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paul dean
03-24-2021 at 09:18 PM
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Wall Entry at 03-24-2021 09:07 PM

Twin Galaxies Spy Hunter Manual and the Bridge Out tactic in 1985

Twin Galaxies manual and the use of the spy hunter bridge out advanced tactic which was widely used in the 1980’s among the best players.

The high score players were not required to give up their playing strategies to the competition as I did not, as they were considered hard earned through hours of playing and no one wanted to give the upper hand to their competition.

The Manuals for spy hunter never mentioned the bridge out maneuver and it was very well known by 1985:

The manuals mention two specific tricks that cannot be used.

1.The first is a glitch which makes you invincible giving the player points, and the game will never end. “Locking up the game.”

2.The second method involves keeping the tugboat which appears to bring out new boats, keeping the player's boat, during the river sequence, just behind the tugboat. Nothing will appear from behind and the tugboat blocks out everything in front. In either case, void the game immediately.

Note that on the 1986 Manual Game Number 096 Spy Hunter has my threshold score listed.
Threshold score: 9,512,590

Also note, that the referees who verified my score did not change any of the rules or bugs / glitches for spy hunter as to what can and cannot be done in competing for this spy hunter world record score. The 1984 rules are exactly the same as the 1986 rules for spy hunter.

The Manuals:

Spy Hunter Twin Galaxies International Video Game Masters Tournament - 1984 Rules

Game Number – 46

Spy Hunter: Bally

Difficulty = #3:

Game Play- In Spy Hunter the player becomes a master spy, with a car equipped with four different gadgets. Before the player can use these weapons against the enemy drivers (the blue cars) he must ride into a weapons van and out again with the weapon. Although these weapons are powerful, they must be used with care, for hitting a civilian vehicles loses the player points. Later phases have slippery roadways and the option of turning the player's car into a boat.

* Notice to the Operators and Notaries - Many flaws hamper Spy Hunter. Most of them will 'lock-up' the game and just give the player points. Another method involves keeping the tugboat which appears to bring out new boats. Nothing will appear from behind and the tugboat blocks out everything in front. In either case, void the game immediately.

Reference: Video Paradise Manual 1984 VGMT RULES

The 1986 Video Game Masters Tournament Official Games Manual

The results of this contest will be submitted to the 1987 Guinness Book of World Records.

Copyrighted 1986. All rights reserved. No part of this manual or rule book may be reproduce without prior written consent of the U.S. National Video Game Team. Participating "Contest Sites" may Xerox the contents as a function of the contest administration.

Who will appear in the Guinness Book of World Records? Any score which beats the present high score listed in the 1986 Guinness Book of World Records. Each listing will include the player's name, birth date, and hometown. The final winners of each of the 125 different games will be announced by phone. Each player attaining a world record score will be notified of his/her achievement and will receive a trophy commemorating the event.

1) The "Site" director must check all the game settings before the contest begins. 2. The "Site" director and any persons to be used as a witness during the contest must review the notes occurring in the game manual and alert them of any illegal playing techniques.

The forms in the back of this manual can be labeled at the top with the name of one game. It is a good idea to recognize which contest games are at the site and label at least one sheet per game before play begins. Also, each threshold score should be noted on each record page for each game so time will not be wasted recording scores lower than last year’s record scores.

Contest Procedure:

1) Each contestant must bill out and sign an application form.
2) The "Site" director should review the tricks with the contestants on their respective games so they will be forewarned of the consequences should they use any of the banned techniques.

Making sure a score is legitimate; some of the games featured in this contest are subject to tampering by the player through various tricks that can be accomplished due to flaws in the game's programming. To make sure that the score the player receives is legitimate, keep this page handy for reference of games with illegal game mechanics. If a game in question is one listed below, check the game preparation sheet to gain further information about the flaw.

• Spy Hunter

1986 Manual Spy Hunter (Bally)
Game Number: 096
Threshold score: 9,512,590
Settings: Starting cars . . . 3
Bonus cars . . . . . . One additional car if score after timed play is 10,000 points, 2 if the score after timed play is 18,000 points. After that, additional cars are awarded at 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 and 120,000 points.
Difficulty . . . . . . #3 (Note: Settings are altered while machine is in self-test mode)

Tricks: Many flaws hamper Spy Hunter. Most of them will 'lock-up' the game and just give the player points. Another method involves keeping the player's boat, during the river sequence, just behind the tugboat which appears to bring out new boats. Nothing will appear from behind and the tugboat blocks out everything in front. In either case, void the game immediately.

Reference: Web Archive: 1986 VGM TOGM

On June 28, 1985 I had entered a Guinness Contest (3rd Annual Masters Tournament) run by Twin Galaxies representatives at the location of Huish Family Fun Center at 1500 W 7th St, Upland, CA 91786. The game I chose to play was a sit-down spy hunter game.

This is a game I am very familiar with as there was one close to me at Castle Park, Riverside, CA which I had been playing daily and I had all the high scores with my initials on the top rank at my local arcade. I had mastered spy hunter. I knew the Bridge Out tactic very well as the best of the best players would talk to each other about the various tactics of spy hunter.

The best players knew about it as a tactic so if I get a chance I will try to use this on my June 28, 1985 Guinness run which started about 8:30am in the morning. I knew I would be in for a long game and needed this game to be perfect. I was having a great game as I beat the timer and had earned my first two free cars getting past 18,000 points. Then came, 30k, 60k, 90k, and 120k and I had maxed out my extra cars holding all without a loss.

I was doing great without a loss getting past 400k, 500k, 600k but still I was not able to do the bridge out tactic. Then finally at 800k I thought this may be my chance and I was able to get out of the weapons van at bridge out and get out to the side of the road for a few seconds and then continue my game.

This made it possible for me to spend longer periods of time in the water which I really enjoy being able to drive the speed boat as the game play is quite different there than on land.

I spent hours in the water and I was very lucky to have been sitting down while playing or I could never have finished this game successfully which took approximately 12 hours to complete my score of 9,512,590. I heard one of the referee’s, Phil Britt cheering me on as by saying stuff like, “There’s a guy from Alaska with 3 million, keep going.” Then later he’d say there’s a guy from Washington with 5 million points. This pushed me to try even harder. By the time I got to about 8.5 million I started to lose bladder control, however I could do nothing about it. Embarrassingly I had wet my pants a bit but continued on. I knew there was a crowd behind me and I really wanted to see the 10 million point digit but it did not come to be, and I was done with my game completely worn out at around 8:30pm. I was congratulated and then made my way home with a final score of 9,512,590 on spy hunter.

The referees were players I knew, Jeff Peters, who had many world records and eventually owned a piece of Twin Galaxies and Phil Britt who won the player of the year contest earlier in the year.

For those who want to beat my score I say yes it is possible and back in 1985 the Bridge Out technique was accepted as my score was green lighted and was published into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1986. I suggest all to play on this track and beat my score on spy hunter.

  1. Garrett Holland's Avatar

    Thank you for your honesty.

    Thanks80sArcadeKid thanked this post
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  2. 80sArcadeKid's Avatar

    Thank you, I believe the score should still remain but be moved to the 'Glitches allowed' track. This would allow fair competition on both tracks. I don't know how we would go about doing this if it is deemed the way to go.

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  3. Snowflake's Avatar

    Thank you. These disputes can stay open ended for years without such input, you've really helped us out. I know some people can find disputes offensive, so I thank your politness and understanding.

  4. TJKinkead's Avatar

    Thank you.

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  5. bensweeneyonbass's Avatar

    Thanks Paul. First class.

  6. The Evener's Avatar

    Paul, I would like to extend my personal thanks and gratitude for your insights and contributions concerning your 1985 record on Spy Hunter in order to document in greater detail the context of tournaments like the VGMT from the "golden age." With the loss of the TG archives in 1984/85 and the passage of time, TG has in several cases lost track of rule sets that governed high score achievements that were tracked in the 80s and were subsequently reincorporated into the relaunched TG database with differing rules. Instances of divergent rules were difficult to confirm for many years until Wayne and others began to share copies of VGTM manuals in 2014:

    Your added testimony concerning rules and conditions of tournament play that led to your WR is a valued contribution to classic gaming history and a demonstration of sportsmanship in fostering more competition around a great title - thank you!

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  7. datagod's Avatar

    Thank you Paul for coming to your own defense and explaining the situation. What a story! I have been drinking coffee all morning and I almost had to go take a break while reading your post. I cannot imagine being able to hold it for so long as you did, accident or not.

    You truly are a legend, and one that I am proud to know. :)

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