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GOG's Jazz 1.3: Fix maps for 100% enemies/treasures

Simon Simon's Avatar

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Apr 22, 2021, 04:29 AM
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GOG's Jazz 1.3: Fix maps for 100% enemies/treasures

New thread, to separate the sprawling 100%-ability research from GOG's Jazz 1.3: Fix bugs, add Versions. It's possible that we postpone 100%-ability for a separate patch.

Known problem levels in Jazz 1.3:
  • Tubelectric 2: Uncollectable out-of-bounds treasure near top, 80 % to the right that is nonetheless necessary to achieve 100%.
  • Nippius 2: Love & Thunder's research says that there are >= 3 uncollectable cones near end of map, plus maybe uncollectable treasures in the early spring shaft. Needs more research.
  • Battleships 2: Two paths that both eventually prevent backtracking. With complex tech, you can get more than intended from either side, see image below. Needs discussion.
  • Maybe Deserto 2, haven't researched yet. Possible interaction of lizard-spawning sparkles with the 100% enemy counter?



See also: Full atlas map of Battleships 2.

This is Battleships 2. I've drawn the two paths with their entries (yellow L, yellow R) and subsequent exclusive zones, which I'll call LEZ and REZ, marked by yellow boxes.

Before the R, you can backtrack. You can jump at least 4 blocks high where I wrote "Jump possible". You can damage-boost off the rightmost generator's fireball to ascend even 5 blocks high where I wrote "Damage boost possible". This makes the REZ really small.

Thus, what do we even mean by 100% in Battleships 2? Do we require elaborate backtracking with the damage boost? It's not hard, but you must leave that one generator alive, so it's unobvious.

What does the score counter do/print when we kill/collect more than the hardcoded 100% value for a level? It's certainly possible that we overlook such tech.

More tech: In the bottom-right-hand corner of the LEZ, there is a generator. You can kill this generator even when you choose the right path (i.e., you just came through REZ). Jazz can stick himself deep enough in the left wall to shoot RF-Missiles through the wall, killing the generator on the far side, inside the LEZ. (This is not an issue in Battleships 2 if we expect the player to pick the left path for 100%.)

-- Simon

Last edited by Simon; Apr 22, 2021 at 04:58 AM.
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Apr 22, 2021, 08:50 AM
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Personally, I would say that 100% should be designed to be possible for average players who are simply quite familiar with the game, so having weird tech necessary to achieve 100% would not be the right choice, if you ask me. If an average player decides to try such weird tech, then they are rewarded with the extra points and the satisfaction of having done it, but they aren't sort of "forced" to do so if they're a completionist aiming for 100%.

For the unreachable treasures in Tubelectric, Deserto, and Nippius, I think it should be fairly simple to reduce the 100% thresholds and ensure 100%ability.
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Apr 22, 2021, 09:11 AM
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Tubelectric 2: Yes, the good fix is to lower the treasure count; let's also remove the out-of-bounds treasure because we're editing this file anyway. Then it will agree with the auto-counter.

Nippius 2: Since the path doesn't branch, I'm considering to rearrange the treasures. Otherwise, players will agonize over the visibly missed cones. One possibility is to put the cones in a vertical line directly over the rightmost spring, if you deem that within the map's spirit. Or we can reduce the row of 5 to 1 cone; maybe reduce it to 2, but that's a trickier stunt.

Battleships 2: Thanks for the opinion. I'll have to sleep over it, and over the findings. I like the spirit that 100% should be doable without weird tech, but it will dilute the meaning of "100%". It's also conceivable to change the map to clearly allow/disallow certain backtracking, but allowing to discover the tech in the unedited map is really cute. Hmm...

This weekend, I'll play Nippius 2 and Deserto 1+2, to come back to your research and questioning of the cones in the spring shaft.

-- Simon
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Apr 22, 2021, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Tubelectric 2: Yes, the good fix is to lower the treasure count; let's also remove the out-of-bounds treasure because we're editing this file anyway. Then it will agree with the auto-counter.
Personally, I would leave the out of bounds treasure alone, and only change the 100% numbers. It's not like anyone is going to run into it in normal gameplay; if they're running cheats, though, I say let 'em find an extra item. It's just like the messages written outside the bounds. It's an easter egg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Nippius 2: Since the path doesn't branch, I'm considering to rearrange the treasures. Otherwise, players will agonize over the visibly missed cones. One possibility is to put the cones in a vertical line directly over the rightmost spring, if you deem that within the map's spirit.
That's a valid solution too. The purist in me wants to preserve the level's original layout, but if 1.0, 1.2a, and vanilla 1.3 are in the goodies anyway, it's not like we're erasing the original, and it's only a minor change.

So, yes, I agree. Good call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Battleships 2: Thanks for the opinion. I'll have to sleep over it, and over the findings. I like the spirit that 100% should be doable without weird tech, but it will dilute the meaning of "100%". It's also conceivable to change the map to clearly allow/disallow certain backtracking.
For me, the meaning of "100%" is the maximum number of items a player could collect in a single playthrough. It's a constructed idea, it exists in the design of the level itself, so it shouldn't bend to obscure, unexpected behaviour that take a certain mastery of the mechanics to achieve.

But, that's just my view. Either way, I would resist changing the layout of the level.
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Apr 28, 2021, 03:28 PM
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Personally, I would leave the out of bounds treasure alone, and only change the 100% numbers. [...] It's an easter egg.
I'm good with this. After all, the out-of-bounds treasure is not misleading.

Quote:
Nippius 2 [...] So, yes, I agree. Good call.
Thanks! I'll edit Nippius 2 then, but I'll wait until I'm done researching the spring shaft.

I haven't spent much time on the spring shaft yet, I'll do it this weekend at latest. I'd like to either collect all treasures in the spring shaft or prove it impossible. I conjecture that it's possible and merely very annoying.

The main trick is to bonk Jazz's head on the central rocks to cancel short the spring flights. It's also possible to hold Down+Jump when you ascend through a bridge tile (= a semi-solid tile that Jazz can pass upwards, but where Jazz will then sit on like on any other ground) to convert the spring flight into a regular jump, but you still need to bonk Jazz's head on rocks at other times.

I'm not sure if speed shoes are good or bad for the endeavor; precise maneuvering with speed shoes is nothing short of weird science. The benefit of speed shoes is to be able to jump to lowermost central rocks without taking a spring.

Quote:
"100%"
It's a constructed idea, it exists in the design of the level itself, so it shouldn't bend to obscure, unexpected behaviour that take a certain mastery of the mechanics to achieve.
I would resist changing the layout of the level.
After sleeping over Battleships 2 several times, I've come to agree with you. We shouldn't change the level's tile layout. Changing how exactly the path forks feels like too intrusive a change.

Go ahead with your proposed editing of enemy/treasure numbers for 100%. I'll happily test your level to check that 100% is possible without advanced trickery, and I'll also test how the engine reacts to scoring over 100% on your version.

-- Simon
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May 12, 2021, 06:42 AM
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Sorry I haven't come back to this in a little while.

Here's a version of Battleships 2 with the 100% completion numbers adjusted. I believe this should provide 100% completion if you take the non-tech route that contains the most items.
If you can test it for 100%ability and non-broken sound (since I know J1E occasionally breaks sounds), I'd appreciate it a lot!

This leaves Nippius 2 and Deserto 1.

I ran Deserto 1 through J1LES, removing the extra items in the unreachable area. Oddly, the item numbers didn't change. This suggests to me that Epic already accounted for the unreachable items in the original completion percentages. If you could test this for me, I would appreciate that.

As for Nippius 2, remember that we want to be careful to not require any kind of tech to get 100%. Bonking Jazz's head at the speed he's going, especially with the speed shoes, is very, very difficult. I would say it makes it pretty much impossible to get the topmost four ice creams in the second part of the springs part, the top one in the third part, and the top three in the last part. I think you could MAYBE get one or two of some of these, but I'm sceptical. I would also suggest removing 5 further items from the tally to account for the only very small likelihood of getting all four ice creams at the very bottom spring while still bonking your head so you can get all the items in the second section, and the very small likelihood of being able to get both sets of 3 ice creams above the springs in the third section.

To illustrate this, here's some crudely-drawn notes on a map of the spring tower section:

The ice creams circled in red are ones I suspect are impossible, those circled in yellow are ones I suspect are very unlikely, and I've numbered each section to assist in understanding my explanation above.

In addition to all of this, I would remove 3 or 4 items to account for the impossible-to-obtain ice creams at the very, very end of the level.
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Last edited by Love & Thunder; May 12, 2021 at 06:58 AM.
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