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1995: The Year Nintendo Power Screwed Me

Nov 8, 2012 at 4:05:05 PM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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Originally posted by: MrClutch

Wow, awesome story. It sucks that you put so much time and effort into those records only to have them tossed aside.

I think you should trash the blitz chess and get back into SNES record setting.


I'm getting too old to have the same obsessive determination I did back then. Besides, I've done quite well in chess for my age. Being able to beat a titled master in a tournament game as well as winning an open section tournament is unheard of for somebody that started learning chess in their late 20's. It took me 11 years, but I eventually got there and did that.

Anyway, my last great gaming effort was back when I did speed records for the first two SSX games on the PS2. Here's a video of one of my speed runs on a track called Mesablanca that I did back in 2001:

http://www.firebrandx.com/downloads/mesarecordfbx.mpg

And here's a promo exhibition record I did for G4TV way back when they were just getting started:




Nov 8, 2012 at 4:14:23 PM
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ookii_risu (66)
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(Tonya B) < King Solomon >
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This was a good read, thanks for sharing. I would have been pissed, too. I'd agree with WolfAlmighty in that's how they handled it, and if they did do it that way, they should have been a little more straight-forward about how they dealt with submissions.

Nov 8, 2012 at 4:37:05 PM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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Originally posted by: ookii_risu

This was a good read, thanks for sharing. I would have been pissed, too. I'd agree with WolfAlmighty in that's how they handled it, and if they did do it that way, they should have been a little more straight-forward about how they dealt with submissions.

It's quite possible. If such were the case, I'd have been perfectly fine with a note in their challenges that scores would be randomly chosen for publication. I wouldn't have bothered competing since I would have known ahead of time that winners were chosen by random.





Edited: 11/08/2012 at 04:37 PM by Firebrandx

Nov 8, 2012 at 5:28:26 PM
standigz (1)

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if it makes you feel better NP is no more

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Nov 8, 2012 at 5:39:36 PM
hizaygizirlz (1)

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That was a really interesting story. Thanks for sharing.

Nov 8, 2012 at 6:04:29 PM
BalloonFight (215)
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(Kyle Allen) < Kraid Killer >
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Sorry about what happened, but I enjoyed the story!

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Don't be afraid to send me a PM if you have any of these. I would love to give you some games for your magazines. :)

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Nov 8, 2012 at 6:45:07 PM
MrFlutterPie (43)
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That sucks man but I enjoyed your story none less. At least you (and us now) know you dominated the challenge!

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Nov 8, 2012 at 6:49:47 PM
Yelir (27)
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(Riley Gallant) < Meka Chicken >
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Great read, thank you for sharing!

I never sent contest entries in as I thought they would have been flooded in responses.

SSX was a great game, I remember being pumped about it when it first hit stores. You had some unreal paths through that level!

Nov 8, 2012 at 8:46:28 PM
Ray Bot (82)
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(Ray Bot) < Lolo Lord >
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awesome story. i still have my Super Punch Out! with times that beat all of the NP challenges, although i never submitted any of them.

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Nov 14, 2012 at 10:20:49 PM
dklitch (0)

(Dustin Klitch) < Cherub >
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Hi Firebrandx,

I am the actual person that scored second place in the Final Fantasy 3 fewest steps to Mog contest. From my recollection, most of the Nintendo Power contests were games I didn't own/wasn't interested in, so I rarely entered these things, but I will share with what I remember.

The very first contest I entered was highest score in Super Mario Bros 3. This was somewhere in the late 80s or early 90s. I remember setting up Mario in one of those "infinity loops" where he would continually stomp the same koopa shell automatically as it ricocheted off the wall infinitely. I left the Nintendo console on for what must have been a day or two, and I amassed a score of maybe 3,000,000. I felt this was sufficient and took my picture and sent it in. I was shocked to find my score wasn't even close, as other players reached 99,999,999. I figured everyone must have cheated as the few days I left my console on gave me a paltry 3,000,000.

Fast forward a few years to the Final Fantasy 3 contest. I figured the game was kind of nerdy so not as many people would be entering it, so it was right up my alley and i was a shoe-in for first. I got all the way up to Mog, took my picture, and sent it in, and I was shocked to find I was "only" second. I thought for certain I would be first. But getting my name in the magazine was enough of an accomplishment for me.

I entered one other contest. It was a design Mega Man 6's robot masters. Being an avid Mega Man gamer, I already had drafts of a dozen or so bosses I dreamed up, complete with their special abilities, plus the powers Mega Man inherits, including their stages fully mapped out, mini bosses, Wiley's castle, and bosses. I sent all of this to Nintendo Power and nothing was used. I just remember the ones they published were far inferior to mine. The ones they actually used in the game were abysmal as well. If my memory serves me correct, Centaur Man and Knight Man were designed by Nintendo Power readers, though I could be wrong.

Some of my robot masters were Hard Hat Man(Originally Goomba Man but I was scared of being sued by Nintendo. I was a dumb kid, what did I know?), Axe Man(Originally X-Man, again, changed because I was scared Marvel would come knocking on my door.), and Blister Man, who was one of my personal favorites. I don't remember the others, but to this day I still believe my designs were better than the crap Nintendo Power chose to publish.

I also drew my own complete Donkey Kong Country 3 (Before they ever created the game), which I never submitted for any contest, and I think what I drafted up was better than the actual product they released a year or two later.

I also drew a dozen or so fighting games inspired by the arcade fighting game craze (Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Killer Instinct, Time Killers, Primal Rage, etc) Again, not submitted for any contest, just my own personal doodles and dreams of being a video game designer.

I may still have some of these doodles floating around if you're interested.

Nov 14, 2012 at 10:27:25 PM
videogamehunter (56)
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(Tyler Bartsch) < Ridley Wrangler >
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With all the hard work you put in and got nothing out of. That really truly sucks.

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Nov 14, 2012 at 11:00:47 PM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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Originally posted by: dklitch


Fast forward a few years to the Final Fantasy 3 contest. I figured the game was kind of nerdy so not as many people would be entering it, so it was right up my alley and i was a shoe-in for first. I got all the way up to Mog, took my picture, and sent it in, and I was shocked to find I was "only" second. I thought for certain I would be first. But getting my name in the magazine was enough of an accomplishment for me.

Hey thanks for posting! It's a shame getting your name in the magazine turned out to be a lottery system rather than a true competition as they lead us all to believe. As you could see from my article, my effort was considerably stronger than the scores they published. Like you, I felt I was a shoe-in winner. Alas, thwarted by what appears most likely to be random chance on the scores they 'chose' to publish.

I'm actually considering revisiting this record and seeing if I really did get close to perfect on it. I feel whatever the best record is, it should be honored properly, even it it turns out not to be my score.


Nov 15, 2012 at 12:54:21 AM
scaryice (99)
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The TAS is at 5,320 just before going to Narshe after the Magitek Facility.

Nov 15, 2012 at 8:09:56 AM
joedick (33)

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OK Wolff, if that is your real name. Clearly the problem is that stack of discs under your TV. You are aware that Mortal Kombat II came out on Gameboy, aren't you? And what's with that Sony TV? Couldn't you have bought a nice Philips instead?

What a fun story, thanks for posting it!

Nov 15, 2012 at 9:42:15 AM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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Originally posted by: scaryice

The TAS is at 5,320 just before going to Narshe after the Magitek Facility.



Wow looks like I must have missed some major short cuts. Any links to the TAS?

Edit: Wait, how far is that from getting Mog? It's been too long since I last played the game.

Edit 2: Just looked it up. Seems not too much more to go before getting mog. I'm still curious to work on this again anyway.



Edited: 11/15/2012 at 09:50 AM by Firebrandx

Nov 29, 2012 at 5:35:32 AM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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So I've been working on the "solution" minimum number of steps using emulator save states. This has been allowing me to double-check each section of the game along the way. When I reached the Returners Hideout, I was reminded of one of the tricky areas for saving on steps:

When you gain control of Terra there, you have to talk to Locke, Sabin, and Edgar before the game will allow you to speak to Banon outside. The tricky part is the room where Edgar is. When you enter the room, you'll find him seemingly wandering around at random. Now I got the idea in my 1995 run to simply right-face and wait for Edgar to randomly wander into me so I could save several steps. Upon careful study with save-stating, I found Edgar's movements were not random, but rather a long string of specific directional movements. As long as you don't get in his way, he'll eventually make the same loop in the room over and over (takes several minutes for a single loop). I was further able to deduce that the right-face step is actually required, since his loop will never reach your side, which would have given the chance for saving the extra couple of steps by right-facing as soon as he reaches you and speaking to him.

At any rate. My first major checkpoint on this I've chosen to use is the first screen with Banon in your party. The "solution" step count to this point should be 1377. I'll report back with progress updates as I make it to further landmarks in the game.


Edited: 11/29/2012 at 05:36 AM by Firebrandx

Nov 29, 2012 at 6:44:19 AM
dhennick99 (4)
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(Dustin Hennick) < Little Mac >
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I had that same sony tv growing up. Thing's a beast. Must way 200lbs.

Dec 1, 2012 at 6:44:35 PM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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It has come to my attention in my online research that there are bugs in the game that allow you to skip entire segments. For example, most of the Locke scenario can be skipped via a bug. I've decided my research will be limited to only 'intended' means. The final tally I come up with will be based only on an exploit-free run.

Edit: I had to start over after discovering I didn't farm enough on the Lete River. The Opera battle with Ultros ended up being just too hard for my weak group to handle. It ended up being for the better, as I discovered another 10-step savings shortcut in my analysis.

The step count to getting Banon in your party is now down to 1367.



Edited: 12/04/2012 at 12:34 AM by Firebrandx

Dec 4, 2012 at 11:00:01 AM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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Okay, so I'm going to need a little help here. I arrived at the entrance to Narshe after doing the Magitek Facility with exactly 5,220 steps. The problem is when I rescue Mog, he runs off to the air ship. At that point, my step count is lower than my old record, but obviously I'd need to go back to the air ship and physically place Mog in my party. This would end up taking far more steps than my old record. So my question is, what did I miss? Is there a quick teleport spell or item that allows me to escape Narshe and back to the ship without having to walk it? Is there a character switch command I'm missing?

I know I didn't use any glitches or exploits in my 1995 run, so I'm at a loss as to what gives here. I cannot remember what I did that run. Perhaps its possible to get Mog before the Magitek Facility?

Dec 4, 2012 at 11:13:46 AM
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thesubcon3 (144)
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(Jeffrey Wittenhagen) < King Solomon >
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Although most of the story sounds good. I doubt you beat the Gabby Jay record without the pause trick. Before Twin Galaxies changed leadership I held the world record beating it live at a gaming convention in front of judges. 6.64 is the fastest possible, unless you do the pause glitch trick which you can then shave off time. Maybe that is why they didn't publish that one?

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You can check out my gaming podcast VGBS, all of my books and other nonsense at:
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Games I am looking for...PM me if you got 'em
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Dec 4, 2012 at 11:31:37 AM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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In fact I did do the pause trick (which I found completely on my own back then in 1995). I remember using my nose to unpause the controller while I buffered in my next punch. My record was something like 6:47 doing that. I didn't think it was a glitch at the time, but rather I thought maybe it was possible to react in real-time to get Gabby to drop his guard. I figured the pause merely set up the perfect reaction punch. I never found out one way or another.

Anyway, I seriously doubt that was why the scores never got printed. Several people have told similar stories of not getting their scores printed either, so the likely culprit is the NP staff not sifting through all the submissions entirely.

At any rate, I'm still trying to figure out the mystery involving how I got MOG in my party at 5,826. As I said in my above post, having to walk back to the airship is putting me at 158 steps over my old record.


Edited: 12/04/2012 at 11:58 AM by Firebrandx

Dec 4, 2012 at 12:28:11 PM
Shane (143)
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(Excellence of Execution) < King Solomon >
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Man you were a monster on those games, awesome story

Dec 4, 2012 at 6:14:39 PM
gutsman004 (122)
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(Guts Man) < Wiz's Mom >
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Although I think you got way too bent out of shape just to have your name put in a magazine,it does suck that they never gave you a reason why you weren't credited in the mags. This is why so many people,including me,don't submit stuff like this. I know when I was really into the klov forum,there were lots of people on there breaking or sometimes shattering TG records,but they didn't submit them because they either didn't want to bother setting everything up,would get screwed over like you did,or just didn't give a rat's ass about TG. A few years ago I destroyed the records at the time for the MM arcade games,but I never submitted them because I didn't care about having my name on a website. I knew who had the records. =)

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Dec 4, 2012 at 7:04:21 PM
scaryice (99)
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Originally posted by: Firebrandx

Okay, so I'm going to need a little help here. I arrived at the entrance to Narshe after doing the Magitek Facility with exactly 5,220 steps. The problem is when I rescue Mog, he runs off to the air ship. At that point, my step count is lower than my old record, but obviously I'd need to go back to the air ship and physically place Mog in my party. This would end up taking far more steps than my old record. So my question is, what did I miss? Is there a quick teleport spell or item that allows me to escape Narshe and back to the ship without having to walk it? Is there a character switch command I'm missing?

I know I didn't use any glitches or exploits in my 1995 run, so I'm at a loss as to what gives here. I cannot remember what I did that run. Perhaps its possible to get Mog before the Magitek Facility?

I forget, can you get Mog without a full party? Are you using warp/teleport stones.


Dec 5, 2012 at 12:25:55 AM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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Originally posted by: scaryice

Originally posted by: Firebrandx

Okay, so I'm going to need a little help here. I arrived at the entrance to Narshe after doing the Magitek Facility with exactly 5,220 steps. The problem is when I rescue Mog, he runs off to the air ship. At that point, my step count is lower than my old record, but obviously I'd need to go back to the air ship and physically place Mog in my party. This would end up taking far more steps than my old record. So my question is, what did I miss? Is there a quick teleport spell or item that allows me to escape Narshe and back to the ship without having to walk it? Is there a character switch command I'm missing?

I know I didn't use any glitches or exploits in my 1995 run, so I'm at a loss as to what gives here. I cannot remember what I did that run. Perhaps its possible to get Mog before the Magitek Facility?

I forget, can you get Mog without a full party? Are you using warp/teleport stones.
 

I tried both. He still runs off to the ship, and warp stones are greyed out in all areas of Narshe.