What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

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Stormlock
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What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Stormlock » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

And other bizzare, obscure, and esoteric things in video games.

The two that top my list are the aforementioned level of insanity (I mean, a programmer had to do that intentionally right? WHY?) and a secret item in Shining Force 2 for the genesis.

It was an item required to upgrade a centaur character into a pegasus, and it was the only one in the game. Where was it placed? Invisibly, at complete random in a castle with no reference to it at all anywhere else in the game. WTF?Thats nearly as obscure as the negative level and it's not even a bug or glitch of any sort.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:38 pm UTC

On Source engine games, you can turn on cheats and type "impulse 81" in console, and your weapons will get replaced with a shiny sphere.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Jorpho » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:25 pm UTC

Stormlock wrote:The two that top my list are the aforementioned level of insanity (I mean, a programmer had to do that intentionally right? WHY?)
The technical details escape me at the moment, but apparently it really was just a very lucky glitch. It's been very well-documented elsewhere.

I'm not sure what else I can contribute to this thread, so here's a review of The Tower of Druaga:
http://www.ntsc-uk.com/feature.php?feat ... fea=Druaga

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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Stormlock » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:56 pm UTC

Ah yes. I've been through the tower of pure insanity as a minigame in Tales of Destiny. Good times.

Another contender that popped into my head: Nethack. About 90% of it. I mean, seriously, I still find out new weird shit when playing that occasionally. Not too many games where you can die by walking down a flight of stairs with an iron ball and chain attached to your foot. Or slay demon lords by clubbing them with a dead bird. Or escape being devoured by using a wand of digging from the inside. Or create paper golems by polymorphing large piles of scrolls.<3 Nethack.

Oh, and FFIV's rare monster drops. Particularly the rat tails and the extra monster summons like Bomb and Imp and stuff. The summons weren't even powerful, and that rat tails drop like once every 1280 kills, and the enemy itself only shows up in like 1 out of 16 fights or something insane like that. You could beat the game multiple times in the time it takes to collect a set of 4 to outfit your party with the cheesy armor.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Kag » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:21 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Stormlock wrote:The two that top my list are the aforementioned level of insanity (I mean, a programmer had to do that intentionally right? WHY?)
The technical details escape me at the moment, but apparently it really was just a very lucky glitch. It's been very well-documented elsewhere.
iirc:
Apparently warp pipes are all identical, and they decide where to send you based on the sprite above them. By glitching through the wall, you can get to one before a number is displayed, so the pipe will send you to world [black square], or -1, which isn't a real place in the program, so when it looks for that data, it comes back with utter madness.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Jorpho » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:17 am UTC

Stormlock wrote:Oh, and FFIV's rare monster drops. Particularly the rat tails and the extra monster summons like Bomb and Imp and stuff. The summons weren't even powerful, and that rat tails drop like once every 1280 kills, and the enemy itself only shows up in like 1 out of 16 fights or something insane like that. You could beat the game multiple times in the time it takes to collect a set of 4 to outfit your party with the cheesy armor.
Thatwould certainly top the 1-in-128 drop rate of the best weaponry in Earthbound.

But indeed, the Final Fantasy games are rife with that kind of stuff. It boggles my mind as to how anyone working independently could have possibly gotten a full deck of cards in FF8 before the last disc (when all the cards suddenly become somewhat more readily available). You'd practically have to play multiple games of cards with every single person in the game - including this one guy who's just a random unrendered blotch in the background! And then there's the secret weapon at the end of FF9 that you can only get if you manage to blow through the whole game in less than fifteen hours.

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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Stormlock » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:24 am UTC

Just reminded me of the chest in FF12 that can only be opened if you DIDN'T open 3 other random chests in the game. This chest contains the most powerful weapon in the game. The only other way to get it is from another, respawning chest. THAT chest drops the weapon at such a bad rate you might as well start over however.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Phen » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:20 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Stormlock wrote:The two that top my list are the aforementioned level of insanity (I mean, a programmer had to do that intentionally right? WHY?)

I'm not sure what else I can contribute to this thread, so here's a review of The Tower of Druaga:
http://www.ntsc-uk.com/feature.php?feat ... fea=Druaga

That sounds absolutely insane.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Naurgul » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:28 pm UTC

I like the missingno glitch in old pokemon games, mostly because when I first encountered it (many many years ago) I thought it was intentional, like the legendaries. :lol:
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby mosc » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:20 pm UTC

Stormlock wrote: and a secret item in Shining Force 2 for the genesis.
What are you talking about? I played through that game dozens of times and I'm not sure. Do you mean the items that allow you to be promoted into other classes? If so, there are about a dozen of them (not just one) for basically all the "standard" class characters.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Narsil » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:46 pm UTC

In b4...

never mind, I'll just do it. If anyone hates these kinds of games, you should try I wanna be the guy. Easily the simplest, most straightforward game I've ever played.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Stormlock » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:54 pm UTC

mosc wrote:
Stormlock wrote: and a secret item in Shining Force 2 for the genesis.
What are you talking about? I played through that game dozens of times and I'm not sure. Do you mean the items that allow you to be promoted into other classes? If so, there are about a dozen of them (not just one) for basically all the "standard" class characters.


Theres only one that will

Stormlock wrote:upgrade a centaur character into a pegasus


And it's in a really stupid place. I linked to a list in my first post.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby mosc » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:09 pm UTC

Seems out of place to call that one out in SF2. I mean, there were FAR more annoying things in the game like having to reset over and over to get the mithril weapon you wanted made.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:34 am UTC

There's a very, very old example of that in the game Adventure, for the Atari 2600 (yep, the one of River Raid and Pitfall fame). I sort of forgot the minimal details, but you had to use a "bridge" item to cross over into an apparently empty area of one of the screens and pick up an invisible PIXEL. Then you bring it over to a room which has a "barrier" in it -- and unless I be mistaken, you have to drop the pixel in it, exit the screen and re-enter, and hoopla -- the barrier is gone and you gain access to a room with the developer's credits. It's insanely obscure, and the developer did that because Atari wouldn't authorise the developers to credit themselves in their games. Crazy thing: some kid DID discover that by playing, way back then. Absolutely crazy, that, but also quite cool.

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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Tomo » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:35 am UTC

Narsil wrote:In b4...

never mind, I'll just do it. If anyone hates these kinds of games, you should try I wanna be the guy. Easily the simplest, most straightforward game I've ever played.


iwbtg = best game ever, In it's own way. You'll see what I mean once you play it :p
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Phen » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:46 am UTC

Tomo wrote:
Narsil wrote:In b4...

never mind, I'll just do it. If anyone hates these kinds of games, you should try I wanna be the guy. Easily the simplest, most straightforward game I've ever played.


iwbtg = best game ever, In it's own way. You'll see what I mean once you play it :p

What the fuuuuuuuuuck. I killed myself trying to find the controls. Then I got killed immediately afterwards.

...

WHAT

It seems a bit like lol/dongs.exe
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Jebobek » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:30 pm UTC

Ah yes. For a full list of gaming situations where it seems like a strategy guide is a means of EXTORTION, I point you towards TV tropes' "Guide Dang It".

Personally I thought the FF12's Zodiac spear was BS. That and FF9's ultimate weapon that's on a timer so strict that you have to skip cutscenes to get to.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby bigstrat2003 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:
Narsil wrote:In b4...

never mind, I'll just do it. If anyone hates these kinds of games, you should try I wanna be the guy. Easily the simplest, most straightforward game I've ever played.


iwbtg = best game ever, In it's own way. You'll see what I mean once you play it :p


...God, no. That game can only be the product of someone's pure, distilled hatred for the world. It's suffering in a video game form.

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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby mosc » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:25 pm UTC

Stormlock wrote:Oh, and FFIV's rare monster drops. Particularly the rat tails and the extra monster summons like Bomb and Imp and stuff. The summons weren't even powerful, and that rat tails drop like once every 1280 kills, and the enemy itself only shows up in like 1 out of 16 fights or something insane like that. You could beat the game multiple times in the time it takes to collect a set of 4 to outfit your party with the cheesy armor.

Well, I have to correct this because I'm a nerd. The item in question is a "rat tail" and is the rare drop (1/64) of Pink Flans (Flan Princesses). However, there is only a 5 in 98 chance that they drop an item in the first place which gives 1 in 1254 for a rare drop per kill (this is the rate for the summon drops too). Note that you fight these guys 5 at once which is approximately a 1 in 251 chance PER FIGHT. To make it worse though, the fight is the "rare encounter" which is a 1 in 32 chance of happening. However, there are sirens which are items that auto-engage you against the rare encounter in the area and can be used to negate that.

So what are the odds?
If random joe randomly walks into the room and completes a single encounter, it's (1/32)*(5/98)*(1/64)*5 = 1 in 8032
If you just want the drop rate of killing one of the dudes and getting their item, it's (5/98)*(1/64) = 1 in 1254
If you know what you're doing and you stole enough sirens earlier, you need to fight approximately (5/98)*(1/64)*5 = ~251 fights.

Of course, you have 5 characters (not sure why he said 4) in the SNES version of FFIV (FFII), 9 in the FFIV-A. Though, I've gone to great lengths to show that the Adamant Armor isn't worth getting for at least 7 of the 9 characters in FFIV-A because it has no evasion bonus and they added so many other uber-items.

Is that worse than making somebody replay the game in FF9? Not sure. However it should be noted that 250 fights against 5 pink flans will take you approximately 10 hours non-stop not counting the time required to farm all those sirens.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Phen » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:31 pm UTC

There's a game a bit like this in the Let's Play archive. It's called "dongs.exe" and it's very entertaining to watch, even if the player gets quite wierd to listen to.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Jorpho » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:58 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Is that worse than making somebody replay the game in FF9?
It's not nearly so easy as just spending another 15 hours casually replaying the game, given that it typically might take one 40-50 hours to get through it normally:
Jebobek wrote:That and FF9's ultimate weapon that's on a timer so strict that you have to skip cutscenes to get to.
And "skipping cutscenes" actually entails opening and closing the Playstation - all just to save precious minutes.

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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:22 pm UTC

Jebobek wrote:That and FF9's ultimate weapon that's on a timer so strict that you have to skip cutscenes to get to.

Isn't it only minimally better than the next best sword and doesn't offer any new skills?

Shit, it's not like you even need it to finish that game.

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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Stormlock » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:33 am UTC

mosc wrote:
Stormlock wrote:Oh, and FFIV's rare monster drops. Particularly the rat tails and the extra monster summons like Bomb and Imp and stuff. The summons weren't even powerful, and that rat tails drop like once every 1280 kills, and the enemy itself only shows up in like 1 out of 16 fights or something insane like that. You could beat the game multiple times in the time it takes to collect a set of 4 to outfit your party with the cheesy armor.

Well, I have to correct this because I'm a nerd. The item in question is a "rat tail" and is the rare drop (1/64) of Pink Flans (Flan Princesses). However, there is only a 5 in 98 chance that they drop an item in the first place which gives 1 in 1254 for a rare drop per kill (this is the rate for the summon drops too). Note that you fight these guys 5 at once which is approximately a 1 in 251 chance PER FIGHT. To make it worse though, the fight is the "rare encounter" which is a 1 in 32 chance of happening. However, there are sirens which are items that auto-engage you against the rare encounter in the area and can be used to negate that.

So what are the odds?
If random joe randomly walks into the room and completes a single encounter, it's (1/32)*(5/98)*(1/64)*5 = 1 in 8032
If you just want the drop rate of killing one of the dudes and getting their item, it's (5/98)*(1/64) = 1 in 1254
If you know what you're doing and you stole enough sirens earlier, you need to fight approximately (5/98)*(1/64)*5 = ~251 fights.

Of course, you have 5 characters (not sure why he said 4) in the SNES version of FFIV (FFII), 9 in the FFIV-A. Though, I've gone to great lengths to show that the Adamant Armor isn't worth getting for at least 7 of the 9 characters in FFIV-A because it has no evasion bonus and they added so many other uber-items.

Is that worse than making somebody replay the game in FF9? Not sure. However it should be noted that 250 fights against 5 pink flans will take you approximately 10 hours non-stop not counting the time required to farm all those sirens.


I was off by 26 kills out of 1254 and you had to correct me huh?

IIRC someone has done something like a under 3 hour speedrun for the english version of FF4. Not sure if it'd still be feasible on the new version. So, even assuming you farmed the sirens instantly (Are they a drop? If it's not guaranteed then is that even faster?) Just getting 1 of this thing would take so long you could finish the whole game 3 times first.

Of course, the real kicker was that not only would it take you this long on average to farm for one, the enemies in question only appear in a tiny room that you'll probably spend about 10 steps in. If you didn't know they were tere, you'd probably play through the whole game dozens of times without even seeing them. And if you never bothered to try farming them, you could play through THOUSANDS of times and have a very slim chance of seeing the damned item.


Hmmm, in retrospect, FF6 and 7 had two of the most insanely rare things in them too: The desperation attacks in FF6 had a slim chance of occuring and could only be triggered when near death (I forget the required fraction you had to be reduced to, it was 1/8th at the largest). Since you'd have to be suicidal, stupid, or woefully unprepared to simply perform a basic melee attack when you are 1 hit from death instead of healing, this pretty much enters the category of fake sounding myth. Especially since it was the first iteration of these kinds of attacks in the FF series. (Lufia 2 did it much better.) I played through twice without ever seeing one. When I finally did see it I nearly dismissed it as a figment of my imagination until I looked it up.

FF7 had the all lucky 7's thing. The best part of which is that it's very abusable. I used it do dish out ~500k damage to Emmy before it got it's first attack off. Again, no reference to this being possible in the game itself and basically a 1/10000 chance of occurring when you get hit by the time it's possible, which it might never be if you don't try to keep your hp pumped up or overlevel.


Just thought of another one: The ring of wizardry in Baldur's Gate. Here's the map. Here's the map at the scale you actually see it at. Now, can you guess which four pixels on that entire map have the ring? No hints now...
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Phen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:22 am UTC

Jebobek wrote:Ah yes. For a full list of gaming situations where it seems like a strategy guide is a means of EXTORTION, I point you towards TV tropes' "Guide Dang It".

Personally I thought the FF12's Zodiac spear was BS. That and FF9's ultimate weapon that's on a timer so strict that you have to skip cutscenes to get to.

Oh god, you've made me waste several hours now, reading Guidedangit, unwinnable, developers think of everything, soup cans...
And I've got an exam tomorrow. O.O
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Jebobek » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:29 pm UTC

Yea the problem with that site is that they use Tropes to define other tropes. Then you have to look at each trope to see what that means. But then they use MORE Tropes to define THOSE tropes, so you're stuck reading them all. Its the wikipedia from hell.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Naurgul » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:37 pm UTC

Haha, I perceive a pattern in a person's first contact with tvtropes... :lol:
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Phen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:33 pm UTC

Naurgul wrote:Haha, I perceive a pattern in a person's first contact with tvtropes... :¡This cheese is burning me!:

Not even my first contact... I think I'm even more prone to procrastinate when I know I have to study, though.
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Re: What was with the negative level in mario bros.?

Postby Internetmeme » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:05 pm UTC

Jebobek wrote:Yea the problem with that site is that they use Tropes to define other tropes. Then you have to look at each trope to see what that means. But then they use MORE Tropes to define THOSE tropes, so you're stuck reading them all. Its the wikipedia from hell.

That's what I was about to post here.

You just...can't...stop....reading....tropes....

And then the examples in games has so many tropes, and you have to read those.

Gah! It's worse than Wikipedia because 90% of the stuff on the page interests me, and all of them contain cool links, rather than the few good links in Wiki's page.
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