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Mr. K: 2013-02-09 12:24:33 pm
Mr. K: 2013-02-09 12:24:06 pm
I'm looking into running this.  I've got the mechanics of the game figured out to my satisfaction for now:

There are some very important differences in this game versus its predecessor (besides that it's not as good)

Attack damage is greatly reduced - Your primary attack is throwing cards.  While you can increase the fire rate slightly with the D-pad it's 1 damage per card.  Upgraded cards don't do more damage.  With the first upgrade your firing speed is actually reduced slightly.  You get your firing rate back with improved range with the third upgrade.  You lose your card upgrades at the end of each stage.  The third upgrade is probably going to be necessary to attack certain bosses from certain angles.

Magic Wand - This now does way more damage than the cards and is the best way of dealing damage to stationary enemies

Partners - Pretty much everything that partners do is useless in this game, their attacks, the magic attack.  The only exception is the partner bomb attack which is the best thing ever.
Speaking of partner bomb attacks - Each partner has a bomb attack.  When you use the bomb attack the partner respawns just over 10 seconds later.  This is the only way to do decent damage in this game so you can't afford to miss.  Each partner bomb attack does 4 damage every 4 frames.  If you try to attack a boss while the bomb is doing damage, the partner bomb attack does less damage.  Each partner bomb attack has slightly different range.  Rocky's bomb attack is by far the best because his stays on the screen the longest.  This makes him the partner of choice.  It's also convenient because you can select him from the start.

Difficulty Differences
I'm about to test health, but on hard the boss attacks move faster and they are generally more aggressive.  Also certain enemies will fire projectiles at you that ordinarily wouldn't on normal.  You don't have health to just throw away in this game and you have to play very defensively on hard.

Lag Management
This game lags ALL THE TIME.  It's not always faster to stop and kill enemies, but it's often a very good idea.  Just running past things is not the fastest way to go in this game.  Lag management is going to require a ton of planning for this game.  It even lags with no enemies on the screen.

I finished this game on hard yesterday and I'm working on figuring out the boss AI patterns today. 
Thread title:  
I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
I want to show my love and support for this project. I used to have Pocky and Rocky 1 & 2 & with Becky years ago but sadly I sold them all to a friend. These were some of my favorite games growing up and I look forward to seeing how this turns out.
Edit history:
Mr. K: 2013-02-12 11:04:46 am
Thanks for the support rudyxx, it means a lot.  I've been really surprised that these games don't have runs yet, but I'm working on fixing that.  Now that I have an understanding of the mechanics, progress has been very rapid. 

Difficulty- I've decided to go with hard mode.  I've found some interesting ways of manipulating enemy AI (more on that later) and while a few bosses move a lot faster (like Foxy) for the most part the game isn't drastically different so that's what I'm going with.

Magic Wand- It's really broken in this game.  It does four times the damage a single card shot does and it appears to damage enemies just as fast.  Its defensive coverage has been extended to your entire body in this game.  In the last game it didn't hit behind you.  Now it does. 

Enemy AI - While it's true that more enemies fire at you on hard mode, there's a really interesting mechanic to this.  I guess when the game was deciding whether or not to make enemies shoot at you, they decided to make them shoot at you when you shoot at them.  So if you don't shoot at certain enemies, they won't shoot back and you can walk right past them.  If there's something in your way, take it out with the wand.  This tactic has done great things for the first three stages and I'm excited to put it to the test in later stages.  There are some schmup stages which I'm bad at now and I just need to memorize.  They don't seem to be random at all.

Bosses - Canimal is just getting destroyed faster and faster.  I need to be really smart with how I handle Foxy because there is some variation as to how low you can get his health before the transformation.  Impy is just a nightmare.  He is invulnerable during his jumps and he moves around too quickly for the partner bomb to do very much damage.  Volta is just going to be memorization.  The Demon Gate is actually going to be pretty easy and I've got my plan mapped out for this fight.  Beady is also quite easy thanks to the partner bomb.  Bolta is a bit interesting because you've got the wand for this fight so I'll need to find a way to do as much damage with it as possible.  Impy again is just going to suck.  Dynagon has a slight bit of randomness as to which way he moves, but his large hitbox makes him fall to partner bomb attacks.  The wand takes out his swords very effectively.
Haters gonna hate
Just wanna stop by and say I support this project! Pocky and Rocky 2 is a really fun game and needs a run!
Hockey enthusiast
Does this game have co-op potential?
Quote from Mecha Richter:
Just wanna stop by and say I support this project! Pocky and Rocky 2 is a really fun game and needs a run!


Edenal, I think sadly your partner is better used as a bomb instead of a playable character.  That's the vibe I got from it anyways.  Mr. K could give you an actual accurate answer though.  ;P
Oh hey sorry for the late responses.  Thank you all for the support!  I have been working on this a bit.
Quote from Edenal:
Does this game have co-op potential?

Yes, co-op would be only SLIGHTLY faster.  The second player doesn't have an equivalent to the magic wand.  If the second player is Rocky or the Little Ninja, card throwing power effectively doubles.  This can be helpful in certain areas of stages.  Taking out enemies quickly can help reduce lag.  It is not always good to throw more cards.  I've discovered that certain enemies will attack you more often if you throw cards.  This is bad because cards are an extra thing for the game to keep track of and so are enemy projectiles.  This can lag the game more in places.  In a stage like the volcano stage having a second player attack enemies while one player wags projectiles off would be a huge help.  The real utility of the partner comes in the partner bomb attack and the dynamic of this attack is the same whether there is one or two players. 

In stage 8, I was playing around with the Magic Wand on Bolta and did a stun lock on him.  I'm trying to replicate it now, but I haven't been successful yet.  Right now I'm working on understanding enemy AI patterns and plannig routes for each stage.  Besides boss attacks there doesn't seem to be a lot of randomness to this game which is a huge plus.
Hey I just wanted to say I'm still at this.  I just finished my first no continues run on hard.  It's coming along nicely.  The older version of BizHawk miscalculated how much this game lags.  The newer version emulates it properly and while it does lag a lot it's not quite as bad.  This matches up with console.  So in short lag management is not going to be too terribly bad.  I've got a lot of strategies for each stage, so many that I'm not sure where to begin.  Since you can't take equipment with you between stages, I can post some IL stage videos as things get a bit more polished.  Dying costs a lot of time in this game and it ordinarily should be avoided as much as possible.  I have found some creative uses for damage boosting though.
Okay so I just got a 33:30 on hard mode.  This run sucked and it was something of a proof of concept.  My final time is probably going to be faster by maybe a minute or two.  Some of the damage I take is intentional, some of it is not.  I can upload it to YT if anyone is interested in seeing it.
I'll get you a satanic mechanic.
I have been playing this game for a few days now.
and its a real nice game.
Are you still speedrunning this?
Just like to show my support and say I'd love to see (and have considered taking up) someone run this game.
I'll get you a satanic mechanic.
nice Cheesy the more support the better
i own the pal version..... i dont know if thats a problem.
Edit history:
Mr. K: 2013-09-05 09:37:08 am
The Pal version definitely won't be a problem.  The run will be listed as a separate category from NTSC is all. 

I just reread the last post on this thread on TAS videos.  Apparently when doing the partner Magic attack if you hold the same direction on both controllers you move twice as fast.  In several areas this is obviously faster as it allows you to simply run past everything without stopping and quickly escape areas that lag a lot.  It also looks like it gets you away from the flames in the volcano stage (those took forever to get past safely).  It also looks like you can tank hits from projectiles but may not run into enemies without Pocky taking damage.

Edit: Yeah I'm going to have to reroute the whole game now.
I'll get you a satanic mechanic.
I was actually watching your video when i noticed you posted Smiley thanks allot

I noticed the trick on the tas as well.
but it thought it was impossible to do normally (never tried the second controller off course ><)
but yeah it changes allot, really need to think where its worth to do the transformation.

I still need allot (ALLOT!!) of practice over here.

Im not to sure of the differences between the pal and the ntsc version.
When i see your video i get the idea that the slower pal version is also less laggy compared.
(there is still lag tough if you dont kill enough enemy's)
I think Pocky and Rocky NTSC/PAL behaves the same way that other series do like Contra III/Probotector.  An NTSC/PAL console is pretty much the same in terms of hardware capabilities but running a game at a higher framerate is more demanding on the resources of a system than running a game at a lower framerate.  Because of this, the PAL version will not lag in places where the NTSC version will.  There is 7 frames of lag during the partner transformation move on NTSC even if nothing else is on the screen.  If there is other stuff on the screen it can lag over a second.  Add the 4 seconds of the transformation animation and it can really hurt. 

My gut is telling me that if you're playing on PAL you're going to want to use the transform magic a lot more frequently than I'd be using it on NTSC.  I'll need to figure out exactly how much faster you go and decide if it's worth the investment to do it pretty much all the time tonight.
I'll get you a satanic mechanic.
Thanks for the info, it makes allot of sense.

I started practicing some parts now with the second controller, but damn is it hard to manage 2 controllers at the same time.

Unfortunately for me i cant practice this at the moment Sad
I got the veins on my hands infected....
For the time being i cant use my hands/wrists in weird positions or my veins will swell and my hand will start to hurt Sad

ill start practicing the game more normally, and hopefully soon I can start play full force again.
I'm really sorry to hear about the veins in your hands.  I hope it gets better soon.  If it's any comfort to you, it looks like this 2 controller thing might not get used as often.  So a quick recap.  The transformation lasts for just over 10 seconds and it takes 4 seconds to transform before you can move and 1 second to transform back.    In other words, you spend 5 seconds transforming to move twice as fast for ten seconds.  It comes out to about even.  Factor in the lag frames you get on NTSC and you end up a little bit behind.  So generally speaking it is not recommended that you use this mechanic in general movement.  Where this is going to be used is to get out of difficult situations where you would otherwise have to stop and use the magic wand.  It can also be used to run away from areas that are laggy to get out of the area quickly.  It's possible to not transform back.  Pocky takes a hit if you do this and gets knockback so the tradeoff is probably not worth it.  You do get some invincibility frames after the transformation so that should be abusable.

I tested this on the Kappa River stage because it's the only place in the game I'm aware of that will allow you to run a full 10 seconds without stopping and dealing with respawning enemies.  That's horizontal scrolling and I assume vertical scrolling is the same.  I probably won't test vertical scrolling.

Biggest use for it I've found is getting around the walking stone characters in October Fields and getting past the jumping fires that rain down fireballs in the volcano stage.
Edit history:
Mr. K: 2014-01-18 07:12:53 pm
So now that AGDQ is over I've returned to routing this game.  I completely underestimated the partner magic attack.

-It is slower to use the attack than regular walking
-As long as you don't get hit TWICE in a short period of time you can take as much damage as you want.  You tend to get hit twice if you walk directly into an enemy's hitbox.  Grazing the corner of a large enemy's hitbox or walking through an enemy with a very small hitbox is okay
-You can move as fast as the screen scrolls
-The transformation is laggy and should only be used in areas where there are not many enemies to avoid significant time loss
-The idea is that it can get you out of laggy areas of the game quickly by moving out of crowded areas so you don't have to stop and kill enemies

This new mechanic is adding a lot of depth to the run.  The planning is challenging and using the d-pads on two controllers is tough execution wise.  It also means that I'm using all of the mechanics this game has to offer (besides picking up other partners because clearly Rocky is the best)  I'm getting more and more excited for this game.

These routes use the magic attack whenever possible and also the pacifist strategy of not shooting when it's not absolutely necessary.  So here's what I've got so far:

Stage 1

I use the magic attack once in this stage and I burn through the unmorph time while waiting for the screen to scroll to minimize the time loss.

Stage 2

Ordinarily I'd have to stop and kill the walking pillars in the area where I use the magic attack the first time.  I use it again to get past the last vertical strip without stopping

Stage 3

There's a lot of stuff I'd like to do for this stage but it's too narrow to do much of anything interesting

Stage 6

The true power of the partner magic attack is unveiled. 

Stage 4 is a shmup stage and I just need to not get hit.  Stage 5 is legitimately hard and I'm working on it.  Stage 7 is also a shmup and stage 8 is a work in progress.  I'll need a better understanding of hitboxes before I can proceed forward with running this game.  Also I hate the Impy and Foxy fights.
I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
Wow the transformation thing really wrecks the old route. I'm curious why you don't use it more often and shoot to kill enemies where they spawn, which would hopefully keep the game from being laggy. Especially in stage 2 where there's a huge section that it seems like you could just run through really quickly if you already know where things are going to spawn. I don't have a cart to check myself, so I am assume it just causes rediculous lag simply from attacking. I know the mole guy causes a massive amount of lag even when there's nothing on the screen.
So it's a bit tricky because both controllers need to be pointing in the same direction at the same time in order to get the speed boost so it's a bit tricky to do it at once, but I'm sure I can kill a few more enemies.  You can kill enemies that are point blank in front of you without a retaliation shot, but the margin is very small. 

Stage 5 route is in progress
Stage 8 route is pretty much done

I haven't posted anything about bosses, but here's kind of where I'm at with them.  YT clips to follow.
Boss 1 - Strat is done
Boss 2 - You stand to gain or lose a TON of time on this boss and it's stupidly random
Boss 3 - Tinkering with this
Turtle tank - Need to understand the hitboxes better
Boss 4 - Need to understand the hitboxes better
Ice Mid boss - Easiest boss of the game
Boss 5 - Strat is a lock for this one
Boss 6 - Strat is a lock for this one
Boss 7 - Tinkering with the quick kill but it's pretty solid
Impy 2 - Impy is stupidly random and invulnerable and so taking damage/dying on purpose is the way to go
Boss 8 - Dynagon is pretty solid
I've been working on this a bit.  One new mechanic I discovered is that while enemies will shoot at you if you throw cards at them, they don't do it if you are extremely close.  I am using this for additional lag reduction strats and this should save a few more seconds.

I cut nearly three minutes off of my old PB using new strats when I ran the game on stream Saturday.  I haven't really started pushing, but sub 30 is easily possible.  Sub 29 is definitely not out of the question, but I'll know more about how low this can go when I start actually doing attempts.  I've got some rerouting to do and I still have to finalize my routes for stages 5 and 8.  Right now the stage 2 boss fight and Impy fights are looking to be quite the pain.

Nitpick: I realize stage 1 is the practice stage and my numbering convention is technically off by one, but I don't care and will continue to use it.
I just got 30:03 tonight.  I don't think sub 29 is possible with my current strats.  I'm debating about how far I'm going to push this game.  Tonight I discovered a new Impy 1 strat and a new Armored Turtle stat.  The new Impy strat makes Impy 1 consistently faster than the old strat even with bad RNG.  The turtle stat is pretty much consistent and it's beautiful.  The tricky thing is I'm deciding how far I want to push this game.  It's a long run and it's extremely laggy and RNG heavy.  I'm really debating whether or not I should just settle for a clean sub 30 run with good RNG.   
Edit history:
Mr. K: 2014-03-09 12:20:42 pm
So about sub 29 not being is.  I just got 28:47. 

There was some definite slop.  I didn't get the ideal quick kill on Bolta.  I had to die intentionally in that stage to make sure I had full armor for Bolta and I had to take a death on Dynagon (I got cheated out of an armor upgrade).  I'm trying to decide how much further I want to push this game.  Most of the rest of the run was pretty clean.  I think I'm going to have a hard time matching this boss luck, I might submit this...maybe.
Does anyone still speedrun this I need some help with a few bosses.