Game Center CX Special – Back to Contents
Arino’s Challenge: Virtual Console: Volfied
Time for a change of pace with this challenge: Arino tries out the new Virtual Console release Volfied. Made by Taito for the PC Engine, Volfied is essentially Qix, but with a sci-fi backdrop. So, like Qix, you just use your little ship to draw shapes and claim bits of the screen without getting hit by the big monster flying around. Now, Arino has a genuine challenge: get exactly 99.9% percent of the screen clear in any stage. Usually, you win just by claiming 75%, so Arino has to clear much more screen at once. Can he do it?
Arino begins stage 1 by moving slowly up from the lower corner, and making just small shapes. That gets him to about 29%, so he tries to stretch out a little further. No go — the big enemy keeps touching his line. Arino then plays it safe and builds upwards in little bits. Eventually, he dies with Game Over at just 48%.
On the next try, he does much better, and clears the stage with over 80%. That’s not enough to pass the challenge, though, so it’s onto the next stage. Here, Arino gets the Laser and Speed power-ups, the latter of which greatly helps in darting around the screen. He chokes when he gets to about 73%, though, and that’s when the Blue Spark enemies appear and start honing in on Arino.
Arino panics and quickly finishes the stage, but again, gets well below 99%. Things seem to come to a halt at stage 3, when Arino constantly gets killed and gets a Game Over. Starting again at stage 1, Arino strategically leaves the Timer power-up for last, which freezes time for a few seconds. He waits for the boss to get in the just right the spot. He nails it, but when he attempts to entrap the boss, he rubs against it and kills himself. Game Over again!
Finally, on the advice of producer Kan, Arino tries a new strategy to try and trap the boss, and then position it so that he can nab the largest amount of space. Arino goes bit-by-bit once more, and during this, the boss turns ant-sized! Arino panics and dies from his line being touched, then tries it all over again. A little better this time, as he grabs 74.7% of the screen — about .3% away from accidentally winning.
Now’s his chance. As Arino waits for an opening, the boss pauses and then fires a missile. A-ha! If he can just get that to happen again in the right place, this is in the bag. Arino tracks the boss, and then when it pauses again, he goes across the gap and clears a space. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite form where he wanted it to, and it only puts him at 79% anyway.
Arino continues to repeat the stage, trying various ways to try and keep the boss from getting too mobile, but still nothing works. AD Emoto comes by with a new approach: the "Half and Half" technique. He draws it on the whiteboard: basically, Arino builds a slim tower from the center of the screen, leaving a little bit at the top to close the gap. From there, he then builds rows leading out from the side in order to further trap the boss and eventually ensure victory.
Might as well give it a shot. The first try goes well: Arino traps the boss in the lower left without much work — now all he has to do is just build in on the boss and then finally close the gap.
He does it! But oh no, he only gets 98.7%! The next try is another close call, but this time Arino is killed and gets a Game Over. The precision needed for this may just be too much to handle. But on another attempt, Arino manages to trap the teensy boss into such a tight space, and with such a well-organized path, that he may just clinch it.
After several tense seconds, the boss finally pauses to shoot a missile, and as if by instinct, Arino closes the gap. It’s good! 99.9%!