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Tweaking

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General

Almost every player tweaks their Elma in some way. Either just by changing controls, or switching from high details to low details. However, there are some players that tweak their Elma a little bit more, for instance by adjusting refresh rate or using version 1.2 and it's option for centered camera, most also change their LGR. In addition to these most commonly used tweaks, some players use even more advanced ways of configuring their Elma to perfection, because they aim for an even more dynamic and smoother gaming. On this page you can read about all kinds of tweaking - from the very basics to the absolute hardcore.

One big question is how much does the tweaking really affect gaming results. A rule of thumb could be comfortableness. When you're satisfied with how your Elma is running, you'll probably enjoy playing even more and hence it will be easier achieve your gaming goals. If the game lags, do something. If the LGR is ugly, change it. It's like buying a new computer chair or blackout curtains. Tweaking doesn't automatically affect the times of your drives, except in extreme circumstances, (eg. Animal Farm new start style, more on Mopolauta). So, in practice, you can still get exactly the same results without any form of tweaking.

Among the big names, TorInge and MP for instance, are almost totally ignoring any form of tweaking while players like Zweq, Karlis and Luther have devoted quite a lot of time with tweaking and fine tuning their Elma.

Important: on this page we assume you're using Elasto Mania unofficial 1.2 version.

Elma settings

Many of these settings are only available in the Elma 1.2 version.

  1. Which LGR? It's of course a matter of taste, though many professional players use HighQ.lgr because the pictures are removed (except Secret area sign) and it also gives you the opportunity to keep grass option enabled (more contrast); HighQ.lgr also makes the sky smoother; other liked and frequently used LGRs are Style.lgr and Across.lgr
  2. Low details; this should be obvious: some pictures are shown in the foreground which makes the bike go behind them and gaming hence harder to control in every situation; a few professional players, like TorInge, uses high details anyway
  3. Use centered camera and you'll get more accurate turning, also no need to move your glance from left to right and reversed; the bad thing is that you don't see as far ahead, but don't we remember all levels by heart?
  4. Navigator (map) OFF if you remember the level; it just decreases the visibility area (and also slightly reduces the FPS); set navigator size bigger and zoom lower and you see more of the level
  5. Timer ON/OFF affects FPS quite radically; some players (Luther for example) play timer disabled to maximize the FPS; also you have better chance to succeed in your try when you're not watching the timer while playing
  6. Animated Objects No and Still food, makes you know where the apple really is; no need to guess because of the animation; and yea, it's the animation that moves, not the real object so no difference there
  7. Default ground/sky enabled eliminates most contrast problems (Headbanger, Downhill for example)
  8. Sounds have no effect
  9. Lower resolution increases the FPS, higher decreases; higher resolution displays more level (quite an advantage in battles)
  10. And you can always disable About 1.2, Help, Best Times, Demo in Main Menu so you won't waste valuable fractions of a second of your hoyling time in the menu

Keyboard

Try to find a keyboard that allows you to press several buttons at the same time without getting the well-known BEEP sound. Many new keyboards (PS2/USB) are usually crappier than old ones at this. So trying some older keyboards if you have this problem, might be a solution. Many players use old keyboards, manufactured before the year of 2000. If you get the BEEP sound, you should try other key combinations, try Numpad for example. Or something totally different. Have a look at other players' combinations on Mopolauta.

It's very recommended to have a brake key on another key than the arrow keys (eg. one for the left hand). Sometimes people press acceleration and brake with the same finger which may make the key pressing delayed when moving the finger. For instance, imagine a level where you accelerate and need to make a very short brake. Even if you're braking fast by moving your finger, it takes time to move the finger off the acceleration, to the brake button and then back to the acceleration again. Most likely it would take you 0,5 seconds or more to do all this. But if you use an alias brake key, you don't have to move your fingers in such cases and thus it gives you more accurate braking. Eventhough most professional players use a brake alias key, there are some (MP to mention one) who use one finger for acceleration and brake, but do this without letting go of the acceleration key. This method seems to be as efficient as using a brake alias.

Alias ESC is also useful to get your hands to be in the same position all the time: the less moving for you hands, the better (faster to start a new run). Changing the buttons you use to a new setting will feel akward at first, and it will take time to get used to it if you've played alot with the default arrow keys, but with enough practise you'll have more diverse controlling opportunities.

When multiplaying you are able to use two different keyboards (so each player has his own) if you plug one into PS2 and another one into USB. Eventhough this method doesn't allow you both to use arrows for instance (no key conflicts allowed), but this still is a huge improvement to the multi gameplay. Tip: remove other buttons from the numpad except for 8, 4, 5 and 6. The feel is almost identical to using arrow keys.

Monitor

Elma needs much faster response time than other games. Therefore flat screens (TFT, laptop) aren't the best for Elma playing. Elma is more laggy on them but some players like Jalli and Markku tolerate it.

The higher refresh rate, the better. In all games where the FPS value is higher than refresh rate, it's the refresh rate that defines the limit. So get a monitor that supports high refresh rates (let's say over 120Hz is okay and that is very normal for newer monitors. Then change the refresh rate of the your Elma resolution (default is 640x480). More detailed instructions can be found on Mopolauta.

Graphic card

DirectX 5 is the minimum requirement for Elma to work.

Vsync (vertical syncronization), the main tweaking issue and probably the first thing that pops up to one's mind when talking about Elma and tweaking in same context. However vsync tuning isn't a big deal until you start to play the game on a professional level, so it doesn't really matter for mediocre players. Vsync can be either enabled or disabled (ON or OFF). Read on Mopolauta which graphic cards support what and how to edit them. There's also a vsync list of the internal levels. It's commonly known that vsync disabled gives you better grip and better bounces, nevertheless some professional players still prefer to play with vsync enabled. Normally the differences aren't very big so they're simply best discovered by yourself. In theory vsync enabled (ON) means that the FPS is limited by the refresh rate and on disabled (OFF) the FPS is not limited by the monitor but by the CPU. More about the vsync on Digital Silence site.

A program called Fraps displays the FPS and vsync.

CPU and RAM

The lowest assembly that we've seen the game run on is a 100MHz Pentium with 48MB of RAM. The readme.txt of the game claims the minimum requirements to be 133MHz with 16MB of RAM. The processor and the memory doesn't have alot of effect on Elma tweaking.

To try to make Elma run smoother, you can give more resources for Elma by trying to kill useless or unused processes and set the priority of Elma12.exe to High in Windows Task Manager. However, this is something that benefits you only if you have a significantly older computer.

Harddisk

A normal Elma installation requires about 3MB. Elma levels take no space in practice, but replay files take up a little bit more space. A mediocre player with one finished replay on every internal level will still only fill up about 3MB of space. So Elma will most probably never make your hard disk full.

Though when you start to collect various Elma stuff (eg. movies and pictures) you can reach gigabyte amounts. Read more about this on Mopolauta.

Operating system

Elma was programmed for Windows 98. That's why the game runs best Win 98 without any need of tweaking. On Windows 2000 and XP it lags slightly more, no matter how good your computer is. The problem is caused by Win XP handling code differently than Win 98, these sort of bugs are common in smaller games like Elma. There are several ways to fix this bug, but the easiest way is to use the unofficial Elma 1.2 version, where this bug is fixed.

Elma has been reported to work on the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows 95, NT, 98, ME, 2000, XP, FreeBEOS, Unix and Linux. Windows XP is the one most commonly used. There are both Linux and XP discussions on Mopolauta.

In Windows XP you can run programs in compatibility modes (Properties of an executable file -> Compatibility). Although the benefit from this isn't anything much worth mentioning.

Across

Across was programmed for DOS and runs decently on Windows 98, but has serious problems under Windows XP (very laggy). Even DOS emulators don't help. The best way to play Across is probably to make a DOS boot CD or floppy. Then just boot your computer to DOS and play from there.

There is no alovolt patch or similar for Across. But yet, there is a solution to this: use game pad and set the N-key and M-key (alternative rotate keys) to pad keys. Then play the game normally and when you want to make an alovolt, just press the game pad's keys where you coded them. The pad keypress delay is longer so you don't have to press them both at the exact same time, as when using a keyboard.

Across has three different screen modes. You should use the lowest one to get the smoothest Across.


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Date: 13. Dec 2017
Time: 5:40 EET

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