Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rick Carter's Nibbler High Score Record Revisited

Recently I posted a piece on Rick Carter's new world-record on the arcade game Nibbler - and even more recently I noticed that a few pieces of it were quoted in the forum over at Classic Arcade Gaming (dot com). CAG is a website all about classic arcade gaming (guess that could have gone without saying) which for some reason I have yet to really explore, an odd oversight on my part given my love for classic arcade gaming. In fact I am about to rectify that oversight if I can get this work finished up - damn real-life syndrome!

Anyway, there were a couple of posts over there about the feat and Rick Carter himself (the record-breaker) chimed in with some insider's thoughts on his effort.  I thought it was interesting as it reminded me that not only does playing a game for 49-50 hours straight take a lot of skill and stamina, it also takes quite a physical toll on your body.  Here is what Rick Carter had to say about the day:

"thx for all of the above and all the congrats all over guys!

It was surreal. I think any marathoner that gets up into the 48+ hour range it gets surreal. I had to reach down within my gaming soul to hit the billion. I experienced in the last 50 million something I never have felt in gaming...taking myself well beyond the "wall", resisting everything my body was telling me and mentally persevering. I was told I was so focused on the game I was standing about the last 10-12 hours of gameplay. I had no idea. I also was barely drinking anything...definitely wasn't eating anything. My body still is paying me back for that now! I am slowly getting my hands back...but my dexterity still is compromised.

At 900 million, I still was playing very well and had 90-100+ men. I was very tempted to take a 40-death break(about 10 minutes) before the final push to 1 billion. I did not take this break though thinking I no longer would be able to build the men back up or even maintain them. I could tell my hand was about shot.

At 950-960 million I was at 50 men and saying I could no longer hold the joystick. It was too painful. I then started holding it in a semi-palmed manner. The ball in my palm and last few fingers semi-wrapped around the side for leverage. However, it took some adjustment for this where I was losing lives but I did manage to get pretty proficient at clearing specific waves with this new hold...but some moves I just could not do well with this new hold.

I started the billion point game at 10:28 pm Thursday. I had arrived ready to play at 12:10 pm that day. I also had played about a 4 hour game to 83 million when something happened to the board where the game had to be reset and boards swapped out. Richie Knucklez fortunately had 3-4 sets of boards so was able to find another one that worked. Props to Richie for all the time he spent getting the game ready and fresh components for the controller installed just before the event.

After the first 83 million game, Richie told me to go to hotel and reset the next day. I would have except I had to work I did not really have the option of starting Friday and playing into Sunday. I would not be able to go back with less than 1 day of rest after a Nibbler marathon.

It took far more out of me than my previous Q*bert marathon of 61+ hours in December 2010.

Some asked me what my next marathon would be....I am considering Q*Bert again...perhaps Richie can get a second system (even if just a loaner) and George and I can go head-2-head...starting exactly same time!

You guys could go stat crazy...have the 2 screens shown side by side for the broadcast... # deaths by each shown...etc. would be interesting and think motivate both of us to keep the gameplay at a high level with increased chance of reaching the 67+ hour time record...and perhaps even break the 33+ million Q*bert score!"

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gnome said...

Wow, and I do mean wow. Also, why?

MadPlanet said...

Same reason some guys climb mountains I suppose - because it's there. Those arcade marathoners are a different sort that's for sure. You ever see King of Kong or Chasing Ghosts? Different sorts.

Well I've never climbed Mount Everest or played an arcade game for 50 hours straight, but I do enjoy hiking up hills and playing arcade games for more like 20 minutes at a time - everything in moderation say I!

MadPlanet said...

Damn, I know I'm up way too late working when I actually see your comment come in through the door Gnome...

Fallguy40 said...

Impressive endurance. that's for sure.

MadPlanet said...

Thanks Fallguy - yeah when I have a job to do I just stay up as long as it takes. Sure I was sleepy, but... Oh you meant the Nibbler thing. yeah that was good too.

Fallguy40 said...

No, I was talking about you.

MadPlanet said...

I knew I had it right the first time! I gotta learn to stop doubting my instincts.