Emerald Mine Club levelset completion progress

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Re: Emerald Mine Club levelset completion progress

Post by RAP » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:41 pm

Well, this should be the last of me outright skimming and deciding to skip levels. For a reason for me doing this, I've been trying to figure out what stuff to quickly clear out so that I can play levelsets that are less super reused or levels that came from other levelsets, and I cleaned out those that didn't have much of a release year from cross-referencing with Emerald Web. That also occurs in 1 or 2 previous posts.

Here's the following levelsets that I halted playing/skipped in detail:
WATER MINE UPDATE by Mr.Practice & Mick Williams
  • The update is apparently 1999? I don't know if right...
  • I can't play this mostly because most of the levels from the original are in here. I could play the replacement levels, but I don't know if there's tweaks on the original levels in the updated version, like a higher gem count requirement.
PROFI BOULDERDASH 02 by EDV (according to Emerald Web), or S.S.P. (according to files)
  • Date suggested: 1989
  • Waitaminute...level 0 is the exact same as the one from Boulder Dash Professional. In fact, it seems all of the levels are from that levelset. Even in level 80, there's a bunch of objects that make it say "KukoSOFT". Yeah, skipping.
  • LEVELSET SKIPPED due to being the same levelset as Boulder Dash Professional!
  • Files timestamp: too random and thus unknown.
  • Waitaminute, is that just Cold Caves? Level 0?! Even checking https://youtu.be/Jb2NeuFX7WM?t=30 ! Even if it is just one level, I'm suspcious. Skippy, why? Skipping.
  • LEVELSET SKIPPED due to perception of duplicated/reused/almost same level design!
SOLOMON'S LOST MINE 01 and SOLOMON'S LOST MINE 02 by unknown creator
  • The first one suggests 1993, while the other is eh?
  • These two just use one of the Emerald Mine (Kingsoft) levelsets! Instant skip!
  • Unknown date to both sadly.
  • ...They look too similar/copied/reused...the levels! Sigh, skipping.
  • ...Sigh, skipping. Skippy, why?
  • According to data, it's unfortunately uh to all of them but 4b, which is released in 1994.
  • Data unfortunately doesn't suggest a date.
  • I'm always been hoping that Skippy has a unqiue standout levelset that isn't like the others...but sadly it's a nope. Too many levels from Skippy exposed to me by the amount of reuse and rehash these have been concevied.
  • The only thing interesting is most likely the graphic artstyle of trying to ape on Pac-Man~
  • Pacmine Deluxe, level 30: There's text that says "Ykikakau 1", which might refer to Ykikakau Mine 01...why? Did Skippy snagged a level from that levelset and used it here? Yeah, there's even text that says "L64", which may refer to the level 64.
EAGLE MINE 19 by Eagle
  • Skimmed through the levelset... the levels look familiar, even in level 33, it says 'Watermine 1' from the Boulders. I'm now immediately suscipious of this whole levelset series. Even more so than 'Eagle Mine 15' and the seemingly huge upgrade of level design, and then more or less reverted back. Skipping.
  • Data suggests 1997.
  • LEVELSET SKIPPED to be perception of reused content!
  • ...Skippy, is that you? There's some of those levels made by Skippy that's found in the earlier levels. Sigh, you know the song and dance~ On Eagle Mine 21 and Eagle Mine 22.
  • Eagle Mine 23 has some Bond Mine levels, such as level 03 through level 18. There's even question marks that usually say 'De Bond', there's more than that, level 80 is just level 0 of Emerald Mine II (Kingsoft).
  • Eagle Mine 24 seems to be more of a Skippy levelset.
  • Eagle Mine 25 appears to be a mix of De Bond's levels and Skippy's levels, as there's explict evidence of De Bond's work in level 67.
  • Eagle Mine 27 has markings in level 12 (De Bond), and level 14 (Blockheads).
  • Eagle Mine 28's level 22 is the exact same level as level 14 from Eagle Mine 27!
  • Data suggests 1998 on Eagle Mine 21, Eagle Mine 22, Eagle 23, Eagle Mine 24, and Eagle Mine 25, while 1999 suggests on Eagle Mine 27, and Eagle Mine 28.
  • There could be more levelsets that I may be skipping as I play more of the other levelsets.
  • 7 LEVELSETS SKIPPED to be perception of reused content!
PACMINIA 01 through PACMINIA 12 by Skippy
  • It has an interesting theme artstyle...but Skippy?
  • It's rather curious that there's some levelsets that have levels errored out and replaced with a manual error level, or it just doesn't exists. Example: Pacminia 10, level 22.
  • There's no info on the dates of all of those levelsets.
  • 12 LEVELSETS SKIPPED to be perception of reused content!
COSMOS MINE 03 through COSMOS MINE 5, and COSMOS MINE 7 through COSMOS MINE 10 by Skippy
  • Skippy? Skippy...
  • 7 LEVELSETS SKIPPED to be perception of reused content!
In the next post, I will definitely post solution tapes on levelsets that at least are not level recycling/reuse heavy. I have a feeling that skimming through all of the Daddy Mine series, that I would be in a treat on loads of fun that's not trial or error, or even luck-based.

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Re: Emerald Mine Club levelset completion progress

Post by Holger » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:16 am

Thanks a lot, Ryan, for your detailed observations on EMC level sets!

I think they are very valuable in several regards:

- first of all, finding out which sets are worth playing from that huge lot of level sets!
- finding out which sets contain levels that may be unsolvable with the current EM engine
- (this will be helpful for a future rework/update of the EM engine)
- finding out which sets are merely copies of other sets

Regarding the last point, I still have to post an automatic comparison of levels in sets using hashes, which might help in detecting duplicate sets...

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detecting identical & near-identical levels

Post by filbo » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:38 pm

> I still have to post an automatic comparison of levels in sets using hashes, which might help in detecting duplicate sets...

There are pure duplicates, there are duplicates with small tweaks (stamping in a levelset name & number, e.g.), and there are duplicates where certain mass substitutions have been done (like replacing grass with sand, regular walls with some equivalent letter or something).

I've done something in the past where I basically did:

cat $level_a | xz -9e | wc -c
cat $level_a $level_b | xz -9e | wc -c

Use the strongest currently available compression engine. If two files are nearly identical (changed name stamp), the resulting output is only a few bytes larger than for one file alone.

A filter which could be used to preprocess levels, changing all elements to their simplest equivalent forms (grass -> sand, all smashable letters and other wall-like objects -> normal wall, all unsmashable letters etc. -> steel wall, and so on), could be used before this sort of comparison. I imagine the combination would find many times more near-identical levels than a simple hash comparison would.

It is not always the case that a near-identical level is a total ripoff. Changes like: requiring to collect every emerald, when the original let you be sloppy (and there were difficulties like unstably placed bombs, downhill acid pools, etc.); moving a few spaceships or bugs around so that timings are more difficult; adding a single wall which requires more complex strategy to figure out how to break; etc. -- can transform a simple level into a completely different challenge.

But, most near-identical levels are just crappy ripoffs. It's worthwhile to detect them and be able to report something about them (identical, restamped, no-effect element changes, etc.)

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Re: Emerald Mine Club levelset completion progress

Post by RAP » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:47 am

It's time for the long awaited update, 8 levelsets solved with solution tapes! But first, spreadsheet list!:
EMC levelset status (2018 03-March 16).ods
(25.84 KiB) Downloaded 28 times
Here are my thoughts on levelsets I played and solved:
BOBBY DASH by Monty Bob
  • Before playing this levelset, according to "Tough and Deadly Mine", some of the levels that came from this were made by Scorpio, but this is made by Monty Bob. Are those two names from the same person? This levelset was released in 1991, whereas "Tough and Deadly Mine" was released in 1995.
  • Level 25: Interesting, one of the outer border Steel Walls is replaced with a spot for Player 2...there's no wraparound involved though.
  • There are levels like level 48 where you have the dynamite through Amoeba, which for the latter is usually indicated that you have to use enemies to blast through it. It could've been just Normal Wall, unless there's enemies that act as additional use to go through those walls.
  • Level 57: Bombing Amoeba is rather tense since it can spawn Amoeba Drops, which could harm the player when it lands on it...yeah.
  • Just for sillies, level 102 (not intended to be there) is a duplicate of level 42.
  • This levelset is pretty normal, which is nice as a break from the more devious levelsets.
  • LEVELSET SOLVED: BOBBY DASH (2018 02-Feb 26 = 2018 02-Feb 27): 0-80, 81 levels solved
PORNO MINE 01 by De Bond
  • What the hell is this dumb stuff? I can say that it's pretty novel for being an Emerald Mine levelset that has this particular theme, unsure if the likes of Supaplex, or even Boulder Dash has something equivalent to this (Supaplex way less likely due to seemingly no custom graphics, and Boulder Dash more likely due to the amount of abundant user levelsets this game has!).
  • After playing a few rounds with this graphic set, the novelty already wore off.
  • Level 16: Most tedious so far, bombing the Robots safely and occasionally dropping Rocks that pop out from Quicksand, in a level of repeating diagonal patterns of quicksand!
  • Level 19: I'm honestly stumped about this at first, basically there are 4 sections where it consists of a set of boulders, a series of nuts that's shaped into a diamond, and a magic wall with empty space pre-cleared out. Oh, I just have to dump just the rocks into the magic wall and just collect the emeralds that came from the nuts; though it would've been more difficult (I could make a level from that).
  • Level 38: Took 10 minutes to get almost all of the gems that are present in the level, in which it involves a rougher quicksand and acid pool layout, with no presence of dirt, and use of dynmite to get to the gems as necessary.
  • Level 44: Took almost 8 minutes to finish that level! There's a lot of repetitive and time consuming stuff like releasing spaceships into the acid pool, and filtering gems from rocks with quicksand, and among other things that are dense and take time.
  • Level 45: There's Letter Wall text that says '1994'...released or made in 1994?
  • Level 77: Takes 10 minutes to beat it, what. Basically the last several levels take a bunch of time!
  • This levelset, good if you want a palette clenser from playing the first 10 Bond Mine levelsets in the series. Otherwise, probably pass.
  • LEVELSET SOLVED: PORNO MINE 01 (2018 02-Feb 28 = 2018 03-Mar 01): 0-80, 81 levels solved
DADDY MINE series by Big Daddy
  • According to the files, all of the levelsets have been released in 1996.
  • There's been some confusion on whether it's by Big Daddy (according to R'n'D) or if it is by Bealinea and Nordlicht (according to the Emerald Web)...help clear it up?
  • A couple of distinctions from the other levelsets:
    • You generally are always located at the top-left side of the level (there's some exceptions where the player is located somewhere else), where you can collect your dynamite that varies by number and leave the room with a colored key or through some other means. You're occupied by not only the name of the levelset, but also the level number.
    • All the levels, you need all 255 Emeralds, the max it can be collected before level exiting!
    • Levels' time limit is 500 seconds, although later levelsets cough out even more time!
  • A funny running trend on a level archtype in regards to a maze-like level filled with gems at the end of the dead paths:
    • Daddy Mine 01, level 64: Maze full of Emeralds!
    • Daddy Mine 02, level 18: maze and diamonds! ...but Steel Wall!
    • Daddy Mine 02, level 65: emeralds and diamonds!
    • Daddy Mine 03, level 27: Diamond-filled mazey~
    • Daddy Mine 03, level 49: gems in the mazes!
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 05: you can blast through the walls!
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 13: Not this one though, but you collect tons of Emeralds!
    • Daddy Mine 06, level 06: the start of the same feeling!
    • Daddy Mine 06, level 17: and it goes!
    • Daddy Mine 06, level 46: less mazy, more roomy areas, but still generally the same
    • Daddy Mine 06, level 62: back to mazey!
    • Daddy Mine 07, level 21: more like a loose maze
    • Daddy Mine 07, level 07: repeating, even if the maze is shifted around
    • Daddy Mine 08, level 42: samey same
    • Daddy Mine 09, level 04: oh the same
    • Daddy Mine 09, level 21: and the same
    • Daddy Mine 09, level 25: filled with absolute Emeralds!
    • Daddy Mine 09, level 45: Not much diggy, but still a maze
    • Daddy Mine 09, level 65: mazey!
    • Daddy Mine 10, level 06: can it be not the same?
    • Daddy Mine 10, level 44: Even more mazey!
    • Daddy Mine 11, level 31: oh hey, you can blast through the walls again, yaaaaay!
  • There's probably more archtype levels, but it's not as obvious as that!
  • Another archtype level that's used a lot, too many to count: Lots of levels that involves sending tons of Bugs to Amoeba for their gems, non-growing or growing. Despite the amount of shapes and obstacles the levels have, most of the levels can be cheesed by using dynamite to blow up a huge group of Bugs, and you can quickly collect them efficiently and exit out quicker than normal. I'm not sure if that's the level creator's intention, but it feels nice just to clear it, not so much on wanting to crave levels like this where it's attacked in different ways.
  • It's time to say my thoughts on the first 5 levelsets:
    • Daddy Mine 01, in most of the levels that involve tons of Bugs that need to be killed for their gems to be harvested, you can quickly take a shortcut and use dynamite, which gives more than enough gems to finish the levels.
    • Daddy Mine 01, level 16: Oh, that's a bit funny, it's the exact same as the previous level, except that the top layer of rocks that's aside the blue door is replaced with Steel Walls.
    • Daddy Mine 01, level 55: That level that you'll start feeling the pressure of the time running out due to the slow process of freeing the Bugs in a spiral corridor, accompanied by occasional Amoeba, and when letting go, exposing to a medium-sized area of Amoeba to die from.
    • Daddy Mine 01, level 80: One of the few levels where dynamiting may not be guranteed because the Bugs are scattered in a relatively open area! Which means you have to play the level and can't cheese it!
    • LEVELSET SOLVED: DADDY MINE 01 (2018 03-Mar 06 = 2018 03-Mar 07):
      0-80, 81 levels solved!
    • Daddy Mine 02, level 0: Almost the exact same level as the final level in Daddy Mine 1...I decided to march on because the difference is there's no text that would make Bug killing a bit easier...or more harder, hmm~. And that each play of the level is different by how you set up the kill and the Amoeba growth.
    • Daddy Mine 02, level 47: It's time to slow to a crawl, as you have to wait for the Android to replicate the Bug slowly, which would take until 4-5 minutes later to just dynamite only one to chain explosion all of them out of existence!
    • Daddy Mine 02, level 48: Another useless area, even more useless than that other level, there's a section that's all just Spacehips rotating in place.
    • LEVELSET SOLVED: DADDY MINE 02 (2018 03-Mar 07 = same):
      0-80, 81 levels solved!
    • Daddy Mine 03, level 00: It's the exact same level as Daddy Mine 2, level 80! Skipping that level!
    • Daddy Mine 03, level 17: Tedious getting the gems, it's not that exciting because there's less and less Yam Yams, which makes the level just boring than somewhat exciting. This is also because there's not much other options to collect gems, with 2 gems leftover. This is also the first level in the Daddy Mine series where it's not the maximum 255 gems needed to exit (it's 200!).
    • Daddy Mine 03, level 52: W-waitaminute, isn't it just level 51? Literally the only differences that a Quicksand tile with a Boulder is removed, and the bottom-right corner that is Empty Space is filled with simply Dirt. Is this an error? I'm skipping that level!
    • Daddy Mine 03, level 59: Longest level to play so far, gotta harvest all the gems with 2 Emeralds to spare, and you have to get them through dynamiting a bunch of rock and normal wall in which unlike regular Normal Walls, this one doesn't make gems roll off~
    • Daddy Mine 03, level 75: Probably the only level in this levelset where you can't leave from the top left door of the starting area.
    • Daddy Mine 03, level 75: And probably the only level in this levelset that you can leave from the right side of the starting area.
    • Daddy Mine 03, level 80: So it continues, the trend of connecting from this levelset to the next. I wonder if it has an ending.
    • LEVELSET SOLVED: DADDY MINE 03 (2018 03-Mar 08 = 2018 03-Mar 10):
      1-51, 53-80, 79 levels solved!
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 00: Skipping because Daddy Mine 03, level 80 was a thing, the only difference is that there's no Letter Wall text that says "This is level 0 von Daddymine 4", and that doesn't really effect anything major gameplay wise when you're just getting the gems the same way, as the difference in distribution of Bugs roaming isn't substantial enough to be worth playing.
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 03: First level where the exit resides in the starting area!
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 07: First level in the whole series that is 180 seconds and not 500 seconds!
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 10: First level to not only have a Magic Ball and its' switch, but the exit can't be accessed easily unlike many other Bug and Amoeba levels~
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 14: ...this is a Skippy-esque level, very repetitive, it's more of a marathon to not screw up on collecting the gems and not drop into the acid as it's covered in Boulders to make it annoying to deal with. There's a reason why these types of levels have not shown up in the difficulty compliation levelsets in BD4. At least it doesn't require you every single gem, and if you lose even just one, start over the level again.
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 40: One of the few levels where you spawn outside of the usual starting area. You can't even go back to the starting area. This is a rather curious level in which you have to optimize how the Spaceships move and not somehow bump each other, by making hard 3x3 turns and not 2x2 turns, which would make clearing out them much more annoying.
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 45: It's lasting way more than just the usual 500 seconds, it's 900 seconds due to having to wait until all the released Spaceships are cleared out into the Acid Pool.
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 72: 640 seconds instead of 500? I'm not sure, you could argue it's because of dealing with Spaceships, but there's an abdunance of Diamonds that would give way to finishing the goal quickly.
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 75: 600 seconds instead of 500...for trying to retrieve gems equivalent to Bugs from the Yam Yams? I could just hold the snap button and collect the rolling gems as the boulders pass by. It's boring, but it's better than dying by being hit by a rock or gem.
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 76: 1000 seconds instead of 500? Because of those robots? I could just use dynamite to bomb them off one by one, or lure them into Acid as a longway. Took almost half the time needed to do this.
    • Daddy Mine 04, level 77: 900 instead of 500 seconds...just dynamite the Bugs, they chain explode into gems!
    • Daddy Mine 04, overall, from the half of the levels, you can't really rush some of them as the creator did some implementations in a way that you have to do them legit and can't use dynamite!
    • LEVELSET SOLVED: DADDY MINE 04 (2018 03-Mar 10 = 2018 03-Mar 13):
      1-80, 80 lvls solved!
    • Daddy Mine 05, level 00: You know the drill, it's the same as Daddy Ming 04, level 80, but without the text that says "This is level 0 von Daddymine 5", but the removal doesn't effect how the level is played enough to make a gameplay difference. Skipping as usual.
    • Daddy Mine 05, level 02: ...wow, this is horrible and repetitive, just trying to free the Spaceships and send them into the acid...at least 15 times!
    • Daddy Mine 05, level 20: The explicit markings of "Daddy" in Diamonds
    • Daddy Mine 05, level 23: 900 seconds instead of 500, yeah, because of breaking those nuts
    • Overall, there's an increasing amount of levels that have varied time limits and there are less opportunities to use dynamites to cheese the levels, but it's rather a blur to be honest.
    • LEVELSET SOLVED: DADDY MINE 05 (2018 03-Mar 13 = 2018 03-Mar 16):
      1-80, 80 lvls solved!
Here are the following levelsets solved in single player:
2018 03-March 16 (part 1 of 2).zip
Levelset tapes: Daddy Mine 01, Daddy Mine 02, Daddy Mine 03, and Daddy Mine 04
(214.8 KiB) Downloaded 29 times
2018 03-March 16 (part 2 of 2).zip
Levelset tapes: Bobby Dash, Daddy Mine 05, and Porno Mine 01
(231.98 KiB) Downloaded 27 times

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