It is now Saturday, April 21st, 2018. I have just completed my ORIC Manic Miner practice run. I do not remember when I started this project, maybe two months ago or so. Due to mental barriers, progress was slow. Using infinite lives and free room transport at will, I practiced each room starting from the very first, i.e. Central Cavern. I did not deviate from the strict sequence of 1-32, meaning that I practiced each room as long as I could complete it, never skipping any rooms to advance further.
When I completed the rooms 1-16, unfortunately I did not take video captures, because:
However, once I figured out that by pressing F10 key you could start and stop video captures, I made extensive use of that feature. I recorded almost all of my practice attempts, because I wanted to make sure that I would capture all successful room completions. As it turned out, I was not perfect. A couple of times I forgot to start video capture, completed a room, and shouted in despair: "Oh no, I forgot to record this attempt!". Luckily that did not happen very often.
The first sixteen rooms were more or less familiar to me, because in the spring of 2010, I have completed Manic Miner both on Commodore 16 and Commodore 64 home computers, using real hardware and absolutely no cheats. So I had some experience, but even the Commodore versions are slightly different despite the fact that the rooms look pretty much the same. Often the timing required is quite different. This ORIC port was no exception to that rule: Knowing the Commodore versions was certainly helpful, but I felt that the ORIC rooms were very unique, sometimes requiring a bit different approach.
Of the first sixteen rooms, I think I found Skylab Landing Bay the most difficult. Not seeing the enemies all the time made it hard for me to complete the room, and I still do not remember how I completed it. But with patience I did.
Anyway, here are YouTube videos of rooms 17-32, i.e. the latter half of the game. The first 12 of these are completely unique to the ORIC version, so I hope these videos can prove entertaining to interested viewers. I do not make any claims about optimal performance here. Many times I made some wrong moves or chose some silly routes. So do not take these videos as absolutely correct models of how you should complete these rooms. You may very well have better ideas, so feel free to use your own head. I publish these videos just as examples of how you can do it, no more, no less.
I know practically nothing about video technology, but as far as I understand, these videos were captured by
oricutron as "RIFF (little-endian) data, AVI, 240 x 224, >30 fps, video: RLE 8bpp, audio: uncompressed PCM (mono, 44100 Hz)". That is what
file utility tells me on Fedora Linux 27. When I watch the original video capture AVI-files using
mplayer, they look good and clear, just like in the ORIC emulation. When I watch the uploaded YouTube videos using Safari web browser on Apple iPad Air 2, the videos look fine. But when I use Firefox web browser on Fedora Linux 27, the YouTube Manic Miner videos look awful! They are unclear and blurred. I guess YouTube offers different versions to different video player clients or something like that. If you know how to make the videos appear nice to everybody, please let me know and send me e-mail at email@example.com.
UPDATE April 22nd, 2018: I got great advice from Spider, Jet Set Willy & Manic Miner Society's administrator. He recommended trying ZIP. The original AVI videos compressed extremely well with ZIP, 93% storage savings, so they went from 163MB to only 9MB! If the YouTube videos look horrible, you can download oric_manic_miner_videos.zip. On Fedora Linux 27,
mplayer played the videos fine. I am sure other players will, too!
UPDATE April 22nd, 2018: In conclusion, I think this ORIC port of Manic Miner is fantastic. However, in my opinion, the room 26 In A Deep Dark Hole is a big design error. Matthew Smith's original Manic Miner is difficult, to be sure, but to include rooms with invisible platforms is sheer insanity. Imagine if you had played this ORIC port from rooms 1-25 in a row, without infinite lives or other cheats. After that you would enter In A Deep Dark Hole only to find out that it requires several mapping attempts that depend mostly on pure luck rather than skill! How do you plan your routes when you cannot see the damn platforms? It took me twenty unsuccessful attempts before I completed the room 26 and even so, my return route did not go as I planned it. The video you see here is my second completion of the room. The first successful attempt was cleaner and better, but I forgot to record it!