the levels to get the highest score. It makes sense to finish short levels quickly to get the 50,000 or perhaps even 10,000 point bonus while on longer levels where that's just not possible, it makes sense to take a little more time collecting rings. I think there must be an ideal way of playing those longer levels that optimizes your score. There should be a point where the opportunity cost of going out of your way to get rings outweighs the time bonus, and vice versa, so finding that balance would be ideal.


    Personally, I've noticed that on the routes I take through levels my rings tend to correspond to my time, if not in actual values then at least numerically. That is, at say ~1:20 I would have roughly 80 or 120 rings, and so on. I really feel like they have designed the routes to try and match rings with time, and used that as a guide to determine the pacing of the levels. Also even many of the longer levels (acts) in the game, I've found, are not unreasonable to complete before the time bonus drops to only 100, even if you don't attempt to strictly blaze through as fast as possible. Sure, in those cases you probably still get a higher score by really taking your time and getting everything, but for what it's worth from a viewer's perspective it would probably make for a less entertaining video.
     
  19. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    I reckon it could definitely be calculated for Sonic 1 8-bit, as everything is relatively simple. The biggest difficulty would be determing whether it's possible to collect every ring, or, the maximum number of rings in a special stage within the time limit.
     
  20. RetroKoH

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    Well, since speed IS the name of the game, would it NOT make sense for a higher speed to yield more points? NOW, you don't want to make a changing time bonus too strict that you have to ignore everything else in order to get the highest score... BUT you want to push the player to get enough rings and enemies and breeze through the level as fast as possible, urging them to really study the level, and look for ways to get what you want/need as quick as you can. I'd argue that the added incentive would increase the value of good branching level design for that purpose. Many of the newer games including Generations do this... and it doesn't diminish the value of their level design one bit.

    Now, that said, regardless of what side of the fence you are, on that point... we are talking about a Perfect Score in the vanilla games, themselves. Even then... getting the higher time yields higher score values anyways. So... really in the grand scheme of things, Speed runs and Score runs are NOT at all that different in Sonic games.