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Were Arcade games meant to be 1CC’ed


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I think the philosophy on this differed from developer to developer and from game to game, and it's worth noting that increased difficulty wasn't always necessarily driven by the demands of arcade operators. Pick out random interviews on shmuplations.com and you'll see the developers of one game talking about how they wanted to maximise player enjoyment per credit, while others will talk about how they personally chose to make their latest game much harder than their last one in response to comments from WR-chasing maniacs. This is certainly true for Gradius III and Darius 2, for example, which are both famously nuts. There's definitely a tension between the basic requirement of the cabinet to produce profit and the desire of the game designers to reward enthusiastic/dedicated players, though, and US operators were seemingly more forceful in imposing their will, hence absolutely devastating changes to some games which made them much more unfair (see again Gradius > Nemesis). Japanese operators certainly weren't interested in seeing people play 10-loop games on a single credit, but at least accepted that players would spend vast amounts learning them.


(Either way, the idea that all arcade games are just "quarter munchers" in the sense of being literally impossible, like a rigged coconut shy, was always way off...)

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On 08/08/2022 at 14:16, strider said:

We've had more than enough developers apologise for making arcade games purposely difficult so I'm not surprised that some are a lot harder to complete than others. In some cases it was absolutely done on purpose.

This is an interesting one. Developers walked a very fine line when managing difficulty as you make something too difficult and I imagine people will stop playing pretty quickly and not go back. After this you’re got a machine that tanks in making money and therefore becomes unpopular.


I did actually wonder if the popularity of arcade games determined if they made it to consoles.

I played Legendary Wings on the Capcom Arcade collection and thought it’s was a pretty interesting game (cross of vertical shooting and horizontal platforming) yet it only got a limited release of US NES only.

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In the waning days of the arcades (early 2000s), arcade owners over here used to turn down the difficulty which was to attract more players I assume. I clearly remember 1 CC'ing both Soul Calibur 2 and Virtua Tennis 2 on my first or second go on a random arcade visit during those days.

Some games were definitely meant to be 1CC'd. Games like the first Metal Slug for instance. Many 1-on-1 beat'em-ups as well I imagine.

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On 07/08/2022 at 22:01, Anne Summers said:

Oh yeah, I think Final Fight is a bit of an exception to the rule that Capcom games tended to be fairer and better designed. It's not a great game from a game design point of view all round, in my opinion. Limited movesets when compared to other scrolling fighters of the time, and the later levels just chuck hundreds of identical enemies at you in order to chip away at your health. 


Final Fight is all about the crowd control and recovery frame traps, the limited toolkit is all you really need for the job.


That Guy combo/infinite exploit is not the only way to complete the game.



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Depends on the game and maker, during the late 90 and 00 it was a requirement at SEGA that players who were good enough, could finish the game on a 1CC. Many other games weren't designed to be cleared the Konami arcade games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which ramps up the difficulty the longer you survival without losing a life. Final Fight was just brutal as were most of Capcom's scrolling beat'em ups. Early arcades as some of you have already mentioned were designed to just get hard until you die, many early games would crash if you stayed alive for too long. Take Space Invaders as an example the starting position is closer to you after every wave. Giving you no room to dodge invader fire and making it more pot luck, it was all about getting as high a score as you could. Unless you are in that 1% of players who have ungodly skill and know every inch of the game.



What does get my goat is there are endless 1CC videos on YouTube, but most are players using savestates, rewind, etc.. Granted there are plenty of players who can 1CC games that are really tough, but these guys normally spends weeks and months practising. It gives the false impression these games were meant to be 1CC, when the truth is any game can be perfected if you cheat at it. It also takes away a bit from the player who can beat these games for real on a 1CC.


Certainly quite a lot of the one versus one fighters aren't that hard to 1CC games like Marvel Super Heroes are very easy to do it on. I myself have beaten Metal Slug 1 & 3, Contra and Super Contra on a credit. I recently did Clockwork Aquario, which is a really well made title and quite easy to learn.



I also recently mastered Puzzle Bobble and did Tube Panic, Kyukyoku Tiger II Plus along with many more. It's knowing what is a game you can master in the arcade's and which is just a brutal credit muncher that kills the player at every turn.

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