2019 so far is probably the most fruitful 2 months of DS for me yet. However, since I started playing the Spoiler scenes, I've kinda lost my spark and I'm playing a lot less. So since my playing is slowing down, I think now is a good time to reflect on what I've accomplished so far this year. As usual I might briefly explain some contents of the run, some strategy in the scene, what makes it hard or easy etc or what score I might aim for next. Most of the following scores are pretty strong (mainly the newer spoiler ones are weaker)
Double spoiler scores in 2019:
8-1 Aya: 860,894
A work in progress. It's troublesome to wait for and identify good RNG. Orin needs to move in such a way that most of the bullets are aimed into the corners of the frame. For the red wave, you want to angle Aya slightly so the long wave aims from one corner to the other. 900k is possible, but I don't think I'll ever get there. However, I might get something like 885-890k in the future, I just don't feel quite capable of it currently, so I need to get better at this scene specifically...
11-8 Aya: 1,938,360
This is a good score and it might be final, but I might aim for 1.95m at the most. Unlike with Hatate, you don't have to take such perfect care of where you place Aya. There is a leeway to still get 2.00 boss shot. Timing is the most important aspect that sets apart scores. You have to take care down to the zoom frames.
8-5 Aya: 2,284,161
I feel like 2.4 million is realistic on this scene, but it's a matter of luck. It takes a while to get a lucky run going, and even then, Orin's movements could screw it up, or the fairies could kill you. This scene is kind of hard and easy at the same time in a sense. Definitely requires a lot of patience and I'm not sure how lucky I'll manage to get, but I do want to return to it because the potential on it is ridiculous. Then again I might play Hatate instead.
11-8 Hatate: 2,048,452
This is a lot harder than with Aya, because 1. positions for photos are pixel precise, 2. To maximize your score, aim forward until right before two-shot loss. This in addition to the pedantic timings makes this quite brutal without the right tools. I use pieces of sticker on my screen to place my hitbox marker on so I know which pixels Hatate is on. The goal is 2.08m. I just got kinda annoyed and stopped.
5-3 Aya: 700,093
This score is probably done, at least for the time being. I think if I keep playing for a while more, I might hit 705k or more, but the limit is probably around 710k. I don't know if I want to play for scores like that on this... Sum of best 721k. It's troublesome to balance multipliers while actually hitting all the fists. You can add score through luck from the pink bullets on all photos, too, so stalling is required for optimization. This score is pretty good but certainly you could hit 705-710k if you're really dedicated. I just don't really enjoy this scene much; it's interesting but it's pretty painful.
4-1 Aya: 505,120
I decided to take the Macro plunge when playing this. Although you die a lot more often with high macro style due to having to move up sooner before the bullets have really spread out. With earlier movements you can go and get a higher macro bonus, you also need to add backwards aim which makes it harder to get the correct composition. However, I found it to be worth it to do this strategy. I didn't manage to get high macros on two of the photos in this run, but all the timings were spot on, which is the most important part. That's the thing... even if you try for high macro on every photo, if you're not hitting optimal zoom frames you're not getting a good run either way. So depending on how serious you are about this scene it might not be worth it to high macro every photo (I didn't, but it wasn't intentional)
A couple of thousands more is doable, but I don't really care too much for now.
2-5 Hatate: 418,875
I think that around 425,000 is my limit... It's a tough scene
9-7 Aya: 671,761
Very hard scene. My goal is 700,000 but I wonder if I can get the record eventually? I think it's one of the better records in the game, but this is a scene I keep bouncing back to briefly, only to start playing another again. Maybe at some point I'll stick with it until I get something crazy as Aya.
2-5 Aya: 354,952
I couldn't quite beat ckt, but I got close. I've had one god pace before, but it failed. Considering that pace, I estimate 360,000 being the realistic limit, although it's almost impossible. I've gotten slightly little better at this scene compared to when I was playing Hatate, especially at briefly tapping focus before the last picture even on the 3rd shot.
7-5 Hatate: 723,949
I got mostly very lucky photos, and I did the adjacent dive-in style on 4 of the photos. Usually this strategy just kills you, so getting to do it 4 times was unusual to say the least. There's one terribly unlucky photo in this run, but I think I don't want to play this ever again unless I can improve the strategy, but I doubt that's possible. I've tried a lot of things already and the wait-and-dive strat was the best strat. You might think you can gain score by being in the same square, but you'll lose base points. With my known strats, with lucky photos all the time and lots of dive-in shots you could score even 750,000...
7-5 Aya: 741,938
Well executed and lucky run. I'm satisfied with this.
5-7 Hatate: 547,140
This scene is easy, so it's just about grinding for luck. I got very lucky. A little more should be doable.
5-7 Aya: 446,609
Same as with Hatate. Just grind for luck. I got my 2nd highest photo ever in this run. I think still a little more is realistic, since my consistency is pretty good, and the run was a combination of 2 ultra lucky shots and 2 more normal shots.
11-6 Hatate: 2,089,307
This scene was a constant learning process. There's more than a hundred things to memorize, although due to the random nature of the scene, you don't have to use all of those things you've learned every run. Bottom line is, Understanding all the subtle nuances of the scene is extremely important. That leads me to this tidbit: I didn't understand this scene exactly as well as I ended up doing when I finished up Aya, and that's why I might come back to Hatate in the future. Although the rules are a bit different for both, they are still similar enough that understanding everything very slightly better by the end of Aya, will benefit me when I come back to Hatate.
It's a good run, but I know I can do better, and I actually might go back and do just that, despite the extremely painful nature of the scene.
11-6 Aya: 1,890,973
Was pretty amazed I almost hit 1.9 million. Definitely one of my better scores for the game. Most of it went really well, with it working out especially well on the 4th and 5th pictures. The last picture usually fails, either due to a time out which is the most common, or because the photo just ends up really low, but this time it ended up at least decent, and I'm thankful that it ended that way for once, since this was my highest pace ever starting the final photo. A small miracle to break the curse. Scene is very luck based but also simultaneously one with some of the most memorization, maybe even the single most memorization involved of all scenes in the game? The sheer amount of subtle details that can be applied using logic and intelligence repeated in different runs might just be unrivaled. It's different from the complexity of, say, 7-6, where there's every run is completely unique from the ground up and you have to use more "on the fly" logic. 11-6 has different kinds of luck combinations that you can repeatedly identify.
7-3 Aya: 973,144
I wouldn't have played it this far if it wasn't for Kirbycomment, since I'm actually the one who suggested this strat to him without even gong all the way with it myself first. There is a strategy where you add slow bullets from the opposite side into the picture, but initially I only did it on a few pictures, because it didn't seem to add a substantial amount of score, and it was a lot harder. However, after taking this strategy more seriously, I realized it was by no means too hard to do for all the photos, and it substantially increased the potential. I'd estimate the potential goes up by somewhere between 6,000-10,000 per photo. It's RNG, of course, so hard to say. Bottom line is, you need to do it. Other than getting the most amount of Arrowheads which is completely luck based but is also controlled to a certain extent, you want to hit Shou as late as possible without losing bubbles, and if possible be as close to losing 2.00 boss shot as possible in the direction opposite of the bubbles. Losing a single bubble is pretty much game over, but the closer you are to losing them, the better. Shou also aims her dash in a random direction around Aya, and you need to use the wind up direction to determine where Shou is aiming and react accordingly If she aims upwards when you are taking a back shot, that could be fatal for the run. Likewise, if she aims downwards that could be awful if the density is higher upwards, although it should be better for the composition for camera control reasons, unless you are very quick and very good at camera control when Shou moves up.
7-3 Hatate: 1,235,416
Same strategy as Aya, same logic of it gaining score on average, but harder due to it being stricter in how you need to position yourself for the photo. Score is slightly less lucky than with Aya, but Hatate is also slightly harder to I guess both runs are about even. Potentially, the Aya score is better considering my consistency, but for someone less good at the game, the Hatate score might be tougher.
If I recall correctly, a single bullet is worth around 900 points (multipliers included). My goal was 680,000, so I was half a bullet away... therefore, I thought I could move on, since this scene wasn't very fun or interesting. The bullet timings change over time, so I came up with a personal strat that potentially stalls enough to take 4 back shots (although with the wrong RNG, I have no choice but to reset) but not so much that the timings start consistently messing me up. This scene is more about perfect composition and timing than RNG since the bullet pattern is static, and I think that around 683,000 is quite possible. To estimate even more than this, I'd like to see the last photo go higher than it ever did for me first (which should be possible)
A work in progress. This score is still awful. The first 4 photos are tricky to optimize but trivial to take without dying or losing a hugely significant amount (since you don't take a nice shot, among other things.) The last photo on the other hand is pretty brutal, and might take some time for me to take high enough the first time. For the time being my highest final photo is about 10,000 lower than the world record's. If everything goes well I might aim for 500,000.
A work in progress. I've been saying 6-7 is my least favourite scene for a few years, but that's cause I hardly played this one at all. Now that I'm playing it, I think this is worst in the game. The problem is that the RNG will always kill you before the nice shot at some point in the run. The later the phase, the more unlikely it is to survive. I've never survived to take the nice shot on the 4th photo. So after stubbornly trying to take all the nice shots for a good ~5 hours of playing, I then decided to just take 2 nice shots, then skip 2, and then take the last photo with a nice shot again (the last photo is easier than the 4th I think, since you don't have to be as close to Hatate on the last one, due to her Camera not killing you in the aftermath)
Hatate's camera is pretty dangerous. If you are taking a nice shot, your timing needs to be spot on and your position needs to allow you to escape her camera, or you're dead. That's pretty brutal since you'll almost always die to the bullet rng first, so if you actually live to take the nice shot, you might die anyway...
The non-nice shot strategy actually gains some base value, and is as such not a completely unreasonable strategy. I think that I can still score a bit higher skipping 2 nice shots, but if I want 700,000 or more, I can only skip 1 nice shot, so I might just end up taking that route. For the time being, all 5 nice shots requires way too much luck. I never even came close in like 5 hours. I'll rethink that only if I find any kind of consistency improvements.
And that's it. I'm still playing the spoiler level, just not powergaming any more. I'm basically intending to update everything except SP-2 and maybe SP-4. I'm also not too keen on the single-photo scenes SP-1 and SP-5, because I don't like the idea of only taking one super optimized photo, and especially not that these two scenes are 90% downtime. I gave them both a brief session and it's just not for me. However that doesn't necessarily mean I won't update them, it just means that my motivation is low.