|Presented by||Retrocade Magazine|
Vector gaming forums
NOTICE: due to the increasing amount of space these contests are taking up, past Vector War contests' info and results are now partially hidden. Clicking on the Tabber under the Links section at the bottom of the Vector War VI entry will show previous Vector War info.
Retrocade Magazine was founded in 2011 by Rob Maerz, which the release of its first issue (via digital download only) followed in October. The magazine covered the very beginnings of commercial video games from the 1970s through the 1980s, having reviews, interviews, high scores, contests, and articles in regards to the arcade, home gaming consoles and computers of these years (along with modern day homebrews that have been released for consoles that originally came out during those decades as well).
The Vector War contests (sponsored by the magazine) involved games that were released for the Vectrex only, crowning winners who had the highest scores at the conclusion of the contests. The original Vector War contest ran in September, 2011, Vector War II ran from August through September, 2012, and Vector War III ran from August 8 through August 25, 2013. After the magazine was put on hold (possibly indefinitely), the Vector gaming forums took over the hosting duties for Vector War IV - VI, which ran from 2014 - 2016.
Vector War VEdit
To qualify, a contestant had to play and have a qualifying score for six out of 12 listed games for the contest. They also had to check to see what a current score code was. After a game was played, contestants had to take a picture of their score and include the current score code for the game on a piece of paper, both of which had to be visible in the photo.
Games had to be played on original hardware. Autofire Dongles or other score-enhancing equipment could not be used. Players also could not use known game cheats/scoring bugs. Due to a safety/scoring bug found in the previous Vector War IV contest (see Trivia below), several games had a maximum score/one hour playing limit set in order to discourage marathon playing.
A player was also able to submit an arbitrary number of scores per day. On the last day of the tournament, however, the player could only submit scores for two games of their choice.
Games/qualifying scores for this contest included Blitz! (with the player’s score minus the computer's score, being at least 20 points minimum to qualify), Dark Tower (Game 1, 1,500 points minimum, completing game maximum), Mine Storm (15,000, maximum allowed score 150,000), Pole Position (30,000), Spike (5,000), Star Trek: The Motion Picture / Star Ship (25,000 minimum, 500,000 points maximum), Tour de France (02:00 min minimum), N.E.L.S. (100), Omega Chase (750), Protector (7,500), Royal 21 (100), and V-Frogger (5,000).
The first place winner received a Vector War t-shirt plus a coupon for three games (in the maximum amount of $75 US) offered by Packrat Video Games, LLC. The second place winner received a Vector War t-shirt plus a coupon for two games (maximum $50) offered by Packrat Video Games, LLC, and the third place winner received a Vector War t-shirt plus a coupon for one game (maximum $25) offered by Packrat Video Games, LLC.
The random prize offered for someone other than the first three place winners was a coupon for one game (maximum $25) offered by Packrat Video Games, LLC.
- coleco1981 (100% of all scores)
- VectorX (99.9%)
- Chainsaw (99.3%)
- wazzal (93%)
- Vectronic (54.7%; random prize winner)
- Rapetou33 (36.6%)
- hcmffm (26.5%)
- 50tbrd (24.9%)
- With VectorX's original submitted Star Trek: The Motion Picture score, event coordinator Helmut Mueller then set the maximum score limit at 500,000 for the game.
- With a high score bug found in the previous Vector War IV on Armor Attack, for the first time in the history of the contest, a high score maximum was set for three games with Vector War V. Those with the edition of Mine Storm that goes up to Mine Field 89 maximum) had to end their games at 150,000, due to it being an unfair advantage for those who had the original version that would crash and end the game once Mine Field 13 was completed. Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Dark Tower were the other two games that had a maximum score setting.
Vector gaming forums contest pages
Vector War VIEdit
The rules were pretty much the same as the previous Vector War contest, with the exception of if a controller other than the original Vectrex controller was used, then the player had to state this when submitting a score. Autofire Dongles or other score-enhancing equipment could not be used, such as paddles or sensitivity-adjustable controllers, autofire joysticks, or the usage of several types of controllers without being stated. Players also could not use/take advantage of known game cheats/scoring bugs. Several games had a maximum score/one hour playing limit set in order to discourage marathon playing.
Games/qualifying scores for this contest included Berzerk (with a qualifying score of 3000), Clean Sweep (5000), Dark Tower (Game 1, 1500, with a maximum score of the game being completed, other scores are recalculated to a maximum of 75%), Hyperchase (125 seconds to qualify), Mine Storm (15000, maximum 150,000), Polar Rescue (Game 1, 10,000), Star Castle (7500, maximum 75,000), N.E.L.S. (100), Shifted (Survival mode, 2000, maximum 50,000), Star Fire Spirits (medium cursor speed, 1000), Star Sling (Game 1, 200), and Vectrexagon (easy mode, 45 seconds).
The first to third place winners will receive a Vector War t-shirt plus one of the prizes listed from A to D below. The first place winner chooses first, the second winner chooses second from what is left on the list, and so on.
The random prize depended on what was left from Prizes A to D. It was drawn amongst all qualified players except for the first to third place winners.
Game prizes for first to third place plus random winnerEdit
Prize A: Vectrexagon
Prize B: NOX/Death Chase boxed edition bundled with one NOX or Death Chase t-shirt
Prize C: Coupon for two games (with a maximum value $50 U. S.) offered by Packrat Video Games, LLC
Prize D: Coupon for one game (maximum value $25) offered by Packrat Video Games, LLC
1-2. (tie) coleco1981 and wazzal (100% each)
3. Chainsaw (96.48%)
4. jbrodack (82.52%)
5. VectorX (73.56%)
6. darrin9999 (51.13%)
7. hcmffm (48.80%)
8. Lady Eklipse (44.86%; random prize winner)
9. 50tbrd (38.86%)
10. Rapetou33 (35.85%)
- This marked the first time in Vector War history that allowed people to specify if they used a digital controller for a game/score, along with also being the first time where the first three place winners chose between prizes.
- There were several upsets in the game; early on, like with Vector War IV, VectorX placed well (third) even though he was only able to play the minimal amount of games allowed to qualify (six). Then wazzal and jbrodack’s scores bumped him down to fifth, plus the contest ended up with its first ever tie with coleco1981 and wazzal both scoring 100%, which ended taking up the first and second place positions.
- Vector gaming forums contest pages
- Click on the tabber below to see stats, photos, rules, etc. from Vector War - Vector War IV
This original contest of the series ran from September 1 to September 22, 2011. Ten games were chosen to play, then were voted on via members of the Retrocade forums, which resulted in Armor Attack, Rip Off, Scramble, Solar Quest, and Star Castle as the final games to be played for the contest.
Players had to be registered members of the Retrocade forums. The games had to be played on a real Vectrex (with multicarts or flashcarts being acceptable). Participants had to provide their full name, games, and photos of their high scores. If players could roll a score over (back to zero) in a game, they would have to record it via camera and make the game play video available through an archived live stream or a YouTube video, along with the player announcing (before turning on their Vectrex) the date, their user I. D. from the Retrocade forums, the game name and settings (if applicable), along with announcing the final score at the end. The player would also have to post the score submission to the forums in the regular manner, except for providing a link to the game play video in place of a high score photo.
Tournament overall scoring would be the average of the player's percentage score across all titles, all of which must be played in order to qualify in the tournament’s overall standings.
“If memory serves”, winners were awarded “with 1000 forum tokens and a [digital] copy of Retrocade Magazine”, as Retrocade Magazine’s Maerz stated via internet private message (as the original Retrocade forums had been moved to a new server and the original forums with the contest results were not archived).
- Helmut Mueller (66.07% of all scores)
- P. Ian Nicholson (65.74%)
- Dave McCooey (62.85%)
- Rob Maerz (59.48%)
- Jasper Alto (53.62%)
Vector War IIEditThis contest ran from August 23 through September 9, 2012. The games that were chosen for this contest included Berzerk, Blitz!, Clean Sweep, Cosmic Chasm, Scramble, Solar Quest, Star Castle, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Vector Pilot and Y* A* S* I.
The rules of the contest were identical to the first Vector War tournament, although with several additions, one of which included minimum threshold scores that needed to be exceeded in order for a player to be able to qualify for the contest (an example being if a Pac-Man game in a contest had a threshold score of 20,000, then players must submit a score that is higher than 20,000). Players also had to have a minimum of six qualifying scores before the 24 hour conclusion of the competition; during the final 24 hours of the contest, players could only submit scores on two previously played titles. Also, a “biggest blowout” (as stated by Maerz) option for Blitz! was added, which consisted of the player’s score, minus the computer's in a game as a total for a tiebreaker. Ironically, Mueller and Maerz tied anyway, with the exact same score of beating the computer 42-0.
First place winners received 10,000 Retrocade Magazine forum tokens, a digital copy of the third issue of Retrocade Magazine, a copy of Shifted and a Vector War II t-shirt. Second place winners received 7,500 forum tokens and a Vector War II t-shirt, whereas third place winners received 5,000 forum tokens and a Vector War II t-shirt, and fourth place and lower winners received 1,000 forum tokens.
- Helmut Mueller (95.05%)
- Stefan Scholer (93.62%)
- Helga Haraldson (88.38%)
- Brian Gordon (61.86%)
- Rob Maerz (61.52%)
- Jeroen Jorssen (61.49%)
- Axel Wolff (43.47%)
This contest made the start of when a minimum threshold score was added to games.
Vector War IIIEditThis contest ran from August 8 through August 25, 2013.
The rules were pretty much identical to Vector War II, although there was no blowout in case of a tie-breaker. Thirteen games were chosen for the tournament, which players had to play at least six of them (as well as achieving a minimum threshold score for each) in order to participate. Players’ overall scores was the average of their top six percentage scores.
The games for the tournament were Bedlam, Berzerk, Cosmic Chasm, Fortress of Narzod, Hyperchase, Pole Position, Scramble, Space Frenzy, Spinball, Star Hawk, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Vector Pilot, and Vectrexians.
The second place winner received 7,500 Retrocade Magazine forum tokens, the third place winner received 5,000 forum tokens, and the fourth place and lower winners received 1,000 forum tokens.
- Stefan Scholer (99.57% of all scores)
- Jasper Alto (97.93%)
- Olivier Orillard (95.55%)
- Helmut Mueller (83.22%)
- Joerg Markert (61.40%)
- Darrin Laura (48.93%)
This was the first time in the Vector War contests when players could choose from a list of games, rather than the list being concrete and players could only play games that were assigned to the contest.
Vector War IVEditThis contest ran from November 21 to December 6, 2014.
To qualify, a contestant had to play and have a qualifying score for six out of 12 listed games for the contest. They also had to check to see what a current score code was. After a game is played, contestants had to take a picture of their score and include the current score code for the game on a piece of paper.
Games/qualifying scores for this contest included Armor Attack (with a qualifying score of 7,500 points), Bedlam (5,000 points), Clean Sweep (5,000), Fortress of Narzod (3,000), Rip Off (1,000), Spike (5,000), Star Hawk (15,000), Tour de France (2:00 minimum), Birds of Prey (5,000), Protector (5,000), V-Frogger (5,000) and Zantis (250).
- First Place Winner: Vector War IV t-shirt plus coupon for two games (maximum value $50) offered by Packrat Video Games, LLC
- 2nd Place Winner: Vector War IV t-shirt plus copy of Shifted
- 3rd Place Winner: Vector War IV t-shirt
- Random prize: Coupon for one game (maximum value $25) offered by Packrat Video Games, LLC
The random prize was for all qualified players other than the top three place winners.
- coleco1981(98.7% of all scores)
- wazzal (96.0%)
- Chainsaw (89.7%)
- ubersaurus (77.1%)
- VectorX (71.9%)
- Rapetou33 (60.3%)
- hcmffm (52.4%)
- fmml (51.7%)
- darrin9999 (40.1%)
- Luitione (30.5%)
- 50tbrd (25.9%)
- Web Wars was originally going to be a game in the original Vector War contest, but ended up being dropped due to how players “could marathon the game in a way it was not intended to be played”, as they “could essentially play the game at the lowest speed and stay on the same level indefinitely and rack up points”, as stated by Maerz. Likewise, in Vector War IV, it was advised for players not to use the bug that allows high scores for Spike.
- Mueller designed the Vector War II shirt, along with winning that and the original Vector War contests. He “also helped get the word out to the Vectrex community that these tournaments were taking place”, as stated by Maerz. The contest was also presented by Revival Studios, due to a copy of their Shifted being donated as one of the prizes for first place. Mueller would also pretty much run Vector War IV - VI as well, with Packrat Video Games, LLC, Revival Studio, and other homebrewer outfits donating prizes.
- The high scores from Vector War II were moved to P. Ian Nicholson’s high score page on his web site upon completion of the contest, which also happened with Vector War IV.
- Although not all-Vectrex contests, Vectrexians was also included in Retrocade’s Galaxian Legacy 2012 competition (which also included Galaxian games for the arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, and NES, along with Galaga for the Atari 7800), plus Hyperchase was also included in their Speedweeks contest in 2013 (along with other racing games that were included for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Master System, NES, and Odyssey 2 consoles). And in April, a Game of the Month contest was held for the Vectrex, with forum members choosing Fortress of Narzod for a high score contest for the month (other games that were voted on for the contest included Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Bedlam and Rip Off).
- Vector War III and other contests will be carried out “as long as the Vectrex community supports the tournaments, we'll keep having them every year”, as Maerz stated. However, “if there is a bad turnout, then it is subject to replacement”, as an Atari 5200 tournament also hosted by Retrocade Magazine resulted in only having four players who participated.
- Along with including the Vectrex in several contests, Retrocade Magazine has also included many reviews of the console’s games, which have included Space Frenzy, Vector Pilot, Star Castle and Scramble, among others.
- With the conclusion of Vector War III, it was unknown at the time if there would be any other Vector War contests. On an August 29, 2013 post on the Retrocade Magazine forums, Maerz stated the magazine was being put on indefinite hold, due to not having the time any more to oversee its publication. He also said the magazine’s forums could stay up until December 31, 2013, which they might be archived then, although he was also considering accepting PayPal donations to keep them going (which ended up not happening and the forums later disappeared). He also said that there was the possibility of the Vector gaming forums hosting Vector War IV contest, which did end up getting announced late in 2014, along with hosting the contests since.
- Although not a cap, four players tied of a score of 9,990 on Zantis on Vector War IV, as apparently either none of the players had a video camera to record their game going over 10,000 (which would roll the score over to zero) and/or those with a camera just did not bother recording a game.
- Vector War IV had the most contestants as of yet, having 12 total, with 11 qualifying. It also marked the first time in Vector Wars history where players had to take photos with a score code written down on a piece of paper and it had to visible in the photos, along with it also being the first contest in Vector Wars history that Vector gaming forums/Vectrex wiki founder VectorX was able to enter and placed fairly well despite only being able to play the minimum of six games. This also started the unbeatable reign (through at least Vector War VI) of coleco1981 and the first time it was hosted on the Vector gaming forums.
- Mueller's daughter "chose" the random prize winner on Vector War IV - VI by listing all placing participants (minus the first three place winners) on a sheet of paper, each accompanied by a different set of dice rolls per person. She rolled a set of dice until a winner matched her roll. These videos can be seen on Mueller's YouTube channel.
- The Vector War t-shirts were designated by color, with Vector War II's shirts being green on black, Vector War III's were yellow on blue, and Vector War IV's were yellow on green. The winner of the Vector War decided on the color combination of the t-shirts.
This article was featured from November - December, 2015.