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

Submission #2094: Apo123's GBA Grand Theft Auto Advance in 1:58:51.37

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Grand Theft Auto Advance
Game version: USA
ROM filename: 1728 - Grand Theft Auto Advance (U).gba
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 1:58:51.37
FrameCount: 427882
Re-record count: 18403
Author's real name: Tim Harrison
Author's nickname: Apo123
Submitter: Apo123
Submitted at: 2008-09-16 16:18:25
Text last edited at: 2012-07-26 16:48:20
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (18323 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
Submission instructions
Discuss this submission (also rating / voting)
List all submissions by this submitter
List pages on this site that refer to this submission
View submission text history
Back to the submission list
Author's comments and explanations:
Grand Theft Auto Advance is a return to the series' roots, with a top-down viewpoint instead of the 3D which has become so popular. Our protagonist, Mike, is on the run with his pal Vinnie.

After Vinnie gets blown to pieces, Mike decides to go on a bloody and violent rampage, killing thousands of innocent and not so innocent people, while simultaneously taking the city for all it's worth in terms of cold, hard cash. Oh, and cars too. Lots of cars.

General Notes

Hello, I'm Apo123 and this is my first submitted TAS. I hope you enjoy the run as much as I did making it. I've learned a lot from this project, and hope you like the end result. I'm also aware that my submission text is quite... lengthy.

For viewers' convenience, I've made a savestate pack so you can load a certain part of the movie quickly. Trust me, after rewatching my work hundreds of times, I know how annoying it is to have to hold the spacebar for 10+ minutes. You can download it here.

State 1 begins on mission 6, 2 begins on mission 11, 3 begins on mission 16, 4 begins on mission 21, 5 begins on mission 26, 6 begins on mission 31, 7 begins on mission 36, and 8 begins on mission 40.

The shotgun has a small cooldown time of approximately 60 frames. During this animation (look closely and you'll see the shell in the air next to Mike), you cannot fire, enter a car, or switch weapons. At quite a few points in the run, I don't immediately enter a car when I'm able to, or sometimes just run to another car that's positioned better. This is why.

There are several glitches in this game involving cutscenes and damage. If I take damage after a cutscene begins, it doesn't actually register. This doesn't really benefit me much, but it still is interesting.

Random events that shouldn't be considered a cutscene, yet are:

  • Getting OUT of your car (getting in you can still take damage though).

  • Being pulled out of your car.

In my no damage statement, I am not including car health. If people disagree that damaging my car counts as damage, I will revise that statement.

Speaking about car health, none of the small crashes make me lose time. Any crash that actually slows down my car is intentional (such as in mission 39). You may notice the speedometer changing: it actually goes higher for a few frames.

Police cars, besides being one of the fastest cars available, give me a free shotgun and 4 shells. Upon mission completion, this flag resets, so I can usually grab 8 free shells off 1 car.

I only visit the Ammunation once in the run, on mission 2 (where it's required to buy a pistol). Even if you do not buy the pistol but go near Ammunation, the text at the bottom continues like normal. However, when it's all done, Frederico (the guy I have to kill) does not appear unless you bought a pistol at Ammunation.

I took Chamale's advice and did not go for a max wanted level on each mission. This is fortunate because it's extremely hard to get a high wanted level after Portland, as most civilians take 2 hits with my car to die. It'd waste a lot of time to go back for a second pass. In Portland I tried to get the max possible wanted level possible without wasting time.

The shotgun is definitely my weapon of choice. It's one of the only easily available weapons to kill most targets in one hit, plus it's free.

You cannot enter a Pay N Spray while in any police vehicle.

The game only accepts input every 5 frames while you're in a vehicle, or every 3 frames on foot. You can fire a weapon on foot only every other set of 3 frame redraws. There are no drive-bys in this game, unfortunately.

When you load cars into an area, the game has 9 sets it can load. If you only move in one direction and simply delay X frames before loading the cars, you have three cycling sets to choose from. If you move diagonally, you have another three. Finally, if you combine those two you can get the last 3 sets, which are mixtures of cars from the other two.

Ramps are fun. They allow me to ignore things. Some interesting notes:

  • You can fly over buildings while in the air, but if you come near a tree you collide with it.

  • If you handbrake slide into a ramp, you can jump in directions most likely not intended by the game's programmers.

  • Ramps have bad hit detection. You can drive around them entirely, and still jump in the air.

  • If you're in the air and your car lands on another car, the other car catches on fire.

  • Ramps make you speed up temporarily when you drive on them.

  • You jump when the back portion of your car clears the ramp. This means that if you're in a bus or truck, you will be affected by terrain AFTER the ramp, and then jump. Grass makes what what otherwise be a great jump horrible.

While making this run, I had the sound off. I suggest you don't watch it very long with sound on, because the car audio track loops are very short - about 20 seconds or so. It gets very, very repetitive.

Enemy shots move without traveling the distance between the 2 points. If you position Mike correctly, you won't get hit. I abuse this a lot.

If you hijack a car while it's in motion, it will burst forward at 50 mph or so when you gain control. If you hold A as you get this boost, you get to keep it and save acceleration time.

True cutscene (fadeout, cartoony heads on the screen) text can be cleared 12 frames after all the text appears. The pop-up dialogue text I never discovered a frame rule for, so I just tested every frame until it worked. If the same character speaks twice in a row in one dialogue, you can clear the second text very fast.

Random Statistics

Death count: 1454 people.
Civilians Wasted: 1137
Cars Exploded: 8
Thugs wasted: 309
Miles Driven: 113
In-game time: 3 days

Now for the mission specific notes. Please read these as you watch, or it'll ruin the "plot" of the game.

Mission Specific Notes

Welcome to Portland!

Mission 1: Jump Start

The Brit is one of the slowest cars in the game. The only time I'm in a car that does not go 150 mph+ is when I need one for a mission, or in one instance in mission 8 where I grab what I can get.

I like making little people pancakes. No, I do not drive like this in real life by the way.

The fight next to my car saves time. Vinnie gets punched by the pimp, and it triggers the cutscene without him having to jump over my car.

Mission 2: Dirty Laundry

The first display of the cutscene effect happens when I get out of my car next to the restaurant to start mission 2. The policeman punches me, but does nothing.

My one and only visit to Ammunation. Enjoy the 3 frames it lasts.

I have to wait for all that text at the bottom to get done before my target appears. So, I screw around a bit. Watch the SWAT guys after the van nails 'em.

Mission 3: Hot Wheels

You have to get the car resprayed.

The back up after nabbing the police car gives me significantly better traffic than if I had just driven forward.

Mission 4: Ill-Gotten

If only I could just drive over the briefcases to collect them...

Mission 5: Payback

I slide into the first thug.

Pulling the third guy out of his van then running him over with it is faster than just shotgunning the van.

Mission 6: Fake IDs

Getting police bribes is far faster than going to the Pay N Spray.

Mission 7: Getaway

Aww, Vinnie got blown to hell, along with all my money. Too bad.

Instead of going to the hideout and recieving the warning from 8-Ball, I just get rid of my wanted level. It's faster.

OK, why do all these people run right in front of me? 4 people in a row run into the path of my Banshee.

Mission 8: Twisted Metal

Why couldn't Vinnie buy a sports car or something?

After I crush the car, the nearby Brit is the only thing I can drive. After testing both running down and driving the Brit, the Brit wins.

Mission 9: Ill Repute

Hitting the first hooker makes her get in the car 6 frames faster.

Each hooker normally makes a comment about how crappy my car is, and how they're only in it because I'm a friend of 8-Ball. They're silent in my Banshee, though.

Mission 10: Droppin' Bombs

No car damage on the first part.

The Mananna magically becomes damaged after the cutscene.

If I were 30 or so seconds later to the destination, I wouldn't have had to grab the Diablo cars. However, I don't think you'd want to see me standing still for that long.

Mission 11: Scorelli

Scorelli and his little gang are no match for Mike.

After I grab Scorelli's car, watch the minimap. I think I broke something by driving so fast, since the van pursuing me suddenly gains the ability to go over 170 mph.

It just... vanished! Is Liberty City in the Bermuda Triangle?

Mission 12: Love Boat

Heeere's Jonnie!

If any part of your car is still on land, you can drive on water.

I didn't actually have to kill those guys on foot, but I did so anyways.

I'm technically supposed to kill the Banshee as well, but if you drive fast enough you don't have to.

Ouch, getting launched into a wall at 174 mph is painful. Mike survives it unharmed.

Mission 13: Time's Up

The first guy doesn't appear until you move south. So, I run south and blow him away.

The second to last guy glitches: I kill him too fast for him to do his scripted "How about me and some of my friends" speech.

Thus, random guys appear on the way to my last target. This saves time, even though I didn't plan for it.

The black line at the basketball court is a wall. I do not know why it didn't load properly, but I took advantage of that easy shortcut.

Mission 14: Sober Driver

She only makes that remark about wanting to drive if you have a "nice" car like the Banshee I'm driving.

Getting in and out of the car after the bar scene in Harwood speeds up the dialogue by 150 frames or so.

Mission 15: Happy Hour

This truck is slow. Not to mention the police don't like me, either. Notice the guy's comment about drainer fluid.

Mission 16: Grand Opening

The Idaho is slow too, at least I get to blow it up though. Burn, disco club, burn.

Hey, that Banshee I left is conveniently there for my trip to the Pay N Spray!

Mission 17: Pocket Rocket

I don't get to keep the Rocket Launcher, unfortunately.

Mike must go through his "docks owned by foreigners" monologue, or else the people I have to kill won't appear.

I have to kill those people around the docks. I tried to pull a glitch like on mission 13 with them, but they all just appeared back at the docks. Too bad.

The car hits me through my car, and yet Mike doesn't take damage. Gotta love the cutscene glitch.

Mission 18: Political Will

I must wait for the senator to make his "special interest groups" statement before he'll get out of his car.

Firing the shotgun while next to my car somehow damages it, so I jump over the limo, fire, then jump back.

You cannot shoot the senator. You must punch him, or use the bat (any other form of damage is automatic failure).

Mission 19: Show the Money

Grabbing the briefcase of money and running is faster than waiting around for the ambush (duh).

Hey, a conveniently placed SWAT van blocks that fool's escape. Poor Jonnie, though.

Welcome to Staunton Island!

Mission 20: Race to Run

Fun, fun. Especially once I get the F1. You may want to fast-forward through the first race, but you'll miss the second if you fast forward on it.

Mission 21: Columbian Coffee

These guys take 2 car rammings to kill. I shot two, but it was faster overall to spin around my car and ram the third guy.

On the second set of thugs, one is supposed to get to a nearby parked car and speed off, triggering a short dialogue + cutscene that wastes several hundred frames. Oops, he never made it.

Mission 22: The Big Score

I misread my shotgun ammo when getting into the other police car, but ramming that group of people means I don't have to shotgun them twice to kill them. It breaks out just about even timewise, so I kept the free shotgun shell.

After I blow away the first red arrow guy, take a look at my minimap. Liberty City has... zombies!

Mission 23: Fine Dining

Going around the back is faster than killing the guards in the front.

Cisco gets rammed by my car, then punched. This is enough to make him give up. Somehow, his face is still intact. Two car rams (even if the second is at 4 mph) kills him automatically.

Mission 24: Flying High

Two of these guys are smart, and accept the shoes. Pat, however, decides that he's gonna refuse Cisco until he gets paid for last time. Bad choice.

The game decides to spawn some Triads next to me during the cutscene. Not fun.

My Diablo gets damaged to the point where it maxes out at 92 mph. However, it's required until you go back to Cisco. After I talk to Cisco about Pat (the guy who doesn't want the drug-smuggling shoes), I don't need to grab the Diablo. If it gets destroyed, though, mission failure.

Hey, a nice FBI car! Second fastest in the game, it'll prove useful.

Mission 25: Factory Wages

The technician's car is flipped when I ram it. Notice what he says after I hit him with my car.

This tech must be wearing full body kevlar or something. He survives an explosion and a shotgun blast. He can also survive 2 bullets afterwards, but a second shotgun blast is faster.

Killing the tech is faster. Even though I get a short dialogue which I have to go through, if you leave him alive guards appear at the factory. You must kill them all to proceed with blowing up the place if you leave the tech alive.

The bomb, for some reason, would not activate outside the detonation zone. Must be a bug. It also took well over 50 frames of holding A + B to set it.

Either the factory is run by terrorists, or the FBI just got a bad reputation.

Mike shows his incredible ability to survive anything. If you didn't know about the cutscene glitch before, I think this demonstrates it nicely.

Mission 26: School's Out

You must damage the limo to a degree to get the guards inside to leave it. A shotgun blast does this fastest, even though it means the limo will be slower going to the Pay N Spray.

The limo getting colored yellow was pure coincidence. This spoiled little brat gets a freakin' LIMO to and from school. She can have fun with the Columbians, though.

I turned around at the first possible opportunity to make the pursuit cars go away. They must go away for me to be able to complete the mission.

Mission 27: Kid's A Hero

OK, I kidnapped that brat last mission only to have to save her now. Ah well.

Blowing away that arrogant thug who thinks he can take me is mission failure, unfortunately. I put the briefcase of money on the ground, then run to my car.

The game wants Mike to sneak around the back to the bus, only to find out it's locked. Mike != Solid Snake, though, so I just rush in.

The first guy near the bus was manipulated to have the key I need.

Now Yuka knows how normal kids have to get home every day: taking the school bus. She does get to experience a bus on top of a roof, though (it was quite hard to pull it off, on every angle but that one the bus collided with the side of the building)

Mission 28: Ante Up

Blowing up the casino is faster than going to the cop, killing him, going to the Pay N Spray, then going back to the casino to get the money. Goodbye, pachinko machines.

It took a while to even get that Sentinel to appear. I like police cars (which were in 4 of the spawn sets), but you can't spray them.

Mission 29: Two-Hand Toss

My car decides to defy the laws of physics. It flies high into the air at over 200 miles per hour, then stops in midair, somehow appears on the ground, and Mike gets out like it's perfectly normal.

You must use fists or the bat on the football player. If you damage any of the other players too much, you fail the mission.

Mission 30: Scorned Lover

I grab the Banshee for a reason you'll see in about 1 minute.

Hey, he shoots her dead! I won't stand for this...

He takes two shotgun blasts to kill, and it's not required to kill him. Thus, I just get back to the car before the mob of angry civilians decides to hang me.

Mission 31: Sue Me Sushi

You must visit all 3 trucks. The first two drivers cannot be killed nor shot (fists + bat situation), but the third can. Killing him is faster than using the bat.

The truck is limited to 38 mph due to the damage I had to deal to it to get the driver out. Even though it goes from white smoke to black smoke, the speed remains the same.

Mission 32: Down The River

This was a fun mission. You must hit each Mafia guy twice with the Katana so he gets in the truck for a little trip. You need 15 minimum to complete the mission, but get benefits for more. I chose to just get the 15 because I don't need Asuka's blue Stinger.

I couldn't manipulate away the Mafia guy who pulls me out of the truck... during a CUTSCENE WHERE I HAVE NO CONTROL. If the game had only given me 15 frames of control, I could have stopped it by backing up. Oh well, wastes about 1 second.

Mission 33: Bad Pimpin'

Those hookers look familiar. They're from mission 9. Those pimps aren't any sort of a threat.

Hm, the Mafia wants me dead. Too bad they can't catch me.

Welcome to Shoreside Vale!

Mission 34: Mystery Killer

Not visiting Cisco is faster. His men don't help at all in the ambush. Besides, Mike is a one-man army.

Oh look, an ambush! I never saw that coming.

The second jump glitch was unintentional, but beneficial. Bouncy, bouncy.

Mission 35: Decoy Disaster

I'm stuck in the limo for the checkpoint segment.

After I ditch the limo, the game decided to be mean and not put a Banshee or a police car in the sets it loads from. So, I take the fastest car available in the set: a Sentinel.

Mission 36: Truth Revealed

Hey, that car's getting awa- never mind.

Those hoods don't like me. They're stupid, though, and decided to travel in a close group. One shotgun blast, and goodbye to the majority.

I run back towards my police car for the purposes of manipulation in this next part. Normally, you have to go through a long car chase, ramming the other guy while dodging traffic. I don't particularly like wasting time in a car chase, though, so Mr. Shotgun decides to take care of that issue for me.

Ah Vinnie, you sly bastard. You're not invulnerable, though. Although your offer of money is tempting, I like your gattling gun very much, even though I'm never going to use it. Goodbye, old friend. You probably spent my portion faking your death way back in mission 7, anyways.

Mission 37: Love of Money

4 waves of guys come at me. They're no match for Mike and his shotgun.

Aww, 8-Ball got arrested. Racist cops.

Mission 38: Taking Revenge

The new Columbian leader doesn't have to be killed. I decide not to kill him, since the cutscene will happen anyways.

Mission 39: Smackdown

People claim this mission is hard. I've seen several videos with normal players finishing it with only seconds to spare. I beat it with over a minute left on the timer.

You must run over each guy twice in order to kill them. Getting out of my car and shotgunning them is faster.

I need to spray my car at the end of the mission, so I take the Banshee.

Lots of driving and car jumping action, here.

The crash after the last jump is intentional.

Mission 40: Assault Joint

Hm, the Mafia is on to me. Asuka's set up an ambush. However, thanks to the miraculous power of savestates, Mike knows about this in advance. He blocks Asuka's getaway route, trapping her cool blue Yakuza Stinger on my banshee.

The Mafia, not knowing how to handle having their spawn point blocked, decide to spawn in a massive, tight knit group. There are 10 Mafia guys. The first shot takes out 7 (!) of those.

Oh, and that Yakuza guy is armed with a shotgun. I estimate about 200 rerecords on this part due to him alone. It really sucks having a nice opportunity to take out multiple guys with one shot, then he fires and BAM I have to reload.

Hm, Asuka's guys ran away after putting on a nice show of getting out of their cars and making a great speech.

The front door is supposed to be suicidal, but Mike doesn't believe in supposition. The barrier magically blocks those shots.

Ah, King Courtney, my old nemesis. Your massive amounts of bullets, bats, and shotgun blasts are no match for my ability to... run. Train your men how to aim.

Oh, is that puny little Rocket Launcher all you have? It's so easily dodgable...

Mission 41: Freedom Flies

Hm, after killing thousands of people, robbing the city for well over $400,000, and blowing up 3 buildings, the police have finally caught up to me. Oh, and they have tanks! And Army trucks! And grenades and machine guns! ...Am I screwed?

The police car from last mission is faithfully waiting for me to make my getaway. Look at all the pretty roadblocks and army men.

They assume I'm a law-abiding driver who will never, EVER think to use the sidewalk.

Hey, look at that! Those army guys don't care who they kill, as long as I die. That innocent car got blown up by a tank, but their sacrifice allows me to drive on unhindered. Thank you, random civilians!

Hey, look at me, I'm jumping up and down! Over the river and through the concrete, to the airport we go! Bah, forget it.

Goodbye, and thanks for the money, suckers! You probably spent millions to try and stop one man... but you can't even do THAT right! The citizens of Liberty City will be feeling those taxes for centuries. At least I'll be remembered, though.

Special Thanks To

You, for sitting through nearly 2 hours of gameplay.

Grizzly, who did an awesome run up to mission 29. You were so close, why not finish it? Anyways, this formed the basis for a lot of my route through the game. Thank you, very VERY much for helping!

Chamale, who convinced me not to get max wanted stars on every mission, and to instead go for speed. Really, it would've sucked to get to Staunton and find out you can't get easy wanted levels.

Everyone on the GTA Advance thread, for their support and suggestions.

The people who wrote the FAQ pages, without those pages you wouldn't be seeing and bitching about this run right now. It's a massive help.

CNN for making their Cold War documentary, which has helped relieve the boredom of waiting for hundreds of thousands of frames to go by just so I can watch the mission I completed a minute ago.

My IRL friends, for their support and suggestions.

Cancelled, a lot of people thought it was bad game choice and frankly I have to agree with them. I had a lot of fun making this, and will try to choose a better game next time.

Similar submissions (by title and categories where applicable):