TL;DR: check out the imgur album[imgur.com]
. Pretty pictures and a lot less text.
After a few runs through Transdimensional Leakage, I realized that enemies became much more plentiful after 2 or 3 cycles through the 350 floors. This makes it easy to sustain very long Rages and rack up a lot of points. Additionally, since your items carry over from cycle to cycle, cash pickups soon become the most common item.
Prior to this, my high score (just going through Abarghus's Domain) had been around 2.5 million. But by cycling through Transdimensional Leakage repeatedly, I was able to get 6 million points without significant trouble.
Having earned all the achievements and unlockable items, I set my sights on a new goal: 10 billion points. I was curious to see what would happen when I exceeded the maximum possible score (the counter only goes up to 9.999... billion).
I did the math: 100 extra points per cash pickup. 1.9x fairy multiplier. How many cash pickups would it take to reach 10 billion points? Using the equation 10^10 = 190*(n^2 + n)/2, I solved for n = 10,259.
It was going to be a long day.
In fact, it took me about a week, playing a few hours at a time. For equipment, I settled on the Lightsaber, Boomerang, Remote Bombs, and Lightning Magic. These items were chosen to maximize the number of cash pickups I saw: while carrying the Boomerang, enemies do not drop ammo pickups, and Remote Bombs allowed me to exploit a glitch that eliminated bomb pickups as well. The glitch involves cycling back to the top of the tower, and it seems there are a few interesting things that can happen:
- If you drop a Remote Bomb after defeating Disgust, but leave it unactivated when you cycle back to the beginning, you will be unable to use bombs for the remainder of your run. The "!" symbol will appear over your head, but you can never detonate a bomb to make it go away. This effect never disappears, even if you lose a life. The only reason for doing this is that enemies will no longer drop bomb pickups. I'm not entirely sure why, but it shortened my run considerably (though playing without bombs just makes the game that much harder!).
- Some "temporary" items such as the Freeze Time pickup will remain in your inventory indefinitely if you cycle back to the top of the tower before they run out. However, their effects do not last any longer than usual. Again, the advantage is that you will never see another Freeze Time pickup. This also works for Infinite Ammo.
Using these techniques, I was able to reduce the possible enemy drops to 10 items: Ducks, Shields, Randomizers, Timers, Hearts, Rages, Flash Bombs, Smart Bombs, Ammo Packs, and of course, Cash. If I had been really
hardcore I suppose I could have avoided unlocking these items, but it didn't make much of a difference anyway because cash pickups are much more common than the rest by far.
At any rate, I set out on my journey. I reached 1 billion, only to die soon after. Due to the enormous number of enemies, it can be difficult to survive long enough to get your rage back when you lose a life. A couple of these in a row lead to my death (later I started using magic to gain temporary invincibility while I filled my rage meter). A week later, I was recuperated and resolved to try again. This time, I surpassed my previous record and reached 2 billion points. But then, something interesting happened.
Anyone who has done a fair amount of programming knows that a standard signed integer has a maximum value of 2^31, with the 32nd bit denoting the sign. This is equal to 2,147,483,648 in base 10.
Do you see where this is going? Shortly after reaching 2 billion, my friend pointed out that my score and the current high score had desynchronized. I couldn't think of why that would happen, until I observed that my score was now going down
. The high score was stuck at 2,146,614,924. We immediately realized what must have happened: the score is stored internally as a signed integer, and my score had overflowed into the sign bit. This meant that my score had flipped from positive 2^31 to negative 2^31.
Although I was a bit miffed that I could not reach my goal of 10 billion points, I had achieved a different record: the lowest SHODN score ever! Interestingly, the score counter is incapable of displaying the minus sign, instead showing a blank space.
At this point, I was earning over 1 million points per cash pickup, so I decided to head back in the other direction and try to get as close to zero as possible without going positive again. After all, a negative score would make for a much funnier screenshot. I finally died with around -800,000 points after 8 hours of playtime. My final stats were as follows:
- Score: -,831,254 (adjusted score: 4,294,136,042)
- Floor: 10 (adjusted floor: 14,710)
- Time: 8:15:02
- Kills: 54,120
- Items collected: 9963
- Fairies rescued: 27 (lost all 9 twice)
- Rages: 409
- Longest Rage: 0:04:08
- Deaths 526
- Cycles: 42
My only regret is that I was halfway through my run before I learned that a highscore board was in the works. Perhaps I will have to repeat my feat?
Hope you found this enjoyable! You can find some screenshots of the run here[imgur.com]
. I'll be posting a more formal guide to the discussion hub soon.