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High Score Runs

Started by Princess Rescuer, June 29, 2016, 08:09:23 PM

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Princess Rescuer

In case you've exhausted your potential in Time Attack runs, how about something that takes a little longer? Okay, a LOT longer? Umihara Kawase has a High Score feature that starts at 6158 points. Catching anything from fish to buckets to nets increases your score. It was added into the game as an afterthought, presumably so it could be recognized as more of a game. Shun downplayed it, and Sayonara removes it entirely. Here's an interesting challenge- how many points can you score?

Here's how you score the optimal amount of points- take the longest path to Field 57 and collect every extra life you come across. Prioritize survival over points until then- each life you have on 57 can and will net you 20,000 points each. Once at 57, catch all four sharks (including the hidden one in the lower right corner) as fast as you can and get on the floating platform next to the door. You will be catching blue fish and sharks for the next few minutes. Then, when the time runs out, you will repeat the process. A good way to practice is to pick 57 from the Training menu, allowing you to see how many points you can score with a single life. Just know how to do all the other fields while collecting the backpacks in them, and you're good to go.

Unfortunately, I would only recommend this challenge to the most passionate Umihara Kawase fans. Basically, anyone who posts on this website. It's mind-numbingly boring and repetitive and lasts much longer than the half-hour the longest playthroughs are supposed to last. It's basically like doing a perfect run of Longest Path before a high score run of Donkey Kong, pretty much. Or grinding in Dragon Quest 1. There's a reason high scores were lessened in future installments.

Anyway, if you have a boring afternoon to kill, a good PB would be a quarter of a million (250,000) to a third of a million (333,334).

Princess Rescuer

All the points are on the final field. I know, I wish it were a little more interesting than that. Plus, there's only really one route. Don't feel bad if this isn't your thing, it's not that reflective of your skill.


I vaguely remember reading some Japanese players talking about how in UKS you can loop back to the start using the door in level 48, so effectively infinite score possible. One of them topped out the counter after some marathon amount of play, but I can't remember any more than that.

Did anyone ever figure out the significance of "6158"?

Princess Rescuer

Cool! Is there a recording of it? Does the score loop back to zero? Were they able to get an unlimited amount of extra lives as well?


I don't think the score ticked over, it just stayed maxed at however many digits, but honestly I can't remember. I think it might have been linked in a 2ch thread, for what it's worth.

I've had a look around but can't find anything, there's too much relating to the recent re-releases. Digging around on clunky Japanese websites is laborious when you don't speak the language and almost all my old Umihara bookmarks are now dead anyway. I did stumble across an archive of a 2014 4chan /vr/ thread in which everyone was really positive and nice to each other (!?), and someone reposted a level flow chart image I made a decade ago whilst sitting in my room in uni. Nostalgia kick right in the nuts.


I found some pages written by Shoda, who achived 999999 points and 99 backpacks in UmiharaKawase Shun.


FYI, the search words were 海腹川背(UmiharaKawase) カンスト(KANSTO, Japanese abbr. of Counter-Stop).

Princess Rescuer


Nice one Tooro, glad someone found it.

Princess Rescuer

In addition to high score runs, it's possible to beat the game with zero points. This is the only series I can think of where that's possible.


Quote from: Princess Rescuer on July 09, 2016, 01:18:12 AM
In addition to high score runs, it's possible to beat the game with zero points. This is the only series I can think of where that's possible.

Ok that got me a bit curious, turns out in Shun it's also possible with the speedrun route (0>11>23>14>15>35>36>31>30)

Unless you meant the whole UK series welp.

Also my score in the original is 34084 although that just comes from repeating one of the boss levels a few times.


A video related to this topic was posted to a blog which is famous among UmiharaKawase fans in Japan:


  • F38 is suitable for safely acquiring score because fishes cannot walk over the gap on the floor and salmons do not throw eggs when they are walking toward you.  You can obtain around 19000 pts per life.  With 16 lives and other fields, estimated total score is around 350000 pts.
  • On Steam, quick restart does not reset the score to zero.  Using this bug, you can see the score maxing out at 999999 pts.

Princess Rescuer

Well, I finally did it. Something I envisioned months ago, and I surpassed my expectations. My high score in Umihara Kawase for the Super Famicom is... 352708. A very optimized run, and it can go even higher to an estimated over 400000.

I currently have the Super Famicom/Vita High Score World Record for Umihara Kawase. Here it is.


Princess Rescuer

My incredibly long and boring high score video has 32 views and counting. Looks like people are interested.

Princess Rescuer

I would like to bring something to everybody's attention: I recently discovered that there has, in fact, been a high score leaderboard found on an obscure website called retroachievements.org. By the lofty standards of KawaseFan.net, it's laughable. Here's what the leaderboard was before I came along:

1st: NeonHenchman with 29816 points

2nd: SamuraiGoroh with 25132 points

3rd: Dexterspet with 19876 points

4th: Ryan914 with 10109 points

There are 6 more, but they aren't even worth mentioning because they don't even beat the default score of 6158 points. To add to the laughs, there are forums on this incredibly irrelevant site, where users complain about how hard the game is and how much they suck at it. Observe:


Another thing is, there don't seem to be any recordings of them. And they apparently all used emulator anyway. Not something I'd do. I tried to log in, but I haven't gotten the confirmation email. I just decided it wasn't worth it. They can have their own Junior league achievements if they want. Heck, separated rankings for less privileged speedrunners or high score runners is something I support. I could change my mind if things do work out, but if they don't on that site, that's okay. I still have it on KawaseFan, the site that MATTERS.

Don't bother putting these up. I'm Wes Copeland compared to these people.


To be fair, those would be the highest scores those people got while playing through the game normally; not specifically trying to get the highest possible score, which is what you're doing.

Princess Rescuer

One week later, my high score video has over 60 viewers. I was expecting it to languish in obscurity. Anyone want to compete with it?

Princess Rescuer

My high score run has 67 views. That's two thirds of 100.

I've discovered that I can safely and efficiently score at least 15,000 points on Field 37. You can only do this once, and I'll have to complete the level afterwards.

I tried a strategy on Field 57 that involves catching the bottom shark faster. You go under the big staircase instead of using the ladder. You have to do it well and it barely saves any time if you do.

Will do another attempt at 100 views and at least 1 competitor. Anyone interested?

Princess Rescuer

73 views. If and when I do another run, don't expect much. Maybe 360,000 at most? That was a really optimized run and it'll be amazing if I can get close to it. The new Field 37 strategy will probably make up for... half a mistake?

Oh, and on one of Kintyorru (aka Siousatou)'s older videos from the 2000s, he appears to have a high score of around the 70,000s range, and this was before the laughable Retroachievements high scores. Don't remember exactly what it was, and I'm having trouble finding the video on his channel (there's so many), but it's certainly nowhere close to mine.

Looks like the student has taught the sensei!

Princess Rescuer

100 views. My high score video has lasting appeal. Now I just need a competitor.

Princess Rescuer

Well, I've tried a second attempt. It went well up until I got past 100,000, then it went downhill fast. To the video's credit, it is a shorter and more entertaining watch than the high score run that I actually completed. I guess I can abandon this and move onto other things, until a crack team of players revolutionizes and optimizes the run.


Princess Rescuer

New discovery!

You may not have known this, but catching all of a tadpole's frogs or all fish in a flying school of fish fast enough will award you a point bonus. Double the points the total amount of things you catch would. Catching all 15 frogs before the tadpole jumps into the water would give high score runs a bit of a boost. Actually happens in my high score run. Even if a frog dizzies you, it still counts as long as they're all cleared.

Princess Rescuer

Six months later, my high score now has 200 views. It got the first 100 views within a month. Looks like someone's interested. They've got quite the hill to climb.

Princess Rescuer

This may be my last post on this thread.

I just realized that the ideal high score run would involve even more boring and repetitive things, such as standing there for 4 straight minutes on fields 2 and 17, catching the orange fish over and over again for the optimum run.

I don't blame people for not doing high score runs of this game anymore. I get why time trials were more popular. This just seemed like more unexplored ground to me.

My high score video only got its 200th view 6 months after I made it. That would be too much patience and effort for such an unpopular video.

My purpose in speedruns/high scores is to break games and "solve" them anyway. And to possibly give future developers insight onto how to make games more stable and balanced. Not to compete. It's a higher purpose for challengers like me.

Princess Rescuer

It's the month of February (where my still-standing WR was achieved last year) and I am pleased to report that I might have a shot at improving the score.

I did the run, not expecting any viewers, thinking that a hivemind of Japanese players might bounce strategies and destroy it, but that didn't happen. My record stands unchallenged for nearly a year. I guess it's up to me to beat it.

It was a pretty good record, even if I did play a little safe. It had a very consistent Field 57, and that's what matters. However, I experimented with new techniques.

First off, not going directly to the exit and catching more enemies in every field in general, making it take around 15 seconds longer.

Fields 17 and 48 were theorized for a while, and I finally found a safespot in them. In Field 17, stand on the platform where the banana fish is after catching all of them and the net. In 48, stand on the top where 1 blue fish is found after catching the 2 blue fish in the alcove as well as the octopus. Other ones include catching all 4 octopi in Field 7 and catching all 3 anemones in Field 26. Do this along with the full Field 37, and you will go into Field 57 with at least 40,000 points. This might also have the benefit of skipping Field 56 as well, just for an extra perk. Field 2 might not be the good.

352,708 is still a very optimized high score and I don't expect to see improvements of more than a few thousand points. This will require a lot of practice and resets upon deaths prior to 57. Taking too long might also skip 48 as well as 56. Recommended for any avid player who's bored with how optimized the time trials have gotten.


Quote from: Princess Rescuer on February 05, 2018, 04:17:02 PMthinking that a hivemind of Japanese players might bounce strategies and destroy it
You'd probably have to go spend some time on Nico Nico Douga, if there are streamers there and you can deal with machine translation for long enough to give them some links. Japanese gamers don't tend to come to the English web very often unless they're really driven.

But hey, maybe don't focus on views so much, just do what you find fun. I assume that most the views on my videos are bots anyway, it's clear that there's effectively zero interest in Umihara Kawase in English-speaking world outside of this little haven we've got here.

Princess Rescuer

After standing unchallenged for over a year, I have finally beaten my previous high score, upping it to the long-sought-after 400K mark in a perfect preemptive death free run. The world record high score is now 402115 and that's where it will stay. I am so happy to have achieved what was previously a seemingly unreachable goal.


Princess Rescuer

I have researched three more fields that, together, allow 30,000 points to be scored: 5, 41, and 46.

In Field 5, catch orange fish and eels on the platform on top of the ones that lead to the exit.

In Field 41, catch orange fish and eels on the platform that the ladder leads to that floats next to the stompers that go up and down

In Field 46, get the extra life, then go to the slope and catch flying clams and sharks. If you're closer to the right, standing next to the movable platform, you will only get the flying clams.

There are more, but sadly, due to the 30 minute time limit, 5, 17, 37, 41, and 46 will be all I have the time for if I want to get to 48, which is another farm field. And even then I might need to cut down the amount of time spent on them to get to the exit earlier (like when it starts to be 30 seconds left instead of 5). All you need to know is, the later the fields, the more you should prioritize them due to having the best average point output. 425K may be possible, and the improvements that can be made to the high score run may be on their last legs.

Princess Rescuer

My PB gets an average of 19,000 points on every Field 57. There is a new strategy that can improve this up to 20,000 per life or even 21,000: going under the stair platform to catch the first shark, and slinging your way to the final platform. Problem is, it's inconsistent, and there's no way to tell if you're going to get hit by a mini-shark or have the glitch happen where you crash into the shark while catching it at the same time.

Princess Rescuer

I just posted my High Score on RetroAchievements. If anyone questions it's legitimacy, just confirm that I did get the record I claimed and you saw it. And it was on real hardware. If they question it further, ask them where their record proof is or was.



Quote from: Princess Rescuer on January 27, 2020, 03:33:40 AM
I just posted my High Score on RetroAchievements. If anyone questions it's legitimacy, just confirm that I did get the record I claimed and you saw it. And it was on real hardware. If they question it further, ask them where their record proof is or was.

I didn't watch the video so I won't be confirming anything, but I want to point out part of the text on RetroAchievements' home page:

Quote from: RetroAchievements home pageUse our modified emulators and you will be awarded achievements as you play! Your progress will be tracked so you can compete with your friends to complete all your favourite classics to 100%: we provide the emulators for your Windows-based PC, all you need are the roms!

I'm guessing that their time attack and high score data is tracked in the same way, which would therefore be the proof of their records with the RetroAchievements system, which seems fine to me.

Princess Rescuer


If any Japanese player beats my console scores or anything, keep me updated.

Princess Rescuer

The game came out on Switch recently. The Switch version is on the online VC, so it's not the improved 2015 version. It does have savestates and rewind though- making it good for testing the limits of high score runs. Already, I've done one- a rough, could've-been-better test run on Switch with these pseudo-TAS features bursts open the possibilities. The new high score is within the 450K range and it could be even better. I'm not expecting anyone to reach that in a real run, but it does make a low 400K much more beatable.

After the run, I savestated, meaning a great feature from the Vita version, the ability to save your score, is maintained. Next time I try for a better pseudo-TAS, I'll have the score to beat right on the screen, giving it something more of a personal significance. It sure beats reverting back to 6158 each time like on Super Famicom.

Princess Rescuer

Make that 475K. Yep, there's more potential in this than I first thought.

Princess Rescuer

Already got 500K with Switch Pseudo-TASing. I caught enemies on most fields, grinded on Fields 17, 37, 38, 41, and 48, and 1/2 of 5 (exited with 2 minutes remaining). I entered 57 with 85,000 points. I implemented a new strategy of skipping Field 56. My Field 57s are VERY good with scores better than 22,000 per life. They would be very nice to get in a real run.

500K is 100K better than what the range for the current record is. I thought the potential score couldn't be much better than a low 400K, but it's actually much higher. Very encouraging. Plenty more margin for error than previously imagined.

Princess Rescuer

Got 411016 on Vita. Breaks the previous WR of 402115 from 2018.

Princess Rescuer

It looks like I finally have a competitor- Emoon! I look forward to seeing someone beat my score finally! He uses a route that ends at Field 37, which is suboptimal. I told him to visit this page.

Princess Rescuer

A couple new discoveries that help out a bit. First is in Field 37- the first Field other than 57 that it's worth going back and forth collecting fish in. This takes me back. Instead of the top part of the level, collect fish on the green floor next to the rising platforms. The spawn rate is the same and the area is smaller.

Another is Field 41. You may have to sacrifice a couple thousand points for this, but it's worth it, as this strategy will ensure you will finish runs more consistently. Get to the end of the Field, stand next to the door, and catch the respawning fish that way. Return to the door after catching fish to ensure they don't spawn in the spike pits.

New TAS strategy: on 17, stand next to the spikes while facing right. Shoot down-left to catch fish from the left while shooting right when fish spawn on the platform slightly above. Use the R button to look to the right so you can see the egg-shooting ones more easily. Could be a real run strat, but it's too risky.

TAS route is 17, 37, 38, 41, 46, and 48. Regular route is 14, 17, 37, 41, 46, and 48.