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08-02-2018 at 10:34 AM
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Quarth - 1 Million!

Last Spring I had the intention of both posting more about Gameboy games and getting some more scores submitted. At the time, I kind of ignored the fact that I was taking three grad school classes, working full time, and having to deal with some pretty ambitious house projects. The result, gaming largely got set aside until I could carve out half hour to hour long chunks of time here and there. Fast forward to now, I'm in a three week break before I start my final class, torrential rain has been hitting us for the last couple of weeks (meaning a break on yard stuff), and my wife was out of town for a conference for three days. The result is that I decided to finally tackle a project I'd been thinking about and planning for for the last 6 months or so...1,000,000 on Quarth for Gameboy. Back in February I put together a decent run on the game (heck, at the time I thought it was a great run), and overtook the top score for the Level 1/Stage 1 track by about 13k. I started working on the Level 1/Stage Random score and began refining my strategy. These practice sessions were going pretty well, but made me realize I'd left a ton of points on the table for the 1/1 track. As I started practicing the 1/1 game again, I realized it might be possible to break a million, so I decided to see if I could do it. After some solid practice games I knew it was possible, it would just be a matter of getting the time (3+ hours by my initial calculations) and getting a solid run. Hitting a million was going to require some heavy point pressing which really decreases the margin of error. Prior to my wife's trip, I'd made a couple of attempts which ended with little mistakes around 1.5 to 2 hours and 500k-650k points. So I knew it was only a matter of time. Attempt #1 - She left on Sunday and after getting my kid to bed, I got to work. After 2 hours and 15 minutes of play at 825k I tried to point press in a stupid spot for no reason, made a mistake, and died. Oh well. Attempt #2 - Monday night. Same routine - kid in bed, popped open a soda, and started playing. That night I made it to about 2.5 hours and 875k and then did the same thing...point pressed in an unsafe spot and died. Attempt #3 - Tuesday night. Last chance before September. Got my kid to sleep, grabbed a bigger coke (because clearly the size of my soft drink is what was holding me back) and started it up. My wife started texting me early on in the game so I was trying to balance playing while responding to her texts and was easily able to stay alive, but missed out on 20-30 thousand points in the process. That coupled with a few minor point related mistakes and I was about 40-50k behind my ideal at the end of level 1. It was still a solid score though so I kept playing. I had a great second level which brought me close to one million. I decided to play it safer as I started level 3 and try to avoid the mishaps of the previous nights. Well, it worked and I was able to keep going. I ended up dying with 1,177,300 points (my previous approved TG score was 293,560). The game lasted for just over 3 hours and I died because of a mistake I made as a result of the speed and intensity of the game rather than my own stupidity or over ambition for points (it's still a death, but feels better to me for some reason). This score definitely could have been a bit over 1.2 million had I not had the texting happening early on. Managing to get all the way through level 3 and at least start level 4 (the stages start to get pretty hard around 4-5), I think the score might have been able to get pushed to 1.35 million give or take 50k. After level 4-4, it becomes tough to stay alive, much less play for points, so even if level 4 were finished, the point return would be pretty low (probably 80k or under). So, based on my current knowledge and strategies of the game, if point pressing was solid and with a little bit of luck, I think 1.5 million could be broken. I'm not planning on pushing for that in the foreseeable future, though if someone is able to beat this current score, I will likely respond to the challenge :) The score has been submitted and can be seen here -

  1. Ninglendo's Avatar

    Man that is so awesome. Love me some Quarth! Have you tried Block Hole on MAME? It's the same game but a little more challenging

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  2. Intellivision Master's Avatar

    I like this story!!


    ThanksBlackflag82 thanked this post
  3. Blackflag82's Avatar

    I haven't, but will definitely check it out. Thanks!

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