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!