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here's my latest geeky tontie achievement.

was able to do this today:

I've developed a pretty stable pattern of how i play based mainly on advice my brother gave me but also with some subtle changes that are just my own playing style as opposed to his. I thought i'd share if anyone else cares enough to want tips or at least are curious about it.

what to buy: If i have over 200 coins before i see a shop, i get the silver hammer first, and then i'll get the wings. That hardly ever happens, though. Typically i'll see a shop when i have between 80-200 coins. In that case, i'll buy the wings first, then the silver hammer, then the two extra "zelda hearts". All extra money goes towards replenishing health in later levels. The gold hammer is absolutely useless.

the shop "bug": i mentioned this in a recent post, but i need to expand on it for those that didn't read the comments that occured after it. If the shop is the last thing that's on the level, then going into that shop will completely reset the level making you play the entire level again, which is great for getting more coins and replenishing health if you need it. If, however, you go into the shop too late (it's almost completely disappeared), then it will make the shop noise, but the "level up!" will override it, causing you to advance to the next level.

if this happens, all subsequent levels will have *no enemies whatsoever*. From this, i was able to come to a relatively decent conclusion that the game doesn't end. I kept on leveling up, and each level up screen was the same blue bomb thing all the way until level 93 when i got this screen instead:

which seems to be a bug. After level 99, my computer froze and i had to restart. Whether or not it froze because of reaching level 99 or because i was working on about three other things at the same time and it had been a while since i restarted my computer, i'm not sure.

universal hitting strategy: the most important thing is to know what order must-hit enemeis appear and to typically hit them in that order. The exception to this is the "number" enemies. I don't consider them as "appearing" until their eye opens, so i ignore them until they do. Once they do, i adopt them into my current "hitting pattern". (ex: I just hammered an enemy in square 4 and it leaves a heart. A number enemy shows up in square 6. Two blue bomb enemies appear in squares 3 and 7 respectively, and then the number enemy's eye opens up to reveal a 5. The resulting pattern i'll hit will be 3-7-5-4 or 3-7-4-5.)

hearts: whether in a double hit or in a hitting pattern, i'll always pick up hearts even if my health is full. Once it starts getting into faster levels, getting hearts become vital to survival, and i treat the earlier levels as training to get used to making that a necessity, almost as necessary as hitting an enemy to avoid losing health. Which also means that once i get the silver hammer, spikes are no longer optional hits

early hitting strategy: up until level 11, I try to clear enemies and items as fast as possible in order to get more enemies to appear at that level to build up as many coins as i can (sometimes i'll even go into a shop deliberately not to buy anything if there's too many don't-hit enemies on the screen). So in those early levels I develop an automatic single/double/triple hit strategy based on the enemy that comes up:

  • green enemy: single hit
  • red enemy: double hit, single hit with silver hammer
  • number enemy: single hit
  • yellow enemy: double hit
  • spiked ball: double hit with silver hammer
  • coin stealers: triple hit with silver hammer

Middle level hitting strategy: At level 11, i can usually still manage to do double and triple hit reactions without it affecting me. i hardly ever double-hit a blue bomb enemy. But at levels 12-14 i completely abandon all double or triple hit strategy with the occasional exception of a spiked ball, and i also start to completely ignore the coin stealers.

those levels, however, are still slow enough that i still try to pick up as many coins as i can. Typically when i first enter the level, i'll pattern-hit all of the enemies that appear, and when all is left is coins or hearts, i'll pattern-hit those. When the pacing of enemies that appear become more spordaic, then i'll usually pattern-hit the enemies, leave the items alone, wait for the next group of enemies to appear, and then do a large pattern hit starting wtih enemies and ending with items. Since at this point it's more probable from hitting an enemy that they'll drop an item than not, hitting this way pretty much guarantees that there are always items on the screen making it less possible for a whole barrage of enemies to pop up at once.

also, it's around level 12 that i avoid going into a shop, even to replenish hearts. a) after i get my last "zelda heart", i want to save all of my money for levels 16 and above, and b) the first barrage of enemies that come out right after exiting a shop *really* sucks.

if i do all of this right, usually i can enter level 15 with 6 full hearts and anywhere from 400 to 600 coins in reserve.

High level hitting strategy: Once it hits levels 15 or 16, coins become much more useful as square blockers than anything else. Hearts occur much less often, so i still get as many of those as i can, again, even if i have full health, mainly out of reflex. I still avoid going into the shop to replenish hearts unless my hearts are down to two or less, which once it hits level 17 or higher becomes pretty often. In the last run i did, i ran out of money at level 19.

sound: For all levels up to 15, i *have* to have the sound on when i play. I associate certain sounds with certain things, such as "if an item was dropped, it makes this sound" or "if i hit an enemy at the wrong time, it makes this sound."

i've still played with sound all throughout the game, but i'm starting to wonder if maybei should turn the sound off once it gets to level 16 or 17. One of the things that can mess up my playing rhythm is hearing the sound of a bomb go off when i hit a blue enemy at the wrong time. It's possible that it could visually distract me as well and that turning the sound off would only add to the confusion, but it's something i'm thinking about.

10-key: The other odd thing i've discovered is that it's more natural for me to hit the 9 key with my middle finger as opposed to my ring finger. I think it's because my natural resting position on the number pad is slightly angled, and if i was to hit the 9 key with my ring finger, it requires me to rotate my wrist and hand in a way that is slightly more laborious than hitting it with my middle finger even if that puts my hand out of position. When i do that, however, i usually still have my pointing finger on the 4 key, so i never lose my frame of reference.

there you go. more than you'll ever need or want to know.

Comments

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(Deleted comment)
lifeofmendel
Aug. 3rd, 2004 09:13 pm (UTC)
the whole *game* is boring. i mean... the first few levels are boring because they go too slow. and then after level 12 or 13, the game gets boring because there's nothing new, it just gets faster.

The biggest problem is that with the exception of the number enemies, all of the other must-hit enemies you can hit right away to kill. I want to see a level where the purple bomb guys *start out* with bombs on their heads and then move to being hittable or the black number enemies start out with their eye open and if they close then you lose health.

i still enjoy playing it, but i do wish there wasa lot more. I think you should create a tontie-game that's better. Just for me. Amuse me! Go! Now! :)
(Deleted comment)
kkatmaxx
Aug. 4th, 2004 10:25 am (UTC)
I think the level 93 enemy is the coolest enemy I've seen. as you say, your natural reaction is to smack at any heart you see. well, go ahead and hit the one that popped up without a kill first. ;) (if you can get to level 93 first lol)

I seem to be pretty consistent on level 12 right now, mostly because I can't seem to get the timing on the red flail guys with 7 different critters on the screen... also, the last two times I played I saw one store before I had enough coins to buy anything, and that was it (actually, the second time I had just enough for wings). bizarre randomness, I guess.

-K
(Anonymous)
Aug. 6th, 2004 08:02 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's one heck of a guide. I like it! I've been gettin to level 11 easily, so I'm getting there.

I've been saving up for the gold hammer, just because it can destroy the coin stealing guys and they leave two coins, but in the long run I doubt it's worth it...

Any idea how to get the gun thing that's in the middle? Is it possible?

-Myke
(Anonymous)
Aug. 6th, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I forgot to mention that one time, when it was all getting pretty crazy, two blue guys opened their eyes with the same number! I hit the number once and the first guy died... but pressing it again didn't hit the second guy! ... I died because I couldn't kill the second guy... bah.

Ever happen to anybody else?

-Myke
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