Thanks a lot for all of the comments folks. I?ve spent a lot of time on 720 over the past months and years, and am thrilled to see more interest. Mike, as I?ve said before, I?ve been hoping to see more respectable scores added to the TG listing since before posting my first score. I was very happy to see your submission, even if it did knock me down a peg. I fully expect you to come back with an even higher 2nd place score, and hope we can keep some friendly competition going all the way up to 527K!! I?ve been a bit side-tracked with my arcade game time lately, working on my Tron score and repairing a Discs of Tron I just picked up, but I?ll update my 720 site soon and will keep practicing.
Stephen: Again, thanks for your support, coaching and encouragement in getting my submissions accepted. Regarding the world record, if you?ve read my world record theory page, you know I do believe that the world record was set with ?easy? street timer, but of course have no way to prove it. Really, its all circumstantial evidence that leads me to that conclusion. The timing of the record relative to the release of the game just 6 months later, the fact that timer is never mentioned in all of the past discussion in this thread and on the usenet posts, and mostly my own experimentation, which leads to your question. I have indeed played many games with the timer set to easy, but have not yet strung together a complete game. As Mike, and other 720 players know, at a high level you execute a pattern across skate city that allows you to reach the parks after using the maximum amount of time. The extra time allowed on the easy setting requires modification of my current patterns, which I haven?t taken the time to maximize. I have been able to look at the average amounts I?m able to gain during the sessions between parks, and found that the extra ~5 seconds allowed on the easy setting in each of the 16 inter-park skate city sessions allows for around 2K to 3K more points. This translates to roughly an extra 40K to 50K at the end of a game, which makes up the difference between what I believe to be a very good high level game and the world record.
In the end, the issues goes back to the larger debate of comparing scores that are so rigourously tested (video proof maintained, settings recorded and documented, PCB versions verfied, etc.) against ?vintage? era score where someone watched a performance in an arcade, wrote down the score, and may have just assumed the settings years or decades later. Of course, all of this is laid out in even more ?long-winded? format :D on my page.
Thanks again, Jeff