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

Boltr / Cameltry

Well, week one of SDAAT is drawing to a close, and so far so good. Enhasa's first game choice seems to have pleased the masses, and seems to have gotten atleast a few people addicted. So I got to thinking, how could I try to help make the tournament even more of a success? Well, this week i've been one of the top scorers, so why not try to help people improve their score? Maybe find out what they might be missing? So here it is, my guide to hitting 700000 points! (Well, atleast 600000) Now, i'm sure some people might complain that this information comes a little late, but I think most of the charm of this game is finding your own routes through the levels. The game gets alot less fun once you are following the same route over and over trying to max your score. Remember the point of this is a tournament is to have fun!

So before we get into the specifics of all the levels I will give some general hints and tricks to help get you going.

The Very Basics

First and foremost. If you don't yet play the game with the mouse, I suggest you do. You can turn this on by right clicking on the name of the game, and selecting properties. Go to the "Controllers" tab and check the box beside "Enable mouse input". This makes turning corners quickly, and making quick slight course corrections possible. Next I would suggest turning up the sensitivity of the mouse. Do this by hitting tab, and going into the "Analog Controls" menu. You want to change the "Dial Sensitivity" option. I suggest setting it to where you are comfortable and then turn it up a bit. However be careful not to turn it up too high, as if you 'twirl' the dial too fast the game flips out. I personally use 135%.

Second, use Black Steel. Access the character select screen by holding the start button while selecting the stage you are going to play. Black Steel is the one on the far right. This ball is much heavier, so it has higher acceleration, and top speed. This makes it much harder to control, but once you get used to it your level times will lower, and it's MUCH easier to break blocks.

Third, use the button. A lot. As it tells you in the beginner tutorial it has two uses, bumping the table and speeding you up. Tapping the button bumps the table, and holding it speeds you up.

Basic Scoring Information

The first method of getting points is by moving with the speed up button held down. The faster you are moving the more points you get. You don't get too many points from this in the grand scheme of things, but it's still worth mentioning.

Second, is by running into, or breaking objects. There are four objects that are worth running into for points. Bumpers (500), Blocks (1000), Flyers (1000), and ? blocks (sometimes 1000). If you hit more than one of these objects within a 1 second window you get a multiplier to the amount that it gives you, up to 5x. So if you hit a bumper, and pass through a flier, and break four blocks you score would look something like this: 500,2000,3000,4000,5000,5000. For a total of 19500 points. Getting huge combos of blocks makes up a good portion of your score, especially in the early levels.

Lastly, the end of level bonus. This works by multiplying the amount of second you have left at the end of the level, by the level number * 100. So if you end level 4 with 56.3 seconds you end up with: 56.3 * (400) = 22520 bonus points In level 10 with 86 seconds that's is 86000 points! This obviously becomes a huge part of your score later in the game.

Bonus points. I've never actually seen this happen in Special Mode (similar to the low time slots), but it's possible to get a random character show up on the score screen holding a +1000 point bonus. (Yes! Even Enhasa's kiwi! Though he sadly isn't riding a duck) Note: Apparently it's possible to get this in Special Mode by having all the digits in your time be the same. Example: 33'33

And now for some more tips and advanced tricks

In Depth Guide

Following is a stage by stage guide meant to be read along with this video here:721030 - BoltR - ALL - Black Steel

To play this video you will need wolfmameplus-099. Decompress the .inp file somewhere, run wolfmame (set the path to your ROM file in the options), and select File->Playback Input...

It should noted that this run is far from perfect, there are many mistakes (some make me cringe), but none bad enough to totally confuse someone who is watching it. I would hop someone could improve it if they wanted to put the time into it. I don't. That is what this guide is for.

I am going to set it up with a goal and my best score (that I can remember, it should be pretty accurate though since there is a fairly small time window since we started playing this game) for each level. The goals are set to reach 700k, the best are just to give and idea of what should be possible when you have a very good run. Not all the bests are from the same play through, the best times I list are from different ones.

Just because you don't hit the goal doesn't mean you won't hit 700k. You will notice that in the video i'm behind them a fair bit at the beginning. By the nature of the game you can often have a run of 'sub-par' play net you a new personal best. Simply because things go your way in the final few levels. (This is part of the reason why some of us have gotten frustrated with it)

World 1 - In The Camel

  • Objective: Get the most amount of time possible
  • Goal: 30 seconds left exiting the level, however anything over 25 won't really hurt.
  • My best: 37 seconds

Using my lines from the video it's possible to make it through the whole level without hitting any walls (except to get the time blocks). It is however, easier to have to camera rotated 180 degrees when entering the second T shaped hall. I obviously don't do this in the video.

While it's not seen in the video, you almost always end up breaking the normal block instead of the time block. If that happens you have two options for best speed depending on where your marble is. If it's where the normal block used to be, quickly tilt the camera so the marble is sitting on the cement block with the time block directly above it and bump the table. If you are sitting on top of the time block bump the table and rotate the camera counter-clockwise so it hits the wall on the right of your marble. Remember to hold down the speed button to get the speed to break them.

At the end of the video I just crash into the X block at the end of level. Normally you can just rotate the camera and circle between both of them. This is a good example of where you don't want you camera pointing straight down. Have it on slightly less steep than angle I did, then tilt it slightly counter-clockwise to clear the first X block, and then quickly clockwise to turn the corner.

World 2 - Dolphin Passage

  • Objective: Break blocks
  • Goal: Exit the level with 100000 points (before bonus), with more than 20 seconds on the clock
  • My best: 140000 points

This could be the hardest part of the run, skill wise.

The approach to the pyramid is probably the hardest part. In order to keep enough momentum to make it all the way from one site of the pyramid to the other you need to hold down the speedup button. However, keeping it held all the way from the wall of +/- blocks will mean you are going to be moving too fast, and it's likely that you will glance off the pyramid and hit the wall on the far side. Simply clicking the speedup button right before you hit the blocks tends to have that effect as well. So the best strategy i've found is to use the wall to slow you down, and then rotate the camera quickly as/after you hit the first block so you slide all the way down the side of the pyramid.

  • It is TECHNICALLY possible to break that whole pyramid in one go, never breaking your combo, but that would be unbelievably difficult.
  • A good number to aim for while breaking the pyramid to hit your goal before moving on is about 75000

Directly after the the pyramid there is that little side room, breaking the first wall, collecting both fliers and taking out the second wall is an easy way to add an extra 10000 points to your score. If you are lucky 20000! In the video I screw it up and go around at it from the back. Uhh, avoid doing that if possible.

At the twisting tunnel like part of the level, don't be afraid to hit walls. As I said earlier bouncing off walls at the right angle can increase your speed. It is possible to get going REALLY fast through this section if you do it right. I don't do the best job of this in the video.

During the zigzags it's technically best to hit each bouncer to fire you down each zig (or zag?). The downside to this being that it can be difficult to rotate the camera correctly and you either miss the bumper, or it shoots you back the way you came.

Finally the very end. The best you can hope for is bounce off the bouncer and break as many blocks as possible in your combo; it's easily possible to get to x5 here. Use your judgment here; don't get greedy and let your timer run down too low.

World 3 - Techno Cave

  • Objective: Break blocks, but don't waste alot of time on it.
  • Goal: 170000, and about 35 seconds
  • My Best: 230000

Right from the start you will notice I go around the little room of blocks on the right. I do this because you tend to get hung up on them, and/or break the -3 if you try to smash through them.

Shortly after that you come to the two nooks with the ? in them. There are two ways you can deal with it: The safe way like in the video, or the quick way. The safe way should be self explanatory from the video, just line up with the far one first and then come back for the close one. The quick way employs the quick camera turning trick. Keep your camera parallel to the first ? and quickly rotate it counter-clock wise 90degrees as it's above to pass over the ?, then line up with the second and take it out. The major problem with the quick method is that it's quite easy to miss, and you waste A LOT of time bouncing around by doing so. (You also often hit a X block on top of that)

A small point worth mentioning. An easy way to squeeze out points right after this section by getting the 1000 point flier, then bouncing off the block, and getting the second 1000 point sticker further down your path. It's REALLY easy to combo this for 6000 points. Yes, I didn't do this in the video, as I said before it's definitely improvable.

Up next is your first STOP/GO block. It is better to ALWAYS wait for this. Just make a run at it like it's set to GO, no matter what. Worst case you hit it and have to wait (you don't bounce much off of them). It's going to take you more time to go around and start breaking the blocks from behind than simply waiting for it to switch to GO and lining it up. You also then don't run the risk of hitting the -5X block

  • In the video you can see the first case of me giving up on a block because it's going to waste more time that it's likely worth. This is another 'use your judgment' situation.

Here is the next block breaking section for the game, and the first annoyingly random part. In the video I get a time stop, but you actually probably want a bonus point here. Bonus points are the only result of the ? block which will keep your combo all the way through the stack of blocks. Getting a time stop lost me 15000 points, but gained me some time, you decide which you would rather have.

Again you will notice I take the long way around, it wastes some extra time to get the +3 point block, but whenever I try to take the direct path through I always hit the X block. In a perfect run after taking the +3 block you would strip the opposite wall of blocks without really slowing down. I've done it once ever, and you normally get stuck, so it's best to just try and hit one or two of them to scrape some points up on the way past.

Through the tunnel you want to either wall bounce, or quickly turn the camera to collect both points fliers. Wasting half a second for 3000 points sounds good to me in an early level such as this.

The second STOP/GO block you need to use your judgment for. I normally just go around if they are set to STOP, but if you are paying attention you can normally tell they will be changing soon so it might be worth waiting. Better you hang yourself up for .5 seconds on the STOP/GO than accidentally grazing a wall and bouncing into the -X blocks.

Finally, getting the ? at the very end is normally worth it. Most of the time you get a Time Stop, but rarely you get a +5 seconds. Also remember to quickly swing your camera when heading for the goal to give yourself some fake acceleration.

World 4 - Magician's Escape

  • Objective: Get the most amount of time possible, with an interlude for block breaking
  • Goal: 270000
  • My Best: 350000
It's possible to exit this level with 59+ seconds, but don't worry if you don't. Anything over 45ish should do.

Enter one of the most random levels in the game. At the beginning you want to mash the bump button, and rotate the camera to break as many blocks as possible, as seen in the video. After you break a certain amount you will want to switch over to holding bump for speed, and keep the combo going that way. I don't really have a good strategy for you to use here, or a good time to switch over from bashing to holding. It's just something you have to practice yourself. All I can say is that it's very random, but you can technically break them all in one combo.

During the tunnel is another example where you don't want your camera always facing down. Keep it parallel with the tunnel, and roll with the corners, normally you can get going so fast that you can't control the marble anymore.

Try your best to not hit walls during the X block section, but don't let go of speed. Remember, you never want to do that if you can help it.

Yes it would technically be possible to glitch your way through the rocks to the back of the exit, but I don't have a good strategy to do it, so I don't bother as it would slow you down A LOT if you screwed it up.

World 5 - Whirlwind Break

  • Objective: Get to the end as fast as possible
  • Goal: No fixed goal really, this is one of the 'make up' stages. Just max out the clock for the next level, and pad your score
  • My Best: Not really sure, but it sure isn't in the video. Probably around 400000ish.

A straight forward level. This is where you abuse the camera turning to break blocks the most, as seen in the video. Keep the camera parallel with the blocks, and when you get beside them quickly rotate to almost perpendicular. It is possible to break all three of those blocks and not be slowed down by them. 6000 points per corner? Yes please.

On the final stretch I like to keep the marble rolling with the wall so I can use the corner as a ramp. Best case scenario you hit a block, then the bouncer, then a block, and cross the finish line without losing time. +5000points

World 6 - Saw Saw Panic

  • Objective: Get to the end as fast as possible
  • Goal: Ahh, another time padding level. Anything under 25 seconds is a good time for this level. You want to aim to start the next level with 400000 points if you can help it. Without the glitch aim for ~27 seconds.
  • My Best: Using the glitch, 2.7 seconds. Without it, 19.9.

I could give you a strategy for going through the level without the glitch, but why bother? I'm sure everyone will come up with this own strategy to do this, but here are two that are similar: 1) Get into the corner and start rolling for the goal. Aim yourself at the angled wall right beside where the rock is. Rotate the camera as you are about to hit it to clip into the wall and touch the goal. 2) Roll along the wall towards the goal and when you start to roll up the angled wall, rotate the camera to give yourself an extra speed boost and cause the clipping.

World 7 - Selestial Patio

  • Objective: Break some blocks, but don't waste too much time to do it. Time bonuses are getting big!
  • Goal: Begin world 8 with 99 seconds and 450000 points
  • My Best: Began world 8 with something a little over 500000 points

To start this stage time a bump. This gets you momentum to break the block without having to waste time flipping around the camera.

Shortly after the stage's intro wall you can steer to the right and combo on the blocks that are hanging around there. Not something I do in the video, but it can add to your score nicely, and it makes dodging the -5X a lot easier. That's by far the most dangerous -5X in the game.

If you miss the right path to the room at the three way split with all the bumpers don't worry about it too much. Just use one of the bumpers at the end of the dead ends to bump you back out, it's much faster than turning around.

You will notice in the video that I bounce around in the bumper room for a while. This isn't on purpose, I normally get two ? on the way through and don't hit the bumpers. You're aiming to get to the nook with the ? and +3 second block. If you only break one of them, use the tactics I described in World 1 to get the other.

In a perfect world, at the +5 block you would combo one side and then the other, but it's easy to waste more time here than you will get for breaking the blocks. As a result I don't often do it.

At the end of the level you see a huge mistake in my video. You technically want to combo all those blocks at the very end, but I almost always manage to screw it up and hit the goal instead. Again, spin the camera to cut into the blocks as you go past, and then continue smashing them all in a line.

World 8 - Magician's Escape2

  • Objective: Get to the end as fast as possible; however there is a stack of blocks worth breaking
  • Goal: Start world 9 with 99 second and 500000 points.
  • Best: Started world 9 with around 560000 points.
  • Note: This level is by far the easiest to accidentally pass through rocks in. I've done it on consecutive runs without trying before.

Right at the start, it's possible to combo both those sets of blocks. It's not important, just making a note of it.

The next section of the level is pretty straight forward. Use your world 6 tactics to break the blocks that get in your way. As for the rock mazes, the video speaks for itself.

Right after the mazes there is the big wall of blocks that you want to break in the level. Don't screw it up like I did. Stupid mistake.

Off the speed booster near the end you can turn your camera either way. I normally spin it the other way, no idea why I did it this way in the video. It worked though I guess.

Yes, it's possible to use the camera spin trick to exit the level through the rocks like people have mentioned in the thread, however I don't like to do it here. The chance of me screwing it up and potentially wasting alot of time (killing a run), does not make up for the extra 0.2 seconds it takes to finish the level the normal way.

World 9 - The Gate of Thorns

  • Objective: Get to the end as fast as possible, this is when speed REALLY matters. Every second is 900 points.
  • Goal: Finishing the level with 75 seconds. Start level 10 with 610000.
  • My Best: Between 85-90 seconds. Starting 10 with about 645000.
  • Note: This level is, in my mind the hardest level in the run. If you are at the set goal right now, chances are your nerves are a little shot going into this one, and that only makes it harder. Beyond that, randomness with the ? blocks can really screw you over, I've had runs entering this level with 550000 points which were totally lost in this level because I had got 'Sorry, No Bonus' in literally every ? block.

First thing to note in this level: While you may think you want to let go of the speed button to get through the stage easier, it's normally best not to. SOMETIMES IT IS BETTER TO RAM THROUGH AN OBSTACLE AND TAKE THE 3 SECOND PENALTY THAN IT IS TO TRY AND FINESSE YOUR WAY THROUGH. If you are trying to take it slow and mess you, you waste even more time.

Right off the bat you notice I skip the three point fliers. You can get them all for a nice 6000 points, but was a wuss and didn't want to risk hitting the X blocks. 3 seconds is 2700 points in this level.

At the first +3 block is really the first difficult part in the level, you can waste a lot of time trying to be careful, or you could do what I did in the video and make things even worse: Let go of the speed button (ugh). You see me press it again to get the speed to break the +3 block, but I accidentally jump off of it into the X Block. Should have probably just rushed through and took the penalty in the first place.

Around the corner is the next disaster area. Hitting one of those bumpers can end a run. It could send you all the way back up the way you came from, or bounce you into a X block. If you hit it once, it's hard to regain control. Luckily it gives you a long stretch to get ready. Can't handle it much better than I did in the video.

After another long hall, you get to the second run ending spot. The STOP/GO blocks. They aren't actually what the issue is. It's that bumper that you need to worry about. It's best to just take a 3 second penalty and play it safe. You don't want what happened in the video to happen to you...

The next section with the ? and +5 is actually one of the easier sections in the level, and you should make it your best friend. If it's nice to you, you can make up for most of the time you have lost. Enter the room and beeline for the ? block. Break it and use the deceleration it gives you to quickly line up the +5 block. Break that and then loop around the X block and out of the room. Pretty easy to get out of here with no penalties.

Up next, the last major obstacle in the run. It's really not too bad, and there are two ways you can approach it. The way that I did it in the video is the safest way, by slipping into the alcove to give you time to line it up. I would probably suggest sticking with this. However, you can also just pull a quick u-turn upon entering the room and just barrel between them. This can be tricky, and if you miss you tend to end up bouncing into one of the corners of the room, wasting a ton of time. This is normally what I try to do, for some reason...

The last stretch of the level is pretty straight forward. I use a good line in the video, pretty hard to hit any of the X Blocks that way. (Even though I manage to)

World 10 - Death Mistral

  • Objective: Rush to the finish line.
  • Goal: Aim to beat the level with 70 seconds left, for a final score of 700000.
  • My Best: I've once beat this stage with 99'99 left on the clock. However, my best score is 721030. Yes, I realise that score is not at all in line with the progression with my best scores up to this point. Those best scores were from one my first times to do so well. I was really nervous going into 10 and managed to screw it up. BADLY. I've since got a handful of scores in the 710-720k (I think one closer to 730k than what I have listed), but no longer feel like playing the game so I doubt that I'll improve this. Be my guest to use this write up and beat my score. It's more than possible.

This level is all about judging angles, and being able to pick the right one to push against the acceleration pads. This is something that I think is too hard explain in words. You can watch the video to get an idea, but it mostly comes by playing the game. However, once you do this, the level becomes EXTREMELY easy.

As shown in the video, you want to use the acceleration pads to your advantage in this level. From the very beginning use that first arrow to give you a boost of speed to break through the first barrier. It's normally best to just skip the time blocks here if you miss them, it can be a large waste to get them in you get stuck in the acceleration blocks.

Around the first corner I don't turn my camera on a sharp enough angle to avoid the X block. Oh well, no time to worry about that. In the following section I get hung up in the video. To avoid that, stick to the middle of the hall, and avoid breaking blocks. The second you waste breaking a block is directly made up at the end up the level anyways.

Up next is the second wall of blocks, it's normally worth using a steeper angle to avoid rolling too far and breaking the -3 block. If you do break it, make sure you hit the +5 as quick as you can and move on.

Right on the other side of the wall of blocks cut quickly across the acceleration pads so you don't get trapped down at the bottom. This brings you to the long section of accelerators. This next section, and all the way to the blocks at the end of the level can be done in one go, without stopping, and without hitting a wall. Believe me when I say this, it's easier than it sounds. In the video I screw up the first half of this next big section pretty badly. Pick an angle (45 degrees maybe?) that you think will get you down the cooridoor without hitting either wall. If you hit a X block make your angle narrower to try and get through the rest of the tunnel without hitting another one during your invincibility time. At the end quickly spin the camera and get prepared for the next hall. (Don't do what I did in the video and end up in the bumper) After you flip the camera, pick an angle and head down the other side. The next few halls are hard to describe with words as there aren't really any visual guides. Watch the video, it's pretty easy to copy the lines that I use in it.

Last two sections of the game now! The hall of boxes, and the goal room.

You will notice that in the hall of boxes in my run I miss a bunch of bonuses and don't go back for them. Oops. This is another judgment call on your part. I looked at my time left and saw 80 seconds left on the clock. Knowing that I have a habit of accidentally knocking the -3 and -5 second blocks, I can work out that chances are if I do go back for them my time will be about the same or worse. I figured better safe than sorry. My goal was to record a run of over 700k, not go for a record.

The last room is probably what most people consider the hardest. It's actually the easiest. As seen in the video if you are Black Steel and are holding the speed button you can just beeline to the end. For a bit of extra speed you can spin the camera a little, but it's safer not to. If for some reason you do end up in the corner, start yourself moving in a circle and then just spin your camera. More often than not you end up hitting the goal.

And there you have it, you have completed the game, and hopefully with a new high score as well. If you guys have any question feel free to ask them and i'll do my best to answer them. If anyone in IRC has asked me something or knows something that I missed, feel free to point it out. Here ends my write up for week 1. Depending on the response I might try and do the same for the following weeks. If for some reason you would like to post this somewhere else please ask me first, I wrote this for the tournament, not the internet.

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Boltr/Cameltry last edited by BoltR on 2008-04-28 02:49:18
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