Some games are for entertainment, some for the journey and some just for the satisfaction of completing a game. Some however are there for one task, the steely 1cc run. For me the humble STG, or Shmup, is the ultimate 1cc chase. Most of the genre just breed competition amongst friends and strangers but most of all between you and yourself. I like to think I am competing with my ID, my super-ego. There is nothing better than beating oneself.

Chasing the 1cc is, to me, a lesson in self discipline as I am constantly tempted to add one more credit to continue the run but a true 1cc runner will pull back this desire to see more of the game he has chosen to dominate and will not submit to the carnal desires of the coin cheat but do not misunderstand me, it is hard and I fail as much as I succeed. I recently tried on Metal Slug 3 on the MVS and, well, the image below shows the truth.

Grabbing second place seems quite the achievement until one realises it took… 36 credits. I have now seen video proof that this game is doable in 1cc however the magic employed to do it is beyond me and I shall feel disappointed satisfaction with the above score. Hey, at least I am not lying about my abilities!

Two games I have decided to attempt however are Capcoms 1943 and Dooyongs The Last Day. Both STGs in the classic style and both eminently doable even for this slightly older, ever so slower gentleman of dubious age.

At first glance this may seem a long way from the top spot, and it is, but I only recently started running the game so 18th is acceptable for now. I also only run the games when streaming and this is far from an ideal environment with viewer chat and other distractions. Yes, I am making excuses but they are valid!

The wonder of an STG, or at least a ‘classic’ STG is that there are no hidden mechanics or fancy moves. You dodge bullets whilst shooting things and in the case of 1943 occasionally make a tactical choice to pick up a certain powerup over another but even if you get it wrong you can recover fairly quickly so the game doesn’t get harder in such a way that your chase is done. Perhaps some will say a preferred way is the best way but I feel that would be anecdotal at best. If anyone has any rigorous or scientific analysis to prove me wrong in this, please comment.

For now I shall languish amongst the bleachers of 1943 and practice. I do not see myself as numero uno but I can get over that 1 million so Sull (a fellow streamer I know), I am coming for you.

That leaves my other current chase, The Last Day. My first PCB ever and one that is not popular despite its classic gameplay. I guess there are just better games out there but that is fine as it gives me a chance!

Look, I cannot lie, it is really nice to be the best amongst a very small select group of people who will probably never play the game again, haha. As mentioned above the chase for me is a personal one so being the top in such a small group has no effect on my ability to better my personal best, it just means I get to brag about it at the same time.

The Last Day is very much an ‘old skool’ game. It doesn’t have the best graphics or sound and its gameplay loop is fairly dull. You shoot things, you bomb things. You dodge things. Where this one differs though is that at heart it is essentially a Bullet Hell STG but its not the bullets you dodge, its the ships, aircraft, boats and missiles that fly down to you at warp speed making the game very much reaction based. Like most games of this ilk however these things have patterns so they can be learnt, even by me!

I am so confident in my ability to learn these patterns that I am sure given enough time I will not only cement my 1st place but will actually see the end game, or loop it, whichever happens. For those unaware a loop is when the game goes back to the first level and just plays harder than it did first time around.

So there we have it, a short blog entry about my quest to beat myself! Updates shall happen over time and should you desire too you can even watch me doing it live! (this blog got so dirty – ed). Check me out at for Real Hardware PCB 1cc runs. As usual, leave a comment if interested.