Note: This guide is completely based on my own learning and understanding of this board after 8 months of 1 million point attempts. I ENCOURAGE criticism to make this better and easier to understand, speak up!So you want to get 1 million points in donkey kong...
Kongrats, you have probably just achieved a killscreen and you are looking to take things to the next level. This guide is going to strictly cover the barrel board, the most complex board in a 1 million point game. You can basically use the mechanics you used in your killscreen game for the rest of the (5+) boards.Girder by Girder Explaination1st Girder
This one is basically the same as you did in your killscreen game. Simply jump once, and then jump over the blue barrel. Climb up the ladder, and walk a couple of steps after the hammer.2nd Girder
This is the hardest girder to leave in a 1 million barrel board. You have to weigh 3 things: Risk, reward, and surviving. Like in a killscreen game, you want to survive at all costs, however, you do need points in order to reach the target score consistently. Start by staying stationary, jumping barrels when they come near, and pressing right at the height of your jump to assure you get points.
* Things to remember: *
- The ideal 1st smash should be the 1st blue barrel that comes down. This isn't always possible, but it is what you should shoot for.
- DO NOT
steer barrels when waiting for the blue barrel, you want as many barrels on the screen as possible.
- You have to always pay attention to the fireball, especially when he is near the short ladder.
Let me explain. Basically, if you are not already prepared to grab the hammer when the fireball is in the "Danger Zone", you risk death. In a 1 million point game, this risk is completely unnecessary, and you should grab the hammer when the fireball is in the Danger Zone and a barrel rolls near mario, as shown:
If this situation never arises, you are lucky, this is one of the harder things to deal with. When the fireball is climbing the longer ladder, also immediately grab the hammer, in a save manner as shown:
Sometimes, none of these situations come up and you are left to wait, however, the blue barrel is not always the best time to wait. In some situations, you need to examine all the things on the screen and choose to grab the hammer a little earlier for safety, and in some cases, more points:
Okay, so you have grabbed the hammer one way or another. You are for the most part very safe because you can smash anything that comes your way, just don't let barrels run under you. The ideal position for steering is at the top of the longer ladder. Steer barrels down to your hammer, keeping in mind how much time you have left. I like to listen to the music, and I get a feel for when it will go soon. Try not to steer barrels down the broken ladder when you know it is running out soon, as this could cause an un jumpable combo to come your way as your hammer runs out.
* More things to watch out for: *
- Sometimes, Kong will throw a wild barrel into the mix right as your hammer runs out as shown:
This can potentially be very dangerous if you have barrels to jump, as you will have to choose your jumps carefully to not get hit. This makes having an opening even more important as you make your way up.
Assuming the fireball is out of the way and you have an opening, make your way up to the 3rd girder and stand to the right of the longer ladder.10/23/2015*:
Additionally, if you happen to not be able to smash a blue barrel after grabbing the hammer, you NEED to rush the transition. The fireball has a very high likelyhood to chase you down, and he will create a situation that causes you to lose more points or even die. This is an observation that took me months to make, and I have increased barrel survivability to almost 100% using this tactic.3rd Girder
This should be your position right now:
This area is fairly safe. Steer every barrel in your way of climbing the longer ladder down the left broken ladder. Try not to steer too many barrels down the right broken ladder unless you are already climbing the ladder up. After everything is all clear, make your way up and walk a tad to the right.4th Girder
This is a girder that many "bonehead" deaths happen. Many good players die due to simply not looking at donkey kong when making your way up.
There are a few things to keep in mind:
- Do not rush this girder, you can easily steer barrels here that you cannot jump, and you will likely die unless you climb up the broken ladder to avoid them.
- Forward jumps should be avoided unless you are sure donkey kong will not throw a wild barrel. If he is not reaching back, he will not be throwing anything until the next cycle.
- If you do forward jump, steer barrels in mid-air to try to make a clearer path to climb.
Now, make your way to the safespot shown in the picture if you are sure all is clear:
Here, you can steer every barrel down in your way, and either climb the short or the longer ladder. If you climb the shorter ladder, be sure to look at donkey kong for the "1/16th".5th Girder
You should now be on the 5th girder, and this is basically the same as in a killscreen with one exception. You want to grab the hammer so that it strikes on its downward movement, as shown:
Grab the hammer with this timing, watch for wild barrels/bombs, and walk to the right of the broken ladder. You want to steer barrels down this ladder by pivoting back and forth like in this picture:
Once you feel like the hammer will run out soon, run to the upper ladder, steer all barrels down, climb up, and complete the level.Some Notes:
- Not every barrel board can be completed. There are some situations where a fireball will make it impossible to climb, or kong will throw shit at you that you weren't expecting.
- If you die, do not beat yourself up. I hardly react when I die at this point on barrel boards, I just think "oh, I should had done ...". Getting mad will cause you to get distracted and lose more lives, ruining any chance at a million points you may of had. This game is completely psychological.
- Do not group, seriously. It is a completely un-needed tactic that is used for a completely different play style, and you will get to that one day. I used to rejump every barrel and do various other "swag" moves that good players do, but this will cause you to die. A 20k pace-up isn't worth 4 deaths before 350k.
- Don't get discouraged. In the early 2000s, Timothy Sczerby called a 1 million score impossible, but now many have accomplished such a feat. This does not mean it is any easier now, you have to put in the hours to see the results, there is no short-cut.
- Practice a MAME 5-1 savestate for hours before attempting to get a score. If you manage to get a start and blow it on 5-3, you will be very disappointed in yourself and the game is out the window. Your 1 million point barrel mechanics should be completely solid before trying any sort of game.Additional Rules by forum members:Dean Saglio:
"Although not strictly necessary for a million point game, if the screen is as wide open (free from fireballs) as is shown in some of these screenshots while using the top hammer, it could be a good idea to get used to staying in the safe spot while smashing barrels so that you can turn around and pick off bombs and wild barrels easier. But again, if this is causing mistakes, go ahead and skip this technique until you achieve a million points and then add this later."Wes Copeland:
"I think during the transition for a 10k barrel, the most important things are to take the middle ladders always, try to straight jump as much as possible so you don't get hit by stray wilds, and dump barrels so that they roll down ladders AWAY from you rather than towards you."
Once again, this is a WIP guide, and I want people to throw in advanced survival tactics to make an even more comprehensive guide. This is a community based project that I have started and I want everybody, no matter your skill level, to make an effort to make this better.
Good luck to Brian Allen, Allen Staal, Jason Corey Brittain, Andrew Barrow, Chrisp, Jeremy, and anybody else I may have missed attempting 1 million scores. I made this for you all. You can do this guys!