Roll Eyes
Lips Sealed
page  12345678910 -> 1 ... 10 ->
List results:
Search options:
Use \ before commas in usernames
Edit history:
Breakdown: 2009-06-21 10:21:20 pm
Haters gonna hate
Congrats to Normand for winning the SDA SSS Tournament.  He put on quite a show finishing no worse than third in any of the playing weeks and first in four in them.  An excellent performance.

Thanks to all the players, this couldn't have happened without you.  See you next tournament!


Welcome to the SDA SSS tournament, a tourney to test your gaming prowess in three different areas across 6 different games.  Each week will focus on either score, speed, or survival.  Unless I specify otherwise, submittable results will need to be achieved on one credit (deaths are okay, continues are not).  Playing weeks will begin and end at 12:00 AM Monday (EST), I will announce the new game each week.

There were no sign ups, anybody's welcome to play and join at any time.  This thread is where you will post submissions and where I will track weekly and overall results.

For more information, see the Hype and Discussion Thread.

Final Results (Username - Score (Weeks Played))

Normand - 105 (6)
Breakdown - 98 (6)
ZenicReverie - 73 (6)
Shadow_Jacky - 72 (6)
Enhasa - 70 (5)
dannnnn - 68 (6)
mikwuyma - 56 (4)
mike89 - 48 (4)
Mickey_Mage - 45 (4)
dex - 42 (3)
bsidwell - 41 (4)
moooh - 26 (3)
X - 25 (2)
VorpalEdge - 24 (2)
Colonel Fatso - 15 (2)
AquaTiger - 11 (2)
Rael96 - 11 (2)
tiw - 10 (1)

Week 1 Results

Normand - 18
Breakdown - 18
mikwuyma - 16
Enhasa - 15
ZenicReverie - 14
mike89 - 13
Shadow_Jacky - 12
dannnnn - 11
X - 10

Week 2 Results

Breakdown - 18
Enhasa - 17
Normand - 16
Shadow_Jacky - 15
dex - 14
mikwuyma - 13
VorpalEdge - 12
dannnnn - 11
bsidwell - 10
moooh - 9
AquaTiger - 8
ColonelFatso - 7
ZenicReverie - 6
Rael96 - 5

Week 3 Results

Normand - 18
ZenicReverie - 17
mike89 - 16
X - 15
dex - 14
Enhasa - 13
Breakdown - 12
dannnnn - 11
tiw - 10
mikwuyma - 9
ColonelFatso - 8
moooh - 7
Rael96 - 6
Shadow_Jacky - 5
bsidwell - 4
AquaTiger - 3
Mickey_Mage - 2

Week 4 Results

Normand - 18
Breakdown - 17
Enhasa - 16
Mickey_Mage - 15
Shadow_Jacky - 14
dannnnn - 13
ZenicReverie - 12
mike89 - 11

Week 5 Results

mikwuyma - 18
Normand - 17
Breakdown - 16
Mickey_Mage - 15
dex - 14
ZenicReverie - 13
Shadow_Jacky - 12
bsidwell - 11
moooh - 10
Enhasa - 9
mike89 - 8
dannnn - 7

Week 6 Results

Normand - 18
Breakdown - 17
bsidwell - 16
dannnnn - 15
Shadow_Jacky - 14
Mickey_Mage - 13
VorpalEdge - 12
ZenicReverie - 11
Thread title:  
Edit history:
Breakdown: 2009-05-17 10:20:48 pm
Haters gonna hate

Game:  The GG Shinobi (get the (J) version)
Platform:  Game Gear
Objective:  Speed

The Game Gear doesn't get a lot of love around these parts (which is understandable just look at the link for recording in the kb), which is a shame because there are some really good games out there for it, and this is definitely one of my personal favorites.  For those curious about how to emulate Game Gear games, basically any Sega Master System emulator will also play Game Gear games.  I personally recommend Dega, but there's a bunch to choose from.

In The GG Shinobi you assume the role of Red who's out to save his ninja buddies who have been turned evil by somebody, and once you've saved them you all head to make that somebody pay.  Pretty basic plotline yes, but 8-bit platformers generally don't pride themselves on their in depth storylines.  Rather, gameplay is the primary focus, and this game delivers.  It has a Mega Man feel to it.  You have your choice of 4 initial stages which you can do in any order and at the end of each stage you gain a new ally with a unique weapon, special ability, and ninja art, and once you've completed those there is the final stage to contend with which requires all the characters to navigate.

For the purposes of speed, while execution is obviously important, the biggest thing that'll impact your time is route planning.  Which order you tackle the initial stages and the path you take through the last (and there many possible paths) will be the difference makers in this round.

Timing will begin at your first input on the stage select screen.  For those who complete the game, timing ends when you lose control which is when the final boss finishes blowing up.  For those who don't complete the game, you can record checkpoints from when the stage select screen appears after you complete a stage.

Format your submissions as follows:

Username - Time - Number of stages completed


Radix - 3:56 - 1

Submissions will be accepted through 12:00 AM Monday May 18 (EST)

Have fun!

Other games I considered:  I wanted to kick this off with an old school Sega game, and there were 3 others definitely close in the running.  First is the sequel to this one (the aptly named GG Shinobi 2:  Some Subtitle), but I passed it over because it's longer and a bit more linear.  Another Game Gear game in the running was Psychic World, a fun little game with a variety of weapons, but also painfully linear and the controls (especially weapon switching) are pretty clunky.  The game I was originally going to go with was Quartet for the SMS, one of my favorite games on the console.  It had some light routeplanning to do and great controls and music, but suffered from a good deal of randomness which I wanted to avoid, plus it's really short.


Normand - 11:18 - ALL
Breakdown - 11:18 - ALL
mikwuyma - 11:52 - ALL
Enhasa - 12:45 - ALL
ZenicReverie - 15:03 - ALL
mike89 - 16:39 - ALL
Shadow_Jacky - 18:28 - ALL
dannnnn - 21:09 - ALL
X - 17:35 - 4
Edit history:
Breakdown: 2009-05-24 10:19:01 pm
Haters gonna hate

Game:  Dragon Blaze
Platform:  Arcade
Objective:  Score

It should be no surprise to most of you that one of the score based weeks would be a shmup, and it also shouldn't be a surprise to a few of you that this is the one I'd pick because I made it no secret that I think this game is awesome.  I really like the atmosphere it sets personally, it offers great intensity, and you get to throw dragons at your enemies.  How cool is that?

Dragon Blaze is a shmup developed by Psikyo in 2000.  The story is you pick one of 4 characters who each have a reason to go collect crystals to open a path to hell to take the out the devil for some reason or another.  Again, shmups aren't a genre that really pride themselves on their storylines, gameplay and scoring mechanics are generally the main focus.  The different characters all have their own strengths and weaknesses, each with their own unique bomb, normal shot, and charge attacks as well as different stats for movement speed, dragon recall speed, and dragon attack width.

Scoring in this game is fairly simple (which is a big reason why I picked it).  Flying around and killing enemies scores you points obviously.  Some enemies will drop silver coins upon death which you can collect for more points.  Enemies killed with your dragon shot will drop gold coins, which are worth more points.  You can also score a nice technical bonus on bosses by hitting their core when they expose it with your dragon shot.  Of course this also usually means having to get yourself in position while they're spitting out a very beefy pattern, but that's all part of the challenge.  There are a few other tricks and secrets as well, but I'll leave it to you guys to either discover or look these up yourselves.

Now while scoring is fairly simple, this game is definitely not easy.  For those of you not too familiar with the genre, be prepared to have your ass handed to you on a silver platter repeatedly.  Psikyo games are known for throwing lots and lots of bullets at you, and this one is definitely one of the more extreme examples of this.  With some practice you'll start to get a feel for how to better survive each incarnation of each stage (the first four levels appear in random order), but keep in mind there is a rank system in place (linked to survival, not score as far as I can tell) and the game will get harder the better you do.  This game has made me curse like a sailor on occassion, but at those times I just take a deep breath and remember the main objective here is fun, and what's more fun than throwing dragons at things?

So go throw dragons, and have fun!

Format your scores like so:

Username - Score - Character Used - Stage


Radix - 95,600 - Sonia - 1-1

Other games I considered:  Part of me wanted to show Raizing some love this week, but all the games I could think of were either too complex (Dimahoo, Battle Garegga) or too simple (Mahou).  I did almost pick Brave Blade, but I'm personally not too big on that game, and while I'm sure there are some people out there who wouldn't have minded Armed Police Batrider week part 2 I wanted to keep everybody on as level a playing field as possible.  Mars Matrix was a possibility as were an assortment of Cave games, but chaining games, while simple in theory, are maddening to play intensively for score.


Breakdown - 906,700 - Quaid - 1-5
Enhasa - 730,300 - Quaid - 1-5
Normand - 639,900 - Ian - 1-5
Shadow_Jacky - 460,000 - Quaid - 1-4
dex - 412,300 - Quaid - 1-3
mikwuyma - 395,300 - Quaid - 1-3
VorpalEdge - 363,900 - Quaid - 1-4
dannnnn - 314,100 - Quaid - 1-3
bsidwell - 310,200 - Quaid - 1-3
moooh - 283,300 - Quaid - 1-3
AquaTiger - 256,900 - Rob - 1-3
ColonelFatso - 240,000 - Ian - 1-3
ZenicReverie - 232,900 - Quaid - 1-3
Rael96 - 229,000 - Quaid - 1-3

Edit history:
Breakdown: 2009-05-31 10:14:03 pm
Haters gonna hate

Game:  Zoop
Platform:  SNES
Objective:  Survival

The puzzle genre seemed a natural fit for a survival week, and this particlar game seemed a great fit.  No set ending, not too mainstream, and several stats the game tells you after each credit for easy submissions.

Zoop was developed by Hookstone Productions for a wide variety of platforms in 1995.  In the game you assume the role of a color changing triangle that is under assault from four direction by a bunch of weird shapes of different colors.  No real story to speak of, just a simple objective of not letting the shapes get to the center.  You prevent this by blasting them.  If you hit a shape the same color as your triangle it and any shapes the same color behind it will disappear.  Hit a shape that's a different color and it changes to the color you were and you change to its color.  A very simple game to pick up, but like any good puzzle game there is a lot of strategy to it.

For game settings, we will be playing on the Continual mode and start at the default level and difficulty.  These settings carry with them the benefit of just being able to jam on whatever button from when you power on to when you actually start playing, no need to touch the d-pad/arrow keys/whatever.  Granted things start out a little slow in the first level on the lowest difficulty, but it'll pick up soon enough, believe me.

Now for what we'll be tracking.  The game does time each credit for you and displays that time on the high score screen, so it would seem to be a natural fit for a survival competition.  However, I think this will lead people to just hang around in the first level as long as possible while the shapes are still coming in at a snail's pace, and that's just incredibly lame in my opinion.  So to sidestep this we'll be using another statistic that shows up on the results screen, which is the number zooped.  It strikes me as better measure of progress and actively encourages you to play the game as opposed to seeing how long you can avoid it.

Format your submissions as follows:

Username - Number Zooped


Radix - 95

So go show some odd shapes they can't mess with geometric perfection, and have fun!

Other games I considered:  Not too many for this week honestly because most of the games I could think of didn't have a stat for survival that was easy to nail down outside of stage number and I wanted to avoid a glut of ties.  Despite this I still almost went with something from the Puzzle Bobble series just because those games are so damn fun.  Tetris the Grandmaster also entered my head, but that had the double problem of being incredibly mainstream (has anybody here not played tetris?  Anybody?) and also the wide variety of modes to pick from.  I did also consider a few games outside of the puzzle genre, mostly classic games like Joust, Qix (kinda puzzly), Q-bert, Dig Dug 1 or 2, or Mr. Do, but again, the lack of things to track kept any of these out of serious contention, plus old arcade games get, well, old in a hurry for most.


Normand - 4259
ZenicReverie - 2096
mike89 - 1784
X - 1634
dex - 1266
Enhasa - 1184
Breakdown - 1096
dannnnn - 1055
tiw - 653
mikwuyma - 629
ColonelFatso - 555
moooh - 520
Rael96 - 435
Shadow_Jacky - 354
bsidwell - 333
AquaTiger - 295
Mickey_Mage - 266
Edit history:
Breakdown: 2009-06-08 12:34:01 pm
Haters gonna hate

Game:  Twinkle Tale
Platform:  Genesis
Objective:  Speed

After all this pansy stuff like dragons, ninjas, and shapes we've been dealing with for the past three weeks I feel this tournament needed a healthy dose of testosterone.  Unfortunately, Twinkle Star Sprites doesn't fit in to any of the three possible week types very well, but this game fits the bill almost as well.  You guys will definitely feel the hair grow on your chest as you play, and having to resist the urge to flex while playing will be one of the biggest challenges you will face.

Twinkle Tale is a free roaming shooter developed by Toyo Records in 1992.  You assume the role of Saria, a young witch who has to run around blasting assorted evil creatures and saving a bunch of old men presumably for the good of her world.  I can't read the cutscenes (which are skippable, don't worry), so I don't really know what the story's all about, but that really doesn't matter.  The gameplay is pretty simple, run to end of the level shooting stuff that gets in your way and kill the boss, then repeat.  You have three weapons to work with which you can cycle through freely from the start, each well suited to certain situations you'll encounter along the way.  You can power these weapons up by grabbing star items that appear along the way, but they lose a level of power for every hit you take which adds a bit of strategy to what attack you use where.  You also can collect two types of bombs, each also better suited to certain situations.

There is some light routeplanning to do in this game.  The levels all have a few alternate paths and/or optional areas (except the one autoscroller).  There's also figuring out which power ups to grab and which ones to pass up, so finding the fastest route through each stage will be important.  Probably the biggest thing that will impact your time, however, is the weapon choices you make for the fights you can't run past and how you use your bombs.

Also, some of you may have noticed in the first post the "unless I specify otherwise" caveat regarding only using one credit for these games.  Well, this game is why it's there.  It's OK to use continues this week!  Reason being is that they basically serve as your lives.

For difficulty we'll be playing on Normal (the default).  Timing will begin when you gain control of Saria (once the first level fades in) and will end when you lose control of her (when the last boss is done blowing up).  Players who don't complete the game can record checkpoints before the start of a stage when the world map screen appears.

Format your submissions as follows:

Username - Time - Stages Completed


Radix - 3:45 - 1

Remember not to flex too much, it'll hurt your time, and have fun!

Other games I considered:  First let me say if Jackal hadn't been voted through in Aquatiger's tourney we'd be playing it now.  Another NES game that almost made it in was Guerilla War, and I think would've been a good choice for a weekly, but it lacks the depth of strategy this one brings to the table.  There were a couple other Genesis games in consideration as well.  Part of me really wanted to pick The Ooze, but it really is an awful choice for a weekly.  Too lengthy and maddeningly difficult.  Gain Ground was another one I considered, but it's also a bit on the long side and did raise the question of which mode to choose.  Hard mode is probably better suited to a weekly, but Normal would've added a healthy dose of strategy to the mix.  Ultimately, I couldn't choose.


Normand - 19:46 - ALL
Breakdown - 21:37 - ALL
Enhasa - 24:10 - ALL
Mickey_Mage - 26:34 - ALL
Shadow_Jacky - 30:48 - ALL
dannnnn - 31:11 - ALL
ZenicReverie - 44:00 - ALL
mike89 - 21:23 - 6
Edit history:
Breakdown: 2009-06-14 10:40:22 pm
Haters gonna hate

Game:  Devil Crash MD
Platform:  Genesis
Objective:  Score

I don't know about the rest of you, but I love pinball.  There's just something about it that keeps me coming back for more.  It also remains one of the few types of games out there where there really is no objective other than getting a high score.  Granted, video pinball can't hold a candle to playing on an actual table, but there are some pretty fun games in the genre out there.  This, in my opinion, is one of them.

Devil Crash MD was developed by Technosoft in 1991.  This was a port of the TurboGrafx 16 game Devil's Crush, and outside of some graphical upgrades it remains very faithful to the source material.  This version was only released in Japan, though the US and Europe got their release a year later from Tengen entitled Dragon's Fury.  This version featured a few changes, mostly cosmetic things to make the game a little more Christian-friendly as those who were around back in the early 90s no doubt remember that so much as hinting at occult content in a game was a big "no" back then.

Why they tried to put a plot into a pinball game is beyond me, but apparently you need to pinball the crap out of the little beasties that appear on the table and in the bonus levels to have a shot at defeating the demon king and banishing all the demons back to hell and save the world.  Tall order for a little silver ball, you think?

Scoring in this game works quite similarly to scoring in any other pinball game.  You can just flail around and get a few points here and there for hitting various targets and whatnot, but the real points come from learning the intricacies of the table.  Knowing what to hit when and in what order opens up bonus stages, bonus multipliers, bonus points, extra balls and all kinds of other things.  There is an element of luck involved, but skill will pay dividends this week.

There are no different settings or modes to worry about this week, so just hit start and play.  There are two things I do want to touch on, however.  First, it is possible to counterstop this game, and in the event that more than one person does so (which I don't think is going to happen, but you guys might surprise me) for ranking purposes I'll go in the order the scores were submitted.  Should a tie pop up below the counterstop mark, it's just a tie.  There's also an ending to this game, so if you manage to beat it, indicate that after your score and that'll serve as a tiebreaker if need be.

Second, in classic pinball fashion at the end of every credit you'll have a shot at a Match for an extra ball.  This is totally random, but if you hit it, you can play it.

Format your submissions as follows:

Username - Score - ALL (if applicable)


Radix - 345,900

So go smack some demons in the face with a silver ball, and have fun!

Other games I considered:  This is the week I had the hardest time picking a game for.  I wanted to avoid both another shmup and another puzzle game and I was coming up nigh on blank, and the few ideas I had initially weren't very good.  APB (no, not Batrider, APB) was a game I wanted to use, but it handles like total crap in MAME, so that was out.  Wonder Boy was a possibility (probably would've gone with the SMS version) as it had no infininite milking and a few scoring objectives, but the controls are bit rough and the music grates on you.  Gauntlet or Gauntlet 2 were both in consideration, but there's no less than a billion different versions to pick from, and pick the wrong one and the game is either way too easy or way too hard, plus it's a bit too similar a game to Twinkle Tale for back to back weeks.  I did consider biting the bullet and going with a pseudo shmup like Spy Hunter or Smash TV or a psuedo puzzler like Qix, but then I remembered "hey pinball.  There's practically nothing more score driven than pinball!"  And here we are.

Also, I'd like to say that if there was any way possible to rig it up so we could all be playing on an actual pinball machine, we would be.  Probably would've gone with The Addam's Family, my all time favorite.  If any of you have the chance to play it, do yourself a favor and put some quarters in.  Another good one is Whitewater, it has great table flow and is a blast to play, though the voices it throws at you are pretty cheesy.  Lately I've been playing the Family Guy machine a lot as it's the only one I know of within walking distance of my house.  It's OK, not the best ever, but it does get a couple dollars from me every week.


mikwuyma - 205,701,900
Normand - 171,896,600
Breakdown - 131,561,100
Mickey_Mage - 80,510,300
dex - 76,047,400
ZenicReverie - 61,475,100
Shadow_Jacky - 47,350,500
bsidwell - 38,847,900
moooh - 32,698,600
Enhasa - 28,780,700
mike89 - 23,264,700
dannnn - 13,675,000
Edit history:
Breakdown: 2009-06-21 10:11:20 pm
Haters gonna hate

Game:  Xexex
Platform:  Arcade
Objective:  Survival

Those who hang out on irc knew that I had promised three shmups in this tourney, so here's the third.  And while this tourney was 50% shmups, I did still try to bring a little variety.  We had a vertical scroller, a free-roamer, and now a hori.

Xexex was developed by Konami in 1991.  This is a game exclusive to the arcades; to the best of my knowledge outside of having one level accessible as a bonus stage in a Goemon game there's never been a console port.  There's a story in place, you're trying to take down some effeminate looking evil guy who apparently captured your girlfriend or some princess or whatever and save said lady fair and restore peace to this particular neck of the galaxy.  To aid you you have something called the flint lock system which will block bullets and attack enemies with its tentacles.

There is no real scoring system (hence it being used for a survival week), just shoot stuff that gets in your way and don't die.  You do have an assortment of weapon power ups you can pick up, and you can power up the flint lock system which gives it more tentacles and a more powerful charge shot while it's attached to the ship.  The former is more important as it'll make it easier to attach it to the larger enemies and make it serve as a more effective floating shield for the multiude of bullets you'll see in the later stages.

A few important things for the week.  First, we're playing on version JAA (the Japanese version), which is significantly different than the others available.  If you fire this up and one shot doesn't kill you and when you do die it's game over, you're playing the wrong one.  Note that you will have to download the parent set rom as well (version EAA, or World) to be able to play this version in MAME.

Second, autofire is perfectly legal to use this week.  There's only a few weapons with which it's actually helpful, but there would be a hell of a lot of tapping to do otherwise, so feel free to set it at whatever speed.  Keep in mind you do have a charge attack as well though, so you should probably set either a custom button to use for that or a toggle button for the autofire (I suggest the former).

Now for what we're tracking.  Since it's a survival week, progress into the game is going to get top billing.  While there are multiple checkpoints in each stage, it'd be a bit difficult to track just how far along you got within a stage, but if you got to the boss or not is pretty cut and dry, so if you die at the boss of a stage that will count as extra progress.  In addition, to prevent a multitude of ties, score will serve as a tiebreaker for people who finish on the same stage.  Like I said before, there is no scoring system, so scores won't differ too greatly at any one point of progress.  I'll admit this isn't a perfect system as there are some opportunities for boss milking and checkpoint abuse, but it's really more to your advantage placement-wise to keep risk at a minimum and just try to progress.

Format your submissions as follows:

Username - Stage reached (boss if applicable) - Score (no need for the weird character things it give you, just numbers is fine)


Radix - 1 (boss) - 103,200

So go shoot a bunch of stuff, and have fun!

Other games I considered:  My initial thought for this week was to go with something from the Gradius or R-Type series, but passed them over as I didn't want to sift through all the different games, though probably any of them would've fit the bill just fine.  I did almost make a last minute switch to X-Multiply, but decided to stick with this one as it has a nicer look to it.  A part of me did really want to go with Gaiares for the Genesis, but wanted to avoid three consecutive Genesis games and there's also a "cheat" for a broken weapon that there's no real way to police.  I also considered going with something classic like Gaplus or Galaxian, but while they'd fit the bill pretty nicely they get dull in a hurry.


Normand - 7 - 988,400
Breakdown - 5 - 668,300
bsidwell - 4 (boss) - 500,100
dannnnn - 4 - 485,500
Shadow_Jacky - 3 - 355,900
Mickey_Mage - 3 - 293,100
VorpalEdge - 3 - 263,200
ZenicReverie - 2 - 125,000
everybody wanna tell you the meaning of music
This tourney is too awesome because it has SUSPENSE what are we going to play! And also new game I've never played before (first for an SDA tourney). Also the game's title made me think of Jet Set Radio (except that's Shibuya). All in all just awesome.

I sux at this game, I didn't even beat one stage lol.
Edit history:
ZenicReverie: 2009-05-14 09:55:16 am
Waiting hurts my soul...
ZenicReverie - 20:00 - 4
ZenicReverie - 13:20 - 4
ZenicReverie - 10:24 - 4
ZenicReverie - 25:44 - ALL
ZenicReverie - 18:20 - ALL

I'll update this when I get faster times, but I thought I'd post to let people know how bad I am at this game and give some other people some idea of how long the game takes.  I have yet to beat the last level, but when I do will be my next post.

I still have yet to beat the last level, and I have yet to look at a FAQ, but I think I got to the last boss, just can't beat him.

Here are some basic strategies (inside spoilers for those trying to beat the game by themselves still):

Highway: pretty basic level, not much to say.
I'm taking this as my first level and using two arts, one on each set of archers as they are very annoying.  There may be a couple of places where double jump might be helpful.  Also, the sword is nearly the weakest weapon next to the shurikens, so yellow or blue might be able to take out the boss faster.

Apparently I skip the life meter increase from this level because I didn't even know about it.  I just read it in a FAQ, and found it to be a little out of the way for my tastes, plus apparently I don't need it.  Cheesy

This is my second stage, and I use pink throughout the level.  The bombs are perfect for the flamebreathers and dynamite throwers, plus sticking to the ceiling bypasses a couple trouble spots like timing jumps over barrelthrowers and to take some shortcuts.  I also go out of the way a little to pick up the life increase currently, as I'm still trying to get the hang of not taking that much damage, reduces overall risk.

I don't see a whole lot of time saving by getting a different ninja.  Bombs are the most powerful weapon from what I've seen, although the sickle and fully powered fireball might be equal or better.  The abilities of the other two ninjas don't seem that helpful, as there aren't any grappling pegs, and I can't think of any place double jumping would make things faster.  I am collecting one art, but haven't found a good place to use it yet.  I'm saving it for the cave to take the shortcut at the moment.

I chose this as third; I use yellow to breeze past the river part collecting the life increase.  In the cave, switch to red to take the shortcut, then back to yellow to get through the rest of the level and beat the boss.  I collect an art here that I haven't found a good place to use yet.  I just had a thought though, and I'll update if it works out.  I now use this art to avoid some of the mansion in the woodland stage.  Anyway, I don't think green would be helpful in this level at all.  Without yellow, I'd say it'd be much slower; however, without pink nothing would change.  Getting yellow without pink is too frustrating for me to kill that boss, but getting Blue first might be an option depending on how much time is art might save in boss fights.

I use blue to take advantage of the pegs and I collect the life increase.  At the mansion, I use yellow to charge and shoot statues, blue grapples, pink does one ceiling trick.  Actually, I've found that by using Blue's art, you can just skip (most of) the inside of the mansion.  Blue takes out the face boss before he turns back into the face the first time with an art.

Blue is what makes this level go fast, so I think he's totally necessary.  Pink might be able to be done without and yellow as well.

Neo City:
So, I spent a good bit of time mapping this place out on my own, I numbered the rooms and drew a little map, and here's what I've found:

Room Number (arbitrary) - short description
1 - elevators
2 - water spouts
3 - disappearing blocks with pegs
4 - spikes and mines
5 - electric room
6 - dodge Flying guys
7 - purple face boss
8 - tank boss
9 - enemies on pillars
10 - breakable blocks #1
11 - pegs and spikes
12 - breakable blocks #2 (now with timed spikes dropping from the roof)
13 - arrows
14 - rolling spikes
15 - laser beams
16 - waterfall boss
17 - space/time
18 - saws
19 - helicopter boss
20 - dark room
21 - water spouts and spikes
22 - falling platforms
23 - boxes
24 - robot bombs
25 - black ninja boss, then robot boss, then ??, then profit

Room Number -> exits to what room + description of requirements if any exist.

1. -> left = 2, right = 3
2. -> 4
3. -> 5
4. -> left = 6, right = 7
5. -> left = 8, right = 9
6. -> top = 10 (locked until boss in room 8 is beat), bottom = 1
7. -> 3
8. -> 2
9. -> top = 11 (locked until boss in room 7 is beat), bottom = 1
10 -> top = 12, bottom = 13
11 -> top = 14, bottom = 15
12 -> left = 16, right = 17
13 -> 11
14 -> right (top path) = 18, left (bottom path) = 19
15 -> 10
16 -> 11
17 -> 20
18 -> 21
19 -> 10
20 -> 22
21 -> 23
22 -> top = 24 (locked until boss in room 16 is beat), bottom = 11
23 -> left = 24 (locked until boss in room 19 is beat), right = 10
24 -> 25

From this, I've gathered there are 4 'optimal' routes.  Here they are:

1 - 2 - 4 - 7 - 3 - 5 - 9 - 11(a) - (15 - b) - 14 - 19 - 10 - 13 - 11 - 14 - 18 - 21 - 23 - 24 - 25
1 - 3 - 5 - 8 - 2 - 4 - 6 - 10(b) - (13 - a) - 12 - 16 - 11 - 15 - 10 - 12 - 17 - 20 - 22 - 24 - 25

There's only two listed because the only deviation is to switch tracks midway.  If you're on track one, you can switch to track two semi-quickly by going through two rooms ( 11 then 15 to get to 10, or 10 and 13 to get to 11); otherwise ignore the paranthesis.  I haven't tested them out for speed to see which is fastest since I can't even beat the stage, but I'll report which way I'm going once I choose and I'll list my reasoning.

I'm stuck at the robot boss currently because I have yet to find an attack that actually damages him.  I'm guessing there's only a certain time I can hit him, or I'm not hitting him directly in the right spot.  I'm at semi-low life at this point because I haven't been able to successfully dodge all of the black ninja's attacks, so I can take about 3 hits before dying.  I think I'll try again tomorrow before finally resorting to looking at a FAQ since I'd rather finish the game for the tournament than revel in the knowledge that I've found the solution on my own to the problem laid out before me by the developers.

Some general stuff:
It's better to bump into enemies instead of being hit by their main weapon, as you take a lot less damage.

I hope this helps some people and might open some discussion (there seems to be little interest in helping others figure out strategy a whole day into the tournament... or maybe I just had more time than others to play the game.)
Edit history:
mike89: 2009-05-13 12:10:42 am
SEGA Junkie
mike89 - 17:44 - ALL
mike89 - 17:00 - ALL

mike89 - 16:39 - ALL

Recorded in .mmv for those who can view it. If you hang out in IRC you know what I'm doing, but it can be a surprise for the rest of you Smiley

I think this'll be a keeper - it'll be a good benchmark for everyone else though. I think it'll go down to about 16 even.

Also it's a pity Game Gear is so hard to record for SDA Sad
destroy them with lazers
X - 17:35 - 4

I am really sucking at this. Its the wood level were i'm struggling because of the spinning blade guys. Sad
Haters gonna hate

Seeing all the talk about this game here and on IRC warms my soul.  Seems to be a hit, glad you guys are enjoying it.

One thing I haven't mentioned here (though I have on IRC) is I'm going to be playing as well, but seeing as how I have a decidedly unfair advantage in that I know what all the games are in advance and have at least some degree of previous experience with all of them (and there are at least a couple weeks where this advantage will likely be very pronounced) I cannot officially win this tournament.  I'm going to track my results normally, so I'll count towards the overall scale number and beating me will still be worth a point (and I don't expect to win all six weeks at all), but if I do end up with the highest point total when it's all said and done the official title goes to the next guy.
Edit history:
ZenicReverie: 2009-05-14 10:23:27 pm
Waiting hurts my soul...
new time:

ZenicReverie - 18:20 - ALL
ZenicReverie - 15:28 - ALL

Still using the pink, yellow, blue, green route.  No deaths this time, but it could still be faster.

I'm done with timing...
yellow, blue, pink, green has the potential to be 15 - 20 seconds faster on average.  The major time waster here could come from fighting the yellow tank boss with red instead of pink.  Pink is better able to recover than red if hits are missed.

This route:
1 - 2 - 4 - 7 - 3 - 5 - 9 - 11 - 14 - 19 - 10 - 13 - 11 - 14 - 18 - 21 - 23 - 24 - 25
is faster than this route:
1 - 3 - 5 - 8 - 2 - 4 - 6 - 10 - 12 - 16 - 11 - 15 - 10 - 12 - 17 - 20 - 22 - 24 - 25

I've been using the second because it's easier, but the first has the potential of being 2 minutes faster, so let's see how that goes.  I think the major time saver is avoiding the room 12 where red needs to use 5 arts to get through.

Here's the data I used to come to this conclusion
Highway - 1 - red = 45s
Highway - 1 - green = 47s
Highway - 2 - blue + arts = 28s
Highway - 2 - green = 30s
Highway - 2 - red = 1m 17s
Highway - 2 - 1 art = 1m 20s
Highway - 2 - 2 arts = 1m 17s
Highway - 3 - blue = 20s
Highway - 3 - green = 40s
Highway - 3 - red = 19s
Highway - 3 - yellow = 19s

Highway - red = 2m 21s +2 arts
Highway - red+green+red = 1m 34s +1 art

Harbor - 1 - green = 29s
Harbor - 1 - pink = 30s
Harbor - 1 - red = 40s
Harbor - 2 - green = 20s
Harbor - 2 - pink = 21s
Harbor - 2 - red = 21s
Harbor - 3 - green = 49s
Harbor - 3 - pink = 39s
Harbor - 3 - red = 49s
Harbor - 4 - blue = 27s
Harbor - 4 - green = 1m 8s
Harbor - 4 - pink = 14s
Harbor - 4 - red = 28s

Harbor - red = 2m 18s +1 art
Harbor - pink = 1m 44s +1 art

Valley - 1 - green = 30s
Valley - 1 - pink = 43s
Valley - 1 - red = 46s
Valley - 1 - yellow = 23s
Valley - 2 - first art = 11s
Valley - 2 - normal = 60s
Valley - 2 - red + shortcuts = 43s
Valley - 2 - red extra art = 19s
Valley - 2 - yellow + art = 45s
Valley - 2 - bottom path = 53s
Valley - 3 - green = 45s
Valley - 3 - pink = 28s
Valley - 3 - red = 27s
Valley - 3 - yellow = 16s

Valley - yellow = 1m 24s +1 art

Woodland - 1 - blue + 1 art = 33s
Woodland - 1 - blue + 2 arts = 35s
Woodland - 1 - blue + no arts = 30s
Woodland - 1 - red = 41s
Woodland - 2 - blue = 42s
Woodland - 2 - red = 1m 18s
Woodland - 3 - blue = 14s
Woodland - 3 - blue + art= 12s
Woodland - 3 - pink = 20s
Woodland - 3 - red = 29s
Woodland - 3 - yellow = 27s

Woodland - blue = 1m 26s

Neo City room 1 = 14s green jumping
Neo City room 2 = 10s yellow jumping
Neo City room 3 = 40s or 30s art from middle
Neo City room 4 = 13s/14s no art or 21s/17s w/ art
Neo City room 5 = 24s w/ art or 10s w/o art green
Neo City room 6 = 24s blue + green
Neo City room 7 = 14s blue or 12s blue art
Neo City room 8 = 14s pink
Neo City room 9 = 22s blue or 22s green
Neo City room 10 = 27s top or 36s bottom or 40s bottom + art
Neo City room 11 = 12s or 12s w/ art
Neo City room 12 = 42s
Neo City room 13 = 9s
Neo City room 14 = 9s lower or 17s upper
Neo City room 15 = 32s
Neo City room 16 = 16s
Neo City room 17 = 37s
Neo City room 18 = 15s
Neo City room 19 = 9s pink
Neo City room 20 = 15s
Neo City room 21 = 17s yellow + blue
Neo City room 22 = 11s
Neo City room 23 = 27s
Neo City room 24 = 22s blue
Neo City room 25 = 55s

1 - 2 - 4  - 7 - 3 use art - 5 - 9 use art = 127s -2 art

11 - 14 - 19 - 10 - 13 - 11 - 14 - 18 - 21 use art - 23 use art - 24 - 25 = 244 -2 art
10 - 12 - 16 - 11 - 15 - 10 - 12 - 17 - 20 - 22 - 24 - 25 = 338s 0 art
11:18 - Normand - ALL

Very nice choice Breakdown, this game is perfect for a weekly competition.. and ninja awesome too
Waiting hurts my soul...
Quote from Normand Nubcake:
11:18 - Normand - ALL

Very nice choice Breakdown, this game is perfect for a weekly competition.. and ninja awesome too

How the hell?  11:18 for ALL?
welcome to the machine
I'm really looking forwards to seeing this week's replays, as this game sounds interesting but I don't have the opportunity to check it out myself.
Haters gonna hate
Well this is interesting.

Breakdown - 11:18 - ALL

I got this on Tuesday and figured it would be plenty good enough to hold up, so good show Normand.  After making some more attempts I really don't feel like trying to improve it further, with one noted exception the only mistakes I made were decidedly minor.  I have a replay which I'll post at the end of the week for those interested.
fucking .gif....
shit, I thought I just had mike's attempt to worry about.  fuck!

I'm still going to try though.
Waiting hurts my soul...
ZenicReverie - 15:03 - ALL

Ok, I actually recorded this one, has a bunch of mistakes, so I think I could definitely dip into the 14s, but I have yet to figure out how Breakdown and Normand are getting into the 11s, so this will most likely be my last submission.  No deaths, unless you count using green's art, which I needed when I almost died at the last boss.
My feelings on The Demon Rush
Here is my turd of a time:

mikwuyma - 13:11 - ALL

What went well: The first and fourth bosses.

What went wrong: Nearly everything else.

Highlights: Dying at that easy grappling section in the final stage twice. Sad
Edit history:
dannnnn: 2009-05-17 12:01:44 pm
dannnnn - 21.55 - ALL
dannnnn - 21.09 - ALL

Yes I know it's terribly slow but I just wanted to squeeze in a time as it's the last day for this game. I had 6 deaths in total so I hope this counts, I didn't use a continue due to the extra lives I picked up.

*edit- My 2nd run only had two deaths but there were still obviously a ton of mistakes. My Woodland and Neo City stages were both slower than my previous attempt.

My Neo City time is actually longer than Breakdown and Normand's total time, so I'm pretty sure my route isn't optimal  Grin

Remember guys, it's not the winning that counts, it's the taking part!  Cheesy
Edit history:
Enhasa: 2009-05-17 08:02:17 pm
everybody wanna tell you the meaning of music
Enhasa - 12:45 - ALL

I feel bad that I didn't have more time to play this great game. What an amazing choice, this is why voting sucks. Tongue Really looking forward to hearing other people's strats.

Well I'll give my route, but unlike Evo this one is probably pretty suboptimal. Have no idea what anyone else is doing, but I go blue, green, yellow, pink. Pink is the strongest, use when possible. Blue is great for stages. I used to go BPYG, then later BGPY. This final switch to BGYP is just because you can take out the copter faster with yellow. BGPY is easier though, pink's power helps a lot on yellow stage. I'm trying to find a way to utilize techs better, like not having to go inside on green, but I don't know a good way to do it.

The water/logs in blue actually aren't bad at all. Pick up easy tech late in blue. Blue boss is easily trapped in a pattern at the lower left. When you kill him, walk right and then left. It looks super cool and even saves a whole second! Blue art at the start of green up right to the next tech. Free hp increase, blue saves time here with swinging. Blue art at the start of next part, go right and pick up the tech. Go inside and up. Then blue art to the top once outside, pick up tech and fight the boss. Thanks to Zenic: go right, then blue art twice up, picking up the two techs on the way. Blue owns him, two passes easy. Easy tech in the 1st part of yellow using green, then two easy techs in 2nd part of yellow! Green is useful for the indoors part of yellow too (easy hp increase), then you can also take a shortcut. For robot, blue art and instant kill. Easy tech in pink, and you can just blue art twice upward to skip the 2nd part of pink. Hit copter every pass with yellow's charge shot.

Now you have two techs and it's time for the final stage. I take the route that is pretty much like the top one Zenic describes (good job with the research, grats). I'm not going to describe because he did a better job anyway. Most rooms don't make you lose or gain techs. You can actually easily gain one tech on the first breakable blocks one. Tech, quake where you stand (not to the right), then you can double jump with green for another tech, then go down and pick up tech, this time quake to the right, then go in the door. Since I have extra techs, I use them to make some rooms faster or easier. I used to try that double jump with green hit guys on the way down room, but I suck and don't have it down, so I just blue art it. Climbing water spouts, I blue art too. Final boss is pretty straightforward. As far as I can tell, you have to use red, which is pretty dumb, but whatever.
My feelings on The Demon Rush
Oh god, I realize I now have been so stupid when it comes to green's stage. I should just use a tech on the first screen. DOH.

Also your route is good, except you should switch pink with yellow because pink is very effective against the robot boss, and I don't think Yellow really makes the Helicopter boss a lot faster.

It's not the first screen I find crappy in blue's stage, it's the second screen with collecting the ninjutsu I need for green's stage. Angry

Okay I'll make some more attempts later today. I can easily get a sub-12 time if I just don't fuck up a bajillion times like I did in my 13:11.

Also, I'm almost positive it's slower to use techs in rooms that don't need them.
Waiting hurts my soul...
Quote from Enhasa:
Blue art at the start of next part, go right and pick up the tech. Go inside and up. Then blue art to the top once outside, pick up tech and fight the boss.

Now you have two techs and it's time for the final stage. I take the route that is pretty much like the top one Zenic describes (good job with the research, grats).

If you go to the right on the ground level, take out both enemies or jump over them, you can use the art on the right side, pick up another on the way up, then use an art as you fall, which should take you to the next art right outside the boss room.

And thanks, even if I can't get anywhere near your guys' times...
everybody wanna tell you the meaning of music
Quote from mikwuyma:
Also your route is good, except you should switch pink with yellow because pink is very effective against the robot boss, and I don't think Yellow really makes the Helicopter boss a lot faster.

I had the same order as you originally, and there isn't much difference either way. I use blue art vs robot boss for instant kill, no need for pink. Yellow charge shot does make the helicopter noticably faster. Pink would be best but of course you don't have pink.

Quote from mikwuyma:
It's not the first screen I find crappy in blue's stage

I agree 100%, it's easy. Some people like Zenic want to go yellow to walk on water, and I'm saying that's not needed at all. That's why I included that.

Quote from mikwuyma:
Also, I'm almost positive it's slower to use techs in rooms that don't need them.

Yep, I know, it's just that I actually die a lot in the green double jump onto pillars with guys room. Also there might be a way to do climbing waterspouts fastest with yellow, but blue art to the top might be faster, plus I won't fall down.

Zenic: DUH, thanks!