Friday, February 12, 2016

Round 8 - Out Zone (c) 1990 by Toaplan

We have slightly over 1 week to play this one. The score deadline will be next Saturday morning Bulgaria Time and Friday night Eastern Time, that way organic io can play 1 more time after work next Friday night.

I'll also finish up my R-Type Leo final score before the end of the Out Zone round, and that way we can get started on Anaglyph Quake shortly after   :-D

Out Zone is made by Toaplan, the same guys who some of which later formed Cave! It has really nice music and graphics, and tough as nails gameplay.

Goal will be as usual: See how far you can get with 3 credits. Go go go!!!!


  1. Just some observations after my first few tries...

    The "C" seems like it would be a powerup but it doesn't actually increase your weapon power, it just switches between the free aiming mode (like Mercs) and the "strafe" mode (like traditional shmups).

    In general (but not always), the free aiming mode is better for the levels, and the "strafe" mode is better for the bosses.

    The game moves fast because you always have to get more Energy!

    Brutal. I love it :)

  2. Really loving this game so far.

    And the level 2 music is soooo good!

    It even has a name, "Gift of the bullet to guys", lol. Check it out:


    P.S... It's 5:42am and I'm nowhere close to going to bed yet. Oops! Extra energy drinks tomorrow I suppose :)

  3. Since I'm all crazy about audio quality, I decided the audio from that video isn't high enough quality for listening. So I got obsessed with trying to figure out how to record the music from the game...

    I found a little program called "M1" --

    Fun little command line program which plays the music from MAME roms! Just pop your rom in the roms folder and type "m1 romname" and you're set to go. + and - control which track it's playing.

    It hasn't been updated since 2007 so I wonder if there will be some Linux dependency problems, but might work in MAME? It has built in WAV record, but I couldn't get it to work in the newest version. So I tried some "record what you hear" and virtual audio cable crap and none of that worked properly either. So then I found a frontend for M1 called "BridgeM1" which is like a nice GUI player for M1..

    Then I coupled BridgeM1 with an older version of M1, version 0.7.8a1 and WAV out worked really nicely. I also downloaded the "List pack" from the BridgeM1 site, which is basically a file for each game that has the name of the songs and I think it's supposed to have the length of the songs too, although in practice I could not get the lengths to work. Instead I just used the default BridgeM1 setting o fading out at 1:45.

    Anyway, here's my recording of Out Zone Level 2 music, in flac format:


    1. LOL!!! I said it "might work in MAME" but obviously I meant to say it might work in WINE. :-D

  4. Just got to level 3 boss ON MY FIRST LIFE!!!, which is further than I have ever gotten before...

    Then I lost ALL my lives trying to beat it...

    wtfness?? :)

    I'm gonna try playing this with keyboard soon.

  5. Agreed, the music of level 2 is a beauty.

    M1 is pure awesomeness!!! When I don't know what to listen to I'll definitely fire this gem. ;-)

  6. Since my D-Pad thumb is getting pretty sore now, I tried to play Out Zone with keyboard tonight. It was pretty good. Fortunately I have a lot of experience playing shmups with keyboard from back around the 2008 days when my SNES pad died and I discovered I actually liked playing with keyboard.

    I use the numpad with my fingers like this: Index finger on 4, middle finger on 8, ring finger on 6, and thumb on 2. And then I use WASD for the buttons 1-4.

    I actually think it is easier to fire in multiple directions like this, perhaps comparable to a joystick, whereas D-Pad might be at a disadvantage here.

    More research required :)

  7. Man... Out Zone level 3 boss is so INSANE... I just can't figure it out :(

  8. I finally beat the level 3 boss!! On my last life of the 3rd credit! And then proceeded to quickly die in level 4 :)

  9. I was able to do it because I enabled autofire.

    I didn't do it before because I didn't think you needed it, the free aiming weapon is already automatic... But it turns out that the strafing weapon is really slow if you are manually trying to hit the button,

    and insanely fast on autofire! It's a huge difference.

    The only problem I noticed is that the "fire" weapon doesn't work very well with autofire because it appears to expect the button to be held down. So I had to go into the menu to disable autofire during the game to make that one work.

    Also, I'd like to make sure we are on the same playing field. Shmupmame's autofire menu has a setting where you can set the "Autofire delay". Mine's default is "5", which it says equals 10hz.

    Does yours have a setting for that?

  10. Here's just a small demo of the difference. You can also see the autofire delay settings at the bottom of that menu:

  11. I managed to pass the boss of level 3 at my first credit but then lost all my credits in level 4. Man, it's hard I'm not even sure I'll be able to get to level 5.

    Regarding the autofire, there is no such thing in my version of mame, so I'm using my arcade stick autofire, there is one speed only. It looks very much like the speed in your video. I think in both case we're at the limit of what the game can take.

  12. Regarding using the special power fire, I have 2 buttons pointing to button 1, and only one of them has the autofire. But since your using software autofire I don't know if you can achieve that.

    Personally I've used never to use the fire anyway. All the other special powers are great however, and they cumulate! That's how I managed to pass the boss on my first credit, if you don't die for a while and accumulate special powers you become almost invisible. ;-)

  13. Changing the score deadline to Saturday night 2/20 EST and Sunday morning Bulgaria time, that way I can finish up R-Type Leo tonight and then focus on Out Zone tomorrow night!

  14. The deadline is in less than 2h, right?

  15. I'm nearing my final playthrough. I played with D-Pad to take screenshots so I could easily map the right trigger to screenshot key. I didn't enjoy it as much as keyboard, but I got surprisingly far. Then on a 3 credit run I surprised myself and got near the end of the 4th level. After that I made a save before the level 4 boss and started credit feeding so I could learn the 4th boss and 5th level.

    4th boss is surprisingly easy. 5th level is really fun. There's a section with narrow walkways and it gives you TONS of bombs.

    Interested to see if I can get that far on the 3 credits now. It remains to be seen.

    I don't know whether we could 3CC it at this point, it has 7 levels.

  16. No, deadline is whenever you want it to be. It's 12:41AM here and I probably won't go to bed until 5am or so, so at least 4 more hours. But then I'll be asleep after that so if you want to give it a shot for the next 10 or so hours I have no problem with that

  17. Here's my final submission

    Personally, I could play it more, I feel I haven't reach the point of saturation. If you feel like extending the deadline, I'm OK with that. Otherwise, I'm OK too.

  18. Oh, only reading you message now. I won't have time to play more today, so unless we choose to extend the deadline with a few more days, that's my final submission.

  19. I had time to do one more play and beat my previous score. I don't have time to do the video rendering now, but I'll send it this evening.

  20. Well... I just did what I thought was a good round. And then I looked at your video. Didn't watch the whole thing, just wanted to see how far you got.

    Where I died, you still had 5 minutes of gameplay left after that.

    Holy junk!!!!!!

    Well, I guess this round isn't over yet. I'm going to make a couple more attempts and then I'll let you know about the deadline extension

  21. Getting frustrated because I keep dying at stupid places in level 2, with like 6 or 7 bombs in stock... Wasted.

    I did just do a good run where I got to level 4 boss!

  22. OK buddy...

    We're going to extend the deadline on this. Not because I think I can beat you, but because this is an awesome game.

    It seems like making progress on this game is really steady and linear, did you notice that? For example the first few times I played it, I couldn't even get to the first boss. Then I slowly got a little further, almost literally every time I played. Now I'm just about to where I can beat the 4th boss.

    This is definitely the kind of game that is considered "methodical". You can memorize it and get practically perfect at it.

    Therefore I think we might actually be able to 3cc this (or better!) with enough practice.

    "Methodical" characterizes lots of other old shmups as well, most notably the original R-Type.

    In direct contrast, of course, to "Manic" shooters, aka bullet hell, as we know and love like Dodonpachi. Those require more on improvisation.

    Both styles of play can be good, of course. But I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a "methodical" shmup as much as I am currently enjoying Out Zone. :)

    So.... Deadline, why don't we give it almost another week?

    So.... Sunday morning February 28... 5am EST, 12:00 noon Bulgaria time.

    What do you think? :)

  23. That's perfect. During this time I'm gonna complete my desk for the next round (I can't even put a mouse currently, actually I haven't used a mouse for a while, instead I have used the numeric pad as mouse simulator).

  24. Awesome. I used numpad for mouse for a while once, but it was not because I wanted to.. It was around 1999 or 2000, and I had just put a new motherboard in my old AT case. Unfortunately the ports on the motherboard didn't line up with the case, and you couldn't get to the PS/2 ports. I was at my friend's house and we decided to drill a hole in the case so I could access the ports. However we were stupid and we didn't take the motherboard out first. My friend messed up and drilled to far and drilled directly into the PS/2 mouse port. Of course the port didn't work after that.

    I don't think this board even had USB support. So I didn't have a mouse for a while, and used the numpad. Man it was slow and aggravating. :) I think eventually I hooked something up to the serial port later on.

    P.S.. I changed the topic of this post to Round 8 instead of micro round. But the URL is the same.

  25. I know it's not much to you, but I just got to level 5!!!! I had credit fed through before so I'm alittle bit familiar with it, but this is the first time I've gotten to it on 3 creds. Really cool!!!!

  26. I didn't manage to get further than last week. My best run is till the boss of level 5 but I'm having a hard time to find it and it's getting late, so I'll submit it tomorrow.

  27. Actually here it is

    To sum up:

    Level: Boss of Stage 5
    Score: 848200

    I've watch the longplay, I think it would be doable for us. Though this guy is a monster, he is moving really fast and dodging like a god.

  28. That's your final? OK, you've given me 2 days to try to beat you!!!

  29. Oh, I read Feb 26, so maybe I'll try a bit harder then :) But even though I'm not sure I'll beat my personal record.

  30. Alright... An hour and a half left! I'll be ripping Out Zone up and hopefully posting a fine score in a little bit. If I see a new one from you, excellent! If not I'll probably post the final scores after the deadline.

    Go go go!

  31. Dude!!! Level 5 is so awesome!!! I just had a couple good runs, one where I got to the mine cart section where those dragonflies shoot you... Sooo difficult. I didn't know what to expect! Awesome! I'm gonna rest for a few minutes and then give it one more shot and then I'll post the finals...

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