From Popcap release (shortened): Steve Day was a man on a mission – now he’s the proud possessor of the world’s highest-scoring Peggle shot. A currency trader from Portsmouth on England’s southern coast who previously spent a dozen years as a software developer, Steve achieved his 18-million+ point shot after being inspired by a video of the previous best shot, a 13-million point shot by Max Daube of Australia, using the same level and power-up. Steve’s YouTube video of his shot, along with a shot-by-shot “video tutorial” of the entire level on which the shot occurred.
After buying Peggle Deluxe and completing most of the game, Steve did a Google search looking for tips on scoring 750,000 points on one level – generally considered the toughest of the game’s 75 “Challenge Mode” hurdles. “If I hadn’t found the YouTube replay of Max’s wondrous shot, I don’t think I’d have ever thought of it myself,” Steve admits. “I’d already managed to clear all of the pegs on that level (“Beyond Reason,” the last level in the game, known less formally as “Zen Frog”) using the “space blast” power-up, but thanks to the videos on You Tube I finally achieved the 750K challenge. However, having completed the game I felt somehow robbed of what had become my working companion, and having read some of the comments on You Tube regarding the ‘impossibility’ of clearing the side pegs, I decided to see if I could find a way, and perhaps set a new scoring record in the process.”
“First, I set about finding a way to clear all the pegs – orange and blue – from the sides of the level without creating holes in the central ‘DNA strands’ of pegs due to ricochets,” he recalls. “As it turned out I achieved this in only an hour or so. I employed the same technique I’d used obtaining the ’100% clear’ on some of the harder levels, namely picking logical landmarks on the screen to use as mouse position markers. In this way I could easily replicate the shots, and when combined with a little ‘bucket timing’ could be guaranteed of getting a free ball to boot. Clearing the hole at the bottom of the helix proved more difficult though, since it was a moving target; and it took awhile longer to work out some shots that had at least a 70% chance of getting a free ball.”
Steve continues, “By this time I was regularly getting 5 million point finishes, and completing probably 1 in 5 attempts, and I had decided I wanted to beat the 13.5 million by a decent margin, and make a video to put on YouTube. It had also become apparent that the highest scores were dependent on having a large number of blue pegs left to clear after the last orange peg had been hit. So having got 14 Million a couple of times, the extremely lucky 18 Million point shot came about through a combination of the law of averages and 3 ‘lottery winner’ type lucky shots, each being the result of miss-timed shots that ended up kicking the bucket, taking out an extra peg or two, and miraculously ending up back in the bucket where I had originally intended them to go. It was these extra pegs, and a lucky final shot, that secured the very pleasing Cool Clear and Ultra Extreme Fever – though I don’t think that this added greatly to the final score. Of course getting an extra ball off of Reinfeld was just the icing on the cake and did add 300K to the score board which was a nice touch.”
As for the painstakingly shot and edited “how-to” video that follows the footage of the shot itself in Steve’s YouTube video, “I wanted to make a ‘live play’ tutorial section to show that it was indeed possible to clear the side pegs without touching the inner helix,” Steve explains. Indeed, Steve’s exhaustive video tutorial provides details on each and every shot of his record-breaking effort, including exactly where to position the cursor prior to launching each shot AND location and direction of the bucket below the playfield when each shot is launched.
When asked whether he believes his record will stand the test of time, Steve is realistic to say the least. “I’m under no illusion that my score is somehow ‘unbeatable’ – and in fact would love to see someone top it,” he grins. “That was the intention behind the tutorial in the video, to see if collectively the Peggle Deluxe community could compile enough information to achieve and even better shot and score. However there must be an absolute theoretical ceiling on the maximum score possible. Hopefully someday we’ll get to see what it is!”