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Time Lord

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MGNS8M
Posted: 04 Jan, 2017 17:19
Last Edit: 04 Jan, 2017 17:33
Official Topic Post for discussion about
Created 04 Jan, 2017 17:19 by

I've put this one off for a while, but I'm starting to make achievements for it again.

I have a list of 30 achievements planned, but even after getting rid of almost every "No damage" achievement, the remaining No-Death-Per-Individual-Stage achievements are still *VERY* difficult towards the end. Suggestions would be helpful, otherwise I'm just going to assume it's possible by "someone" even if I can't do it myself. I've seen no-death-entire-game(which is NOT an achievement I've made for this game) done by TAS, but I'm uncertain if it's possible otherwise.

But it's a really short game, to the point that the game itself has a 36-minute time limit, where if you exceed that, you get an automatic Game Over.

I'm trying to think of "fun" or "unique" things to add to it, but so far all I have is this test-achievement I've made shown here:

Time Lord ShootingTest

Otherwise it's a pretty rudimentary set.. beat levels, get points, get lives, beat stage without dying, etc.

It's a game I played as a kid, but I never got past the third level out of six levels. Even if I had gotten past them, stages 4~6 are much harder by far, so I'm a bit taken aback by how difficult it is. But maybe someone else won't have as hard of a time as me.

Although I've played the game as a kid, I'm mostly doing this on-request, both from PM and on the 'what games do you want achievements for' thread.

Resources:
GameFAQs
Longplay
Wikipedia

HippopotamusRex
Posted: 04 Jan, 2017 22:44
Don't know how to help I never passed the cowboy boss as a kid because he took so many hits to kill I thought the cart was glitched.

Just recently got to the ship so no ideas here beyond the harman castle and the old west areas.

HippopotamusRex
Posted: 04 Jan, 2017 22:48
Perhaps picking a calendar holiday coinciding with a tight time limit for the stage.

Like beat the dragon before Valentines Day. Just an example as I don't know how steep that is but it plays into the game gimmick

MGNS8M
Posted: 05 Jan, 2017 02:23
Hmm, it's a neat idea, but with the site being so multinational might be hard to include all kinds of holidays(I might be making up an excuse to avoid Valentines Day but y'know... XD XD XD ... but also waiting for certain holidays would mean waiting around and timing things just right, not sure how people would feel about it...it's a neat idea though )

Well for now as far as time-stamps go I've made one for beating the game early and one where you run out of time and lose in the last level ... this requires that you play the game twice, but being at most 36 minutes long, I dunno if it's a problem to ask the player to get at least one hour out of it. Also I'm sure turbo-mode will help ease that a bit.

But yeah, at my cousin's we played this quite a bit, and we never got past Sombrero Man either ... I only learned a while back that he actually REGENERATES HIS HEALTH, so if you don't damage him he just gets his health back... sure would have been nice if the game told us that back then, but oh well. XD If we actually made it to the ship we would have raged anyway, especially with the barrels that fall down.

Anyway, as long as testing goes well, might be ready with this tomorrow-ish.. *shrug*

HippopotamusRex
Posted: 05 Jan, 2017 06:00
No I don't mean the day in the real world, I mean the in game timer. It works as like a time limit since the game starts Jan 1. So Dragon before Valentine's day would be 45 or so game days before that boss, and you would go down the holidays as you progress the game imposing them as conditional limits for the bosses.

MGNS8M
Posted: 05 Jan, 2017 16:50
Nah, I knew what you meant, I just meant in terms of some holidays, they'd have to wait around quite a bit to get to them.

I actually added it to the rich presence so it says what month and day you're travelling to(might add year, but I dunno). The memory actually corresponds to the month/day pretty precisely, but does the usual RAM-thing of 00 being the first label, so Month 00 and Day 00 is interpreted as January 1st, while Month 0b Day 0a is interpreted as December 11th...and there's an extra counter that's always 00 when it's the year 2999, but becomes 01 when the Month/Day clocks over to 00 00 and the year becomes 3000 and everyone suddenly dies. :V

It's hard to know what a good measure of time is for this game .. most "long plays" I keep searching for put the game at 22 minutes long when you have a max time of 36, so they're kinda speed-runny "long plays". They usually end somewhere around June 22nd...although that implies their time is actually around 18 minutes so I dunno...might have to do with in-between segments and the start-up title stuff pushing it to 22.. anyway.

I did run into some logical-errors in testing, so I have stuff to fix anyway, so I might throw in some date-related achievements like that. I already have "beat the game before the end of August" and "get a "time over" in the last level" achievements ... I think what I'll do is break up the latter and add in what you're suggesting on a per-level basis maybe.

But I might make them more movie-time-travel based than just holiday based. My naming conventions for most of the achievements are Milton Bradley toys/board-games because of MB publishing this game, but since I've already exhausted most of the relevant names for those, I think important-events-in-movie-time-travel might be interesting and go better with the time-travel theme. I just gotta figure out when the timer actually stops(hopefully when you collect the last orb), and what would be decent ... like if I make one for beating the first level in January, it's a short level, and will push the timing for beating the dragon up to late February or March, so I'd have to think about whether the player should make multiple plays or make it something they can do in one run.

...And then hope there are enough worthwhile time-travel events to add to it. Already I'm seeing October and November for Frequency and Back to the Future, so hopefully it's not a coincidence that most dates are late in the year. Might also be REALLY hard to kill the last boss on a specific date(although since it's a break up of the original time-over, I think that level's time-based achievement will still be a time-over). It might be difficult to orchestrate, but I'll look into it anyway. Will definitely make the set slightly more interesting and better themed to time-travel.

HippopotamusRex
Posted: 05 Jan, 2017 19:01
I had no idea the cowboy boss regenerated health. That would explain why I literally fought him for months and he didn't die.

Usually when I would play the game it would just be Castle Harman and then I'd quit at the old west. Harman was one of David Wise's more underrated tracks. My older sister even did a cover of Castle Harman a few years ago.
https://soundcloud.com/amandalepre/time-lord-nes-castle-harman

MGNS8M
Posted: 07 Jan, 2017 22:53
Last Edit: 08 Jan, 2017 03:42
Wow, that sounds really great, that's really cool she can do that kinda thing.. XD Yeah, I definitely enjoy the first half the game sooooo much more than the latter half, ugh.

I put in some no-death-per-stage with only a no-damage in the first stage, and did not make a "no death per game". It's funny, no-death in Harman Castle is pretty easy(I'd almost make it no-damage like the first stage if not for those dwarves/elves/whatever). But Dead Man's Gulch is a bit hard, and the rest are almost instantly impossible. I'm a bit worried no one will get them and I'll have to demote or somehow make them into something else...but theoretically they're possible, so I dunno.

I couldn't find any movie-themed dates for time-travel that weren't always towards the end of the year, so I chose historical-events that were close to the ending of a stage ... some are easy, others like the boat and France are actually very difficult. The "Long Play" I watched easily got to the end of Dorie Marie around the beginning of April, but I barely beat it by the beginning of May when the target-date is April 30th for that one. Same for France, I saw that "Long Play" beat it around May, but I was lucky to beat it around July when my target date is June 6th. So it's hard to say how many will like that, but it was the best date I could choose. (And for some of them, the nearest date that happened to be close to the theme of the level were also based on tragedies... hopefully people don't take offense to them for some odd reason, but I did my best to be respectful to the event regardless.)

Anyway, might be uploading later tonight, I've tested it multiple times, but I can only get so many of them naturally without cheating, and cheating kind of blurs the test results a bit as to how possible they are or if they'll work every time, so I feel like I'm to the point where a live-test would be better anyway.

EDIT: I uploaded them, but I changed some things at the last moment, mostly the point-values for the point-achievements... they were in logical 1,2,3,4,5-million-point order, but at a glance it just doesn't seem possible to get 5,000,000 points in the time limit of the game. Maybe there are better grinding spots, but it seemed like I was barely able to get 3,000,000 just on a whim, but the default top score IS 4,200,000, so I changed them a little bit. They're untested like that, though.

Still not sure about the No-Death France or No-Death Final-Area. Feeling better about no-death Dora Marie, but it's still a crapshoot as to whether you can get in a sweet-spot that avoids damage and actually hits the boss, not to mention the rest of the stage's problems.

Anyway, that's the way things are now, but I'll make adjustments here and there depending on how people feel.

popoki
Posted: 08 Jan, 2017 15:25
I wonder if the recent Game Grumps episode on this garnered interest. I know I just watched it and immediately was fascinated with the idea of it being on here, then lo and behold...

MGNS8M
Posted: 08 Jan, 2017 16:06
Not exactly, I actually had about 70% of the then-planned achievements done by September when I started planning it in August ... but as I got farther in the game, I realized just how stupid-hard the game was and it started to make me feel like a lot of the achievements I was planning were absolutely impossible. I planned to revise it, but I got so caught up in devving for other games I only recently got back to it(and even then I further put off devving for Time Lord and fully made Heavy Shreddin' instead). It's a coincidence, but maybe one that will help out I guess.. ^^;

As I play it more and more, it does get a bit easier and I'm able to get further each try, but France and especially the last level are so terrible. By that point(and even on the Dora Marie before France) you need to fully abuse the invincibility frames you gain from your attack-animation to get anywhere.

infpgamer
Posted: 10 Jan, 2017 17:31
Cool cover by your sister. :) Also I was able to get 6 million points by the time limit just by attacking the endless wolves in the wild west stage.

MGNS8M
Posted: 10 Jan, 2017 21:03
Last Edit: 10 Jan, 2017 21:03
Wow, I guess there is a place to farm points then...huhm. Thanks for finding it anyway.

In that case, I might end up removing the leaderboard later maybe... I mostly made it as a test, because I thought there was a problem with making new leaderboards, but it was because I forgot leaderboards need to be declared Hex even if they're 16-bit(Rich Presence on the other hand only needs a Hex flag if it's 8-bit).

If there's a way to farm points to that degree then it's something everyone will have to do in order to get on the board, and that's not as interesting. The only way I could disable it is to either make per-level leaderboards or make it activate only after that level(which would probably lead to another level having its own abuses, so I dunno). I just hate making the activation toooooo late in the game because people can savestate their way to that level and already have a high score, whereas starting it as early as possible would make them do it legit. Or I suppose I could make the submit-requirement be beyond that level or only in the last level whether you win or not. *shrug* Ah well, like I said it was more of a test to see if it worked or not than actually be serious about it.

HippopotamusRex
Posted: 11 Jan, 2017 02:30
Is there a way for the board to only allow for points that come from non-respawning enemies? That will take care of point farming and keep the leaderboard.

MGNS8M
Posted: 11 Jan, 2017 03:07
Nope, there are only four fields: START, CANCEL, SUBMIT, VALUE, where STA is how you know when to start the board, CAN makes the board stop and not submit anything, SUB is the condition that tells the system to submit your current time/score, and VAL is the address(es)+modifiers that are submitted.

Add to that, CANCEL can only have one condition, everything else after the first condition is ignored.

The most I can do is make you get to the last level before submission is allowed...even then, most playthroughs have people beating the game in June, and I did pretty well beating the game in August by way of savestates, so as long as people know what they're doing they can probably grind for dogs(or pirates for that matter) until maybe October, and then they could push to get to the last level. Well, maybe September, I dunno, France is pretty tough and the last boss is pretty harsh. But still, they probably have decent areas to grind up until France at least, so there's no way to fully stop it to my knowledge.

Ah well, it was practice for Back to the Future, which I know you can't really grind in unless you expend all your lives on the last road to purposely gain more points before the last level. That board's already active and should be working while I work on the actual achievements for it.

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