Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 (THPS1+2) has been out with us for a good couple of weeks now, and a question I’ve seen asked a few times is ‘how do you get 1 million points in a combo?’
It’s not an easy task, but it is required to bag one of the harder trophies/achievements in the game. I’ve been playing single release day, and I’ve finally gotten fully back into the swing of it. As a kid, I could pull off 1,000,000 point combos with ease. As an old guy with the reflexes of a dead cat, it’s been a little bit of a struggle.
Perhaps you’re also an old-timer trying to reclaim some of your youth. If that’s the case, I’m here to help. Tuck your sack into your socks, put your teeth in a glass of water, and have a quick check that there aren’t any kids playing on the grass, and then get into your favourite rocking chair and be ready to take some notes.
Stat Points Matter
Stat points are the single biggest factor in whether you’ll be wallplanting or faceplanting. Take the time to collect the stat points for your chosen skater and upgrade them all. If you’ve already unlocked all the levels, you’ll have no problem getting the stat points, though some are a little trickier than others.
The main stats you want to be upgrading are: Manual, Grind, Switch, and Flip. These make up the core tricks that you’ll use to build your 1 million point combo, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have all of your stats upgraded as high as possible.
Special Tricks Are Key
If you haven’t already done this, you’ve basically been playing with one hand tied behind your back. Special tricks are called special tricks because they’re… special! They will bag you big points. Mondo points, and if you’re not using them – and a variety of them – then you’re really going to struggle to get a decent base for your combo.
Go to your skater screen and look at the special moves that you have. You should have some free slots to choose new moves, and that amount will depend on how many challenges you’ve already completed. Get as many of these slots opened up as possible so you can have a collection of specials in the bag. But, it’s not just about having them, it’s about using them the right way. This all starts from this screen.
What you need to focus on are Grind Specials and Manual Specials, and you need to pay particular attention to how they are performed. You can choose the button inputs required for each special trick, and that in itself is a special trick.
Get yourself two Grind Specials, and assign them the following inputs: UP, DOWN + Triangle/Y and DOWN/UP +Triangle/Y.
Then, get yourself any two Manual Specials, and set them to the following inputs: UP, DOWN + Triangle/Y and DOWN/UP + Triangle/Y.
What this does is it gives you a safety net in case you miss a grind. If you’re on a good combo run and you want to hit a grind with a special, you’ll quickly pull off one of the following moves. But, if you miss the grind and land on the ground, you’ll still carry on the combo and it’ll be worth mega points as you’ll transition straight into a Manual Special. From here, you just need to keep rolling until you can either hop onto a grindable rail, or hit a wall with a wallplant to gather momentum and continue the combo.
It’s a killer tip and if you’re not using these specials in the right way, you may as well not bother. Of course, there are Flip, Grab, and Lip Specials, and they’re next on my list.
Build a Solid Foundation For Your Combo
The key to a 1 million point combo is having a solid base to work on. There’s no point in having an x20 combo on the go when the base score is still only four figures. You need to be hitting 10,000 and more before you even touch x10 to make it worth your while.
To build the best base you need to get your special meter nice and full, and then pull off a big sexy special grab of flip on a quarter-pipe, preferably over a gap for that extra boost. But don’t land it right away. Remember to revert and manual to keep the combo going. If you’ve done it right, you’ll already be close to 10,000 before you’ve hit x5 combo. Keep the manual going until you can hit a grindable surface, and then maintain the combo with a variety of special tricks.
Choose the Right Level
This isn’t an easy one to suggest as we all have our favourite levels where we know exactly where the killer skating lines are. My personal favourite is School 2 on THPS 2, but the most efficient level for scoring a 1 million combo is the Hangar in THPS 2. There’s a reason this video has taken place in this level, after all.
As you can see, Hangar is set up for massive combos, with there being one massive skating line going in a U shape. You can grind your way from one end of the level, all the way around to the other, and then back again, all in the same combo. It also have enough in the middle of the park to keep a manual from going limp; you’ve got the grindables, as well as the ramps. Your manual should never come to a complete stop in this map, so long as you follow the rules.
Using the tips laid out above, you should be able to hit your 1 million point combo in THPS1+2. Don’t let a few sweaty bails put you down. Get up, try again, and focus on what went wrong and, well, just don’t do that again, you know?
Fun fact: I’d been trying for days to get that 1 million point combo without any luck. One night, after a session with, er, the Devil’s Lettuce, I hit the sack and fell asleep. I woke up at 3AM. I headed to the living room, turned on the Xbox with the intention of just having a bit of a muck around, and there it was, the 1 million point combo. I was half asleep, my brain was very relaxed, and my eyes were still full of crusty crap – I literally couldn’t see the screen properly, and I did it anyway. Then I went back to bed.
The point is, it’ll come if you keep trying, but don’t overdo it. If you’ve sat there for an hour already and you’re not getting it, step away for a while and come back fresh and a little less annoyed.