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Submission #1650: Randil's NES Uninvited in 08:13.9

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Uninvited
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Uninvited (U).nes
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 08:13.9
FrameCount: 29634
Re-record count: 5849
Author's real name: Johan Södling
Author's nickname: Randil
Submitter: Randil
Submitted at: 2007-07-29 16:38:30
Text last edited at: 2007-07-30 23:54:08
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (2922 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Uninvited TAS by Randil

This run is 483 frames (8.05 seconds) faster than the currently published run of this game. The improvements come mostly from better menu navigation and through not opening all doors in the same room the first time I enter it. More information about what has been improved can be found in the "Improvements" section below.

Essentials:

  • Emulator used: FCEU 0.98.16

  • Aims for fastest possible time.
  • Genre: Storybook.

About the game:

Uninvited is a so called "storybook game". This means that you have an interface with several commands that you can do. Basically, you first click on what you what to do, and then click on what you want to do this on. For example, you can first click on "OPEN" and then click on a door to open it.

The story of the game is that you accidently crash your car into a tree, and black out. When you wake up, your sister is gone, and you have no choise but to exit the car and enter the mansion to look for her.

About TASing this game:

There are essentialy 3 parts of TASing a storybook game like Uninvited:

The route:

What rooms are you going to visit and what items are you going to pick up? This is the most important part of TASing a storybook game. This TAS uses the same route as the previous one. I'm positive that it's the fastest route.

Cursor movements:

This is the hardest part of TASing these games. The fastest cursor route is usually not obvious. Instead you have to do some testings to find the fastest cursor route. I always used frame advance when moving the cursor around.

You often have to plan ahead when choosing how to move the cursor around. Sometimes a certain cursor route is faster for room X, but will make you loose time in room X+1 because the cursor starts in a bad position for that room.

Another things that makes the choise for cursor movements non-trivial is that you can both open and enter doors both via the mini-map and via the main picture. The cursor moves twice as fast on the picture, but on the other hand, t greaterlly a little longer.

Text messages:

This is the most trivial part of TASing these games, but they can be a pain to optimize. Back when I made the first runs of these storybook games, I had to trial-and-error to optimize textboxes. I had to try my way to find the first frame I could press the B button on to make the box disappear, and so on.

This time around, I had memory addresses telling me when to press the B button. This means that I could scroll through textmessages without having to use one single rerecord! You bet that saved a whole lot of time for me when making this run. Of course, I still used savestates on textmessages if I did a mistake, but all in all, textmessages were handled without any problems at all.

Improvements:

As stated above, this run is 483 frames faster than the published run. This is because of several timesavers:

  • I don't open up all doors at once in some rooms. A good example of this is the room with the fish on the wall. In the published run I open up all doors the first time I enter this room. This time arouund, I don't open a d oor until I want to go through it, and I do this by clicking on the door on the picture.

  • Some new menu shortcuts. I found a faster way to get from the itemlist to the move-button, and I also found that you save 1 frame by moving to the minimap or the picture before pressing select.

  • I use the spell DOLLDOLL later, right before I use Thundede on the dogs. This doesn't save much time though, just a few frames, but it's still an obvious change.

  • In the bathroom, I click on other things to make the water rise. I click on things that creates less text, which saves me a few frames.

  • Overall, new and faster meny navigation. There are a lot of rooms where the menu navigation has changed entirely, so I'm not going into details here.

Anticipated questions:

  • Q: Are you sure you can't avoid the bird and the little red guy? I believe these are random events.
  • A: They're not actually random, these events always happen after you performed a certain amount of actions, so I'm forced to run into these sooner or later.

Useful memory addresses:

I have more than these addresses, but these were the ones that actually proved useful in the making of this TAS:

  • 00AB: The X coordinate of the cursor.
  • 00AC: The Y coordinate of the cursor.

  • 00F5: This value is normally 128 but turns 0 on the frame before a textbox appears. This means that as soon as this value turns 0, I start holding down A until this value is 128 again.

  • 00F0: This value is normally 1, but turns to 3 on the first frame that you can press A to make a textbox disappear.

Special thanks to:

  • Mr. Kelly R. Flewin for his speedguide on gamefaqs, and for telling me about the PENCIL in the previous run I made.
  • Walker Boh, for his previous run.
  • Maximus, for his, as always, very useful TAS movie editor. This program was used a lot in the making of this run, for example when I found some small improvements in the beginning of the movie.


adelikat: Accepting for publication as an improvement to the currently published movie.

adelikat: Processing. Nope, desyncs for me in FCEU .12 (and I can't use later ones to make .avi files).


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