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Greg Erway - Tapper Query !!

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    Greg Erway - Tapper Query !!

    Greg:

    In a recent thread on this forum you indicated that factory was setting "3" out of "1-9".

    Out of curiosity, how tough is "9" ?

    Robert
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    Tapper settings

    I guess I'll try to use some terms from other games like Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man to describe this. In the game of Tapper there is a period of time you can play before you reach "Red Point" or "Cruise Elroy" at which point the game speeds up. It's much like "Hurry Up" in Mappy minus the visual clue that it is starting. The bar patrons appear more rapidly and worst of all start to move down the bar faster. Once you reach this point you are pretty much sunk. Early after this point it is possible to recover by quickly "guessing" where new patrons will appear and throwing a glass to them before they are even on the screen. But basically your really lucky to make it after this point.

    I have no idea what the length of time this is at each difficulty level. I suppose a stop watch could be used to try to determine the time lenghts. But there is no firm indicatioin when it is starting. It just gets a bit faster and faster until a few seconds later you realize things have really sped up. However I have a built in instinct as to when I am approaching this point. Most of the time I finish the boards long before this point. I have to really mess up in order to get here. You might not realize I've messed up while watching me but I certainly do. You may have heard me say "Oh Shoot" many times on that tape. That is usually an indication I've screwed up and I know "Red Point" is coming up real soon and I better boogy if I want to finish. I frequently have told people watching my game that I was real lucky to finish the previous level and they seem to have no clue as to how it was any different than any other level. When playing under difficulty 9 I find this timer is much shorter. However it is still longer than my normal board finishing times. So in a way the higher difficulty doesn't seem to have any effect on my play. It only comes into effect when I ***** up and in those cases allows a bit less time to "Try" to recover. I wouldn't be suprised if there were some other minor things that could be different but nothing I have noted as being a problem in my game play. Changes such as difficulty level and extra man levels certainly would bring down my scores. Could I stil marathon? I think so. Not sure. But I do think 5-man rules are the way to go. There are enough other games that use these rules that I think it makes sense. Plus there is a high likelyhood that games out there in arcades (the few left) are probably on the "factory" settings and therefore already setup for the current 5-man rules. All you need to do is video tape the game (and of course provide proof of the difficulty setting). It allows an arcade to keep the settings the same all the time whether a new player is playing or an expert player. It also keeps a sense of how to compare those scores. I think Walter made the correct decision on this one for sure.

    If it interests you I would be willing to play and tape a game on difficulty 9 at a future tournament. I think I've only tried to play at Level 9 once or twice. That was back in 2001 before my first Funspot appearance. I was trying to prepare for any possible rule difference I might encounter when I arrived. I'm not sure how many others have every even tried level 9. I'm guessing that Jack Gale and Mike Ward probably didn't own their own machines so they probably never had the opportunity to try it. If anyone else out there has tried it and have different thoughts on the subject, I would love to hear them.


    Robert,
    Do you remember if I ever died by being thrown down the bar in that 16 hour game? I assume I lost a few guys like this during my bathroom run. And maybe one or two near the tape swap areas since I started playing the levels a few seconds after the level actually started. But I wonder if I ever died as a result of "Red Point" in that game during normal play? Probably. But I can't remember many.
    Gregory S. Erway

    #1 Tapper TGTS 3,162,125 05Jun05 (Guiness 2007 score)
    #1 Rootbeer Tapper TGMS 1,959,200 28Jul86
    #1 Wild Western 826,900 07Jun04
    #1 Pepper II 917,540 11Mar07 (over 1mil now...on tape)
    D2K progress: 199,700 L5 100m (board 36)
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    Greg, is it based on absolute time or the #times they "respawn" back at the bar after you have sent them away?

    I'm thinking it's based on #respawns....so at difficulty 9 you hit the speedup mode in a lesser #respawns than you do at difficulty 3.

    It might be cool to test that to see which it is.

    You likely could tell from the first few stages...where you can really delay initial serving for 5+ seconds and see if that delays the "zoom" point or if the zoom point occurs at the same time mark.
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    re..

    Sorry for jumping in , but I can't see how to get to set Tapper to level 9 on MAME ?

    It seems only factory defaults are possible ?

    Cheers ,

    AL
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    Tapper

    1st: The Tapper setup screens are not in the MAME dip switches. You need to get into the inner screens like you do on Robotron with the F2 (or something like that).

    Actually the number of respawns is what usually helps me tell where I am in the timing. However I believe the actual speed up is triggered by a timeout of a timer. I base this on my play on the level 9 difficulty. There is a chance to finish levels very early into them. But unless you throw perfectly and anticipate the 1st opportunity to finish the level happens somewhat later. On level 3 you have a chance to finish if you ***** up finishing off at that point. On level 9 the timer times out very shortly after that first clearing opportunity. So in a sense your right about the respawn rate. But the spawn of new patrons is also pretty much on a timer to. That doesn't seem to change. Just the point where it speeds up.
    Gregory S. Erway

    #1 Tapper TGTS 3,162,125 05Jun05 (Guiness 2007 score)
    #1 Rootbeer Tapper TGMS 1,959,200 28Jul86
    #1 Wild Western 826,900 07Jun04
    #1 Pepper II 917,540 11Mar07 (over 1mil now...on tape)
    D2K progress: 199,700 L5 100m (board 36)
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    yep, for Tapper you have to enter service mode for the game. Sorry I didn't mention that above.

    Once it in it tells you how to scroll through selections etc.
    Once you set it up then press F2 again to exit the setup.

    For play you plan on recording the input for and submitting, make sure you aren't using NVRAM...which means every game you play at the start of your recording you will have to enter service mode to set a different than default difficulty...then press F2 when done...let the game "reboot"...and pop your credit and play.

    When someone else later plays back the inp....it will show all you did.

    This can actually be a good thing for games where you need something other than default settings...cuz the ref that reviews the inp actually sees the settings in the game. I would almost recommend going into service mode just to display the settings within your inp to set the record straight what settings you used for the convenience of the referee.

    Of course not all games have such a convenient service mode as Tapper...but many do.

    If you were using NVRAM those settings would be saved in a file for tapper(tapper.nv for the tapper rom set).

    You don't want to use nvram though cuz if you do then your inp recording might be dependent on it. TG wants inp files that aren't dependent on previous firmware/nvram settings of a game.
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    ACAM Tournament 2013 at Funspot had Tapper in the 30th Anniversary Tournament played on difficulty 9 with 1 start life and not getting additional lives until multiples of 99,000 points. This is the absolute most difficult the game can be setup.

    It took me two full days and into a third to work out my timing and get over 60k...and then I hit the groove. I played to a score of over 1.2 million and then killed off 7 men to end the game as I felt I was sufficiently ahead and was not gaining much in competition points on that game and needed to spend time on Elevator Action and the cockpit Star Wars (the other two games in the challenge). Luckily I was correct and ended up winning the challenge but it was hard fought to the end between Donald Hayes and myself.

    But I was able to prove in public that Tapper can be marathoned on its most difficult settings like I have said in the past and experienced back in 2001. It was much more difficult than I remembered but once I hit that timing it wasn't so bad. The first thirty minutes of the game had me seriously rocking, physically, the machine as I moved my body into it to nail the exact timing needed. After that timing became second nature I was able to relax and maintain it. Most lives lost were earlier in the game more than later (lost 5 men).
    Gregory S. Erway

    #1 Tapper TGTS 3,162,125 05Jun05 (Guiness 2007 score)
    #1 Rootbeer Tapper TGMS 1,959,200 28Jul86
    #1 Wild Western 826,900 07Jun04
    #1 Pepper II 917,540 11Mar07 (over 1mil now...on tape)
    D2K progress: 199,700 L5 100m (board 36)