1 Credits For 3 Bases
1st Extra Base at 10,000 Points
Additional Bases every 10,000 Points
8,519,300 (Rank 1)
Dispute Evidence / Rationale
Score not possible as there is a kill screen. Recently at a Funspot event two players, Donald Hayes and Jason Cram both hit the kill screen and both scores were around 4.2 million. Both scores were witnessed and logged by many players at the event.
Not sure about the point pressing and such, but I'm guessing it doesn't add up to another 4 million points. All the other scores seem reasonable. I'll wait for DBH to chime in and hear what he has to say.
A while back I did play this in MAME to break down how the scoring works and so forth. Very simply, the major points come when you catch the balloon on your head. Each screen increases the multiplier for the balloon value and it gets up to almost 2000 point for a single blue balloon. There is a kill screen and it happens when the game tries to play the 65th challenge rack.
Using the observed point values, I calculated a max score of around 4.45M. HOWEVER, when you gain enough free men, the game starts to have what appears to be some type of memory corruption and it starts drawing different characters instead of balloons in certain positions. This is important to scoring because when you catch the different character on your head you get the point value of the Pac Man ghosts which is higher than a balloon. So in theory, this could add a few thousand point per screen and raise the max score, but certainly not to the 8M range. The 4.6-4.7M range may be possible but I'd have to check an old MAME recording more closely to see.
I have not heard about possible point pressing in this game. If you can find a description it would be interesting to put it to the test.
I went through my old MAME recording more closely and confirmed that when you have a little over 100 free men built up the game will replace up to three balloon positions and possibly one falling balloon with a different character and that character is worth the same as a Pac Man ghost when caught on your head. What this means to a theoretical maximum score is that you could get an extra "(3 or 4) x 10 x roundnumber" points per screen once you've gotten enough lives which is about halfway through the boards. This comes out to around 2000-5000 points for perhaps 70 boards.
I also found that once you're into the total blue balloon levels (round 23 and beyond) that some screens don't always give you the normal 20 blue balloons with 2 Pac Man ghosts and 2 Pac Men. Sometimes, there is only 1 Pac Man ghost, and even 0 Pac Man ghosts can happen. This decreases the maximum score for that screen by "10 x roundnumber" (and a little bit more off due to the eat/pop bonus).
So, what this all means is that the expected normal maximum without these anomalies would be around 4.46M, and the absolute best for the anomalies would give you approximate 208-277K for a total around 4.73M.
Early TG (where this score comes from) accepted multi-credit attempts as a combined effort. Within the ruleset of the time if a game met with an issue, the gamer start a new game and the scores were combined - early TG was really after making any game an endurance test. This is in the rule sheets on the forums from yesteryear (thanks to Mark Hoff & the Italian(?) site that preserved the knowledge).
Many early TG scores were "lost" at times and this could account for some publications listing a lower score.
) found a C64 version of this game with some serious "kick" point tallies. I can't remember the specifics so may not be relevant here. However, from memory(which is sketchy on this game) you can keep everything on screen by juggling with the kick - has kick-endurance gaming been ruled out? Early TG had no "ethics" enforced on leeching.
Are you on my radar?
I'd rather be last on every game than throw my time away chasing only one score.
Terence ( @RaGe ) found a C64 version of this game with some serious "kick" point tallies. I can't remember the specifics so may not be relevant here. However, from memory(which is sketchy on this game) you can keep everything on screen by juggling with the kick - has kick-endurance gaming been ruled out? Early TG had no "ethics" enforced on leeching.
The leechable version I found for the C64, where you can go kick-crazy, seems to be a legit version. It'd be interesting if a version like that exists for the arcade. I also found it interesting that this C64 version uses a black background like the arcade (unlike the C64's regular, white background version). It was ported to the C64 right away, so it does fall right into the same basic release time frame.
If this was a "stitched" score, why didn't the player keep playing? This score would have only taken 8-9 hours. If they were truly playing for endurance and not worried about killscreens or random bugs, I'm 100% positive they would have played for much longer.
As for the point pressing I eluded to earlier, I think it was exactly as Donald has described.