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720 Gamers in the House?

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    Quote Originally Posted by QBert
    Would this also apply to Midway Arcade Classics versions as well? They also have a 2 continue default. If you give me the go-ahead I can fix those.

    Yep. I've flagged it in a file of things to do, but feel free to fix this if I haven't already... [Not sure if I had or not]


    Mr. Kelly R. Flewin
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    I realize that this topic is old, but came across it in a Google search and wanted to add my first hand commentary.

    The post linked from rec.games.video.arcade was written by me, and yes, I am still friends with the record holder for 720. For the Guinness event that year, the rules for new games were created by Steve Harris and co., as that was the group overseeing the tournament at that time. The group of us that were playing 720 at the time were in fact consulted about what settings should be used for 720; as we were primarily focused on generating the highest scores possible, the two continue game was the only way we played.

    Obviously, 720 had no setting for unlimited continues (3 continues was the highest setting), and the game had a forced ending, so it was agreed upon at the time that allowing the factory setting of two continues was ideal for this game.

    To give a little insight as to how our scores had reached the 500,000+ mark on two continues, I'll give a basic rundown.

    As has been stated by other posters, the amount of equipment upgrades purchased was definitely not \"everything possible\". I don't remember exactly, but I believe the 3 helmets, and 1 each of board, pads, and shoes is what we used. The reason we didn't purchase beyond that was that our primary method of increasing scores was to constantly jump wherever you are in the game (this means you are jumping/spinning and landing for 400-500 points 95% of the time you are traveling between parks). The helmets allow you to spin more, more spins = higher points per jump; if you bought more than 1 board or shoes, your speed was too fast and you would get less jumps between parks; you only bought the 1 set of pads because, quite frankly, you shouldn't be falling more than once or twice in a \"good\" game.

    As for points in the various parks; also as was stated by another poster, we ignored Gold medals in all but the Ramp and Jump parks; for the Downhill and Slalom parks, the goal was to earn as many points as possible by doing the jump/spin technique used for traveling between parks in Skate City. Obviously, there is a balance between \"scoring\" and \"finishing\", and the ultimate goal was to cross the finish line in both the Downhill and Slalom courses with nearly no time remaining.

    As for \"best\" scores, the 527,100 score with 2 continues was the highest score any of our group ever achieved (with 2 continues); and it is definitely worthy of it's status in the record books. We did uncover additional techniques months after the Guinness tournament, but we had moved away from 720 by this time and nobody was up to record performance to add these additional scoring techniques to our game.

    Ron also achieved a score of 550,500 on a 720 machine we knew of that allowed for 3 continues, but as that was a non-standard setting, it was mostly forgotten.

    Anyway, if anyone would like to discuss the validity of this score further, please feel free to contact me; I was present when the game was played.
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    Thanks for your info Greg. Interesting.

    Would be nice to see your tactics for APB. Maybe you could try (Wolf)MAME and submit something to MARP, APB scores there are really lame at the moment :)
    Terveisin,
    TJT
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    I used to do the MARP thing years ago (name was Angry there); but APB just wouldn't play the same without the original arcade wheel, you really need the ability to make fast/precise turns that I just don't think a mouse or peripheral steering wheel can provide.
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    Hello Greg,

    Do you think any of the older players who could score over 500k would be interested in recording a run on video for people to see?

    Also, you used to have a very high score at smashtv. Did you ever see anyone finish the game on one credit?

    Thanks.

    PS check your private messages.
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    720 using exteme settings

    Could scores on a classics version using only 1 life still be tracked? I recorded a game in which I scored 161k with 1 life. I scored 200k one time but wasn't recording. Haven't played in about 6 months because my game dissapeared, haven't found it yet. Can't wait to start practicing using the new settings, I think this week I will dish out the $15 that gamestop charges unless I can find one on online cheaper!

    I didn't send the tape yet because I wanted to try to set 2 records, then send the tape in. Could this score still be tracked using extreme settings? Skateboarding is a very extreme sport and tracking it using extreme settings also would be very cool. Thank you.[
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    I can verify that 527,000 is quite attainable, back 'round 1988 (almost 20 yrs ago! Man, I am old!), I scored 400,000 with two continues. I had an ongoing rivalry with a friend of mine on the game. The machine was three blocks from my house at a laundry-mat. We played the game every afternoon after school for a period of two years.
    The formula we used was 3 helmets and 3 shoes. The key to a higher score was between the metal rounds in the \"parks\". The rightmost \"blue\" park was by far the best to score points in. We used the same pattern every time: diagonal and also back on forth over the water hazards which would get 1,000 80% of the time on each jump. The idea was to jump non-stop in these parks and avoid the bees as long as you can and then make a sprint to the next metal round without getting stung.
    I did not know of the advantage of NOT going for gold on the metal round (perhaps that was why my highscore was better that my friends, HA!)
    There was two ways to get behind the fence: with the pop-cylinders and peddling and jumping and the same time in the corner of a fence. But we could not find any advantage to getting behind the fence, the bees could still kill you in there.
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    Google finally finds the post I've been looking for!!

    FINALLY!! I have been waiting since 1987, whoa, for information on how Ron Perelman got that high. For some reason lately I've been thinking about what techniques you guys used back then to score so high. Then comparing them with my own. I always knew you could prolly score a ton more points in Slalom park if you jumped around a lot more and basically jumped through most of the flags. I was always too nervous for some reason to do that. Prolly because I was railroading my scoring techniques on getting the Gold every time. After becoming a fan of the tv show Num3ers I wondered if some math wiz could ever figure out if getting more jumps+points or more money at the end of the game was the better route. Greg, you seemed to have answered that question!! Like d_Random, I too would buy 3 shoes+helmets and 1 board+pads. I later assumed that 2 or 3 boards or pads was a way to get higher points since you could do better quality jumps with less down time. But I see what Greg means by just being able to jump more with 1 shoe lol It was the quantity not quality that got you more points (if I remember correctly, the better shoes would create diminishing returns on quality jumps i.e. triple or 1080 spin jumps would go from 600 a pop to only 200 or 300 if you kept doing them).

    My routine was mainly just the Red and Blue parks (hoping for the 1k sign) and doing funky spins with the lift pillars (Along with some custom techniques. For some reason players in my area (Mobile, AL) weren't particularly bright with this game. So, I always had to guard my games against potentially good\\better players stealing my routines). In 1989 I got 350k on 2 continues. This was the best I could do for almost 8 years. Countless games later I finally cracked it in 1997 I think. I then reached my high of 390k in 1998. I guess I just started taking it really seriously for some reason and concentrating more on my playing. I jumped from 350k to 390k in less than 6 months. Then the arcade that had it here (Putt-Putt Golf and Games) got rid of it. We also had that tournament thingy here and one guy got like 408k. I watched him play and like Greg suggested he basically played like he had 8 cups of coffee combined with a 'lil bit of ADD. Spinning and jumping everywhere along with being able to play well into the bee's mad rage. The problem with that was when I watched him he died 4 times and he never got past the 2nd Ramp park. He'd always have early deaths from trying to play with the bees on the loose. I'm sure playing this way made the game a quarter cruncher! Again, I'd get too nervous and just dart for the nearest park before the bees got mad.

    Tommi, I completely know what you mean with the rivalries. I had 3 rivals here, and one was actually semi-serious. The first guy's initials were GEO, and he always played using two coins in 2 player mode. He had a basic routine and didn't do anything too crafty. He'd get about 320k with all Gold but the last Downhill (it was always curious why many players couldn't figure out the proper way to get gold on it). One night he sat down beside me on a stool and saw I was pretty good and asked what my initials were. Mine were JBF and he said, \"Cool, I was wondering if I'd ever see you play and liked to see what routines you used.\" He was actually a pleasant older guy (old when you're 19 is about 35 lol) and I wouldn't have minded sharing secrets with him (like 2 car guys talking shop) except I had been badly burned by less skilled players copying me and potentially good players watching THEM thereby stealing my techniques second hand. After he said this I immediately went into \"only jumping over orange water hazards\" mode and just played a non-custom game :-) The other rival there at Putt-Putt was some guy with the initials JPM I think. His best was like 275k but he could Gold medal everything. Again, one day one of his friends saw my initials on John Elway's Quarterback (my score on that was about 43 mil I think?) and he immediately RAN and got the JPM dude and they confronted me and almost sternly asked me to play a game with them. Nope, 3 years of routine creatin' wasn't about to go down the drain for nothing!

    But this pales in comparison with that other rival I had and his initials were CPR (ironic since Tommi's rival was JPR. Maybe they were long lost twins!). This was at the Bally's Aladdin's Castle arcade in Bel Air Mall. I had watched him play and he was an average player and only got about 160k at the most. He just had no long term scoring routine. He rarely went into the colored parks and just jumped around trying to squash the body builders and jumping over the orange water hazards. After he played I played and did my solid routines and special techniques. He then played again and I acted like I was playing another game while looking over my shoulder at him. The guy immediately starts sliding in the Ramp park, jumping around a lot more in the Downhill and Slalom parks, copies my blue park routine and gets like 230k THAT VERY NEXT GAME!! LOL I was pretty furious. I'll give 'em props for having the potential, but I've always felt if he didn't see me play he would have been another average player at 720. For the next few months I'd eye him and he'd be scoring higher and higher. Soon enough the high score table was littered with JB**s and CPR's. One night I unfortunately let slip about the 2 continues extra scoring routine, so the next week he beats my best high score of like 318k and gets 320k! To quote Darth Vader, \"Once I was but the learner, now I am the Master.\" I got so mad I was literally in disbelief. I didn't know what to think. So, I gathered my resolve and went back into the arcade. Played my best game I could and got 321k! *grunts* OHHH YEAH!!! I would have liked to have seen the look on his face after that. Heck, he would of had a giggle fest if he would have seen mine earlier. Anyways, I continued well into the high 330s and he was stuck under 325k. He just didn't have any consistent routines and when it became crunch time I invented new ones on my own and homey couldn't copy me anymore and got left in the dust. He then quit playing, completely. That or he moved away or something. Who knows maybe he got 465k or something lol but anyways yeah I definitely learned my lesson with sharing secrets after that episode.

    Researching 720 scores over the years, along with remembering the ones in my general area, has shown me a few things. It seems the good players would get between 220-270k. The very good players would get 300-350k, and the really good players would get 350-400k+. My scoring ruminations would bottom out around 400k. I just couldn't really understand how Ron got that high. Now, with everything I know, I could see a perfect \"normal\" game top score (not using Greg's technique but playing the game like most of us have been playing it alah all Golds) being around 430k-ish. I always knew I could get a lot more points in Slalom by jumping around more and I honestly wouldn't jump 95% of the time, more like 90%. I also didn't experiment too too much with figuring out which colored parks gave the most medals at certain times. This makes me feel better about my \"game\" in general, but then Greg did say they found better techniques but just weren't in record shape anymore.

    Steve Harris was overseeing the tourney? I think I remember that. He was the editor of the old pre-EGM magazine \"Top Score\" that circulated back in '87/'88. I remember reading those issues back to back to back many times (I remember them saying 3 shoes was the way to go as well). I was rather obsessed with 720 and video games back then. Well, still am but I was really really into them back them.

    Something I don't think I've ever seen mentioned was the finger blisters!! I'm right-handed so I ALWAYS had burn blisters and semi-yucky open sores on my left ring finger. I'd have to wear about 5 or 6 band-aids strategically placed on my left fingers just to play 720 pain free! I even went as far as to buy a baseball glove, but people would look at me strange like I was Ace Frehley or something so I quit wearing it. I also liked how the top part of the cabinet under the joystick seemed to be hollow, so if I got angry I could slap down and be met with a nice hollow reverberating SMACK!!

    Anyways, was wondering Greg if you could tell us what age you all were when you were playing 720 so much and what Ron's age was when he set the record? It'd be fun to compare it to my own age and see if I was literally years behind in ability lol Any videos or anything would be great, but just finally knowing now what techniques you all used has finally set my wondering mind at ease!!!
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    Thanks for your walk down the memory lane Flywing. :)
    Terveisin,
    TJT
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    Flywing-

    Awesome recap of your 720 experience. I love this game as well and I had a chance to obtain a mint shaped cabinet some time ago and didn't capitalize on it. I will kick myself until my dying day for that.

    DK
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