• We have upgaded to the latest version of XenForum and the process finished without any errors!!!! Enjoy the new forum!

Medieval Madness

mwong168

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 14, 2012
6,472
1,218
113
44
Toronto
Adam analyzes...

mm.jpg


In light of the recent remake, let’s do Medieval Madness. Let me start by saying MM isn’t a bad game but it can be very boring to play in the same way that MB is boring. It’s can get very repetitive and MM has a total of 5 shots:

1. Catapult
2. Right/Left Loop
3. Left Ramp
4. Right Ramp
5. Castle

The problem is all you ever do is just shoot those shots over and over again while stacking of all 5 mulitballs is something decent to achieve. From a scoring perspective it is far out weighted by that of just bashing on the castle. The 5 stack is worth as many points as you would think but each jackpot is only worth something like 500,000 a shot and that is only if you stack all 5 multiballs together.

image-19.jpg


It’s a quick way to break through all of the Blue lights if you are wanting to get to Battle for the Kingdom but really the multiballs (both of them) are really only good for pounding away on the much more lucrative castle.

image-11.jpg


The castle as you get into the 3rd or 4th castle are worth 1 million a hit on the gate. Getting the bridge down is pretty much 100% safe if you are half decent at live catching since the feed from the left loop is pretty slow. Finishing each castle doubling in value each time just ends up being worth more than anything else on the playfield. So if you watch the most recent papa TV videos from PAPA 16, when playing MM you see a lot of players doing nothing but bashing away on the castle.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=LuGpT6hvSLo[/youtube]
(fast forward to the 33 minute mark where they start playing MM)

I do like the hurry ups and how you can increase them in value by stringing them together but then again it takes a lot more shots for similar payout value to that of just bashing away on the castle. Also Royal Madness is a fun mode which you get after you have started all 5 multiballs/hurry ups (Catapult, Troll, Damsel, Peasant, Joust) but again just boils down to more of the same shooting the same shots you were already shooting. The only award being an extra ball which is worth a grand total of nothing in tournament play.

image-21.jpg


One thing that has eluded me in all the time I’ve played MM is Barnyard madness which is achieved by collecting all of the items of the catapult. It’s a tough shot to hit so many times and I’ve never really bothered to focus in on it before.

What MM is missing is what I always talk about, risk vs reward. Going after the castle is risky but it isn’t that bad but the reward is so great and it’s always worth the risk. But nothing else on the playfield is worth as much as the castle so the only time you go after anything else is to make your life more easy at hitting the castle. At the end of the day MM isn’t a bad game, it’s fun to play but when you get down to the meat and bones of it and own it in your collection like I said it boils down to shooting 5 shots over and over again. If you play it from a tournament perspective it boils down to shooting 1 shoot over and over again which doesn’t end up being very fun.
 

DRANO

Super Member
Nov 15, 2012
2,816
504
113
Mississauga
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

Great review Adam... although there are a few points that I see a bit differently.
If I may... I'd like to offer my own humble opinion on MM.

It was the 3rd game I purchased a few years back and the first I restored. I've played played it a ton; although I have never reached BFTK (I guess I'm not a very good player :( or maybe I just need a new strategy). At first, I didn't appreciate why everyone loved the game so much. I got the humour and theme and cool bash toys.... but I ended up almost selling it due to the repetitive strategy of shooting for castles and to light the various MBs. It took me a while to figure out it had a lot more depth and, IMO, is a VERY well balanced game. I don't think it has that much to exploit and there are other equally lucrative ways of posting great scores on MM, besides castles, but they are not easy.

The game has a lot to shoot for. The 5 objectives that were mentioned and you also have the castle lock and the Merlin saucer; not to mention the pop-up troll targets. It's a pretty typical fan layout with the catapult shot being the biggest pain to make on purpose. On a side note, I got to play Barnyard MB once. MWONG happened to be over playing my IJ right next to MM, so I fired up a game and, through some miracle, I got really close and then purposely tried and eventually managed to reach it. It was a pretty funny mode with every shot making some sort of animal noise. Don't recall what the values were? I was just so excited to get it. The video mode is also something you don't see very often at all. I think you have to light F-I-R-E at the in/out-lanes something like 7 times? But, for the very few times you'll see it, protecting the villiage children from swooping vultures with a pitchfork is a neat treat.

Banging away at castles is all well and good and, yes, you can get upwards of 10 or 12million or more for the last few castles (yes, that is a lot of points on MM). However, as Adam points out, you really want to get multi-balls going in order to use this strategy since shooting the closed gate will very often result in drains SDTM... so it's easy to remove most of the risk via the MBs.

But, what really turned this game around for me was the hurry ups. The fact that they are stackable makes all the difference.
Once you complete a column the 2nd time around, you get an automatic hurry up. Also, I always try and start one at the beggining of each ball via super-skill shot since they also count towards an extra ball (just hold left flipper while plunging and make any flashing shot... then collect hurry up at the castle) and I think Merlin can also award a hurry up. Not sure right now?
This may sound very repetetive (and it is) but you need to complete each shot ladder about 3 times anyway to light the blue inserts on your way to the wizard mode. Defender of Damsels, Castle Crusher, Master of Trolls and so on...

If you can get 3 to 4 of the shot "ladders" nearly maxed out for a 2nd time (one shot away from completion on catapult, joust, peasant, damsel) and then start them consecutively, your hurry ups will keep increasing exponentially. The first one is 1 million and it will count down to about 250K before the hurry-up is dead. But, if you can complete the next ladder it will reset to 3mil, and then 5.5mil, 8mil etc... The higher you go, the more hurry-up time you get. So, in theory, you can start to build the ladders up from scratch again and still have time to start additional hurry-ups and add more value. This is most easily done by repeating left and right ramps to max out peasants and damsels repeatedly... they are the easiest shots. I've heard of really good tournament players racking up to 80 mil in hurry up awards this way. However, this is where the game can offer huge risk vs. reward. You can keep building up the hurry-up value but you have to do 2 things to be succesful.

1) avoid accidentally collecting the hurry up too early by shooting a stray ball at the castle gate
2) avoid draining; or all all those hard-earned points instantly dissapear before your eyes

The sound effects in this game are really quite phenomenal and do a lot to build up the anxiety level when you're trying to perform this strategy. While I agree that shooting castles is a simple strategy that can yield plenty of points while the risk is lessened via multi-balls, you still need a whack of shots and it's a long haul... so both strategies can take some time.

If you really want to feel the juices pumping and experience real risk vs. reward, try this other approach and see if you can build a 30, 40 or even 50mil hurry up. It's an interesting test of a player's nerve. "Do I collect the 20 million now or go for just one more hurry-up and risk it all?"

The Royal Madness (sort of a mini-wizard for completing all the MBs) is also heart-thumping. You have to make all the flashing shots (some of them twice) in order to collect an extra ball. Having Merlin Count you down and needing to make a shot every few seconds is very nerveracking... and a great feeling when you finally make it.

I can see why the game is as applauded as it is now. Not only is it fun and very approachable for amateurs, but it has some real depth and some great hidden gems that only the more accmplished players will ever see.
Anyway, maybe I'll go home and play MM tonight. It's been a couple of weeks since I took a crack at the kingdom. Maybe tonight is the night I finally get crowned :?:
 

dos.reboot

Active Member
Nov 19, 2012
261
114
43
Windsor. ON.
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

Any player with good drop catch skills can hammer the MM castle. But random SDTM is still a high risk vs. reward, especially when its an easy tilt. The other factor is proper NOS white sling rubber vs the faux 'bouncy' white that everyone believes is so hard to play. :roll: :D ;)
 

Vengeance

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,990
138
63
Keswick, ON
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

There is value from the hurry ups, but not more then that of the castle.

You need to play through your mulitballs first before you can begin going after hurry ups and at that point you are going to already be on your second or third castle and at that point the points are worth more then the points you would get from a hurry up on every level.

There is more risk in going after the hurry up in that every shot you make really needs to be on the fly.
The first hurry up starts at only 1 million so that is 3 shots for 1 million and then another 3 to get 3 million and then another 3 to 6mil, etc. So assuming you never miss and don't drain, your 9 shots in and only at 6 million. For 9 shots at the castle I could get getting upwards of a million a shot, which would be 9 million and then the payoff for the castle which will be way more then the hurry ups.

Plus the castles are progressive, if you fuck up and miss the hurry up or drain or let the timer run out, you get nothing.

Castle you get as many points as the hurry up's and it's progressive from ball to ball so less risk for more reward.

Also the Merlin hole and trolls are not shots worth mentioning, no one in their right mind aims for the troll targets, trolls you get by accident and is a nice to have.

The Merlin hole same thing, it's worth nothing when there isn't a multiball start, and the mystery award in tournament mode is also worth a grand total of 500,000 so no one is going to bother with going after Merlin targets on purpose.

The mulitball lock is another shot, but really players are going to play their first multiball and then ignore it because for the number of shots required to get it again, I'd rather take pot shots at the castle and get points.

Like I said the game is fun to play, but it's extremely repetitive, even when you talk about hurry ups, you are still just shooting the same shots you have already been shooting over and over again.

The best tournament machines are one where you get to play the entire game, AFM is a MUCH better example of using the EXACT same layout from a rules perspective.
 

DRANO

Super Member
Nov 15, 2012
2,816
504
113
Mississauga
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

Vengeance said:
Like I said the game is fun to play, but it's extremely repetitive, even when you talk about hurry ups, you are still just shooting the same shots you have already been shooting over and over again.

The best tournament machines are one where you get to play the entire game, AFM is a MUCH better example of using the EXACT same layout from a rules perspective.

I won't disagree that it gets repetitive. MM can be a hard slog to get anywhere (castles or not).

I'm guilty of not paying too much attention to shot values. I wasn't really aware that every hit to the castle gate was worth 1million; I figured that only happened later on after you've destroyed a few castles. When I do play for the castles I seem to generally end up in the 70k-90k range by the time i get to the King of Payne... maybe more depending on bonus x and a few other factors.
Of course, only the world's best players could probably build up a hurry-up value like that, but I still love the rush of trying to build that sucker up. Would I do it in competition? Maybe not... I'd have to have huge brass balls :)
The left and right ramps on MM are not hard to hit on the fly, but I take a safer approach. I'll hit the right damsel ramp and just hold up the right flipper for a pretty easy pass back to the left and then shoot it again. I repeat that 3 times and then post pass back to the right and do the same for the peasant ramp. Way more ball control and fairly easy to keep racking up those two ramps.

I think setting up a hurry-up strategy isn't all that hard and you don't need to rush to make 3 shots after starting your first 1mil hurry up if you play your cards right.
You set up catapult with two shots, joust with two shots, peasant and damsel with three each and start knocking them all down one after the other with a single shot to each. You can be up to an 8 million hurry up with 4 well-placed shots in a few seconds. If you happen to be starting a new ball before all this, then take the super skill shot to start the 1mil hurry-up and then hit the other 4. You'll be upwards of 10million very easily. At this stage you can decide whether to take it further and start to build up for more hurry-ups or just cash it in. Maybe it's not the most valuable tournament strategy, but I love the gamble. It also forces me to be a better player and excercise way more ball control.

My typical goal is to try and reach BFTK above all else, so I'm coming at it from a different angle. I knock down the first two castles and collect the extra ball (probably not avilable in tournament), then complete all 5 of the key objectives and play Royal Madness (again trying for another extra ball in the process), and only going for additional castles once I have a mb running. I notice that during the various mbs you can actually accelerate collecting the blue inserts via jackpots.. so I sometimes try to do that as well... with some hurry-up goodness thrown in. It usually makes for a fun and very spirited game. I can't stand watching guys do nothing but bash castles :(
But, I guess if there was money on the line....
 

Vengeance

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,990
138
63
Keswick, ON
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

Speaking of MM strategies, this video looks familiar:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21qTR0o5Lmc[/youtube]

11 minutes of smashing castles for close to 100 mil.

Yep this game isn't repetitive at all :lol:
 

dos.reboot

Active Member
Nov 19, 2012
261
114
43
Windsor. ON.
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

Vengeance said:
11 minutes of smashing castles for close to 100 mil.

Yep this game isn't repetitive at all :lol:


All that time and not even one tilt warning. :FP: You gotta admit that's one loose setup. That game would have been over a lot sooner in a tournament. :D
 

Vengeance

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,990
138
63
Keswick, ON
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

dos.reboot said:
All that time and not even one tilt warning. :FP: You gotta admit that's one loose setup. That game would have been over a lot sooner in a tournament. :D

No, I didn't see any excessive saves that would warrant a tilt.
 

Vengeance

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,990
138
63
Keswick, ON
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

REVOLUTION said:
I still maintain it depends on why you're playing. Are you playing for points or to beat the game? I play to beat the game.

Which makes MM even more repetitive :)

Cause now not only do you have to hit the castle as many times as you saw it hit in that video, you also have to hit the 4 other shots a shit ton of times now as well :lol:
 

Vengeance

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,990
138
63
Keswick, ON
Re: Pinball with a Vengeance

REVOLUTION said:
technically you could consider all pinball rules competitive.. it's the ball play that's the only non-constant

I think you meant repetitive but I'll argue that point. :D

Compare AFM to MM.

The goals for RTU are more fun to complete than Battle for the Kingdom.

AFM:
5 way combo
Super Jackpot
Attack Mars
Martian Multiball
Total Annihilation
Super Jets

All different areas of the PF, all different objectives, all of them having different strategic choices on how you would like to use them from a rules perspective.

Then you have MM:
Castle Crusher
Champion of Peasants
Joust champion
Catapult champion
Damsel Champion
Master of Trolls

All of the objectives are exactly the same, just a different shot, shot X thing X number of times.

Both games have the exact same layout, and IMO AFM is 10x's the game MM is. Same programmer to, and again I don't think MM is a bad game, I just don't think it's as great as everyone makes it out to be.