Arcade - Robotron: 2084 - Marathon - 1,168,400 - 1500points

Is the performance claim below valid?

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  1. Arcade - Robotron: 2084 - Marathon - 1,168,400 - 1500points

    03-01-2015, 05:57 PM

    Extra Men Every: 25000 Points
    Turns Per Player: 3
    High Score To Date: Yes
    Difficulty Of Play: 5
    Letters For Highest Score: 3
    Submission Message
    Real arcade machine, 1982 blue romset, Difficulty 5
    Video showcase of what 40 waves of gameplay looks like. (ie there are 40 hardcoded waves in the Robotron code)
  2. 03-01-2015, 05:59 PM
    Gameplay notes-

    Took a road trip to find a public arcade with a real Robotron machine running original hardware. Mike’s Carnevil Arcade in North English, IA.
    Machine was running original Wico leaf joysticks with a heavy rubber grommet so movement of joysticks is a forearm task!
    Machine is running 1982 blue romset, which contains the “enforcer explosion” reset bug.
    He was kind enough to locate the keys to the machine and allowed me access to the coin door during the recording session (a luxury the golden age arcade players would not have been afforded!)

    The modern day Robotron playing community calls this particular type of score, VK40-5, meaning Vid Kidz 40 waves played at difficulty 5. The result allows you to take the score divided by the 40 waves and come up with an average score per wave, called Robotron Quotient (RQ)….this RQ factor was used by the Vid Kidz during development/test location observation to assess how efficiently a player was maximizing the accumulation of bonus points (humans). Risk vs Reward…try for the reward of extra points and you risk your life count doing so. 40 waves are used because there are 40 hard-coded waves in the game, but the concept can be applied to any amount of waves or score. 27-30k is the average crowd, folks in the 32-34k range are at mastery level of game-play.

    Historical notes-
    This particular Robo Arcade marathon track is lacking in factual detail about the criterias as they evolved from the summer of 1982 up to current.

    1- Robotron was on test locations in March 1982 and publicly debuted on June 1, 1982....the first romset was red (red marker struck through a yellow label which has faded to orange, thus mame calls it YO or Yellow/Orange). This romset did not support cocktail mode, and defaulted to difficulty 5 upon factory reset.
    2- The final romset of 1982 was blue which supported cocktail mode, had a wave 1 bozo mode (die on wave 1 and the rest of the wave is set to difficulty 0 to make it easier on the “bozo the clown” playing the game), and factory reset defaulted to difficulty 3
    3- Players in arcades did not have access in most cases to opening a machine to check settings so they played on either diff 3 or diff 5 and it would have been oblivious to them or the arcade operator (but I’m sure there were a few exceptions where the player had access to open a machine or had familiarity with settings for Williams games) Twin Galaxies did not document in the scoreboard database of 1982-1984 the difficulty settings the game was played upon so it is a criteria detail lost to antiquity.
    4- The 1982 romsets had a serious glitch that would reset the game during gameplay, when on occasion a player would shoot an enforcer along a vertical wall, which would trigger a buggy explosion routine that would try to call an invalid area of the code…thus the watchdog in the code would reset the game. This was very common and helped promote the following rules which were in play with all the score entries from 1982-1984 in the TGIS database. The glitch was fixed by Larry DeMar/Eugene Jarvis at Williams Electronics in 1987 and that romset is called “patched blue.” Specifically, rom chip 5 contains the altered code to fix the enforcer explosion bug if arcade operators have taken the time in the 2k era to fix it.
    5- Long marathon games were cumulative scores (close approximated due to the abrupt reset of game without awareness of precise exact score at time of reset) across multiple credits. The following excerpt from the TG ruleset proves this fact was a legitimate part of the scoreboard submissions. And later like 1985ish or so, the rules were changed to 1-credit scoring but the prior scores were not broken out in the scoreboard because the 1982-1984 scoreboard database didn’t record details like this.
    6- Thus it could be stated that the current TGIS Robotron marathon arcade track is a hybrid track with varying criterias used for the conglomeration of scores represented. Definitely neat on a historical basis, but a quantitative “hot-mess” if you are concerned about high score exactness. As Homer would say….D’oh!

    The full 1982-1983 Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard- Official Video Game Playing Rules are found at
    Just the section pertaining to cumulative scoring is listed below:
    4.1 The real test of a marathon is endurance over time. Therefore, the main point is how long the player can last before succumbing to fatigue or losing their last Man. So, even though a machine might turn off and wipe out a score, the player is allowed to start again immediately. Machines do not have the en- (sentence ends abruptly…)
    4.2 The previous score reached before the malfunction is added onto the new score registering on the machine. To insure that the old score was recorded accurately, the witnesses are required to watch the game closely and log the score regularly. For example, if a marathon machine blanked out five times during the performance, the final score would be attained by adding the five recorded scores together. All players will agree that accuracy is of the utmost importance.
    4.3 If a marathon machine goes out of order for more than forty-five minutes and no replacement machine is available, the marathon is over due to technical default. The reason for this is that the player is receiving a bonus rest period that rival marathoners never enjoyed.
    4.4 If there are unusual circumstances, however, call the International Scoreboard immediately for advice. Meanwhile, keep playing, if possible, until a decision is made.
    4.5 A player may restart immediately if the machine blanks out for any technical reason or accident. The game room management should take precautionary measures to insure that there is no interference from friends, foes, or spectators.
    Are you inspired to find the joy in gaming?

    TG employee (82-84)
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