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Tool-assisted game movies
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Submission #1379: Comicalflop's N64 Super Smash Bros in 08:08.08

Console: Nintendo 64
Game name: Super Smash Bros
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Super Smash Bros. (U) [!]
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 08:08.08
FrameCount: 29285
Re-record count: 5796
Author's real name: Joshua Nyer
Author's nickname: Comicalflop
Submitter: Comicalflop
Submitted at: 2006-12-09 21:28:19
Text last edited at: 2010-07-28 04:38:34
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (5618 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:

Super Smash Bros Kirby High Score Time Attack TAS- Comicalflop

  • EMULATOR -- Mupen 64 rerecording 0.5
  • ROM – SMASH BROTHERS
  • COUNTRY -- USA
  • CRC -- 5B8B6B91
PLUGINS --
  • video: glN64 v0.4.1
  • sound: Jabo's DirectSound 1.6
  • input: TAS Input Plugin 0.6
  • RSP : RSP emulation Plugin
CONTROLLERS --

1: Present

2: Disconnected

3: Disconnected

4: Disconnected

Goals

  • Aims for Highest Score in Fastest Time
  • Takes no Damage, Hardest Setting
  • Manipulates Luck
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Genre: Fighter

For my second TAS I decided to do a High Score run of Super Smash Bros. for the N64. This is an extremely popular fighting game, which spawned two sequels in the two succeeding Nintendo consoles. Many people all over the world spent and still spend endless hours playing the 8 original characters and 4 unlockable characters, and the game's single player mode with an adventure to complete, bonus stages to get records on, plus the game's best feature of outstanding multiplayer gameplay of “cartoon mischief” made it a mainstream N64 title.

This run is a high score time attack using Kirby on very hard mode, with one life, achieving a final score of 2,554,881 in 4 minutes 13 seconds in-game time, 8m 8.083s (29285 frames). This beats the previous record of a tool assisted high score time attack of 2,419,243, which will be mentioned later. The reason that this is called a high score time attack score and not a high score run is due to the goals that were set at the beginning, and was discussed in the SSB Fastest Completion + High Score forum. To summarize, it was debated because in every stage that is played it is possible, with all the myriad bonus awards that can be gotten from achieving a certain goal during the stages, to get higher scores than what I had achieved. However, all of them were at the cost of time. There are three categories for a speedrun for this game: Fastest time, pure high score, and high score time attack. Each is competitive with its own goals; fastest time to get a faster time, pure high score to, no matter in how much time lost/gained to get a higher final score, and high score time attack, to get a higher score in a shorter time.

Kirby was chosen for his ability to get many bonus points, with a few certain attacks that are used frequently throughout the game. The bonus that arguably provides the biggest amount of points for least effort is Pacifist, which grants 60,000 if your opponent dies without you damaging him/her. Now waiting around for an opponent to die on his own on very hard with one life is not a feasible strategy- enter Kirby’s B move, copy. Kirby is well known throughout his games of copying his opponents’ abilities, and Super Smash Bros. is not different. Kirby will suck in an opponent, and copy their B move after he spits them out.

But the programmers that designed the game made it so that if Kirby sucks in an opponent and does nothing, he’ll wait and wobble a little as the opponent struggles to break free. Eventually he/she will break free, and Kirby gets launched backwards as the opponent escapes. The catch? If an opponent breaks free like that, there’s no damage dealt. Therefore, Kirby is capable of forcing a pacifist kill on an opponent, by sucking an opponent, falling down near the bottom of the stage, and spitting out at the very last moment. No CPU under the right circumstances can escape from that.

You’ll see this technique used in 4 of the stages, in the others different strategies are used for very specific reasons. There is one additional Pacifist kill, and in the rest Kirby attacks normally. Every stage was very carefully planned to get the highest score in the shortest amount of time, and I’ll go into length for each stage to describe what I did to get the highest score quickly.

Playing strategies

There are a few playing strategies that will be described here in detail.

Enemy Movement

This is, by far, the biggest thing about this game that could possibly make Kirby’s movements look like mistakes, but they are not. EVERY frame of input that Kirby makes affects the enemy’s movement. There is an incredible amount of Luck Manipulation in this game, which is used to simulate 100% randomness when playing the game in real time against an opponent or with friends. Every single move that Kirby makes was utilized to get the desired outcome from enemies; so if I take a few extra hops, run in different directions, move around in a sloppy manner, it was all carefully executed to get the enemy to behave in a certain way. There are certain strategies that didn’t work because an enemy would not behave a certain way, and there were others where you could consistently get an enemy to do something. But every Kirby movement, whether smooth or not, was done for a purpose.

Certain attacks

This run only uses a few of Kirby’s attacks.

B move, swallow is used to force a Pacifist bonus on single targets.

Up+B ‘cutter’ was used in three different ways: in Teams to use the sword to hit a weak opponent into the sky, against single targets to ‘spike’ them downwards, and using the wave part of the cutter as a projectile.

Down+B ‘stone’ was used to gain some vertical down speed in one of the bonuses, and in the last Team fight a few enemies were not killable with a normal cutter, so stone was used to greater affect.

Down+A Aerial ‘drill’ was used to rack up damage% on opponents, and is Kirby’s best form of doing so. Used in Mario Bros., Samus, and Master Hand.

Smash+A ‘smash attack’ this was used in only one stage to force an opponent with low% damage to be pushed towards the edge.

Back+A Aerial ‘backwards kick’ used only once to knock an opponent backwards over a lava pit.

No other attacks were used in the run.

Stages

The single player mode is set up with an ‘adventure’ consisting of 14 stages, 10 where you fight enemies, of which three of those are ‘teams’; three bonus stages; and a final boss fight.

Super Smash Bros Kirby High Score

Stage In-game timer end Score to beat Final score
Link 4:52 110550 110600
Yoshi Team 4:26 247770 266000
Fox 4:52 368420 386700
Break the Target 1:46(14"37) 428220 447900
Mario Bros. 4:50 521371 566111
Pikachu 4:58 652171 697011
Giant DK 4:55 837921 882761
Board the Platforms 1:30(30"31) 895121 940761
Kirby Team 4:37 1020581 1079121
Samus 4:44 1118932 1201151
Metal Mario 4:58 1269731 1352051
Race to the Finish 0:37 1302231 1385551
Polygon Team 4:03 1412462 1529911
Master Hand 4:39 2419243 2554881

Link

The Link stage is set on top of hyrule castle, and Link is the easiest to fight since he is the very first stage. Kirby disregards making the opening move and runs right past him, and takes a few small hops to ensure that Link runs towards Kirby at maximum speed. Then Kirby turns around and swallows Link- who struggles to escape, not realizing that doing so pushes Kirby off of the edge, and spits Link out one frame above the bottom.

Alternate strategy: It was considered to either grab onto the ledge and make Link kill himself, or to try the swallow maneuver on the left side. The reasons they didn’t work: Edge grabbing is more difficult to do then swallowing, and Link had a habit of not using his Up+B move to swirl over Kirby’s head. Any attempt to do a ledge grab strategy resulted in a failure and a slower time. The left edge is actually a slope, and the wobbling that makes swallow maneuvers possible does not work since the opponent wobbles Kirby away from the edge on slopes.

Bonuses:

No Item, Speedster, Pacifist, No Miss x1, No Damage, Full Power

Yoshi Team

The Yoshi Team is set in one of the stages from the N64 game Yoshi’s Story. You must face off against 18 Yoshis of varying color. The Yoshis are very easy to kill, since any throw or special move is usually a guaranteed one hit kill. For this stage Kirby exclusively uses cutter to send the Yoshis into the background, IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE. The bonuses Hawk, Trickster, and Yoshi’s Rainbow were sought in this match.

Alternate strategies: late in the run the shooter bonus was discovered, but it was realized that the Hawk bonus (all attacks are made in the air) is lost from cutter’s projectile. It was debated about using Pacifist here as well, but getting 18 Yoshis to kill themselves on very hard was not feasible.

Bonuses: No Item, Hawk, Trickster, No Miss x2, No Damage, Full Power, Smashless, Single Move, Fighter Stance, Yoshi Rainbow

Fox

Fox was the only successful ledge grab, and it worked out splendidly. Not much to say, other than Fox was kept charging most of the time and died earlier than expected.

Bonuses: No Item, Speedster, Pacifist, No Miss x3, No Damage, Full Power, Fighter Stance

Break the Target

Fastest BtT strategy was used to get the lowest achievable in-game timer, instead of actual time. Actual time was 14”37, which was found in the game files after the game was finished. Saving hundredths of seconds was not sought, because it would not increase the score, only seconds saved would do that.

Mario Bros.

Wow this was a difficult fight. It was determined that Calamity Brothers (kill Luigi before Mario receives any damage) and True Friend (your partner does not get hit) had to both be awarded. It was notoriously difficult to achieve both of these in a short time, but after many retries both bonuses were received. Many times I had to attack fireballs to ensure Pikachu didn’t get hurt.

Alternate strategy: someone suggested trying pacifist here as well- not very feasible.

Bonuses: Cheap Shot, No Item, Speedster, No Miss x4, No Damage, Full Power, Fighter Stance, True Friend, Brothers Calamity

Pikachu

As soon as Pikachu is done being my partner in the last stage, here I kill him humiliatingly fast for not helping at all. The programmers designed Pikachu and Metal Mario to die before you do, which makes the swallow maneuver very fast and easy- if you still have Pikachu in your mouth when you hit the bottom, he’ll die before you. This is used to get a 2 second fight.

Bonuses: No Item, Speedster, Pacifist, No Miss x5, No Damage, Full Power

Giant DK

Another swallow maneuver and a very hard one to do at that. Many times DK would still have time to recover.

Alternate strategy: edge grabbing worked in a previous Fox Fastest time run, but Fox was better because he could manipulate DK better by being faster. It was tried, but Kirby couldn’t get DK to kill himself.

Bonuses: No Item, Speedster, Pacifist, No Miss x6, No Damage, Full Power, DK Perfect

Board the Platforms

The fastest strategy for this bonus. Beats the world record by 0”12, but doesn’t matter since A) it is not visually provable and B) doesn’t matter because the score is only increased by seconds saved. I tried but it is impossible to catch that moving platform right after I land on platform #6, so instead I wave it goodbye.

Kirby Team

Kirby Team was tricky because they didn’t automatically die from any attack (although throwing came close.) Instead, the projectile part of cutter was utilized to get Speedster and Shooter bonus, which makes up for the lost Trickster or Hawk. It was very hard manipulating those Kirby’s to die, but in general if they were off screen they didn’t feel like floating, which is why I move around a lot. And of course, I kill them in order.

Alternate strategy: using Hawk + Trickster. Didn’t work because the Kirby’s didn’t go into the background.

Bonuses: No Item, Shooter, Speedster, No Miss x7, No Damage, Full Power, Smashless, Single Move, Fighter Stance, Kirby Ranks

Samus

I apologize to Samus fans, but she got completely owned this round. The Lava really ruins things for a speedrun, however I utilize it to snag two bonuses. I did 4 drill attacks (3 did not rack up enough damage, so this is optimal) and kicked her beyond the platform, then used a cutter to spike her into the lava, which was just enough %damage to make her go into the background.

Alternate strategies: not much, only tried to maker her die sooner, which wasn’t as fast or netted as many points.

Bonuses: Star Finish, No Item, Hawk, Speedster, No Miss x8, No Damage, Full Power, Smashless, Fighter Stance, Acid Clear

Metal Mario

Metal Mario is a real pain, because it takes 300+% damage to kill him, and for speed running he doesn’t move around a lot. Annnnnndddd…. He dies in two seconds!!! I was able to manipulate him to jump extremely early, and a swallow, plus the same programming error as Pikachu makes him die so quickly.

Bonuses: No Item, Speedster, Pacifist, No Miss x9, No Damage, Full Power

Race to the Finish

Kirby doesn’t have the fastest running speed, so I make sure that he doesn’t get slowed down by anything. 0:37.

Polygon Team

Wow this was difficult. 30 enemies to kill!!! I had to use cutter and stone to kill them all. Neither the Yoshi or Kirby strategy worked here, so I just tried to kill them as fast as possible while getting Hawk.

Alternate strategies: Both the Yoshi Team strategy and Kirby Team strategy were considered, but neither worked.

Bonuses: No Item, Hawk, No Miss x10, No Damage, Full Power, Smashless, Special Move, Fighter Stance

Master Hand

Ooooh, the big, bad, nasty glove of death!!! I make short work of him- at this point I hope you like the drill attack, because I use it solely to beat him in 21 seconds. There’s a lot of luck manipulation here as well, since I manipulated which attacks he’ll use next so that I can attack him in the least amount of time. In particular his “shooting gun” phase was to be avoided, as I had no opportunity to attack.

Bonuses: Hawk, Speedster, No Miss x11, No Damage, Full Power, Smashless, Very Hard Clear, No MIss Clear, No Damage Clear, Speed Demon

Thanks

I’d like to dedicate this section to psychoticworm for creating the very first Tool Assisted high score speed run of Super Smash Bros. using Kirby. He used savestates but no slowdown in order to get a score of 2,419,243. It was his video that was inspiration for me to use all the tools available to beat his time/score. Practically most of the strategies came from his video, and this run would not be possible without it. He was also a great help in the forum during the making of this run.

I’d also like to thank antd for his incredible work on doing the individual bonus stages TASes. He was the first person to my knowledge to experiment with Tools to see what is possible by TASing SSB by making individual bonus runs and creating many entertaining combos in practice mode. He was a great source of info on how to TAS this game and I eagerly await his Fastest Fox completion run.

I’d also like to mention all the posters in the SSB thread (because the run started November 28th and ended December 9th, so didn’t last very long):

Bag of Magic Food, for suggesting a high score run in the first place

Laughing_gas, for constant input and showing me that my avatar directly reflects my screen name

bkDJ for providing some initial .mkv’s of WIP; eventually I was able to make WMV and youtube link’s on my own, but his effort to make the .mkv’s is appluaded

And to all those who contributed with feedback/suggestions: Zurreco, Chef Stef, Thegreginator, Jsmith, Shadow Burn, Kitsune, Kirbymuncher, Macman, L4yer, NrgSpoon, DeHackEd


Truncated: This will be controversial no matter which decision is made, but here are the reasons for my verdict:

  • The movie has unclear goals - it does not go for max score, fastest time, or entertainment.
  • Very repetitive strategy.
  • Record number of No and Meh votes (but also a fair number of yes votes).
  • Published fighting games so far have gone for entertainment. This game does not offer a lot of variety, and as such, it is perhaps unsuited for a TAS.

Therefore, rejecting this submission.


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