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Submission #2286: FractalFusion's GBC Mega Man Xtreme in 27:33.58

Console: Game Boy Color
Game name: Mega Man Xtreme
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Mega Man Xtreme (U) [C][!].gbc
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 27:33.58
FrameCount: 99215
Re-record count: 32064
Author's real name: Justin Chan
Author's nickname: FractalFusion
Submitter: FractalFusion
Submitted at: 2009-06-14 23:09:51
Text last edited at: 2012-07-05 22:13:12
Text last edited by: NitroGenesis
Download: Download (11964 bytes)
Status: published
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ALERTS POSSIBLY COMPROMISING MOVIE INTEGRITY:

VBM file begins from a snapshot (flags=1)

Author's comments and explanations:
FractalFusion's Mega Man Xtreme in 25:24. I made this run 8 months ago, but wasn't able to submit it until recently.

Uses VBA v19.3, but works in VBA v21.

Starts from savestate+reset to activate Extreme mode, the only reasonable mode for a proper run.

Aims

  • Starts from savestate+reset to activate Extreme mode
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck

About the game

A fast-paced GBC version. Level design curiously resembles that of the SNES games, but the different style of gameplay and a couple glitches make up for it. Music is decent (I've heard much worse from Mega Man II (Game Boy)).

Extreme mode

Extreme mode is a full-game mode with all 8 Mavericks playable, and the fortress stages. Both Normal and Hard mode are part-game modes with 4 Mavericks playable each, and the fortress stages for each. Clearly, Extreme mode is the only reasonable option here.

There is only one way to activate Extreme mode from power-on: beat Hard mode (which requires beating Normal mode). To do this without power-on, either savestate+reset or SRAM is required. SRAM does not work in VBA for GBx games. Hence, savestate+reset is required.

The savestate was formed by beating Normal and Hard modes and clearing all save data.

There are two control modes for the Start button: nothing, and dash. Nothing is power-on default. The savestate sets it to dash. Only a convenience, since dashing can be achieved with right-right or down+A.

As a side effect, Extreme mode lacks the cutscenes of Normal and Hard modes, which can only be a good thing.

Programming errors abused

  • When dash-jumping toward a wall, sometimes (depending on positioning) X snags the wall as if it were ground, allowing a double-jump. Unfortuately, X cannot snag the same wall after making the double-jump.

  • If X snags a wall at the very top (where the platform should be just out of reach), he is bumped up onto the platform. Used many times.

  • When wall-jumping, pressing jump every 7 frames causes X to zip up the wall. It is even possible to release off the wall above where it is possible to grip the wall. This is useful in some areas.

  • Dashing on the ground while shooting X-Buster does more damage to some enemies (but not bosses).

  • After an event that freezes your charge, pressing fire will shoot an uncharged shot while keeping the charge.

  • The charged Rolling Shield protects X against spikes.

Takes damage to save time

Obvious, no?

Manipulates luck

The RNG in this game is severely non-volatile. Only things like killing enemies (determining enemy drops) or selecting the next boss action changes the RNG. There's not much I can do, so I have to live with it. It certainly doesn't help that, of Wheel Gator's actions, all but one make him invincible for a long time.

Items

All items collected are upgrades.

  • Head part is used to obtain the next two parts.
  • X-Buster upgrade part is used to save hits against bosses.
  • Zero Final part is used to save hits against bosses.
  • Leg upgrade part is forced.

It is arguable whether Zero Final saves the 15 seconds it requires to obtain. In an ideal world, it doesn't; however, read Manipulates Luck above. Another reason for using it is to show something unique in the Xtreme series (compared to the SNES X games). Zero Final basically does a free hit of 10 damage on a boss (but it only works if the boss is not invincible at the time), though it takes a while to execute. It can only be used once per stage.

Is there an ultimate weapon? Yes. The Shotokan is the combined hadoken and shoryuken. If that sounds too good, that's because it is. In the SNES games, you can use it right away and kill bosses in one hit. Here, you have to charge to the third level to do 4 damage. I am not making this up.

Obviously, I don't get the Shotokan (although I pass by its route).

Route

Storm Eagle (Head part), Flame Stag, Spark Mandrill (X-Buster upgrade), Morph Moth, Magna Centipede (Zero Final), Chill Penguin (Leg upgrade), Armored Armadillo, Wheel Gator

I put Spark Mandrill before Chill Penguin because Spark Mandrill's weakness takes a while, and Chill Penguin has the second-worst actions (Wheel Gator being the worst). It is better, however, to do Spark Mandrill after Magna Centipede (where Zero Final on Spark Mandrill is better than X-Buster upgrade for Moth and Centipede). An improved run should save maybe 1.5 seconds in this regard.

Bosses

Most bosses have a 94-frame (~1.5-second) invincibility period. Bosses have 32 health. Charged X-Buster does 2. Weakness does 3. Charged weakness does 4. Zero Final does 10. Trying to save hits is a challenge.

Weapons

This is the first game I TASed where there are no weapon-switch buttons. It limits my weapon creativity. Weapon switch via menu costs 50 frames.

  • X-Buster: Ah, where would X be without X-Buster? I don't need to tell you how useful this weapon is.

  • Speed Burner: Slow firing rate, but does a lot of damage to minibosses. When charged, X does a fiery airdash, though, unlike MMX2, X does not go faster. It helps in certain places, such as when jumping from the minecarts, in order to stay airborne as long as possible.

  • Rolling Shield: When charged, protects X from spikes. Spike walls are not walls in the normal sense, but act as a very strange type of ground that X can be embedded in and stand on. The uncharged version is only used for boss weaknesses.

  • Zero Final: Does a free hit on a boss for 10 damage. One use per stage.

Everything else is boss weakness material only.

Memory addresses

(in VBA Watch format)

  [MEGAMAN X]

  CC5B,2u, player X
  CC08,2u, camera X
  ----
  B43B,1u, enemy HP 1
  B421,1u, enemy HP 2
  B521,1u, enemy HP 3
  B621,1u, enemy HP 4
  B721,1u, enemy HP 5
  B821,1u, wall HP 1
  B921,1u, wall HP 2
  BA21,1u, wall HP 3
  BB21,1u, wall HP 4

Thought process

You can't select Extreme on the menu for a while, hence the delay.

Intro level

By alternating Start and right-right, X can dash repeatedly without any delay. The bug miniboss takes the same damage no matter what so there's no point charging up. Vile can't be hit for the first couple seconds.

Storm Eagle

Don't hold back! Crush them all!

I hate the fire cannons. Killing the enemy before Storm Eagle was for luck manipulation to prevent him from diving.

Flame Stag

Although I didn't use it here, it is possible to cancel the autoscroll by triggering it and waiting until it centers the player so that it stops. Using wall glitches, I zoom up the shafts very fast. The stage music has just barely started by the time I am at the boss gate. No other comment.

Spark Mandrill

I hexed in the improvement (the double-jump to the ladder) which saved 10 frames, but I had to wait 4 frames later on to sync the rest of the movie. Speed Burner destroys Thunder Slimer.

Defeat the enemy there, X!

It is possible to trigger the capsule power-up before Dr. Light even says anything, but this results in X not obtaining the desired upgrade.

Morph Moth

The Disk Boys took some thinking to beat quickly. Good thing I have VBA Watch. The robot minibosses can be destroyed faster with some other weapons, but it costs time to switch, so I don't. I use two charged Speed Burners on Morph Moth to save a hit.

Magna Centipede

Hmm, some block remnant near the save point. Why did they make Speed Burner so useful against minibosses? I'll never know. Again, I decided not to cancel the autoscrolling.

This will allow you to call a Special A Level Hunter, Zero ... This is the most powerful weapon and will destroy almost any enemy.

Anyway, when using Zero Final, I try to use it as high and close to the boss as possible so that Zero travels the shortest distance.

Chill Penguin

Your field of activities have now been expanded. Go destroy the evil X! ... wait, there's an evil X? Are you serious?

The walker robots are surprisingly easy to destroy. Gotta love the X-Buster. Chill Penguin has two invincible actions: breathing ice penguins, and sliding. I did get rid of him quick enough to minimize the time lost. For some reason, if Chill Penguin breathes off the screen, the game cannot get rid of the penguins and he will never breathe (ice) again. This does not apply for the rematch.

Armored Armadillo

Charged Speed Burner helps stay airborne after jumping off the minecarts, as well as taking damage and recoiling towards the right. Here, I wait to cancel autoscrolling so I am not restricted when I charge ahead. I do this again after the second digging machine. Armored Armadillo is a pain without Electric Spark but is super easy with it.

Wheel Gator

This ride armor is not as useful as the one in MMX2. Anyway, I zoom through with only the X-Buster. Wheel Gator has many invincible actions. They are:

  • Diving, and either resurfacing right away, or shooting two Spin Wheels first.
  • Doing a fast opening and closing of the mouth.
  • Shooting from the mouth.
  • Doing a drilling motion toward a wall.

Anyway, charged Magnet Mine can hit him when he is about to resurface after diving. I did well, though he used some of the above actions.

Fortress 1

I took damage on those standing robots. They are just too hard to destroy. After a while comes a boss who tries to crush you with his oversized sword. Shotgun Ice is the weakness. Note that except for the last hit, it doesn't matter when you hit him, only that you hit him during the vulnerable period. Right away comes another boss. Speed Burner is the weakness (though I might have saved time by using charged shots). Then after a while comes Bospider, who has two weaknesses: Shotgun Ice and Magnet Mine. I use Magnet Mine since charged Shotgun Ice is uncontrollable.

Fortress 2

I could have saved time by remaining with X-Buster, but I thought that I had to use charged Rolling Shield and the spike wall to reach the ladder for the Shotokan route. Even though I take the Shotokan route since it seems faster, I don't get the Shotokan (I can't anyway, since I also need armor capsule). The Serges Wall nightmare awaits. I take down the cannons with Electric Spark, then somehow balance on two moving platforms while shooting Serges down with the Speed Burner (Serges is also weak to Rolling Shield).

Fortress 3

With the help of charged Rolling Shield, I climb the spike wall quickly. I lose my shield on a fire cannon but take damage so I can complete the ascent. All the boss refights go well; I use Zero Final on Wheel Gator because of his actions. I grab the weapon energy on the way to Sigma because it is faster than avoiding it. Sigma goes down by Electric Spark (also Speed Burner but I don't have enough). With only 9 health, touching Sigma or his sword results in death. There is a "final stage", then Sigma Final, which kills in two hits and has a lightning attack which is very hard to dodge. It goes down with Rolling Shield. Zero Final is recharged but I don't use it because it only does 4 damage.

Possible improvements

  • Do Spark Mandrill after Magna Centipede.
  • Use a couple charged Speed Burner on Geemel.
  • Don't use Rolling Shield in Sigma 2 stage.

Thanks


mmbossman: Despite the similarities to the SNES version, people seem to like this also. I have to agree, particularly due to the fast paced nature of the run. Input could have been ended sooner in my opinion, but that's a minor detail, since the final time is displayed. Accepting for publication.

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