Author Topic: Mike's Blog: The Story of a Slightly Below Average Gamer in a Big World  (Read 8203 times)

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Offline Miketastic5

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I've never been good at video games.

While I like to think I am, that's just the the way modern games have gone. While I am decent at several games (Super Mario Bros. comes to mind), I would nver call myself a record setter, or somebody who could even attain half. The reason I am here today starts back with the Documentary The King of Kong. Like many, I was inspired to begin the journey to the top...though to my ignorance I caught on about 7 years late. The scores these days are so insane, I can never hope to attain them. That leads to the reason I am here today, though: to simply prove to myself (and don't get me wrong, my peers too) that I can at least show an attempt to maybe start trying to attempt to give the record a go. I simply want a killscreen, and this blog is my journey to get there. If I can get a killscreen in this game (Which is Donkey Kong, by the way, don't know if ya knew), I'll probably move on to the likes of DK Jr., Pac-Man, Joust, etc., but for now DK is my primary concern.

And so, I downloaded MAME, got the ROM for Donkey Kong US Set 1, and got to work! I read the beginner's manual (located in this forum, by the way) before getting started and began.

My beginning games were not successful in the slightest. Having merely played the Wii version and brief chances at the arcade version of the game, I have very little experience with Donkey Kong. My highest score ever prior to this was in the 20ks in the Wii version, and even then I had to really try. Now that I'm aiming for 800k, this is gonna be much harder. I took me roughly a dozen tries to even surmount the ability to defeat Level 1, only to soon die at Level 2-1.

"10800", my first score in this version to surpass 10k. I was excited, actually, I have made progress from my regrettable first game of a mere 900 points. I continued on the streak of dying at Level 2-1 with roughly 10-11k. Those pesky barrels, how the seemingly random yet not random movement of them confuses me utterly so, sometimes climbing a ladder in itself is the most risky undertaking. At roughly attempt #50, I made it past the dreaded 2-1. 14000 points, alright, pretty good. I see before me the elevator stage. Needless to say, on my last life, I misjudge a jump and hit the yellow pulley at the top, killing myself.

"14300". Alright, highest score yet, I'm improving. My next game was a great one for me, getting roughly 13000 in Level 1 alone. My climb through Level 2-1 even ended with 2 lives instead of 1. My scores steadily increased over time, until eventually in one game I found myself chasing a score of 21500 as the high score. Breaking 20k is another huge step for me, 1/5 of the way to my first main goal of 100k. Eventually, I defeated the score, and in great fashion, too. On the same game I defeated the score, I made to an unseen level by me, Level 3. I had a score of 34000, a tremendous feat by my standards. I quickly died in 3-1 to a wild barrel I did not expect.

"34800". Amazing, I have greatly improved! My next few games stayed in the 12-17 thousand range, my average score for the time being (hey, at least that proves my skill is past when I played the Wii version!). Suddenly, out of the blue, while eating dinner, though, I find it. I find the click, the secret to mastering the barrel level I have been longing for. I surpass the barrel levels from now on without losing a life except on rare unlucky occasions, I have started to master Donkey Kong! On my best run yet, I not only made it to Level 3, but surpassed 3-1, heading into the Conveyor levels. I died quickly due to lack of knowledge of what to do, but my score reflected my progress.

"45300". Is this for real, did I get over 40k?! Not only that, but also 45k?! I must be dreaming! Soon after I had a near identical run, though slightly slower than before, allwing for a fewer time bonuses and a score of roughly 43k. I played for 2 hours with no improvement on my skills, and I felt even a decrease, when I had so far THE definitive run. On Level 1-1, I lost all but 1 life with only 600 points gotten. I expanded it. I used all the skills I had, attained a second life by reaching 7k, continued on to beat not only Level 1, but Level 2 as well without losing a life. I then made it to the conveyor and defeated it with ease, climbing the leftmost retracting ladder to victory and a score of...48k?! I defeated the elevator stage losing one life attempting the shortcut jump, but nailed it on try #2. I made it past the s[rings to Pauline and had a score of roughly 55k. I then went to 3-4, which I did not expect to win. After some close calls with several fireballs that involved split second timing, I manged to somehow defeat the level with 59.7k. I then went to Level 4-1, an unprecedented feat by me, and proceeded to jump 2 barrels to net 300 points, but also landed upon the second in a cruel twist of fate.

"60,000". My score has now increased, never stepping foot in the 50ks and skipping straight to an nice round even 60k. My eyes were decieving me, they must have. I thought at best I would get maybe 35k, never in my wildest dreams would I imagine 60k as a score. While to the large majority of you readers 60k is pitiful, to me it was an unattainable goal. As my first day of DKing comes to a close, I think of all the struggles, from my 900 points to my 60k points, and will remember the right and wrong things to do next time.

I'm not good at video games, and certainly not good at Donkey Kong, but if I have to bust my ass every day to get my only accomplishment in the classics with a  killscreen, then I'll bust my ass to do it. I may have never been good, but I have also never been determined as I am now.

Second Day begins tomorrow.

So, how was this blog? I feel it might be a bit too long, but that's what I get for trying to be somewhat descriptive and vague for the details. Tell me if you enjoyed this, the viewpoint of a guy who strives to just reach 100k (note: This is not fake, everything I talk about here is 100% real. When/If I get 100k I will record it and probably get it on the high score list when I stop feeling lazy.), and what I can do to better describe the days to follow. If you hate it, tell me that too, I enjoy hate as well!
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Offline Monstabonza

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Hey Mike,
Nice read, if you have only been playing for one day your going great.
I remember being in the same boat as you playing this game, stuck at between 60 and 80k, then i joined here with the help of the guys quickly increased to about 150-170k.
Good luck with your DK quest, Im sure we'll see you streaming in no time

Nick
Dk PB 391800
Dk jr PB 42000
CK 481400 lvl 19-1
CK On CC 567100 KS

Twitch =
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Offline xelnia

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Welcome to the forum Mike! 60k in one day is great progress! You'll be passing <Allen> in no time.
"Do not criticize, question, suggest or opine anything about an upcoming CAG event, no matter how constructive or positive your intent may be. You will find nothing but pain and frustration, trust me. Just go, or don't go, and :-X either way!" -ChrisP, 3/29/15
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Offline marinomitch13

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This is great, Mike! Welcome to the journey that is Donkey Kong!

I remember my first day playing DK so clearly: I got to the first conveyor stage, 37K, after about 2-3 hours of play. A big inhibitor for me was not really knowing the safety skills for the barrel boards or the patterns for the rivets; I kinda just winged it.  ;D My second time playing I played on a 3-in-1 cab at a Dave and Busters. I got stuck at 72k for what had to have been more than 25 serious attempts. All this to say, with dedication, you will improve, but it'll be tough (but that is what will make it fun!).

I hope it helps you that you took a look at the beginner manual. What did you think of it? I hope it wasn't as confusing as I feel it may still be (I gotta get around to brushing it up more)...  :-\

Good luck in your future DK attempts!
“Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” -Augustine, Confessions.
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Offline QAOP Spaceman

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Good luck, Miketastic!  ;D

I, for one, greatly enjoyed reading your blog entry - I love the way you describe your 900 game (like a politician who's been caught with their pants down, or smoking a crack pipe) as 'regrettable'...  ROFL

Looking forward to seeing how you get on!

I'm new to this too, and am aiming for 150k in the next few weeks and who knows - maybe reach the end by 2025...?  FailFish

The great thing about DKF is no matter how new or crap you might be, if you ask for advice here it's not long before the 'Big Guns' come chiming in with help and encouragement!

Godspeed, and don't let those pesky barrels get you down  ;D
Jammvyy: sue . its pulicly icarest

Jammvyy: incareat
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Offline Miketastic5

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Thanks for all the positive stuff guys, about to start my second gaming session After a short 2-3 hour rest, wish me luck!
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Offline Miketastic5

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20 attempts in...

1,700
0
17,300
14,500
29,900
14,600
16,800
28,900
10,200
14,000
14,100
70,000! (NEW RECORD!)
53,500
10,100
24,400
12,300
14,100
13,900
13,800
56,200

The first two scores were basically a welcoming back gift courtesy of DK, and reminded me of my struggles. After those, I feel into my trench of 10-15k, with occasional spurts just short of 30k until I got that 70k. That 70k run was a really great one, and I got farther than ever before in that run, to Level 402, just a mere 2 levels away from the infamous 4-4 I keep hearing about, the third elevator level. Eventually, I will get there, but for now I must continue. I feel my overall skill level has increased, I get low 10ks much less often and stay in 13-17k area. It seems if I concentrate I can even get 50k rather decently easily. Back for another 20 attempts!
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Offline f_symbols

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Mike, this is awesome. Congrats on your speedy progress and welcome to the forums  Kreygasm
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Offline p2dose

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love it! welcome to the forum, mate. good luck with dk <Billy>

Offline Miketastic5

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Alright, guys, thanks for the support. Now, 20 more attempts in...

19,300
22,300
16,500
30,900
30,000
15,600
4,700

After that, I took an hour or so break. I seem to be getting slightly better, but that near 5k run was so bad I felt that I stopped.

32,200
20,400
2,700
29,400
14,500
23,600
11,900
47,700
23,600
30,700
16,100
59,000

Overall, not much progress so far in these last 20, but at least it seems my overall average has increased, I can get past 20,000 much more often now. I also beat Level 1 and Level 2 without losing a life several times. If I can get past 3-1 easily, I think I'll be in for a 100k run soon.
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Offline marinomitch13

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Dude, you have a rare opportunity here to be the first person to ever document every one of your DK attempts (at least that we know of -and assuming you also have a list of totals from day 1). I'd encourage you to keep up with logging your results, as it would be really cool.  :)
“Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” -Augustine, Confessions.
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Offline danman123456

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Great stuff Mike! Welcome everyone here will be watching and able to help as needed! All the big guns here so to speak :D
DK High : 1,059,700 (Lvl 22-1 KS!);
DK KS Speedrun : 1 Hr 16 Min 40 Sec - World Record!
DK Lvl 1 - 1: 12,400
Fix-It Felix Jr - 297,000 (World Record)
Fix-IT Felix Jr 1 Hour Limit - 177,000
Fix-It Felix Jr KS Speedrun - 1h33
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Offline Miketastic5

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I will continue to log all my results, it gives me personally a better sense of progression. I plan on doing 3 more of these today ,and thanks for the encouragement all, really appreciate it.
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Offline Miketastic5

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Was only able to get in 9 more runs for today, so my total runs equal 49 out of my desired 100 for the second day.

57,900 (note: This was my best run in terms of survivng, made it to 3-4 without losing a life, only to lose all at 3-4)
2,500
3,900
43,100
29,100
2,100 (Note: I was interrupted in the middle of this and ied thrice in a row on the first level without moving, could've been a 200k run for all I know)
26,700
19,400
57,000

Overall, today I made a new record of 70,000 early on and it seems I can definitely keep myself above 20k when I'm focused, and can semi-consistently get 50-60k. I made great progress today, and hope to do better in the future. One place I would like help is the Level 3 and Level 4 Barrel stages, as well as the Rivet stages in general. If one could give me overall advice on those, I think I am set to get to the third elevator stage tomorrow. My goal for tomorrow is to make it to Level 5, let's hope I can do this!
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Offline stella_blue

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2,100 (Note: I was interrupted in the middle of this and ied thrice in a row on the first level without moving, could've been a 200k run for all I know)

I don't think anyone would fault you for tossing that score out, as if it never happened.

One place I would like help is the Level 3 and Level 4 Barrel stages

Once you've got those figured out, please explain the solution to me.   ;)

I've been repeating the same mistakes for longer than I care to remember.

DK High Score 
952,100
  (L22-1)
DK Level 1-1 
13,400
DK No Hammer 
535,300
  (L15-2)
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