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Offline johnmcallister

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Pole Position and how to get better
« on: May 18, 2018, 11:37:41 am »
Doing some research into Pole Position and how it scores. Found that the timer in PP is 40 frames per second.

00 01 02 03
14 15 16 17
28 29 20 21   whats going on here, Atari and their bad math
32 33 34 35
46 47 48 49
50 51 52 53
64 65 66 67
78 79 70 71
82 83 84 85
96 97 98 99

You won't see any lap times that end in 04-13 18,19 22-27 and so on.

You advance through the track the fastest when you are in the inside of the track, a couple of seconds slower if you go on the outside of the turns.

195 speed or difficulty and you will travel around the course almost 10 seconds slower.
225 speed or difficulty and you go nearly the same as the 244 max or difficulty speed would go around the course. The turns are more difficult because you will skid more even though the game says you are going at a slower speed. You don't pass as many cars in either of the slower difficulties.

There seems to be a few spots in the game where you travel faster, most notably in the end of the hairpin turn. If you are in 1st gear you will all of a sudden see the track and scenery moving past you much faster for a short time. The engine even goes up a few notches in pitch.

In a cockpit using the brake can gain you around 1-3 tenths of a second at the end of the race by using the brake and shifting into 1st gear just before the end of the race where the computer takes control of your car.   <<<<<<  I think that has been proven false sorry about that, I had tested it but reviewing it I was wrong.

The Namco version boardset has different car patterns and I believe is an easier version of the game. The cars migrate towards the center of the road and allow you to pass them on the inside or outside and if your in a corner going on the inside will net you a faster time.

The optimal time to shift gears is at 115 and a spread of around 5-10 either direction but you will start to loose time as you get closer to either edge of that limit.

You can manipulate the car pattern on the first lap by starting the game in different states of the attract mode. The map of the road will yield one type and if you start the game when the demo mode of racing starts you will get another.

Coming out of the first turn in the game if you touch both sides of the road or yellow strip the cars for the remainder of that lap will be spread out and closer to the edges of the road. So the first corner is to the right, make sure you are touching the yellow strip at some point before it ends and then cross the road in the straight away and touch the left hand side and then your set.

After the first lap of the race you can take the 1st turn at full speed 244 mph and make the turn without loosing any speed. This is a very difficult thing to do and I've only done it once. Only learned that I could do this on my last couple of races that I was able to play before I didn't have access to a machine anymore.

On the qualifying lap you can sit at the start of it for as long as you want to before the timer runs out. So if you sit there for the first 10-20 seconds of the race and then go your lap time will be the same as if you started at the first chance you had. During this wait the cars advance down the track all the way to the first turn where you can't see them. As you start to go down the track you will encounter the first set of cars just as you enter the first turn. While doing this I noticed that I would get different car setups during the actual race and some of them were very different and in some ways much better for the overall time of the 1st lap. More research needs to be put into this as it might make for some real good setups where all the cars are on one side of the track, making for some really fast times.

So far the fastest way that I know of to get through the hairpin turn is to stay on the road as much as possible and not touch the grass. After getting a little bit more than halfway through or just after you pass the sign on the left try to turn the wheel to get back into the center or even better, to the right hand side of the road. You will when done correctly come to the next sign up the road going around 229-233 mph.

Does anyone have anything to add to this list or any suggestions on what to try to get even faster times.

What are some of your fastest qualifying lap times. I've had 2-3 52.35 qualifying lap times.

What are some of your fastest racing lap times. I've had a couple in the range of 52.66 and 52.71
« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 06:17:15 pm by johnmcallister »
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Offline johnmcallister

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 03:45:12 pm »
Here is a link to the Namco version of Pole Position, you'll see that the car patterns are slightly different at times and I believe make the game much easier.  I didn't get enough time on this machine to adjust and put up a decent score though. 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LU-BEXWZ0VPB8adtFhbnh1MZijgZy1Bh
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Offline bestcellar

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 08:59:20 am »
Hi John, thank for all the info! I feel as though I'm just getting to a somewhat capable place with scoring, although largely relying on feel and instinct rather than precision. I finally broke through the 65k barrier last night and had a 65,000 even, 2 65,050s and a 65,060 (I remembered to downshift at the finish line!).

On the qualifying lap I must be doing it very sub-optimally as my fastest lap is only 55.85. I imagine my hairpin turn needs work - quite a bit as I'm bailing out into the inside red/grass way too much.

I've seen what might be a TAS emulation of a youtube 67k run, but it seems as though that person is getting a mystery 350 added on to the qualifying race which I do not understand. It lives here
I'm really interested in getting my game to a 66k level




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Offline johnmcallister

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2018, 10:49:49 am »
Nice going on getting into the 65k range.  After so many races you begin to not even worry about crashing anymore, except in the first turn and the hairpin.  If you don't know the car pattern is in either you have to just hope they stay out of your way and make do. 

At first I thought it was a TAS also but it is not.  The guy has played the game a bunch and even has a spreadsheet with all his races and he describes his gameplay in detail. 

The hairpin curve is a mystery.  I've been doing a spreadsheet on it and I'm still not sure the best way to handle it.  If I go into the grass the first part of the turn I get better times going through it, but come out going to slow and loose time later.  If I stay on the road I get pretty good times but somewhere in there I still lose a bunch of time.  I'm going to try and apply the brake before I get into the curve and see if I can do less or no skidding and see if times get better.

When I review my gameplay I notice that I'm still not getting to the far inside of the turns as much as I need to be.  There are some cars that you can pass on the inside of some turns but determining which ones is still a mystery most of the time.

It's a challenge to get into the 66k range.  I had about 10 games where I finally got 65810 and then finally I broke through into the 66k range but haven't seen it since.  Just keep practicing and trying to get further inside on the turns and you'll soon be into the 66k range.

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Offline danman123456

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2018, 12:47:04 pm »
That mame run was freaking almost perfect.

I'll break this down vs Richies 65k score.

Richies - MAME -
Richie Qualifying - 56"30 - 14,000
MAME Qualifying - 55"65 - 14,070
70 point difference? Have a feeling this is a bug since the qualifying lap is only supposed to be 14,000 points?

Trying to get scores right as the get Extended Play on the screen.
Lap 1
Richie - 24,020 - 56"50? (Hard to read)
MAME - 24,150 - 56"28
130 Point Difference

Lap 2
Richie - 34,070 - 53"4x (Hard to read)
MAME - 34,260 - 52"70"
190 Point Difference

Lap 3
Richie - 44,020 - 52"4x?
MAME - 44,310 - 53"16
290 Point Difference

Lap 4
Richie - 54,010 - 53"4x?
MAME - 54,350 - 52"70
340 Point Difference

Math is not adding up lap times of 56.28+52.60+53.16+52.70 = 214.74 but overall time says 215"99 for MAME run? I have a feeling this is also a glitch/error? Someone mentioned the game usually rounds up race times by a half second? but this is well over a full second or 1.25 seconds??? Still its only 1.48 seconds slower than the 213.26 fastest EVER lap times in the post I list below

Final Times on screen
Richie - 216"70
MAME - 215"99

Passed Cars
Richie - 50 x 138 cars = 6,900 points
MAME - 50 x 138 cars = 6,900 points

Time Bonus
Richie - 200 x 28 = 5,600 points
MAME - 200 x 29 = 5,800 points

Final Scores
Richie - 66,560
MAME - 67,050
490 point difference (Did not get the mysterious extra 10 points for some reason or would have been 67,060 still 250 points off world record with a lap time actually faster in lap four than described in a post at so the 1 second plus the mystery passed car issue still seems to come up. Sadly yeah photoshop exists and any "photos" now are quite plainly IMO suspect.

https://forums.arcade-museum.com/archive/index.php/t-281561.html
"The lowest lap times that I can remember are:
Lap One: 55.84
Lap Two: 52.20
Lap Three: 52.20
Lap Four: 53.02"

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Offline johnmcallister

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2018, 03:32:04 pm »
The lap time for the mame score on lap 4 is 53.35, the 52.70 you stated was the fastest lap of the race.

Mame for some reason adds around 70 points per lap, times 5 laps = 350 points.  So this score actually would be if done on a machine would have been 66700. 

You got some wrong times in your calculation
56.28+52.60+53.16+52.70 = 214.74 
56.28+52.70+53.16+53.35 = 215.49 and add the half second and you get 215.99

Atari math sometimes is messed up, I also noticed some math issues on Agent X or Cloak & Dagger. 


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Offline danman123456

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2018, 06:01:19 pm »
Ah whoops ok didnt realize that I was trying to go frame at a time. :D
Just noticed it shows the 53"35 for a second and then the 52.70!

Hmmm sooooo what if this magic 350 points is the same nonsense that mame is doing? Maybe an early rom revision or something else? Doesnt anyone think its odd that mame just magically adds 70 points a lap?

The lap time for the mame score on lap 4 is 53.35, the 52.70 you stated was the fastest lap of the race.

Mame for some reason adds around 70 points per lap, times 5 laps = 350 points.  So this score actually would be if done on a machine would have been 66700. 

You got some wrong times in your calculation
56.28+52.60+53.16+52.70 = 214.74 
56.28+52.70+53.16+53.35 = 215.49 and add the half second and you get 215.99

Atari math sometimes is messed up, I also noticed some math issues on Agent X or Cloak & Dagger.
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Offline bestcellar

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2018, 11:39:11 pm »
Tonight’s results attached. New PB of 65,550 set at Galloping Ghost and just one car shy of the House high of 65,600. What really kills me is that I was hundredths of a second from the next tick and a 65,750. Thank you so much again for the tips, they really helped!!!

I attempted to “control” the array of cars that pops out as described above, but still often ended up with the horrible four-cluster followed by four-in-the-hairpin. It’s still death for me 99% of the time with four. With three in the hairpin, I’m usually good, and able to lap between 56 and 57. Typically my subsequent laps are around 54. Fastest qualifying is now 55'53. I’m still getting slightly better just driving but I’m rapidly approaching a spot where I’ll need to really unpack this game.

By the way, what do folks think of the Lagier score? I’ve read a ton about the history. I don’t necessarily doubt it occurred, but think it’s fascinating no one in the past 20 years has even gotten closer than 800 points. I would have thought someone would have at least verified with TAS what the limit was, especially post-Dragstergate.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 09:12:21 am by bestcellar »
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Offline bestcellar

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 09:11:39 am »
Another thing I would love to find out is how much time you lose hitting each puddle.
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Offline danman123456

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2018, 10:02:59 am »
Well it is worth discussing that top 2 scores of all time were done in the SAME tournament, over the same weekend, on the SAME pole position cabinet and no one has managed to come close in over 34+ years. I dont quite understand how going faster would somehow gain you the ability to pass a bunch of extra cars and I also find it odd that we still dont have a single video of a 67k+ score from either of these two guys in 35+ years (Well none that I have seen or are aware of)? Kinda the same questions I had with Mr Rodgers scores in that there is a lot of talk but no video? At least perhaps that PP cabinet was off perhaps just like how mame scores that 350 extra points? Basically to me anymore if there is no video I just dont believe any of the scores from the 80s. Way to many folks been caught flat out lying and the history of how those scores got into TG from 1500points makes it all suspect. :)
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Offline bestcellar

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2018, 10:47:25 am »
Richie does claim in the comments of his youtube that he has unlocked 67 so "he figured he would share old techniques"
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Offline TheSunshineFund

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2018, 10:52:35 am »
Kinda the same questions I had with Mr Rodgers scores in that there is a lot of talk but no video?

Mind the D....

Perry Rodgers - Good, legit player
Todd Rogers -  FailFish
In the summer that you came
There was something eating everyone
And the sunshine fund was low
We couldn't greet you with a simple hello
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Offline danman123456

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2018, 03:34:07 pm »
HAHA omg the D.... :D Whoops

Kinda the same questions I had with Mr Rodgers scores in that there is a lot of talk but no video?

Mind the D....

Perry Rodgers - Good, legit player
Todd Rogers -  FailFish
DK High : 1,059,700 (Lvl 22-1 KS!);
DK KS Speedrun : 1 Hr 16 Min 40 Sec - World Record!
DK Lvl 1 - 1: 12,400
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Fix-IT Felix Jr 1 Hour Limit - 177,000
Fix-It Felix Jr KS Speedrun - 1h33
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Offline danman123456

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2018, 04:08:23 pm »
Yeah we can all assume a perfect run will get you 67k and Richie is still 300+ points off the record. His 3rd place score if he goes TWO seconds faster is only 400 points more for 66910 and that means he is still another 400 points off the 67,310. It just doesnt add up. Somehow going faster you pass 8 MORE cars? I've seen a photo of 214" times with a #1 score of 67,010 and then just a photo of the 67,260 high score in the top left (shocking huh why not the high score table showing all the scores including the time for that 67,260?) Why not the photos of the times and scores for the 67,260 and the 67,310? Basically they are saying not only are they in the 213" range for time to get that addition 200 points but also in the process passed a miracle ONE more car and then Les somehow got the super miracle passed TWO more cars? All in the same same weekend/contest? Sorry I'm still skeptical.

 
Richie does claim in the comments of his youtube that he has unlocked 67 so "he figured he would share old techniques"
DK High : 1,059,700 (Lvl 22-1 KS!);
DK KS Speedrun : 1 Hr 16 Min 40 Sec - World Record!
DK Lvl 1 - 1: 12,400
Fix-It Felix Jr - 297,000 (World Record)
Fix-IT Felix Jr 1 Hour Limit - 177,000
Fix-It Felix Jr KS Speedrun - 1h33
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Offline poleposition

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Re: Pole Position and how to get better
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2018, 01:28:47 am »
Regarding danman's comments:

The photos you have seen are all that I have to prove my score of 67,260.

There is a history of score progression. Various magazines and Twin Galaxies scoreboard updates show both Les and I going back and forth, raising the record by 50 or 200 points over a period of months.
We did not leap to the 213.xx time required for a 67,260 or 67,310 score. We climbed the ladder one rung at a time.

One photo does show a top score of 67,010, with a race time of 214.xx seconds.
Our race times were 213.xx seconds.
200 points awarded for one second faster race time, 50 points awarded per car passed, resulting in scores of 67,260 or 67,310.

Les and I did both play on the same machine. I worked at the arcade Video Paradise, and Les lived a few miles away, so he also played on the same machine. The owner of the arcade provided that same machine to Space Shuttle Arcade for the Guinness contest. I believe that there was nothing special about that machine, as I have reached scores of 67,010 (214.xx race times) on my machine at home.

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