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

Submission #1872: mmbossman's N64 Turok - Dinosaur Hunter in 36:37.42

Console: Nintendo 64
Game name: Turok - Dinosaur Hunter
Game version: USA v1.2
ROM filename: Turok - Dinosaur Hunter (U) (V1.2) [!].z64
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 36:37.42
FrameCount: 131845
Re-record count: 32431
Author's real name: Nick Mong
Author's nickname: mmbossman
Submitter: mmbossman
Submitted at: 2008-02-25 18:36:01
Text last edited at: 2008-04-02 14:10:11
Text last edited by: DeHackEd
Download: Download (12362 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

General Information

This is my TAS of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter for the Nintendo 64, completed in 36:37.42. This game has been a gargantuan task for me to complete, and I am incredibly thankful that it is done with. It has been a work in progress for approximately 14 months, although the bulk has been completed in the last 3 months.

  • Genre: First person shooter
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Uses death as a shortcut
  • Manipulates luck
  • Plays at hardest level
  • Colors a dinosaur red.... with it's own blood
-Fuzzy Goal-
  • Only takes damage when it saves time or serves a purpose

It's hard to make Turok desync. Just use the plugins that are loaded with the movie file (video plugin is Jabo's Direct 3D8 1.6), along with version 1.2 of the ROM, and you'll be fine. For those of you who never use Mupen 0.5 v8 and need to find the TAS input plugin, it can be found here. It should be noted that the video plugin causes you to be able to see through many more walls than was originally possible with the actual cartridge, however I haven't found a suitable replacement. Rices plugin works fairly well, except it has some flickering problems with the fog and sky, and since fog is everywhere in this game, it gets annoying fast.

The backstory for Turok has something to do with a guy named the Campaigner trying to take over an alternate dimension called the Lost Lands. Turok is a Native American from our dimension transported to the Lost Lands to stop the Campaigner. He must fight through 8 levels of soldiers, raptors, grizzly-bear dinosaur dudes, evil priests, demons, robots, smurfs, teletubbies, and 4 bosses in order to vanquish the Campaigner. Keys need to be collected to open up each subsequent level, and there’s plenty of blood, guts, and dinosaur gore throughout to spice things up.

Techniques used for this run

This run has spanned my career here at TASvideos, so my techniques have improved and grown with the making of this. The first two levels, up until the Longhunter boss, were done within my first 4 months of TASing, so a lot of trial and error was used. They aren’t necessarily worse than the rest of the levels, but I think I was able to add a bit more entertainment in the subsequent levels since I wasn’t so concerned about figuring out how to TAS correctly.

As for the actual tricks used, there’s plenty. I won’t go into details (many of which can be found in the Turok discussion thread), but examples include wall jumping, wall cannons, jumping/walking on water, 20 hertz pulse rifle firing, wall zipping (only seen in the early part of level 1), wall clipping, and luck manipulation for ammo drops and enemy fire. RAM viewing was used to achieve optimal height for wall jumps and wall cannons, along with general jumping scenarios. In addition, it was used for HP watching to both conserve ammo and provide as short as possible boss fights.

Likely questions to be asked

Why do you have to run sideways the whole game? It’s annoying and gives me a headache!

Sorry, but blame the programmers for that. If, in their infinite wisdom, they had decided to make Turok behave like a normal person, and not give him a 30% speed boost when he runs diagonally, I would have been happy to present you with a front-facing run. Trust me, if that were the case, this would have been done ages ago. Instead, I was forced to consider the aesthetics of running forward, versus the 15+ minutes the run would have been extended. Speed won. However I have tried to provide interesting and entertaining views when it does not affect time, such as watching character death animations, killing random enemies as I fly by, toying with death, etc.

I noticed a small part in level X where you could probably save a few frames, why didn’t you?

Firstly, let me start off by saying it is my official opinion that first person shooters suck to TAS. Add in the aforementioned diagonal running, and it gets even worse. This spent 14 months sitting on my computer, a third of the way done, because it was such a pain to work with. So I will not lie and say this run is perfect, because it isn’t. I’m sure there are places where frames can be shaved, but at the same time I did put a lot of work into making this the best I could. I tried to produce a run that will hit at least a technical score of at least 8/10 with most people, and if I ever attempt a version 2 (in a looooong time), I will certainly try to perfect it.

This isn’t very entertaining, it’s just running from place to place.

That’s not a question. Please submit all queries in the form of a question.

Ok, why should I find this entertaining, since it’s just running from place to place?

Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, but judging from the response to nfq’s previous run, a lot of people find it entertaining to see this game destroyed. And to offset the 30 some odd miles Turok runs in his very busy day, I have killed some things along the way. So if you watch it and aren’t entertained, I apologize for wasting 35 minutes of your life:)

Are there any improvements you know about?

There’s a couple that may or may not prove to be major (>2 seconds) times savers. A death warp is possible in level 4, just after the second key. This would save roughly 5 seconds, but would cause Turok to lose his backpack (probably dropped it when he fell). Without a backpack, the carrying capacity for grenades is reduced, making for a (seemingly) longer Mantis fight. However, due to the speed and impact of the pulse rifle (1 shot worth 13 HP can be delivered every 3 frames), it may be faster to just manipulate energy refills than to worry about a few extra grenades.

It may be possible in order to access the first key of level 4 using walls jumps/cannons, but whoever figures out how to do that is a better person than me.

Special Thanks:

I would firstly like to thank nfq. Despite his odd views on electricity, God, gravity and magenetism, he put together a damn good run that included a very good route and some techniques I hadn’t seen before. Many of the tricks shown can be credited to him, or the Turok community in general. I would also like to thank everyone who has posted in the game thread, and everyone who has pushed me to finally get this done, including Adelikat, Comicalflop, and JXQ (among others). Finally, I apologize it took so long to get done, but I hope it was worth the wait! Any questions will be happily answered in the discussion thread to the best of my abilities.

Suggested Screenshot: Input frame 16534

adelikat: Accepting + Encoding.
adelikat: Nevermind about the encoding. Mupen wants to continually crash my computer. Someone else will have to take this one.

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