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Submission #2192: FractalFusion's PSX Mega Man X6 in 25:53.02

Console: Sony PlayStation
Game name: Mega Man X6
Game version: USA
ROM filename: (Playstation) Megaman X6.img
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 25:53.02
FrameCount: 93181
Re-record count: 28924
Author's real name: Justin Chan
Author's nickname: FractalFusion
Submitter: FractalFusion
Submitted at: 2009-02-27 09:10:12
Text last edited at: 2009-04-12 16:00:17
Text last edited by: ShinyDoofy
Download: Download (8145 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
FractalFusion's Mega Man X6 in 25:53. About a 1m45s improvement over the test run. A PSX Mega Man TAS that surprisingly uses both X and Zero almost equally (in fact, alternating between levels).

Aims

  • Hardest difficulty (Xtreme mode)
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck

This run uses v0.0.7test4 rerecording of PCSX, but it should work in v0.0.7. Download: http://code.google.com/p/pcsxrr/downloads/list .

Programming errors abused

Debatable, as it is hard to distinguish an actual glitch in the game from an exploit. What might seem like a glitch may in fact be:

  • completely as intended,
  • as intended when not abused, or
  • dismissed via ignorance.

Various exploits:

  • Rescuing Reploids while warping out (this is definitely a glitch).
  • Having Gate use his color-coded balls earlier than usual (definitely glitch).
  • Passing through a moving platform (this is a glitch though it can be described as a fail-safe).
  • Having the fireflies from Yammar Option do charged damage on contact. If they are sent out before charging, they only do normal damage.
  • Pressing left-right-left-right or similar so that Yammar Option fireflies enter and exit the target, causing damage every time they enter. A weapon that stays in its target does damage slowly or not at all.
  • Zero's SDC. SDC stands for "slash dash cancel". As something that occurs over all PSX Mega Man games, Zero can stop his slash by dashing, then slash again. Bosses that are susceptible to triple slashes are especially vulnerable, because they do not become invincible when hit by any ground slashes except the last (this is designed since otherwise you can't pull off the triple slash).
  • Zero's turn-around slash. Turning the other way while in the first ground slash starts the second ground slash immediately.
  • X's SDC, in a way. Cannot be manipulated anywhere near as well as Zero's SDC.
  • X's charging during waiting times.
  • X freezing in mid-air after beating Gate; because your character fights over a bottomless pit, this is definitely intended to make the game not as unfair even though it already is.

Tools used in this run

I rarely used Memory Watch; I used it only to see how fast some method of movement is. I used all the standard tools though.

About the game

This game was a Mega Man game which was rushed, as it came out a year after X5. As you can see, there are no FMVs, the voices are untranslated and the translation is, well, it's not bad like Zero Wing, but diction is entirely absent, and there are some weird word choices, bad grammar, and Engrish. Also, there is one case where a dialog was marked with the wrong character. The bosses look and act like a mess. You'll see. Some parts of stages have been poorly designed and are impossible to bypass with the wrong armor or character, or if the structure randomized the wrong way.

The difficulty of this game is very hard, even on Normal. There is a great reliance on trial and error in this game; at least you are placed back at the last checkpoint even if you continue from a game over (this means lives and EX Tank are useless). Some Reploids, which you can rescue, have parts that aid your game; however if a Nightmare Virus infects them, the item is Lost Forever. The aptly named Nightmare System places effects on stages, called "Nightmare effects" or just "Nightmares", which is a name for a highly illogical effect whose only purpose in the game is to mess you up. Beating stages will also trigger Nightmare effects in other stages.

Examples of Nightmare effects:

  • Acid rain. To stop the acid rain, you must destroy the weather machine and its control orbs. The control orbs are scattered all over.
  • Normal rain found in some other stages.
  • Spy flies that block your shots.
  • Lava boulders that fall from the sky.
  • Two spotlights. Everything outside these spotlights is washed out in darkness.
  • Metal blocks.
  • Totem poles, as well as their spectral images which send you to a random stage. Particularly frustrating for 100%-completion gamers.
  • Ground blocks, of which there are two kinds. One kind ironically spawns in mid-air and attacks you; the other kind serves as an obstruction.
  • Snow avalanches, as well as iced floors and random falling ice blocks.
  • Lasers (think laser puzzle game, not the Quick Man kind).
  • Soul bodies.
  • Illumina, a giant background robot bent on killing you.
  • "Donut" minibosses in Heatnix's stage. A huge time-waster if you didn't know the trick. Oh, and there are five of them.
  • Rising sea of fire.
  • Trash compactor, as well as malevolent architecture.
  • The cyber mantis which respawns after being destroyed.
  • Nightmare Viruses. They are hard to kill, infect Reploids, travel through walls, and appear in swarms.

Xtreme mode makes it even harder, with a mass of enemies placed throughout levels. They do more damage to you. Nightmare Viruses especially do a lot of damage and gain the ability to teleport on top of you. Cyber mantises respawn after 1.5 seconds. The Nightmare Mother boss deserves special mention, since it is already one of the most unfair bosses in the game, due to consuming 40% of the room with its body and 40% with its attacks, as well as random movements and attacks (you have to guess and if you guess wrong, you take damage). On Normal, Nightmare Mother at least gives you time by stopping while spinning, but on Xtreme, it never stops while spinning, so one slip-up while climbing the wall and you get hit for massive damage. Basically, Nightmare Mother is not one, but two Yellow Devils (although its eye casing is always a giant square).

About the run

I started a test run soon after finishing a MMX4 test run. I preferred this run due to a mix of X and Zero action, as well as the strategy. The game is designed in such way that you cannot reach the fortress stages without some effort (unlike in MMX5). There are 3 ways to reach the fortress stages:

  1. Beat all 8 Investigators Mavericks.
  2. Beat High Max in a secondary area.
  3. Obtain 3000 Nightmare Souls.

Not obviously, the run uses option 2. To beat High Max in a secondary area, you need to first beat "Copy Zero" in a secondary area, so that High Max is there afterward. Then you need to beat a Maverick other than Shield Sheldon (note this can be interchanged with beating Copy Zero). Then go beat High Max with that weapon. High Max must be stunned (X-Buster, any of Zero's special swords), then damaged (X's special weapon except Guard Shell, any of Zero's special swords or Z-Saber or Z-Buster). Some weapons are only effective on High Max as X, not as Zero. Because of this process, reaching the fortress quickly is longer but more satisfying than in MMX5, where you reach the fortress through what seems like a cheap gimmick.

Obtaining 3000 Nightmare Souls takes way too long.

The fun doesn't stop there. Once you reach the fortress, you find that it is impossible for X to do Gate Lab 1 without Blade or Shadow Armor, or Wolfang's weapon + Jumper part + 500 Nightmare Souls (souls are required to equip parts due to the level-up system). Fortunately, it is possible for Zero as is. Then Gate Lab 2, you fight High Max again. I found a trick that not only cuts down the battle time greatly, but makes it possible for Zero to beat the stage (since the weapon I got does not allow stunning High Max as Zero). X's route turns out to be faster, mainly because X has an acid rain part whereas Zero has a compactor part which goes very slowly.

Zero cannot be obtained until beating Copy Zero. Since Zero can SDC any Maverick boss except Infinity Mijinion and Blaze Heatnix, it is preferable to obtain Zero as soon as possible. This is achieved by going to Shield Sheldon's secondary area. Now since a boss must be defeated to defeat High Max, I considered beating Commander Yammark, as his weapon does damage easily, can be autowobbled for superfast damage (see Programming errors abused) and supplements Zero perfectly (since Zero's normal weapons cause delay). Furthermore, his stage is short. Then I went to High Max at Infinity Mijinion's secondary area. I used X here, since he does charged damage against High Max (since SDC is ineffective against High Max) and the Illumina cables (minibosses) can be destroyed with charged Yammar Option. I had considered Commander Yammark's secondary area but X cannot reach it without help. Zero can but he doesn't have the weapons to damage High Max.

As mentioned above, Zero is forced for Gate Lab 1. I had trouble deciding whether to use X or Zero but eventually used X. Zero can pull off shortcuts in the first part but X makes up for it, then pulls away with his second part which is fortunate for speed compared to Zero. Since Zero is SDC king, he finishes off with Gate Lab 3. Recap:

  • Intro stage
  • Shield Sheldon secondary area (Copy Zero battle)
  • Commander Yammark stage as Zero
  • Infinity Mijinion secondary area as X (High Max battle)
  • Gate Lab 1 as Zero
  • Gate Lab 2 as X
  • Gate Lab 3 as Zero

It is entirely possible that first beating Commander Yammark as X (despite not SDCing) then doing Infinity Mijinion's secondary area twice, may be faster, but I can't tell and I don't like it because it does Mijinion's secondary area twice.

PSX mechanics

The first thing to note is that there is a delay when doing a dash. The delay can be cancelled by pressing down before dashing. However, there is no delay when dash-jumping.

The weapon system for X has changed for the better, as he now can use both a special weapon and the X-Buster at the same time. However X can only charge one at a time and firing one resets the other. Also, X can charge up during waiting times (e.g. dialogs) which allow getting a charged shot off to begin a battle. Unfortunately there is a 6-frame lower limit for autofiring the X-Buster.

Zero's ground slashes are abused to the fullest. See Programming errors abused.

Weapons

X:

  • X-Buster: Do I have to say how useful this is? I think you know... The only gripe is now the 6-frame lower limit for autofiring.
  • X-Saber: Actually Z-Saber as used by X. It's slow and causes delay and I only use it when needed, or against Copy Zero by weakness.
  • Falcon Air Dash: Damages intro boss, without delay. Apparently, it's the only enemy which is affected by it.
  • Yammar Option: Too useful, especially when using charged contact damage and autowobble exploits (see Programming errors abused).
  • Falcon Giga Attack: OK, this weapon is way too slow. Especially compared to Yammar Option. I never use it except to show off.

Zero:

  • Z-Saber: See Programming errors abused. It is possible to do SDC in such a way that it hits twice every five frames. Ground Z-Saber does not have a delay, unlike triple third, air, or wall slashes. Triple third does a lot of damage though.
  • Z-Buster: Does a lot of damage, always 4. However it can only be used on the ground and Zero can't move when doing this. It is sometimes the finishing move after using SDC. It is also useful for Infinity Mijinion.
  • Yammar Option: Isn't ranged firing wonderful? Only downside is that it requires pressing up+triangle on the ground, and sometimes it triggers the Z-Buster instead. Like all of Zero's techniques except Guard Shell, it is a mandatory combo keypress, as selecting the weapon does nothing.

Progress log

Note: It took me 3.5 weeks to make the run. I was, in a way, disappointed because I felt I could have finished it sooner if I didn't procrastinate so much. At least it wasn't months.

Feb 1, 2009:

Started on run. Improved the blocks by using air slash for the first couple hits, which does 3 instead of 2 for ground slashes.

Feb 2:

Managed to get by the last block quickly using air slashes. Luckily, the machine boss does its sink-and-charge attack, and I can use Falcon air dash a lot.

Feb 3:

Oops, I forgot to take enough damage. Redid boss fight, making it faster. Started on Shield Sheldon.

Feb 4:

Found out dashing on the slippery invisible platforms is very fast. In fact, dashing on the ground using down+dash is a little bit (not noticeably) faster than bunny hopping, about 3 frames saved per 50 frames, but too late now. I used many rerecords here to time the laser spawns.

Feb 5:

Finished off Shield Sheldon stage, except for fighting Zero. About 3 seconds faster than the previous redo, which was 5 seconds faster than the first attempt.

Feb 6:

Finished off Zero. Went through Yammark's stage quickly. Surprisingly I jumped over an enemy when it didn't seem possible to do. I had to avoid some enemies because Zero uses long recoil rather than short recoil here. Yammark dies quickly using SDC. This day, I started writing the log. :)

Feb 7:

Started Infinity Mijinion. Things didn't work out so well, so it looks like I'll redo this later.

Feb 8:

Redid Mijinion. I did the charged Yammar Option earlier so I could destroy and thus unsync them (since otherwise they would be in a bad position for the second cable). I let the Virus infect the Reploid; it may be possible to avoid this but I didn't want to try.

Feb 9:

Destroyed High Max.

Feb 10:

Started Gate Lab 1. Yammar Option is useful here.

Feb 11:

I found a better method to take on Nightmare mother, doing more damage to the upper one while still destroying the lower one on the first round.

Feb 12:

A little bit into the next level.

Feb 13:

A little bit more.

Feb 16:

Completed first part of stage and High Max. There is a glitch with the moving platforms that allows passing through (but after taking massive damage).

Feb 17:

Did part of the rainy section, improving it as well.

Feb 18:

Finished rainy section. Yammar Option is very useful.

Feb 19:

Started Gate boss fight.

Feb 20:

Finished Gate boss fight. It was hard to do at times.

Feb 22:

Boss rush time. Finished 7 of 8 Mavericks.

Feb 23:

Finished last Maverick.

Feb 25:

Went through to beat Sigma's first form. Somehow I keep putting off completion.

Feb 26:

Sigma's second form and run finished. The battle took a while to do.

Run notes

Intro

  • Regarding the blocks, air slashing them first is slightly faster as it does more damage.
  • I managed to get by the last block just barely before getting hit again.
  • The Falcon Air Dash does damage! Against the intro boss, that is. I try to make it come low so that I don't have to hit it with X-Saber which causes delay. Yes, hitting the orb does more damage but because of the huge delay I only do it on the last hit. I also take damage (had to redo this once because I forgot) to speed up the next battle, which is unwinnable.

Shield Sheldon

  • The invisible platforms are slippery in a weird way, such that your character suddenly speeds up while dashing on it.
  • I have to wait for the first laser. However, I can time the spawn for the second set of lasers to avoid waiting for that set. The fourth set of lasers that open the ground door have to be waited out.
  • A partially charged shot takes out the shield enemies.
  • The splitting sides of X grab the Reploid while warping out. :|
  • Copy Zero is weak to X-Saber. Who would have thought? :) I start out with a charged shot, but I can't use a ground slash (except on the last hit) because it causes Copy Zero to warp, wasting time.

Commander Yammark

  • Zero hates to hit stuff. Well, that's because it causes delay.
  • Avoiding the mantises is faster than running into them, which causes long recoil.
  • Shortest boss battle ever in a Mega Man game without using one or two-hit kills.

Infinity Mijinion

  • I redid this part a few times just to get the Yammar Option to work correctly. I start it as soon as possible so that when it wears out, I wear off the fireflies by bumping them into enemies. This allows me to resync the fireflies for the second cable.
  • I let the Reploid at the end get infected.
  • Grabbing the vertical poles speeds up the your character horizontally by a frame.
  • High Max takes a while but that's because of his invincibility periods, which can't be helped. He can only be damaged faster when he goes into berserk mode (16 health or less left out of 48).

Gate Lab 1

  • Now that Zero has a new weapon, he starts destroying stuff. Not with a sword though.
  • In the autoscrolling part, Zero cannot go past the top of the screen, so I have to wait.
  • Nightmare Mother cannot be SDCed. I use triple third slash as well as Yammar Option so I damage both eyes at the same time.

Gate Lab 2

  • X blows through the dreaded totem statues quickly . Then he takes the shortcut up and, yes, through a platform. And yes, those are spikes you're seeing (the first part of this level is one of the most infuriating parts of the game). Zero can take shortcuts easier, including one which skips three statues but X can't do it.
  • The goal in this TAS is not do to the stun/damage combo, but to get High Max to go berserk as fast as possible, which is achieved by destroying his barrier twice. This makes the battle go quickly, but High Max's berserk has "YOU MUST DIE" written all over it. If you don't know what you're doing and you make him go berserk, you won't win, period. Especially since Yammar Option is one of the worst weapons (for your health) to use against this form. Fortunately, I use TAS.
  • In the acid rain part, I have to destroy all the little orbs, but Yammar Option makes them much easier to hit.
  • Against Gate, if you explode the colored balls and have the explosion hit him almost right after he deploys them, he performs his next action much sooner.

Gate Lab 3

  • I believe the order of the capsules to be fastest. Blaze Heatnix and Infinity Mijinion (the first two I fight) cannot be SDCed. For Heatnix, I use triple third slash and Z-Buster. For Mijinion, I mostly use Z-Buster as hitting him with the saber causes him to be invinicible for a long time. All others fall by SDc. Occasionally I change up the SDC pattern a little, either because the boss is floating in mid-air, or the boss would hit me.
  • Sigma's first form seems tame when you look at it. What he doesn't do is kill you with his attacks (I manipulated it so he did his slow walk). I have to delay slashes sometimes because occasionally when you hit him, he appears to attempt suicide by crashing into the corner (it looks freaky) but becomes invincible.
  • I delay the dialogs to luck-manipulate.
  • It took me a while to do Sigma's second form. It can be SDCed but it does very little damage and he takes continuous damage (no invincibility) from air slashes anyway. Air slash (not spinning from double jump) does 5 damage whereas spin air slash does 4. I had luck because the platform was in a good position. It is possible to Z-Buster him so the shot does continuous damage (4x5=20 damage) but it should only be done last and there wasn't a good way to do it. Also, the weird movement when he opened his mouth was to get the exploder target on the left side of the room so it doesn't hit Zero during the onslaught.
  • If the game appears to get stuck after the loading zone, you have Pause After Playback enabled in Options. Just unpause (press Pause or whatever pause button is) and it will continue to the credits.

Final stats

  • Nightmare Souls obtained: 208
  • Reploids rescued: 16
  • Clear time: 10:07
  • X Rank: D
  • Zero Rank: C

Press buttons to continue, if you made it this far.

Improvements

  • I only discovered it in the middle, but it is slightly faster (not noticeable) to dash along the floor using down + dash rather than bunny-hop.
  • I'm pretty sure there are some others; perhaps better usage of Yammar Option.

Thanks

  • paul_t for the test run and memory addresses.
  • mz for modifying PCSX to have TAS tools.
  • Everyone who helped out in =forum/t/7229.


Truncated: Looks like a good run to me. Accepting.

ShinyDoofy: Processing...


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