Walkthrough- Wave 30 to 39 – Get in the Zone

This pattern of waves will be presented over and over until the player reaches wave 255 (which is 8 bits in binary- 11111111).

  • Brains – wave ends in 0 or 5
  • Tanks – wave ends in 2 or 7
  • Grunt mob – wave ends in 9
  • Mixed enemies – waves end in 1,3,4,6,8
  • Wave 30 to 40- Click video HERE

Exact repetition of waves from wave 40 on-

  • Although the style of waves repeats every 10 waves after wave 30. The exact pattern is based on 40 waves.
  • Robotron is hardcoded with 40 unique waves.
  • After wave 40 the game goes back to the enemy counts from Wave 21. (Wave 41 enemies= Wave 21 enemies)
  • Wave 21 is the same as wave 41, 61, 81, etc.
  • Wave 40 is the same as wave 60, 80, 100, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200, 220, 240
  • Wave 55 is the same as wave 35, 75, 95, 115, 135, 155, 175, 195, 215, 235, 255
  • Wave 40 is great for earning extra men, because it has mixed family members totalling 30 people
  • Increase in difficulty of the game ends at wave 40. Meaning wave 40 is the same difficulty as wave 60.
  • Wave 5 and 25 have 1 Mikey so the “Mikey trick” is easiest to accomplish (wave 45, 65, 85, etc)
  • Spheroids generate Enforcers, so the faster you remove them the less enforcers you’ll encounter
  • Quarks generate Tanks, so the faster you remove them the less tanks you’ll encounter
  • I’ve highlighted waves in red that are the most difficult for the user the first time encountered
  • Wave 39 has the most enemies on the screen at the start of wave.
  • Sean Riddle analysis

Order of waves

  • 1 to 99
  • 0 – Wave 100- Click video HERE
  • 1 to 99
  • 0 – Wave 200- Click video HERE
  • 1 to 55 – Wave 255- Click video HERE
  • repeat at the original wave 1

Try to find a general pattern in your strategy so you can pace your game play to die less times than you gain in bonus lives.

  • In typical gameplay a player will average 26k to 32k per wave.
  • In theory if you die an average of less than 10 times in 10 waves, your game will extend indefinitely. …until the call of nature, hardware malfunction, or exhaustion sets in.
  • Rolling score at 10 million- Click video HERE
  • Although the onscreen score rolls at 10 million, the game code doesn’t actually roll the score until 100million, explained HERE

Clocking the Lives!

  • Playing with 255 lives (using infinite lives MAME cheat, 20 man start, 20k bonus life) you can hit the rollover at 4,740,000.
  • Playing with 255 lives on Youtube
  • Rolling back to Zero lives Youtube
  • In April 2013, Mike Kasper clocked his men at 44.6 million as he was attempting to reach a goal of 45 million.
  • Summary- much like Defender, if you are skilled enough to marathon the game, your biggest enemy for most of the gameplay, is clocking the lives, moreso than longevity of human endurance.

From Christian Gingras, May 2013-

  • The bonus overflow test was performed on a machine located near Quebec City at a convenient store equivalent to “Seven 11”, but with a French name instead. The twin (Ian or Yvan… I need to ask them again who is who) was determined to prove to himself that he can win more bonus life than the one sacrified by a nasty computer controlled object.
  • The controversy arose from my initial study of Joust and Robotron, finding in the disassembled 6809 instructions that Robotron lacked the overflow test. The twin had a vague memory of seeing the line of bonus go from full to empty in some previous “x hours” game, then restart getting full after a few more Brain Waves (these were his most succesfull bonus accumulation Waves). At that time, I didn’t found a Sanyo TV to convert as arcade monitor, so we could not test the overflow with the Robotron PCB that I had at home…..My memory is that he played about 4 hours to reach the bonus overflow. I was trying to maintain on paper the count of life lost, having already prepared my list in 1 millions point per lines, 20 bonus, to compute the bonus gained (it would be unreliable to try the count with the typical sound as such good player may win 2 or 3 bonus in less than 1 second, when the human are bunched in some screen area)

This excerpt from a now defunct website entry mentions a crucial key to the concept of marathoning Robotron.

  • Walton Gibson- http://www.tripoint.org/games/games.html
  • Due to the 8 bit processor, the machine could only count up to 255. Once it hit 256, it “rolled over” to 0. This causes some interesting and frustrating things to happen:
  • Once you hit wave 256, you started again on wave 1. 2. If you get 255 extra men, and you reach that 256th extra man, the machine will roll over and give you 0 extra men. You still have the man you’re playing.
  • I lost two 25,000,000 point (6 hours each) games this way. Both times I was going for the record of, at that time, 100,000,000 points. I was quite pissed. I later rationalized it as giving the machine such a butt-whupping, that it quit. Rolling over your men is as close to beating Robotron as you can get.

What is The Zone?

  • At some point in your gameplay, you’ll find your brain drifts off to other thoughts, or nothing at all.  Much like driving down the interstate on a long trip and the past minutes can’t be remembered.  Your body is working autonomously on an intuitive level.
  • Players who fall into this “zone” report the gameplay becomes slow motion in their brain, and reflexes become hyper-accute and fast.  Very similar to what athletes report.
  • It is fascinating that the human brain can find a sense of calm tranquility amongst chaos on the gamefield.  One could almost liken it to meditation or a Zen moment (Feeling philosophical? Click HERE)
  • The Zone is usually experienced after the initial adrenaline rush at the start of a game.
  • Just as quickly as the zone comes, it can go away.  You might find you’ve played 20 waves flawlessly, then you snap out of it and die 5 times in a row on a wave you aced previously.  I call it, Multiple Death Syndrome (MDS)
  • IMPORTANT- Like any adrenaline based experience there is an addictive quality which must be respected. Constant awareness of your health is important.  Too much adrenaline and you might find yourself fatigued, irritable, intense, yet desiring more action.
  • I find Pandora radio in the background helps keep me in the zone. (Wolfmother radio especially….)
  • Interesting article about the way the brain processes and makes sense of the world’s chaos- Discover Magazine August 2012
  • Description of “FLOW”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

Obsession, Passion, or Addiction?

  • Obsession is me following this thread while on holiday. Passion is my wife pretending to be excited when I beat a score. Addiction is me not wanting to end a game when I’m called for dinner.  🙂  -Andrew Cathcart 10/8/13

Robotron Quotient (RQ)-

  • Eugene (Jarvis) and I coined the term “RQ” back when the game was current to describe the efficiency in which you play through the game (such as the average score at a particular wave) – Larry DeMar 11/12
  • RQ= Score Divided by Wave Number
  • Enemy/Bonus Chart
  • Range is between 25K and 35K (for an extremely great player)

You are marathoner…Now what?

  • When you have accomplished gameplay skills over wave 100, you might enjoy the 5 man tournament settings (start 5 men, no free men, difficulty setting 5).  Hundreds of players can reach 10 million, but only a small handful have progressed to the master level of exceeding 800k on 5 man tournament settings.  It’s a completely different level of game and one that will keep you from getting bored.
  • Master players often set the difficulty at 10 for a 3 man start/normal bonus lives which rejuvenates the adrenaline rush and excitement of the game.  If you can reach wave 20 to 40 on difficulty 10 you are an exceptional player.  If you can marathon the game at difficulty 10 you are almost inhuman, and there are a few current players out there of this caliber.
  • Visit the Extreme/Difficulty 10 page HERE

I’m ready for a World Record Marathon attempt-

  • The VidKidz Challenge is HERE (Playing on max difficulty with 50k life bonuses, or best score after 40 waves)
  • The 100 million gaunlet challenge is HERE
  • Read about Eric Ginner’s 112 million game HERE  (1982 scores were appended scores, when bug caused resets)
  • CAG forum stores World Records for 1-hr timed game and best first man scores. None yet submitted for Robotron!

If using 1982 romset- to avoid having your game get reset by the “shot-in-the-corner” bug ,, you can try this tip (per Spriggsy)

  • At the end of waves avoid shooting the side walls from acute or obtuse angles
  • Try to avoid shooting enforcers in the corner unless you can’t avoid. it.
  • Walk along the bottom until get to a corner and fire up or along to minimize the bug happening.

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