Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #1330: nitsuja's Genesis Sonic 3 and Knuckles in 35:19.62

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Sonic 3 and Knuckles
Game version:
ROM filename: Sonic and Knuckles & Sonic 3 (W) [!].bin
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 35:19.62
FrameCount: 127177
Re-record count: 187902
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: nitsuja
Submitter: nitsuja
Submitted at: 2006-11-01 03:06:37
Text last edited at: 2010-07-19 15:02:02
Text last edited by: Kyman
Download: Download (17362 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Several people suggested I do a run of Sonic and Knuckles 3 to see if I could improve on SprintGod's run. I didn't think I could improve such a perfect run by more than a few frames, but it soon became clear that I was completely wrong about that. SprintGod's movie is full of amazingly precise playing and several tricks I have to admit I never would have found, but there were still some glitches he didn't find and some occasional slight imprecision in the playing. Also, he played 1-player with Sonic instead of 2-player with Sonic and Tails. Tails makes quite a difference, although my (extremely rough) estimate is that about 50% of this improvement could have been made without him. I should emphasize that I had (/made) much better tools for making this run than SprintGod had. Speed display + camera hack for each character + map maker + jump predictor + multitrack recorder... In any case, the result was a significantly (about 10 minutes) shorter movie.

Level Time Units Improved
Angel Island 1 0:38 5
Angel Island 2 1:16 2
Hydrocity 1 0:33 10
Hydrocity 2 1:04 16
Marble Garden 1 0:37 10
Marble Garden 2 0:35 25
Carnival Night 1 0:34 8
Carnival Night 2 1:08 38
Icecap 1 1:16 11
Icecap 2 0:00 41
Launch Base 1 1:38 10
Launch Base 2 1:07 2
Mushroom Hill 1 0:46 2
Mushroom Hill 2 0:37 23
Flying Battery 1 1:08 36
Flying Battery 2 1:14 98 (1:38)
Sandopolis 1 1:45 8
Sandopolis 2 1:28 39
Lava Reef 1 1:12 26
Lava Reef 2 0:51 129 (2:09)
Hidden Palace 0:26 0
Sky Sanctuary 0:52 3
Death Egg 1 1:04 27
Death Egg 2 2:18 34
Total 24:07 565 (9:41)

I chose to not use death to save time, either in-game or real-time; SprintGod didn't use death either, and probably more people would be annoyed by it than appreciate it in this case. This also applies to entering bonus games, which interrupt the action and put you back at the last checkpoint and roll back the timer in a way similar to dying.

Thanks to Upthorn for showing how to activate the glitch in Icecap 1 and another glitch in Marble Garden 1, and for his Knuckles movie to give another source of ideas and comparison, and for giving some feedback about this movie while it was in progress, and for his recent work on Gens and help with some tools in it. And I believe it was mike89 on Sonic Center who revealed the Marble Garden 2 glitch.

See SprintGod's comments for a good explanation of the game's basic physics and quirks/glitches. Some more detailed (but currently very incomplete) information can be found at Sonic the Hedghehog tricks. A few things to add are: Acceleration is better in the air than on the ground, but deceleration is better on the ground (unless rolling) than in the air. Most of the glitches used to pass through objects work by tricking the game into putting those objects offscreen long enough for Sonic to pass through them, because the game does not do any calculations with objects that are offscreen.

Sorry for what I do to Icecap 1 and 2, but it is clearly much faster than beating it normally, and at least Icecap 1 has some nice music to listen to.

Some things that might seem like mistakes:

DeHackEd: Claim!
Bisqwit: Already done!

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