TASVideos

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

Submission #1538: Chef Stef's GBC Links Awakening DX in 1:09:49.93

Console: Game Boy Color
Game name: Links Awakening DX
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Legend of Zelda, The - Links Awakening DX (U) (v1.0) [C] [!].gb
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 1:09:49.93
FrameCount: 251396
Re-record count: 33928
Author's real name: Stefan Roger
Author's nickname: Chef Stef
Submitter: Chef Stef
Submitted at: 2007-04-30 04:25:50
Text last edited at: 2007-05-18 23:35:33
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (20670 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Uses VBA rerecording 17.1, enable "enable up/down/left/right" to play the movie.

Once again, many many thanks to Tompa, who proved himself again to be a fantastic planner and glitch-finder for this run. He revised the bomb and arrow route throughout the TAS, and discovered most of the new tricks and glitches. I also appreciated his help because he made me redo segments if I made even a small mistake; he helped me get motivated to make this TAS extremely precise.Thank you, Tompa!

I also have to thank Tompa for his "frame-eye", namely his ability to discover tricks with a 1-frame margin. His frame-eye has made me redo many segments *grumble grumble* but it forced me to learn hex-editing to outwit him :P

This TAS completes Link's Awakening DX in 1:09:49 (251396 frames), 4 minutes and 37 seconds faster than the currently published run (16543 frames faster).

General tricks used in the TAS:

  • The "pit glitch". It's possible to walk downwards across pits one square tall, but only on some frames for some reason. Thanks to dezbeast for finding this trick!
  • Bringing up the Start menu right before the text at the beginning of dungeons will cancel the text. This can be timed with an item switch to save some extra waiting.
  • "Wall clips". If you climb a ladder from as far to the side as possible, pass by a vertical section of wall, then push into it, Link will be pushed to the top of the next segment of wall. If you wallclip below the top segment, you'll fall all the way down the ladder without having to climb down. Also, if you see Link suddenly teleport to the top of a wall, that's the result of this trick.
  • "Superjumping". When doing a glitched pegasus boots dash, you can jump to be sent flying in a different direction. For example, when doing an u/d pegasus boots dash (which sends you up/right diagonally), jumping will send you downward across the entire screen (unless you bump into something). Unfortunately, it has somewhat limited uses, since it's very easy to bump into a wall and cancel the jump.

The rest of the tricks are the same as in the previous run.

General improvements over the last version:

  • The A/B/Start/Select trick is used again to skip the text from opening chests (and other texts, in a few limited circumstances). I discovered that the optimal method is to let the object appear out of the chest for 5 frames, then A/B/Start/Select (previously, I would turn off frame advance because my keyboard couldn't press all those keys at once). This saves several frames off of any chest I need to open.
  • Much more precise movements. I tried to never let Link bump against a wall unless it was necessary or saved time. I also tried to walk as close to walls as possible (note that it's possible to clip the edge of a wall and walk a few extra pixels inward).
  • Diagonal jumping with the feather. It was discovered about halfway through the previous run that it's faster to jump diagonally with the feather than simply walking diagonally. I make full use of this trick whenever I have the feather equipped.
  • Key bounces. Sometimes, when a key drops onto a square in a dungeon, it will bounce once before Link can collect it. It was seemingly unavoidable, but this time I found out that it's dependant on the frame Link enters the room.
  • More Save and Quit warps (S&Q). Generally, if Link has to cross two screen transitions to reach a door, it's faster to S&Q warp. The exception is for the Piece of Power - for the PoP to drop, I have to kill a certain number of enemies, but S&Q warping will reset that number. So, I have to avoid S&Q warps until after I've used the Piece of Power.
  • "Door closes". Link pauses for a few frames while a door is opening, unless he is in the air at the time. So, I avoid many unnecessary waits by jumping when a door opens.
  • Better planned use of items. I switch items less than before through better planning, saving over a second per item switch.
  • More damage boosting. Before, I would only take damage if I couldn't avoid it, or if it was very obvious that it would save time. This time around, I discovered several places where getting damaged would boost me faster than walking.

Start - Sword

  • I chose the name "A" at the beginning instead of "STEF" because a) it saves 20 frames, and b) the player's name only comes up a few times before it gets changed to "THIEF".
  • The sword is picked up by pressing U/D and b (previously it was D/L/R) because Link doesn't have to walk as far to the right.
  • 44 frames gained in this segment.

To Dungeon 1

  • The damage boost over the pit is used again to skip the raccoon and get the tail key early.
  • When trading the ribbon for the dog food, I manipulate the dog to hop down towards Link. Since you can move a few pixels right before picking up quest items, I'm able to "move" down and out of the door, skipping the text for picking up the dog food!
  • The pit glitch is used right before the dungeon.
  • 617 frames gained in this segment.

Through Dungeon 1

  • Used a S&Q warp after getting the feather.
  • Skipped the 20 rupee chest (the rupees are manipulated along the way).
  • Faster method of killing the boss.
  • 807 frames gained in this segment.

To Dungeon 2

  • Skipped the Piece of Power for the moblin boss (it will be used in dungeon 2 instead). Unfortunately, I could only kill the moblin boss in two cycles, so some time was lost.
  • Manipulated the moblin boss to ram the upper/lower segments of wall (they're one block farther forward, which means less time waiting for him to hit the wall)
  • Squished past the first swamp flower instead of waiting for Bow-wow to eat it.
  • Picked up the 50 rupee chest now instead of after the 2nd Dungeon is done (it saves some walking time).
  • Manipulated Bow-wow to eat the 2nd swamp flower faster than before.
  • 166 frames lost in this segment.

Through Dungeon 2

  • Timed an item switch with the text at the beginning of the dungeon.
  • Used glitched magic powder to light the torches in the second room.
  • Picked up a Piece of Power from the first enemy in the dungeon. A Piece of Power will double your sword power (useful for bosses) and will increase your running speed. It saved more time to have one here than to use it against the moblin boss.
  • Pushed the left block first (right before the first underground area).
  • In the room after the miniboss, I went up and right instead of right and up.
  • Used the pit glitch to save some walking time.
  • In the room with the rabbit, Tompa discovered that you can hit the rabbit with a pot without pushing the blocks away.
  • I tried to make the boss battle more entertaining than before. Once again, Link demonstrates some awesome dance moves ;)
  • 1061 frames gained in this segment.

Collecting the Leaves

  • After the dungeon, I activate the warp hole near the 4th dungeon keyhole. This takes some time, but it saves a lot of time in the future because I can warp there instead of walking.
  • I managed to steal something from the shop faster than before :)
  • Manipulated the "pit monster" with the first leaf to be closer to the bottom of the screen.
  • Used a S&Q warp after getting the last leaf.
  • 752 frames lost in this segment.

To Dungeon 3

  • Faster route through the pothole maze.
  • I know people want to see more of Link's role as a lawnmower ;) but it is actually faster to S&Q warp right after getting the Slime key instead of cutting my way back.
  • Remember the keyhole trick for dungeon 1? I found a way to unlock dungeon 3 without having to walk all the way around. This trick alone saves at least 1000 frames.
  • 1105 frames gained in this segment.

Through Dungeon 3

  • The Piece of Power was not collected because a ton of time was saved using S&Q warps. I was actually surprised at how quickly I could defeat roomfulls of enemies without having the Piece of Power!
  • S&Q warp after getting the pegasus boots.
  • S&Q warp after getting the key near the start of the level (yes, it really is faster).
  • More efficient pegasus boots dashing. This optimization is visible throughout, but it is most noticable in this dungeon (I took strange diagonal routes in the previous version!).
  • Used a single bomb to defeat the all the enemies in the "clockbombs" room. This is one of my favorite manipulations, even though it took 45 minutes to accomplish :D
  • S&Q after getting the next key.
  • When unlocking the 4 keyblocks, I timed the pegasus boots dashes so that I get the boost right after unlocking a block.
  • In the underground area, I jumped under the thwomp instead of bumping it and going through. Also, I used the wallclip trick in the room with the plant.
  • Slashed the boss whenever he was vulnerable instead of just flailing wildly with the sword :) The battle was a little longer because I didn't have the Piece of Power, though.
  • 1025 frames gained in this segment (despite not having the Piece of Power!).

To Dungeon 4

  • Tompa discovered that you can S&Q warp right as you collect the pinapple. This is an example of his frame-eye... you have exactly one frame to press A/B/Start/Select to perform this trick, and he discovered it in real-time :P
  • The enemies near the Ocarina are defeated more quickly by timing the pegasus boots charges more efficiently.
  • Slightly faster method for defeating the Sand Worm boss in the desert. I also discovered that Link won't get pulled down into the sand until the angler's key is collected, so that saved an item switch to feather (my previous method for avoiding the sand).
  • Skipped collecting the 1st Ocarina song (it will be collected later, when I need to pass by that way anyway).
  • Used the warp to the dungeon 4 keyhole instead of walking all the way.
  • 6680 frames gained in this segment. (actually closer to 1500 frames because I haven't collected the 1st Ocarina song yet).

Through (part of) Dungeon 4

  • The superjumping technique is used here for the first time, and it saves a lot of time in this dungeon.
  • The dungeon is exited early to avoid the ghost event (completing the dungeon makes a ghost follow you, and he won't let you enter the next dungeon unless you return him to his house). This dungeon will be completed right before the final boss battle.
  • 294 frames gained in this segment.

To Dungeon 5

  • Used the warp hole near the dungeon 4 keyhole instead of walking to the other warp hole to the south.
  • Picked up the Ocarina song on the way to the dungeon.
  • 1990 frames lost in this segment.

Through Dungeon 5

  • Against the 4 miniboss battles, I used a new strategy (credit goes to Tompa, once again) - do a double bombset, then slash him into the bombs.
  • Used a superjump when picking up the bosskey - it's faster, and easier to perform, which was good for me :)
  • Against the boss, I used a new trick; if you release a spinattack, but shoot the hookshot immediately afterward, the spinattack will be cancelled. I use the spinattack cancelling to hit the boss an extra time on his first cycle, and thus save time overall.
  • Used the hookshot to pull the heart towards Link at the end of the boss battle.
  • 757 frames gained in this segment.

To Dungeon 6

  • I used better methods to get past the statues in the area before the face key.
  • Manipulated the boss to move closer to the door, so I wouldn't have to walk as far to exit after I picked up the key.
  • 619 frames gained in this segment.

Through Dungeon 6

  • Defeated the wizzrobes more quickly.
  • Glitched through the wall more efficiently (both times), also better manipulation of the horseheads.
  • Better manipulation of the rabbits right before the miniboss.
  • Faster method for the miniboss.
  • Slightly faster (and possibly more entertaining) method of killing the boss. Once again, I manage to defeat him before he even starts talking!
  • 764 frames gained in this segment.

To Dungeon 8

  • Completed the signpost maze slightly faster as a result of some time-saving tricks.
  • Used the Mambo to warp directly after getting the 3rd Ocarina song instead of waiting until going outside.
  • Unfortunately, I have to traverse the same path through the mountains several times in the TAS, I hope it doesn't get too boring...
  • Used a few superjumps to traverse areas more quickly. Like in the previous run, I used the hookshot glitch to cross the large pit.
  • Since I didn't turn invisible with Bow-wow this time, I thought I would make up for it by turning invisible briefly outside one of the caves :)
  • The sword-bump trick is used again to glitch onto a wall and cross the next cave more quickly.
  • The same method as before was used to clear the cave with the flame spewer.
  • I discovered that I could time a pegasus boots charge to bypass the turtle rock head more quickly this time.
  • 993 frames gained in this segment.

Through Dungeon 8

  • This level has one of the biggest improvements. The initial route is changed to skip the first key: Activate the block switcher, use a glitched hookshot and jump to hop around the lava, use the hookshot to glitch into a ledge, jump off the ledge to get stuck in the middle of a block, use a glitched pegasus boots dash to bump past the block, and finally jump around the keyblock from the side. It's much more impressive to see it in action, I can assure you :) At least 30 seconds were saved from this route change. More thanks to Tompa for planning this route!
  • From there, the same route as before is taken (with some improvements due to precision).
  • A faster method is used to clear the second ice room. I also take the time to show off some glitched fire rod throws, be sure to pay attention or you'll miss it!
  • THIS time around I figured out the pattern for the boss (he gave me so much trouble last time, aaargh). It seems that you can only defeat him on the first cycle if he jumps out of the lava from right to left. He's also not vulnerable for a moment after he breaks from his shell, the reason for me waiting to attack him.
  • 2419 frames gained in this segment.

To dungeon 7

  • There are a few better uses of pegasus boots dashing, but this segment is almost identical to the previous version.
  • 238 frames gained in this segment.

Through dungeon 7

  • Some might remember the my trick from the previous TAS of picking up the ball and jumping on the same frame. I used it once, to give myself enough distance to throw the ball across some pits and save a lot of time. I discovered this time around that it saves about half a second each time to pick up the ball in this way, as it skips a the waiting period for Link to pick up the ball while on the ground.
  • I used a glitched fire rod throw to activate the block switcher instead of a bomb.
  • Here was the other big improvement - I use the block trick (pushing a block from the right pixel will move it sideways instead of forwards) to get to the 4th pillar early, hop across the pit, bomb the cracked walls, and hit the 3rd pillar with the ball. This route change saved at least 15 seconds. Note that it is fastest to bomb both cracked walls at once (instead of bombing the first one, taking the ball up, and bombing the second one) since it saves several item switches.
  • The noticable pause after I hit the last pillar is because I have to wait some time before the event (the upper rooms changing) will activate.
  • A weird time-saver was to screen transition down, then up during the eagle battle. Strangely enough, it skips the eagle's normal "takeoff" animation at the start of the battle.
  • Somehow, using a glitched fire rod throw activated a weird graphics glitch... It seems to display some of the characters currently loaded into the text box. See it for yourself; it's hard to explain...
  • 1157 frames gained in this segment.

Back to Dungeon 4

  • I took a new path through the dungeon that turned out to be faster. Otherwise, nothing new here.
  • 568 frames gained in this segment.

Wind Fish's Egg and Final Boss Battle

  • I encountered something weird when completing this portion of the TAS... when I first tried to play the instruments outside the egg, the ghost gave his "take me to the bay" text before the owl could come down. This problem had me stumped (since it wasn't in the previous run for some reason), until I discovered that the time it takes the ghost to say his text is dependant on the frame he first appears (i.e. the frame on which you enter the square where he appears). I delayed entering the screen for 2 frames, and that was enough to avoid his text.
  • Notes about the final boss battle:
    • 1st form: I found a way to hit him sooner, otherwise unchanged.
    • 2nd form: More entertaining (I hope), otherwise unchanged.
    • 3rd form: The optimal time for slashing is every 10 frames, so I saved a little time there.
    • 4th form: I found a way to avoid getting hit, and also to hit him a bit more quickly than last time.
    • 5th form: Unchanged.
    • 6th form: I couldn't manipulate him to open his eye any earlier. After he opens his eye the first time, I managed to manipulate him into opening his eye immediately afterward for every other time (which was better than the old run). For some reason, I was also able to hit him for 5 arrows one time (I couldn't do this any other time, though).
  • 303 frames gained in this segment.

I really enjoyed making this TAS, although it took a long time to optimize and complete. I'll update this text if I forgot to metion anything.


Truncated: Accepted because of major awesomeness.


adelikat: Processing


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