Congrats, here’s (rand() % 10000) points

Idle curiousity: does anybody know how StarTropics decides what your score is? A little Googling and looking things up on GameFAQs didn’t turn up an answer.

For those not in the know, StarTropics is one of the great underappreciated games of the NES era. Basically, it’s a Zelda-like game, but more linear and with the ability to jump.

Anyway, StarTropics keeps a score, but there doesn’t appear to be any way to tell how it’s computed. Unlike most games that keep score, there isn’t a running point total on the screen or some indication of when you’ve earned points. Instead, after you complete a dungeon, a bunch of points are added to your score.

So, obviously, your score is determined entirely by what goes on in dungeons (which is essentially the entire game). Do you get points per enemy killed? For items collected? Secret areas found? Dead-ends avoided? Extra lives gained or lost? There’s little evidence to suggest where the score comes from. It’s not based on time, since there’s no timer. It seems correlated with dungeon length, since the really short dungeon in Chapter 3 barely gives you any points. Of course, since kills/items/secrets/dead-ends are all naturally correlated with dungeon length (longer dungeons have more enemies, etc.), that doesn’t reveal much.

For some reason, I don’t feel like spending the week playing the same dungeon over and over and over, systematically changing my method of getting through it in an effort to figure out what the relevant variables are.

Comments are closed.