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

Submission #2139: Mukki's N64 Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko in 54:16.25

Console: Nintendo 64
Game name: Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Gex 3 - Deep Cover Gecko (U) [!].z64
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 54:16.25
FrameCount: 195375
Re-record count: 41591
Author's real name: I. Masterson
Author's nickname: Mukki
Submitter: Mukki
Submitted at: 2008-11-17 11:37:23
Text last edited at: 2008-12-24 23:47:38
Text last edited by: ShinyDoofy
Download: Download (58006 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Intro

So, a new Gex submission from me. Originally, I felt I should make an improvement of my Gex 64 run, but to be honest I only had enough motivation for one more Gex movie and I really wanted to do this. This has been a strange project for me; I recorded a test run over a year ago and just picked it up every couple of weeks and TASed for a few hours. Eventually I got so far into it that a few months ago I decided to take it all the way. Looking over the movie I like this more than the run of its predecesor. Technically it's considerably more optimised (due to some nice techniques, see below) and for the most part more entertaining. I managed to save some nice time on my first version (the test run) and finished comfortably under 55 minutes. If you know this game (which I hope a few of you do, it was reasonably popular in its day) then this is a very nice time. This is a long and difficult game so sub-1 hour was cool.

  • Aims For Fastest Time
  • Takes Damage To Save Time
  • Manipulates Luck
  • Abuses Programming Errors In The Game
  • Genre: Platform

  • Note 1: The game is emulated well other than two graphical errors. One, whenever Gex transforms (i.e. into Hercules, fire power-up etc) some sprites go a bit weird. Secondly, the water in Lake Flaccid is a bit off.

  • Note 2: There are a couple of differences between the N64 and PSX versions. Firstly, in the PSX version, after gaining the first remote in each level there is an FMV of Agent Xtra hsving a banterous two-way with Gex. The N64 can't handle these FMVs so after the first remote of four levels (mystery, tut, western, fairytale) Gex has a pixelated two-way with her in mission control. Unfortunately, this resets Gex's position to mission control meaning I have to get back to these levels to continue. Hopefully this doesn't affect the entertainment too much. Secondly, the Mythology Network is completely different (and better) in the PSX version. This project was already 70% complete before PSX TASing was possible so I continued using the N64 version. For the record, if anyone tries to improve this please do so using the PSX version, even if it is longer due to these changes. You have my blessing for that to obsolete this should this run be published and that run be made (the same goes for Gex 64).

  • Note 3: If you get an error halfway through Gangster TV please report it. I've had this a few times, but was able to eventually fix it....but just incase it crops up.

Synopsis

Not quite defeated after his tool assisted ass-kicking in Gex 64, the evil Rez has returned. This time he has kidnapped the do-able Agent Xtra (played by Marliece Andrada) in order to pull Gex the gecko back into the media dimension to rescue her (personally I think she can do better). The media dimension is split into four areas (mission control, lake flaccid, slappy valley and funky town) and Gex must collect 30 remotes across the television channels in each of these areas in order to access the final confrontation with Rez. This game has huge amounts of variety and the different scenarios give Gex some nice new powers.

Tricks / Optimisation

A quick word on the controls. One problem with Gex 64 was that it had only 16-direction control, it is slightly better in this game. At the beginning of the run, in the menu, I change the controls to 'precise', this is still not full analogue though, but by using this in combination with the manual camera (C-directions) I can get pseudo-analogue control. The gameplay should look a lot smoother than in the Gex 64 run, but it is still looks slightly jagged in places, especially in parts of the game where I don't have full control of the camera.

For example, if I want to move up I would press R + A on the first possible frame upon landing. If I want to go diagonally upper left I would hold the joystick in this direction from the frame I leave the ground on the previous flying kick and then press R + A on the frame I hit the ground. To get somewhere in between these two directions i would hold up until the frame prior to that I hit the ground and on the subsequent frame hold the joystick to upper left and press R + A. To get even tighter the C-directions can be held in the required direction for two or three frames prior to the penultamate frame in order to skew Gex's position that way. Watching the input during the run may be helpful to understand how this works.

As in the previous run I regularly use a trick that allows me to use a higher tail jump without jumping first. This can be done by interupting a flying kick by coming into contact with scenery or an enemy. In this run I found another use of this trick. When using a flying kick to get on top of a ledge, if you flying kick on the earliest frame and Gex just grabs the ledge, this for a single frame will interupt the kick allowing you to initiate a tail jump immeadiately.

In Depth

Mission Control

  • Remote 1: I get this from the wreck room, which is a training area, it is very simple, quick and makes a nice start to the run.
    • A nice little glitch at the start here. By touching the button that opens the stone gecko's mouth at the furthest end, the momentum carries Gex off the button onto the floor allowing him to run most of the way into the mouth before it opens.
  • Remote 2: It's just sitting there in mission control.

Holiday Broadcasting "Totally Scrooged"

  • Remote 3: Make 5 Ice Sculptures
    • The reason I fall over the left side of the bridge before the third sculpture is so that I can register multiple hits with a flying kick while moving to the door on the right. This is faster than falling to the right where the slower option of tail whiping before moving to the right is all that's available.
  • Remote 4: Kill the Evil Santa. Pretty straight forward.
  • Remote 5: Kill the Snowboarding Elves. Punishment for not working, probably why that Saanta was so pissed off.

Mystery TV "Clueless In Seattle"

  • Remote 6: Navigate the Maze.
    • It's not possible to jump over the hedges. Even when jumping from on top of the TV it won't let you go that high.
  • Remote 7: Solve the 3 mini-games.
    • I bounce on top of the lampshade to get to the upper level before the third game. This is quite a large timesaver because normally you have to go all the way back to the start and flick a switch on the upper level to pull out a bookcase you use to get up.
  • Remote 8: Smash 3 Blood Coolers. A vampire in a Sherlock Holmes themed level...makes sense.

Lake Flaccid

Tut TV "Holy Moses"

  • Remote 9: Find 3 ancient staffs
    • In the room with the fire and sticky walls I can bounce on the staff to skip a lot of the room. This saves time in the room, but is slower when doing the other remotes because getting the staff takes so long.
  • Remote 10: Ride the Camel
  • Remote 11: Find 3 lost Arks
    • The invincibility periods on the ninja mummies are strange, you need to get to them before they start dancing or it's ages before you can hi them. I could't get the second one to go down any quicker.

Army Channel "War Is Heck"

  • Remote 12: Destroy the city for bug crates. An awesome level.
    • You may notice me blow up the building containing the second last crate in a strange way. This is because driving near the fire hydrant stops you completely.
  • Remote 13: Destroy the Tents
  • Remote 14: Steal the Secret Plans

Buccaneer Program "Cutcheese Island"

  • Remote 15: Evade the Wall of Death
    • At the start of this level I have to open the skull with the cannon to get through. Jumping over the gate by using the lampost was so close it hurt, but just not possible.
  • Remote 16: Ride the Zip line.

Western Station "The Organ Trail"

  • Remote 17: Visit the World's biggest mound of poop.
    • riding the donkey is slower than flying kicks, however it still wasn't possible to make the timed objects so all the time was negated anyway. I thought I may as well use it.
  • Remote 18: Climb the mountain.
    • I was able to abuse the seams quite nicely in two points of this level.

Boss: WWGex Wrestling "Invasion Of The Body Slammers"

  • An amalgamation of the rock and steve austin...
  • I found a way to glitch out of the ring. It didn't help though. Shame.

Mythology Network "Unsolved Mythstories"

  • Remote 19: Smash the Urns
    • Usually when Gex's hercules transformation ends he stops dead until he returns to normal, however I discovered a really cool glitch I use to completely bypass this waiting period by rotating the camera in certain ways.
  • Remote 20: Lick
  • Remote 21: Kill the Ogre's
    • I have to wait for Gex's transformation period to end before transforming into hercules again. This essentially makes this level a huge timed object.

Fairytale TV "Red Riding In The Hood"

  • Remote 22: Destroy the 3 little pigs houses.
    • I ascend the beanstalk by the stem rather than the leaves. This is near impossible to do like this in real time. Very nice.
  • Remote 23: Jump over 3 candlesticks.
  • Remote 24: Climb the beanstalk

Anime TV "When Sushi Goes Bad"

  • Remote 25: Destroy the planet destroyer.
    • It doesn't matter whether you get on the elevators in the centre , it starts moving on the same frame. Even though it moves you automatically.
  • Remote 26: Destroy 5 mechs
    • You may notice that I turn to face away from the switchpad after killing the first 3 mechs before the floor breaks. This is because Gex's tongue will pull himself back up if facing the correct way. The range on this is quite large which is why the position doesn't look quite right.

Boss: Lizard of Oz "Lions, Tigers and Gex"

  • You can only use each cannon once.

Superhero Shows "Superzeroes"

  • Remote 27: rescue 3 stray cats
    • you may notice that I miss the cat nearest the start. It is faster to get it on the way back. Also it isn't possible to jump from the building the second cat is on to the building the TV is on. Close, but it isn't
  • Remote 28: defeat the mad bomber
    • You can't hit his bombs back at him in mid air, you have to wait for them to land first and then hit them back. Also, most of the time they just explode when Gex is near, therefore I had to luck manilate them to not explode. That explains the erratic positioning you may see.

Gangster TV "My Three Goons"

  • Remote 29: Rescue Cuz
  • Remote 30: Destroy 5 beer kegs.
    • There's a huge delay between getting the fifth keg and the TV becoming active, I don't know why this is. It seems to only be this TV rather than the remote number. I tested it as the 27th, 28th and 30th remote and the delay was always there.

Boss: Spacestation Rez "Rez Raker"

  • Graphical problems ruined the final boss a tad. Shame.

I'll try and add more depth to the in depth comments when I get a chance.

In the meantime, enjoy!

Mukki


mmbossman: Not too bad in the entertainment department, despite the backtracking in the levels, and it looks well done technically. Accepting for publication.

ShinyDoofy: Processing...


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