Another attempt at the house high on Ms. Pac-Man Turbo at Underground Retrocade…failed. Three times. And now, I’m absolutely convinced that trying to keep track of my level progress is a hindrance to the game play.
First attempt: lost not one but two lives on level 14; yuck…and I just gave up and committed game suicide at about 185,000.
Second attempt: lost my first life before I even made it to the freakin’ pear! My score was around 65,000 when I lost my first life. (Remember, my most recent personal high score record involved me making it to about 238k before I lost my first life.) Final score was only in the 230k range, if I recall correctly.
Before I made my third attempt, I asked Scott Lambert to stream my attempt. I figured that maybe if I believed people were watching, the pressure would be on; I historically work well under pressure. Started out pretty well, except that I missed my goal of finishing the banana level with at least 100,000 points by…six dots! Yup, ended that level with 99,940. I lasted nearly 200,000 points before I lost my first life, but alas, I didn’t even get to 400,000. My attempt can be viewed at http://www.twitch.tv/Retrocade. (I just might watch that recording just to see how many levels I cleared.) I know one problem was that I kept forgetting to stay in the parts of the maze where the ghosts are far away, and so I repeatedly made some pretty dangerous — and costly — moves.
So, breaking the house high score of 551k just won’t happen this year, most likely. I can’t imagine I can make it back to Underground — or any other arcade, for that matter — until January, what with the holidays and other events coming up.
All was not lost, though. Between my second and third Ms. Pac-Man Turbo high score attempts, I tried Jr. Pac-Man Turbo and kept in mind the seventh-maze strategy Fred Ochs told me, and you know what? It worked. (I swear, I’ll post the strategy here as soon as I can — I’d explain it, but I’d like to accompany it with a picture!) The seventh maze wasn’t much of a problem. I increased my personal high score to 368,880, and I’m sure I would have lasted even longer if I didn’t miscalculate when the ghosts stop turning blue. (Note for next time: the third time you get to the sixth maze, no more blue ghosts!) I didn’t reach Fred’s arcade high of about 400k, but at least my score improvement also improved my aurcade.com rank from #13 to #9.
The good news about the likelihood (or lack thereof) of hitting an arcade before the holidays? I’ll have a better chance of posting more substantive stuff here on the blog other than arcade trip updates.
Now about that root beer maze trick…