TASVideos

Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #7028: Winslinator's INTV Space Battle in 00:27.19

Console: Intellivision
Game name: Space Battle
Game version: any,r1
ROM filename: Space Battle (1979) (Mattel).int
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 2.4
Movie length: 00:27.19
FrameCount: 1629
Re-record count: 7687
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Winslinator
Submitter: Winslinator
Submitted at: 2021-02-12 16:53:40
Text last edited at: 2021-02-12 16:53:40
Text last edited by: Winslinator
Download: Download (2385 bytes)
Status: new
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Author's comments and explanations:
The alien armada is closing in on your Mother Ship. You're awesomely outnumbered, and they attack and attack... Flick on the situation map and analyze your position. Dispatch a fighter squadron toward the closest alien cluster. You're smarter, a little faster, and you're going to let these aliens know they've got a fight on their hands. Flick back to a cockpit close-up view. Here they come! Aim lasers... fire!


(Link to video)

Objectives

ROM choice and difficulty

The ROM selected is the later "Space Network" release which added the hilariously dubbed SUPER ADVANCED difficulty, after the public perceived the game to be too easy. These images show that the ROM used is the later release. Super advanced difficulty was selected here. It increases the speed of everything and the frequency of alien laser shots on the battle screen.

The Alien Armada

The alien attack formation is determined by the frame the game is started. In this movie, frame 11 was selected and is an excellent formation (for us) because:

Radar screen strategy

Blue and White squadron are immediately dispatched to meet the closest squadrons of 8 alien fighters. The moment the first two alien squadrons are cleared is when the possibility of ending input early is realized. Therefore, they must be cleared as soon as possible. When they meet, the squadrons engage in a dogfight and begin to flash. The player may enter the battle screen at this moment by pressing the 7-9 keys.

While ships are in a dogfight, the Radar screen reduces to half speed. If the player decides to not enter the battle screen, the computer automatically plays out the fight. In this manner, the manual claims that 1 player ship is lost for every 3 alien ships on average. At 9 player ships total, the odds are still against the player in automatic fighting mode.

The fastest way to clear these two alien squadrons is to enter the battle screen—but not immediately. While radar screen dogfighting usually happens slowly, sometimes the computer randomly destroys enemy fighters faster than they would've been shot inside the battle screen. In this movie, two were shot before Blue squadron entered the fight and none were shot for the White squadron because a more optimal sequence which incorporated this could not be found.

Battle screen strategy

Enemy ship shrapnel trajectories are random when they explode and can be used to chain multiple hits together, and was used to its fullest extent here. The CLEAR key on the controller can be pressed at any time to exit the battle screen and return to the radar screen. Similar to the above paragraph, the battle screen can be exited early in the hopes that the computer randomly clears some fighters faster on the radar screen. Blue and White squadrons clear a single alien fighter in this manner. Only 12 of the 50 alien ships are destroyed on the battle screen.

Ending input early

Now that the first two alien squadrons are cleared, the three player squadrons can be assigned to the three remaining alien squadrons at the press of a button, and this could be the last set of inputs in theory. If we cross our fingers hard enough, they just might destroy the 34 remaining alien ships all by themselves. This demands godly luck. Ending input at its absolute earliest required some crafty RNG manipulations:

Unbelievable, they actually did it... very much by the skin of their teeth! They deserve the highest honors since their commander just abandoned them 27 seconds in lol. Input ends 1m11s before the "All Clear" message appears.

Suggested Screenshot: Pick your favorite frame from the battle screen (cockpit view)


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