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Ivo
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by Ivo Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:36 am

To change the subject a bit, I'd like to comment on something. As someone from Europe who was used to playing European games on the Amiga, I got a distinct "Europe-made" vibe from Ecco, particularly on the graphic style but also but also sometimes in terms of gameplay.

Does anyone care to comment on this?
It seems that during the 90s there was some noticeable difference between Japan / Europe / US made games in game making (with exceptions of course). I notice for example the short-period of flinching and no knock-back is something that I think is usual in many Amiga games; the color palette and design that aims to be partially "photo-realistic" instead of stylized / cartoony (despite the limitations) likewise was usual in many Amiga games.

I know it is also made by Europeans so maybe I just have confirmation bias.
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by Orion Pimpdaddy Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:20 pm

I died 10 more times playing the machine today. Pretty early in the stage actually. Even though I beat it three times yesterday, I don't have the stomach to play the stage any more. There's no telling how many times the boss is going to kill me anyway, and spit me back into the Machine. I'm going to cheat and use a password online that puts you me the final boss.

Update:
I used the password to get to the queen and died 10 more times. Each time I die, it sends me back to the machine, so I have to reset and type the password again. Beating this game is like trying to pass a 10 pound kidney stone.

Update 2:
Just died 10 more times, but I'm getting betting at blasting the eyes out without getting clobbered by the boogers.

Update 3:
A couple of more deaths, but I finally beat it!
Last edited by Orion Pimpdaddy on Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ivo
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by Ivo Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:16 pm

Orion Pimpdaddy wrote:Update:
I used the password to get to the queen and died 10 more times. Each time I die, it sends me back to the machine, so I have to reset and type the password again. Beating this game is like trying to pass a 10 pound kidney stone.


I don't mean to be condescending and I'm probably being annoying, but I guess you can always skip the advice if you don't want to read further.

If you play REALLY carefully at the queen you shouldn't be dying in the CD version with regeneration. And why would you not be REALLY careful? Even for impatient people (like me) it makes sense to be patient in this situation, as it is far worse to be forced to redo the Machine (or re-enter the password). Just resist the urge to try to sneak in one more hit or whatever. If you made it through the machine you're more than competent enough to do the Queen in one try.
You shouldn't try to damage the queen if the conditions aren't nearly perfect. The queen can only win if you make mistakes. You have time on your side, just don't make mistakes and you won't lose. If you simply won't lose, eventually you will wind up winning.

At the top of the level, new drones spawn frequently, but always at the same spot (don't be on that spot). These should be no threat, dispatch them with the sonar well before they hit you.

Also there are occasional blob shots aimed at you fired by the side walls at the top and at the bottom. Avoid them or take the hit if it is safer than moving (you may need to avoid them if you are low on health due to a minor slip up).

You should always keep distance from the Queen. Touching her even away from the mouth will instantly kill you whenever she is sucking in.

If you aren't attacking, that is basically all that can kill you. In that light you should realize you are actually fairly safe if you are far from the Queen and regenerating health at your leisure.

I recommend being in the top part of the level in the first part of the fight as when you hit the first vulnerable parts damaging sprays are emitted that fall down. Ideally you don't even get hit by the sprays, but even if you are hit as long as you are upwards it is very unlikely to get hit be enough of them to kill you (that doesn't apply if you are below). Craft the perfect position and then shoot:
Wait for the sucking sound to end, then if you are at maximum health, and there are no drones or blobs on the screen, position yourself safely and shoot. If from your first shot you get splashed by damaging sprays, don't shoot again until the next opportunity. If you are far enough and don't get splashed, get in 1 or 2 more hits.

Eventually you will need to go for another part. At the bottom of the level, the drones won't come so only the occasional blob shots are a concern. You should be able to hug the left or right wall and be perfectly safe there unless you are somehow low on health already. You just need to hit C to swim against the wall and that way the Queen won't be able to suck you in. If you want or need, you can dodge the blobs continuing to hug the wall (but a single shot won't kill you if you are at maximum health). Craft the perfect position and then attack:
Try to be horizontally level with the jaw; wait for the sucking sound to end, then if you are at max health and there are no blobs on the screen, strike the jaw ONCE and swiftly return to hug the wall. You may take minor damage from rubbing against the Queen but if she isn't sucking that won't dent the Health meter much if at all.

Eventually you will need to go for the last part. You must once again stay far from the Queen as one hit when she is sucking will still kill you. Try to be horizontally level with the top part facing away from the Queen (so you can swim away from the sucking effect); wait for the sucking sound to end, then if there are no drones or blobs, strike once, retreat swiftly, sonar all drones and regen.

Ivo.
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by Orion Pimpdaddy Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:43 pm

Ivo wrote:
Orion Pimpdaddy wrote:Update:
I used the password to get to the queen and died 10 more times. Each time I die, it sends me back to the machine, so I have to reset and type the password again. Beating this game is like trying to pass a 10 pound kidney stone.


I don't mean to be condescending and I'm probably being annoying, but I guess you can always skip the advice if you don't want to read further.

If you play REALLY carefully at the queen you shouldn't be dying in the CD version with regeneration. And why would you not be REALLY careful?


I've already beat it, but I guess I better defend my reasons for dying.

First of all, I never played the game before, so when I'm in the tank with the queen, some experimentation is neccessary just to figure out what I have to do.

Having regeneration is no good if certain hits take out the ENTIRE energy gauge. For example, sometimes those little snot pellets will hit you in just the right way and take out the entire guage. Sometimes one of the regenerating aliens hits you in just the right way, and also wipe out your entire guage. By "just the right way" I mean in the middle of your turning animation, which takes a second. At that point, if something hits you, it stays hitting you long enough to zap the entire life bar.

Also, in the beginning, I had a lot of trouble shooting the eyes and not being hit by the eye boogers. It took a little expermentation to find a good method.

When the jaw part came, it took some experimentation. Sometimes the breathing in took place just after I hit the jaw, so I got swallowed a couple of times.

Now after the jaw is destroyed (for good) you have to charge the creature, but sometimes when I charged, it instantly killed me. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong here. I usually took damage when I charged her. Usually it was just one block.
Ivo
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by Ivo Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:22 pm

Orion Pimpdaddy wrote:I've already beat it, but I guess I better defend my reasons for dying.



Congrats!

Well, I did finish it back in the day many years ago so maybe I was underestimating things and having muscle memory pull me out without me noticing. I figured you were just being overeager and playing rashly so my apologies. It is just that, after the Machine, the Queen is sort of cakewalk.

One further tip against the drones, if you are spamming sonar they won't come near you so much (they try to avoid it) and you can sometimes kill them even if they are on top of you (the sonar actually starts up from a bit behind Ecco's head). It won't hurt to be spamming it and it can save you often.

I haven't had the blobs ever 1-hit kill me from full Health so I can't comment on that.

As for the Queen, if you touch her when she is doing the sucking you will 1-hit killed even if you are charging, even after you knock her jaw out.

Ivo.
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by Orion Pimpdaddy Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:01 pm

I just wanted to give my final thoughts on the Sega CD version of Ecco. The game seems to have a magical quality to it, with the aquatic decor, the soothing music, and the storyline about a dolphin trying to find his pod. I really enjoyed the small scale problem solving that occurs in most of the stages. I'd also have to say the game is very original. There are underwater games out there, but the manner in which you swim around the mazes in a natural animalistic way hasn't been done before (at least in the games I've played).

Anyone who has read my previous posts know that I had problems with the difficulty. I can happily say the difficult portions are concentrated only in certain areas, and is not "gamewide." Having a walkthrough nearby can definitely help, and people shouldn't feel guilty if they have to use one for this game. I honestly don't think it was the programers' intention to make the game difficult, especially a game that seems geared for kids. I just think it turned out that way. It may have needed some more playtesting. What's interesting is that the launch of the game actually got delayed due to a playtester finding a glitch.

Another slight drawback is the game can be cryptic, so once again, an occasional peek at a walkthrough should not be frowned upon.

So overall, I'd say it was a love/hate relationship. Now, does anyone recommend playing the sequels? I thought I might give them a try just for the sake of comparing. Is the Tides of Time just an undated rehash, or does it have enough to it to make it stand apart?
Ivo
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by Ivo Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:12 am

Apparently the Japan version of Ecco 1 is a bit more fair as there are (for example) checkpoints Glyphs during the Machine.

I think Ecco 2 is also difficult. I haven't played it to the end and it was years ago so I don't remember too well.

I haven't played Ecco Jr. but it should be very easy and possibly relaxing. That one was meant for kids.

The Dreamcast one is hard. Much more than the 2d ones I think. Gorgeous graphics though and some very memorable stuff, particularly considering the time. The PS2 port of it is allegedly a bit easier.

Ivo.
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alienjesus
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by alienjesus Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:24 am

From what I hear Tides of Time is more consistentlys difficult, but has no difficult parts that reach the dizzy heights of the machine or the genesis/mega drive version of dark water. In other words, most levels are still difficult, but if you beat Ecco 1, you should manage ok. I want to try it myself some time.
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baschlives
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by baschlives Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:03 pm

I just bought the Genesis version.
I am excited to try this game for the first time.
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noiseredux
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Re: Together Retro: Ecco The Dolphin

by noiseredux Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:22 pm

baschlives wrote:I just bought the Genesis version.
I am excited to try this game for the first time.


have a drink first... you gonna want to take the edge of preemptively.
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