DECA 2004 Final Results!

  1. DECA 2004 Final Results!

    04-08-2004, 05:16 PM
    Twin Galaxies 2004 MAME Decathlon - FINAL RESULTS !!
    As reported on April 8th, 2004

    Hello fellow gamers:

    One of Twin Galaxies' proudest and most respected traditions is our annual MAME
    decathlon, a grueling event in which 10 arcade titles are contested by a large number of
    participants over a period of time. This year's results were nothing short of remarkable.

    The general principle is simple. To keep things fresh, gamers vote on titles that have
    not previously been contested within the past few years, and the 10 titles that garnered the
    most votes make up the decathlon-to-be. The rules are established per title, inclusive of
    any banned tactics, and dedicated gamers volunteer to act as tournament referees for one or
    more of the titles. Next, over the course of typically 90 days, gamers submit as often as
    they like for each of the 10 titles within the pre-determined cutoff dates for the tournament.

    The scores on a per title basis are worth up to 100 percentage points based on the
    lead position for that title. In other words, should "Donkey Kong" be a contest title, and
    the highest score submitted is 500,000 points, then that score is worth 100 percentage
    points, and if the 2nd highest score submitted is 400,000 points, then that score is worth
    80 percentage points, and so forth. Players must submit a score for each of the 10 titles
    to qualify, and the sum of their percentage points for each of the 10 titles is tallied, and
    the competition final rankings are announced.

    Depending on a gamer's finishing position, prizes are awarded, which could range from a
    modest cash prize to a Twin Galaxies certificate. All results are entered into the Twin
    Galaxies online scoreboard database, and top scores per title might be eligible for
    inclusion in the 2nd Twin Galaxies Book of Video Game and Pinball World Records.

    That being said, the 2004 competition was very exciting. For starters, I would like to
    personally thank the many fine players who volunteered to serve as tournament referees
    throughout the competition. It could not have been a success were it not for their
    involvement. Additionally, the tournament is all for and about the players.

    This year, over 50 players registered to compete from 18 different countries. Of this
    impressive and truly worldwide group, 24 qualified, meaning they submitted at least one
    verified score on all 10 titles. The gamers ranged from 13 years of age up to 49, quite an
    array of experience from both the classic and modern eras of gaming.

    The array of titles was both diverse and challenging, including some of the most respected
    titles in gaming history. All titles were fun to play, and provided for an
    excellent mix to test the capabilities and skillsets of the participating gamers.

    Although there can only be one overall winner, and one overall 2nd place
    finisher, 3rd place finisher, etc, each of the indiviual title contests was equally
    important. So, in my recap, I'll cover each of the ten titles first and then wrap up with
    the overall championship rankings.

    My personal thanks to the participants, one and all, for taking the time to partake
    in this time-honoured competition, and to the dedicated referees who did an exemplary job.
    Here now are the various results, in alphabetical order by title.


    Difficulty - Medium
    Starting lives - 3
    Extra life - one (1) at 30K, one more after each completed level
    Special competition rules - five (5) lives only

    One of the toughest titles in this competition, in my opinion. Not too many people at the
    start of the competition even knew how to passably play the game, as it is generally
    regarded as one of the more difficult titles from the classic era. But, the participants
    of a deca share their mutual respect, and several provided in-depth details on how
    to play the game, from the absolute basics to the most detailed nuances. That, combined
    with the perseverance of the participants over the course of the deca, lead to spirited
    competition and valiant efforts from one and all. Inevitably, some gamers pulled away from
    the pack with outstanding performances.

    For gamers who are not familiar with the title, you control what appears to be "Bagman",
    who travels across three screens gathering bags of money and bringing them to his wheel barrel
    to keep the timer replenished. Meanwhile, two "wardens" chase you relentlessly, and if they
    manage to catch you, then one life is lost. Gather all the bags of money within a level and
    you are rewarded with an extra life, and a new level to explore.

    At the start of the competition, when gamers were getting acclimated to the title, the
    score to beat was in the 224K range. By the end of the competition, seven (7) participants
    managed to pass the vaunted 100K mark, most of which probably made it to the second level,
    thus a 5th and final life awarded.

    The competition's top score later increased to the 522K mark which was extraordinary,
    but as the competition heated up, that mark was more than doubled. Rafal Politanski, who
    hails from Poland, set the highest mark on this title with a whopping score of more than a
    million points. Not to be outdone, Donald Hayes, who hails from ths USA, kept pace with
    another score that exceeded a million points but which fell a bit short of Rafal's. Still,
    on this title such scores are extraordinary.

    The game can throw you for a loop when the wheelbarrel starts at different sections of
    a level, and when the wardens don't quite seem to go where you hoped they would. That, plus
    a very unforgiving timer, make for one tough gaming experience.

    The pack, if you will, seemed to be those gamers that collected at least a few bags
    but didn't quite finish the first level.

    The disparity between the top two scores and the next highest was actually the largest
    for the competition, a 58.70% difference, to be precise, a testimony to how difficult this
    title can be. Below are the specific results for the title for all who submitted a score,
    reflecting their name, their score, and their relative percentage points out of 100%.

    Rafal Politanski        1,098,700   100.00%
    Donald Hayes            1,027,970    93.56%
    Robert Mruczek          382,990      34.86%
    Andrew Peter Mee        291,670      26.55%
    Martin Bedard           263,890      24.02%
    Greg Erway              149,920      13.65%
    Christian Rduch         103,990       9.46%
    John Drake              77,170        7.02%
    Robert Macauley         75,650        6.89%
    Michael Bruhn           69,170        6.30%
    Michael Span            66,630        6.06%
    Ryan Gavigan            42,930        3.91%
    Jason Hoseason          42,460        3.86%
    Steve Knox              41,370        3.77%
    Werner Pfurtscheller    40,620        3.70%
    John Rhodes             40,440        3.68%
    Darren Harding          38,560        3.51%
    Tim Balderramos         37,830        3.44%
    Kelly R. Flewin         36,610        3.33%
    Brien King              31,520        2.87%
    John Marks              29,860        2.72%
    Ron Corcoran            27,000        2.46%
    Steven Herschel         26,160        2.38%
    Todd Rogers             24,370        2.22%
    Jonathan Dunne          22,600        2.06%
    Manfred Moosleitner     22,590        2.06%
    Phil Younger            22,470        2.05%
    Adam King               22,420        2.04%
    Alex Weir               21,060        1.92%
    Anders Svensson         19,720        1.79%
    Brett A. Burnell        14,160        1.29%

    Crazy Balloon
    Difficulty - default
    Starting balloons - 3
    Extra balloon - one (1) at 5,000 points

    Perhaps the most unique event in this decathalon, Crazy Balloon was the only title
    where it's basically you against yourself, and of course the level timer. Unlike most
    titles, you do not have to shoot enemies, dodge enemy fire, use shields or warps, or perform
    any jumping maneuvers. All you need to do is guide your ever-swinging balloon
    through a maze of pointed stars. One false move and POP, your balloon suddenly explodes.

    The game consists of three basic levels patterns which are appear in a sequence of 8
    stages, each of which is a slight variant on one of the patterns, and may include moving
    objects or in some cases the entire stage itself is moving !! Afterwards, the same 8 stages
    repeat, only this time with the presence of a 'windy face' that attempts to thwart your
    effort by blowing you into the spiked stars if you allow yourself to get within it's line
    of sight. Finish 8 more levels like this, and then all 16 repeat, with your balloon swinging a
    little faster.

    Amazingly, about a year ago, the highest score achieved was in the 50-60K range and
    probably did not exceed stage 14 or 16, the toughest initial stumbling blocks of the game.
    This competition resulted in some scores that were comparatively in the stratosphere.

    At the start of the competition, the pace was established (if memory serves) by a score
    in the 64K the time a world record, or at least close to it.

    Concurrent to the decathalon, a "bounty" existed for the first person in history to
    achieve a score over 100K. That happened when Joe Ledesma from the USA submitted to me for
    verification a score of about 100,790 points, if I remember correctly, thus earning Joe the
    commensurate cash prize. Shortly thereafter, some major leap-frogging took place. A 3-way
    battle between Anders Svensson (who hails from Sweden), Donald Hayes and Rafal Politanski
    took place, with the scores getting higher and higher. Anders I believe was the 2nd person
    to break 100K, and started to send me INPs in the 103-143K range, continually getting a bit
    higher each time, eventually reaching the end of the 2nd cycle of 16 stages, and then
    reaching stage 40, a feat previously unheard of before this deca.

    Donald Hayes and Rafal Politanski then took control, and Donald started with a now
    (for Donald) modest score of about 104K. After several improvements, and then some awesome
    achievements towards the end of the competition, each gamer literally shredded any vestige
    of difficulty that remained in the title, reaching stages that the average gamer, a year ago,
    would have said was flat out impossible and inconceivable to achieve, let alone go beyond.

    Ultimately, Donald Hayes beat out Rafal Politanski after weeks of an awesome wave of
    submissions that forever redefined what players of this title previously thought was possible.

    What's more unbelievable is that these gamers developed their skillsets during the
    competition, for the most part. Who would have thought that by the time the competition was
    over that the new world record would be more than SEVEN (7) TIMES the previously verified
    world record ? This just goes to show you...a decathlon can definitely raise the bar.

    The final outcomes are below for all who submitted a score for this title, along with
    the comparative percentages.

    Donald Hayes            466,920     100.00%
    Rafal Politanski        314,090      67.27%
    Anders Svensson         143,130      30.65%
    Joseph Ledesma          100,790      21.59%
    Robert Mruczek           89,760      19.22%
    Greg Erway               78,770      16.87%
    Martin Bedard            59,310      12.70%
    Michael Bruhn            43,330      9.28%
    Daniel Bamford           33,290      7.13%
    Michael Span             31,050      6.65%
    Werner Pfurtscheller     26,100      5.59%
    Robert Macauley          25,600      5.48%
    Alex Weir                23,920      5.12%
    Jonathan Dunne           23,100      4.95%
    John Rhodes              19,450      4.17%
    Jason Hoseason           18,240      3.91%
    Arild Lossius Jektvik    16,670      3.57%
    Andrew Peter Mee         16,480      3.53%
    Tim Balderramos          15,280      3.27%
    Steven Herschel          11,730      2.51%
    Chad Rogers               9,850      2.11%
    Brien King                8,560      1.83%
    Kelly R. Flewin           7,170      1.54%
    Manfred Moosleitner       4,830      1.03%
    Ryan Gavigan              4,370      0.94%
    Brett A. Burnell          3,870      0.83%
    Phil Younger              3,620      0.78%
    Steve Knox                3,510      0.75%
    Todd Rogers               2,310      0.49%

    Difficulty - default
    Starting lives - 3
    Extra lives - every 3K
    Special competition rules - five (5) lives only

    Frenzy is the sequel title to one of the all-time classic arcade titles,Berzerk.
    Here, indestructible maze walls are often replaced with ones that you can shoot a path
    through, or walls that can reflect your shots. Some stages feature special extras such as
    robot-generating machines or robot freeze devices, and the relentless Otto can actually be
    destroyed, although a faster, more aggressive replacement quickly follows thereafter.

    Event referee Phil Younger, one of the greatest Berzerk players on the planet, set the
    pace with an initial entry of 57K. For the better part of the competition, most scores
    remained under that threshold, the highest of which was set by Donald Hayes in the mid-40K
    range. However, as the competition drew to a close, a few gamers dug deep down and cranked
    out some truly awesome performances.

    Donald eventually passed Phil's score and set a mark of 73K, changing everyone's
    relative rankings in the process. But as the competition reached it's conclusion, one
    staggering score was submitted and verified that dramatically changed the rankings for
    everyone. Rafal Politanski submitted 229K, a score that was more than three (3) times that
    which Donald previously submitted. Also, Martin Bedard, who hails from Canada, cranked out
    a very respectable score of 46K.

    Of the 10 decathlon games, what separates this event from all others is the fact that
    the least number of submitting players achieved more than a 10% ranking...just six (6) !!
    I took a look and no other title had so few players achieving that threshold or higher,
    counting the leader position of course.

    Here now are the final results...

    Rafal Politanski        229,144    100.00%
    Donald Hayes             73,582     32.11%
    Phil Younger             57,504     25.10%
    Martin Bedard            46,863     20.45%
    Robert Mruczek           24,159     10.54%
    Werner Pfurtscheller     23,906     10.43%
    Greg Erway               17,666      7.71%
    Michael Span             17,633      7.70%
    Jonathan Dunne           16,450      7.18%
    Anders Svensson          15,896      6.94%
    Michael Bruhn            15,429      6.73%
    Alex Weir                15,346      6.70%
    Andrew Peter Mee         14,476      6.32%
    Robert Macauley          12,473      5.44%
    Kelly R. Flewin          10,521      4.59%
    Ron Corcoran             10,211      4.46%
    Jason Hoseason           10,199      4.45%
    Brett A. Burnell          8,393      3.66%
    Todd Rogers               7,232      3.16%
    John Rhodes               6,568      2.87%
    Ryan Gavigan              5,663      2.47%
    Brien King                5,430      2.37%
    Tim Balderramos           4,919      2.15%
    John Drake                3,548      1.55%
    Adam King                 3,543      1.55%
    Steve Knox                2,969      1.30%
    Manfred Moosleitner       2,906      1.27%
    Steven Herschel           2,721      1.19%

    Difficulty - default
    Starting ships - 3
    Extra ship - one (1) at 7K

    A personal favourite of mine, this is one of the grandaddies of the classic vertical
    shooters, and is regarded as an all-time classic that was the inspiration for many similiar
    titles to come. In general, a wave of enemies on top swoops down at you, one or more ships
    at a time, in an attempt to bomb you with any of their multiple shots dropped. Occassionaly,
    a squadron of ships will attack providing an opportunity for some major extra points if you
    are skilled enough to shoot the flagships first and then the command ship. As a wave
    progresses, the tempo increases until just a few ships remain whereby they all will swoop
    down at you, in a swarm if you will, in a last ditch effort to bomb your ship.

    Strategic and accurate shooting is necessary in this title, and although the most
    points are possible when shooting an enemy in flight, only the most reckless and foolhardy
    gamers attempt that point-pressing strategy, especially when the game speed increases.

    Early on during the competition, the lead score was I think in the 50-75K range. It's
    been awhile so I'm not really sure. Eventually, it was Martin Bedard that first passed the
    100K threshold, an incredible mark for this title. At some point, I had a good game myself
    and set an even higher mark with a score of 196K. Although that changed the rankings, and
    as decent of a score as it was, even more impressive scores would be submitted.

    Todd Rogers, who hails from the USA and who is the world record holder on the Atari
    2600 version of Galaxian with more than 1M points, started to catch up with scores
    approaching the 160K barrier, and then close to 190K. But then, Martin Bedard, the current
    MAME record holder on the much faster and tougher Galaxian Part 4, pulled off this
    competition's first 200K+ score with 228K. Amazingly, Todd pulled off another great game
    and nearly caught Martin, coming to within 300 points of his score. Talk about close !!

    Anders Svensson improved his score to the 67K mark, and I am pleased to say that he
    told me that my own tips on the game had helped to augment his own skillset at the title.
    What amazed me about Anders score is that one morning he said he was in the 30K range, then
    as he wrote back throughout the day he nearly doubled his score. Years back, it took me much
    longer to go from the 30K-level 10 range to where Anders reached.

    Interestingly, more participants submitted a verified score on this title than any other
    within this decathlon.

    Here are the final rankings for this title...

    Martin Bedard            228,870    100.00%
    Todd Rogers              228,580     99.87%
    Robert Mruczek           196,300     85.77%
    Anders Svensson           67,010     29.28%
    Alex Weir                 66,640     29.12%
    Donald Hayes              63,060     27.55%
    Rafal Politanski          55,580     24.28%
    Greg Erway                32,380     14.15%
    Chad Rogers               31,240     13.65%
    Michael Span              25,840     11.29%
    John Drake                23,650     10.33%
    Jonathan Dunne            20,600      9.00%
    Michael Bruhn             19,560      8.55%
    John Marks                19,110      8.35%
    Jason Hoseason            17,910      7.83%
    Andrew Peter Mee          17,250      7.54%
    Robert Macauley           15,580      6.81%
    Werner Pfurtscheller      14,730      6.44%
    Christian Rduch           12,770      5.58%
    Richard Marsh             12,600      5.51%
    Kelly R. Flewin           12,340      5.39%
    Tim Balderramos           12,240      5.35%
    Daniel Bamford            11,050      4.83%
    Ron Corcoran              10,800      4.72%
    John Rhodes                9,590      4.19%
    Ryan Gavigan               9,580      4.19%
    Steven Herschel            8,770      3.83%
    Steve Knox                 6,200      2.71%
    Manfred Moosleitner        5,400      2.36%
    Phil Younger               4,900      2.14%
    Joe Ledesma                4,060      1.77%
    Brien King                 3,640      1.59%
    Brett A. Burnell           2,440      1.07%

    Ghosts 'n' Goblins
    Difficulty - Normal
    Starting lives - 3
    Extra lives - 20K then every 70K
    Special competition rules - five (5) lives only

    The only quest-based title in this decathalon, your goal is to rescue your abducted
    ladyfriend from the clutches of an evil demon. Donning your suit of armour and trusty
    lance, you proceed across land, over bridges, through demon-inhabitted towns, over seas
    of fire, into caves, until finally you meet your nemesis and defeat it, only to have to do
    this all over again.

    A sequel title, Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, was later released, by the way. But for this
    decathlon, the original title was selected by the participants.

    However, the game itself is not as easy as I make it sound. In fact, very few gamers
    managed to actually finish one complete cycle of stages. Due to an allowable point-pressing
    strategy that exists in one of the earlier stages (3), it is possible to amass a lot of
    points without leaving that stage, so I cannot be sure who other than the lead player
    managed to complete one full cycle of stages.

    That being said, there were a lot of impressive scores for this title in the
    competition, but three stood out from the rest.

    Rafal Politanski cruised to a lofty 893K in the closing days of the competition,
    raising what I seem to remember was his previous competition high of between 717-722K.
    Anders Svensson pulled off a whopping 679K...awesome, but a whole 200K less than Rafal's
    score. Rounding out the top three, Martin Bedard pulled off a last week submission that
    helped to propel him into not just 3rd place on this title, but vaulted him to the upper
    echelons of the overall champions of this decathlon.

    Ten (10) additional players managed to break the 100K mark on this title. Here are the
    final results...

    Rafal Politanski        893,500    100.00%
    Anders Svensson         679,700     76.07%
    Martin Bedard           478,200     53.52%
    Alex Weir               381,700     42.72%
    Werner Pfurtscheller    378,000     42.31%
    Donald Hayes            343,500     38.44%
    John Drake              276,900     30.99%
    Michael Span            274,700     30.74%
    Jonathan Dunne          253,000     28.32%
    Kelly R. Flewin         202,300     22.64%
    Robert Mruczek          191,000     21.38%
    Robert Macauley         114,600     12.83%
    Greg Erway              101,900     11.40%
    Daniel Bamford           66,100      7.40%
    Todd Rogers              59,400      6.65%
    John Rhodes              56,500      6.32%
    Jason Hoseason           54,400      6.09%
    Manfred Moosleitner      52,100      5.83%
    Ron Corcoran             37,900      4.24%
    Tim Balderramos          34,700      3.88%
    Phil Younger             34,400      3.85%
    Ryan Gavigan             32,400      3.63%
    Michael Bruhn            31,300      3.50%
    Brett A. Burnell         26,300      2.94%
    Adam King                25,100      2.81%
    Andrew Peter Mee         22,800      2.55%
    Steve Knox               17,600      1.97%
    Steven Herschel          17,000      1.90%
    Brien King               16,600      1.86%

    Difficulty - B
    Starting lives - 3
    Extra lives - 20K and then 70K

    Not an easy title to learn, let alone master. For those not familiar with the title,
    you control "Mappy", a member of the mouse micro-police, and your goal is to recover stolen
    objects that are strewn across a mansion by crossing platforms and using trampolines to go
    from level to level. Attempting to thwart your efforts are a number of cats (what else ?)
    that attempt to surround or touch you, causing you to lose a life. The longer you take in a
    stage, the more difficult it later becomes as additional cats are released. Take even longer
    and this game's equivelant of evil Otto from the title Berzerk comes out and chases you down.
    But you are not without some defenses, in the form of doors that can let out a microwave beam
    which temporarily removes some of the cats from the screen, or doors that can block other
    cats from catching you. But, all in all, you yourself are pretty much helpless, and have to
    avoid contact with the cats at all cost.

    Not exactly a pattern-title, as the behaviour of your enemies is not always a given.
    They may start out going in the opposite direction (towards you) at the beginning of a stage,
    or as the stage progresses, small changes in your pattern have a global affect on the position
    of all the enemies on the screen regardless of where you are, so a lot of improvisation is
    required. And once the stages increase and more cats, by default, come out, then it gets tough.

    This competition started out with I believe a top score in the 140K range, maybe by
    Donald Hayes (it's been awhile and I forget the progress). Some scores started to come closer,
    approaching 70K (enough to earn the extralife), or getting close to 100K. The bar was then
    raised by Donald Hayes and Greg Erway from the USA, each of which ran the score up to the
    200K+ threshold.

    As the final week neared, a few more gamers made their presence known in this event,
    and at the same time, the event leader (Donald) was also working on improving his standings,
    as he fully expected at least one or more gamers to crack the 200K barrier.

    Sure enough, Donald was right. Two (2) gamers additionally managed to reach the 200K
    barrier...Rafal Politanski with a score of 238K, and Martin Bedard with a score of 309K.
    Donald himself managed to raise the bar to the 340K range, thus preserving his lead in this
    segment of the competition.

    Here, now, are the final results...

    Donald Hayes            340,680    100.00%
    Martin Bedard           309,990     90.99%
    Rafal Politanski        238,090     69.89%
    Greg Erway              217,270     63.78%
    Robert Mruczek          186,870     54.85%
    Andrew Peter Mee        113,550     33.33%
    Alex Weir               101,750     29.87%
    John Bowman              91,660     26.91%
    Robert Macauley          91,390     26.83%
    Jonathan Dunne           79,090     23.22%
    Kelly R. Flewin          69,510     20.40%
    Steven Herschel          68,740     20.18%
    Anders Svensson          65,320     19.17%
    Werner Pfurtscheller     63,550     18.65%
    Michael Bruhn            61,690     18.11%
    Christian Rduch          61,600     18.08%
    Michael Span             59,850     17.57%
    Darren Harding           56,870     16.69%
    Daniel Bamford           49,220     14.45%
    John Drake               46,710     13.71%
    Ryan Gavigan             46,640     13.69%
    Jason Hoseason           46,090     13.53%
    Brett A. Burnell         43,740     12.84%
    John Rhodes              42,710     12.54%
    Todd Rogers              41,340     12.13%
    Brien King               37,210     10.92%
    Ron Corcoran             30,100      8.84%
    Manfred Moosleitner      29,710      8.72%
    Tim Balderramos          20,750      6.09%
    Adam King                15,820      4.64%
    Steve Knox               14,840      4.36%
    Phil Younger             11,990      3.52%

    Difficulty - default
    Starting lives - 3
    Extra lives - one (1), which I quite honestly am not sure if it comes via
    completing a certain stage of by passing a point threshold

    The first (I think) 3-D Pacman entry into the Pacman family, the game offers more
    than the traditional 4 ghosts per stage, including ones that jump when you do, and one
    that quite simply acts as an enforcer, zealously guarding certain areas of the board and
    providing you with the maximum challenge. Fruits appear and can be worth points or can
    temporarily turn your enemies blue a-la Pacman Plus. And for the expert gamer, grouping
    the ghosts takes on new meaning, as the ghosts approach a value of 7,650 points each, and
    running over another energizer at that point preserves the point value per ghost. So, if you
    plan your strategy well, it is possible to make huge sums of points per stage.

    I am told that there are a limited number of stages to complete before this game comes
    to an inevitable conclusion.

    In this competition, most gamers opted to try for one of two initial strategies. Some
    chose to complete the hardest stage available, thus obtaining a 150K completion bonus, which
    just happens to be, all by itself, more than 25% of the tournament record. Other players
    opted to try for the extra points during the easier, earlier stages, where it was potentially
    possible to achieve more points than had you started with the 150K bonus stage.

    In this decathlon, there was no question from the beginning who the event champion
    would be. Michael Span, who hails from Austria, set an awesome goal of 547K right off the
    bat. No one would beat that score for the rest of the competition. A few gamers, however,
    came very close to doing so.

    Rafal Politanski came the closest with 530K, so close that running over just two more
    ghosts would have been all that he needed to beat Michael's score, but that was not meant
    to be. However, 530K is nothing at all to sneeze at, as Rafal was comfortably in 2nd place.

    Coming very close were Anders Svensson and Donald Hayes, each of which passed the 400K
    barrier with 466K and 444K respectively. Five (5) more gamers cracked the 300K barrier, lead by
    Werner Pfurtscheller who hails from Austria with a score of 377K.

    Here are the final scores for this event...

    Michael Span            547,800    100.00%
    Rafal Politanski        530,140     96.78%
    Anders Svensson         466,320     85.13%
    Donald Hayes            444,040     81.06%
    Werner Pfurtscheller    377,000     68.82%
    John Rhodes             336,590     61.44%
    Alex Weir               320,280     58.47%
    Greg Erway              307,760     56.18%
    Tim Balderramos         302,720     55.26%
    Robert Macauley         291,890     53.28%
    Robert Mruczek          286,990     52.39%
    Andrew Peter Mee        259,540     47.38%
    Kelly R. Flewin         251,900     45.98%
    Jonathan Dunne          231,510     42.26%
    Michael Bruhn           231,110     42.19%
    Phil Younger            201,670     36.81%
    John Bowman             190,250     34.73%
    Ron Corcoran            188,220     34.36%
    Jason Hoseason          186,780     34.10%
    Ryan Gavigan            182,660     33.34%
    John Drake              178,600     32.60%
    Steve Knox              177,960     32.49%
    Christian Rduch         177,640     32.43%
    Steven Herschel         174,500     31.85%
    Manfred Moosleitner     126,760     23.14%
    John Marks              113,640     20.74%
    Martin Bedard            97,800     17.85%
    Adam King                52,550      9.59%
    Brien King               40,570      7.41%
    Brett A. Burnell         37,530      6.85%
    Todd Rogers              22,550      4.12%

    Spectar (revision 3)
    Difficulty - default
    Starting ships - 3
    Extra ships - none (beating the top score awards extra credit)

    Another of my personal all-time favourite titles !! This colourful and challenging
    sequel to Targ has always been viewed by me as one of the toughest titles ever made. Before
    this competition, the verified world record was well under 100K, and out of personal interest, I
    announced a bounty for the first verified score of 100K or more, hoping to lure out the
    best performances out of today's hottest gamers, and maybe a few experts from yesteryear.

    An average score on Spectar was in the 35-45K range, and better players were averaging
    between 55-65K or so, with a cluster of top scores between 63-67K. Due to the 9K bonus
    value achieved at the end of each stage, it would appear that all that was needed was to
    complete just one more stage and set a new world record. Not quite. Not at the speed level
    that this game reaches. Privately, I was hoping that the competition would simultaneously
    serve to produce a lofty score, maybe one of over 100K.

    The competition started easily enough with (as expected) the top tier reaching the
    range of 65-70K. The first player to breach the all-important 70K barrier was Donald Hayes,
    and although I cannot remember his precise score at that point in the competition, I believe
    it was somewhere between 73-77K, in that range. What separated Donald from all the other
    top tier scores at the time was that he finished a mere one (1) extra stage...which for this
    title is very significant due to the bonus value. He was well deserving of his 1st place
    ranking after his achievement.

    Enter Martin Bedard, who came thisclose to achieving the 100K mark with a score of
    98,980 points. I watched that INP myself, and was thrilled at being the second person ever
    to see Martin's performance. I was fairly sure, now, that my bounty threshold of 100K
    would be achieved during this competition. Martin's score vaulted past Donald's for a new
    1st place ranking. His score was in effect three (3) completed stages ahead of everyone else,
    for all intensive purposes, and also was now officially the new world record.

    I received an E-MAIL from Rafal Politanski awhile later, announcing "Is this good ?", and
    saw on the name he assigned to his INP file what resembled 105,000. That
    INP I received at my office so could not wait to return home and watch it on my computer,
    and when I did, I watched in amazement as he reached approx 95K on his first life, an
    unprecedented achievement. But his 2nd ship was lost almost immediately thereafter. On his
    third and final ship, he cleared the stage for a 9K bonus, and the score rolled past zero
    to about 105K. The bounty was claimed, successfully, and better than that, another new
    world record was set.

    In the closing days of the competition, Rafal improved his score to 115K, reaching
    one stage beyond his previous attempt, and DOnald Hayes did the same, passing the 80K
    mark with a score of 85K. So, by competition end, the world record was in effect broken by
    three participants. And let's not discount the 67,600 by Werner Pfurtscheller which was also
    very close to, if not in excess of, the previous MAME world record !!

    All in all, fourteen (14) players breached the 60K barrier and achieved at least 50%
    of the top player's score...the most for any title in this deca.

    Here are the final results below...

    Rafal Politanski        115,140    100.00%
    Martin Bedard            98,980     85.96%
    Donald Hayes             85,120     73.93%
    Werner Pfurtscheller     67,600     58.71%
    Michael Bruhn            67,100     58.28%
    Robert Mruczek           66,550     57.80%
    Michael Span             66,420     57.69%
    Andrew Peter Mee         66,000     57.32%
    Joe Ledesma              65,910     57.24%
    Anders Svensson          65,710     57.07%
    Jonathan Dunne           65,180     56.61%
    Marco Tapella            65,020     56.47%
    Kelly R. Flewin          64,920     56.38%
    Greg Erway               64,620     56.12%
    Robert Macauley          56,710     49.25%
    John Rhodes              55,650     48.33%
    Tim Balderramos          54,510     47.34%
    Derek Litton             45,680     39.67%
    Alex Weir                35,090     30.48%
    John Drake               29,910     25.98%
    Jason Hoseason           29,700     25.79%
    Manfred Moosleitner      27,500     23.88%
    Steven Herschel          27,140     23.57%
    Ron Corcoran             15,200     13.20%
    Phil Younger             14,470     12.57%
    Todd Rogers              13,750     11.94%
    Steve Knox               10,300      8.95%
    Ryan Gavigan             10,020      8.70%
    Beau Barnett              5,150      4.47%
    Brett A. Burnell          5,150      4.47%
    Adam King                 3,450      3.00%
    Brien King                2,070      1.80%

    Tempest (revision 3)
    Difficulty - hard
    Starting ships - 3
    Extra ships - every 20K
    Special competition rules - can start from no higher than level 9

    According to the VAPS site, Tempest is one of the top 10 most desireable titles to
    own by serious classic arcade collectors. It is among the most popular titles from the
    80's, and one of the best vector-based titles ever made, and one of the most unique titles
    of all time. So it is no surprise that it was chosen as one of this year's deca selections.

    For the competition, gamers were not allowed to start beyond level 9. Although it was
    possible to start from a lower level, thus (maybe) earn an extra life at the sacrifice of
    about 20K in starting bonus points, most players opted to start from 9.

    A few lofty scores were achieved early on during the tournament, the highest of which
    came from RIchard Marsh, who hails from the USA. Richard became the first player to crack
    the 300K barrier and finished with a score of 309K. Only Todd Rogers seemed to have a chance
    to surpass him, as he slowly increased his score to 303K. A few gamers broke the 100K barrier,
    but at the end of the competition, one gamer managed to unseat Richard's top spot.

    John Rhodes, another player from the USA, achieved a final score of 319K, and taking
    top spot for this event in the deca, and being the 3rd player to break the 300K barrier.
    Interestingly, of all the other participants, only one managed to pass the 200K barrier,
    Donald Hayes.

    Tempest was the title that had the most players achieving at least 10% of the top score,
    largely due to the 54K bonus awarded after completing stage 9.

    Here are the final results...

    John Rhodes            319,366    100.00%
    Richard Marsh          309,011     96.76%
    Todd Rogers            303,380     94.99%
    Donald Hayes           207,646     65.02%
    Robert Mruczek         191,934     60.10%
    Martin Bedard          170,689     53.45%
    Rafal Politanski       123,974     38.82%
    Phil Younger           107,409     33.63%
    Michael Span            93,960     29.42%
    Chad Rogers             87,660     27.45%
    Greg Erway              87,119     27.28%
    Werner Pfurtscheller    85,380     26.73%
    Kelly R. Flewin         83,505     26.15%
    Alex Weir               81,052     25.38%
    John Marks              80,698     25.27%
    Tim Balderramos         78,147     24.47%
    Robert Macauley         77,664     24.32%
    Steve Knox              76,796     24.05%
    Joe Ledesma             75,739     23.72%
    Jonathan Dunne          74,498     23.33%
    Andrew Peter Mee        74,395     23.29%
    Ron Corcoran            74,282     23.26%
    Brien King              74,115     23.21%
    Manfred Moosleitner     73,441     23.00%
    Steven Herschel         72,769     22.79%
    Anders Svensson         71,021     22.24%
    Jason Hoseason          67,005     20.98%
    John Drake              66,625     20.86%
    Michael Bruhn           63,646     19.93%
    Ryan Gavigan            26,660      8.35%
    Brett A. Burnell        14,578      4.56%

    Wizard of Wor
    Difficulty - default
    Starting lives - 3 (single player game)
    Extra lives - up to 2 based on clearing certain dungeon levels
    Special competition rules - the tactic of shooting the computer opponent's men for 1,000
    points each is an acceptable tradition for this title

    Rounding out the 10 game array is Wizard of Wor, another classic from the early 80's,
    and easily one of the hardest titles of all time. Invisible enemies, warping wizards, and
    featuring a do-or-die stage known as The Pit which has no barriers to hide behind, and
    which is the bane of even the most experienced of players, this title is viciously hard.

    You control a Worrior armed with only a single projectile ray-based weapon and must
    make a quick determination of where, within the randomly generated dungeon, might be the safest
    place in which to hide and fire, or at least which area might pose the least risk. And
    considering how fast your enemies move compared to you, you had better make the decision as
    fast as possible. It is not uncommon for a player, even an expert player, to lose men
    back-to-back in the same stage in this title.

    Scores of over 100K are rare on this title, whether via the MAME platform or on the
    authentic arcade upright machine. Still, considering the calibre of this competitions'
    participants, it stood to reason that at least one or more would breach that mark.

    As it turned out, a constant battle developed with the lead position being held by
    Martin Bedard for most of the competition with a score in the 140K-range, which he later
    increased to 158K during the last week. Four other gamers managed to pass 100K, with the
    highest being Rafal Politanski who scored 113K, followed by Andrew Peter Mee (who hails
    from the UK) with a score of 108K. The next two highest scores were very respectable...
    Werner Pfurtscheller achieved 103K, and Donald Hayes pulled off 100K.

    In every facet of this competition, the pressure to do better was constant. It's not
    easy to tell from the scores below who reached what stage due to the double score values
    attributed to a dungeon after Worluk is dispatched, but everyone gave it their all on this
    extremely hard game.

    Here are the final results...

    Martin Bedard            158,100    100.00%
    Rafal Politanski         113,300     71.66%
    Andrew Peter Mee         108,000     68.31%
    Werner Pfurtscheller     103,700     65.59%
    Donald Hayes             100,900     63.82%
    Anders Svensson           98,100     62.05%
    Robert Mruczek            68,300     60.28%
    Greg Erway                64,500     56.93%
    Tim Balderramos           56,200     49.60%
    Michael Span              56,100     49.51%
    Robert Macauley           45,400     40.07%
    Kelly R. Flewin           44,500     39.28%
    Todd Rogers               40,500     25.62%
    Michael Bruhn             38,800     24.54%
    Ron Corcoran              37,700     23.85%
    John Rhodes               29,700     18.79%
    Alex Weir                 29,600     18.72%
    Jason Hoseason            27,700     17.52%
    Daniel Bamford            19,700     12.46%
    Brien King                19,600     12.40%
    Steve Knox                19,300     12.21%
    Beau Barnett              17,000     10.75%
    Adam King                 16,600     10.50%
    Jonathan Dunne            15,500      9.80%
    Steven Herschel           15,000      9.49%
    Ryan Gavigan              14,600      9.23%
    Brett A. Burnell          13,400      8.48%
    John Drake                11,600      7.34%
    Manfred Moosleitner       11,000      6.96%
    Phil Younger               8,100      5.12%
    Oh yes...I almost forgot. One totally unique tactic was employed during this
    competition by a gamer who was very determined to get an extra 1,000 points added to their
    score. Someone attempted to keep alive their computer opponent long enough to earn an extra
    life for it after I think stage 3 or 4, and THEN shoot it for the extra 1,000 points, along
    with the remaining 3 lives. Clever, but extremely tough. Not sure if they pulled it off, but
    I'd be interested in finding out if they did !!



    This was a tough competition to call. The rankings changed on a daily basis as the new
    scores came in after verification. With so many participants of different skillsets, events
    like a MAME decathlon are nearly impossible to predict. However, some extremely strong players
    were participating, each of which had a good chance at coming out in the top few rankings.
    But that is not to discount the dozens of other participants whose continuous efforts to
    better their own scores had the cumulative effect of creating an atmosphere where all
    patricipants felt that if someone could do it, then they could as well. Thus the scores
    continued to climb.

    At one point in the competition, it became clear that one gamer, Donald Hayes, was
    setting the bar for which every other participant needed to adjust their goals towards. What
    was at one point a lead of approx a hundred points that he had over his nearest competitor
    shrunk to a lead of about seventy, but then he started to pour the heat on and cranked out
    a few awesome scores that put him quite a bit ahead of the pack, outdistancing his nearest
    competitor at one point by over 125%.

    That status was not meant to last. A very strong gamer from Poland named Rafal
    Politanski made his presence known, and then some. From the gaming forums we learned that he
    was an excellent Bagman and Crazy Balloon player, but were not really sure of his skills with
    the 8 other titles involved. But as his scores came in, it was clear that the battle for
    first place was definitely underway, and the outcome was impossible to call.

    In time, over the last two weeks of the competition, he and Donald submitted some
    amazing scores, and the rankings became disparate with each passing day. Martin Bedard also
    chose to at this time submit his scores on all the titles that up to this point he had not,
    and changed the leaderboard's top three positions in the process, that's how strong his scores
    came to be.

    When it was all said and done, and the final scores tallied, the top tier positions
    wee evident. Rafal Politanski was the clear winner with an impressive total of 768% out of a
    maximum theoretical 1000%. In the history of Twin Galaxies' decathalons, no gamer in any
    decathalon has ever achieved a perfect score, by the way. Coming in second, place was
    Donald Hayes, with a final score of 675%, Rounding out the top three was Martin Bedard who
    cranked out scores that carried him to the mark of 558%.

    These three gamers each earn a Twin Galaxies certificate of achievement for their
    rankings within the deca's top three finishers, and are certain to be strong contenders for
    all MAME decathlons to come. Rafal, the top finisher, will also be awarded a cash prize of
    USD $100.00 for his outstanding cumulative performance.

    Here below are the final rankings, followed by a brief analysis and then some final
    thoughts on this year's MAME decathlon...

    (registered gamers who submitted verified scores for each of the ten titles)

    Rafal Politanski        768.70
    Donald Hayes            675.50
    Martin Bedard           558.95
    Robert Mruczek          457.19
    Anders Svensson         390.39
    Greg Erway              307.93
    Werner Pfurtscheller    306.97
    Michael Span            302.60
    Andrew Peter Mee        276.12
    John Rhodes             262.32
    Todd Rogers             261.20
    Alex Weir               248.48
    Robert Macauley         219.84
    Kelly R. Flewin         214.56
    Jonathan Dunne          206.72
    Michael Bruhn           197.40
    Tim Balderramos         186.80
    Jason Hoseason          138.06
    Phil Younger            125.56
    Steven Herschel         119.69
    Manfred Moosleitner      98.25
    Steve Knox               92.53
    Ryan Gavigan             88.45
    Brien King               66.25
    Brett A. Burnell         46.99
    (registered gamers who submitted at least one score during this decathlon)

    Rafal Politanski        768.70
    Donald Hayes            675.50
    Martin Bedard           558.95
    Robert Mruczek          457.19
    Anders Svensson         390.39
    Greg Erway              307.93
    Werner Pfurtscheller    306.97
    Michael Span            302.60
    Andrew Peter Mee        276.12
    John Rhodes             262.32
    Todd Rogers             261.20
    Alex Weir               248.48
    Robert Macauley         219.84
    Kelly R. Flewin         214.56
    Jonathan Dunne          206.72
    Michael Bruhn           197.40
    Tim Balderramos         186.80
    John Drake              150.39
    Jason Hoseason          138.06
    Phil Younger            125.56
    Steven Herschel         119.69
    Ron Corcoran            119.37
    Joe Ledesma             104.32
    Richard Marsh           102.26
    Manfred Moosleitner      98.25
    Steve Knox               92.53
    Ryan Gavigan             88.45
    Brien King               66.25
    Christian Rduch          65.55
    John Bowman              61.63
    John Marks               57.08
    Marco Tapella            56.47
    Brett A. Burnell         46.99
    Daniel Bamford           46.26
    Chad Rogers              43.21
    Derek Litton             39.67
    Adam King                34.13
    Darren Harding           20.20
    Beau Barnett             15.23
    Arild Lossius Jektvik     3.57

    (A) Cumulative finishing percentages by threshold...

    1 - 700%+
    1 - 600-699%
    1 - 500-599%
    1 - 400-499%
    4 - 300-399%
    7 - 200-299%
    5 - 100-199%
    4 - 0-99%

    (B) Five (5) players held the top scores for the 10 titles

    1 - 4 scores
    2 - 2 scores each
    2 - 1 score each

    Between them, the top 3 players held 8 of the top 10 scores

    (C) Lowest Scores per Top Five (5) Finishers

    1st place - 24.28% (8 scores were 50% or higher)
    2nd place - 27.55% (7 scores were 50% of higher)
    3rd place - 12.70% (6 scores were 50% or higher)
    4th place - 10.54% (6 scores were 50% or higher)
    5th place - 1.79% (4 scores were 50% or higher)



    For me, both as a referee and as a participant, this was a very exciting and special
    decathlon. A few of my favourite titles were selected by my fellow participants, and I
    set 8 personal best scores by the time it was over. There's nothing quite like a competition
    to force a gamer to exceed their own limitations.

    I would like to once again personally thank all the people who made this decathlon
    possible...the organizers, the referees, and of course the players who voted on the titles
    and participated in the event itself. And to those of the gaming community that provided
    valuable assistance, both techincal and strategic during this competition, you all made it
    a great success.

    The tradition of the annual MAME decathlon shall continue, as will the "Advanced"
    decathlon in a few months. Competition is good for the soul, and for a gamer, it's a way
    to share the experiences of the gaming community and quite simply to have a lot of fun along
    the way...and maybe even set a high score or two by the time it's all over.

    Congratulations once again to Rafal Politanski, Donald Hayes and Martin Bedard for their
    top three finishing performances in the Twin Galaxies 2004 MAME decathlon.

    I find myself already looking forward to the next competition !!

    Robert T Mruczek
    Twin Galaxies - Editor and Chief referee
    Star Wars classic arcade champion (work E-MAIL)

  2. 04-08-2004, 05:40 PM
    What can I say? Congrats to the top 3 players for such an amazing performance!!! (Actually, I?m quite satisfied with a 5th place among such great players!!)

    Also, thanks for a fantastic review of the deca!! It actually sums it up 100% :P

  3. Re: DECA 2004 Final Results!

    04-08-2004, 10:52 PM
    HOLY CRAP! I WAS 14TH! I wish I hadn't lost interest and got sidetracked by tons of other things, or I would've gone for top 10... but still.. considering my lower rankings in prior events.. and I had a 1st place score for all of 2 days and was actually even in 3rd place... ah well ^^ I'm praying that next year there will be more games included that I'm good at... mind you.. improving at Mappy was a miracle to me... and actually developing a patter for Pac-Mania rocked :)

    Well, there's always Advanced Deca 2004 ^^

    Congratulations to everyone ^^

    Mr. Kelly R. Flewin
  4. 04-09-2004, 04:50 AM

    Congrats to all players.

    This was my first tournament on TG. Scoreboard pleases to me very ( very good solution. Clarity and easy-to-operate). Very good players. Really there was good fight. Amazing results on every game.
    But there was one thing which did not please to me :D : method of result sending(to email). I never was certain whether my result came to referee. It's wished that here has not method how on MARP, direct download to scoreboard from submit form.
  5. 04-09-2004, 06:35 AM
    Destructor:The thing is that we have been spoiled with the automatic uploading MARP, because Zwaxy got tired of getting scores mailed to him. It was ok in the beginning, but when MARP grew he just HAD to make it automatic :) Maybe we can bribe Zwaxy to implement a script for the deca? I have heard that beer might work j/k :P
  6. 04-09-2004, 07:45 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by QRS1
    Destructor:The thing is that we have been spoiled with the automatic uploading MARP, because Zwaxy got tired of getting scores mailed to him. It was ok in the beginning, but when MARP grew he just HAD to make it automatic :) Maybe we can bribe Zwaxy to implement a script for the deca? I have heard that beer might work j/k :P
    Automatiting this is on my to-do list. Currently LOW on the to-do list, since I have a lot of other things (such as the main site) to take care of first, but it is there.
  7. 04-09-2004, 05:31 PM
    Well as Pacmania referee, there were some pretty cool moves that I was seeing. I think somebody scored 125K in the first round... I think Rafal did that, and Michael probably did some of that too.

    Also for those opting to get the 150K bonus, I was also seeing the infamous get a power pellet, each a bunch of ghosts, then eat another pallet while the ghosts are still blue, picking up the ghost bonus right where it left off, scoring some big-time points along the way.

    However... I'm going to be pushing for Pacmania over at the MARP Time Trials, which I'm coordinating currently. Why? The farthest *anybody* got was the second block stage, and only one person achieved that stage. (I can't remember who it was... please recognize yourself, as you deserve credit.) I'm thinking that might be an interesting competition in itself, to see if *anybody* can beat that game. I don't think I've seen it in all the years Pacmania's been in MAME.

    Glad I decided to judge, even with the real life(R) difficulties I was having...(new house... new girlfriend...) it was definatly a challenging game for all. I think next time I'll post verified scores on a post in the board, which will make things easier for all the competitors in the long run. If I can do that, that is. :)

    See yall next year, I wager. :)
  8. 04-10-2004, 12:06 AM
    Hi Everybody, I have a few thoughts for the Deca2004.

    Congratulations to the top players. Being the Frenzy Ref I know
    Don would give me a good challeage. What I didn't know was
    Rafal would get over 200k. The keyword here is concentration and
    Rafal showed an enormous amount of it during his 2 hours of play.

    Another game I was amazed at was Crazy Ballon. Don's score
    of 466,920 is fantastic. This was the hardest game for me to play.
    I voted for it not knowing how difficult it is since I never played it

    As always I like to watch other player inps, two of my favorites
    were Bagman and Pac-mania.

    This was my first contest to referee and was not too difficult
    to do. Most of the inps were in the first month and only about
    4 in the last month. Hope I did a good job.

    Phil Younger
  9. 04-10-2004, 01:21 AM
    Just in case you guys didn't realize it, the Final TOP INPS are posted for your viewing pleasure!
  10. 04-10-2004, 11:12 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by arcadenut
    Automatiting this is on my to-do list. Currently LOW on the to-do list, since I have a lot of other things (such as the main site) to take care of first, but it is there.
    Automating this for other computer-based submissions (AVIs for example) would be fantastic too. :D Alas, can't post the VHS over the internet. :shock: :(
    Lots of 1sts to be surpassed: what are you waiting for? Play the game, submit the score...
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