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1995: The Year Nintendo Power Screwed Me

Dec 5, 2012 at 12:17:46 PM
catfriedrice (5)
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(Daniel L.) < Lolo Lord >
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I guess I can feel a little better about the loss of NP. I used to think FutureUS was their downfall, as they offended me and a number of others with their calendar/poster issues. When you leave off dates of very important holidays with religious ties and yet leave secular ones, you're gonna piss off a lot of people. Go look: the one I bought a few years back leaves off Christmas, Easter, etc. but adds April Fools Day, 4th of July, etc. They should have left off all holidays and stuck to "Days in Nintendo History" instead :/  

Every one of my accomplishments were added to the magazine... allthough I only participated in the SNES/N64 era.  


Edited: 12/05/2012 at 12:19 PM by catfriedrice

Dec 5, 2012 at 1:36:55 PM
Firebrandx (7)
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Update: I finally narrowed in on the missing shortcut. It ended up being Locke's scenario, where I assumed you had to do all the sneaking around in South Figaro. Turns out (and I vaguely remember this now) you can skip stealing clothes and simply use a secret walkway behind one of the buildings (not a glitch). This covers the 158 steps I came up too long on, so I'm going to redo the run and get a confirmed finish. Then I'm going to make a detailed guide with pics and diagrams on my web site.


Edited: 12/05/2012 at 02:00 PM by Firebrandx

Dec 6, 2012 at 4:37:49 AM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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Mission accomplished!

I've updated my OP with the new record:



Edited: 12/06/2012 at 04:38 AM by Firebrandx

Dec 6, 2012 at 7:35:30 AM
Cabanon (53)
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beast

Dec 6, 2012 at 8:06:44 AM
Deathgaze (2)
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< Meka Chicken >
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Good read man.

Dec 9, 2012 at 8:56:07 AM
Firebrandx (7)
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Well it looks like I have to revisit this record yet again. I did some googling and found some guides on doing the full game in the fewest steps. It turns out I missed a couple of shortcuts. One is being able to ignore the security path in the Narshe cave by tagging the orange spark (which I didn't know you could do), and the other is a catwalk switch shortcut in the opera house. I'm going to have to redo the entire run and add in these two shortcuts to set up a new record.

Dec 12, 2012 at 4:16:30 PM
jimpoleshuk (279)
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Shitty contest to run if they're not gonna be legit about it. To bad you don't still have the letters


I got into NP back in the day for an Airwolf high score





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Dec 12, 2012 at 4:28:21 PM
Redivivus (11)
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< King Solomon >
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Originally posted by: jimpoleshuk

Shitty contest to run if they're not gonna be legit about it. To bad you don't still have the letters


I got into NP back in the day for an Airwolf high score



That is awesome! I recently saw this as I was perusing my old NP's and wanted to PM you to see if it was you!



Dec 12, 2012 at 8:35:37 PM
Firebrandx (7)
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Too bad it was for a crappy game :-P

Seriously though, congrats on them actually deciding to post it! The one time I got in a gaming magazine, it was a letter I sent to Die Hard GameFan.

Anyway, I'm hard at work on the 3rd record run. It's already going to be significantly better than my last run of 3,748. This one uses every shortcut ever found and documented on the internet (of which there were two I didn't already use). When I finish it, it will be the final perfect solution run to Mog.


Edited: 12/12/2012 at 08:36 PM by Firebrandx

Dec 13, 2012 at 8:07:58 PM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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At long last, I finally put together a flawless run that uses every known legal (as in no glitching or hacking) shortcut ever documented on the Internet. I've updated the article with the new record at the bottom. As I've noted there, the GBA version is slightly different and ends up being 7 steps shorter due to the difference on how the Mog scenario scenes are navigated. So the perfect record on the SNES version ends up being 5,697, while the GBA version is 5,690. Here's the SNES screenshot:



Edited: 12/13/2012 at 08:09 PM by Firebrandx

Dec 14, 2012 at 1:52:27 PM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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Well I hate to eat my own words, but I found another shortcut that saved one final step. I've updated the previous screenshot to show the new count of 5,696 steps. What happened was I retraced my steps while writing the final strategy guide, and discovered the extra step savings during the attempt to Rescue Mog from Lone Wolf. If you approach Lone Wolf from the upper right instead of the bottom, the game will take over one step shorter.

Okay, I swear this is the last final bump of the record. My apologies as I'm rather embarrassed.


Edited: 12/14/2012 at 01:52 PM by Firebrandx

Dec 14, 2012 at 4:39:53 PM
Mindl3ss (85)
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Haha... awesome case of OCD.

This thread has been a good read.

Dec 15, 2012 at 8:54:48 PM
MathUser2929 (0)
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Originally posted by: Firebrandx

Digging through my old photographs from over the years, I found some SNES gaming screenshots I took back in February of 1995 that I had forgotten about. Instead of giving me a nostalgia feeling seeing these shots again, they gave me a sick feeling of anger and betrayal. Yes, it was the time when I took on Nintendo Power's contests and "Pro" challenges. Here's how it went down:

I was soon to be 21 years old and living in Carrolton, Texas at the time, and I had just settled in after losing most everything I owned in a failed bid to make a living in Seattle the previous year (I was deep in the grunge crowd there when Cobain shot himself). Anyway, I started re-collecting all my favorite NES and SNES games, including buying new games like Demon's Crest (and completing that bastard) as they came out. I had such a heavy new dose of Nintendo fever that I even re-subbed to Nintendo Power after a few years away from them during my Sega Genesis and Neo Geo years. Low and behold, I discover NP magazine has these contests where you take a photograph of your TV and console running the game with your high score on the screen.

I was an absolute master of Super Punch Out!! and decided to take on NP's gauntlet challenge of beating their "pro" records on a few of the boxers. Here's one of the challenges they laid out on three of the boxers:



After spending hours each evening, I eventually broke all known records for each and every boxer in the game (including the 3 in the above contest, using my nose to do the pause trick on Gabby-jay as Jeff Wittenhagen correctly determined), took photographs, and sent them in. Now keep in mind I followed all their rules. This included of course no cheating (game hacking devices), making sure the the screen score was visible, making sure the console with the game running was visible, making sure to include my full name and subscription information, etc. Here's one of my surviving pics, where you can see I beat their "pro" record by over 6 seconds:



Eventually, I received official letters from NoA congratulating me for my new records and that they have confirmed I followed all the rules properly. Unfortunately, my records were never published by Nintendo Power. I began to get paranoid it was one of a few reasons why I was snubbed in spite of my efforts:

1. They thought my rather unique name was bogus and didn't want to print it.

2. Their counselors couldn't believe one man could have beaten every one of their records, informing the contest admins that I HAD to have been cheating (which I wasn't). As it turns out, all my records would later be nicked be people using emulators and frame-by-frame timing sequences anyway.

3. Somehow even though I was congratulated, maybe my submission didn't arrive in time for the contest deadline. My photos were sent 3 weeks in advance, but I couldn't rule out that possibility.

And then came the final straw...

The February 1995 issue of Nintendo Power arrived in my mail. This time, there was a Final Fantasy III challenge. I loved this game and knew I could dominate anything they threw at me for a challenge on it. Here's what they had come up with:





Right, so I started my task with a methodical determination. I sketched out shortest paths in each of the areas, and even discovered little quirks in the programming of the step counter. For example, I found that if you held the directional pad as you passed into a doorway, it would count as two steps. if you just tapped the pad once you reached the doorway, it would only count as one step when you appeared on the other side. I was that frikken obsessive about doing as close to a perfect record as I could...

Ultimately, I finished with 5,826 steps. I took several photographs showing the TV screen and the game running in the console to show I wasn't cheating. I mailed several of the photographs in one package to Nintendo Power a full 5 weeks before the contest deadline. Yet again, I received a letter of congratulation from NoA, and yet again confirming I had followed all the rules set forth. Here's a scan of one of the photos I didn't send as it cut off too much of the console. It's all I have left to remind me of that record:








So, I then wait for the follow-up contest results, hoping to finally see my name and my efforts recognized by Nintendo Power. Finally the May 1995 issue arrived in my mail, and what did I see printed for the contest results? Look for yourself from this clip of the top 3 finishers:





That was the last damned straw. I wrote an angry F-U letter to Nintendo Power, cancelled my subscription, and immediately switched to the Sony Playstation when it come out later that year...


Update:

After several attempts and extensive research, I was able to put together a flawless run. No glitches, hacks, or other means of cheating were used. Old record of 5,826 steps done in February of 1995. New record of 5,696 steps done December 14, 2012. Please note that this is the SNES version of the game. The GBA version's perfect run would be 7 steps faster at 5,689 due to the Mog scenario screens being 7 less steps to navigate in total. Here's the final screenshot of the SNES perfect Mog record:




 


Time to get a HD tv dude.

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Dec 15, 2012 at 9:15:13 PM
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behemos (125)
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(Endless Mike) < Lolo Lord >
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Wow. First time I've read through this thread. Crazy story.

Dec 16, 2012 at 9:52:28 AM
Firebrandx (7)
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Originally posted by: MathUser2929



Time to get a HD tv dude.



Time to get some reading comprehension skills, dude. Those photos were from 1995.
Here's my current TV at the foot of my bed (Sony 55 inch LED 3D TV, and the speakers have since been replaced with black Cerwin Vegas):


Feb 20, 2014 at 9:46:02 AM
MathUser2929 (0)
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Good to hear you upgraded your tv. CRT's suck.

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Feb 20, 2014 at 10:08:49 AM
the_wizard_666 (154)
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Originally posted by: MathUser2929

Good to hear you upgraded your tv. CRT's suck.



I have 5 CRTs set up and all of them are fine to me.  That said, the LCD is the only way to go for current gen, DVD, or even watching TV.  But with older games that were designed to be used at a lower definition, CRT is the only way I can play.

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"It's always amazing to me how some of the most worthless games from a gaming perspective tend to fetch outrageous amounts of money. But then again, it could be said that something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I'm curious if the high bidder of the $873.04 Stadium Events (cart-only) realizes that it's nowhere nearly as rare as about 20+ games I can think of that sell for 1/10th that amount?  At any rate, I wanted to draw attention to this trend: if people say it's rare, it must be true, and therefore it must be had at any price."
-Dain Anderson, October 14, 2006
Originally posted by: kryptk33p3r

im used to dick jokes i get to see one everytime I pee

Feb 20, 2014 at 12:24:22 PM
dra600n (285)
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Originally posted by: Firebrandx

At long last, I finally put together a flawless run that uses every known legal (as in no glitching or hacking) shortcut ever documented on the Internet. I've updated the article with the new record at the bottom. As I've noted there, the GBA version is slightly different and ends up being 7 steps shorter due to the difference on how the Mog scenario scenes are navigated. So the perfect record on the SNES version ends up being 5,697, while the GBA version is 5,690. Here's the SNES screenshot:


Wouldn't the SNES be 5,696 instead of 5,697, then making the GBA version 5,589, or is the 7 in the SNES count and the -7 for GBA typo's and were meant to be 6? I only ask because you're 1 step lower than the "perfect run" on the SNES screen shot.


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Feb 20, 2014 at 12:56:20 PM
Estil (9)
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Originally posted by: MathUser2929

Good to hear you upgraded your tv. CRT's suck.
No, modern TVs not being able to solve the lag issue (and now they're even taking away S-video!) suck.

Sorry Charlie, but for serious retro gaming, as hard as getting a quality one can be sometimes, a CRT is the way to go.



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Feb 20, 2014 at 2:13:27 PM
Shinju (53)
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Originally posted by: MathUser2929

Good to hear you upgraded your tv. CRT's suck.



They see him trollin and hatin! 

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Feb 20, 2014 at 4:20:23 PM
PekoTAZ (13)
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Your TV is sitting on the EXACT same TV stand that's still in our living room. O_o

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Feb 20, 2014 at 4:27:26 PM
POB1337 (30)
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Nice story, thanks for the reading!

I feel sorry for you, but heh, the honor is still deep inside you

Feb 20, 2014 at 6:08:35 PM
Firebrandx (7)
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(Wolff Morrow) < Meka Chicken >
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Originally posted by: dra600n

Originally posted by: Firebrandx

At long last, I finally put together a flawless run that uses every known legal (as in no glitching or hacking) shortcut ever documented on the Internet. I've updated the article with the new record at the bottom. As I've noted there, the GBA version is slightly different and ends up being 7 steps shorter due to the difference on how the Mog scenario scenes are navigated. So the perfect record on the SNES version ends up being 5,697, while the GBA version is 5,690. Here's the SNES screenshot:


Wouldn't the SNES be 5,696 instead of 5,697, then making the GBA version 5,589, or is the 7 in the SNES count and the -7 for GBA typo's and were meant to be 6? I only ask because you're 1 step lower than the "perfect run" on the SNES screen shot.
 
If you'll notice, the OP was edited last year to reflect that correction. I have no idea how you're still able to quote that before the edit.




Feb 20, 2014 at 6:13:04 PM
sully_51 (41)
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The post further up wasn't edited.

Feb 20, 2014 at 6:14:55 PM
dra600n (285)
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Originally posted by: Firebrandx

Originally posted by: dra600n

Originally posted by: Firebrandx

At long last, I finally put together a flawless run that uses every known legal (as in no glitching or hacking) shortcut ever documented on the Internet. I've updated the article with the new record at the bottom. As I've noted there, the GBA version is slightly different and ends up being 7 steps shorter due to the difference on how the Mog scenario scenes are navigated. So the perfect record on the SNES version ends up being 5,697, while the GBA version is 5,690. Here's the SNES screenshot:


Wouldn't the SNES be 5,696 instead of 5,697, then making the GBA version 5,589, or is the 7 in the SNES count and the -7 for GBA typo's and were meant to be 6? I only ask because you're 1 step lower than the "perfect run" on the SNES screen shot.
 
If you'll notice, the OP was edited last year to reflect that correction. I have no idea how you're still able to quote that before the edit.


 

I didn't quote the OP I quoted I think post 58 or 60 in the thread I saw the edit now in the first post though, my bad!


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