Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lunatic B1 107m

Somehow I reached 107 million on B1 Lunatic. Unreal and startling, but extremely satisfying, I think it is the best score GFW has ever seen, and it may even be the best play I ever get to do in my life. Of course, if this ends up not being the case... all the better. GFW deserves all the love and care in the world, and maybe I will grow more as a player...

Collecting the bigger mistakes (as I perceive them to be) and putting them all together, you could say that I lost about a million. In reality there is room for a bit more score and not only through RNG, although luck certainly plays a large role (and luck did bless me in this replay)

First I should explain just why there's two accidental deaths on stage 1 on such an otherwise "good" play, and why those deaths (with my patterns) didn't matter, as well as going over other possibilities.

Lunatic B1 has few notably good suicide spots and, particularly in the mid-late part of the run, it is difficult to use varying resource patterns. The two lives I lost barely interfered with freezing patterns and they did not cause me to cap my PF (though it was close). It should be mentioned however that had I lost a third life at any point on stage 2 or 3 it would have had disastrous effects. First of all I would not have been able to use another bomb on Luna's fourth nonspell, but also it is worth noting that dying at most points in the run does impact it very negatively, with some especially bad spots where I simply cannot die and still be satisfied with the final results (anywhere on Star, and the stage 3 fireball grid, for example) due to major score loss and difficulty or impossibility of retaining the original ideal resource patterns.

There are strats I rarely (or never) used, even though they are possible. For example, on Lily's first nonspell, you can get higher freezes by going to the top corner closest to lily and freezing there. Since these freezes will also damage Lily, this is a spot where you can suicide-freeze, respawn, and then going up to the corner to freeze again while still making it back down alive. If I ever play B1 again, I will start trying to use this sort of pattern (Perhaps it could be worthwhile on C1? Then again maybe not, since C1 already has too many suicides)

Another strat if you have lives to burn is a funky Luna midboss suicide strat. I haven't entirely worked out how this should be done, and the routes should be changed accordingly. Suicides here can only give you 25% PF since you can get 30% area all over on Luna anyway, but if you do this, the point is to end Luna with 300% PF, then you can do a 4PF second half of the stage if you also suicide on the knife rings. Even if you no-miss the entire game (aside from suicides) and play like a god, I highly doubt you can find a way to use all the bombs I managed to use on the 3 fairies with a pattern like that, anyway. To go further into why this should be done: It's either that, or using 2 bombs on Bright Night since you will otherwise cap your PF well before Ice Dissolver. It is highly recommended to cap the PF when you start Ice Dissolver to have any chance at 2PF non3, 2PF non4, 3PF final. If however you plan to remove 1 PF here, you can start Ice Dissolver with below 300%. It goes without saying that sitting at 300% long before Ice Dissolver is wasteful.

To explain the crux of knife rings suicide, this is not just +25% PF for the suicide, but it enables another 30% area, so it is actually more PF. However this is not a worthwhile place to die (barely increases the immediate score at all) if it doesn't enable an extra bomb, and 2PF Bright Night as opposed to 1PF, is shit for various reasons. Only conclusion is that this is the pattern to use if you are using 3PF on the fireball grid.

Here's the thing about the 3 fairies. You want to max your motivation before the third nonspell to get the highest potential on the second half of the fight, and this isn't chump change. It is worth considering starting this nonspell with less motivation and simply ignoring the possibility of 2PF nonspell3 + 2PF nonspell4, which enables some of the previous strategies I've been discussing. Is it possible to max your motivation there while still dying 1 more time than I did in my run? Honestly, I think it is. That would add another strategic dimension to all of this. You may not even need to max it if you can just gather a little bit more motivation on Fairy Overdrive than I did in my run. To take things even further, strictly speaking it should be possible to do away with one of the suicides I used on the 4th non or the suicide on the final, and still get all the PF. Is it reasonable to assume you can piece something that works together out of all of this? Fuck if I know.

Either way, suiciding on Lily's first nonspell instead of dying on stage 1 is better no matter how you look at it. As for everything else I've discussed, it all gets really hazy and complicated to determine what's best or what's reasonable. No matter the scenario, you do need godlike RNG on Sunny Milk to stand a chance with any patterns that can compete with mine. Without the extra PF you are screwed, if you can somehow avoid extra suicides on Lily while never dying on accident at any point, and still use all the PF I used up to Luna Child's midboss appearance, you've truly had lady luck on your side and then you deserve your wacky-ass new pattern I'd never use. It is possible, a lot of wackiness is possible. This game is fascinating.

PF routes on stage 1 and 2 should without a doubt be left alone.

I'll now go over my replay and its contents. I'll talk about it on its own terms, not thinking too deeply about the possibilities I've discussed above, as none of it could be applied in my run either way.

Stage 1, pre-Daiyousei: it took a long time, but I eventually worked out some good movement patterns for the jellybeans. They've been solidified for a long time now, but It's still a lot better than what CLR was doing... It's still inconsistent, and I still don't entirely get it, and I still wonder if there are better patterns... but either way, I've been content with my patterns here. In this particular run, though, this is probably the weakest part of the whole thing. The very first jellybean freeze was pretty high, so no problem there, but the third one failed, this happens pretty often unfortunately when you go for 600k+ ice... a shame. I would have restarted if the first one had been lower.

Daiyousei: It's routine, so I have little to say here. I always do roughly the same thing and it isn't any complicated. The second nonspell is heavily RNG dependant but as long as you play it right your freezes will be mostly around the same area. You can get 30% here on occasion.

Stage 1, post-Daiyousei: This is also simple routine, but the score does vary a little. The greenshit was actually slightly wrong, on the final freeze I thought excess suicide bullets were going to make it into my tiny space, so I froze a bit early there.

Sunny Milk nonspell 1: It's difficult. I died on the last wave I'm supposed to freeze before bombing, and It's hard to say how big that freeze would've been. I may have lost 40k or 50k.

Aggressive Light: The SCB drops pretty fast compared to the freezes you get here, so the spell is more about resources than immediate score gains. Particularly it is good to get a lot of PF out of this. I dunno if It's really about execution, more about intuition. Hopefully Sunny stays high so you can milk it better and longer. It's also good if she goes into the middle when you finish it off so nonspell 2 is better. My spell was rather tame, no good freezes...

Nonspell 2: 2PF pattern with 3 big freezes and then the rest is small freezes. In order to freeze on this, you must start charging away from Sunny, so that not even the side of your shot hits her. This does add a bit of extra difficulty to the small ice milking strategy I use. The small ice milking strategy requires a good dodging/reading ability, and of course since I apparently didn't have that, I died once.

Direct Sunlight: Praise buddha for the luck I had. About 1.8 million and almost 200PF. Wow! Luck here doesn't automatically crown you the winner, either, you have to capitalize on the luck with beastly playing and smart freezing. Thankfully the bullet patterns made this... relatively easy for me, as well. By the way, when I say luck, I mainly mean that Sunny moves away from your ice now and then so you can use more freezes. It's rare.

Stage 2, Pre-Lily White: I start it with 238% PF so the 2 deaths I had did not waste PF apart from the tiny amount I would have had from the to freezes that I lost, in reality they wasted nothing, since you get 60% PF on stage 2 before you can use the first bomb. 2% away from capping. Now, stage 2 up until Lily is routine. I've tried doing the part with the big rings differently, but nothing ever seems to work out favorably. I've been able to get much larger freeze, that also kills too many fairies, so that the bomb turns to shit. I can't really get over this part because it really looks like it should be possible to do it better, but I haven't found anything yet. Afterwards, you want 30%s from the streaming fairies while killing as few of them as possible with your shot for more items and motivation.

Lily White: I'm happy my final ice reached on the first non so I could get the items, got a bit lucky there. It's a very random and unforgiving nonspell when scoring. The second nonspell was great, I could not ask for it to go any better. I also do a brief little milk on the third nonspell, something I only started doing after 104 million, I think.

Stage 2, Post-Lily White: Although the wire zone can give varying results, this part of the game is mostly routine. You may miss some PF on the wire zone, but I got what I wanted from it. I guess It's worth noting two things: Enemies left alive from the final freeze of the wire zone will move along the top right of the screen when you bomb. These will then fire lots of suicide bullets at you which can enable a 30% area if you freeze the big fairy on the left instead of on the right. This is a back-up pattern since these fairies aren't supposed to die up there. Also, right before Star's appearance, you can squeeze in a tiny freeze for extra PF if you use the last 30% freeze correctly.

Star Sapphire, nonspell 1: My score was at an all-time high here, but I was still not feeling this run for some reason. I thought for sure I was going to lose the run since Star is difficult, and stage 3 is even harder. Anyway, I got 2.8 million out of this, and I got decent RNG. I think this nonspell was a little weak for this good of a run, but it wasn't bad, so I don't consider it a mistake.

Comet Stream: Welcome to hell, as they say. Thank god for Zil's misdirection idea. It really makes it more doable to stay alive on this. The freezes should be quite high on the screen so that they connect along the big stars, circling around Star. If you use one too late, then the big stars to the side will go offscren so the ice can only use the small stars to connect any further. The later you use one freeze, the later you will be able to get your ice charge up again for the next freeze, so it turns into a low-score cycle that is best broken free out of by bombing. You can use either 3 or 4 bombs on this depending on the pattern. One of the bombs has to finish the spell. This went very well for me, good enough scoring and no-miss!

Nonspell 2: Enjoying your stay in hell? In my opinion this is a bit more difficult than even Comet Stream, and it is also annoyingly luck based. When Star is close the middle, you can go through two rings for a higher freze. You have to go through the second ring very quickly so it becomes an almost pixel perfect squeeze through (and the rings are RNG). Star may not follow a movement pattern that allows you to do this more than one time, if you are unlucky. I was not unlucky, so I did this three times. If you are very unlucky she will camp near the side of the screen so that you can just get shit freezes. That could easily turn this 107 run into a 105 run! Meanie Star.

Star Piece Shower & Shooting Sapphire: These are supposed to be auto-caps, although I do try to put emphasis into capping Shooting Sapphire asap, without yolo'ing too hard if the RNG is being wacky. I did not go for the frozen items on Star Piece Shower, so lost about 60k on it, but I got a great SCB on Shooting Sapphire. Thankfully I did not need to concern myself with my PF, so I could focus on damaging star on Shooting Sapphire for the high SCB.

Stage 3, Pre-Luna: Good up until the two planned bombs, that was one of the worst parts of the run. First bomb was mistimed, I've tried many different timings on this with various results, and missing by frames can change your score significantly. This time I used the timing of 3rd row of knives moving down, but I used the bomb split second after instead of exactly during, so it was mistimed... This is a terrible way to mistime your bomb because, not only was the score almost 100k lower, but it killed 2 of the fairies that are supposed to shoot bullets for me to graze and freeze. This is not a problem I have any backup plans for and so my freezing pattern was ineffective, caused suicide bullets to come a bit sooner than normal, causing me to use the 2nd bomb a bit sooner than normal, once again the mistime cost almost 100k, all in all arout 200k lost here. On the bright side, the luck was high at the beginning of the stage.

Luna Child: The nonspell is very complex and difficult to optimize. I failed at optimizing it, I'd like to have about 2.2 million from the nonspell, I only got about 1.95 million in this run, so it is one of the largest mistakes. You want to make a distinction between the freezes that damage Luna (make these as large as possible) and those that don't (pray to god they don't!). The worst part was that one of my freezes that was designed to be a large freeze connected onto Luna too early because she was so close, so her last batch of bullets couldn't come out...

The spellcard is an auto-cap that you can milk a little if you think you need the motivation or PF. The SCB will drop faster than you can get score from milking, so It's dangerous and not worth it if you don't need resources. I used 3 freezes, and you can use up to 5.

Stage 3, Post-Luna: This went well, thankfully. It's a breather part, so I feel terrible if I fail this part.

3 Fairies, nonspell 1: Totally sick. I collect the frozen items as quickly as it is possible to do and it was very close that I did not get Sunny's items. This is important so that you can get more alone time with Luna. The Luna freezes were definitely acceptable. One of them scored like 132k!

Bright Night: Milk this with a planned bomb at the end. Pray the RNG allows large freezes that do not damage Star and Sunny, so that you can keep churning out high freezes. Usually they will die pretty quickly, which really ruins the potential on this card since Luna's bullets are worth so little. This time Star died around the usual time, but Sunny was left alive longer. Unfortunately, 1 side fairy just isn't enough to increase your ice area much, so I'd say RNG on this was fairly average. Dying on this would've been pretty crappy for the run and is always wasteful with PF... It's also a pretty normal place to die since milking it is so difficult. Good thing I didn't die! There was a really ugly false dodge in this card, though.

Nonspell 2: Decent. Average area wasn't amazing but I got 1 more freeze onto the trio than in certain runs, so that's at least something. 3 freezes onto solo Luna which I think was the realistic maximum I could do with that timer + healthbar.

Ice Dissolver: Two more mistakes made here. The second bomb was used just a split second too early, so Luna shot one of her lasers through it, killing some score. Luna wasn't quite low enough on HP by the end, so the final bomb didn't finish her off, losing 80k in items. Other than that, It's pretty hard to say if any of the other freezes can be referred to as mistakes on this card. I'd say all the regular freezes on this card were acceptable.

Nonspell 3: This is where my replay truly gets solidified as amazing in my opinion. This nonspell is the first thing that ensured I could use an extra bomb on nonspell 4! First of all, this is a pretty complex and luck dependant nonspell, so I can't sit here and explain too much about it, It'll get too difficult for me and it'd take too long and this post would be too long... So my pattern is roughly this: Suicide with a maximum freeze (should score 300k+ hopefully) and suicide FAST so that the deathwave doesn't remove any bullets from the next wave. You need all the time you can get on this. When you respawn, you use the ice in such a way so that it reaches 30% area, without dealing any damage to Sunny (and if possible, Star). Wait 1 wave, then bomb. Big suicide freeze again, 30% area non-Sunny damaging freeze again, wait again, bomb again. If you can do all this successfully it'll really come down to the health of the fairies and their respective positions to determine how to act next. I'd say I made the correct choices here but, to be picky, it could've been even better, so my execution lacked a little spice to optimize for example the big Sunny freeze. Either way, I scored a lot of 30%s and that was crucial!

Break Canopy: This is it, my friends... the hardest part of the run by far, the hardest trick you will see in any WR run in GFW, and the ender of almost every run. This is satan's spellcard if there ever was one... 20+ minutes into the run you have to do this shit. To give a basic explanation, you dodge through one wave, make sure you reach 100% (or as close as possible) ice charge, position yourself quite low on the screen without getting bullets bounced into you, and freeze. I don't know how hard it looks to other people, but I can tell you now this is very difficult to do so many times, It's tricky to just pull off once. I did 5 of these sweeps. On almost every run I will just die.

Nonspell 4: 2 Bombs! 2 Suicides! Barely enough motivation and PF to clear with max lives and 3PF the final spell. The second bomb here was bad, so that's a pretty big mistake. I'd like that bomb to score 150k~ higher. I don't feel too bad about it though, because I need to use all the time I can on this nonspell to freeze bullets as opposed to setting up for the second bomb... Since otherwise I might not be able to finish the run at all. Also, the first bomb was very high, that makes up for it a bit.

Fairy Overdrive: I lost one of the side fairy frozen item sets. I should've gotten more motivation from this but thankfully I still cleared 1000%.

Final: Flawlessly executed, as it should be.

Overall I am very pleased with this run... I literally could not believe I got it. You have to understand, that to get such a good run up to Break Canopy is super hard for me and I imagine it would be for anyone... And then that card will just end your run. That's it. Somehow it didn't end this run, the best run I've had up to that point, too. It just feels indescribable to have done this at all, but particularly that it took so little time, that is the part that I don't think I deserved. This kind of run should take a lot more credits. I livestreamed this run with mic and you can watch it here