Author Topic: Interview with "ACU-AZU", Donkey Kong's newest 1.2 million point player  (Read 5808 times)

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Offline ersatz_cats

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Once thought to be Donkey Kong's impossible plateau, the 1.2 million mark has been ascended for only the sixth time. A Japanese supergamer known to the public only as "ACU-AZU" recently vaulted to #5 on the all-time leaderboard with a score of 1,210,400 on the original arcade game (U.S. rom set), achieved live at the legendary Daytona III arcade in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. You can see the history-making score here:


To honor the occasion, arcade gamer Pearl reached out to ACU-AZU to conduct an interview, presented below both in original Japanese and translated to English. ACU-AZU also asked us to mention the work of his study partner Esperle from their group Donkey Kong Kenkyukai.



ENGLISH


Pearl: When did you start playing Donkey Kong?

ACU-AZU: 40 Years ago. I was 11 years old and my PB in the Japanese version was 250,000 points. I started playing more seriously when the movie Pixels was shown.

Pearl: What interested you about the game?

ACU-AZU: The images were so beautiful, and my friends and I competed with each other.

Pearl: Why did you choose to get a high score in DK?

ACU-AZU: It all started when I met Jeremy Young and Wes Copeland at a DK event held at Amuseum in Mobara, Chiba, Japan.

Pearl: What are your future plans in DK?

ACU-AZU: I think my score will keep improving, but I'm not sure if I should continue.

Pearl: Do you want to break the WR?

ACU-AZU: I think the WR is 10,000 light years away for me right now.

Pearl: What are some of your skills that you still want to improve?

ACU-AZU: My average scores on the barrel boards. This is where the difference gets big.

Pearl: What do you think separates the skill from a 1.1M player to a 1.2M player?

ACU-AZU: I think it's the number of times you try to reflect, study & practice. And then implement it.

Pearl: Do you plan to get a high score in the US version of DKJR?

ACU-AZU: If I can buy a US JR board at a reasonable price, I'd like to try it.

Pearl: Are there any other games you competed for a high score?

ACU-AZU: In the overseas high score culture, the score is counted after a roll-over, but in Japan, the real question is: Who will be the first player to reach All 9's before it rolls to 0? We call it a counter stop. All additions to the score after the first roll-over are called α. (So example : 999,990+α Pts.)

I was the first person in the world to reach 9,999,990+α in Namco's PAC&PAL!

[Translation note : You will see alpha used in games that don't roll or counterstop, such as Star Force. Often seen as 10,000,000+α. The world record belongs to the player to achieve this score first, while players can score higher; as far as my knowledge goes, the formal leaderboard entry is closed at this point. But players still push further.]

Pearl: On the barrel boards, when performing the Gardikis jumps at the top girder, you sometimes stop above the ladder. Why is this? [Note: There is no direct translation for "Gardikis jump", so the technique was described literally.]

ACU-AZU: Because it's easier to get 200 points from a single barrel from where you land after a jump to the left from climbing the ladder.

Pearl: What scores of yours do you think were some of the hardest to achieve?

ACU-AZU:
Namco Pac&Pal - 10,000,000+α pts.
Konami Roc'N Rope - Counter Stop
Namco Grobda - 1CC
Konami Battlantis - 2-ALL
Konami Salamander - 10,000,000+α pts.
Tecmo Star Force - 10,000,000+α pts.

Pearl: I heard Dimahoo (Great Mahou Daisakusen) in the background of your video!

ACU-AZU: Yes, DAYTONAⅢ has 3 GMD machines in operation! We've won 3 top scores in JHA.

[Note: Scores in parenthesis are the actual scores they achieved.]

WTN - Chitta, Counter Stop (101,070,230pts)
JMB-RYU - Gain (68,479,310pts)
IZU - Golden (88,576,390pts)

Everyone's DaytonaⅢ Bros!

Pearl: Is there anyone else you'd like to mention?

ACU-AZU: I would also like the forum to mention the work of Esperle, who's with me in the DKK group (Donkey Kong Kenkyukai)

He's a friend of mine who taught me DK techniques and is a killscreener for the JP & US versions of DK.

He's also a writer for Famitsu (Japanese gaming magazine), and writes articles on the upcoming Arcade Archives releases from Hamster.

He was also a test player for the Donkey Kong port from Arcade Archives!



[Picture taken at Amuseum in Mobara, Chiba, Japan]

Dinner after the DK event; Wes and Jry in the middle above; Esperle is sitting on the far left, I am sitting the second on the right.

Pearl: Esperle will be mentioned in the forum. I didn't know that Esperle was writing at Famitsu! Thank you very much.







ORIGINAL JAPANESE


P: ドンキーコングを始めたのはいつですか?

A: 40年前は11歳で日本版の自己ベストは25万点 本格的にプレイを始めたのは映画pixelが上映された頃です。

P: そのゲームのどこに興味を持ちましたか?

A: 映像が凄く綺麗で友達と競い合ってました。

P: ドンキーコングでハイスコアを出すことを選んだ理由は何ですか?

A: 日本の千葉県茂原市amuseum 茂原店で行われたドンキーコングイベントでjemie young氏とwes copeland氏との出会いが始まりです。

P: ドンキーコングでの今後の予定を教えてください。

A: 点数はまだ伸びると思われるけど続けるか悩んでいます

P: 世界記録を更新したいですか?

A: 今の自分に世界記録は1万光年先だと思います

P: 自分のスキルで、まだ向上させたいと思うものは何ですか?

A: 25.75.125mのaverage上昇です。ここで差が大きくなります

P: 110万上限のプレーヤーと120万上限のプレーヤーを分けるものは何だと思いますか?

A: 反省→研究&練習→実行の試行回数だと思います。

P: 海外版『ドンキーコングJR』でハイスコアを出す予定はありますか?

A: US版JRの基板を安く購入出来たらチャレンジしてみたいです

P: 他にハイスコアを競ったゲームはありますか?

A: 海外のハイスコア文化は得点表示の桁を超えて0から数え直して加算するのに対し日本のハイスコア文化は得点表示が0に戻る手前のALL 9に誰が最初に到達するか?先駆者勝負でした。それを何と言うか?

count stop→coun+sto
「カンスト」と呼び
得点表示の0を超えてからの加算分は全てαと表示します
999900+α pts

私はnamco PAC&PALで世界で最初に9999990+α ptsを達成しました。

P: 25m、75m、125mでは、最上段にいるとき。そして、1本のバレルから200点を獲得しています。梯子の上で待ってから進むことを選択する場合もありますが、それはなぜですか?

A: 梯子を登った場所から左側にジャンプした座標が1個の樽で200点取りやすいからです(╹◡╹)

P: これまでに獲得したスコアの中で、どれが一番難しかったと思いますか?

A: Action

③NAMCO PAC&PAL
②KONAMI ROC'N ROPE
①NAMCO GROBDA
①KONAMI BATLLANTIS

shooting

③KONAMI 沙羅曼蛇
③TECMO STAR FORCE

①コンティニュー無し
②count stop達成まで
③1000万点達成まで

amusement arcade
蕨DAYTONAⅢ にグレート魔法大作戦は3台稼働しています。
JHAで3部門制覇(╹◡╹)

チッタ WTN氏
ガイン JMB-RYU氏
ゴールデン IZU氏 

皆んなDAYTONAⅢ BROS
  (╹◡╹)

大丈夫ですOk hand

フォーラムの記載にDKK(donkey  kong kenkyukai)で共に活動しているesperle氏の功績を記載して欲しいですFolded hands

私にドンキーコングのテクニックを教えてくれた友人で日本版&US版ドンキーコングのkill screener

彼は日本のゲーム雑誌 ファミコン通信(ファミ通)にてhamsterから発売されるarcade archivesの記事を任されているライターでドンキーコングのテストプレイヤーでhamsterに協力した実績もあります

esperle氏の記載どうかよろしくお願いします!

amuseum茂原店
ドンキーコングイベント後の夕食と
記念撮影 上の中央にWes氏 jemie氏
下で座っている左側にesperle氏 下に座っている右から2番目が私です

関係者以外の人は写真を加工してフォーラムで使って下さい(╹◡╹)

P: Esperle氏はフォーラムで言及されます。esperle氏がファミ通で執筆しているとは知りませんでした! どうもありがとうございました。
« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 12:47:52 pm by ersatz_cats »
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Offline TheSunshineFund

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Awesome stuff.  Thanks Pearl and Ersatz
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
Member for 11 Years DK Masters - Rank D Twitch Streamer IGBY 2014 DKF Team Member CK Killscreener Blogger DK Killscreener DKJR Killscreener

Offline ersatz_cats

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Awesome stuff.  Thanks Pearl and Ersatz

I appreciate it, but Pearl's the one to thank. His idea, his work. I just wrote an intro and added a little formatting.
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Offline TheSunshineFund

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Pearl is a legend on and off the field
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
Member for 11 Years DK Masters - Rank D Twitch Streamer IGBY 2014 DKF Team Member CK Killscreener Blogger DK Killscreener DKJR Killscreener

Offline Lyriell

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Great job, Pearl.

It's wonderful to see more interaction with our Japanese players who don't get the attention they deserve!  (that includes you too, Okinawa-san!)

Is it possible to find out where this DaytonaIII arcade is located? I get over to japan pretty often and it would be great to go play some DK there.


I think I found it?

4-30 Shibashinmachi, Kawaguchi, Saitama 333-0851, Japan ???
« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 06:41:09 pm by Lyriell »
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Offline Shaunanigans

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Re: Interview with "ACU-AZU", Donkey Kong's newest 1.2 million point player
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2021, 02:53:48 am »
Wow that was great! I think if the Japanese culture was more interested in DK They would have the entire top 10. Amazing gamers over there. Thanks so much for the effort Pearl :D
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Offline Rev John

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Re: Interview with "ACU-AZU", Donkey Kong's newest 1.2 million point player
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2021, 08:36:27 pm »
4-30 Shibashinmachi, Kawaguchi, Saitama 333-0851, Japan looks like the right spot

That's only 10Km as the crow flies from where my in-laws live in Saitama.  The Missus is gonna love hearing about this  ROFL
DK PB: 219,500 (MAME 7/10/19)
CK (RU): 140,200 (27/3/2018)
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Offline Evan04

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Re: Interview with "ACU-AZU", Donkey Kong's newest 1.2 million point player
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2021, 12:26:00 pm »
Great job Pearl nice interview
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