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

Submission #1695: Mukki's N64 Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask in 2:14:03.08

Console: Nintendo 64
Game name: Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Legend of Zelda, The - Majora's Mask (U) [!].z64
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 2:14:03.08
FrameCount: 482585
Re-record count: 172385
Author's real name: I. Masterson
Author's nickname: Mukki
Submitter: Mukki
Submitted at: 2007-09-13 16:08:00
Text last edited at: 2007-09-15 05:41:41
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (22882 bytes)
Status: published
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Introduction

This is the TAS of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. The run itself was 10 solid months in the making and is the result of many years of research into this game. I've had a reasonably free year, the chances of having another like it are low, and I really wanted to see a new Majora's Mask run. Since I'd finished my Gex 64 movie and AKA had given up on this I thought that I may as well do it. The route was far too interesting/exciting to waste, the run would be challenging (which is what I was looking for) and I'm a firm believer that if you really want to see a run made then you have to do it yourself.

  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Manipulates luck
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Uses death to save time
  • No predefined saves
  • Genre: Action
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Due to the length of the movie I chose to include speed/entertainment tradeoffs although I only drop a couple of seconds throughout the run. I drop time to get better camera angles often (usually 3 frames, 1 input frame). I also drop about a second in Ikana Canyon to pick up a fairy to replenish my health, otherwise the last fifteen minutes of my movie would have been ruined by annoying bleeping.

Game Synopsis

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is much darker and more sinister than your average Zelda game. It is the story of one of Link's adventures after the events of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

After saving Hyrule from the evil Ganondorf and laying the Master Sword back to rest, Link's companion, Navi the fairy, flies away. He becomes lonely once again as 'the boy without a fairy' and sets out to find her. This is where The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask begins.

Whilst travelling through the forest upon his noble steed, Epona, he is attacked by Skull Kid and his two fairies, Tatl and Tael. Skull kid is lonely, like Link, and is usually harmless, but after attacking the Happy Mask Shop man he came to posess the evil Majora's Mask and is now ruled by it. He then steals Link's precious Ocarina of Time and horse and runs away. Link seldom takes shit from anyone and backwalks after him before falling down a huge hole in the ground into the parallel world of Termina.

The evil power of the mask turns Link into a Deku Scrub. Link pursues Skull Kid all the way to Clock Town (now with the help of Tatl the fairy, a more 'in yo face' version of Navi).

Link enters Clock Town at dawn of the first day. The evil power of the mask is pulling the moon towards Clock Town. Skull Kid has cursed the four surrounding areas and the Giant's that suffer there are the only one's who can save Termina. At dawn of the fourth day the moon crashes into Termina and everyone dies, can Link do it in time?

This run completes the game in three cycles, one cycle being over when Link returns to Dawn of the First day. The first two cycles are very short with the third being the main one.

The Run

  • Pre Clock Town: A relatively small, mostly cutscene orientated, segment. Not much to note here other than that it is played supremely! Moving on...

  • The First Cycle:
    • The very first thing I do is visit Grandma in the Stock Pot Inn. The front door doesn't open until 8:00AM so I have to enter via the second floor. Each of Grandma's long stories takes a day to listen to. I listen to it twice to get quickly to the final day.
    • I then visit the scarecrow in West Clock Town and watch his dance. His dance takes us to night of the final day. This is when time stops becomming a factor since I'm waiting for midnight and so I'm deliberately unoptimised to make time spent in South Clock Town less.
    • I get the fairy from East Clock Town and 100 rupees from the Stock Pot Inn. The Great Fairy is visited, magic is gained and the green is deposited in the bank for usage later on...in the past.
    • In South Clock Town I move around for a while until it's near midnight. I then use a cool trick; I backflip onto the sloped wall beside the Clock Tower ledge and then quickly grab it. This trick skips the Bomber Hide and Seek game, the Observatory and moon's tear.
    • I then kill the rest of the time by playing around with the piece of heart. This is a good example of fast motion collision abuse :D I then skip a Tatl text before entering the tower by more fast motion abuse.
    • I get the Ocarina of Time, jam out the Song of Time and return to Dawn of the First Day.

  • The Second Cycle
    • First of all I go to ECT (East Clock Town from now on) and get 100 rupees from the chest there. In WCT I buy a bomb bag and some bombs from the bomb shop (ugh, the amount of trouble that caused). I deposit what's left and then head out into Termina Field.
    • I slide in a super way to the Mountain Village path. I use the Infinite Sword Glitch to glitch over the icicles blocking it. Normally you need the arrows to do this because Woodfall usually comes first (I go back for it later).
    • To save backtracking I hit the owl statue and then get the lens of truth. Although I don't really use it I have to get it otherwise Darmani doesn't appear by his grave.
    • I make my way to the grave, play song of healing, get Goron Mask, Song of Time, back to Dawn of the First Day.

  • The Third Cycle: Southern Swamp / Woodfall Temple 1
    • I once again get 100 rupees from ECT and use it to buy some bombs and chus for some glitchin'
    • On the way to Southern Swamp there is a long cutscene about Skull Kid's plight and emotions, but we don't care about that, so I use the bombchu hover glitch to skip it.
    • The Koume and Kotake section in the swamp is part of something much longer, but I only do as much of it as I need to get the bottle (for the Zora Egg Quest later). I then use my Goron Mask (which I shouldn't have at this point) to dodge my way past the Giant Octorok to get to Deku Palace.
    • This part is just plain awesome. I use a mid-air superslide to get past the guards. I then Goron Bomb jump onto the wall and backflip onto a platform and then into the chamber. This skips ~90% of the area :D
    • I then make my way to Woodfall (Deku Flowers here were another desync hotspot) and do the first half of the temple. I get the Bow and Arrows because it is all I need. Link then uses a bomb to kill himself (yes, the pressure had become too much).

  • Great Bay 1 / Pirate's Fortress 1
    • I buy more bombs and chus before heading to Great Bay. I Goron Bomb jump over the fence to skip Epona.
    • I get the Zora mask and head to Pirates Fortress. I use the bomb hover glitch to skip straight to the inside. This skips 50% of this area.
    • All I need is the hookshot and so I shoot the beehive from in front of the loading zone to skip the cutscene and then go down to open the chest. I pick up the first Zora Egg here, but I don't come back for the rest until later. I warp back to Snowhead.

  • Snowhead Temple
    • Okay, an hour into the run, better start taking out some bosses. The Goron Lullabye skip was a nightmare and easily the most difficult part of the run. It skips out the Elderly Goron/crying baby part of the game. Between the Zora mask and Goht I kept doing and redoing over a period of about 5 months. This wasn't helped by the fact that the lullabye skip is notoriously difficult to optimise and it desyncs every 3-6 frames, but after a while I got through!
    • Snowhead Temple was pretty easy with the Hookshot (I'm not supposed to have it) and I use it to get onto the upper levels of the dungeon without having to do all the crap in between.
    • Normally the player is to take care of Goht with Goron Rolling, but with some nice archery Human Link makes light work of him.

  • Goron Race / Romani Ranch / Smithy
    • I do the Goron Race because I need the bottle and the Gold dust inside it (to upgrade my sword). My race turned out 5 seconds faster than the world record.
    • Getting to the Ranch on time was troublesome to say the least. When inside I just have to keep then away from the barn until 5:15AM. Afterwards I get my final bottle.
    • I go to the smithy in mountain village and upgrade to the Gilded Sword which kicks everything's ass. To get this it has to be Dawn of the Final Day, which means I have 24 in-game hours to complete the game.

  • Woodfall Temple 2
    • Now I return to finish what I started. I use the hookshot to skip all the Deku plant stuff. In the Gekko chamber I beat it with an obscure tactic using the Goron Mask, this is faster than using the Deku Mask version. As with Snowhead, having the hookshot allows me to skip virtually all of this temple.
    • Because I now have the fire arrows I can easily light the torch to open the door to the pre-Odolwa chamber.
    • Using the Zora Mask and hookshot I skip the lengthy Deku plant parts of this room.
    • I destroy Odolwa here. The Gilded Sword does huge damage to this weak boss. The arrow stops him jumping away and whilst he is frozen I hit him with three well placed attacks.

  • Great Bay 2 / Pirate's Fortress 2 / Pinnacle Rock
    • This is the egg quest. It is the only major quest part that resembles what Nintendo intended.
    • I begin with Pirate's Fortress. There are three eggs here to collect; before each egg there is a small espionage section and a battle with a pirate, but with creative use of the jumpslash ability I skip two of these. The third is skippable, but requires so many explosives that it is not worthwhile.
    • At Pinnacle Rock the swimming is strange because a set path has to be followed.
    • After depositing these eggs I head to North Bay for more money and then I go to Great Bay Temple.

  • Great Bay Temple
    • This temple is wonderfully broken. A lot is skipped, but this time without gratuitous use of the bomb hover glitch.

  • Ikana Canyon / Stone Tower
    • I use some nice Goron Bomb jumps in Ikana Access. I skip the Garo Mask with the seam walk.
    • I skip the Ice Arrows by using a tight hookshot to the tree on the cliff. This was difficult to get before the Octoroks hit me and required some cool luck manip.
    • Ascending Stone Tower with the Bomb Hovers skips the Castle of Ikana and the Elegy of Emptiness. Quite a large break.

  • Stone Tower Temple
    • I love how the countdown begins at the start of this temple. I couldn't ask for it to be more perfect.
    • It is possible to hover over the second sun block with one less explosive, however, all the Boes have to be killed which takes more time. I have the explosives to spare anyway.
    • My Deku flying may look slightly suspect because I don't hug the left corner. This is optimal however as Link turns very slowly and so hugging the corner would eventually put him into the far wall.
    • I found that Deku nuts are by far the fastest way to kill Garo Master and time saved more than saves for the time spent collecting/equipping them. Also, you have to spend three rounds with him at least. He has 15HP which suggests a jumpslash and a quickspin would suffice, however the game does not allow him to be killed in two attacks.
    • Hovering to the Armos Night platform is around 200 frames faster than Kazooie's method when optimised. I tried a whole bunch of ways to make Kazooie's faster but it just was not to be.
    • The gaps in between light arrowing Eyegore is mandatory. Light arrows cannot be fired in as quick succession as normal arrows.
    • I like what I've done with the Gomess battle. I hit with a light arrow and press B to take out my sword. This would normally cause a vertical slice, however I manipulate the bats so that one flies through me on the same frame I press B. This makes Link instantly take out his sword which means I can use a jumpslash very quickly. You also have to go four rounds with Gomess.
    • Twinmold was pretty straight forward to optimise. Jumpslashes do double damage while slashes and quickspins do normal. There wasn't much freedom to manipulate here since the starting positions are fixed and where they appear is only manipulable when they are underground. The battle is so quick I only have to do this once :P

  • Moon
    • I superslide because it is faster than rolling. I feel supersliding somewhat ruins the romance of the moment, however, rolling probably would still look worse. I also delay talking to Majora kid by 3 frames so that the camera doesn't get stuck behind the tree.
    • Majora's Mask was pretty straight forward. The angle to hit him with an arrow has to be very accurate. I use the first hit to knock him into the corner so that the following two rounds are much quicker. When he rises I have to wait until he reaches a certain hieght before shooting him again.
    • Majora's Incarnation was a nightmare to optimise. I shoot him so that he falls close to me. I then approach him and sidehop to between his legs. To stop him running away you have to quickspin him there. I tried it on every frame at several other areas around him but it never worked. The only way to approach him is by sideways walking. I can't get rid of Z-target because he'll jus target a mask instead. The only other way around this is to shoot him with an arrow normally but this turns out slower because Link can't move.
    • Majora's Wrath wasn't too bad. I couldn't keep him pinned down with quickspins so I stab most of the time. It may seem as though I could have used a quickspin insted of that last sword slash, however, since he is still invincible through most of the attack it won't kill him.

Special Thanks

Of course, I couldn't have done this alone! Here is everyone who made this run possible.

In no particular order

Petrie911: A lot that is in this is stuff that I learned from his many (awesome) videos. He also wrote up the route and discovered many tricks. He also provided criticism where due and helped me touch up many parts of the run.

Raiscan: He saved the project early on by discovering that bomb shop desyncs were caused by a corrupt mupen64.ini file. If it were not for him we'd still all be watching Link roll into the shop's doorframe. He also encoded a few WIPs, commented on progress and motivated me all the way through.

mwl: Very helpful in finding ways to improve the run and for helping me out with the aspects that troubled me.

AKA: Many useful tricks were discovered by him. He also helped scrutinise WIPs with keen interest from the start.

bkDJ: For providing support all the way and for encoding my WIPs to .mkv so that other could watch and comment.

Comicalflop: Providing great motivation and enthusiasm to progress. He also managed to persuade me into redoing my second cycle on which I managed to save several seconds.

Yautja Elder: For pointing out some good improvements in the earlier parts of the run.

DLH112: For pointing out the hookshot to torch in Snowhead (which went forgotten until DaShiznawz brought it up) and for advising me on Pirate's Fortress 1.

Swordless Link: His Snowhead and Great Bay videos were immensely helpful and saved me a large amount of work. He also gave useful and constructive critism.

pyh: For occassionally sharing his expertise in the early stages. I also used his speedrun to get a good idea of the Ikana Canyon seam walk.

VANDAL: For informing us that Rice's plugin worked. This brought the movie to more people that wanted to see it.

Dragorn: For helping plan reaching the ranch on time.

Halamantariel: For helping others to sync the movie with his Rice's guide :)

Okaygo: For patching the emulator so that those with name entry screen desyncs could watch the movie.

AngerFist: For posting in the thread something along the lines of "..it's so annoying that it's impossible to TAS this game..." which finally coaxed me into doing this as the challenge I was looking for.

L.Spiro: For MHS which was useful for watching enemy HP values etc.

Also, I wish to thank everyone here for watching my WIPs and giving support. This includes, but is probably not limited to: Shadow Byrn, Kirbymuncher, DK64_MASTER, shadoblade, Zurreco, Bag of Magic Food, djs, spockybiemmichab, Sami, Admiral_Sif, Baxter, asteron, L4yer, cmuxmt, Phallosvogel, Andypro, peteyboo, wyster, nfq, S@G, laughing_gas, Dromiceius, theenglishman, Spacecow, GuanoBowl, mmbossman, TheFrigz, Vidar, DaShiznawz, Pasky13, Tompa, RattleMan, Tub, captain compost, Hina98, Forcemaster, Soulrivers, Almagnus1, zdude225, Flip and Dwedit.

If I've forgotten you just PM me and I'll throw you in or if you're in here and want out then do the same.


Bisqwit: Test audience (i.e. those who watch submissions) seems to be satisfied; accepting for publication and I'm taking the task of encoding it.

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