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# Entombed! Mazes

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Does anyone know how the mazes in Entombed are generated? Are they totally randomly generated as the maze progresses or is there a specific set of patterns that are selected at random, or what?

Amaze-ing Stan

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Hello StanJr:

I've broken the 100 barrier on the game with 103, and my fellow TG referee Alan Hewston is the record holder with something like 156 or 165 or so.

Alan and I shared strategies, and it was Alan who really came to know the game best. From what I remember, he said he believed there were a set number of standard patterns, and the trick was to realize which pattern you were in which also told you where the moving enemies would mosty likely be.

You must agree...the game is one that requires an absolutely perfect joystick, and moreso than that, a loss of a full second of "juggling" your man while trying to squeeze into a path can be devastating.

The goal in the game is obvious. The choices are to attempt to remain as close to the center as possible except when avoiding enemies and going for those moving objects you use as bombs or whatever.

Think of the Scramble maze stage turned 90 degrees downward...your goal is to zoom ahead so that you have time to maneuver, if necessary, afterwards.

Alan said in his best games, running out of blocks was never a problem. His biggest two problems were (A) running into moving enemies and (B) movement errors on the joystick. But in rewatching his tapes, as I did my own, it always seemed less difficult and easier to see what to do and what should have been done, as of course the pressure is less. Alan said the more he played the less pressure he felt, which makes sense.

His goal, back then, was to one day break 255 but we suspect that like "Sssnake" the game rolls over every 99 points.

Technically speaking, I don't recall if it goes from 99 to 0 then to 1, or if it goes from 99 to a 1 and skips the zero, thus a 101 is really 100. It's been awhile !!

I actually have a tip for you which Alan doesn't need but I sure do. My biggest mental block is forgetting when the new stage starts and pressing the button at the very end of a level's bottom. You then create a block underneath yourself at the top of the next stage and quickly die. Alan counts the timing...I'm too panicky to, which is why he's at 156/165 and I'm only at 103.

I've asked gaming legend Todd Rogers one day to give it a go as I'm surious of he can take the game to it's next level, or if the game is so legitimately hard that even Todd won't have the easiest time at performing 100+ scores on it.

As a referee, I'd like to see the score go as high as it can and hope one day it will...maybe by Todd, or current record holder Alan Hewston...or even you (StanJr) or myself !!

Nice to hear someone else fancies this game. It is definitely a hidden gem in Atari 2600-land, in my opinion. Do let me know how you're progressing and if you broke either my 103 or Alan's 156/165 !! Regards,

Robert T Mruczek

Twin Galaxies - Editor and Chief referee

(212) 366-3036 (work-day)

rmruczek@doremus.com (work E-MAIL)

*******************************

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HOLY CRAP!

My best Entombed! score is 229!!!!!!!!! It does roll at 99 every time and does reset to 00 (I'm 99% sure of this).

Running out of make-breaks is NEVER an issue if played correctly and the maze speed tops out after about 60 clicks.

Does this mean I can video tape a performance of mine and be in the TG database???

I am not goofing, I have gotten over 200 at least 5 times and can do it again with a little warming up and practice. May I enter a video tape if I can get one made????

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the mazes seem random if you press the button or reset, but it you let the game start by itself the mazes are always the same.

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Gooooo Stan!! You oughta be on that list!

CF

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Hello StanJr:

Wowsers...you are surely much better than Alan or myself. I encourage you to do the videotape thing and foward to Ron Corcoran and get this baby into the book. You are a mighty 60+ points ahead of Alan...that's twelve (12) entire stages !!

Robert T Mruczek

Twin Galaxies - Editor and Chief referee

(212) 366-3036 (work-day)

rmruczek@doremus.com (work E-MAIL)

******************************

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HOLY CRAP!

My best Entombed!  score is 229!!!!!!!!!  It does roll at 99 every time and does reset to 00 (I'm 99% sure of this).

Running out of make-breaks is NEVER an issue if played correctly and the maze speed tops out after about 60 clicks.

Does this mean I can video tape a performance of mine and be in the TG database???

I am not goofing, I have gotten over 200 at least 5 times and can do it again with a little warming up and practice.  May I enter a video tape if I can get one made????

Stan:

Awesome score! Yes, if you videotape your achievement, and send it to me (send me an e-mail for the submission form & instructions) I will get you into the database and Book of Records.

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Sweet Mother MacCree!!!!

That is too cool.

UPDATE:

I sat down today and after a brief warm-up was able to score 208. In the process I also answered my own question and discovered a bug.

First, the mazes are NOT randomly generated as the screen scrolls. There are a SET # of maze designs and they do repeat. I actually had one design repeat after only 5 mazes. There does not appear to be any rhyme or reason the the generation of the Zombie or make breaks however (unless they are directly linked to the design of a specific maze.

The Bug: If you make a wall just as a make-break is entering that area, the MB will become lodged in the wall. You may still get it by breaking the wall or by slamming yourself into the wall.

The maze speed plateaus after about 30 (not the 60 I said above). But man, when you hit that first blue maze its like a freakin' revelation. That thing comes so fast. But don't worry, it won't get much faster.

The score timer does roll back to 00 after 99 (every time) Does the M/B counter do the same????

HEY ROBERT! What's the highest number of make-breaks you have ever had at one time. I actually reached 51 at one point. (The mazes were unusually kind! )

Looks like its time for me to go rent a VHS recorder! Sweet. What are the guidelines for the tape? Does it need to be an over the shoulder shot of the screen (I sometimes sit kinda far back), or does it need to be a close-up? Should I have the camera zoom in just as I roll the counter each time? How should I go about setting this up?

Thanks

Stan

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Thats really odd. The mazes always change. so mainly theres no strategy.

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Why don't you just set the vcr to channel 3 and plug the 2600 switchbox right into that sucka?

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oh, but you are wrong, marty, my pal.

There are LOTS of strategies. Here are a few

Stay under the Zombie, He can only go left-right-up, never down.

Back off from the bottom of the screen when the Zombie scrolls off the top, he may pop up under you.

Try to obtain at least 20 make-breaks by the end of the third (purple) maze and after than try to keep in the area of that amount.

Once the mazes speed up, think in terms of STRAIGHT LINES, minimize your left/right movement (this is the biggest tip I can give anyone)

After about 5 of the fast mazes, your brain will adjust to the speed and you will feel like the whole thing is going much slower.

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You can follow either methodology. Either directly record your game as NE146 suggested (the preferred method) or use a video camcorder and use the "over the shoulder" approach you describe. If you do in fact sit back a ways from the TV, please ensure the camera is close enough to show all detail in the game.

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Hello StanJr:

Two, no...three things...

1st - AWESOME "practice" score of 208...that effectively doubles my personal best of 103 !!

2nd - Alan Hewston reported awhile back being in the 70's with those bricks. I don't know what my personal maximum ever was as you guys last a lot longer than I do, but I'm fairly sure I broke 35 if not 40, guaranteed. This is on "B", of course...only a masochist would play "A"...or a master-class Entombed player like yourself.

3rd - I think you supported Alan Hewston's earlier assessment that there are a fixed number of patterns, it's just a matter of recognizing them. I am pretty sure I mentioned that back in my initial reply on this thread.

So you know, I sent Alan an E-MAIL and hope to hear back from him about the news, but he's been quiet lately so I'll have to wait and see.

Anyway, I am looking foward to hearing about an ever larger score, but at the very least, at seeing Ron post your score to the database. As before, congratulations !!

Robert T Mruczek

Twin Galaxies - Editor and Chief referee

(212) 366-3036 (work-day)

rmruczek@doremus.com (work E-MAIL)

*****************************

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Oh yeah, I never even thought of just hooking up the ol' VCR. If that is an acceptable submission (I thought maybe you needed to see ME playing it or something), then that is what I will do (I promise NO film doctoring from me, I can barely turn the VCR on ). I can have it to you next week. I assume there is a mailing address on your site for me to send it to?

While I cannot make the CGE this year, I will be more than happy to perfrom my 200+ scores at the Cincinnati classic this October. (and I'd love to play some people in the 2 player mode as well (my girlfriend won't play Entombed with me anymore )

Thanks for all the help ROBERT and RCorcoran!!!!

And I actually like to play DiffA, it is somewhat harder than B, especially after about 30 pts.

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UPDATE:

I just got my VCR going, played a few practice games, and FINALLY managed a 203. Its not the best I can do (229) but it does break the existing record 163 (at the time of this post) I feel I can still do better, so if they guys will allow, I will submit multiple games on one tape (supposing I do better the next time).

Ugh, Coconuts is next

and somebody do me a favor and steal all of Todd Rogers ENTOMBED carts please!

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Hello StanJr:

I personally lent Todd Rogers about a dozen rare 2600 carts this pasty Funspot competition, including Entombed and POSSIBLY Coconuts, I forget which 12 exactly but have the list at home.

Anyway, glad another great Entombed and Coconuts player is joining the highscore online scoreboard...you & I are pretty close on Coconuts, too, so I'll have to start playing that one again soon.

Best of luck, and do keep us informed of your new scores to Ron. I look foward to seeing them online !!

Robert T Mruczek

Twin Galaxies - Editor and Chief referee

(212) 366-3036 (work-day)

rmruczek@doremus.com (work E-MAIL)

*******************************

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• 2 months later...

So far I have 15 maps from the first level (5 sections), and I think there's a couple more yet! I noticed that all the mazes I've seen past level 1 are completely different from those 15 I have (if anyone wants 'em, let me know here), but if you start level one with a specific maze (you can keep hitting RESET until you get the one you want, or do as Mountain King suggested and let the game start automatically, which gets you the maze I posted below), the mazes following it will always be the same.

That means if there's say 15 different mazes on level 1, then there should be 15 other different mazes for level 2, and so forth. My question (to Stan "master entomber" Jr. or anyone else) is do you reach a point where the mazes start to repeat? If so, at what level? I think Stan mentioned that there's 5 different "speeds" at which the maze scrolls, but it seems to me that level 3 (15 sections) and higher all move at the same speed. This is taking into account that you complete the first 3 levels (or 15 sections) w/o losing any lives.

I haven't had much luck getting to the higher levels (I think 4 was it). The way the movement was (poorly) designed, it's just too damn annoying at the faster speeds. The programmer should have take a hint from Maze Craze on how to implement "maze" movement the right way

Also, the placement of the make/breaks and the zombie, as well as the zombie's movement are all pre-determined (i.e. not random)!

Here is the default maze for level 1. I colored the make/breaks red so that they stand out:

Hint: A new maze section starts when the row that has/had a make/break reaches the top.

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Yes the mazes do repeat, but I have not yet noticed any rhyme or reason to it. The speed ramps until you reach the dark green maze (should be about 30 clicks on the clock) The most notable increase is when the blue maze (should be maze 4) appears.

What do you mean by "a new maze section starts?" You progress to a whole new maze every 5 clicks of the clock. I know because I use this to get out of jams. Basically, what is the definition of a section?

I have noticed at least 15 distinct mazes total in the game. There may be more, but I can recall from memory about half of them.

Are you 100% sure that ALL Make/Break and Zombie locations are permanent for all mazes? I've tried to chart this and thought that it varied.

Much of this game is still mystery to me, mainly because it is moving so fast as I play it, I have little time to contemplate the details. I'm just trying to survive!

The movement is a bit clunky at times, but all it requires is a bit more precise on the part of the player. I can't tell you how frustrated it can be to get "hung up" on a wall and then get scrolled off. But I don't curse the programming, I curse my pitiful dexterity. Those tunnels are plenty big enough to navigate.

Any info I can get on this game is always appreciated.

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Each maze has 5 sections. In other words, the picture I posted is one complete maze, which is comprised of 5 sections. There are at least 15 different mazes for level 1, and so far I haven't seen any of them appear on level 2. So there's a lot more than 15

As far as I can tell, the placement of the make/breaks and zombies is not random. Example: if you let the game start by itself, notice how the zombie goes left, up, left, and then right until it hits the right wall - every time!

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I'm sure there are far more than 15 mazes, I can only recall about 15 from memory as I play.

I think I recall a varied placement of Zombies and MB, but I could be wrong. Do the Zombies and MB appear in the same places if you start a game with the fire button rather than let it start by itself?

I'll keep working on it!

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Wow, I can't believe other people like Entombed as much as I do! Definitely a "sleeper."

Anyway, I was wondering what joystick you all use to play it? Someone's assessment earlier in this discussion that having a precise joystick is critical to attaining high scores was right on. I use a Wico bat-style controller, but was wondering if there's something better out there for this game?

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Wow, I can't believe other people like Entombed as much as I do! Definitely a "sleeper."

Anyway, I was wondering what joystick you all use to play it? Someone's assessment earlier in this discussion that having a precise joystick is critical to attaining high scores was right on. I use a Wico bat-style controller, but was wondering if there's something better out there for this game?

I generally play all my games on a Wico that used to be part of my Commodore 64 set, because I don't dig the original Atari sticks that much. I like the responsive feel of a centered stick I can pull down hard or push up tough on, with an Atari stick sometimes it barely feels like you're moving it at all. I can't say it's improved my Entombed scores though, because I've only owned the game for a month and my best (I haven't played it much) is only a pathetic 6 or 7.

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I play all my games with the Gemstick. I love it. Smooth control still close enough to the original VCS stick.

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After reading the Entombed instructions on line her, I decided to give it a whirl. I think I got 21. I can see how that can be a very addicting game. I want a cart now!

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I play all my games with the Gemstick.  I love it.  Smooth control still close enough to the original VCS stick.

I used to just use the original 2600 joystick, or sometimes use a Sega Genesis controller. But at the Cinciclassic a man who I bought an Atari Jaguar and Turbo Grafx 16 controller decided to throw in a Slik Stik in with it(not sure why) and that's what I use now. It seems easier to move for me, and with the clicking I know if i've moved it. If anybody has some extra non original joysticks that they don't want very much, I'd be interested in anything you guys have to offer.

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