Operation Neptune Forum  /  Combination Locks
  Ms_Riley_GuprzMs_Riley_Guprz
(edited: )

We all love to hate the combo locks, so I've been looking into a possible skip or manipulation, at least for the Voyager half.

There are a couple of possibilities for how each set is generated:

1.) Truly RNG - God I hope it's not pure RNGesus...

2.) Frame cycling - The particular combo is tied into which frame it's triggered on. I noticed that I tend to trigger it at different lengths from the door, but no consistent pattern yet between distance from the door and particular combo.

3.) Game Seed - Random seed is generated when you spawn that determines all the problems throughout the game. I've ruled out a seed from the beginning of the game, because when you die and re-encounter problems, they change.

4.) Oxygen/pellet combo - This would be the ideal situation, but I've just about ruled it out completely.

In particular, after Fossil Trench, all the combo locks (assuming you're using the default math settings) are either 4 whole numbers of 2 fractions. All of the fraction problems are considerably faster than the whole numbers, so your whole run can be lost by bad RNG (or whatever it is). All of my best runs had at least 4 or 5 fraction combos out of 9 possible.

I did a deep dive (heh) into my past streams and found that my average completed run had exactly 3 fraction combos, which made for a nice 33% (with a very even bell curve too). However, specific sectors were far more common, with Hammerhead 1 getting fractions only 17% of the time, and Hammerhead 2 getting it 53% of the time. Statistically speaking: whack. I'm decently convinced that it's option 2, but the jury is still out.

Anyways, I may be the only person still grinding this, but someone might find it interesting.

Oh! And I also believe that there's a noticeable difference between playing on the web, DOSbox, or CD. It may have to do with these combos, or game speed, but I don't have enough evidence on that yet.

mPapmPap likes this. 
  oddtomoddtom

Good catch on the whole numbers / fractions. I thought it was based on the difficulty level settings- that's how it works in Gizmos and Gadgets, and this is the same developer (I think?). What happens if you menu reset the difficulty settings right before hitting the combo lock?

I usually use the ClassicReload site, so I can't use save-states, but if you have a DosBox emulator or similar, we can use that to determine about where the combo lock is decided. For example, if you save state right in front of the lock and see if it's the same combo every time, then work your way backward. We did a similar thing in Harvest Moon 64 to try to figure out when items are spawned in the mine.

The other Treasure games have discrepancies between an emulator and internet sites, so I'd believe there are discrepancies here.

There's currently someone on our Harvest Moon discord building TAS's for the HM Gameboy games, and I think I'm going to try to send him this way.

 
  oddtomoddtom

P.S. You may be the only one currently grinding it, but you're not the only one interested in it.

 
  Ms_Riley_GuprzMs_Riley_Guprz

I haven't tried save states before for anything so you may be right. I'd be interested to see.

At the same time, I just bought the Windows 3.1x version (1995) and it's... significantly faster anyways. I'll do my first run with it tonight, but it may create some discussion about whether to consider it in its own category or not.

 
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